My 5 Favorite Cookbooks – A Holiday Gift Guide

Need cookbook recommendations? Here are my 5 favorite cookbooks that you can buy your family and friends for Christmas.

My  Favorite Cookbooks - A Holiday Gift Guide

In addition to my coffee addiction, I have an insane addiction to cookbooks. It’s been around since I could remember, even before I started drinking coffee religiously. Coffee and cookbooks. It could be worse, no? Believe it or not, I’ve gotten a better handle on buying books the past few years. Especially now that my library can get almost any book, I can check them out before buying. People often ask me what my favorite cookbooks are. Considering I have five shelves full of potential candidates, this wasn’t an easy question. I looked at which books I used the most, which ones I couldn’t live without, and which ones others would enjoy just as much. That’s how I came up with My 5 Favorite Cookbooks, which also doubles as a holiday gift guide. If you have any friends or family in your life that love to be in the kitchen, these are the 5 books they need to own.

[Continue reading]

Fiesta Dip Mix

This Fiesta Dip Mix not only makes a thoughtful gift for those hard-to-buy people, stocking it in your pantry means making dips at the last minute for unexpected house guests (or when the urge to snack strikes).

Fiesta Dip Mix to help make last minute dips for unexpected house guests
How many of you shop during Black Friday? (And if you don’t live in the US, it’s the day after Thanksgiving where people shop at ridiculous hours just to get low prices on stuff they don’t need). I used to work in retail, first at a clothing store at the mall then at Target. I always had the first shift of the day, which meant lots of coffee. As I witnessed long lines out in the cold for a $100 discount on a TV or that “gotta have sale” on clothes, I never understood the hype of shopping at midnight so you can save a few bucks. Yes, money does add up, but are people really willing to give up sleep and fight other customers (literally) for that? What happened to Thanksgiving, a day off to spend time with family and friends? Now stores are opening at 6 PM on Thanksgiving. Which means employees have to be there at 5-5:30 PM. Which means they don’t get to spend time with their family and friends for dinner.

If I do shop on Black Friday, it’s in the afternoon where everyone else is home and napping, but even then it’s rare. Besides, I’m the type who makes homemade gifts. In addition to sleeping in and avoiding crowds, you can customize your gift for each person. Last year I gave dip mixes, including this Fiesta Dip Mix, to a few coworkers in pretty jars. Not only can they save it for after the holidays (let’s face it – we receive so many cookies that you really can’t think about eating yet another gift), it can actually be pretty healthy. Just add a tablespoon or two to your favorite sour cream or Greek yogurt, and now you have a spiced-up dip for snacking.

[Continue reading]

Mexican Spiced Mocha

Mexican Spiced Mocha combining coffee, hot chocolate, cinnamon, and chili powder

Coffee meets hot chocolate in this Mexican Spiced Mocha drink recipe. The cinnamon and chili powder give it a nice kick to help wake you up when you need it the most. I was compensated by iCoffee for this recipe. As you'll soon find out, I am a … [Continue reading]

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheese Ball

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheese Ball

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheese Ball means eating chocolate chip cookies in spreadable form for parties. Serve with graham crackers and cookies. Here we are, one week before Thanksgiving. Are you ready? Is your menu all planned out or do you … [Continue reading]

Gingerbread S’mores Cookie Bars

Gingerbread S'mores Cookie Bars for Christmas baking season

Don't have the time (or energy) to cut out and decorate gingerbread men? These Gingerbread S'mores Cookie Bars are quick to make and will put you in the Christmas spirit in no time. Halfway through November, and I think my body is confused. … [Continue reading]

Sweet Chili Mac And Cheese Shells

Sweet Chili Mac and Cheese Shells for a meatless Monday meal

Sweet Chili Mac And Cheese Shells with broccoli is meatless comfort food at its finest with a spicy cheese sauce to warm you up on those brisk, chilly days. My favorite part about being a food blogger isn't about working from home, receiving … [Continue reading]