New Year’s Eve Cocktail Considerations

We all know that New Year’s and champagne go hand in hand. But how many of you other than on New Year’s are drinking champagne other than at midnight?

New Year's cocktail considerations, New Years Eve, cocktails, Dec 31st, Happy New Year, drinks Why not toast in the New Year with some different cocktails and save the champagne for midnight only. Most of the time we don’t get creative with our drinks because we just have not taken the time to research a recipe or take the initiative to buy the needed ingredients. I’ve found that many of the handmade craft cocktails in my favorite restaurants are pretty simple to make at home with the right tools and 2-3 ingredients. And by no means do they have to have alcohol! Do some research as there are plenty of “mocktail” recipes out there! I listed one non-alcoholic option below.

Here also are some suggestions to have for a basic well stocked tool kit for your bar so you can make them with ease. Don’t feel you need to buy everything. Start small with a cocktail shaker and jigger. Other things will come as you get more creative like a muddler. Oh and don’t forget those garnishes! I am a sucker for a nice piece of rosemary, a berry or lemon peel decorating my drink!

Bar Essentials

  • Cocktail Shakers
  • Bottle opener ( duh)
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Muddler ( for muddling fruits into your drinks)
  • Jigger for measuring
  • Variety sizes of glassware like tall , martini, and highball
  • I have listed some of the best cocktails to consider here for you from some of the webs most popular sites. Take a look!

New Year’s Eve Cocktail Considerations

Cranberry Spice Cocktail

Apple Cider and Rum Punch

Peach Cosmo

Citrus 75

Strawberry Sombrero

Peppermint Egg Nog Punch

Cranberry Sparkler (non-alcoholic)

I am looking forward to New Year’s Eve with a homemade dinner and quiet evening in reflecting on this past year. Life has brought me so many joys so that when things don’t go the right way, it definitely softens the bump. I guess that is what life is anyway. A series of memories and experiences. Here is to having more joys than sorrows and more laughs than cries. Wishing all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Best Holiday Treat Recipes

What is your best holiday treat? Mine is peanut butter blossoms!

If you have not started baking for the holidays yet, you still have time. Last night I was elbow deep in making peanut butter blossoms and cookies and cream bark for the weekend festivities! I like having some baked goods completed for family holiday gatherings or unexpected friends who pop over to send their holidays greetings. The Chocolate Pumpkin Bread and Blueberry Lemon Scones are a great addition to Christmas brunch or the day after when you clearly have filled your kitchen time quota for the holiday. Make ahead and enjoy.

Best Baking Recipes, DIY, Gifts, Holiday baking, cookies, I have curated a list from blog post past of my favorite holiday treats. Some are breads, some edible gifts and then there are cookies! Click on link for full recipe and posts. Happy Holidays!

Best Holiday Treat Recipes

  1. Holiday Madness Bars 
  2. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread:
  3. Wholesome Homemade Granola Bars:
  4. Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies:
  5. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies:
  6. Gone in a Day Granola
  7. No Bake Peanut Butter Squares:
  8. How to Create a Mason Cookie Jar:
  9. Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Scones:

Best holiday treats, DIY, holiday baking, holiday cookies, christmas cookies, gifts

What is your all-time favorite holiday treat? Season’s Eatings! 

Low- Carb Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower Pizza

Today it is easier than ever to eat low-carb for those looking to shed some weight or just rid yourself of the carbohydrate bloat that often comes with eating too much sugar or carbs.

low carb, cauliflower pizza, buffalo chickenPizza has got to be the one thing that you could miss on a low-carb lifestyle. It is the go-to food at football games, kids parties and an easy pick up dinner on a Friday night, so thankfully cauliflower rice makes having pizza a bit easier.

I recently started a low-carb eating regime. Although at first it was a bit daunting, I easily found a wealth of information on the web in regard to recipes, tips and hacks on how to do it properly and reap the health and fitness benefits.

Now I am not saying making this is easy. It will take you an hour for sure between cooking the rice in the pan and getting all the moisture out and baking the crust on both sides. However, the more you make it, the easier it will come to getting it done quicker and more efficiently. This is a recipe I would only really make on a weekend when I had extra time.

It is also a much more cost effective way to make cauliflower pizza. Some of the frozen versions are $15 each for the crust alone. For the same cost in making this version, you can have the whole pizza made.

I find that taking your time cooking the rice to dry it out is key. Don’t rush it! A good 15 minutes of stirring and cooking the rice will be important to having your crust stay together and firm up after cooking off.

Low-Carb Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower Pizza

 low carb, cauliflower pizza,

  • 2 cups cauliflower rice
  • 1 TBSP oregano
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil or ghee
  • 3 TBSP your favorite buffalo chicken sauce
  • 2 ounces of blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup cooked chicken cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • Parchment paper
  • baking sheet

Mix cauliflower rice with salt and pepper. Add coconut butter and oregano. On the stove top on medium to light heat, constantly stir and cook rice for 15 minutes. Rice should brown just a little and this will help get the moisture out of the cauliflower so that it will firm up in the oven.cauliflower pizza, buffalo chicken, low carb, keto

Once mixed, spread on several paper towels, fold over rice and press down blotting all the water out. Be careful as it will be hot. Do this several times until much of the moisture is out.

In a medium size bowl, add egg white, mozzarella and Parmesan. Add rice and mix well. This should form a dough.

Put the rice on parchment paper and using your hands flatten to shape a circle. Diameter should be 1/2 inch thick. Brush lightly with more coconut oil.

Bake 15-20 minutes until puffy and golden

Take pie out and using another sheet or parchment to lay over the pizza, flip the pie onto the keto, buffalo chicken, low carb, cauliflower pizzabaking sheet. Brush with coconut oil. Cook this side for another 10 minutes.

In a small bowl mix chicken and buffalo sauce. Crumble blue cheese onto pizza and put chicken on top. Add some extra Parmesan if you like.

Bake for another 5 minutes until melted.

Cool for 5 minutes on cutting board. Slice and enjoy!

Terra’s Kitchen Popsicle’s Beat the Heat!


When this Terra’s Kitchen recipe bounced into my inbox, I just had to share! Many of my readers know I love healthy food, but this was a yummy recipe especially for kids. And BIG KIDS! 🙂

Who says popsicle’s are only for kids? Grown-ups can enjoy them too with this healthy Ginger-Cantaloupe Popsicle recipe! These cool treats will help you beat the heat during the summer months courtesy of Terras Kitchen!


Healthy Ginger-Cantaloupe Popsicle

Photo & Recipe Credit: Terra’s Kitchen


What you need:

  • 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 ripe cantaloupe
  • Sliced strawberries (optional)
  • Popsicle forms and popsicle sticks

What to do:

  1. In a small sauce pan, add the sugar and 1/2 cup water over medium heat. Cook just until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and drop in ginger. Set aside until cooled. (Remove ginger when ready to use!)
  2. Slice cantaloupe in half and scoop out seeds. Spoon cantaloupe flesh into a blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add just enough of the cooled ginger syrup to sweeten as desired. Save the remaining syrup for another use.
  4. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight. For a variation, push a few sliced strawberries down into the popsicle molds before freezing.

For more variations, visit Terra’s Kitchen at

Grilled Shrimp Bowl

Nothing says summertime like grilled shrimp! Shrimp is so versatile. You can make it spicy, fruity, mild, smoky or eat cocktail style!

The summer just does not make me want to be in the kitchen for extended periods of time. The grill only comes out a few months our of the year so best to utilize it when you can!

Sometimes the easiest dinners are those that contain things already in your fridge. Rice, scallions, canned pineapple, salt and pepper is what was added to the shrimp to make a delicious shrimp bowl. Don’t like shrimp? This can easily be substituted for chicken or pork. And don’t worry if you don’t have a grill. A cast iron grill pan on your stove top works just as good for cooking both shrimp or chicken.


Grilled Shrimp Bowl (Serves 2)

grilled shrimp bowl

2 cups cooked Basmati rice. ( whole grain rice is also fine)

10 shrimp, devein and shell

1/4 cup chopped scallions

4 canned pineapple rings

1 small zucchini

salt and pepper for taste

wooden skewers

Cook the rice as instructed on the box. Set aside. Devein and shell shrimp and rinse well. Slice zucchini and cut into medium chunks. Cup up pineapple rings into small chunks. Skewer shrimp, zucchini and pineapple. Lightly salt and pepper. Grill until shrimp are pink.

Evenly distribute rice into two bowls. Add desired shrimp skewers to the rice and mix well. If desired you can add a curry or jerk sauce for a tangy bite.




Stupidly Simple Salsa

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Time for some salsa!

Americans do not need a reason to celebrate other countries holidays or an excuse to have a margarita! Cinco de Mayo has been a longstanding celebration of Mexican American culture. Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the unexpected victory over the French Battle of Puebla. In the U.S, it is often associated with Mexican food and celebratory drinks! One of my favorite pairings to a good margarita, is salsa!

I wanted to share a simple salsa recipe that I have been making for years. Actually I named it Stupidly Simple Salsa because it literally is 5 ingredients and warrants trying before grabbing your favorite can from the shelf even for the most kitchen impaired chef! Fresh, flavorful and for less than $10, you can make twice the amount and with no added ingredients. If you can read and have a food processor, you are capable!

Stupidly Simple Salsa

1/2 green pepper

1/2 red pepper

1/4 cup cilantro

1 tsp salt

1/4 onion

Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse till chopped well. As more salt to taste. Squeeze in a lime for added flavor and serve with your favorite chips!

Rosemary & Maple Roasted Nuts

Enjoyed what was likely the last winter ski trip for the season. You just are never sure what you are going to get in New England each year. 70 degrees one week, 25 degrees 3 days later!

rosemary and maple nutsWe ended up spending the weekend at Stratton and got some good runs in despite it being 70 degrees earlier that week. Just cold enough but comfortable and low winds! Friday night brought unexpected snow squalls and we almost did not make it to dinner fighting sliding cars on a long stretch of road that froze quickly once hitting the pavement. Thankful to say we made it to dinner and home in one piece!

We enjoyed something we have not ever tried before and was quite simple. Roasted nuts. We spent our dinner at The Copper Grouse which is located inside the Taconic Hotel in Manchester, VT. The hotel is amazing so I was not surprised this restaurant was also fantastic.

rosemary and maple nutsWe wanted something to start with our cocktails and the Rosemary and Maple nuts sounded fun. They came out warm on a small cast iron plate. Sweet, salty and aromatic. They quickly were gone! What a nice accompaniment to our drinks before dinner. I thought they could not be that hard to replicate. So.. here is my copy cat recipe. I was pleasantly surprised how easy this was.

Rosemary & Maple Roasted Nuts

rosemary and maple nuts

  • 2 cups assorted nuts. (I used an assorted nut package from Trader Joe’s.)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper ( You can also substitute for cinnamon for cayenne for a sweeter version)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Mix together all ingredients except the nuts and whisk together. Let it sit. Roast nuts on parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes once oven is preheated. Once complete, take nuts out and pour mixture over nuts and coat well using spatula. Roast for 10 more minutes. Take tray out of the oven and let nuts cool until hard. Enjoy!


Easy Make Ahead Shrimp Burgers

What a day! This weekend we decided to take down a wall in our lower level of our home.  So scary but so easy at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised my fiance and I did it! We had a little help from a good friend too. 🙂 Don’t let me even start talking about the mess of the aftermath. I might have sheet rock dust down there forever! Sunday is normally our day of rest. Not today! Busy, busy since we moved almost a month ago and working hard to make it a home. All this work got me hungry and craving some seafood.

Sunday is normally the day we try to make a more special dinner or prep for the week. Even with our demolition happening downstairs, we were able to put together a nice recipe for shrimp burgers. I have had them several times at Whole Foods and they are divine! Why not try to make our own.

Shrimp Burgers, seafood, burgers, gluten freeThe nice thing is you know exactly what goes in it and can use whatever spices you have on hand or like the most. We opted for a ton of fresh dill and a cilantro chili spice we had in our cupboard.  A BBQ spice blend would work well to or Italian seasoning if you want to go for Italian route. This is a great recipe to make ahead and then just warm up during the week. They can also be frozen to have days or weeks later if properly stored for easy dinner to table meal.


shrimp burgers, seafood, burgers

  • 10 fresh wild caught shrimp
  • 3 cups Panko (use gluten-free for gluten-free burgers)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp chili lime seasoning
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Peel and clean shrimp. Chop into small pieces and put into medium size bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Grease medium size casserole pan with coconut oil. Using your hands pat burgers together evenly forming 5 burgers. shrimp burgers, seafood, burgersBake for 15-18 minutes until shrimp are pink and fully cooked. Serve warm with bun or over greens. To reheat, warm in oven 10 minutes on 300 degrees.


Breakfast Burrito’s with BFree Foods

Breakfast is my all time favorite meal. It sometimes can get mundane. Likely because I am in a rush to make something in the morning. We have gluten sensitivity in our home so I am always looking at different ways to make meals taste great without missing the bread.

BFree Foods makes being gluten-free easy and delicious! They have every possible bread selection you could want. Rolls, sliced bread, pita, hot dog buns, bagels and more. We were lucky to receive a nice sampling of their gluten-free products to try.

Bfree foods, Breakfast burritos, Foodie, gluten freeWhat I liked best is that the texture and feel of the products were the most like real bread with gluten. They did not flake apart or break when taking them out of the packaging which is typical of other brands because it does not have the gluten to bind it together.  Plus! They also have every possible product you could need when it comes to bread. This can be a challenge when you are looking for gluten-free options. Sometimes it takes you buying multiple brands or going to multiple stores to find everything you need.

BFree foods have high-quality, non-GMO ingredients

  • Allergen-friendly and vegan
  • Low-cal, high-fiber, low-fat
  • Excellent nutrition and taste
  • No wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts or soy
  • Won’t disintegrate, crack or crumble!

We used the rolls for turkey burgers one night and made breakfast burritos for breakfast. Here is the recipe!

Breakfast BurritosBFree Foods, gluten free, breakfast burritos, foodie, healthy

  • 2 BFree Foods Wraps
  • 5 eggs scrambled
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1 cup cooked spinach
  • chopped tomato
  • 2 slices of turkey bacon

Open up two BFree Foods wraps and spoon in scrambled eggs. Sprinkle with shredded cheese evenly. Add spinach, bacon and chopped tomato. Fold up the sides of each end into a burrito, seam side down. Warm in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt cheese and enjoy~ Add avocado or salsa for additional options. Yields 2 burritos.

BFree products are now available at your local Big Y, Star Market, Demoulas and more. Visit them at Bfree Foods 

BFree Foods sent me samples of their products in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Scones

Perfect fall treat with your coffee this morning, your next brunch or tea party. Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Scones! So easy, and made with minimal ingredients.

blueberry lemon scones, breakfast, lemon, blueberry, tea, My son has been busy in the kitchen lately trying out his cooking and baking skills. And I love it. It’s such a great way to bond with your child. He helps measure the ingredients, read the instructions and is learning about safety and cooking utensils. In addition,  he gets to do the sampling of his creation!

We often frequent the library every week and he recently  got a child’s baking book. The first thing we made were homemade cupcakes. It was actually the first time I ever made them from scratch and it was ridiculously simple. The recipe did not take much more than what I already had in the house. I like feeding him organic and natural food when possible ,so this was a pleasant surprise.

This week it was scones! He wanted to make them extra special and add fruit and a glaze. You could substitute the fruit for chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruit or nuts. Whatever you prefer. He chose lemon glaze to drizzle over them which happens to be one of my favorite dessert flavors. Like the cupcakes, this also had just a few ingredients in the recipe. Simple and homemade.

Blueberry Lemon Scones

blueberry lemon scones, breakfast, tea, scones, muffins

*4 Tablespoons softened butter
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1& 1/2 cup self rising flour
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1 tbsp water
*1 lemon squeezed
*pinch of salt
*1/4 cup blueberries ( frozen is fine) drained and dry

Cut up softened butter into cubes. With your hands, mix in flour and butter. Consistency should be a crumbly dough. Add sugar and pinch of salt. Stir in blueberries until incorporated. Lay dough out on a flat surface. Using a round cookie cutter, cut scones into rounds and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Mix powered sugar, water and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix until thick glaze forms. You may have to put in more sugar in it if it’s too watery. Drizzle scones with glaze. Allow to dry and then dig in!