Monday, December 29, 2014

DIY Goodness: Holiday Fruit Refrigerator Jam

This holiday season, I enjoyed making this holiday fruit refrigerator jam for family and friends. It is made with some of my favorite fruit bounties this season brings: cranberries, cherries and orange peel. It is wonderful on toast and is perfect for New Year's breakfast or brunch.

"Holiday Fruit Refrigerator Jam"

*makes 6 half-pint jars

3/4 cup cherries, pitted and chopped
3/4 cup cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup orange rind, finely grated   

4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered no-sugar fruit pectin
3/4 cup water
6 half-pint canning/freezer jars

Rinse 6 clean half-pint freezer-safe canning/freezer jars with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. Wash cherries, remove pits and chop in quarters. Place in medium bowl. Do not drain cherries. If cherries have been chilled, set aside until the cherries reach room temperature. Repeat these steps with cranberries. In small bowl, finely grate orange peel and set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine cherries, cranberries and orange peel. Add sugar and lemon juice to mixture. Stir well. Set mixture aside 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. In saucepan, combine powdered fruit pectin and water. Stir well. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Immediately add pectin mixture to fruit mixture and stir well. Keep stirring mixture about 3 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved. Quickly pour into sterile jars to within 1/2 inch of top of jar. Wipe off top edges of jar and cover with lid. Makes 6 half-pint jars. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours to set. After jam has set, enjoy immediately or it can be frozen for up to one year. Once opened, it can be stored in refrigerator up to 3 weeks. Enjoy!

Celebrate Southern Linkup

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Year's Eve bridesmaid style with Weddington Way

I was honored to be asked by Weddington Way to do a bridesmaid style board for New Year's Eve wedding inspiration. I chose to style their "Ella" bridesmaid dress in Champagne Toast. This dress style and color pairing is my top bridesmaid dress pick for a NYE wedding and it has one of the qualities that I looked for when choosing dresses for my bridesmaids, a style of dress that can be worn well after the wedding as a special occasion dress.

I love the delicate lace detail of this dress style along with the classic details of long sleeves, boatneck and scalloped hem. The Ella is available in sizes 0 to 18.

I chose to pair the dress with gold accessories befit for a truly glistening NYE bridesmaid entrance. 

I chose statement shoes for the dress with gold glitter open toe high heels with bow detail by Alexandra Bee. I chose jewelry pieces by Kate Spade that I believe would also make perfect bridesmaid gift choices: "Lady Marmalade" stud earrings have just the right amount of sparkle for the ensemble along with the "Pop, Fizz, Clink" bangle for the perfect statement bracelet for the evening wedding. The champagne gold clutch by ICE brings elegance with a classic edge. Nail color in a gold glitter shade by Julep completes the look. 

You can view the entire Weddington Way bridesmaid collection of dresses here

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Weddington Way for this blog post. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Holiday Leftover Magic: Good Morning Quiche

Holiday gatherings bring leftovers for the refrigerator. Wondering how you can turn some of that next-day turkey and other leftovers into another tasty meal? I make an easy quiche recipe that makes use of several traditional holiday leftovers such as turkey, scalloped potatoes and an extra pie crust left behind after all that holiday baking. Any kind of leftover potatoes will do good for this recipe when they are chopped. This recipe can be eaten immediately and does not have to be refrigerated overnight. It is great for breakfast and also for a different spin on lunch or dinner. It tastes great straight from the oven to the dinner table. 

"Good Morning Quiche"
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
3 egg whites
2 eggs
1 cup turkey, chopped
1/2 cup potatoes, chopped
1/4 cup 2% shredded cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon paprika

Bake pie crust according to package directions. Line rim of crust with aluminum foil to avoid burnt crust. Remove baked pie crust from oven and place on cooling rack. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  
In mixing bowl, whisk eggs until well beaten. Stir in turkey, potatoes and cheese. Add garlic salt and paprika. Mix well. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake 40-45 minutes or until quiche turns golden brown. Serves 6-8. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cookie Exchange: Peppermint Wonderland Bars

Budget-Friendly Tip: I save peppermint candies throughout the year and at Christmastime, I have plenty for recipes calling for peppermint candies. For a crushed peppermint topping, I place the pieces of candy into a plastic bag, set it on a cutting board and roll over the bag with a rolling pin until the candies are crushed. 

"Southern Fried Bride’s Peppermint Wonderland Bars" 

1 cup light corn syrup 

1/2 cup sugar

1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme

6 cups toasted rice cereal 

1 1/3 cups white chocolate morsels 

1 teaspoon peppermint extract 

12 peppermint candies, crushed

Coat 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with wax paper. Combine corn syrup and sugar into 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Add in marshmallow creme and stir well until mixture is well blended. Remove from heat. Add cereal to mixture, stirring until well coated. Press onto bottom of prepared baking pan. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes, then remove from refrigerator. Prepare peppermint candies by placing in a plastic bag, set on a cutting board and roll over the bag with a rolling pin until the candies are crushed. Set aside.  Microwave white chocolate morsels in large, microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave at additional 10-to 20-second intervals,stirring between intervals until smooth. Stir in crushed peppermints and peppermint extract until well blended. Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until topping is firm. Cut into bite-size bars. Makes 28 bars. Enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Recipe Corner: Candy Cane Lane Fudge

This year brings a new holiday treat in my recipe box. I made this candy cane fudge for treat sacks last weekend for my Christmas in Connecticut outing and it was welcomed by gleeful recipients. I hope you will enjoy this treat and share it with those you love during this season of joy.

"Candy Cane Lane Fudge"

2½ cups sugar
½ stick salted butter
10 tablespoons evaporated milk 
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme 
8 ounces (1/3 bag) white chocolate baking chips
½ cup peppermint candies or candy canes, finely crushed
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
8 drops red food coloring

Line a 9-inch square pan with foil so that foil extends over sides of pan. Spray with cooking spray or grease the foil with butter. Place peppermint candies or candy canes into a plastic bag, set it on a cutting board surface and use a rolling pin to roll over the bag until the candies are crushed.  Set aside. In large saucepan, combine sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Melt butter and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and continue boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add marshmallow creme and white chocolate chips. Stir until melted and smooth, then stir in crushed peppermint. Add peppermint extract and mix well. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Spread out 8 drops of food coloring over the top of the fudge and use a knife to swirl top of fudge. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until firm. Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Gently peel off foil; cut fudge into 1-inch squares. Makes 36 pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Winterize Your Nails with Julep

I feel blessed to have healthy nails. I truly believe they are one of the best fashion accessories you can have. I strive to maintain my nail health year-round and I always love it when I receive a compliment from someone for having beautiful finger nails, as well as my nail color choice.   

Here I am sporting a fun red nail color while enjoying a favorite holiday tradition, Starbucks and Christmas lights in the first snowfall of the season. 

During the winter months, enjoying outdoor activities means taking extra care to get my nails ready for the season by winterizing them. To me, a good care routine is important, as well as the quality of the nail products I use for both color and care. Care steps in my winter routine are exfoliation, moisturization and cuticle oil. I also take care when choosing the products that I use on my nails. 

I love that the Julep beauty company offers toxic-free nail products. They have developed this winter nail care tutorial I am sharing with you today because I believe in taking easy of these care steps to maintain my healthy nails through the often harsh winter months.   

I adore Julep's trending winter colors.

For my Thanksgiving Dinner 2014 attire, I chose the Julep nail color "Sawyer", pictured in a color swatch above, and I love how it perfectly matched the Louis Vuitton handbag I chose for the occasion.

They have a fun feature on their website showing their array of nail colors that you can visit here.

My favorite color family for the holiday season are reds, but I also love changing it up with a fun gold color. What are some of your favorite nail polish colors for the holidays?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by the Julep company for this blog post. All opinions  in this blog post are my own.