December 30, 2012

Kale & Apple Salad with Honey



Whew!  Don't know about you, but I ate way too much sugar over the holidays.  I'm definitely feeling the need for some veggie-ness in my life right about now.

Enter ... our newest favorite salad green - kale.  Mark loves kale so much I swear I could make him a huge kale salad every day without him getting tired of it.  And I love the way kale is more 'sturdy' than lettuce, giving a little more heft than the typical green salad.

But that 'sturdiness' can also be problem ... a too-chewy problem.  Ahhhhhhh, but I've learned a secret ...

December 27, 2012

Your Top 10 of 2012 {Most Viewed Recipes of the Year - Playground Round-Up}



Well, the Christmas season has come and gone.  I spent some wonderful time with my family, relaxed, and ate waaaaaaayyy too much.  Now it's time to turn an eye toward healthier eating to make up for all that sugar I ate during the holidays!

It's also time to turn an eye toward the favorite posts of 2012 on The Kitchen is My Playground.  I have so much fun going back through the posts of the year to see which ones you've all liked best.  It's such a nice little trip down memory lane.  Just like 2011's favorites, you all made some great picks.

And so,  here they are! ...

December 22, 2012

Gingerbread Waffles

Gingerbread Waffles ~ all the delicious molasses and spice flavor of gingerbread cookies, in yummy waffle form.  Having Gingerbread Waffles for Christmas breakfast is one of our favorite family holiday traditions.

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.  Take a look in the five-and-ten, glistening once again, with candy canes and silver lanes a-glow."

Oh, yes! ... It's almost Christmas!  My baking is done.  The presents are all wrapped (finally!).  My last-minute grocery purchases are complete.  And now ... it's time to simply enjoy the fun and festivities with friends and family.  And in our family, nothing says Christmas day like these Christmas morning Gingerbread Waffles.

There is, however, a family debate about how to best enjoy them.

December 21, 2012

Peppermint Crunch Chocolate Chip Cookies {for Sandy Hook}




This post is in honor and support of the victims of Sandy Hook.  Bloggers unite on this day in support of the Newtown, Connecticut community after the tragic elementary school shooting one week ago, 12/14/12.


There's probably not a soul on the planet who hasn't heard of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School one week ago today.  And, like many, I want to help.  If even in just a tiny way.  So I join forces with a group of bloggers who decided to unite on this day with 'Cookies & Crafts for Sandy Hook.'


While this post is but a small tribute to the victims and their families, it's big in heart.

When I first sat down to write this, I was at a total loss as to what to say.  Quite honestly, most of what I would like to say are ugly words directed toward the perpetrator of this completely senseless act.  But ... I guess that's not really productive.

So, I'll leave my personal reaction at this ...

December 19, 2012

German Chocolate Cracker Candy {2 ways}




I love it when I have an event to bake for, 'cause it gives me an excuse to try out new recipes.  I had been itching to try out this German Chocolate Cracker Candy for a while ... so when it came time for our December after-school teacher get-together, I whipped this recipe out of my files to give it a go.

But, things didn't go quite as planned for this one ... and I had to give these a second go.  Fortunately, ... 

December 15, 2012

Christmas White Chocolate-Peppermint Popcorn




I've been a bit obsessed with peppermint over the past couple of weeks.  I'm really not sure why, but I've been drawn to recipes with peppermint this Christmas season.  So imagine my disappointment when today I tried out four new recipes with peppermint ... four ... and wasn't happy with a single one of them.  Not a one.

Major bummer-in-the-kitchen day.

But I do like this Christmas White Chocolate-Peppermint Popcorn!  And the funny thing is, I didn't even mean to make it! ...

December 12, 2012

Blueberry Gingerbread Streusel Muffins



Mmmmmmmm ... gingerbread.  It's one of my absolute favorite Christmas traditions.  I make gingerbread cookies every year.  And though we don't do it every year, our family has lots of fun with gingerbread houses, too.

So when I had the opportunity to participate in the 'Twist Up Tradition with Blueberries!' recipe challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, I knew exactly what tradition I wanted to 'twist up' ...

December 9, 2012

16 Sweet Treats for Your Christmas Cookie Tray {Playground Round-Up}


 
I've decided to start a new 'thing' on The Kitchen is My Playground ... the Playground Round-Up, where I'll periodically highlight treats from the blog related to a particular theme or ingredient.

I figured what better way to kick off the Playground Round-Up than with a focus on Christmas cookie tray sweet treats!  (Oh, and I use the term 'cookie tray' loosely, 'cause the Christmas day sweets certainly don't have to be limited to just cookies!  Right??  Right.)

December 5, 2012

Caramel-Walnut Squares {for Pediatric Cancer Research}



Mmmmmmmmmm ... ooey-gooey Caramel-Walnut Squares.  They're one of my family's absolute, absolute favorites.  And want to know what's extra special about this batch?  They were baked up for a great cause - Cookies for Kids' Cancer!  Cookies for Kids' Cancer is an organization dedicated to raising funds for pediatric cancer research.  A very worthy cause in my book.

And I think it is totally and completely super awesome that a group of kids in my town ...

December 1, 2012

Layered Mocha Fudge Pie



Before we get into just how absolutely scrumptious this layered Mocha Fudge Pie is, I'd like to share a couple of really exciting 'technical' changes here at The Kitchen is My Playground.  Did you notice?  Did you notice??  No?  Well, then please allow me to share!

First ... I'm very excited to share that I've created a photo recipe index.  Yup ... photos!  Instead of just links.  Photos for each and every recipe on The Kitchen is My Playground, all in one convenient place.  Hopefully this will make it easier for you all to locate those delicious dishes here that pique your interest.  Click on over to check it out, and let me know what you think.  I hope you like it!

Second ...

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