Monday, November 30, 2009

You Will Love The Alex Super Art Table With Paper Roll And Two Benches

I'm sure you will love the Alex Super Art Table With Paper Roll And Two Benches. It is a beautiful set that will look good in any kid's playroom or bedroom. To be honest I've seen people using it in the den and it looks really good.

The Alex Super Art Table With Paper Roll And Two Benches will provide your kids with a comfortable and save place to do arts and crafts. The benches are wide enough for two kids to sit on and it is even big enough so that you can site next to your kid when you are doing art and crafts with your kid.

You will find that The Alex Super Art Table With Paper Roll And Two Benches are sturdy and you will get lots of year's use from it. It also have a child save paper cutter and a paper roll that keeps the paper in a handy place for quick and easy arts.

The set also has cups for drawing supplies, cup holders and a canvas bag to store all the supplies in. All this makes for convenience as it keeps all the art and crafts supplies together. No more hunting for all the supplies you need when you want to do art and crafts with your kid!

So, with the Alex Super Art Table With Paper Roll And Two Benches you will be able to spend many hours of quality time with your kids doing art and crafts.

Go now and have a look at the Alex Super Art Table With Paper Roll And Two Benches, you will love it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Creamy Soup With Your Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender

If you do not have a Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender yet, you do not know what you are missing out on. I love my hand blender and making soups and sauces with it is pure joy.

OK, so no you want to know why I like my blender so much. Well, to start off with it is strong and it can blend huge quantities of soup with ease. In spite of the fact that it is so strong, it fits perfectly into your hand and it is easy to control.

So even if you make a really large pot of soup, you will not have any problems blending it perfectly. For me that is important. You do not want a mess of soup splattered all over the kitchen because you lost control of your machine.

The example of the soup I'm giving you is not very strongly colored, so in this case my following point does not matter, but if you use it often you will realize how important it is. What I'm referring to is the fact that it has a stainless steel shaft that prevents staining. So, even if you blend tomato soup and curry sauces with it, it will not stain.

The shaft is also dishwasher safe and therefore it makes cleaning up a whole lot easier. Speaking of cleaning up, because you can do the blending right in the pot, you also have fewer dishes to wash as you are not using extra bowls or jugs to blend your soups and sauces with.

Well, now to wet your appetite, here is a tasty creamy Cauliflower Soup Recipe for you where you can use your machine to puree the soup with. You may think cauliflower for a soup sounds weird, but you will be surprised at how tasty it is. So, try it and spoil your family with a tasty, nutritious, hot soup this winter,

Creamy Cauliflower Soup


  • 1 Large head of cauliflower broken into florets
  • 2 C Chicken broth
  • 2 T Chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 C Half and half
  • 2 C Milk
  • 1 Carrot, shredded
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/4 t Garlic powder
  • 1/2 C Instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. Cheddar cheese, shredded

How to Make It:

  1. Place the cauliflower, broth and bouillon granules into a large soup pot over high heat.
  2. Bring the mixture to a brisk boil.
  3. Place the heat on low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender.
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the pot and mash with a potato masher.
  5. Pour the broth mixture into the crock pot and then add the mashed cauliflower.
  6. Pour the cream and milk into the crock pot.
  7. Add the shredded carrots, bay leaf and garlic powder.
  8. Stir to combine the ingredients together well.
  9. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 3 hours.
  10. Stir the potato flakes into the crock pot, cover and continue cooking on low for 40 minutes or until the soup is a thick as you like.
  11. Remove the bay leaf.
  12. Use your Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender to puree the soup completely
  13. Sprinkle in the cheese and stir to incorporate.
  14. Recover and continue cooking 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted into the soup.
Serving Size: 8

Of course you can use a normal blender for this. The problem is you will have to do it in stages, a little bit at a time to prevent accidents. If you add too much soup at a time to a normal jug blender the lid will blow because of the heat of the soup. The soup will also turn out a bit chunky as well.

So, for a perfectly smooth soup it is best to use a Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender.

Do you have a Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender yet? If not go to My Kitchen Online to get all the details.

Yeast Infection No More Ebook For A Natural Cure Yeast Infection

Are you looking for a Natural Cure Yeast Infection? Then you must have heard about the Yeast Infection No More Ebook. It is all about a holistic approach to get rid of yeast infection for good.

One thing is sure, if you suffer from yeast infections very often, it is time to take a good hard look at your lifestyle and see what it is that is making you ill all the time. You have to look at your diet, your way of exercise, the clothes you wear and even your sleep habits if you want to get rid of yeast infection for good. All this you will find in the Yeast Infection No More Ebook.

I think one aspect that people very often overlook though, is stress. You have to keep in mind that stress can be the reason why you have a weak immune system and therefore you are far more susceptible for Candida Albicans (fungus) infections. So, you have to try and take time out to relax. Do not work all the time, you are going to pay for it with your health.

It is also important to understand that a lack of sleep also causes a weakened immune system and therefore you have to make sure that you get enough sleep. Do not burn the midnight candle too often! You will pay for it with a yeast infection.

These are only a few of the aspects you need to keep in mind if you want to get rid of yeast infection for good. In the Yeast Infection No More Ebook you will learn all you need to know to get rid of your yeast infection for good.

Have a look at Natural Cure Yeast Infection for more into about the Yeast Infection No More Ebook.

Are You Looking To Purchase Fat Loss 4 Idiots?

Christmas is coming and you still want to shed a few pounds. Well, you can purchase Fat Loss 4 Idiots and still lose quite a bit of weight. Maybe you only need to shed a few pounds to get into that special dress for that party? Well, purchase Fat Loss 4 Idiots and you can do it.

Why you lose weight so fast with Fat Loss 4 Idiots, is because the diet use a unique concept of calorie shifting that prevents your body from going into "starvation mode" and slowing down your metabolism. I think all of us have been to a stage where we are sticking to a diet to the letter yet we are not losing any weight! That is because your body gets the message that a famine is coming and it is slowing down your metabolism to reserve energy for vital bodily functions.

Now this is where the calorie shifting comes in. When you Purchase Fat Loss 4 Idiots, you will see the diet makes you eat different foods every day. You will be eating different amounts of calories each day, this way you prevent your body from slowing down your metabolism and you are keeping your fat burning hormones working at full blast!

So, to lose those extra pounds before all the parties start, purchase Fat Loss 4 Idiots.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What Are The Advantages Of Vertical Wind Turbines For The Home?

More than ever people are looking for ways to save the environment as well as save themselves some money.  Using alternative, clean, and renewable energy sources is a good way to accomplish both. That is why looking into Vertical Wind Turbines For The Home is a good idea.

Wind power is one of the best alternative energy sources today, and here are some reasons why.

1.  Obviously one of the main advantages is the fact that the more energy we can get from clean sources the less we'll have to rely on dirty fossil fuels for our energy needs.

2. Wind is an ongoing resource; we don't have to worry about running out of it.

3.  Wind energy is very clean.  There is no negative impact on the environment when using wind as an energy source.

4. For a few hundred dollars and a few days of your time you can easily build your own vertical wind turbines for the home to harness the energy of the wind.  All the supplies you will need can be purchased at your local hardware store.

5. You don't have to worry about someone three blocks over having a car accident and hitting a utility pole leaving the whole neighborhood in darkness, you will have your own energy source.

6. If you have enough land you could build a mini wind farm and sell any surplus electricity you generate back to the utility companies. How neat would that be, having the utility company pay you?

7. One small turbine can generate approximately 60% of the electricity you will need to power your home. While not enough to allow you to go off the grid, it is enough to see significant savings on your utility bills.

These are just a few of the advantages of using wind power to provide electricity to your home.  If you want to get started taking advantage of this great opportunity, there is no time like the present.

Go To: Vertical Wind Turbines For The Home and have a look now!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

How To Get Electricity From Wind - With A Home Rooftop Wind Turbine

Saving money and saving the environment seem to be on most everyone's mind these days.  The great thing is you can do both at the same time.  There is an inexpensive way that you can get electricity from wind and you can do it all right at home.

Many people are becoming aware that they can use a Home Rooftop Wind Turbine to capture the energy of the wind and convert it into electricity.  More and more of these turbines are popping up in backyards all over the country.

Unless you have very deep pockets, and/or plan on staying in your house for 10 or more years, buying a home rooftop wind turbine most likely wouldn't be the best way for you to go.  They are expensive and it will take you a long time to recoup that investment.

It is a good idea, however, to build your own home rooftop wind turbine. The technology has advanced to the point where turbines can be small enough to fit on your roof or even in your backyard yet still be able to generate enough electricity to cover around 60% of your household needs.

By building your own you get the best of both worlds: low initial cost (you therefore can recoup your money much more quickly, usually in a matter of months), and the ability to save upwards of 80% on your utility bills.

If you decide to build your own turbine there are three basic steps you need to take:

1. Buy a manual that will show you how to build it in easy step by step directions.

2. Purchase the parts you will need to assemble your home rooftop wind turbine. These parts can be bought at your hardware store for around $200.

3. Set aside a day or two to assemble your home rooftop wind turbine

That's it.  You're done.   You now have a way to get electricity from wind and save a lot of money on your utility bills for years to come.

Use Energy Generating Windmills To Go Green, And Save Green

Looking at Energy Generating Windmills is a good idea as wind power is becoming a very popular source of renewable, environmentally friendly energy.  Many industrialized countries are starting to incorporate energy generating windmills or wind turbine technologies in their energy generation strategies.  The good news is that you can use the wind for your home energy needs too.

We all know that using our 'traditional' fossil fuel energy sources is not good for the environment.  They pollute, are costly to refine, and are running low, or at least we have to go to greater depths and harsher climates to gain access to them.

Wind, on the other hand, is everywhere.  Perfecting our wind gathering technologies so we have better ways of converting wind into electricity as well as better methods of storing the electricity should be one of our main priorities.

But how can you use the new wind energy technologies to save money on your electric bill?  Simple, you can build your own backyard, or rooftop, energy generating windmills.

If you've been noticing funny looking 'windmills' popping up in your neighborhood you may have wondered if your neighbors have lost their minds or if they just know something you don't.  The truth is that there are wind turbines made especially for home use, they are small and can be mounted in the backyard or on a roof.

You can buy one for anywhere from $600-$12.000 or you can build your own for around $200 with parts from your local hardware store.

Most people will be able to generate up to 60% of their homes electricity needs from one energy generating windmill.  That is a significant savings especially when you figure that you can continue to save that amount indefinitely, as long as your turbine is up and running.

Building, or buying, your own energy generating windmills for home use is a great way to go green and help the planet as well as provide you with significant savings. Don't wait, start using wind power today, you'll be really glad you did the next time you get your utility bill in the mail.

For more, go to: Energy Generating Windmills now.

You Can Build A Small Homemade Wind Generator Today

You are wondering if a Small Homemade Wind Generator will help you save money and go green at the same time. The good news is you can do both at the same time. It is surprising how many of the things that are good for the planet is also good for your bank account.

Before you do anything though it's important that you have a realistic concept of what a small homemade wind generator can do and what it can't do.  For one thing, if you want to generate your own electricity and be completely off the grid, you will need more than one turbine.

One turbine will be enough to generate about 60% of the energy you'll need but it won't do it all.  Adding another small homemade wind generator, or two, or some solar panels will give you a better chance to make enough electricity to completely sever your ties to your utility company.

Another thing you have to be aware of is that buying a turbine most likely won't work.  Why? Because a 'store bought' unit is just too expensive.  It will take you years to recoup that investment.  If you are planning on staying in your home for a long time and/or you have the money this option may work for you, but for many people this isn't a viable option.

The good news is that building your own small homemade wind generator is very easy.  You don't need special training or tools; you just need a manual to follow, about $200 in parts, and a few hours of spare time.

That's it.  That's all you need in order to build your own small homemade wind generator and save around 80% off of your electric bill.

So if you want your own small homemade wind generator you should easily be able to build one this weekend.  Its well worth the time and money you'll invest in it not only in energy savings but in pride as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What Are The Advantages Of A Home Rooftop Wind Turbine?

It's so hard nowadays to sort through all the information that seems to be bombarding us on a daily basis.  Most of us would love the opportunity to go green and save money, but which way do we turn? Should we use wind power to save money and if so, what are the advantages of a home rooftop wind turbine?

Using the wind to run things is not a new concept.  Windmills have been around a long time.  In the past they were used to pump water and grind wheat.  Today we have a huge advantage over those old types of windmills.

Our technological advances have made it possible for us to convert wind energy much more efficiently into usable, and storable, electricity.  We have even gotten to the point where units are small enough to be installed in a backyard or on a rooftop. So, a home rooftop wind turbine has become financially viable.

Not all wind generators are the traditional windmill shape; there are now different sizes and even different shapes. The traditional windmill type as well as a vertical wind turbine is suitable for a home rooftop wind turbine.

The technology for capturing and converting the wind will only continue to improve so the amount of electricity we get from wind power will continue to increase as well.

Even so, today's wind generators can generate up to 60% of the electricity the average household needs to run their electrical appliances.  That can add up to a huge savings yearly and for years to come.

While one small home rooftop wind turbine won't be able to generate all the power your home needs it will still be able to generate enough to make it worth the investment. 

To really get a high rate of return on your investment, you should consider building your own home rooftop wind turbine.  It's easy and inexpensive and you'll recoup your money in a few months.  If you bought a unit the cost would be significantly more and therefore take much longer to recoup the investment.

I hope this article has helped you better understand the advantages of a home rooftop wind turbine for your home.  You can be environmentally friendly and save money at the same time.

For more have a look at: Home Rooftop Wind Turbine

Alex Toys Super Knot A Quilt For Your Budding Quilter

If you have a little girl of six or older that loves to do crafts, the Alex Toys Super Knot A Quilt is a very good gift for her. She will have fun with it and be very proud of the end result.

The whole quilt is made with the no-sew fleece technique, so, yes it is not a "real" quilt, but it has the real patchwork quilt appearance and is as close as you can expect a little girl to get without any sewing.

The Alex Toys Super Knot A Quilt kit comes with everything needed to complete the kit and there is enough fabric and strings to make it possible to customize the quilt. It may take a few knots before your little girl masters the technique of the knot, but after that it is all fun.

This craft is very good for developing those small motor skills in a fun way. What kids also love about this project is that they actually produce something "useful!"

This kit makes a beautiful and colorful quilt that she will be able to use for a long time.

Have A Look At The Encyclopedia Of Quilting And Patchwork

I have just made a blog post about an easy quilters book, but if you are more advanced, you will probably rather have something like the Encyclopedia Of Quilting And Patchwork.

That being said, a beginner will also really benefit from this book. There are enough detailed instructions, drawings and photos to help the beginner. There are also projects in this book that are suitable for different levels and therefore the beginner will find easy projects to start with in this book.

For the more advanced quilter the book contain sections on different kinds of techniques. It has the traditional patchwork and quilting techniques as well as some of the other techniques such as mosaic patchwork, block patchwork and appliqué.

It is a good visual guide and any quilter will find a host of information in it to help. It is a great resource to research the different techniques and can also be a good refresher guide for the accomplished quilter.

If you love quilting, no matter your competency level, you will love the The Encyclopedia Of Quilting And Patchwork as it is a beautiful visual guide with lots of very valuable information for the quilter. It is quick and easy to get the information you need and it really makes the ideal gift for a loved one that is a quilter.

Go and have a look at The Encyclopedia Of Quilting And Patchwork.

Easy Beginner Quilt Instructions - Quilting 101

If you are looking for easy Beginner Quilt Instructions, Quilting 101 fits the bill. With this book you will get all the basics about quilting.

The book starts with the sewing and it does not assume that the reader has any sewing experience. It walks you through the whole process step by step.

So, this is a book for the complete beginner. It takes you through the process of knowing which vital quilters tools you need, choosing your fabric and batting as well as the steps of making your quilt.

What I really like about this book with beginner quilt instructions is that it has 16 complete projects that you can do. There are easy and small projects and the book walks you through it with detailed instructions and photos.

I even read in one of the reviews that someone bought it for a 13 year old girl with no sewing experience and she is finding it easy to do. It is very important with quilting to really master the basics with smaller projects before you move on. For that purpose Quilting 101 is ideal.

So, if you are looking for Easy Beginner Quilt Instructions, looking at Quilting 101 is a very good idea.

What Is A Patchwork Quilt

The answer to the question: "What Is A Patchwork Quilt?" is easy, it is a quilt made with patchwork. Of course, in the end there is more to it and I'll have to explain a little more!

Patchwork is very often done to use up scraps of leftover fabric. It is not always the case anymore though, as people make beautiful patchwork quilts with elaborate patterns of fabric chosen especially for the quilt.

So, the patchwork quilt is made by quilting three layers together, the patchwork, the batting and the back of the quilt. You can also let the stitching follow the pattern of the patchwork or it can be something completely different.

Because of the patchwork that has to be done very accurately, a patchwork quilt is probably not the best place to start with quilting. Once you are more adapt with the other quilting techniques it will be easier for you to create a beautiful patchwork quilt.

It may also be a good idea to do a few smaller patchwork projects first to master the art of patchwork. Why not start with a patchwork pillow and see how it goes. If you get that right it will be easier to move on to a patchwork quilt.

To do a patchwork quilt is a work of art. So, in answer to your question: "What Is A Patchwork Quilt?" I would say it is a beautiful piece of art that can also have a practical use.

What Is Quilting With Embroidery?

Are you wondering about quilting with embroidery? You may have seen some and you do not know if it is very difficult to do. You may be wondering if it is worth a try at all. Well, yes it is. You can make the most beautiful pieces and you do not have to go into too much elaborate embroidery if you do not wish to.

To start with the idea of quilting with embroidery you can maybe add only a name or a small personalized message. You can also decide that you want the embroidery only on the one side of the quilt, but you can also decide to let it shoe up on both side.

Doing embroidery on a quilt can really be as simple or as difficult as you wish. If you are going to embroider elaborate patterns on your quilt it is obviously going to take a lot of time. On the other hand if you are going to add simply a little embroidery in an easy stitch it will not be so difficult.

Another factor to keep in mind is that the embroidery can also be done by machine. So, if you have a machine that can do embroidery, you will be able to make an elaborate quilt with embroidery in a relatively short time.

So, looking at Quilting With Embroidery does not necessarily mean you will have to spend years embroidering before it is finished!

Do I Need A Lot Of Quilters Tools To Start Quilting?

If you are considering quilting, you may be wondering if you need a lot of expensive Quilters Tools to get started. Well, no and yes. It all depends on what you have already.

You can make a quilt completely by hand, but it is a long and arduous task! So you should at least of a decent sewing machine as one of your vital quilters tools.

Then you will, of course, also need a lot of other "general" sewing equipment like a good pair of scissors, pins and needles and even a seam ripper for those little mistakes you may make.

There are also some other quilters tools that will make your life a lot easier such as a rotary cutter, a rotary mat and a rotary ruler. All there tools will help you to work more accurate and faster.

When you are new to quilting it is also a good idea to get quilting patterns and quilting templates. Later when you are more adept at quilting, you can venture into making your own patterns.

So, it basically boils down to the fact that how many quilters tools you will need depends on what you have already. If you are starting with a very small project to see if you enjoy it, a sewing machine, a good pair of scissors and pins and needles will probably do the trick. Once you know that this is what you want to do, then it is the time to get the more specialized Quilters Tools.

Grace EZ3 3-Rail Quilting Frame - Do I Need One?

If you are looking at the Grace EZ3 3-Rail Quilting Frame you probably need it. You get to a stage in your quilting where you want all the equipment that will help you. On the other hand you also want it to be practical.

Well practical the The Grase EZ3 3-Rail Quilting Frame is. It is easy to set up and it is easy to fold and store. This frame fits easily under a bed or you let it stand against a wall somewhere out of the way. To add to it's practically it is light yet sturdy.

OK, it is true you have to assemble it before you can use it and because the wood is untreated it is a good idea to stain it first. So allow yourself some time after you have received it to have it up and running! Once it is ready though, you will love it and the fact that you can easily adjust the angle ensure that you can work in a way that is the most comfortable for you.

So, I really think if you are serious about your quilting and you want to do it in comfort, a look at the Grace EZ3 3-Rail Quilting Frame is worth the trouble. Once you have it ready and you have mastered the way you have to load a quilt, it will give you many hours of joy.

So go to the Grace EZ3 3-Rail Quilting Frame and have a look.

A Few Ideas On How To Make A Patchwork Pillow

There is no need to use patchwork only to make quilts with. There are many other items that can very successfully be made with patchwork. So if you are wondering about how to make a patchwork pillow and you are looking for a few ideas. Read on.

Obviously the starting point will be the fabric you are going to use. If you are new to patchwork it is best to keep it to two colors and use materials with almost the same weight and texture to make it easier.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is best to start with the traditional nine-patch pattern. This way you can get the feel for patchwork first before you start a more elaborate pattern.

It is of course possible to use a complete mixture of colors if you only want to use scrap pieces of fabric to practice the techniques without going to the expense of buying the fabric. I have seen many pillows as well as quilts made in this way that are quite charming!

For the back of you patchwork pillow you can use any coordinating fabric. Once again, I have seen pillows made with patchwork on both sides. This really depends on what your idea is at the stage you are making it. If you are only practicing and do not intend using it specifically for some decorations you can really make your patchwork pillow any way you like.

So, If you are still looking for a few ideas on How To Make A Patchwork Pillow you can go to the webpage with the same name. On this website you will also find very good info about patchwork and quilting as well as patchwork and quilting equipment.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Is A Good Natural Cure Yeast Infection?

So many are wondering about a natural cure yeast infection. Point is, it is not normally one thing alone that helps you get rid of a yeast infection for good. You can get rid of the symptoms pretty fast, even within 12 hours, but to get rid of it for good means you have to change your lifestyle to one that does not promote the overgrowth of the Candida Albicans fungus because that is what gives you a yeast infection.

So, if you are looking for a natural cure yeast infection, you start with something to get rid of the symptoms first of all because, as we all know, the symptoms are awful and very uncomfortable!

For the symptomatic treatment of a yeast infection yogurt is a very good option. You can eat it, use it as a cream and even soak a tampon in it and use it to relieve the symptoms. A boric acid suppository is also good, but beware, boric acid is poisonous and you should really use it with great caution.

Once you are rid of the symptoms it is time to move on to the REAL natural cure yeast infection, changing your lifestyle. You have to look at your diet and make sure you do not eat anything that promotes the overgrowth of the Candida Albicans fungus. You have to try and avoid stress as far as possible and you have to make sure you get enough sleep.

These are only a few of the measure you can take if you are thinking of a natural cure yeast infection, For more go to the site: Natural Cure Yeast Infection

Can You Help Me With How To Improve Ballet?

Are you looking for advice on how to improve ballet? If find that you very often get dancers that moved through the different grades too fast and end up with problems.

So often dancers decide to start dancing at an older age and them they move up very rapidly. At first it does not seem to matter, but as they get more and more advanced and very often when they get to Elementary, they find it catches up with them.

Now you need to know how to improve ballet urgently as you do not want to fall behind. Well, I always think it is best to go back to the very beginning, even pre-primary, and learn to do each exercise and step all over in the correct way.

Well, obviously you cannot do that in class! So, you have to practice on your own at home. Problem is, practicing on your own at home can be dangerous, you may find that you are practicing in bad technique and instead of getting an answer to your question of how to improve ballet, you are making things worse.

To prevent this, it is best to get a good book or an e-book with photos. Not only photos of the correct way to do it but also of all the most usual mistakes. If there is a video available that is even better.

Fortunately for you there is just such a e-book with photos and videos and even a complete ballet lesson so that you can practice at home. The package's name is The Ballet Bible and it is well worth looking into.

So, if you want to know how to improve ballet, have a look at The Ballet Bible, it is very possible that it may solve your problem.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas Dinner Appetizers

The mouth-watering smells coming from the kitchen around the holidays will make anyone’s stomach growl. If you don’t want guests sneaking in the kitchen for a nibble, offer them a few holiday dinner appetizers to keep them satisfied until the main course.

Appetizers are often seen at dinner parties. Even though it is just family and friends who are like family, it is a holiday party of sorts when you all get together. So, let loose with those appetizers. Depending on when everyone will show up and when dinner will actually be ready, will determine how heavy or light to go on the appetizers.

Some families may have breakfast and nothing else until dinner. They are not trying to starve other family members but use the time in between to finish getting things straight for dinner. So, when the masses get hungry, they are going to bug you in the kitchen. While you are baking and cooking, make time to prepare a few appetizers to keep them happy.

Here are a few examples of Christmas appetizers:

1. Cheese 

This can mean many things. First, you can have Cheese Whiz on crackers. Another option is a cheese tray that includes cheeses, crackers and other toppers like olive slices, bacon, and tomato chunks.

2. Fruit 

To keep sliced fruit from browning, use a bit of lemon juice or mix the fruit together to make a fruit salad. Include your favorite fruits in their natural juices.

3. Finger sandwiches 

Keep these refrigerated until the last minute. Anything with mayonnaise shouldn’t be left out more than a couple of hours. Fix a mix: chicken salad, tuna salad, ham, roast beef and/or turkey. You could probably leave off the turkey since you might be having it for dinner.

4. Chicken 

Chicken nuggets make great finger foods. Cut them in half and stick a toothpick in each one. Wrap chunks of cooked chicken breast with bacon and dip into honey mustard or barbecue sauce.

5. Veggies and dip 

This old standby works on so many fronts. While the group is watching the game or a holiday movie, give them something healthy that won’t spoil their dinner.

6. Nuts 

Take those ordinary nuts and roast them with brown sugar, cinnamon and other spices before setting them on the table to be gobbled.

Just because it’s family doesn’t mean you can’t offer a little snack to tide them over until the big holiday meal. Try these suggestions for Christmas dinner appetizers.

Christmas Theme Dinners

Who says that Christmas dinner has to be the same each year? Sure the family gets together and great time but it can always be better. This year, think about ideas for a holiday them dinner.

What is a theme dinner? You’ve heard of murder mystery cruises before. This is a variation on that theme. Instead of everyone just coming and sitting at the table, they have to think a bit about how they will appear at your door.

Theme dinners can begin an entirely new tradition in your home. The dinners can revolve around a theme based on:

  • Holiday movies
  • Holiday recipes
  • Family history of holiday meals
  • Regional foods
  • Spiritual themes

Let’s start with holiday movies. Take your favorite movie and use that as a starting point. Use the time period and any mention of food in the movie to set up your menu and what the attire will be for the evening.

Holiday recipes come from all sorts of cookbooks. You may decide on a down home Christmas meal or eat dinner as the Pilgrims may have enjoyed it with pheasant instead of turkey as the main dish. Try a recipe book based on holiday songs or poems. You’ll find a lot of references to meal ideas with those.

Think back in your own family history. Maybe your family is of European, Asian or African descent. Fill the table this year with foods that reflect what would have been eaten by your family members hundreds of years ago. Research the traditional dress of the time so that everyone can look the part.

Regional themes can reflect the variety of traditions in different corners of your own country. How about a traditional New England feast or a Southwest meal? Go down south to Texas and you will find some other favorites you may not have thought to add to your Christmas meal before.

Christmas is not just about spending time together but the spiritual significance. Everyone could dress as the people did in biblical times and enjoy foods prepared as they would have been enjoyed in the New Testament around the time that Jesus was born.

The field is wide open. If the family is looking for something else to do this year to make their holiday special, suggest that everyone try a Christmas theme dinner. Be sure to decide early so family members have time to get their garb and their food together for the celebration.

Host a Christmas Brunch

You have spent a good portion of Christmas Eve getting food ready for Christmas dinner the next day. Treat all of the diligent cooks (and the rest of the family) to a brunch on Christmas midmorning. Everyone can get the nourishment they need to finish preparation for dinner that night.

The good thing about a brunch is that it combines the best of breakfast and lunch. If you have those who love breakfast foods anytime of the day, it works. For others who want to eat light, they have the lunch half of the fare.

If you are going to host the Christmas brunch, include the cooking items you need in your master list for Christmas dinner shopping. You don’t want to run out of eggs or milk or bread. While one half of the group is working on Christmas dinner, the other half can be preparing for brunch.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Decide on the menu ahead of time – keep it simple but with enough variety for your family’s tastes.
  • Decide how you will present the brunch. Buffet style is good for early risers and those who want to sleep for an extra 20 minutes.
  • Don’t forget the drinks: plenty of fruit juices, milk and teas
  • Perform the prep work the night before when the other half of the cooks are preparing for Christmas dinner – casseroles can be put together and refrigerated.
  • Don’t forget the setup for a buffet style brunch. You don’t want to run out of pans for the food.

The secret to a holiday brunch is the preparation and a bit of cheating. It is okay because the food will still be good. For example, if you decide to serve blueberry muffins, buy them from the store. Take them out to come to room temperature in the morning. Use frozen, cooked sausage for the casseroles so you don’t have to perform that step on Christmas morning.

A perfect way to save cleanup is to have a buffet brunch and a buffet holiday dinner. The tables will only have to be set up once. All you will do is wipe up the table clothes and switch out the food pans when it is time for dinner. The brunch food stays warm from the first family member to the last.

Want some brunch ideas? Here they are:

  • Sausage, egg and cheese breakfast casserole
  • Assorted muffins
  • Fruit Juices
  • Fruit salad
  • Ham and turkey slices with white and wheat bread

The first rule is to keep it simple. Dinner is coming in a few short hours and you want everyone to have room for all that you’ve prepared.

The Well-Stocked Pantry for Christmas Cooking

The last thing any holiday cooks want to do is walk around the kitchen and find out that they are missing a vital item they need to finish a meal in fantastic fashion. Undoubtedly it has happened to you at least once. Be sure it doesn’t happen again with this pantry staple list for the holidays.

Each holiday, most of us prepare the same things. There are favorite family dishes that must be prepared or Aunt Minnie will have a fit. That goes for desserts as well. Since you know this in advance, let’s make sure that the kitchen cupboards are stocked with the items you use the most.

The pantry list includes items for the fridge, cupboard and the freezer. 

Let’s begin with the cupboard:

  • Flour (all purpose, cake)
  • Baking soda
  • Dry yeast (for breads)
  • Sugar (white, brown, confectioners’)
  • Chocolate (bricks, squares, morsels, cocoa powder)
  • Nuts (pecans, English walnuts, almonds)
  • Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper)
  • Baking powder
  • Honey, oil, vinegar
  • Broth
  • Dried fruits
  • Vegetables (sweet potatoes, white potatoes, onions, garlic)
  • Rice
  • Dried pasta

This is just a short list. Depending on your tastes, you’ll add or detract from it depending on your tastes. Now we move on to the fridge. Some items just need to stay in there to stay fresh. To know your refrigerated pantry staples, think of things that you are always sending someone to the store for.

The Fridge:

  • Milk
  • Butter (not margarine)
  • Sour cream
  • Eggs
  • Lemon juice
  • Half and half

This list is shorter because you use these items more when you cook and bake around the holidays than any other time. The broth from the other list will end up in the fridge after you open it.

Don’t forget the freezer. Most of the freezer staples come into play with baking but they can pertain to cooking the meal if you make fruit relishes, cranberry sauce from scratch and other condiment additions to your holiday table.

The Freezer:

  • Frozen fruit (berry mix, peaches)
  • Frozen vegetables (to make up for any shortfall with fresh veggie side dishes)
  • Fruit juices from concentrate

As you can see, there are a lot of staples that you’ll need when cooking and baking for the holidays. You don’t necessarily have to account for every family member who darkens your door. If your list includes at least these items you are well on your way to a well-stocked holiday pantry.

Tips for Making Christmas Food Gifts

When it comes right down to it, some of the best gifts given at Christmas are given from the heart. What says that you took time and care more than a homemade food gift?

Now, if you want to make food gifts, there are a few tips you need to remember. For safety reasons and liability issues, food gifts not accepted at schools. You can give a gift to your child’s teacher but not to the students.

Safety First

Most food gifts are either dry mixes or desserts that you’ve made. It is rare that people give things like meats but if you do, be sure that the meat was thawed or defrosted at proper temperatures. When you cook it, use a thermometer to tell if it is within temperature limits to be considered done.  Let the meat cool enough before covering it so that there is no condensation on the plastic wrap, aluminum foil or container top.

With all Christmas food gifts, be sure that everything is cooled and as dry as possible before wrapping it up in decorative packaging. You want the recipient to enjoy the food and not end up in the emergency room. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at some popular Christmas food gifts.

Soups On, or is it Cookies?

Decorative mixes are still a big hit at holiday time. From soups to cookies, the gift receiver can decide when they will use their gift. Already prepared food gifts usually have a time limit.

If the person loves soup, give them a gift basket filled with delicious dry soup mixes that you prepared yourself. Since it is winter, no soup gift basket would be complete without chicken noodle. Include some of their favorites like potato soup, vegetable soup or bean soup.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in layers in the jar. You can use freeze-dried vegetables. 

Remember to make a label that includes:

  • Name of the soup
  • Recipe ingredients in jar
  • Ingredients still needing to be added
  • Serving size
Cookie recipes work well in the jar too. Properly measure out all of the dry ingredients in layers. Be sure that the jar is dry before adding anything so it doesn’t spoil. Use the same guidelines as the bulleted list above for soups when creating your cookie label.


These types of gifts can be used all year round. They include items like flavored vinegars, homemade seasoning mixes and dry rubs. If you like to grow herbs, then a holiday gift of dried herbs is perfect for the cook on your list. Also popular are canned preserves, vegetables and fruits. After the canning process they can keep for as long as you need in the vacuum-sealed jar.

What are you planning to give to others this Christmas? If it is a food gift, use the tips above for gift ideas and also ways to keep it safe to enjoy.

Holiday Beverages

There are many holiday songs that mention good things to drink. Holiday beverages are the perfect topper for a great dinner or the wake up for morning breakfast. Here are a few holiday drinks to include on your menu.

What is the single favorite drink at Christmas? It’s eggnog. Eggnog is made with, you guessed it, eggs. Some people may be concerned about raw eggs. If that’s the case, you can purchase chilled eggnog in the carton. There are 1,001 recipes for eggnog floating around so use the one that suits your taste buds.

Eggnog is traditionally an alcoholic drink, using whisky, rum or brandy. If you have kids you can ixnay the liquor for a tasty non-alcoholic version. Don’t forget to top your creation with nutmeg and/or cinnamon for flavor.

Another tasty drink is apple cider. This warm apple drink keeps the chill away when the weather outside is frightful. For a different taste, add slices of citrus fruits to the warm cider and cinnamon sticks. Garnish the glass with curly Qs of citrus rind.

Holiday punches are a hit with all ages. Whether it is a citrus punch or a sparkling one (champagne) you can spruce up the presentation. Add colorful ice cubes to the punch. Try red and green Kool-Aid ice cubes. For more red and green garnish, add maraschino cherries to drink and punch glasses.

A popular European holiday drink that has found a place in the U.S. is wassail. It is a spiced punch that is served hot. Many modern versions use mulled cider but traditionally they used mulled beer. All of the ingredients were heated together in a bowl and topped with toast. Soggy bread aside, this drink choice can begin a new holiday tradition in your home.

Teas are also good. If you have a diabetic person in your family, teas may be easier to handle than some of the alcoholic or sweeter flavored drinks. Try peppermint tea or sugar-free apple cider mix so that they can join in the festivities as well.

We almost forgot the hot chocolate. That’s the reason you bought the reindeer mug, right? It warms the cold places and tastes great with a Christmas cookie or a slice of cake. Instead of water, like most drink mixes call for, use milk instead. Milk makes hot chocolate taste creamier. Hot milk at bedtime will send your kids off to Sleepytown.

These are just a few of the traditional holiday beverages most people turn to when Christmas rolls around. You may have others you’ve grown to love over the years. Either way, leave room for a new beverage tradition to join the ranks.

Essentials You Need for the Perfect Christmas Dinner

What are the two things you run out for at the last minute when preparing Christmas dinner? Seasonings and utensils. This article addresses the essentials you need to be sure you have on hand when cooking Christmas dinner.

No one wants to have to make a last minute substitution because they forgot something at the store. When you are making a list of the grocery items you need, don’t forget the utensils. Unless you have a large family, most people don’t use every pot, pan and spatula in their kitchen unless it is Christmas.

To save on storage space and money, look for items that are disposable. You don’t need to purchase a new 20-piece cookware set for an additional ham. That is why the list of food and the list of utensils go together. 

Here are a few examples of what you might need to buy:
  • Roasting pans (turkey, ham)
  • Side dish pans (square aluminum pans)
  • Cake pans
  • Serving utensils
  • Cake pans (can be non-disposable – you may use them later)
  • Trash bags (not a utensil or cookware but a necessary item for cleanup)
  • Plasticware
  • Thermometer (meat, candy)
  • Mixing bowls
It seems like a long list but not really. Instead of using all of your baking pans and washing them repeatedly, it is easier to cook sides and meats in disposable aluminum pans. They hold up well when cooking and can be thrown away afterwards. If a family wants to take home leftovers, you can use the extra pans you have left. This gives them one container to store their “take home” treats and a way to warm them up also.

You may have enough silverware for a service for four or six, but 26 people are out of the question. At party supply stores, they sell Christmas plasticware that resembles real silverware. Your family won’t mind and your holiday table will still look elegant.

Anyone preparing food like meat needs a meat thermometer. Turkey takes a long time to cook and you want to be sure it is cooked throughout. A meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh will let you know when the turkey is done. Even with pop-up meters in the turkey, always check the internal temperature yourself.

A lot goes into making Christmas dinner special for family and friends. Avoid the last minute drive to the store or a sink full of dishes. Purchase what essentials you need beforehand.

Christmas Foods that Kids Can Prepare

Christmas is a holiday where the entire family tries to get together. Sweet smells waft from the kitchen as those with the talent prepare meal after meal to everyone’s delight. If you have kids, get them in on the Christmas cooking craze.

It is a common myth that kids don’t want anything to do with the kitchen. In fact, kids love to cook. How do you think we got so many wonderful chefs in the world? When you invite them in and give them something to do, kids will jump at the chance to cook in the kitchen.

No matter what you are cooking (or baking) in the kitchen, the key here is cleanliness. In preparation, buy your child their own apron. Aprons will protect their clothing, giving them a place to wipe their hands. Also, keep plenty of paper towels and hand soap available as they will be washing their hands quite a lot.

Baking is the easiest thing to start with. Let your kids cut their culinary teeth on breakfast. Biscuits are a favorite place where they can learn and not get in trouble for making a mess. As you go from step to step, explain to your kids what you are about to do.

Baking involves most of the work to be done away from the stove. You can set up a work area on the kitchen table or the counter if your kids are tall enough. Let them create there while you prep the stove for the food.

For any recipe, begin by gathering your ingredients and utensils. It will feel like a kitchen show; your kids will love that. Show them how to do each step and then let them take over from there.

We mentioned biscuits before. Anything that goes into the oven is a good start for kids:

  • Christmas cookies
  • Breakfast casserole
  • Cakes
  • Rolls
  • Dinner meats

With the dinner meat, you will have to help them carry it to the stove, but they can pour the brown sugar glaze (if you like that) onto the ham, season the outside of the turkey, sprinkle pecans on the sweet potato casserole and many other small tasks.

Your kids will get the hang of baking and stovetop cooking with a little assistance. The holidays are a relaxing and jovial time to let your kids begin cooking with you. Teach them the basics of hygiene, preparation and creating so they will want to cook all of the time.