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10 Delicious Things You Can Make with Pesto

10 Delicious Things You Can Make with Pesto

If you haven’t tried pesto yet, you’re missing out on something truly exquisite! Google confirms this fresh garlicky sauce’s excellence by listing it as one of the 10 most searched food items in 2017!

We love this green summery treat tossed in pasta topped with grated Parmesan cheese, but that’s not all pesto can offer. It is a very versatile ingredient that combines with all sorts of ingredients to create amazing dishes!

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The Classic Pesto Recipe

So, if you want to make a standard pesto, here is a foolproof recipe:

Ingredients:

6 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

pesto recipes

Method of preparation:

Put half of the basil in a food processor or blender, followed by the pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, and salt and process until finely chopped.

Blend in the rest of the basil, then combine the two batches and process until you get a homogeneous paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Slowly add the olive oil while the motor is still running.

Note: If you’re going to use your pesto as a spread, reduce the amount of olive oil to ¼ cup. The addition of a ½ cup will make it perfect for soups and pastas.

Process until the oil is well blended into the mixture.

Taste and add more garlic, pine nuts, cheese or salt if necessary. No cooking required!

Pesto Storage

If you had ever bought pesto from the grocery store, you might have noticed that it spoils relatively quickly (changes its color to dark brown). So, it is best to prepare smaller batches (the recipe above produces one cup) or consume it within several days.

To make your pesto last as long as possible, store it in a small container and pack it thoroughly to eliminate air pockets. Then, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the surface or cover the surface with a plastic wrap. Cover and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Pesto can also be frozen for several months.

pesto recipes

Pesto Varieties

The original pesto recipe calls for basil leaves but the truth is anything that is green and leafy can serve as a base for this garlicky sauce. Think kale, spinach, collards, parsley, or rosemary for instance.

Pine nuts can also be replaced by any other type of nut. We’ve recently experimented with walnuts and the results were incredible! (Find the recipe below).

What about the cheese? Can it be replaced? Sure, as long as the substitute you choose is hard cheese (like asiago or pecorino), you have nothing to worry about. Moreover, you can use ricotta cheese instead of the olive oil to reduce the amount of fat and make a healthier version of the aromatic sauce!

And if you ever get bored with the green variety, you can switch to red! Here is a recipe made with sun-dried tomatoes:

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

The colors of our favorite Italian sauce are so vivid you can combine them in jars and use them as holiday gifts along with loaves of Italian bread!

Note: If you have no problem splurging on more expensive ingredients (the final results are worth it), never substitute regular black olives for Greek calamata olives. The rich calamatas add that extra punch of flavor that makes the spread taste special.

pesto recipes

Favorite Pesto Recipes

Pesto addicts eat the sauce by the spoonful. Others spread it on pizzas, toasts, and sandwiches or include it in pasta. Want more? We especially like pairing this fresh sauce with chicken, but also incorporate it into pastries and even bread. Here are our favorite recipes.

Pesto Rice

The variety made with basil leaves has a wonderful, rich, fresh-from-the-garden taste that is great with pasta—why not enjoy it with rice? Basil is one of the easiest kitchen herbs to grow, as long as you have lots of sun in your garden outside, or a sunny window ledge inside. Pinch off the top-most leaves as you need them—it actually grows better with pruning.

Pesto Chicken and Pasta

Bring a touch of Italy to the dinner table with this delicious pasta dish—you won’t believe how easy it is to make! For a heartier dish with a richer flavor, replace half the chicken with chopped sliced ham in Step 2.

pesto recipes

Rosemary-Walnut Pesto Chicken

A variation that is made with rosemary and coarsely ground walnuts instead of the usual basil adds a nutty richness to this sautéed chicken. Any leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator and spread on toasted baguette slices the next day. If there’s any chicken left over, make great little chicken sandwiches!

Garden Pesto Chicken

Diced tomato and shredded Parmesan cheese add a fresh taste to this easy chicken dish made with prepared pesto. Vary the recipe by using different pasta shapes, such as bow-tie or penne pasta.

Double Pesto Steak Pie

Crushed basil leaves kneaded into the pretty lattice crust and pesto in the hearty steak filling imbue this pie with the robust flavors of summer.

Pesto Cheese Spirals

Filled with pesto sauce and “double cheese,” buttery pastry roll-ups are little bites of heaven for delighted party guests. For another version, try using large flour tortillas. Spread the fresh green sauce on the tortilla, sprinkle with the Swiss cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Roll up tightly, cut into 1-inch slices and bake at 350°F for 12–15 minutes.

Ham & Pesto Swirls

If you liked the previous recipe, here is another variation. These impressive looking pastries are surprisingly easy to make. They’re filled with succulent Parma ham, Parmesan cheese and aromatic pesto. Place 2½ cups basil leaves, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 large clove garlic and 3 tablespoons pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor and blend to make a paste. Add 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, then slowly pour in ⅓ cup olive oil while blending. Use in the recipe above or as a sauce for pasta.

pesto recipes

Pesto & Zucchini Bread

Bring a taste of Italy to your dinner parties with focaccia flavored with pesto and topped with slices of grilled zucchini. Why not add some pine nuts? Soak 2 ounces in a small bowl of water for 20 minutes. This will stop them from over-browning. Arrange them on the dough with the zucchini slices in Step 5. Or sprinkle the focaccia with grated Parmesan cheese right out of the oven.

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Spinach Pesto Rotini

The sauce for this dish is more than just a pasta sauce. You can dip boiled halves of new potatoes into the sauce for an appetizer. Or spread it over pizza crust, then top it with mozzarella and broil the pizza for a quick supper. You can even combine the sauce with mayonnaise to make a dressing for potato salad!

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!
Last Minute Holiday Cooking – 5 Sugar Cookies Recipes & Decoration Tips

Last Minute Holiday Cooking – 5 Sugar Cookies Recipes & Decoration Tips

Sugar cookies are one of the first recipes that come to mind when compiling holiday menus. The reason is they are easy to make, delicious, soft, flavorful, perfect for shaping into festive symbols, and ideal for decorating. No wonder these cuties are loved by kids and grown-ups alike.

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From a cook’s/thrifty housewife’s perspective, sugar cookies have a few more important upsides:

  • the dough can be easily doubled without affecting the final result
  • the cookies can be made crispier by prolonging the baking time just a bit to satisfy all tastes in the family;
  • baked sugar cookies freeze well.

From a mom’s perspective, these cookies are great for including the kids who are enthusiastic to help in the kitchen.

We’ve got some amazing sugar cookies recipes to make last minute holiday preparations easier for you. But before we get to them, let’s go through some essential tips and tricks that will facilitate the process even more.

  • Don’t be afraid to add more butter than the recipe calls for to make the cookies incredibly soft. If you have run out of butter, cream cheese will do the trick;
  • To chill or not to chill? You can skip the chilling only if the recipe explicitly specifies that or if you don’t really care if the sugar cookie shapes look ok. Chilling makes the dough easy to work with and helps the cookies keep their shape during baking.

sugar cookies

The Best Sugar cookies recipes to Make During the Holidays

Whole-Wheat Sugar Cookies

Whole-wheat flour adds a slightly nutty flavor and wholesome texture to this traditional sugar cookies recipe. To add a nutty crunch, stir 1/4 cup chopped pecans or almonds into the cookie dough.

Brown Sugar Cookies

The simplest cookies are often the best! These heavenly bites of brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and nuts just melt in your mouth. The nuts need to be finely chopped for this recipe – finer than are typically found in chopped nut packages in the market. You can chop them further in a food processor—just be careful to process in short bursts until they’re finely chopped—not ground into a paste.

sugar cookies

Drop Sugar Cookies

Decorated sugar cookies don’t always have to be rolled and cut out; this simple drop recipe yields quick—yet still delicious—results. Make your own colored sugar to match any theme. Just place a few tbsp. granulated sugar in a container with a tight-fitting lid, add a drop or two of food coloring and shake until the color is evenly distributed.

Iced Sugar Cookies

Prepare the sprinkles and food coloring! These simple treats are perfect for the holidays but also to add color to any regular rainy day. Children will love helping to cut out and decorate their own special cookies but also devour them afterward.

Macadamia Sugar Cookies

These generously-sized sugar cookies have rich macadamia nuts in every bite. So simple to make—just mix, scoop and bake! Put your taste buds on cloud nine by adding white chocolate to these already heavenly cookies. Just substitute ½ cup coarsely chopped white baking chocolate or white chocolate chips for half of the macadamia nuts.

sugar cookies

Decorating Sugar Cookies

When it comes to decorating, it all comes down to skills and patience but you can hardly go wrong with sugar cookies. These cookies are great with a simple buttercream frosting or chocolate ganache spread on top, or between two cookies. If you are skillful enough, you can glaze each cookie with a thin layer of icing, mix colors, and draw. The best tools to pull this off are squeeze bottles and piping bags.

For a super-quick decoration, fill a small plastic bag half full with melted semisweet chocolate chips. Make a small diagonal cut in the bottom corner of the bag and squeeze out the chocolate into various designs and patterns onto the cooled cookies.

If you decide to go with classic royal icing, here is a step-by-step instruction:

To make it easier on yourself, choose a recipe that calls for only the basic ingredients

3-4 cups Powdered Sugar

2 Egg whites

  • Start by beating the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy.
  • Then, gradually add the powdered sugar (3-4 cups).

sugar cookies

Extra flavor can be added with vanilla extract (2 tsp.), which is a common choice. Other options include almond extract or lemon juice. If using extracts, make sure they are colorless to keep the icing white.

Once the icing is smooth and thick enough, place it in a zip-lock bag for storing or use immediately.

For the buttercream frosting fans, we chose a chocolate-flavored buttercream because why not? ‘Tis the season to go wild with food!

1 cup chocolate chips, melted

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The best type of chocolate chips to use for buttercream isn’t regular milk chocolate we all like to devour, but semisweet or bittersweet. When mixed with the other ingredients, these types of chocolate will lighten up not just in color but also in taste, keeping the rich chocolate flavor at the same time.

sugar cookies

The quality of the chocolate you use is also of great importance. High-quality chocolate chips tend to melt well and produce a smooth, even & velvety final result. Make sure the melted chocolate chips are cooled before adding them to the buttercream mixture.

Whip the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on a medium speed until light and fluffy, (for about 3 minutes). Add the powdered sugar and keep mixing until the mixture is homogenous and creamy. Then, add the vanilla followed by the cooled melted chocolate and whip the frosting on medium speed fluffy and creamy, for about 4 minutes.

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Note: If refrigerating this buttercream, let it achieve room temperature before whipping it with an electric mixer about a minute or so.

Note 2: If the butter you use is unsalted, add just a pinch of salt with the powdered sugar.

Happy New Year!

 

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!
11 French Toast Recipes You Need in Your Life

11 French Toast Recipes You Need in Your Life

Is there anything better than French toast as a breakfast in bed? Especially on January 1st. Thick slices of bread, soaked in a sweet mixture of milk, eggs, and cinnamon, then toasted in a frying pan, and served with maple syrup and a pat of butter. This is the basic recipe but French toast comes in a number of fancy variations.

You can vary the type of bread – whole wheat, French, Italian, white, or cinnamon-raisin. The rule of thumb is the bread needs to be a few days old so that it doesn’t fall apart when you dip it in the egg mixture.

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Next, for a quick and easy routine change, you can add some vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange or lemon zest, or even a teaspoon of brandy into the custard.

When it comes to sweet toppings, maple syrup is a classic, but you can opt for other kinds of syrups, jams, fruits sauces, and fresh fruits. Also, you can replace butter with margarine on top, or sprinkle some powdered sugar.

Wanna make a savory variation? Skip the sugar in the custard and top with chicken, ham, cheese and/or sautéed veggies.

We have more up our sleeves. Our goal is to make French toast the most indulgent breakfast dish you’ve ever had! Brace yourselves!

french toast

Credit:simplyrecipes.com

French Toast Casserole

Brown sugar and pecans crown this baked breakfast treat with a gooey, warm caramel sauce. A perfect weekend breakfast treat! Make this breakfast casserole into something really special! Sprinkle 1–1½ cups fresh blueberries over the sauce along with the pecans. Or add ½ cup blueberries to the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup and cook until the blueberries burst open. Strain the sauce before pouring into the prepared pan.

Banana-Stuffed French Toast

No need to go to a fancy bed and breakfast—enjoy stuffed French toast on a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning on your deck. Make this special occasion breakfast even more special with a dollop of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top!

Baklava French Toast

If you love baklava but don’t have the time or skills to make it, this recipe is just for you. But before you get to work, note that it is more challenging to make than a regular FT. However, it’s totally worth your while! The recipe is actually French toast stuffed with a nutty baklava-like filling and then drenched in a honey syrup. The final result is a treat that is crispy in the outside and soft on the inside, full of cinnamon, citrus, nut, and honey flavors. What better way to tame your raging sweet tooth?

french toast

Credit:wildblueberries.com

French Toast Pinwheels

The secret ingredient in this recipe is flatbread, which rolls much easier than regular bread, without having to remove the crust off or roll it thin. The texture of this sweet treat is very much like that made with crepes (if you haven’t tried that one, make sure you do ASAP). It can be eaten plain, or stuffed with any of your favorite fillings such as whipped cream + strawberries, Nutella, peanut butter, lemon and powdered sugar, banana slices, blueberries.

This recipe can easily be adjusted for special occasion breakfasts or brunches by slicing the roll-ups into 1/2 inch pieces and then secure with a toothpick!

S’mores French Toast

Eating s’mores transports you back to your childhood like nothing else. How can anyone resist the perfect combo of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows? With this S’mores breakfast treat you can indulge in the flavor of your favorite cookies for breakfast without the need for lighting a campfire!

French Toast Muffins

Two classic sweet treats into one breakfast cupcake. These easy muffins topped with a cinnamon swirl French toast streusel have so much more than great looks and cuteness. For starters, they are moist and soft. Not to mention they’re absolutely delicious! Plus, they keep for days (not that there will be any left).

french toast

Credit:tablespoon.com

Donut French Toast

Here is a recipe your little ones will especially like. Take some glazed donuts and turn them into a breakfast full of flavors. Serve them with whipped cream & strawberry slices to make it even more gorgeous.

Cinnamon French Toast Sticks

These delish cinnamon-sugar coated French toast sticks are a great way to change your breakfast routine. Start by slicing the bread into sticks, then proceed the usual way. The beauty of these sticks is that they can be dipped and dunked in whatever you wish – honey, maple syrup, or (OF COURSE) melted chocolate!

Pumpkin French Toast Rolls

Similar to the sticks from the previous recipe, these rolls are just like French toast stuffed with pumpkin. The best part is that they are baked in the oven until golden brown (about 10 minutes), which makes them much healthier than fried options. Once they are done, brush with melted butter and, instead of the classic cinnamon sugar, coat them in pumpkin pie spice. A perfect fall weekend breakfast idea!

french toast

Credit:abeautifulmess.com

French Toast Krispie Treats

Half granola, half krispie treat, made with browned butter and maple syrup – all your kids’ favorite snacks and sweets in one breakfast treat. The granola contributes texture, krispie cereal is there for a crunch, whereas the brown butter gives that specific “griddle” taste.

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Apple Pie French Toast

Craving apple pie for breakfast but you’re too hungry to go through the process of making and baking? Here is a quick solution. This weekend breakfast treat is covered with a topping composed of apples in a caramel sauce along with candied walnuts. The caramel and apple combo is a classic you can’t go wrong with, whereas the walnuts bring some crunchy texture. Of course, with the decadent caramel present in the recipe, there is no need for syrup.

 

 

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!
15 Chicken Breast Recipes You Need to Try

15 Chicken Breast Recipes You Need to Try

Whether you’re cooking for two or planning a Christmas dinner for family and friends, chicken breast recipes make a great option to satisfy everyone’s taste. They produce tasty, satisfying meals without falling into a boring recipe route.

Chicken breast recipes are not only incredibly easy to make but are also low in calories and quite healthy (please make sure the meat you’re buying is free of hormones and non-GMO). Moreover, chicken breasts are extremely versatile – you can simply bread and cook them or combine with a plethora of herbs & spices and include them in salads, stews, pies, curries, stir fries, fajitas, pizzas and more!

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No wonder chicken breast recipes are so well-loved. The 2017 Google food report puts them on top of their list of most searched recipes!

chicken breasts

Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie

Need a budget-friendly recipe as a simple solution for a family gathering? The classic pot pie is re-invented by tucking tender chicken breasts and mixed veggies into a flaky pie crust. The result? A spectacular savory pie that is sure to amaze your relatives!

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Italian cuisine lovers an also enjoy chicken breast recipes. Baked Chicken Parmesan is an Italian classic recipe – tender chicken breasts coated with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese—all topped with tangy tomato sauce and mozzarella. Baking the cutlet instead of frying not only gives a light twist but also makes the dish even healthier without compromising the flavor and moistness. This dish is kid friendly and pairs especially well with pasta or fresh salads.

Garden Chicken Pizza

Refrigerated pizza dough makes fresh, homemade white pizza, with tender pieces of chicken, a quick supper option. Note: If you are skilled and patient enough, you can make the dough yourself using a bread machine but feel free to use refrigerated pizza dough if you prefer! Also, if by any chance you make more sauce than you need, pour it into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

chicken breasts

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

This chicken breast recipe requires pan-frying the meat with tarragon, and combining it with a smooth, velvety sauce made with chicken broth, some white wine, and heavy cream – a simple recipe for the whole family. It pairs especially well with pasta, salad, and rice for a quick and easy weeknight supper.

Note: To keep the chicken warm in Step 4, cover with aluminum foil. This also seals in the moisture of the chicken. This recipe can also be made with chicken thighs and you can replace the heavy cream with half-fat crème fraîche to make it lighter.

Quick Chicken Fajitas

For a casual weeknight get-together, make these quick & sizzling fajitas – chicken breasts, onion, and peppers are cut into even pieces so they cook quickly and evenly to produce a delicious filling. Instead of sour cream, offer guacamole or salsa as toppings options for a more authentic experience.

Note: the recipe can be varied with the addition of shredded cabbage, toasted pumpkin seeds and queso fresco crumbles plus a simple dressing made with olive oil and lime juice.

Chicken Stroganoff

Classic stroganoff gets a makeover with the use of chicken breasts! Tender meat coated in a creamy mushroom sauce, thickened with sour cream, for a classic dish that’s packed with flavor. For beef stroganoff, replace the chicken with flank steak cut into 1/4-inch strips in Step 1. Use beef broth instead of chicken broth in Step 2. We love this dish because it is done in about half an hour. Serve it with rice or pasta!

chicken breasts

Stir-Fried Chicken

Bite-size chicken pieces and crisp vegetables in a tasty sauce combine for a delicious and nutritious take on “fast” food. Chop the vegetables to the same size to ensure even cooking and have them on hand in the order they will be cooked. For the best results, heat the wok or frying pan before adding the oil.

Maple Chicken

Juicy chicken breasts rubbed with a blend of aromatic spices and coated in a spicy-sweet glaze are the perfect weekday meal. For a different taste, omit the tarragon in Step 2 and replace the maple syrup with sweet chili sauce in Step 3.

Chicken and Potato Salad

A chunky mix of new potato slices and golden chicken tossed with a mustard dressing—a hearty alternative to plain old potato salad! For a more Asian flavor, try adding peeled and grated gingerroot to the dressing in Step 2. Replace the chicken with turkey.

Peanut Chicken with Rice

This chicken feast combines the sweetness of peanut butter with rice, peanuts, and crunchy raw vegetables. For an equally crunchy texture but slightly different flavor, replace the roasted peanuts with 1/4 cup cashews.

Chicken Bacon Bundles

Lock in the full flavor of succulent chicken with a savory filling of herbed cheese and basil, all wrapped in smoky bacon. If you prefer a milder cheese, use mozzarella instead. Grate over the top of the chicken about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time in Step 3.

chicken breasts

Hawaiian Chicken

If you want to be transported to a sandy beach in the middle of winter, this dish is just for you! Red onion, red and green bell pepper, pineapple and tender chicken all sizzle in a garlic-enhanced sweet-and-sour sauce. For added flavor and flair, stir in 1 tsp. sesame seeds just before serving.

Bruschetta Chicken

A delicious new way to serve grilled chicken—nestled on grilled Italian bread and topped with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, and Parmesan. Try this tasty variation: After placing the chicken on the bread slices, top each chicken breast with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Broil just until cheese is melting, then top with the tomato mixture.

Margarita Chicken

A margarita marinade—perfect for summertime. Dance on down to the beach and fire up the grill for a party. Fresh lime juice is best with this recipe. Why not buy a few extra limes and make limeade? Just mix the juice from /3 cup sugar and about 2 quarts of water in a tall pitcher. Chill and enjoy!

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Easy Chicken Wellington

Treat your guests to these tempting puff pastries filled with juicy chicken breasts, spinach, and mushrooms. To add a little zing to this chicken breast recipe, spread 1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard on the chicken before wrapping.

Do you have a favorite chicken breast recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!
Include Your Kids in the Preparation of Your Christmas Treats 2017

Include Your Kids in the Preparation of Your Christmas Treats 2017

The Season of festiveness is upon us, and it is high time we started embracing the true spirit of Christmas: Making the people we love happy.

And while we can always buy them the things we know they love, no over the top present or expensive wrapping can replace a genuine gesture or action. This is why this Christmas you should let your children join in the very preparation of your Christmas goodies, be them snacks or sweets, or beverages. This way they will feel like part of that adult world they can’t wait to go into (because no one told them it was a trap), and you will be bonding on a whole new level.

So, without any further ado, here are the options we have selected for you.

No-bake Snacks

Start out with some easy snacks that don’t involve cooking or baking.

Sweet Christmas Snacks

Reindeer cracker

                                                                   Photo Credit: http://mominspiredlife.com

A great idea would be preparing reindeer out of pretzels, peanut butter, M&Ms and mini chocolate chips. Make sure you get some round crackers, or if you have the square ones in your pantry, don’t fret, place them in a diamond-like position prior to preparing your reindeer, and you are good to go.

It is as simple as ABC, just spread some peanut butter on top of the cracker, place a red M&M in the middle for Rudolph’s nose, or if you go for the diamond version place it in the bottom corner, and add the two mini chocolate chips or raisins to form the eyes. As for the antlers, place them on the two opposite sides and press gently for them to stick in the peanut butter, or add a drop of melted chocolate to act as a glue.

Santa claus

                                                                Photo Credit: http://www.leannebakes.com

An even simpler idea would be the one for strawberry Santa Clauses. But mind you, don’t go for a regular whipped cream stuffing, although it seems like a good idea it isn’t. Whipped cream alone is too thin to hold Santa’s “body” and “hat” together. A better option would be beating some cream cheese, honey and vanilla together because a mixture of these would have a tiny bit firmer texture that will hold the pieces together. These will surely trigger a smile on your children’s faces, and what’s more, they can easily put the “hats” above the stuffing, or decorate the Santas with mini chocolate chips for the eyes.

An alternative to the cream cheese would be a slice of banana in between the strawberry “body” and “hat”. If you opt for this version, decorate Santa’s eyes with two poppy seeds.

And if you want an all fruit Christmas version you can always make Grinch Kebabs. Prepare these by adding a green grape, a banana slice, and half a strawberry on a toothpick and finish everything up with a mini marshmallow. Grinch never looked so cute!

Salty Christmas Snacks

Make a salty Christmas snack by using some salty crackers and cheese. Choose your favorite type (mozzarella, cheddar, feta, taleggio) and cut it into triangular shapes. Cut some prosciutto into thin slices and add two slices to make them look like tinsels and then proceed to add a star tree topper made out of carrot slices. Chop some parsley and sprinkle on top. You will get a Christmas tree-looking cheese.

reindeer cheese wedge

                                                               Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com

Another quick and easy savory snack would be one made by adding two pretzels on a cheese wedge and placing some olives or red peppers for the nose. Plate your reindeer cheese wedges together on a big tray or separately on individual crackers.

Baked Cookies in Christmas Shapes and Forms (a Great Base for Your Children to Get Creative)

Now, off to a tiny bit more complicated ideas. The important thing is to focus on the phrase “tiny bit”, so don’t worry, even not so experienced cooks can manage to prepare these.

Christmas cookies

If you want delicious cookies done in just an hour, then the Merry Christmas Cookies will surely be your cup of tea. You can prepare the dough, but let your kids use the holiday cutters and cut out all the different Christmas-y shapes. Go ahead and prepare the icing and put it into a pastry bag, then let your children do all the decorating. The fun is guaranteed.

And, if you want to have a healthy little Christmas, then you can go for a healthier recipe, like the one for the Soft and Chewy Paleo Gingerbread Men Cookies (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free). Your children can play the part of the little old woman and enjoy the art of cutting the gingerbread men shapes and drawing some eyes, mouth, and buttons to make them come to life.

A not very complicated recipe, yet as delicious as ever, is the one for the Snowballs. Prepared with white cake mix these snowballs will not give you a hard time, and the best part is: your children will be able to use their imagination and ingenuity.snowmen

                                                            Photo Credit: http://mariahspleasingplates.com

For instance, you can turn these snowballs into snowmen. Melt some chocolate and give your kids toothpicks so that they can draw the eyes and mouth. You can always plate them in an interesting way, let’s say with some colorful sprinkles underneath them or some silver glitter on top. Use a Rolo chocolate candy for the snowman’s hat, or even some mini Reese’s butter cups turned upside down.

Maybe you want to prepare some crunchy sweet bites; We’ve got you covered. Go ahead and give the Christmas cornmeal cookies a try. Not only are these incredibly tasty, you and your children can prepare them in as many different forms as you can possibly think of. (Plus, you can always add some colored M&Ms to make your regular cookies way prettier).

Christmas Pancake Ideas

If you want a recipe that will be done in less than an hour and leaves a lot of space for experimenting in terms of decoration, then pancakes are the right choice for you.

Go for the Gingerbread pancakes or their vegan counterpart and once you’ve prepared them let the fun begin.

Snowman

You can cut your pancakes into three different sizes, and stack them starting from the largest one, to the smallest one. Spread whipped cream on the first one, then go ahead and add the middle-sized one, apply whipped cream and finally place the smallest one. Using mini chocolate chips decorate the snowman’s face.

You can do the same with cream cheese frosting instead of the whipped cream, and if you do this melt some chocolate, get toothpicks and start bringing your snowman to life J.

Santa Claus

As it turns out, whipped cream is the solution to everything J. Make your favorite pancakes and create Santa’s beard and hair using it. For the eyes, you can use anything, from M&Ms, to chocolate chips, to blueberries or raisins. The mouth can be made out of dry cranberries or sliced strawberries.

Christmas Tree

Christmas tree pancakes

                                                               Photo Credit: http://sprinklesomefun.com

You can use the same technique of piling previously mentioned, only, this time, make several different sizes instead of just three. Using some food coloring or gelatin powder color your pancakes green and start stacking them. Sprinkle with some red and green sprinkles, or even go for a white glaze and silver glitter to represent snow.

Another alternative would be adapting the spiced ghost pancakes to a more season appropriate variant. Although If you are trying to recreate the Christmas Carol story, these will be a fitting choice as well. However, you can add a drop of green food coloring to the heavy whipped cream, use some colorful sprinkles and voila… you will get a Christmas tree on top of your pancake stack.

And, since we believe that the human ingenuity is endless, we encourage you to go ahead and check our pancake recipe collection – Best American Pancake Recipes – Quick, Easy and Delicious. Maybe you will get inspired to recreate one of the recipes and give it a Christmas-y twist.

Whichever of these ideas you opt for, be sure to include your kids in the whole process of preparing the food. Time spend with your family is a time well spent indeed. When prepared with your closest ones any outcome (even burnt cookies) will taste twice as delicious as it normally would.

Happy holidays to you all, and to all a merry Christmas!

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!

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