Welcome to our newsletter
As we come to the last newsletter of the year we would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season and a better new year. 2011 has been a big year of change for us at Recipe Publishing Network. We saw the creation of 11 new sites a few major search engine updates that effected the way we market our business with the launch of multiple social avenues including our Facebook and Twitter along with others.
We also launched a major move into Squidoo Lenses, and as we close the year we make a major push into Hubpages hubs and have begun a Tumblr project. What does this mean too you even more ways to share the food fun. As a member of our newsletter you are on the cutting edge of our users who demand top quality food information that we try to deliver in each and every issue plus with each update of our sites.
We also look back on the transfer of JelloRecipes.net to Kraft Foods and the sale of bonelesschickenrecipe.com. We made these moves to better focus on our core group of sites and since the last issue have totally revamped the former Jello site in the way of SimpleDessertRecipes.org with even more content.
So we wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season and hope you enjoy this special holiday edition of the newsletter. If so why not spread a little of the joy and share it with a friend.
As always you can find this and all our past newsletter on the web at our main company blog along with loads of unique and original recipes from all our sites.
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Easy Kids’ Christmas Cookies Recipes
Half of the fun of making kids’ Christmas recipes is enlisting the help of your little ones. Cooking with kids is educational and lots of fun for them. Smaller kids can stir things, and older ones can weigh and measure out ingredients. Obviously you need to keep an eye on sharp knives and on the oven.
Easy kids’ Christmas cookies recipes are a great place to begin, if you want to get the kids involved in cooking this Christmas. All kids love cookies and letting them help out is a nice way of making them feel a part of the Christmas traditions and proceedings.
There are easy kids’ Christmas recipes for all tastes, whether you fancy making a simple shortbread recipe, or some chocolate or vanilla cookies. Decorating the cookies is the part the kids look forward to the most (well, apart from eating them of course!) and you can be creative with this part, letting the kids choose the frosting and decorations.
Perhaps you want to bake some Christmas tree cookies, in which case the kids can use the Christmas tree cookie cutter to cut the cookies out, and also help to paint the frosting on once they have cooled. Gingerbread men are also fun to make and the little ones can stir the ingredients together and decorate the finished gingerbread men too.
Tips for Cooking with Kids
When cooking with kids, the most important factor to bear in mind is safety. Your child knows that he or she is not allowed to play with knives or sharp scissors, so keep anything sharp, as well as anything hot, out of reach, in case they forget. You will need to keep an eye on your kids while they are helping you.
Give them tasks suitable for their age. Little kids get bored quickly. They might be happy to stir the cookie ingredients together or count out little candies to decorate the cookies with, but they will soon become restless and want the cookies to be ready so they can eat them.
Older kids have more patience and you can give them more fiddly tasks to get on with. Teach your kids how to weigh and measure out ingredients, and you have taught them one of the fundamentals of cooking. Make sure your little ones are wearing aprons when stirring, especially if they are stirring dry ingredients, else they will get covered in flour.
Whisking is something that older kids can do (although it can be tough on little arms, so whisking is not for the little ones) and this is also a handy kitchen technique to learn. Another handy skill is separating eggs and you can show your kids how to do this, and then let them try for themselves. You can talk to your kids about how to frost the finished cakes or cookies, and see if they have some ideas of their own about the design.
There are lots of kids’ Christmas recipes to choose from, as well as plenty of easy kids’ Christmas cookies recipes, so why not have fun in the kitchen together, and see what you and the kids can come up with?
Easy Appetizers for the Festive Season
There are appetizers for all occasions, whether you are planning something extra-special for thanksgiving or Christmas, or whether you want to make a tasty little snack for your guests to enjoy before the main course.
If you are planning festive appetizers, then you might like to play around with color as well as flavor. Christmas appetizers can be color-themed in green and red, or you can serve the appetizers on festive plates. You might like to make something hot if the weather is cold, since this will warm everyone up and make your kitchen smell great too.
What about wrapping some shrimp or wieners in bacon and deep-frying these for gorgeous, crispy appetizers? If you prefer something cold, a classic shrimp cocktail recipe or homemade pate can also be seriously impressive. For more tempting appetizer ideas, have a look at EasyAppetizerRecipes.net where you will find plenty of inspiration.
Which Appetizers to Make
There are no set rules about which appetizers you should serve at a festive occasion although people do have their favorites. If you are entertaining a crowd, then it is usually a good idea to make several different appetizers, so there is something for everybody. This also applies if you are making finger food or buffet food. It is often best to make a selection so people can help themselves to what they really want.
You can choose from old-fashioned appetizer recipes or those with a modern twist, hot appetizers or chilled ones, classic appetizers or exotic international ones. Also, you should pick something you feel confident about making. There are lots of easy appetizers to choose from at EasyAppetizerRecipes.net.
Recipe: Wonderful Christmas Cookie Recipes
The following recipe shows you how to make delicious Christmas tree cookies. These fun, colorful, and festive little treats are simple to make and they look wonderful. You will need a Christmas tree-shaped cookie cutter to make them. You can easily pick one up at this time of the year, perhaps as part of a set so you get some other fun cookie cutter shapes too.
The cookies are flavored with almond meal, powdered sugar, and more, and they are frosted with an egg white and powdered sugar frosting. You can serve Christmas cookie recipes with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, or even with some mulled wine or hot apple cider, as a special festive treat.
Why not let the kids help with this recipe? They can help to stir the ingredients together and also decorate the finished cookies. These lovely festive cookies are ideal to give as a gift or to offer visitors at Christmas. They are sure to put a smile on every face.
You can see from the photo how cute these homemade Christmas tree cookies are. Even if you are not very creative in the kitchen, you will find these simple to make. You can even omit the red zigzags and silver balls and just spread green frosting over the cookies. These delicious cookies taste every bit as nice as they look. They are not too crumbly or too brittle. Instead they have a lovely texture. The almond flavor of the cookies is beautiful with the sweet frosting taste. Give these away as gifts or make them for the family. This is such an easy Christmas cookie recipe and the results are spectacular.
Shortbread Christmas Trees
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ¾ cup almond meal
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 4½ oz softened butter
- 1 package edible tiny silver balls, for decoration
- For the Green Frosting:
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 egg white
- Green food coloring
- For the Red Frosting:
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ egg white
- Red food coloring
- Process the flour, egg, milk, almond meal, powdered sugar, and butter until well mixed.
- Knead the dough into a ball on a floured board.
- Refrigerate for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until it is about 1/8 inch thick.
- Cut Christmas tree shapes using a Christmas tree cookie cutter.
- Arrange the cookies on a baking paper-lined baking tray, 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light brown.
- Cool the cookies on wire racks.
- Beat the egg white with an electric mixer until frothy, then add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Tint it with a few drops of green food coloring, and then spread it over the cooled cookies.
- Repeat to make the red frosting, and then pipe it across the dried green frosting using a piping bag.
- If you do not have one, you can snip the corner off a food bag and use that.
- Decorate with little silver balls.
- (Makes 35)
How to Make a Family Christmas Recipe Book
Learning how to make a family Christmas recipe book is a great idea. Not only will you have a collection of delicious recipes at the end of it, but you will also have a lovely collection of memories all in one place.
Most of us have powerful recollections of family mealtimes past and present, including the amazing smell of cookies baking, the excited preparation that went into thanksgiving or Christmas dinners, or trips to see your grandparents. These good memories can easily be preserved for future generations if you make a family Christmas recipe book.
Tips for a Great Christmas Recipe Cookbook
In the old days you would have had the choice of writing the cookbook by hand or typing it on a typewriter. Fortunately we have computers today, so learning how to make a family Christmas recipe book is easier and faster.
You can make the book on your computer by compiling all your favorite family Christmas recipes, adding photos, little funny stories, or anything else you like, and then save it on a CD-Rom and take it to your local print shop. They can print and bind it for you, to make it into a professional-looking book. It might be a good idea to get some extra copies too, so all the family can share this wonderful book.
Ask all your relatives to email special recipes to you. You might be very surprised at what you get back. Perhaps you will be reminded of childhood favorite dishes which you had forgotten all about. You can make the family Christmas recipe book yourself, featuring all your family’s favorite Christmas dishes, or you can enlist the kids’ help. They can insert the pages into folders or 3-ring binders, or draw pictures for the book.
Gravy Completes Your Meal Perfectly
No matter how perfectly cooked your meat is or how tasty your side dishes, the meal is not complete until you have added a delicious gravy recipe. A gravy is like a sauce but it tends to be made from meat drippings, which is what differentiates it. Gravy is usually served from a jug or gravy boat, since some people like it on their meat and others like lashings of gravy all over their whole dinner. Some people do not like gravy but they are in the minority, since most people love finishing off their meal by adding some hot, meaty gravy.
There is nothing difficult about making gravy and you can use the juices from your meat to make a really rich, smooth gravy. If you are not cooking meat, there are still plenty of flavorful gravy recipes you can make using ingredients such as milk, cream, flour, stock, and butter.
Gravy is not only for meat either, because you can serve it over mashed potatoes or vegetables. There are also gravy recipes for chicken or turkey, or for biscuits. Even if you do not eat meat, you can still enjoy some vegetarian gravy recipes. There are gravies for all tastes at HomemadeGravyRecipes.com.
Easy Gravy Recipes
Making gravy is much easier than many home cooks assume. You can make a wonderful gravy by using the dripping from your roast meat. Most types of roast meat benefit from resting before they are carved, so you can use this opportunity to prepare the gravy. That way everything will be ready to serve at the same time. You can choose whether to make a thin gravy or a thick one, and which herbs or spices to add.
Some people like to add wine or liqueur to their gravy recipes, and other cooks like to keep the gravy really simple so the flavor of the meat shines through. You can make a meaty gravy or a creamy one using cream or milk, depending what you are serving it with. At HomemadeGravyRecipes.com you can find every gravy recipe you will ever need.
Christmas Homemade Food Gifts
Christmas is all about giving but you do not have to spend a fortune to ensure everyone has a great day. If you are on a budget and wondering how you can give great gifts to everyone, think about Christmas homemade food gifts. What about making an easy Christmas cookie recipe, or some other delicious treat, and giving this wonderful gift to your neighbors or friends?
You do not have to be a great baker to make delicious cookies, because there are so many easy recipes you can follow. Jazz them up with a festive frosting, and package them in cellophane wrapping with little bows or ribbons, and you have a cute gift which is sure to impress.
Giving something that you have taken the time to make yourself is always nicer than giving something you have quickly grabbed from a shelf in the grocery store, because thought and effort goes into homemade food gifts.
Ideas for Fantastic Food Gifts
Cookies are always popular but there are other foods you can make at home too. What about making a batch of fruit jam or jelly? Not only are these handy and tasty, but canned goods keep for months, so the recipients of the gift do not have to consume it all straightaway.
You might like to make cupcakes or cake bars. Another idea is snowman soup, and this involves making a dry hot chocolate mixture and sealing it with a little snowman soup poem, telling the recipient how to make the hot chocolate and conveying a few seasonal good wishes.
You can make little gift packages, perhaps incorporating some store-bought candies and some homemade treats. You do not have to make everything yourself. If you have never given a homemade gift before, you will be delighted at how many different kinds there are to make, how easy they are to put together, and how delighted the lucky recipients of such a thoughtful and delicious gift will be.
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