Moroccan Soup with Kale and Chickpeas on foodiecrush.com

Happy to the new, to the year, to you!

Let’s start off the new year exactly where we should, with a big, fat THANK YOU to all of you readers. Cheers to your eyeballs, graciously deep bows for your desires to peruse this blog, and high fives for making recipes that are featured here. I wouldn’t be here without you, and, why would I want to be? It would be mighty lonely around here if you weren’t in it here with me.

Whiz, bang, boom. 2014 seems to have come and gone in the wink of an eye. Or was it just that jolly old man in the red and white suit? Either way, 2015 is already shaping up to be fit for a king.

But wait? Who wants to be some old, rolly-polly bully who sloths about his castle draped in old furs while wielding turkey legs and brandishing silver goblets of the most expensive wine as servants attend to his every whim.

Maybe I’m painting too rosy a picture here because that actually doesn’t sound half bad.

But no! This year we’re going to keep things balanced. We’re going to rely on our instincts, on our guts, and make the most of every bite of fresh, ultra-flavorful food to nourish our bellies and our souls.

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20 Spirited Holiday Punches

by Hayley Putnam on December 23, 2014

20 Holiday Punches foodiecrush.com

Single serving cocktails are standard holiday fare. They’re bubbly and colorful, and we can adorn them with festive garnishes like cranberries and sprigs of rosemary.

But it can be difficult to please the masses and can too-often blow the budget when offering a variety of alcohols and mixers. Plus, wouldn’t you rather rather be cheers-ing your guests as the hostess-with-the-mostess rather than acting as the de facto bartender behind the bar?

Making big-batch cocktails for your party crowd is the way to go, and punches in particular have made a comeback. And no, we’re not talking about the soupy, non-alcoholic sherbet punch you might’ve grown up with.

We’ve found 20 sophisticated tipples that are guaranteed to impress your party guests, and fill you with holiday cheer from head to toe!

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Italian Chopped Salad with Marinated Chickpeas on foodiecrush.com

Salad might run through my veins like sugar does through those of a baker.

In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever gone more than 2 days without a salad in at least one of my rounds of eating. There’s always a side salad with dinner, it could be more fruit filled or sometimes there’s no lettuce at all. It’s a mix and match type of game more often than not.

But where I hit my real pleasure point is when I make a big daddy salad for a filling lunch or dinner.

Pack it with protein.

Add salty bits.

It definitely calls for a sprinkle of cheese.

And where would we be without the sharp tang of pucker-induced salad dressing?

And while we’re talking tangy puckers—not Tanya Tucker—I have a giveaway of over $250 worth of AWESOMENESS (jewelry anyone?) at the end of this post, so set your mouth, and your mouse, to scroll…

DeLallo Giveaway on foodiecrush.com

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Friday Faves Christmas Edition

by heidi on December 19, 2014

Christmas-Tree

‘Tis the last Friday Faves of the season because next week I’ll be prancing and dancing my way through all of the holiday jingles with my family.

As of today, Smudge is out of school and it’s time to celebrate and chill. My sister and fam arrive the day after Christmas and oh what joy we will have! I hope you’ll all be living it up with your family or loved ones too. Pay attention to it. It goes too fast and too soon becomes merely a memory.

On a side note, thank you to so many of you who sent condolences and warm wishes on the loss of our sweet 13-year-old chow/shepherd “puppy”, Chewy.

Smudge and friends with dogs

He was the light of our life and loved by all, especially Smudge and her gaggle of pals (taken just 2 days before he passed). It just isn’t the same around here without him underfoot, waiting for just one morsel of food to fall to the floor. We’ve lost 2 of our dogs in just one year and it’s not been easy for this family of dog lovers. Our chihuahua Pippa is still under the covers keeping me warm at night. Whether I want her to or not. I’ll take it.

This week’s Friday Faves has a happy holiday vibe. We may not have snow, but I do have presents in links for you to see!

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White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn and Cashews

by heidi on December 18, 2014

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn with Cashews on foodiecrush.com

December brings out the best in all of us with the bestest of intentions.

We overcommit. “Yes! We’d love to get together with friends we haven’t seen all year! I’ll host!”

We overindulge. “Oh why not? I already had one **___fill in the blank here___**, what’s the harm in just one more?”

And we overspend and overdo. “I just need to get a little something for the mailman, their teachers, my hairdresser, their coach, his clients, my Secret Santa, the neighbors, the dogwalker and the list never ends. never ends. never ends.”

At this stage of the gift giving game, your time to be a jolly old elf is slipping away like stealthy Santa and his reindeer-led sleigh. If you eschew gift cards (“they’re convenient but so lame!”) and Chia pets aren’t really your thing (Duck Dynasty, really?), jump into the DIY gift giving scene with an easy enough lesson from me. read more →