It seems that we all have been blessed with gigantic zucchini this year. Or maybe life has gotten away from us with school starting and the promise of fall...either way, this is my favorite zucchini bread recipe. I usually make a double recipe and make mini loaves as well as a regular sized loaf. They are quick and easy for a breakfast in the car or an afternoon tea break. Thinly sliced, it makes a lovely turkey sandwich! 

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Happy Holidays to all! 'Tis the season for crafting and cooking. I have finished my first craft fair and though the absence of snow does not make it quite feel like winter, the Christmas spirit is within me! The advent house is out and Hannah and Jack are waking up very early this morning to open the doors and view their treats. Maybe they will sleep late on Christmas morning? 

Though I typically share recipes for sweet treats at this holiday, I thought I would share an appetizer recipe this time. For your own Christmas party or that "bring a dish" party...I hope you enjoy this flavorful dip. I encourage you to use fresh basi but dried will work as well. I wish all our friends a most happy and healthy Christmas season with their families. And as my grandmother so aptly quoted, "Take Joy". 

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Even my grandmother can appreciate a modern appliance like a Cuisinart or KitchenAid mixer. In this recipe, a Cuisinart or food processor makes this wonderful, flavorful dip to use with fresh vegetables, pita chips, and other favorite dippers. 

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I discovered these cupcakes this winter during a relaxing cookbook perusal. These cupcakes are wonderful as minis. The salty combined with the sweet is a real treat to the taste buds. Cupcake liners are another one of my little obessions and I delight in finding pretty and whimsical liners at obsure locations like hardware stores and party stores. I just found some online that are the most beautiful scroll patterns in great colors. 

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I find that strawberry jam has the best contrast with the almonds but raspberry or apricot is fine. A little confectioners sugar sprinkled over the top or a drizzle of melted chocolate adds even more flavor and drama!

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I am a cookbook addict. I love looking at beautiful pictures, reading the ingredients and imagining the delectable finish. Holiday cookbooks and magazines are my downfall. Ginger and sugar cookies are my favorite Christmas cookies and this is one of my most favorite recipes from a very early addition to my library. They are perfect with a cup of Tasha's tea. And their dainty size is perfect for gift giving. Don't be tempted to make them larger, they'll lose their charm! And from my family to yours...happy baking this holiday season. Take time to fill the house with delicious smells and share the joy of baking with your children. Give homemade, it's so special. 

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This chicken served with a nice nutty brown rice and fresh green beans make a delicious meal that will appeal to all ages!

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I think I have referenced my passion for mini cupcakes in an earlier post but here is another wonderful recipe for muffins made in any size. These are delightful frosted or not. I have been collecting more mini cupcake liners from Etsy.com along with some beautiful cupcake wrappers...some wonderful designs and colors are available. School bake sales will never be the same again! Enjoy your time in the kitchen!

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Chilled soups are hit or miss but this one is delightful and children will love it as well...once you persuade them to try it! It is refreshing and light. And so beautifully colorful. Poured into small jelly glasses or depression shot glasses, it makes a wonderful "amuse" for a dinner party. 

 

Take time to make some pretty labels and give this as a gift to someone who likes to indulge!

 

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