Easy Gourmet Caramel Apples Recipe with Crushed Cookie Toppings

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Learn how to make delicious, homemade caramel apples. A favorite cool weather treat, this easy caramel apples recipe is the perfect way to enjoy apples when they’re in season. They’re perfect not just for after school snacks, but as fun party treats as well. Do you need party ideas? Try setting up a caramel apple bar! Or make these caramel apple pops with your favorite toppings as a fun family project with the kids.

Easy Gourmet Caramel Apples Recipe with Crushed Cookie Toppings. Learn how to make delicious, homemade caramel apples. A favorite cool weather treat, this easy caramel apples recipe is the perfect way to enjoy apples when they're in season.

The saying goes, as we know, that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. These days I’m more concerned about getting the right herbal supplements than eating apples. That said, however, I can’t resist a delicious, homemade caramel apple. Usually I’ll catch them on sale at Kroger and score a four pack. They’re the perfect mid-day snack when I’m craving something sweet. And, hey. There’s an apple hiding in there. So it’s still sort of healthy, right?

Making your own caramel apples, however, is relatively inexpensive. And that you can add your own favorite toppings is a huge plus. This caramel apples recipe is perfect for a weekday treat, an after school snack for the kids or a cake alternative at parties. (Although for a grown up holiday party, I totally recommend these bourbon balls for snacking.)

Gourmet Caramel Apples: A Quick & Easy Everyday Treat. These homemade caramel apples are made using packaged candy caramels. So they're really quick and easy to make. I also included white chocolate then dipped it all into crushed Oreo cookies for the topping. If you really want to get creative with caramel apple toppings then go for it! You can literally use cookie sprinkles, candies, nut or anything else edible that brings a smile to your face.

Gourmet Caramel Apples: A Quick & Easy Everyday Treat

These homemade caramel apples are made using packaged candy caramels. So they’re really quick and easy to make. I also included white chocolate then dipped it all into crushed Oreo cookies for the topping. If you really want to get creative with caramel apple toppings then go for it! You can literally use cookie sprinkles, candies, nut or anything else edible that brings a smile to your face. 

While you can buy apples from the grocery store or farmers market, I highly recommend a drive to a local orchard. Not only are fresh picked apples more delicious than those that have been kept in cold storage, you also don’t have to worry about the wax they use on apples so they look shiny at the supermarket.

DIY Caramel Apples Pops with caramel, white chocolate & crushed Oreo cookie toppings. Learn how to make delicious, homemade caramel apples. A favorite cool weather treat, this easy caramel apples recipe is the perfect way to enjoy apples when they're in season. This caramel apples recipe is perfect for a weekday treat, an after school snack for the kids or a cake alternative at parties.

Caramel Apples Recipe with Crushed Oreo Cookies

Ingredients:

6 fresh picked apples
1 11 oz. package candy caramels
1 cup white chocolate chips
10 Oreo cookies
1 Tablespoon water

Tools & Materials:

Sticks for caramel apple pops
Paper straws to decorate the caramel apple sticks
Parchment paper
Spray cooking oil

Ingredients for making caramel apples with packaged candy caramels, white chocolate chips and crushed Oreo cookies.

Instructions:

Before you make your gourmet caramel apple pops, you’ll need to wash your apples. If there is wax on your apples, wash them first in warm water. Then chill the apples in your refrigerator for 1-2 hours prior to dipping them in the caramel, chocolate and toppings.

Combine the caramel candies and water in a pot. Heat over low to medium-low heat until the caramels have fully melted, stirring occasionally.

Use the double boiler method to melt white chocolate chips in a pan.

Next, melt the white chocolate chips either in a double boiler or using the double boiler method. 

Place the Oreo cookies inside a zipper bag, then crush using either a rolling pin or the side of a glass. 

Now insert the sticks into each of your apples.

White chocolate dipped gourmet caramel apples with crushed Oreo cookies topping.

Let’s get dipping!

Begin by dipping the apples into the caramel.

Follow with the white chocolate, then dip the caramel apples in the crushed Oreo cookies as the last step.

Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking oil.

Now place the caramel apples on parchment paper. Then put the apples in the refrigerator until they set up.

Finally, cut decorative paper straws to the size of the caramel apple sticks. Then snip up one side of the straw so you’re able to open the straw up.

Homemade caramel apples with decorative paper straw for party treats.

Wrap the straws on the sticks prior to serving.

Yield: 6 caramel apples

Caramel Apples Recipe with Crushed Oreo Cookies

Caramel Apples Recipe with Crushed Oreo Cookies
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh picked apples
  • 1 11 oz. package candy caramels
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 10 Oreo cookies
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Sticks for caramel apple pops
  • Paper straws to decorate the caramel apple sticks
  • Parchment paper
  • Spray cooking oil

Instructions

    Combine the caramel candies and water in a pot. Heat over low to medium-low heat until the caramels have fully melted, stirring occasionally.

    Next, melt the white chocolate chips either in a double boiler or using the double boiler method. 

    Place the Oreo cookies inside a zipper bag, then crush using either a rolling pin or the side of a glass. 

    Now insert the sticks into each of your apples.

    Dip the apples into the caramel.

    Follow with the white chocolate, then dip the caramel apples in the crushed Oreo cookies as the last step.

    Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking oil.

    Now place the caramel apples on parchment paper. Place the apples in the refrigerator until they set up.

    Finally, cut decorative paper straws to the size of the caramel apple sticks. Then snip up one side of the straw so you’re able to open the straw up.

    Wrap the straws on the sticks prior to serving.

Notes

If there is wax on your apples, you'll need to prep them first by washing them in warm water to remove the wax. Chill the apples in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours prior to making the caramel apples.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1 apple

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 629 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 6mg Sodium: 185mg Carbohydrates: 124g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 91g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g
Caramel Apples Pops DIY with caramel, white chocolate & crushed Oreo cookie toppings. Learn how to make delicious, homemade caramel apples. A favorite cool weather treat, this easy caramel apples recipe is the perfect way to enjoy apples when they're in season. This caramel apples recipe is perfect for a weekday treat, an after school snack for the kids or a cake alternative at parties. #recipes #caramelapples #applepops #gourmet

If you enjoyed making my gourmet caramel apples recipe with crushed Oreo cookies, then be sure to pin this fun dessert recipe for later. Also be sure to try some of my other party worthy dessert recipes that I’ve shared below. 

Party Dessert Recipes

For more dessert recipes and DIY party ideas, be sure to follow Soap Deli News blog on Pinterest here. You can also find and follow me across your favorite social media platforms. Follow me now on Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up for my newsletter.

Is Hard Seltzer Better for You Than Wine?

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Hot summer days are all about rosé & wine slushies, but is there something better? Hard seltzer, like White Claw hard seltzer, offers fewer calories and just 5% alcohol. Not only does it taste like your favorite seltzer water (with no added sugar) it also helps you stay better hydrated – even in party mode. 

Is hard seltzer better for you than wine? Hot summer days are all about rosé & wine slushies, but is there something better? Hard seltzer, like White Claw hard seltzer, offers fewer calories and just 5% alcohol. Not only does it taste like your favorite seltzer water (with no added sugar) it also helps you stay better hydrated - even in party mode.

The Drink I Didn’t Know I Was Missing

Until a few years ago, there were few non-liquor options for adult beverages besides wine, beer and coolers. All of these options are filled with added sugar. And to be honest, I’ve never liked beer. While my tastes have become more refined with age – hello, peppery dry red wine! – I don’t drink wine coolers anymore because I find them too sweet.

Then came the hard sodas, ciders and lemonades. Like coolers, they are often sweet and filled with added sugars. Being that I’m in my mid-forties, I’ve really been trying to avoid added sugar and cut calories. Not only do these drinks leave me feeling really full, really fast, they also give me massive belly bloat. Not only is the bloating uncomfortable, it’s definitely not the look I’m going for. (After all, those symptoms of perimenopause are more than enough to contend with as it is.)

Spiked seltzer however, like White Claw hard seltzer, fills a void I didn’t even realize was there. Although it’s a fairly new drink that was introduced just three years ago, it’s becoming increasingly popular.  I’m regularly running between two different Kroger stores AND Target to find my favorite multi-pack in stock as it sells out so often.

Since my discovery of spiked seltzer, I’ve pretty much given up wine expect on those special occasions. Hard seltzer has me hooked. It’s definitely a better option than wine or beer. Not only does it have zero added sugar, it’s also flavored with real fruit. And, as hard seltzer is mostly water, it helps you stay better hydrated. Meaning, it’s a lot easier to avoid a hangover the next morning.

Rosé is a summertime favorite. However, it may be time to swap out your wine for something better. Few calories, no added sugar, gluten free and zero sulfites make hard seltzer the best new summer drink! Discover the benefits of drinking hard seltzer versus wine. Plus stay better hydrated while drinking!

Is Hard Seltzer Better For You Than Wine?

I used to have a glass of wine (or three) in the evenings. It was the perfect drink to help my body wind down and relax all that tension that builds up from working at a desk all day. But the calories were definitely making a real impact on my waistline in recent years. That, and those wine hangovers can be brutal. I’ve since switched to hard seltzer. And I’ve found, that for me, it’s a much better choice than wine or hard cider.

Not only is hard seltzer lower in calories, it has no added sugar. And with just 4 to 5 percent alcohol, depending on the brand, I don’t accidentally get caught up and over imbibe. With temperatures in the 90s, it’s also a better choice to stay hydrated in the summer. Simply put, I find White Claw hard seltzer much more refreshing than wine. Plus it’s hard to miss the belly bloating, stained lips and sulfites. So, sorry not sorry, summer rosé. It’s time to move over.

There’s good reason that you keep seeing White Claw memes all over the internet. Despite the hate (it’s ok to think it’s basic, some would say the same about pumpkin spice) there are a number of reasons to love this refreshing hard seltzer.

Hard seltzer is a refreshing summertime drink with fewer calories than wine, no sulfites and no added sugar.

What is Hard Seltzer?

Hard seltzer, sometimes called spiked seltzer, is the latest craze in adult beverages. Like its non-alcoholic cousin the trendy seltzer water, it’s mostly water with a hint of natural flavor.

Hard seltzers are comparable to a beer in alcohol content, but they offer a lighter, more refreshing taste. They just might be the perfect drink for a hot summer day, but they will taste great no matter what the weather is outside. Plus they come in skinny cans that are better suited for smaller hands (without that annoying pink tax on everything else that targets women consumers.) 

Spiked Seltzer Brands

I’ve tried a few spiked seltzer brands, including Press, White Claw Hard Seltzer, Bon & Viv, Smirnoff Spiked, Nauti Hard Seltzer, Truly, Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water and Vibe to name a few.

I haven’t tried all of them, but so far White Claw Hard Seltzer is my preferred brand. It’s made with just water, a gluten free alcohol and natural fruit for flavoring. White Claw hard seltzer has just 100 calories per can. So it’s definitely better than drinking a glass of wine.

In addition, White Claw doesn’t have the aftertaste that other spiked seltzers have. To me, it’s just more refreshing and a better tasting drink. 

White Claw hard seltzer is available in a number of natural fruit flavors. They include mango, black cherry, natural lime, raspberry, and ruby grapefruit. Mango is my favorite and the one I usually reach for. Although lime and black cherry run a close second. The mango White Claw hard seltzer is almost always sold out, however. So I’ve learned to adapt to my second choices, but rarely another brand. I’ve tried Truly brand hard seltzer and it just doesn’t measure up. While it ties with White Claw in the hard seltzer arena, I find it has an unpleasant aftertaste that I relate to fake sweeteners. 

Alcohol Content

Spiked seltzers are comparable to a beer with about 5 percent alcohol. Wine has about 10 to 15 percent alcohol, so a spiked seltzer is definitely less potent than a glass of wine.

If you tend to sip throughout the evening or enjoy more than one drink, you probably won’t get drunk if you drink a spiked seltzer instead of a glass of wine. Therefore, you’re less likely to find yourself suddenly “deep in the feels” after a few glasses (ie. a bottle) of wine. This is good news. Because what this means is that there are no drunk texts to your ex you can’t take back the next day. So really, hard seltzer is also a better break up drink. After all, more alcohol isn’t always the better choice.

Why I gave up wine for White Claw hard seltzer.

Less Sugar and Fewer Calories

Wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks are notoriously high in calories, which is made even worse because they are empty calories. The calories in just two drinks can rival those in a full meal. (With a comparable amount of bloating.)

Spiked seltzers only have about 100 calories in a 12 ounce can, so they won’t add as many calories to your daily intake. That’s less than most beers—although some light beers are comparable with 95 to 100 calories per drink—and you can expect about 125 calories for a 5-ounce glass of wine.

Carb counters will also rejoice in the fact that hard seltzers have less sugar and fewer carbs than wine. Wine will usually have 4 grams of carbs per glass, but hard seltzer has about 2 grams of carbs per 12 ounces.

Additionally, most spiked seltzers have zero added sugars. The flavor and sweetness all come from the fruit. So while I wouldn’t call them a healthy drink, they are definitely a better drink choice when compared to wine.

White Claw hard seltzer calories come in at 100 per can with 2 grams of carbs. If you drink more than a few glasses of wine a week, this could save you a lot of calories.

Gluten-Free

If you are gluten-free, you’ll be happy to know that most spiked seltzers are gluten-free (but always check the label to be sure!).

Instead of using a fermented grain to make the alcohol in a hard seltzer, it’s made from fermented sugar.

Outdoor summer party with on the go drinks in a cooler.

Portability

Hard seltzers come in a handy 12-ounce can. They are easy to take with you, easy to open, and easy to drink right from the can. Plus, as I mentioned previously, the skinny can is the perfect size for women’s hands. (I like to keep my White Claw hard seltzer cold in my Coleman Lounger Stainless Steel Can Insulator. It not only works with skinny cans, but also regular sized beer cans or bottles, as well as bottled water.)

Heading to a party? Grab a pack and toss them in a cooler. You can even carry them in a bag without worrying about them breaking or spilling.

Since they are in 12-ounce cans, it’s just the right amount for a drink. You don’t have to worry about storing leftover wine.

Wines only last anywhere from three days to two weeks, so hard seltzer is a better choice for those who don’t drink as often just because there’s less waste.

Mixing Drinks

Although hard seltzer is pretty tasty on its own, it also makes an excellent mixer. With the fruity flavor, it mixed well with vodka and can even take a sangria up a notch for added flavor.

If you’ve tried making mixed drinks with seltzer water, you might have been disappointed because the fruit flavor tends to disappear. Hard seltzer keeps the fruity flavor better, so don’t hesitate to try it mixed with other liquors.

Enjoy your spiked seltzer as a frozen boozy treat by simply freezing it. Pour it in a pan, freeze, and use an ice cream scoop to scoop it into cups for yourself or guests. It makes an incredibly easy and very yummy frozen treat that’s perfect for a hot summer evening. You can even pour it into a wine glass with edible flowers or fruit for dinner parties to elevate it to the next level.

Does Spiked Seltzer Hydrate You?

Most spiked seltzers have just three ingredients: water, alcohol and flavoring. Some brands have more ingredients, so check labels. White Claw Hard Seltzer only has these three ingredients, which is partly why it’s one of my favorite spiked seltzer brands. Due to the high water content and lower alcohol content, you’re more likely to stay hydrated. I know I do. 

Not only does this help you feel better now, but it will also help in the morning. Dehydration can make a hangover worse. While I can’t guarantee that you won’t have a hangover after a few hard seltzers, it is likely that the hangover will be less severe than if you’d been drinking wine. I’ve yet to get a hangover from drinking equivalent amounts of hard seltzer to wine. However, it’s still important to reach for a bottle of water after you’ve been drinking to help your body recover from the intake of alcohol.

Do you love hard seltzer? Share your favorite flavors or ways to drink hard seltzer in the comments. Then be sure to follow me across your favorite social media platforms including pinterest, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up to receive my newsletter to stay in the loop.

Limoncello & Violette Spritzer Recipe with Healthy Probiotics

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I may receive compensation from links on this site. As an Amazon Associate I also earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure policy.

This limoncello & violette spritzer recipe is the perfect cocktail for your spring brunch! Not only does it blend bright spring flavors into a refreshing drink, it also contains the same natural probiotics that you find in raw apple cider vinegar.

Limoncello & Violette Spritzer Recipe for Spring Brunch! This limoncello & violette spritzer recipe is the perfect cocktail for your spring brunch! Not only does it blend bright spring flavors into a refreshing drink, it also contains the same natural, healthy probiotics that you find in raw apple cider vinegar. #spring #brunch #cocktail #spritzer #entertaining #recipe

Truth be told, this cocktail recipe came out of my desire to find a way to use up the leftover Liqueur de Violette from a long ago party and limoncello. So I took a peek at similar cocktail recipes that were already out there and gave them my own twist with two of my favorite cocktail ingredients – vodka and drinking vinegar.

While I’m a huge fan of Pok Pok Som drinking vinegar, I chose to use Vermont Village Sipping Vinegar for my Limoncello & Violette Spritzer recipe instead. Not only is Vermont Village Sipping Vinegar available in smaller quantities (and at a better price point when purchasing from Thrive Market which is how I save on natural and organic products) but they are also sugar free.

I chose to use their blueberry & honey sipping vinegar which simply contains blueberry, honey and raw apple cider vinegar. This is also the one and only EVER sipping vinegar that my roommate will drink.

While she agrees with me that this sipping vinegar is quite delicious, especially in the craft cocktails I make up in our kitchen, she will still only drink it while holding her breath so as not to smell the vinegar. With that said, I’m quite sure half of you are nodding your heads in agreement and the other half are laughing your tooshies off.

Either way, if you’d like to give my Limoncello  & Violette Spritzer a try, here’s how to make it…

Limoncello & Violette Spritzer Recipe for Spring Brunch! This limoncello & violette spritzer recipe is the perfect cocktail for your spring brunch! Not only does it blend bright spring flavors into a refreshing drink, it also contains the same natural probiotics that you find in raw apple cider vinegar. #spring #brunch #cocktail #spritzer #entertaining #recipe

Limoncello & Violette Spritzer Recipe

© Rebecca D. Dillon

Ingredients:

1 oz. vodka
.5 oz. limoncello
.5 oz. liqueur de violette
2 oz. prosecco
1 oz. Vermont Village Blueberry & Honey Sipping Vinegar
1.5 oz. club soda

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and stir. Then pour over ice into a cocktail glass and enjoy! (I’m currently crushing on these Luminarc® 9oz Lowball Glasses available at Target.)

Learn how to make homemade cocktail bitters with bitter recipes for both orange bitters and peach bitters plus free printable labels!

More Cocktail Recipes to Try

If you like my Limoncello & Violette Spritzer Recipe, then you may also enjoy some of these other cocktail recipes.

You can also check out my Cocktail Recipes Pinterest Board. Or learn how to make your own homemade cocktail bitters. (It’s a lot easier than you might think!)

For more great recipes and DIY ideas, be sure to follow Soap Deli News across all of your favorite social media platforms!

You can find me on PinterestG+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram as well as subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life’s Changes

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I may receive compensation from links on this site. As an Amazon Associate I also earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure policy.

Many of us grew up celebrating holiday traditions that were taught to us by our parents and families. You may remember some time honored traditions such as mailing out Christmas cards, decorating with natural elements, baking from scratch and even making homemade gifts. Even as we’ve grown up and left home many of us have continued to carry on those same holiday traditions we learned as children.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes. #holidays #tradition #holidaytradition #cookies #cookieexchange #cookierecipes #recipes #diy #hosting #entertaining #lifestyle #christmas #christmastradition #holidayideas #party #treat #crafts #family

However, some of these holiday traditions may have changed with time. Whether it was due to a death in the family or a move out of state, many traditions tend to adapt to the needs of our new families and life changes. But what makes these changes special as we shape our new traditions from old ones is the meaning and the stories we keep and carry on throughout the coming years.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Change

Growing up and into early adulthood, my friend Bambi always made sugar cookies with her grandmother to celebrate the season. These cookies in turn were given to friends and family as homemade gifts. Using family sugar cookie and buttercream icing recipes that have been passed down through the generations, Bambi’s new tradition is making and then decorating those same cookies with her closest friends now that her grandmother is gone.

This year was the second year I able to participate in decorating cookies with Bambi as part of her new holiday tradition. That I’m able to be a part of something so meaningful to her, in turn makes it more meaningful to me. And while there was no amount of prodding, poking, coaxing, bribing or begging to convince Bambi to dish and share her recipes (sorry!) I certainly can’t imagine not participating as the years move forward.

Along with this Bambi also gave me one of the best presents she could gift me with this year – a new holiday tradition. So whether you’re looking to start new holiday traditions with your own friends or a new family, decorating Christmas cookies and holiday cookie exchanges are a longstanding tradition that I can certainly get behind.

So just how to do you go about planning a cookie decorating party? Keep reading to learn how my friend, Bambi, organizes her cookie decorating parties and for some great links to tips for hosting a holiday cookie exchange as well as a few sugar cookie recipes to get you started. Plus learn more about new holiday traditions other people have started and how to deal with holiday celebration overload.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions with Cookies

Prior to hosting her guests, Bambi prepares for her holiday cookie decorating event a few days in advance. She spends about two days baking sugar cookies using her grandmother’s recipe. Then in between the time she makes them and then everyone gets together to decorate them, they are stored in plastic storage containers in the refrigerator.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

A few days later everyone shows up with a bottle of wine in hand. Typically Bambi also provides some simple appetizers like hummus, crackers and cheese. However, if we “accidentally” break a cookie, it’s like a bonus prize and gets eaten right then and there. But only after it’s been decorated, of course!

The buttercream icing isn’t made until the arrival of all her guests. New batches of icing are then made as we run out.

Annie, Bambi’s rescue dog, always manages to walk under “mom” while she’s mixing more icing. Thus we have photos of her two years in a row covered in powdered sugar spots. (My own dog, Jasper, attended this year as well.)

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

Once the first batch of icing is ready to go, the icing, cookies and candy decorations are laid out on her dining room table within reach of everyone.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

Then we all decorate our cookies on paper plates to keep the colored sugars and candies from making a mad dash for the floor.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

The cookies are then laid out on the table on top of wax paper as each one is completed.

Once all of the cookies are decorated, they are packaged in reusable plastic containers. Bambi then gifts each of her guests a box of cookies and the rest get shipped to her friends and family back home in Wisconsin.

If you’d like to host your own holiday cookie decorating party, The Kitchn has a great article with ten essential tips to know before you begin baking. Additionally, Real Simple also has a great checklist for hosting a holiday cookie exchange that also works for hosting a cookie decorating party. Sugar & Charm as well as Handle the Heat also offer some great tips for hosting a cookie exchange.

Glazed Sugar Cookies Recipe with Buttercream Embroidery via My Name is Yeh Blog! Plus celebrating holiday traditions and how to host a Christmas cookie decorating party!

If you’re looking for Christmas cookie decorating ideas, I am head over heels for these glazed sugar cookies with buttercream “embroidery” from My Name is Yeh. You can find and print the recipe for these cookies here. I also really love the star Christmas cookies recipe from Tell Love and Party.

Printable Christmas Cookie Gift Tags via Cranberry Bush blog! Plus celebrating holiday traditions and how to host a Christmas cookie decorating party!

For gifting your homemade holiday cookies, Cranberry Bush has two super cute printable cookie gift tags. You can find more printable gift tags on my Printables Pinterest board. Or discover great gift wrapping ideas on my Pretty Packaging + Gift Wrap Ideas Pinterest board.

Starting New Holiday Traditions

I know when I went through my divorce from my first husband and my son inevitably ventured into adulthood, celebrating Christmas lost much of its luster for me. So much so that one of the best Christmases I had after getting separated was ice “skating” in my sneakers on the frozen parking lot of Market Square downtown with a friend. It wasn’t until I started making my own holiday traditions, that some of the magic of the holiday season started to come back for me.

If your old holiday traditions are no longer an option for you, then you may want to consider creating new ones. They don’t need to be religious or even fit into any particular winter holiday. They simply need to be something that brings you joy. Having something to that brings you and your loved ones together during what is typically the most depressing season of the year can definitely make cold days seem a bit warmer.

O’Boy! Organic, who moved away from his family in Michigan over twenty years ago, has a great article on the importance of holiday traditions and how they help to build unity and stability. He also shares his top five new holiday traditions. Number four is baking cookies with his kids.

There’s also a great post on HuffPost with ideas for 15 new traditions for families reclaiming the holidays after a divorce. Shared by their readers on their Facebook page, my favorites are creating a guest list for holiday get togethers to try new things, ditching the chaos of the Christmas tree tradition, taking a trip instead of giving gifts and of course, the best one yet, just finally being happy.

Does Celebrating Holiday Traditions Leave You Feeling overwhelmed?

In the midst of celebrating holiday traditions, both old and new, it’s also important to realize there is such a thing as too much tradition. Reluctant Entertainer touches on this in her post “Traditions: When Is It Time to Change?.” Women especially tend to put extra emphasis on holiday traditions which in turn can often lead to a lot of stress and guilt when they are unable to meet expectations. So this article offers some great insight into being able to say “enough is enough.”

Personally I know how it feels to be on this side of things, as I’m sure many of you do as well. And there were a few years that I especially struggled and therefore made the decision to opt out of holiday gatherings completely. And it is okay to do this. After all, your mental and emotional well being matter more than a dinner regardless of the time of year.

So if celebrating holiday traditions feel more like an obligation, it may be time to simply take time for yourself. After all, you’re not really celebrating holiday traditions if you’re spending much of that time trying to avoid a panic attack.

Additionally, if your head space isn’t where it needs to be to even attend holiday functions, much less embark on a new tradition, then you may be able to gain some insight from the article “Family Change: Don’t Cancel the Holidays!

Are you celebrating holiday traditions this year or starting new ones? I’d love to hear how you enjoy the holiday season in the comments below.

Also be sure to follow me via all of your favorite social media platforms including G+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

Must Have Wine & Cheese Night Party Essentials

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I may receive compensation from links on this site. As an Amazon Associate I also earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure policy.

Without a regular wine & cheese night it’s possible my sanity would go flying out the window. I mean who couldn’t use a night out with the girls, some wine, a fab cheese board and some crafty DIY projects or card games?

You'll love these fresh fun ideas for making your party pop! Must Have Wine & Cheese Night Party Essentials! Everything from stemless wine glasses and cheese boards, to the perfect wines and wine markers! Plus the new must join monthly wine membership program!

Since I love to host I’ve slowly been filling up my sideboard and bar cart and decorating my conversation space with all the comforts a girl needs. And, to save on time and a trip to the store, I joined a new monthly wine club membership called Winc.

Winc! The amazing new monthly wine club! Winc not only saves me the hassle of guessing which wines I may or may not like by making recommendations based on my profile and how I rate the wines I receive, but I can also swap out any  or all of the wines they've chosen for me with my own picks. Bottles start at just $13 with free shipping when you buy four, and I can pause or cancel my monthly membership at any time.

Winc not only saves me the hassle of guessing which wines I may or may not like by making recommendations based on my profile and how I rate the wines I receive, but I can also swap out any or all of the wines they’ve chosen for me with my own picks. Bottles start at just $13 with free shipping when you buy four, and I can pause or cancel my monthly membership at any time. (But seriously. Why would I ever want to do that?)

So not only do I feel better about my wine selections from Winc than I do about randomly trying a new mystery wine I picked up at the grocery store, I’m always able to have wine on hand for guests that I can feel good about! With the wine handled the rest is just cake. (If you’d like to sign up for Winc, you’ll get $20 off your first purchase! Simply join here.)

You'll love these fresh fun ideas for making your party pop! Must Have Wine & Cheese Night Party Essentials! Everything from stemless wine glasses and cheese boards, to the perfect wines and wine markers! Plus the new must join monthly wine membership program!

Wine & Cheese Night Party Essentials

If you’re still trying to tackle the purchase of those must have party essentials, then be sure to check out my collection of amazing wine & cheese night party essentials below. And don’t forget to share your wine & cheese night success story as a hostess with the mostest in the comments!

This extra large cheese board from Red Maple Run is perfect for hosting large parties during the holidays, special events or simply a girls only wine & cheese night!

The Cheese Board.

This extra large oak cheese board from Red Maple Run is perfect for hosting large parties during the holidays, special events or simply a girls only wine & cheese night! I also love the gold rimmed agate cheese boards from Wynn + Whiskey.

These hand stamped cheese markers from Vintage Garden Art are a must have wine & cheese night party essential!

Cheese markers are another must have accessory for your wine & cheese night. Knowing which cheese is what means less time reviewing the cheeses and more time enjoying the night! I’m extra fond of these hand stamped cheese markers from Vintage Garden Art. These fun and timeless cheese markers are made from silver plated vintage flatware that has been hand cut, filed, stamped and tumbled.

I also really like the handmade ceramic cheese markers from Wishing Star Pottery as well as the chalkboard inspired black clay cheese markers from Manuel Marino Ceramic.

These hand blown stemless wine glasses from Miss Mac Glass are must haves for your next wine & cheese night!

Pour Another Glass.

These hand blown stemless wine glasses from Miss Mac Glass are must haves for your next wine & cheese night! With a blended design between a highball and a modern stemless wine glass, each of these artisan stemless wine glasses offers a little extra weight in the bottom so it’s comfortable to hold.

Another great option is a set of stainless steel wine glasses. Not only will these wine glass not break like glass can, but this gold colored glasses also offer performance vacuum insulation to keep your drink cool. Pair them with beautiful slip on or magnetic stemless wine glass markers and you won’t have to worry about guests forgetting which glass is theirs!

Must have wine & cheese night party essentials! Without a regular wine & cheese night it's possible my sanity would go flying out the window. I mean who couldn't use a night out with the girls, some wine, a fab cheese board and some crafty DIY projects or card games?

Bar Cart Beauties.

A bar cart is an easy way to not only add extra storage space, but it also makes it easy to transport everything you need for your wine & cheese night to the same space that the festivities are taking place in. I have this rose gold metal, glass and leather bar cart that I purchased from Target this year.

Industrial Bar Cart! I love this this brilliantly designed industrial bar cart from Fry By Design that offers three storage levels and a hanging wine glass rack. 

But I’m also quite fond of this brilliantly designed industrial bar cart from Fry By Design that offers three storage levels and a hanging wine glass rack.

If you’re looking for a vintage inspired bar cart, then definitely consider the Annie Bar Cart from Inspire Q. This glam bar cart evokes the Art Deco era with its bold finish and a hardware. Plus it has a holder for three bottle of your favorite wine! Alternately, the Silverwood Bar Cart comes in a hammered bronze finish and also offers two tiers of storage as well as dedicated wine holders.

The Wine.

While Winc has me covered in the wine department, if you’re already at the store browsing for cheese selections, I highly recommend Three Thieves Pinot Grigio. It’s light and refreshing and at just $10 a bottle the price is right. If you prefer a sweeter white wine, Schmitt Sohne Riesling is also good and equally budget worthy.

My friend, Bambi, recommends the Matua Sauvignon Blanc if you prefer a drier white or for reds the Alamos Malbec and the Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon. While my friend, Hillary, is currently digging the Fitch Pinot Noir, Villa Appalachia Corvina Reserve 2010 (out of Floyd, VA paired with gorgonzola cheese), Open Kimono Sauvignon Blanc, and the Fincastle Cabernet Franc 2010.

These easy DIY coasters are a great project for a DIY Girls Only Craft Night! Not only will you get in some awesome adult time making your own functional and fabulous custom DIY coasters that your husband will never remember to use!

If you’re looking for an easy and fun DIY to pair with your wine & cheese night, be sure to check out my post for creating DIY coasters for a make and take craft night! Or discover more great DIY ideas on my Pinterest boards.

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