Halloween – Spooktacularly Haunting Fun + HM #253

Halloween ideas for Spooktacularly Haunting Fun! Plus, link up at Home Matters with recipes, DIY, decor, crafts, and more. #Halloween #spooky #HomeMattersParty

Halloween – Spooktacularly Haunting Fun + HM #253

Ooooh… It’s Halloween. So let’s get spooky and creepy and have some hauntingly good fun! The gals of Home Matters are bringing you some frightfully fangtastic ideas to make your Halloween celebration spooktacular.  Enjoy!

 

Fun Halloween Crafts, Treats & Activities from Jenni @ Sweet Pennies from Heaven

 

Halloween Monster Treats from Desiree @ The 36th Avenue

 

Top 30 Spooky Halloween Cocktail Recipes from Nicole and BiancaCute DIY Projects

 

Halloween Decor – Spooky Elegance  from LorelaiLife With Lorelai

 

Halloween – Spooktacularly Haunting Fun Blog Hop

Click through all the Hosts and Co-hosts blogs to see the complete Themed Roundup!

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A Home Matters Themed Roundup

Last Week’s Theme: Fall Decor for Autumn Harvest

Next Week’s Theme: Tailgating



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Each week, we like to feature some of the awesome posts shared at last week’s party. We hope you will be inspired by these creative and talented bloggers who share their best recipes, DIY projects, crafts, home decor, organization ideas, and more. Enjoy!

Come join the fun and link your blog posts at the Home Matters Linky Party. Find inspiration, recipes, decor, crafts, organize, home, garden, repurpose, upcycle — Door Opens Friday EST. #diy #recipe #home #lifestyle

Check out this week’s features below.

 

Air Fryer Fried Chicken from Steve @ The Black Peppercorn

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Upcycled Wooden Rosette Pumpkins DIY from Deborah @ Salvage Sister & Mister

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Easy Caramel Apple Cupcake Recipe from Kelly @ Live, Love, Texas

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Salt Dough Napkin Rings Tutorial from Create With Joy

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2 Ingredient Pumpkin Bread from Lois @ Walking On Sunshine

PIN here

 

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Halloween ideas for Spooktacularly Haunting Fun! Plus linkup @ Home Matters with recipes, DIY, decor, crafts, and more. #Halloween #spooky #HomeMattersParty Click To Tweet

 

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5 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Family Christmas Party

Hosting a Family Christmas Party can be stressful. You want everything to be perfect, full of family tradition and holiday spirit in order to create those magical memories that will last a lifetime. So, we have some great tips and trick that will help you host a stress-free family Christmas Party. Of course, these tips will help in planning and in hosting any party!

5 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Family Christmas Party

 

With winter holidays straight ahead and drawing closer by the minute, we’re all looking forward to lip-smacking Christmas banquets and family reunions, right? Well, not exactly. Every time the season comes for Santa to slide down the chimney and deliver gifts, busy moms start bracing themselves for second helpings of stress and hard work required to host a pitch-perfect at-home Christmas celebration. Nevertheless, the fact that your whole family will be coming together to welcome Father Christmas in a few weeks’ time doesn’t have to be a source of angst or dread this time around. All you need to do is arm yourself with tried and tested tips on how to throw an unforgettable, stress-free Christmas party and act on them without delay.

1. Invitations Nobody Can Say No To

Before dashing off to decorate the dining table and whip up food for the Christmas party, pause for a second to do a brief guest count. Draw up the guest list and seating plan to make sure your party goes down without hitches or unpleasant guest table quibbles.

With the guest list in place, it’s time to send out invitations (preferably in the written, not digital form). You should send invites at least two weeks ahead of the celebration to allow your guests ample time to RVSP. Expert tip: be sure the invitations are so lovable your invitees can’t say No to them. If you hate the idea of DIY invitation crafting, you can find various printable Christmas party invites online. Use them to cheat your way to bonus party turnout.

2. Decide on the Food and Drink Menu

The next point on the stress-free Christmas party staging list, the choice of food and drinks you’ll serve your guests deserves an extra dose of attention. As a general rule, the party bar should contain both alcoholic and soft drinks, just to stay on the safe (and relatively sober) side of the dining table.

If possible, it would be a wise idea to check with the guests if they suffer from any food allergies or follow special diet plans: such a precious piece of info will help you stock the party table with delicacies all invitees will relish. If you don’t want to go through the food prep hassle, you can look up the offer of best finger food catering services in Melbourne and pick tasty bites that fit the party budget and your guests’ dietary preferences.

3. It’s Time to Dress Up the Party Venue

After you’ve sorted out the essentials for the Christmas party, you’ll need to dress the venue for the gathering. The rule of thumb here is that ornaments in red, gold, and green are best-suited to the biggest event of the winter season, but you can also use violet, blue, and orange details as accents.

To achieve a festive yet suave tablescape, you should bring out finest silverware and porcelain crockery: after all, Christmas is precisely the type of a special occasion that calls for such displays of elegance and luxury. For final touches, you can top the Christmas party table with fragrant candles, string lights nestled in jars, and a centerpiece in the form of an evergreen arrangement with red and white ribbon.

4. Devise a Fail-safe Entertainment Program

To keep boredom at bay and avoid awkward party silences, create a special playlist and pick a few games you and your guests will play after dinner. Christmas Carol Pictionary, white elephant gift exchange, and other themed games are a great entertainment choice, but you can also opt for non-Christmassy activities if your party crowd isn’t exactly a major fan of traditional festive amusement.

As far as music is concerned, you shouldn’t leave out Christmas melodies from the playlist, but you can structure it around handpicked non-seasonal tunes such as jazz, blues, R&B, and classic rock. Expert tip: melodies that make your guests’ ears prick up and set the mood to merry are a good choice of music for the Christmas party.

5. Party Favors, the Hospitable Hosts’ Way

No Christmas party is complete without gifts, but the Christmas tree shouldn’t be the only place for your guests to find tokens of appreciation, caring, and love. To bring home the medal as the most hospitable host ever, make cute party favors before the big event which you’ll place at the dining table.

Gingerbread cookies, lollies, tree ornaments, and chocolates in Christmas wrappers are just the tip of the party favor iceberg. If you want to go pro with the Christmas party staging, you can present the guests with personalized favors such as swag bags, printed mugs with funny slogans, spa and massage coupons, and creative cookie tins or favor bags which you can order online for bonus stress-free party organization.

All set? Don’t forget to put on your finest party clothes, don a wide smile, and have tons of fun –after all, joy, laughter, love, sharing, and positive mood are the whole point of winter holidays. Enjoy your family Christmas party to the fullest. Merry Christmas!


 

 

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Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe

Lemon Ricotta Cookies – A deliciously fresh recipe full of bright, luscious flavors. This cookie has the most heavenly aroma. I know you will love it as much as our family does.

 

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

A Deliciously Fresh Recipe

 

A week or so ago, I told you about our little mini family reunion, and the ever-so-yummy S’mores Cookies I made for the family. If you missed it, be sure to check it out. These Lemon Ricotta Cookies are another one of the cookies I took for the get-together. Luke’s dad really loved these cookies. The smirkish grin he got, when he walk by and snagged one, made me giggle.

This recipe is easy to make and packs a big punch of freshness in every bite. The lemony scent and flavor keeps you coming back for more. Lemon Ricotta Cookies are a perfect choice for a non-chocolatey treat.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

Granulated Sugar, Lemons (for juice and zest), Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Butter, Eggs, Ricotta Cheese, Powdered Sugar.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Line baking sheets with Parchment Paper.

  • Zest the rinds of 3-5 Lemons (enough to get 3 – 4 tablespoons of zest).
  • In a medium bowl, pour 2-Cups Granulated Sugar.
  • Add 2 – 3 Tablespoons Lemon Zest to sugar, and mix well with your fingertips.
  • Set aside and stir occasionally with fingertips. Allow sugar to become very fragrant.
  • Whisk together 2 1/2 Cups Flour, 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, and 1 teaspoon Salt in a medium bowl.
  • In a large bowl (or stand mixer), combine 1 stick Butter and the prepared Lemon Sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add 2 Eggs, one at a time, mixing slightly after each addition.

  • Mix in 15 ounces (1 container) Ricotta Cheese and 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice until incorporated.
  • Stir in dry ingredients a little at a time, until just combined.
  • Spoon dough onto prepared baking sheets (about 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons for each cookie).
  • Bake for 13 – 15 minutes, until just slightly turning golden at the edges.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to wire racks (placed on top of wax paper), and allow to cool completely.
  • Prepare the Lemon Glaze.

For the Glaze:

  • Sift 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar into a small to medium bowl.
  • Add 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, and  1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest.
  • Mix well.

  • When cookies are cool, drizzle glaze over the tops of each cookie.
  • Allow glaze to dry.

 

Here’s a Printable Recipe for your collection:

5 from 1 reviews
Lemon Ricotta Cookies Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lemon Ricotta Cookies - A deliciously fresh recipe from Life With Lorelai. This flavorful cookie has a heavenly aroma. #Cookie #Recipe #Lemon #Ricotta
from:
Type: Dessert
Serves: 40 Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups - Granulated Sugar
  • 3-5 - fresh Lemons (for 6 Tablespoons Juice and 3-4 Tablespoons Zest)
  • 2-1/2 Cups - All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon - Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon - Salt
  • 1 Stick - Butter (softened)
  • 2 - large Eggs
  • 15 Ounces (one container) - Ricotta Cheese
  • 1-1/2 Cups - Powdered Sugar.
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Line baking sheets with Parchment Paper.
  3. Zest the rinds of 3-5 Lemons (enough to get 3 - 4 tablespoons of zest).
  4. In a medium bowl, pour 2-Cups Granulated Sugar.
  5. Add 2 - 3 Tablespoons Lemon Zest to sugar, and mix well with your fingertips.
  6. Set aside and stir occasionally with fingertips. Allow sugar to become very fragrant.
  7. Whisk together 2 1/2 Cups Flour, 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, and 1 teaspoon Salt in a medium bowl.
  8. In a large bowl (or stand mixer), combine 1 stick Butter and the prepared Lemon Sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  9. Add 2 Eggs, one at a time, mixing slightly after each addition.
  10. Mix in 15 ounces (1 container) Ricotta Cheese and 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice until incorporated.
  11. Stir in dry ingredients a little at a time, until just combined.
  12. Spoon dough onto prepared baking sheets (about 1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons for each cookie).
  13. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes, until just slightly turning golden at the edges.
  14. Remove from the oven, let cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes.
  15. Transfer to wire racks (placed on top of wax paper), and allow to cool completely.
  16. Prepare the Lemon Glaze.

    For the Glaze:

  17. Sift 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar into a small to medium bowl.
  18. Add 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, and 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest.
  19. Mix well.
  20. When cookies are cool, drizzle glaze over the tops of each cookie.
  21. Allow glaze to dry.
3.5.3208

 

Share these incredible Lemon Ricotta Cookies with your family and friends and enjoy!

 

 

 

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S’mores Cookies Recipe

Turn a traditional summer treat into a cookie you can’t resist with this S’mores Cookies Recipe! These were a big hit at our mini family reunion a couple of weeks ago.

 

S’mores Cookies Recipe

You know you’ll want s’more…

 

A couple weeks ago, Luke’s cousin and his family drove down from Idaho for a visit, and of course, Disneyland. Will has two kids, 7 and 4. It was so much fun meeting Will and his family, and listening to the remembered stories they shared. Luke hadn’t seen his cousin, Will, in decades.

In fact, the last Luke and his brother had spent time with Will was a road trip, when Will was 12-years-old. They were all heading to Luke’s aunt’s house (Will’s grandma). It was the typical kids stuff on the trip–the picky eater stopping at dive diners on the road, and having to be convinced it was the only food for miles and miles. The highlight of the trip was when Luke and his older brother let Will drive on the open roads of Kansas, with a promise of silence. Of course, the first thing out of Will’s mouth when they arrived… “They let me DRIVE!”

There were loads of laughs and plenty of great food. All us local family’s brought tasty dishes. I took my Spinach, Strawberry & Pine Nuts Salad with Strawberry-Jalapeño Vinaigrette, and I was also in charge of cookies. My thoughts turned to the flavors of summer, bright refreshing citrus and one of my childhood favorites, S’mores. (My sister and I used to stick a marshmallow on the end of a fork and toast it over the electric stovetop burner, to make these yummy treats at home. Mmm…so good. LOL)

I decided to make Lemon Ricotta Cookies, S’mores Cookies, and good old-fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies. Nobody could walk by the cookie display without grabbing at least one, if not more.

Today, I’m sharing my recipe for S’mores Cookies. I know you will love them, because one isn’t enough!

S’mores Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

All-purpose Flour, Granulated Sugar, light Brown Sugar, Butter, Graham Crackers, Eggs, Vanilla Extract, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Marshmallows, Chocolate Candies.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • Grind or Crush Graham Crackers into fine crumbs. (Start with one package,  8 rectangles. You may need a few more).
  • Unwrap and / or break Chocolate Candies, if needed.
  • In a bowl, add Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt. Whisk to mix well.
  • In a large bowl, or stand mixer, cream softened Butter, Granulated Sugar, and Brown Sugar.
  • Add 3/4 Cup fine Graham Cracker crumbs, mix well.
  • Crack Eggs open and add one at a time, stirring slightly after each.
  • Pour in Vanilla Extract, and mix.
  • Add Flour mixture a little at a time, and mix until combined.
  • Spoon out about 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of dough. Roll into a ball.
  • Roll the dough ball in the remaining graham cracker crumbs, until lightly coated.
  • Place coated cookie dough on prepared baking sheet, 1 to 1-1/2 inches apart.
  • Bake ONE sheet at a time!
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are just starting to crack a bit. They should still be soft.

  • While the cookies are baking, cut Marshmallows in half using kitchen shears. You will need one half per cookie.
  • When cookies come out of the oven, you will need to work fast.

  • Turn off the oven, and set it to Broil, make sure the oven rack is close, but not too close.
  • Top each cookie with marshmallow, cut-side down.
  • Place the marshmallow-topped cookies under the broiler. WATCH carefully. Let the marshmallows toast to golden brown.
  • Take the cookies out of the oven, and IMMEDIATELY push chocolate candy into the center of the hot toasted marshmallow.
  • Switch oven back to Bake, and repeat with the next cookie sheet.
  • Allow cookies to cool, and chocolate candy to set-up again on wire racks.

 

Will’s 4-year-old daughter, Abigail, LOVED these S’mores Cookies! Luke’s brother snapped this photo after all the kids and their parents returned from spending a little time at the beach. Isn’t it a great shot? He even caught cookie crumbs in Abigail’s teeth. LOL

 

You’ll want s’more… better grab the Printable Recipe!

 

5 from 1 reviews
S'mores Cookies Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Traditional summer treat turned cookie! You're going to love these S'mores Cookies.
from:
Type: Dessert
Serves: 24 cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1-1/4 Cup - All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup - Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup - Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Sticks - Butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 8 Rectangular Graham Crackers - about 1 Cup. (Grind or Crush into fine crumbs)
  • 2 - Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon - Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon - Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon - Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon - Salt
  • 12 large - Marshmallows (cut in half) may need a few more.
  • 24 - Chocolate Candies (unwrapped and / or broken) may need a few more.
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Grind or Crush Graham Crackers into fine crumbs. (Start with one package, 8 rectangles. You may need a few more).
  4. Unwrap and / or break Chocolate Candies, if needed.
  5. In a bowl, add Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt. Whisk to mix well.
  6. In a large bowl, or stand mixer, cream softened Butter, Granulated Sugar, and Brown Sugar.
  7. Add 3/4 Cup fine Graham Cracker crumbs, mix well.
  8. Crack Eggs open and add one at a time, stirring slightly after each.
  9. Pour in Vanilla, and mix.
  10. Add Flour mixture a little at a time, and mix until combined.
  11. Spoon out about 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of dough. Roll into a ball.
  12. Roll the dough ball in the remaining graham cracker crumbs, until lightly coated.
  13. Place coated cookie dough on prepared baking sheet, 1 to 1-1/2 inches apart.
  14. Bake ONE sheet at a time!
  15. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are just starting to crack a bit. They should still be soft.
  16. While the cookies are baking, cut Marshmallows in half using kitchen shears. You will need one half per cookie.
  17. When cookies come out of the oven, you will need to work fast.
  18. Turn off the oven, and set it to Broil, make sure the oven rack is close, but not too close.
  19. Top each cookie with marshmallow, cut-side down.
  20. Place the marshmallow-topped cookies under the broiler. WATCH carefully. Let the marshmallows toast to golden brown.
  21. Take the cookies out of the oven, and IMMEDIATELY push chocolate candy into the center of the hot toasted marshmallow.
  22. Switch oven back to Bake, and repeat with the next cookie sheet.
  23. Allow cookies to cool, and chocolate candy to set-up again on wire racks.
3.5.3208

 

 

Make these amazing cookies for your next get-together or just beacuse… enjoy!

 

 

 

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