Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Andy Tauer's Advent Calendar Giveaway (And a Holiday Recipe)

The annual Andy Tauer Advent Calendar tradition is here. We're between the last couple of Hanukkah nights and Christmas Eve, a time of double joy, entertaining, and a special prize. Our other tradition is sharing a recipe for a holiday treat, this time a  nut brittle in s cheater's toffee that's as quick and easy to make as it is to gain the weight.

Photo by the fabulous Joy Baule

Gaia's Sour Cream Nut Brittle

Ingredients:
1.5 cup of sugar
1.5 cup sour cream
a dash of salt
1 tbs vanilla extract
1.5 cups nuts. You can use pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts (my favorite), or go the American way and do peanuts.

Preperation:
1. Cook the sugar and sour cream in a saucepan until you get a light brown syrup (15-20 minutes, medium heat), stirring very frequently.
2. Add salt, vanilla and nuts. Stirr well for a couple more minutes; remove from heat.
3. Line a large flat pan with foil, pour the mixture in and flatten with a spatula. Let cool.
4. Break into pieces, store in a glass jar and try to save some for your guests.

Now for Andy Tauer's giveaway (and please read carefully):

The draw is open (nearly) worldwide, with some unfortunate exceptions: Italy, Spain, Croatia, Russia, and Greece are excluded. The winner of this draw will be able to pick an Explorer Set (www.tauerperfumes.com/explorer-set.html ), of 3x 15 ml fragrances, free choice of scents. The prize will be shipped for free from Switzerland, through FedEx. Local taxes, VAT, and import fee may apply and are not covered by Tauer (or by me). The winner is responsible to make sure that they are allowed to import the prize. The State of New Jersey, where I am located, also requires that the winner is over 18 years of age.

Mr. Tauer ships to the address given to us and will not contact the addressee afterwards.  None of us will we use the contact information for any other purpose than sending the prize, nor will we forward the address to anybody else except for the purpose of shipping the prize to the winner.

To be entered please tell us of your favorite easy to make and serve Holiday snack, or a favorite cooking shortcut that makes entertaining easier.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and every seasonal joy.

167 comments:

  1. Wow, can't wait to try your brittle. I have a go to soup (potato/cauliflower/leek) that takes ten minutes to prep and is adored by young and old alike. Thanks for hosting Andy's holiday fun and thanks to Andy for his generous spirit!!

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    1. Merry Christmas from hotlanta linda! :-) How are you and your sons??

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  2. I am afraid that I will have to go for the shortcut and it is Picard, the wonderful surgelés chain in France. I have avoided it for months given the reputation of similar stores/products in Canada, but made up for it once being properly introduced by French colleagues. Than you and Andy for the draw and happy holidays!

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  3. My favorite holiday snack to make is glazed pecans. Thank you and thanks to Andy Tauer! Happy Holidays!

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  4. I'm a bit lame I just like to make toast haha :)

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  5. Wauw aussi...Love all Tauer scents, thank you Gaia and Mr. Tauer.

    My favorite , more festive recipe, is not so fast but can be made beforehand so is a time-saver anyway

    Chocolate-Chicken roast pot (my grandmother and mother used to make it too)

    Ingredients and how to :

    1 Fresh Chicken - parted in pieces
    1 jar of silver onions
    Mushrooms - 1/2 pound or more if you like
    Bitter dark chocolate 2 bars +- 150 gr.
    1 bottle of red wine - coocking wine
    A spoonfull of cognac

    Bake the onions and mushrooms in a pan with a small amount of butter
    Fry the chicken parts untill a nice brown crust is achieved
    Pour a bit of cognac over the chicken parts

    Mix the silver onions, mushrooms and chicken parts + add the 2 chocolate bars + pour wine over it al (half a bottle should do) put on a stove untill ready - don't haste it , the chicken has to cook through slowly.


    Enjoy!

    Illdone

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  6. I am making this tomorrow, it sounds absolutely delicious!
    Old news, but I love veggies cut into sticks, dipped in home-made hummus. Any time of the year. Thank you for hosting the giveaway!

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  7. An absolute must in my family is traditional honey and cinnamon biscuits. They do take *some* time to make, so I make them ahead. And yes, "try to leave some for your guests" is a very topical advice ;)
    Much holiday joy, El

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  8. Mulled cider: Gallon of quality apple cider. Stew your spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, etc) in a brew of simple syrup (sugar and water). Boil and then refrigerate overnight before adding. It's much better than just adding them and letting them sit in a pot. Thanks again for another chance.

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  9. I have to try this, it sounds absolutely delicious!
    I adore home-made hummus to dip my veggies into. Quick and easy.
    Thank you for hosting the giveaway.

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  10. What a delicious-sounding recipe! A favourite in my family is raspberry flan - quick, simple and delicious, plus it makes a great pudding option for those who want something lighter at the end of Christmas dinner. Spread Greek yoghurt over a pre-made sponge flan base, and arrange raspberries on top (they can be fresh or frozen, if frozen you don't need to defrost beforehand). Make up two packs of strawberry/raspberry jelly glaze (the powder type you make up with boiling water) and pour over the flan. Leave to set, then serve and enjoy!

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  11. Ginger syrup! Chop a healthy knob of ginger into half sugar/water combination and cook until reduced and fragrant, strain and cool. Makes a good base for drinks with whiskey or without. (soda, etc.)

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  12. I am in the middle of moving house, so my best holiday snack shortcut this year is: spending too much at Marks and Spencers rather than cooking (it will be the first year in almost a decade we've not hosted a big christmas for friends, waifs, strays, and orphans of the storm.)

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  13. I cant see my entry so just making sure I enter.. My idea is usually to find an international recipe and experiment on it. One time, I found a German recipe and added sauerkraut to it to make it more sour. thanks for the wonderful draw.

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  14. Thank you, Gaia & Andy, for this draw.
    Sweet, but not too sweet, white wine is what does it for me (I prepare it by putting the bottle in the fridge ;-)
    In addition to its being delicious with some starters, it certainly helps kick off the celebrations :-)
    Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas everyone,
    kal

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  15. Oh dear - cooking is not my forte. I'm with luliana above - Picard is the bomb for little treats in France. All pre prepared but bizarrely of great quality. Highly recommended. Thanks for the draw.

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  16. Hot chocolate! Not hard to prepare, but feels festive!

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  17. Cooking? The only thing I've made this century is oatmeal in a microwave :-) Happy Holidays!

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  18. My only tip is to make your mashed potatoes (or the purée of your choice) ahead, and put them in a crock pot to keep them warm. Works for many sauces and gravies as well. Good luck and happy holidays to everyone!

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  19. Even if originally it's not a holiday-specific recipe, I've become accustomed to including homemade shortbread in my baking routine for Christmas. It's just so easy to make, as long as you don't set the oven at too high a temperature and as long as you cut the dough in pieces at the right moment.

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  20. Thank you for the draw and the recipe, it looks gorgeous! A quick and easy snack is...open a bottle of bubbly, scramble some eggs, open a pack of smoked salmon, serve. Pretend posh breakfast! :-)

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  21. An easy snack is smoked salmon on root vegetable crisps. Buy crisps made from beetroot, carrot, parsnip etc instead of the usual potato crisps. Top with thin slices of smoked salmon and a dab of sour cream mixed with horse radish (fresh or paste). Colourful, easy and delicious!

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  22. I just made Trail Mix Chocolate Bark. It takes 90 seconds to melt 1 cup of chocolate chips, then you spread it, pour 1 cup of trail mix on top of the layer, and let it set in freezer for 20 minutes before cutting or breaking into pieces. Voila! Nothing could be easier, and of course it's good. It's chocolate and trail mix, you can't go wrong.

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  23. Mine would be caramelized-nuts bar.

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  24. Hi, thanks for hosting, Gaia
    I admit, going the very easy way, either ordering pizza or buying some good cheese with wine
    Happy Holidays to all

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  25. TogetherAdoreUanillExtractRecipe !

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  26. Something like dried plums stuffed with walnuts and coated with dark chocolate... yum.

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  27. I like canapé with tequila-cured salmon and cream cheese. And chocolate-glazed almond.

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  28. Unfortunately I don't have any special or secret recipe for this time of year but I definitely will be giving this a go sounds delicious. Thanks for the draw,

    Ahraz

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  29. My husband makes a delicious appetizer. Piece of Brie cheese, piece of fresh pineapple on a Ritz cracker and slightly heated in the microwave to melt the cheese. It's yummy.

    Thanks for hosting the draw.

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  30. The recipe sounds gorgeous & I love nut brittle so I'll have to give this a try in the New Year.

    For Christmas & make carrot & red pepper soup..............it's quick to make, the day before, & tastes divine.

    Thanks Andy, for another generous advent calendar

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  31. Mmm...the brittle looks good! My favourite is mulled wine syrup: put the same amount (e.g. 200ml of water and 200ml of regular sugar) to a saucepan. Add a couple of cinnamon sticks, vanilla pod, cardamon seeds, cloves and star anises and heat up gently until the sugar is dissolved and let it boil for about 10 minutes. Sieve away the spices and store in a jar or small bottle. Add a tablespoon to a small cup of wine to make the easiest gluhwein. Or add a teaspoon to a glass of prosecco for a christmassy aperitive.

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  32. Dear Gaia, firstof all thank you for the draw, I'd love to trymore Tauer. You are, by the way, the person who got me into Tauer in te first place. Une Rose Chyprée and Le Maroc Pour Elle are my favorite two perfumes. It will take me too long to explain to you how briljant your blog is, I'll do that another time. For now, happy holidays and have a wonderful christmas. Isis

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    1. AND:: I completely forgot to tell you about my favorite holiday cooking shortcut. Every year around christmas, I make panforte, with hazelnuts, almonds, preserved lemon and orange, ginger, and lots of spices. We can't have christmas without it. I use Nigella Lawons recipe, which is super fast and simple, and really good.

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  33. thank you for the wonderful draw. our favorite is tamales which we order online. maybe someday will try to make !! peace to all.

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  34. Oh, that nut brittle looks so good - and yes hazelnuts are the best :) Don't know why they are not used more often... I'm currently busy making spiced honey cakes but my favourite easy snack is from the amazing Richard Bertinet, a Parisian way to celebrate Christmas - Steep 200g D'agen prunes in 4 Tbsp brandy or rum with 4 crushed cardamom pods for 2-3 days. Drain of excess liquid and dip in 250g 70% chocolate. Let set and coat in cocoa powder.
    Merry Christmas!

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  35. Dips are great. Tzatziki (finely grated Lebanese cucumber, chopped mint, oregano and garlic leaf, ground cumin) and baba ganoush (from David Lebovitz's site with extra ground cumin and coriander) - both made ahead of time. Roast pork cooked in the Weber served with warmed apple sauce (from a jar). Roast cauliflower (Orangette's site) is fabulous and really easy. Avocado, mango, bacon, walnut and lettuce salad also a family winner.

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  36. My favorite quick treat are my double chocolate date balls! Set aside crushed dark chocolate (I love Theo's 70%), then in a food processor blend dates, cashews, splash of vanilla and a little sea salt. At the end process in the chocolate. Form into balls and roll in shredded coconut!

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  37. My favourite treat to make is caramel apple dip for apples...it's just cream cheese,brown sugar and vanilla...super unhealthy but super yummy!

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  38. My favorite holiday treat is my mother's rum ball cookies - they are not baked and so yummy.

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  39. My favorite snack is the Peppermint Bark that my wife makes. Oh, and the Peanut Butter Fudge and Divinity and the Cherry Mash and....

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  40. My favorite Christmas time snack is Cappucino Biscotti, from a recipe in Gourmet Magazine (December 1992).
    You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/p8jhaad
    They are really easy to make--I've done it every year since 1992!
    Happy holidays!

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  41. Yesterday I wanted to bring a small present for a friend who made me diner and I quickly baked a 'kruidkoek', which roughly translates as spiced gingerbread. My whole house smelled wonderful because I used spices as roasted cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves (and orange zest and lots of raisins). It mixed very well with the Santal Majuscule I was wearing. And I am very happy I decided to double the recipe and baked one for myself too!

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  42. Croissants with raspberry jam for breakfast, mmmmmm

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  43. Wish I could eat milk products without problems, the brittle looks so good! My easiest to serve sweet snack can be made by melting good 60 % chocolate with a tiny amount of coconut oil, mix in finely chopped candied ginger and pour into small candy cups made of foil. Honeycake is also very good and can be made well in advance of the festivities. Any warm beverages with spices like allspice, cloves, cinnamon sticks and the like are sure to create the right mood, with or without wine or cider included.

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  44. My new and wonderful (and so easy!) Christmas cookie uses snickerdoodle dough, homemade or package is fine. Mix up the cookie dough and wrap a spoonful around a rollo chocolate caramel candy. Roll in cinnamon sugar and bake at 325 for 13 minutes. Heaven! Thanks again for the drawings!

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  45. In the midst of all the sweet offerings at the holidays, I find myself craving savory bites. I purchase mixed olives at our local Mediterranean market and then gently toss them with finely-grated orange peel, crushed red pepper flakes, whole fennel seed, and a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes I will also include a clove of crushed garlic. I let the olives marinate for at least a few hours before serving, and the resulting flavors are bright and lively.

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  46. omg that looks yummy. i dont do much entertaining. i havent even thought about dinner yet.....i should get on that huh!

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  47. That is a brutal recipe-thank you for it, and for the opportunity!
    Best wishes,
    Carole MacLeod

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  48. Crostinis are always easy to make with leftovers from the fridge. Thanks for the draw!

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  49. Every year I have to make snowballs which some people know as Mexican wedding cakes - small round shortbread type cookies rolled in confectioners sugar. The best part is that they are stored in the same 1920's pottery jar that was used when my mother was a child and when I was a child. Tradition matters. Thank you (and Andy!) for the draw. Happy Holidays!

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  50. It looks delish! Thanks for the recipe and for hosting.

    Austenfan

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  51. What a funny easy brittle - thanks, Gaia! And thanks for hosting day 23 of Andy's Advent Calendar!
    I am making a cake with stout, dried cherries and marzipan this evening, because it has to rest over the night!
    It may sound sophisticated, but it's quite easy and quick to make. But it needs some preparation beforehand - like imbibing the cherries with liqueur! :) 3 eggs + 2 cups of flour + 1 tsp baking powder + 50ml milk + 1 cup stout (cherry flavored is the best for the recipe) + 50 g ground almonds + 100 g dried cherries (soaked in some alcohol) + 2/3 cup sugar (1 cup brown sugar) + 1/3 cup sunflower oil (or your preferred oil/butter) + 80 g marzipan (almond). Mixing, baking at 180 C for 45', serving cooled with favorite icing (I chose to make it with sugared blended ricotta this year).
    Happy Holidays!

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  52. Ohh, sour cream in brittle? Sounds delish! Thanks, and happy holidays to all!

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  53. I like paupiettes as a shortcut. It's easy to cook and usually enjoyed by most people.

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  54. I found that the Carnation Fudge kit is pretty goof proof ( though next time I'm adding walnuts as Grams always did /does fudge that way) . Results were very good , we are down to 2 pieces now. And it makes a bit more than it says , I cut the pieces smaller as fudge is SO rich. Merry Christmas!

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  55. I make a chestnut stuffing mix which I serve cold and cut into squares. The mix includes tinned chestnuts, sausagemeat, liver pate,sage, celery,walnuts, caremelised oinion,cranberries,breadcrumbs all chopped and bound together with a couple of eggs before baking. Delicious hot or cold but i like it cold with sweet chilli sauce.

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  56. My favorite easy-entertaining trick, by far, is my sous-vide cooker. I can cook the meaty main course ahead of time to the perfect internal temperature, hold it at that temperature, and sear the outside to a lovely crust whenever I'm ready to serve. No wonder restaurant kitchens have them.

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  57. Yum! One of my favorite thing about the holidays is looking at recipes, some of these will have to be tried. While a crock pot isn't quick, it can make a great cheesy artichoke dip without fuss. This year a quick treat is chocolate covered dried fruit in various combinations and and seasonings sprinkled on top. Happy Holidays!

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  58. Probably peanut butter cookies. They're not really holiday themed, but they always seem like a winter food to me all the same.

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  59. I like to make fruitcake! I know, I know :-)

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  60. Love having some hot chocolate fudge and walnut chocolate cakes during this festive season :)

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  61. For a very quick dip for the veggies, we always mix a pot of sour cream with a sachet of leek soup! Thanks for the draw.

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  62. Sour cream nut brittle??!? Yes, please!!!
    My go-to holiday snack is Chex Mix--has been a tradition for decades. It's definitely not sophisticated, but it's irresistible to me!

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  63. When I was a little girl I loved to cook and would make rum balls at Christmas and hard sauce for the Christmas pudding as my part of the festive preparations. They are both quick easy recipes that your children can help with. To make a hard sauce for a traditional Christmas plum pudding or to have with a little ice cream or Christmas cake, soften a cup of butter in a food processer, slowly add confectioner's sugar until the mixture becomes stiff. Add the juice or an orange and some grated rind (you can add in some lemon rind as well) and a good splash of rum or brandy to taste (about 3 -4 good tablespoons). Let sit in the fridge overnight or for a few hours so the flavours can blend. Enjoy! Thanks for sponsoring today's draw, Gaia and Happy Holidays to all!

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  64. That brittle recipe looks mouth-watering--I want to try my hand at it!

    My auntie makes these "muddy buddies" every year and I can't stop eating them. They are super quick to make and with their coating of powdered sugar "snow," they look so festive!
    9 cups Corn Chex™, Rice Chex™, Wheat Chex™ or Chocolate Chex™ cereal (or combination)
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1/4 cup butter or margarine
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
    In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
    Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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  65. My peppermint Mocochino. 1 pkg of cocoa, 4-5 oz of dark roast coffee, splash of milk to taste, some peppermint candy. voila! A cheap Starbucks like peppermint drink for cheap. Thanks for the draw Andy and Gaia!

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  66. Lots of delicious recipes and yummy foods people have shared. My favorite is Scottish shortbread. Thanks for the draw and great brittle recipe!

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  67. Thanks for doing this lovely giveaway. This year I made red pepper jam to eat with cheese.

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  68. Hopefully I didn't post twice (error posting). I love all of the recipe and food ideas shared. Yum. My holiday favorite is Scottish shortbread.

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  69. First of all, I want to relax during X-mass time, so I don´t cook much. I love to offer some snack of various sort - sweets, dried fruits,nuts, small vanilla cakes. Thanks for this opportunity and Merry X-mas to all!

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  70. Thank you for the wonderful draw!
    I'll have to try the recipe too, as it sounds fantastic. A lot of my favourite holiday dishes are time consuming, but when I need a quick starter a usual go-to is crackers with hot pepper cream cheese. Just put a block or round of cream cheese on a plate and top with a jar of hot pepper raspberry jelly (or hot pepper peach, or whatever else you fancy) and add a knife or other spreader. Best with sturdy crackers!

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  71. Andy Tauer's Advent giveaway tradition is always something special.

    I don't have an easy Christmas holiday treat, but for Thanksgiving, I always make a cranberry relish that's super easy and delicious. In a food processor, combine fresh cranberries, an orange - including rind, some walnuts and sugar (tip: Trader Joe's organic cane sugar is the best.) Blend together, and voila! Super easy and very tasty cranberry side dish. Happy Holidays Gaia and everyone!

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  72. This is terrible but my favorite holiday treat is my neighbor. She brings me an assortment of homemade holiday cookies each year. Maybe I'll make some brittle and give some to her. Thank you for the draw and the recipe!

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  73. No Christmas is without hot wine, or Glühwein, and you can add ingredients those that you like:
    A good port wine or cherry
    A couple of lices of oranges, tangerines, lemons
    3-4 pieces of dried fruits (any will do: figs, apricots, apples, pears..)
    You can even add a few almonds (if they are sweet) and 1 would be enough (if its a bitter almond)
    Spices: 1-2 cinnamon sticks, 1-2 clove buds, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom - all of them or just some, anything that you like
    1-2 table spoons of brandy
    Some sugar may be needed, dont hesitate and taste, everybody has his own level of sweetness :)

    Put all ingredints in a pan, cover with the lid and let it simmer on a very low heat until hot. Dont bring to a boil! At the end, add brandy, pour into sheer glass cups, top with a slice of lemon and enjoy!

    Merry Christmas!

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  74. Cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier and toasted pecans. Easy to make and almost dessert!

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  75. I just like to have nice cheese and crackers on hand.

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  76. Dried fruits compote with cinammon and cloves. Happy Holidays!

    Petalis

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  77. Boxing Day pie and cold cut sandwiches at the football match with my son is my fave snack of the Christmas period. With a flask of good hot choc to keep out the cold

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  78. My comment is not displaying, so I'll try again. Sorry!
    My favorite holiday treat is a special cranberry sauce I make myself. I love cranberry relish so have tried many recipes - my current favorite (for about 5 years now) is a version where i add minced chiles in adobo sauce, to give a nice meaty flavor to teh sauce. It goes well with the tartness of the berries.
    thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

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  79. I like to roast a huge amount of vegetables together, organized by colors, including potatoes and beets and then, when they are ready, I have 3 meals ready, beets pure, roasted vegetable salad and potatoes that I glazed in a bit of miso afterwards. I dont have to do much. The oven works for me.
    Thanks!

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  80. Jaques Pepin's Chicken Liver Pate... if you don't think you like chicken livers, try this! It is so easy to make and super delicious. Even my picky-eater niece and nephew gobble it up.Thank you for the chance to win! ~Amy Bella

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  81. My go-to quick item for holiday entertaining is spiced nuts, which isn't particularly a "holiday" thing, per se, but I end up making them a lot over the holidays. Thanks for hosting the giveaway -- happy holidays!

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  82. A people-pleasing a super easy appy is baked brie en croute. Just take a nice brie, wrap in puff pastry (store bought is more than fine), brish in egg wash and bake for 20 min in a 375 degree oven. So tasty!

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  83. Canned peaches 150-200 gr + ice cream 100 gr + Pinot Gris 'Ai Danil' by Massandra 30 ml + your favorite nuts)))

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  84. My favorite holiday snack is eggnog with bourbon, cheers dad!

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  85. Today I'll be doing potato chips dipped in chocolate. The kind with ridges work best, as they tend to stay crisper and hold the weight of the chocolate. Sprinkles optional but always fun!

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  86. A slow cooker is great for preparing supper hours ahead of time so errands can be run in the meantime...AnnieA

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  87. I have to be totally honest, but in our house my husband is THE cook! All I do is make salads, with strawberry's and Balsamico vinegar. But I would love to be entered in the draw with a big thank you to to you and Andy!!!

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  88. My favorite quick recipe is crescent rolls with a slice or two of pepperoni tucked inside each one.

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  89. I'm not a cook, so if people are dropping by and I need something quick and easy w/ tea/coffee, I make marmalade and (good) cheddar cheese toasts - a variation is honey and feta. Thanks for the draw! Rachel h.

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  90. A glass of sloe gin and some kettle chips. Lazy but delicious!

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  91. My favorite holiday snacks are those that take very little effort, like hummus and veggies, sausage rolls, and a good cheese tray.

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  92. Super easy and fast appetizer. (But one must have quality ingredients on-hand.) Cracker of choice, cheese of choice, a pinch of single herb (thyme and rosemary both work beautifully) over the combo, and drizzle with honey. Can make a lovely plateful in bare minutes.

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  93. My holiday baking tip is to roll out pie or cookie dough between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper so the dough doesn't stick to the rolling pin. Voilà!
    Thanks for the draw!

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  94. The best recipe is not to cook! A delicious truffled brie just with fruit always delights visitors. Plus cake of course!

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  95. Simple but with a sophisticated slant: vanilla wafer "sandwiches" with a thin layer of hazelnut cocoa spread inside. sniffer

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  96. A favorite easy snack for the holidays is chips and salsa. I love shopping for new or different bottled salsas. I look for them during the year and always find a few unusual ones to try. Then when it is time for snacks at the holidays, I put tortilla chips on a baking sheet, put them under the broiler very briefly to toast them a bit, and then serve with several bowls of different colored salsas - corn salsa, mango salsa, peach salsa, green chile salsa, poblano chile salsa, and maybe even guacamole or diced avocados. My family loves nut brittle. Thank you for the recipe. It sounds delicious.

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  97. I enjoy making toasted spiced nuts for Christmas gatherings. Similar to nut brittle without all the sugar!

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  98. I like to make from scratch. I just follow the instructions on the bag of fresh cranberries, but I use brown sugar, reduce it by 1/3, and add pinches of nutmeg, cassia, and allspice.

    Happy Holidays!

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  99. I'm making rum balls tonight! It's a messy activity, but a lot of fun, and the candies turn out so pretty.

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  100. I live near the ocean so hot crab dip is a must.

    lunasea1113@yahoo.com
    Genny

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  101. That nut brittle looks delicious, I'm very tempted to try making them.
    My favourite holiday snack are shop bought mince pies * shame *

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  102. That recipe looks great! Mmm hazelnut brittle... here's my easy holiday salad (antidote to all those goodies!):

    fresh spinach
    toasted hazelnut pieces
    sliced persimmon
    homemade simple lemon vinaigrette

    pretty, tasty, healthy, and easy!

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  103. One of my favorite holiday treats is spiced pecans, made with lots of zingy spices. Goes great with champagne, and a nice break from the sweet treats we overindulge in at this time of year,

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  104. Spinach and goat cheese tartlets.
    Thanks for the lovely draw.
    Vlada

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  105. Kutia – it has been traditionally served in my dad’s family house. It’s one of typical Lithuanian and Polish Christmas Eve dishes. Usually I am not into sweets, with few exeptions, kutia is one of them.
    Here is the recipe:
    150 g cooked wheat grains
    100 g ground poppy seeds
    4 tablespoons liquid honey
    1 tablespoon rose syrup
    80 g chopped almonds, walnuts etc
    50 g raisins
    butter for frying

    Fry in butter chopped nuts, almond and raisins. Then add rose syrup and honey. Fry few minutes stirring. Add the poppy seeds and wheat. Fry next few minutes ...et voila . It can be seved hot or cold.


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  106. Holy smokes that brittle looks amazing..... Honestly, the only shortcut I can say is parchment paper. Clean-up is so much faster with the use of parchment paper - and you can reuse the same sheet for several batches of cookies too. :) Thanks for the draw!

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  107. Mulled wine and spiced nuts, mmm... Thank you for hosting!

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  108. Tomatoes with garlic and cheese on top usually goes fast with the guests. THanks for the draw!

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  109. Grape tomatoes, pierced and marinated in vodka...it works! Otherwise, I buy things.

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  110. Salted nuts are easy to make and guaranteed to disappear. Take 3 cups raw nuts (I use half blanched almonds and half whole pecans) and mixed with 4 tbsps melted unsalted butter and 1-2 tsp salt. Spread thinly over one or two baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until brown and fragrant. So much better tasting than store but nuts!

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    1. That last line should be "better tasting than store bought nuts!" :)

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  111. I'm not much of a cook, so I have to go with... cookies. Simple and yummy.
    Thanks for the draw!

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  112. My shortcut is to lazily serve things that don't need to be cooked. Ham, oyster, cheeses and other items from the deli. Then something that can be put into the oven and left alone.

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  113. My shortcut for the Holidays is to buy some yummy macarons and all sorts of sweets for every taste. For the rest, my mother in law is taking care of :) I loved the receipe you shared with us and I will give it a try!

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  114. I love Ferrero Raffaello Clone - its really easy to make them and also they are very easy to be eaten first. Thanks for giveaway. Lubka

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  115. Don't have anything quick and easy. The holidays are the time for making Hungarian pastries - a LOT of work but oh so worth it! Great draw.

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  116. That looks tasty!! I might try it,
    my favourite shortcut is to hop by the Syrian restaurant and get take away dips and salads.
    For Christmas there are plenty to do, which I'll possibly skip this year,
    last year I made an uber expensive fruit cake.
    thanks

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  117. Fried Coliflower in beer batter with garlic sauce

    Happy holidays from Germany :)

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  118. Thanks for this wonderful sounding recipe! Thanks for the chance to win some Tauer treasure. I just got Phi, a blind buy, and am huffing it as I finish up my Christmas errands. It is so complex and rich yet light. I'm a total converted (ex) rose hater!

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  119. My favorite shortcut (lazy solution...) is to put together a meat platter with ham and salami, served with cheese and olives.

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  120. Thanks for the contest!
    My go to recipe is my Curried Cauliflower Soup that is loved by young and old, and so easy to make and yummy as well.

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  121. It's summer for me and basil is in season so I make pesto a lot. I use it on its own for pasta sauce of course, but it works as an additive to other dishes as well as an instant flavour boost. Yum!

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  122. I cannot tell if my previous comment was not posted... Being from New Mexico we always have Green Chile on hand chopped and ready to throw into everything and anything! Thank you Happy Holidays

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  123. We have just finished venison with black cherry sauce!

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  124. I am going to make your recipe tomorrow — I would never have thought of sour cream!

    My favourite holiday recipe is mulled wine, perfect to come in to after an afternoon in the snow. Put two bottles of red wine, two sticks of cinnamon, a whole unpeeled orange studded with a couple dozen whole cloves, and a little brown sugar to taste in a nonreactive pot and heat it just until little wisps of steam form on the surface, then serve it in clear glass mugs so you can see how pretty it is.

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  125. venison in black cherry sauce! delicious!

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  126. I make Ina Garten's amazingly good rugelach recipe ahead of time and freeze them uncooked (on some kind of flat base so they don't stick together) then bake as needed during the holidays for entertaining. Also keep some cassis on hand, or wild hibiscus flowers in syrup to pop into a glass of champagne--festive and easy but looks very special.

    Happy Holidays & much joy in the New Year!
    xo

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  127. merry christmas! thanks for the draw, sky

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  128. My favorIte this time of year Is Vaccarros Italian Cookies.They are home made and Do nice on a dinner table.Colorful

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  129. Hurray for Tauer perfumes! My favorite holiday treat is Sees candy--ordered from the Web.

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  130. My favorite Christmas treat is rolled sugar cookies with icing.

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  131. Mmmm, toffee! I'm going to try it with almonds -- thanks!

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  132. My go-to easy to make holiday snack is melted chocolate,marshmallow, almond clusters. Very easy to make, your choice of chocolate!

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  133. Candied walnuts - either leaning towards the sweet (plain sucre) or savory (piment)

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  134. I love warm eggnog with a splash of rum. Thanks for the draw and Happy Holidays!

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  135. Our ( orthodox) Christmas comes on January seventh and nothing is done fast. Roast pork, baklava are some of the things I would do if I don't have to work. But living in the US and celebrating a little bit of this Christmas too, probably some ham, potatoes and cookies for tomorrow. Luckily we are invited for Christmas lunch on the 25th at my friends' home and he is a hunter and she is incredible cook.

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  136. My mom makes hazelnut whole grain cookies and sesame lace cookies: mmmmhm...

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  137. My favorite easy-to-prepare holiday snack is a cheese tray from the store. Unwrap, plate, add some fruit and crackers and you're done!

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  138. Wow, that recipe is divine! Thanks for hosting the Advent calendar today.

    Everyone has a lot of good ideas for sweet treats, but my favorite holiday shortcut is my stash of homemade pesto, made with basil from my garden, olive oil, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, lots of garlic, and pine nuts. I can make a special pasta for guests, use it to garnish a soup, or spread it on warmed flat bread for an appetizer everyone likes. I make a lot of it in the summer so I can enjoy it during the darkest days of winter.

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  139. a simple treat is to roll out leftover pastry dough, layer with cinnamon sugar, chocolate chips, and/or nuts, roll up, cut into bite-size portions, bake and enjoy.
    Thanks for the draw. Happy Holidays!

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  140. Hello! I always avoid short cuts but lately I see the value of them!

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  141. thanks for the chance for andy' draw! hmmm easy to prepare and still nice food is avocado salad. chop tomatoes, avocados into dice, and mix with soy sauce + Wasabi (Japanese horseradish?) +lemon . refreshing !

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  142. Hello! I don't really have an easy to make holiday snack as I somehow end up going with time consuming recipes, and I usually make cookies for the holidays to give as gifts. I'll make several batches of dough over the course of a week or so whenever I have free time and freeze them until I'm ready to bake. Also, parchment paper is your friend! Thank you for hosting the draw! Happy holidays!

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  143. Sweet, savory and herbal mixed nuts.

    Macflora

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  144. Dave's Alder Smoked Salmon on croissants with cream cheese and capers, with a glass of champagne whilst we open presents... to tide us over until a luscious luncheon at Las Canarias.
    Growing up, my parents hosted all the holiday parties, and my mother owned a catering business. I no longer derive joy from preparing elaborate holiday meals. I want to relax and partake in the fun. I am particularly grateful for lovely, delightful local restaurants.

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  145. My favorite easy treats (I have lots of difficult treats too) are simple, delicious coconut macaroons dipped in valhrona. Mmmm.

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  146. I'm not sure if my comment went through. My favorite is a spiced cookie called pepperkaker.

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  147. Bake butter cookies

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  148. Thanks for the draw Andy and Gaia! My go to snack the past months has been hummus. I managed to get this amazing Tahini from Israel and became obsesses with making hummus.

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  149. I love a good cheese plate -- and it must have Cotswold! Happy holidays to all!

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  150. Best wishes for a happy and blessed Holiday season. Glad to see the sweet Chex mix post, but I want to vote for traditional Chex party mix! I add an extra tablespoon of worchestershire sauce, 7 tablespoons of butter, Snyder's Homestyle pretzels broken up instead of bagle chips, and extra nuts. The Archer Farms deluxe raw nut mix is nice. Finally the time saver is use a giant steel mixing bowl and just push the mix up the side to spread it out and do the regular 15 min x 4 intervals. Retro crunchy goodness!

    Kathy
    bloomington

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  151. happy happy holidays!

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  152. My favorite Christmas treat is biscotti with dried fruits and nuts dipped in chocolate. Serve with coffee

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  153. My shortcut....have my husband cook it. He's a chef. Happy holidays to all.

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  154. My beloved Aunt made the best Christmas butter cookies I ever had. I've tried to duplicate them, but the cookies never turned out the way hers did. So they'll always be Aunt Mary's cookies.

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  155. My shortcut is to buy all of my baked goods (fruitcake, gingerbread men and Yule log) from a fabulous bakery which is owned by a master pastry chef from France and his wife. Happy holidays to all!

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  156. Fruitcake with fruits soaked in rum for a month!

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  157. I really like to make roasted garlic hummus to go with fresh veggies.

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