Let’s Make Some Holiday Cookies!

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern

 

 

‘Tis the season for holiday baking and treats! Whether you’re sharing them with neighbors or enjoying them with your family, these cookie recipes are sure to please everyone.

 

Grinch Cookies

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies (without alcohol)

White Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER

Turtle Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Peppermint Crunch White Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

75 Tasty Christmas Cookies

 

Find more holiday cookie recipes in one of our older articles, Out of This World Christmas Cookies. Be sure to look on Fill Your Plate’s recipe database for more dessert recipes as well!

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Hot Cocoa Flavors and Toppings

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern

 

 

Simple, plain hot cocoa is a classic holiday drink, but you can make it even more tasty with different flavors and toppings! Check out some of my best hot chocolate tips below.

 

Flavored Syrups

Did you know you can buy any bottle of Starbucks flavored syrups at their locations? I love using these for hot cocoa, but they can also be used in your daily coffee. Flavors like Toffee Nut and Cinnamon Dolce can be hard to find elsewhere! Standard flavors like vanilla and caramel can be found in the coffee section of most grocery stores.

 

Homemade Whipped Cream

You’re going to be using this recipe over and over again. It can be used to top so many different kinds of desserts, but it is absolute heaven on top of hot chocolate. Throw away that spray can, you’re going to love the real thing.

 

Toppings

Once you add the whipped cream, you can add caramel, pretzels, sea salt, chocolate shavings, crushed Oreos, Andy’s mints, or peppermint on top of your drink to give it a little extra pizzazz.

 

Spices

Spices are a great way to give your hot chocolate an upgrade. Check out this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate with either white or milk chocolate, and this recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate.

 

Not a chocolate fan? Try this recipe for Spiced Apple Cider.

 

Find more delicious dessert recipes on Fill Your Plate’s recipe database!

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What To Get At Trader Joes: Everyday Edition

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern

 

 

I love shopping at Trader Joes! I usually shop at Walmart for my produce and other items, but Trader Joes has some specialty items that help me get through the week. From snacks to soups, here are my favorite items at Trader Joes.

 

Organic Creamy Tomato Soup

Goodbye icky acidic Campbells soup, I don’t miss you! Once you try this soup, you will never look back. It’s delicious and creamy, making the perfect pairing for a grilled cheese sandwich.

 

Roasted Garlic Hummus

This is the perfect classic hummus to pair with pretzels, carrots, pita bread, and more! Great for an afternoon snack or a party appetizer.

 

Three Seed Beet Crackers

These pair perfectly with the Roasted Garlic Hummus, but would also be good in other dips or stacked with toppings!

 

Hold The Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones

These mini ice cream cones are delicious and only 80 calories! They come in four different flavors: vanilla, vanilla chocolate chip, chocolate, and coffee bean, as well as pumpkin ginger in the fall.

 

Flowers

Trader Joes has a wide variety of flowers, succulents, and other plants, perfect for a housewarming gift or an anniversary present.

 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Baton

This is one of my favorite items at Trader Joes. They always have these at the checkout, so needless to say, I always get one! It’s a dark chocolate bar sectioned into 5 pieces that you can break off. Inside the chocolate is raspberry pieces. This also comes in two other flavors: plain dark chocolate and espresso.

 

Grapefruit Hand Soap and Grapefruit Hand Sanitizer Spray

These smell just like fresh Arizona grown grapefruits! The soap is perfect for the kitchen or bathroom sinks, and the Hand Sanitizer Spray is perfect for people on the go. I keep it in my car and use it after shopping or getting gas.

 

Trader Joes Candles

Trader Joes has a variety of fruity smelling candles that are made with soy wax. They are always bringing in a new scent so if you see one you like, grab it while you can!

 

Sparkling Coconut Water with Yuzu

I don’t like sparkling water, but I love this drink! It comes in an 8 ounce can and only has 60 calories and 10 grams of sugar (with no sugar added)! You can taste the coconut and the yuzu, a citrus fruit from southern Asia. These will become your new favorite bubbly drink in no time!

 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

A somewhat healthier version of the popular peanut butter chocolate candies, these dark chocolate peanut butter cups are divine. The perfect treat for mom to keep in her secret chocolate stash (shhh, don’t tell the kids)!

 

Chantilly Vanilla Bean Sheet Cake

This cake is so delicious. It’s the perfect dessert to buy if you forgot it was someone’s birthday and you don’t have time to make a cake. The frosting is to die for; your friend will be asking you where you got it!

 

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These carrot cupcakes are such a fun twist on an old classic. They come in a pack of four, and each of the cupcakes are pretty big. These are the perfect solution for kids because no one has to worry about getting a bigger piece than anyone else.

 

Find more grocery shopping tips on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

 

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Best Places to Get Live Christmas Trees

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern

 

 

Christmas is just around the corner! Are you more of a fake or live tree family? Either way, going to look at live Christmas trees with hot cocoa in hand is a great family activity to do during the holidays. Here are some of the best places in Arizona to get live Christmas trees!

 

Home Depot

My family has been getting our Christmas tree from Home Depot for several years. We’re always happy with the trees we get here. They’re full, fresh, and last a long time. They cut off the bottom of the trunk for you before you take it away, so it can soak up water more easily and live longer. This is a great, close place to go to get your tree; your house will be filled with the scent of pine in no time!

 

Schnepf Farms

Not only can you get your Christmas tree here, you can also participate in a bunch of different Christmas activities! You can take a hayride to feed the reindeer, make smores around a bonfire, ride their train through a World of Illumination lights show, decorate cookies, watch holiday movies, meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and much more.

 

Vertuccio Farms

Vertuccio Farms is located in Mesa, Arizona. Pick out your Christmas tree here, as well as enjoy their nativity, ice skating rink, light display, Christmas photo booth, photo-op with Santa, and more!

 

Mortimer Farms

Head up to Dewey, Arizona to enjoy the cooler weather at Mortimer Farms! Who knows, you might see snow if you’re lucky. Kill two birds with one stone by getting your Christmas tree and your Christmas turkey here! And instead of picking out a pre-cut tree, you can cut down your own Christmas tree.  You can write letters to Santa, enjoy farm activities, and other fun events.

 

Mother Nature’s Farm

Be sure to visit Mother Nature’s Farm in Gilbert to het your Christmas tree and enjoy a fun snow day while you’re at it! Sled down their snow hill and grab some holiday snacks and warm drinks. The whole family will want to join in!

 

Find more fun Christmas activities to do with your family on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

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Delicious Recipes You Can Cook Over A Fire

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern

 

 

It’s fall y’all! It’s finally starting to cool off, which means it time to pull out that firepit! Whether you’re in the backyard or on a camping trip, you’re sure to enjoy these recipes that you can cook over your campfire.

 

Breakfast:

Campfire Breakfast Burgers

Egg and Sausage Breakfast Taquitos

Homemade Cornmeal Griddle Pancake Mix

Easy Mini Quiche Recipe

 

Lunch or Dinner:

Marinated Chicken and Onion Kebabs

How to Make a Burger Patty — And Cook the Perfect Burger

Shrimp Scampi Foil Packets

Campfire Nachos Recipe

Foil Pack French Dip Sandwiches

How to Make Campfire Pizza

Hot Ham and Cheese Campfire Sandwiches

Cheesy Garlic Fries In Foil

Southwestern Chicken Packets

Bacon Ranch Grilled Potatoes

 

Dessert:

Skillet S’mores

Dark Chocolate Skillet S’Mores Dip

Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae

Pound Cake and Berry Campfire Skillet Dessert

Campfire Cherry Hand Pies

Campfire Cinnamon Roll-ups

 

If you want more inspiration, see the rest of the recipes from this Country Living article:

55+ Easy Camping Recipes for Your Next Trip to the Great Outdoors

 

Find more delicious recipes on Fill Your Plate’s recipe database!

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