Gingerbread houses signify the start of holiday decorating to me more than anything else. I remember making miniature gingerbread houses made of gluten free crackers with my brother one year (I was gluten free before being gluten free was cool).
My cookie house decorating skills haven’t progressed much since I was six, but that doesn’t stop me from occasionally busting out the frosting bag and spice drops. I discovered a new gingerbread house kit that quadruples the fun–a kit to not just for a gingerbread house, but to make your own gingerbread village. The kits are available this year at retailers including Bed, Bath & Beyond. If prefer to make your own house, I recommend this silicone baking tray to make life a little easier.
This little village of gingerbread houses is nestled into a snowy hillside. Make your own gingerbread village and display inside for longevity, or get a cute photo opp outside like this:These little sugar chalets look so charming in the snow, don’t you think?
One final note on gingerbread: If the villages and houses are feeling a bit mainstream for you, try this bargain Gingercats Cookie Kit. Yes, it’s a real thing!
Scarves are a winter staple if you live anywhere even remotely cold. I love that they can make winter seem almost fun–add a new scarf to your outfit and you have a whole new look.
As part of my collaboration with Parc Boutique, I wrote the product descriptions for two new scarves that will appear in the new winter look book. Here’s a peek at them:
Stay warm and stylish!
Easy Pineapple Dip Recipe
This pineapple dip for a party is one of those things that it’s fairly easy to make, but it makes a big impression! Which is totally what you want when you’re bringing a dish to a party, right?
I made this dip for an office party and it was a big hit. It’s perfect for a luau party, a pot luck, game day, or really any time you’re entertaining. It brings a little bit of sun no matter what the climate. It’s fun to make, and so easy it only takes six steps. If you’re looking for luau party recipes, definitely consider this. You could even argue that it’s pretty healthy–just look at all the fruit and nuts! It’s gluten free, but not dairy or nut free, as you’ll see by looking at the ingredients.
6-Step Tropical Pineapple Pecan Dip Recipe
- 2 packages cream cheese
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 1 cup crushed pineapple (drain off all the juice)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp real maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Step 1: Slice a pineapple in half lengthwise. Hollow out the half with the stem still attached. It also helps to carefully slice off a section from the back of the pineapple to keep it stable, since this is going to be your base.
Step 2: Dice the fruit from the hollowed out half and the remaining half of the pineapple. Set aside hollowed pineapple and pecans.
Step 3: Blend remaining ingredients by mixer (easiest) or by hand.
Step 4: Place mixture in hollowed out pineapple cut and cover in pecans.
Step 5: Decorate with plate garnishes such as sliced oranges, kumquat and tropical flowers. It’s really the garnishes that make this dish adorable, so have fun with it! I used silk flowers, orange slices and plums. Kumquat, coconut and grapefruit would also be adorable!
Step 6: Serve with vanilla wafers or crackers, whichever suits your sweet/savory fancy.
The little details of making a food dish into a presentation are what puts it over the top! For more party-ready platters, check out this cake banner.