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A Favorite Tradition To Gift

Giving the gift of Godiva each and every year
Filed Under > Desserts

Growing up there were few things as symbolic of a holiday or special occasion than a gold GODIVA box.  Out of everything, and anything, it was probably my mother’s favorite gift to give and get.  

We’d open the box together, carefully choosing our favorite flavor, savoring each and every piece, never able to pick an actual favorite.

And to this day, that golden box still holds that same excitement and love for our family.  As I’ve grown I’ve extended the love of GODIVA well past that of our family.  Yes, mom still always gets her gold box, but GODIVA has easily become my gift of choice for all of those people I want to make feel extra special during the holiday season.  Co-workers, neighbors, and my personal favorite all of my UPS, FedEx, and USPS delivery men and women.

As you know I own a small retail shop, and I would be absolutely lost without the delivery men and women in my life.  So each year, my small metal sleigh sits by our door with plenty of my favorite holiday GODIVA boxes stacked up and ready to gift to all of those amazing individuals. This simple, and delicious gesture is so appreciated and each year it’s fun to see what the GODIVA Holiday Collection will entail.

This year GODIVA’S Holiday Desserts Collection gift box is like no other.  Truly, capturing the flavors of the season inspired by all of the most decadent holiday desserts such as Dark Chocolate Pecan, Dark Pear Vanilla, Chocolate Ganache, and Milk Chocolate Almond Cookie.

I of course had to sneak a few pieces for myself while preparing Santa’s Sleigh and I’ve got to say, this might be the best holiday box I’ve tasted in years.  Not to mention the most gorgeous. That’s one of the other brilliant things about GODIVA, the boxes are beyond gorgeous so you don’t need to worry about wrapping. And this year GODIVA even came out with Peppermint Bark and the most adorable Hot Cocoa Toppers. Seriously, just when I think it couldn’t get better than the classic gold box, it does.  

Hope you’ll be making someone’s season this year with the gift of GODIVA.  I know I will! Truly, MKR

Thanksgiving Dinner Made Easy

Making the holidays enjoyable again with Whole Foods
Filed Under > Entertaining

Between juggling the shop, the blog, travel, and everything else that comes with the season, this year I decided to make Thanksgiving easy. No three-day food prep, no failed recipes, no arguments in the kitchen. No none of that. This year, I was going to actually enjoy the only day I have off and let Whole Foods do the heavy lifting for me.

You see, Whole Foods is just waiting to make all of your holiday dreams come true with their massive holiday menu! From charcuterie boards and bacon wrapped apps, to turkeys, hams, pies, and all the sides you could dream up, Whole Foods has the holidays covered.

They cook it, and all you do is finish it in the oven and place it onto the table.  It’s that easy.  But seriously, it’s that easy.  They send you on your merry way with very detailed instructions that even someone who’s never cooked a day in their life could handle.  And I loved the fact that while Whole Foods takes you 90% of the way there is a little work that you still have to put into it so I felt as if I had actually cooked the meal.

As far as the meal itself, I went with the Festive Feast for 12, and it was a feast.  Every single thing was delicious, and we had leftovers for days. But if I was playing favorites I’d say it had to be the ham, the creamed kale and spinach, and the apple pie. The next day I poured the creamed kale and spinach over tortilla chips and added a little salsa and it was like heaven.  Highly recommend that little leftover.

While I did go with the Festive Feast for 12, I love that you don’t have to go with a full feast and can just pick and choose, truly creating your own custom menu. So if you love baking pies, or the turkeys your thing, but don’t want to mess with the sides you can just get Whole Food’s sides.  If the sides are your thing, but you don’t want to mess up that big glorious bird, you can just order the turkey.  Whatever will make your Thanksgiving enjoyable again, you can make happen with a little help from Whole Foods. 

And of course, Whole Foods being Whole Foods, they’ve got plenty of options for vegans, vegetarians, grain free, Keto-friendly, and whatever else seems to be the diet trend this year.

And I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the cost.  I knew, being Whole Foods the food quality would be bar none, but what shocked me was how reasonably priced everything was.  It was the least expensive Thanksgiving dinner I’ve EVER hosted.  Ever!

So, the only question left to really answer is are you going to make Thanksgiving stressful this year, or are you going to be like me kicked back with a glass of wine and actually enjoying the day! Truly, MKR

Photography, Rustic White Interiors | This post is in collaboration with Whole Foods, a brand I love and adore.  Opinoins and images are 100% my own.

Strawberry Cheesecake Two Ways's NOT homemade. It's the easiest, most perfect cheesecake mix you'll ever try!
Filed Under > Desserts

To be completely honest I’ve never made a cheesecake at home.  I’ve baked a lot of things; cakes, pies, cookies, creme brulee even, but not cheesecake.  It always seemed so intimidating. So when I was introduced to The Cheesecake Factory At Home’s premium Cheesecake Mixes I was completely game. A bit skeptical, but game nonetheless.

Why skeptical you ask? Because The Cheesecake Factory At Home promised their premium Cheesecake Mixes to be two things I never associated with homemade cheesecake; easy and that the cheesecake itself will “come out perfect every time.” Not to mention taste like The Cheesecake Factory’s cheesecake which as we all know is the cheesecake of cheesecakes! It didn’t seem possible. So with just a bit of skepticism in mind, I set out to see if both the above were true.  Spoiler alert, they were.

First the easy part. The directions were easy to follow, and the steps were few. Aside from the mix itself I only needed four additional ingredients: butter, cream cheese, milk, eggs and fresh strawberries (if you like) because you can never have too many strawberries.

Now the perfect part. This my friends is where I was like, “no way.” No way will my cheesecake come out perfect the first time. Sure, after you’ve mastered the tricks of cheesecake I could see it coming out perfect, but not the first time.

Well, I’m thrilled to say I made two cheesecakes from two mixes, at the same time, and both came out perfect in BOTH look and taste.  And the craziest part is I didn’t even use a springform baking pan, just a standard cake tin. I was shocked, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do a happy dance and sigh a huge sigh of relief when the cake hit the cake stand.

Lastly, in my title, I mentioned Cheesecake two ways. Because I love entertaining I decided to not only make the strawberry cheesecake the classic way, but I also put a new spin on the mix creating what I’m calling Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding.

Being just the right bite, these little cuties are perfect for any party or holiday dessert table. To recreate them yourself all you have to do is make The Cheesecake Factory At Home premium Cheesecake Mixes as directed. After the cheesecake has completely cooled and set you put the whole cheesecake into a large mixing bowl and mix it all up (by hand not with an electric mixer) until the crust turns into little bits that runs through the entire mixture, almost like a banana pudding.  

After you’ve got it all mixed well (you don’t want it too creamy, just combined well enough), add the mixture to a piping bag and pipe the combination into these little individual dessert glasses and top with the strawberry topping. It’s that easy, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

So that’s it my friends.  An easy cheesecake mix, that really does come out perfect every time, and just in time for the holiday season. And while I’m partial to strawberry it does come in a few other flavors which you can check out here. Happy baking friends! Truly, MKR

P.S. I won’t judge if when you try this out for yourself that you don’t actually tell anyone that this gorgeous cheesecake came from a mix rather than being “homemade.” wink, wink. 



**This post is sponsored by The Cheesecake Factory At Home, a brand I love and adore. All opinions and images are 100% my own**

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