Holiday Desserts

Sitting by a crackling fire, listening to classics like “The Christmas Song”, watching the tree lights twinkle, and enjoying my mom’s sweet, chocolatey fudge are some of my favorite Christmas traditions while growing up.

I’m not sure I can call myself “grown up” now, but I guess having two kids, a mortgage, and crow’s feet kind of qualifies me as so. Being a wife and mom myself (and, yeah, I guess a grown up) now, one of my greatest joys is creating a safe, cozy home for my family, and at this time of year, holiday traditions really add to the coziness of home.

I am sure throughout the years we will add in some more traditions, but right now our traditions are: picking out and decorating the tree together, having a Christmas scent on the stove filling the house with sweet and spicy aromas, Chinese food on Christmas Eve (which started as a young married couple after a busy evening at church, and I liked it so much we have kept it up), and of course, having ample goodies. Two goodies we have every year are peppermint bark and molasses cookies, but I am trying to add some more snacks and treats into the mix.

The holiday season always has its own level of Crazy, but add in a global pandemic, and having a new baby, and you have A [big] Pinch of Crazy! All of that to say, this year I didn’t really have the time or mental capacity to come up with a new holiday goodie, but I wanted to compile a list of some of my previous holiday treats for y’all to maybe make some traditions of your own!

Our Favorites

  • Marbled Peppermint Bark – This treat is both cool and refreshing and chocolatey and rich. While it is not refined sugar free, it is a breeze to whip up, and everyone is sure to love it!
  • Molasses Cookies – These warmly spiced cookies are soft and chewy with just the right touch of unrefined sweetness. These are my husband’s favorite, and I love making them for him every year!

Fall Flavors

  • Apple Pie Parfaits – These cute individual desserts are layered with warm apple pie filling, granola crumble, and whipped cream.
  • Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping – Just because fall is over, doesn’t mean you can’t finish up your canned pumpkin in the pantry. Pumpkin bread is always a hit; add a cinnamon crumb topping and you’ve got a family favorite!
  • No Bake Pumpkin Pie – Not just for Thanksgiving, this pie will be sure to please with its date and walnut crust filled with spiced pumpkin filling.

Candies and Confections

  • Chocolate Nut Clusters – These crunchy chocolate covered nuts are topped with a touch of salt, and are perfectly poppable for this time of year.
  • Two Layer Paleo Fudge – Fudge is a Christmas classic, and this refined sugar and dairy free version has a creamy almond butter layer beneath a salted dark chocolate layer.
  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – Who doesn’t love a peanut butter cup at Christmas time? This healthier version of the classic candy is rich, gooey, and so simple to make!

Classic Desserts

Holiday Beverages

  • Dairy Free Eggnog – Eggnog is one of my favorite holiday drinks, and being strictly dairy free this year doesn’t mean I have to miss out! This thick, creamy, and sweet drink is made with coconut and almond milk, sweetened with coconut sugar, and can be made “adult” with some bourbon.
  • Slow Cooker Apple Cider – Warm, spiced apple cider is simple to make in your slow cooker, and your home will be filled with all the spicy scents.
  • Death by Hot Chocolate – Another treat we have often this time of year, this dairy free, refined sugar free hot chocolate is not missing out on flavor. It is so rich, it tastes just like drinking melted chocolate!

This year has been tough on so many in different ways; I hope these treats can fill your home with love and Christmas cheer. Maybe you can even add a new tradition to your usual ones. Stay safe and healthy, hug your loved ones, soak in the magic of the season… and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

A Cornucopia of Ideas

See what I did there? Thanksgiving. Cornucopia. But instead of fruit and gourds, my cornucopia is full of ideas for your Thanksgiving menu! To be honest, I only have one extra recipe photographed right now, it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving or the holidays (it’s a make-ahead breakfast cup), and all my creative juices are going towards stopping temper tantrums, lessons, and reorganizing to get Zemirah’s big girl room and the baby’s room ready. So that being said, my cornucopia of ideas is all pulled from recipes past, but all linked in this handy dandy notebook post! Hope you can glean some ideas for your turkey day!

Drinks:

  • Slow Cooker Apple Cider – This would be perfect to have simmering in the slow cooker when guests arrive. For adults, add a splash of spiced rum!
  • Death by Hot Chocolate – Perfect to serve alongside desserts; you could even have a fun hot chocolate bar set up by the dessert table. My favorite kind of bar 😉
  • Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer – Another one of my favorite bars is a coffee bar, and if you have creamer options out by the coffee, this is a must!

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Slow Cooker Apple Cider

Appetizers:

  • Spicy Deviled Eggs – Everyone loves a deviled egg appetizer, and these have just the right amount of spice thanks to tangy pickled jalapenos.
  • Slow Cooker Meatballs – These tender meatballs are swimming in a flavorful tomato sauce and ready for your appetizer table.
  • Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping – A sweeter appetizer, but this pumpkin bread is delicious, and would be so perfectly adorable sliced on a little wooden cutting board. Next to the butter dish of course!
  • Classic Garlic Hummus – The perfect dip to add to your charcuterie board – goes great with crackers, breads, or veggies!

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Spicy Deviled Eggs

Main Dish:

  • Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with Gravy – If you’re going for a classic main dish at your Thanksgiving dinner, turkey it is. This turkey has a garlic, herb compound ghee (you could also use butter) rubbed under the skin for moistness (gag. I said it.), with a squeeze of grapefruit juice for acidity. With great flavors, perfectly crispy skin, and tender meat, this is a crowd pleaser, and it comes complete with a simple gravy recipe.
  • Roasted Chicken with Carrots – This is a perfect main dish for a smaller crowd. It’s still a whole bird, just smaller, but with bright flavors, crispy skin, and a side dish built right in!

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Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey

Side Dishes:

  • Maple Dijon Roasted Carrots – Nothing says fall more than carrots roasted in a maple syrup glaze. These are tender, sweet and salty, and perfect to go alongside your Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Sweet and Sour Broccoli – The name says it all. A little sweet, a little sour, and a little spicy. Change up your steamed broccoli game!
  • Roasted Potatoes – Easy, “cheesy”, crispy potatoes are delicious with any meal, so why not make it easy on yourself and toss these in the oven alongside your turkey?
  • ABC Brussels Sprouts – A is for almond, B for balsamic, C for cranberries; this sweet and tart veggie side is sure to please the taste buds and the eye with it’s festive colors.
  • Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes – You gotta have mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving! Why not make them healthier by being dairy free?
  • Crispy Brussels Sprouts – Delight your guests with a salty, crispy, roasted side.

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Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Desserts:

  • Pumpkin Pecan Muffins – For those with the not-so-big sweet tooth who want just a touch of dessert with their after-dinner coffee.
  • Apple Pie Parfaits – Adorable single serve parfaits are full of all the flavors of apple pie.
  • No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust – A classically plain “cheese”cake: sweet, mildly tart, with a nutty, chocolatey crust has endless topping possibilities! Guests can create their own with their favorite fruits or nuts.
  • Microwave Molten Lava Cake – These personal chocolate cakes are decadent, easy, and perfect for a smaller crowd.
  • No Bake Pumpkin Pie – A classic remade with a healthy twist!
  • Molasses Cookies – You have to have a cookie jar on the dessert table, and these are the cookies to fill it with! Full of warm, spiced flavors, and sweetened with molasses.
  • Pumpkin Spice Cake – All the flavors of fall in a gorgeous bundt cake, bathed in dark chocolate ganache and topped with candied pumpkin seeds. If this cake doesn’t say “fall”, I don’t know what does!
  • Two Layer Paleo Fudge – It’s time to pull out the holiday favorites, like fudge! This fudge has a layer of almond butter topped with chocolate; add a sprinkle of sea salt on top, and it’s fudgy perfection!

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Two Layer Paleo Fudge

 

Hopefully this list can give you some ideas for a healthier, yet delicious Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has a blessed holiday, enjoy your family, enjoy the food…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!