Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'food'

the most gorgeous holiday tablescape

December 15th, 2014 · 1 Comment

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As you guys know, I love to entertain. 

Give me a free weekend with nothing on our agenda and I’ll figure out some excuse to have people over — sometimes with an hour or two of notice, sometimes with a month.  When I have the time, energy, and resources, there’s nothing I like more.

And I’ve learned something really important from many years of obsessive hostessing: your guests want to see you.  They’re not showing up to evaluate your home cooking or crafting as compared to Pinterest.  They want to hang out; they want to catch up.  They do not want you to be stuck in the kitchen whipping up homemade treats for them, all by yourself.

When we lived in New York, I learned this the hard way (sort of).  I invited a dozen or so friends over to our apartment, and just placed a tray of toasted baguette slices into our oven when the doorbell rang with the first guest.  Twenty minutes later, I had forgotten completely about those little toasts, and I was enjoying talking with a few friends when, suddenly, I smelled something… burning.

My homemade recipe was done-zo.  Or, more accurately, ha ha, it was toast.

And, you know what?  No one cared.

The party went on, I hung out with our friends, and the toasts were forgotten.  No one starved.

And from that, I learned my lesson.  The next time we invited friends over, I didn’t make everything from scratch.  I bought some beautiful items, laid them out in a pretty way, and everyone ooh-ed and aah-ed the same as they always did. 

I still love setting out the most beautiful dishes, and creating the prettiest table.  But lately — especially with a new baby, when my time is not just limited but essentially nonexistant — I’ve been embracing the beautiful things that are also easy

And on that note, let me introduce Shari’s Berries.  These beautiful little treats are stunningly gorgeous, and they’re literally the perfect thing to break out when you want to present a beautiful table with very minimal effort.

Also, they make chocolate-covered Oreos with Christmas decorations on them.  Are you sold yet?

I picked out some of my favorites for this post, but there are so many more beautiful options on their websites.  From handmade snowmen brownie pops to cake truffles in gift boxes with quirky little sayings, their website has everything you need to be the ultimate holiday hostess.

So sit back, relax, and don’t burn the toast. 

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Tags: food · holiday · sponsored

must-make fall recipe: old-fashioned apple crisp

October 28th, 2014 · 2 Comments

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When autumn rolls around, there’s nothing more exciting than baking a warm dessert, and if this dessert happens to be a healthy treat for your skin, so much the better.

Of course, eating dessert isn’t as good for you as eating fresh fruit, but if you’re going to treat yourself, do it the healthy way! Apples are full of vitamin C, which is a potent defender against free radicals and pollution. Oats, like all whole grains, have anti-inflammatory properties and are much better for your skin than regular pie crust.

This recipe is the perfect example of a traditional technique that works for a busy modern schedule — all you need is some apples, oats, butter, a few pantry staples, and you have a delicious, healthy dish!

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Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

INGREDIENTS
4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
1.  Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.

2. Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

3 Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream.

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Tags: food · This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program. · Visit www.facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to share your story on sensitive skin. For more tips and deals from Simple, join the Simple VIP community at https://www.simpleskincare.com/simplevip/

slow cooker vegetable stew

October 8th, 2014 · No Comments

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Forgive me if I sound a bit intense here.

BUT ZOMG THIS RECIPE IS SO FREAKING GOOD.

It really shouldn’t be.  This dish is basically nothing more than a few fresh veggies, a little butter, and some cheese.  No rare and expensive spices.  No fancy cooking techniques.  Just dump it all into the slow cooker, and come back in eight hours.

That’s literally it.

And yet… so good.  So easy, so simple, so delicious — and so mind-blowingly good. 

The slow cooker has become my best friend in the kitchen lately.  No matter how many times the baby cries or the dogs need to go outside or the phone rings — nothing burns.  It has single-handedly saved our family from starvation (or, at least, from take-out) many, many times in the last eight months. 

As a former vegetarian, this stew is light enough for lunch and hearty enough for dinner over brown rice.  But when I cooked it for a guest, I added panko-crusted chicken breast to serve over the top — based on this gem of a recipe.  Totally easy and completely delicious. 

PS — If you look back at the panko-chicken recipe, you’ll notice me spouting off advice about picky-eater kids… I’ll be taking my own advice in just a few months! 

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Slow Cooker Veggie Stew

INGREDIENTS
1 pound baby carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 bell peppers, diced
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup white wine
10 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS

Combine all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine.  Cook on high heat for 8 hours.  Serve with additional parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

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Tags: food · main dishes