Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies Recipe

This is a wonderful cookie, but I find it a bore to make. Each and every year I drop this one from my list, and each and every year my daughter asks, hopefully, "Are you going to make those candy cane cookies this year?"

Each and every year I reply, "Well, all right, but ONLY if you'll help me!"

The reason for this devotion is obvious from the first taste. These cookies are distinctive and wonderfully flavored--and they look, smell and taste like Christmas!

Banana-Nut Bread

Recipe for Banana Nut Bread

Moist and flavorful, this traditional nut bread freezes well ... and kids (of all ages) love it! Try it toasted and spread with peanut butter!

To make banana nut bread for holiday gifts, use mini- or small sized loaf pans. After baking, cool loaves completely, then wrap in plastic food storage wrap. Wrap with a second layer of food wrap, then freeze baked loaves in freezer food storage bags.

Frozen loaves thaw quickly, making it easy to assemble gift baskets or quick hostess gifts for holiday parties.

Freezer Garlic Mashed Potatoes

A little-known trick to calm holiday cooking stress? Make-ahead dishes for the freezer. Cooked and stored ahead of time, freezer side dishes free up time for the holiday cook.

But can you get perfect creamy texture ... from frozen potatoes? Potatoes look watery before freezing, but the water will be absorbed as they bake.

While it is possible to substitute russet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes yield a more flavorful dish. A Ewer family favorite!

Christmas Organizing Secret: Try A Tear File!

tear files

Christmas magazines and catalogs are fabulous resources for seasonal decorating, gift ideas, and Christmas recipes—but en masse, they can become too much of a good thing.

When the piles avalanche from every side table, finding an article or a recipe that caught your eye a few weeks ago can be an impossible job.

How do you keep all that good information without being crushed by stacks or drowning in paper? Answer: a set of tear files.

Cynthia Ewer's Tangy Tri-Cities Biscotti

Twenty years ago, my husband and I were newcomers to Washington State. With so many friends in other parts of the USA, I wanted to share some of the tastes of our new home. Result: this original recipe, now my holiday specialty.

These biscotti feature dried Washington cherries (you can substitute dried cranberries, too!) and local walnuts. Dipped in white chocolate, they're a tasty and elegant accompaniment to that other Washington State tradition, gourmet coffee.

Best, biscotti are easy to make and easy to pack. Stand a few on end in a latte mug, add a small bag of gourmet coffee beans, and you've scored a quick Christmas cheat!

Give Thanks: Last Minute Thanksgiving Craft Ideas

Last Minute Crafts for Thanksgiving

American families will gather this week to celebrate Thanksgiving. Spark your holiday with these last-minute gift and craft ideas!

With free printable gift tags and bag toppers, these Thanksgiving snack mix gifts are easy to make.

Share them with guests, bring them to the workplace, or use as table favors:

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon sugar cookie recipe

A tasty basic sugar cookie dough, this recipe has been kid-tested by three generations of the Ewer family.

Sturdy enough for decorating, these lemon-flavored cookies have a crisp, light taste.

Try Lemon Sugar Cookies rolled and cut into frosted Christmas shapes, or just flattened with a glass and sprinkled with sugar.

To freeze, stack baked--but undecorated--cookies in single layers, separating each layer with sheets of waxed paper. Freeze for up to four weeks. Thaw and decorate as desired.

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