Thinking Outside the Gift Box

Shopping is done.

Presents are wrapped.

House is clean.

YEAH RIGHT!!!  As if.  I have upwrapped gifts scattered all over my house, I can’t find my bag of bows, I’m out of tissue paper, and I haven’t bought cards yet.  Cooking a fancy dish for the big family get together on Christmas Day??  Fuhgetaboutit.

Fortunately, there is still time to whip up a great side with little fuss and muss.  And it’s different enough to wow the family.  Check out my Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes and take a deep breath.  The holidays are saved!  Now if you could just keep the cat from attacking the tree…

Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes


Merry Christmas!

Stocking Stuffers!


If you’re anything like me, this Christmas snuck up on you like a cat ready to pounce on a mouse.  No matter how prepared I think I am, this always seems to happen….and the older I get, the more quickly it happens, too!

Anything to make the holidays easier is at the top of my Nice List.  Last season, I posted some stocking stuffer recipes that were quick, easy, and fun to make.  Take a stroll down Memory Lane with me and maybe incorporate some of these goodies into your own loved ones’ stockings or gift bags, or fruit baskets, or……

Gingerbread Spiced Latte

Slow-Cooked Rosemary Lamb Chops (2 recipes in 1!)

Candy Cane Hearts

Happy Holiday-ing!

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

The holidays are in full swing.  A labor-intensive weeknight meal?  Ain’t nobody got time for that!!  This cauliflower recipe requires practically no prep-time yet packs a punch of delicious flavor.  It’s like finding that perfect Christmas gift … and it’s 75% off!  Score!

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

  • 4 cups chopped cauliflower (1 large head or 2 medium heads)
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons agave (or be like me, and go to the store specifically for agave, spend $100, and return…without the agave.  I used some pancake syrup to fill in the gap.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt / pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese (think the powdery kind)
  • parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400º.  Combine all ingredients except the cheese into a large bowl or a Ziplock bag.  Chop cauliflower into florets and toss in mixture, coating thoroughly.

Cauliflower 1
It was a weeknight – I didn’t bother to use my “pretty” mixing bowl. 😉

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out the cauliflower.  To keep the coating from getting watery, make sure the cauliflower isn’t too crowded, as that creates a steaming effect.  Use two baking sheets if needed.

Cauliflower 2
Even cauliflower doesn’t like big holiday crowds, LOL.

Bake for 30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.  Return cauliflower to bag or bowl, add Parmesan cheese, and toss to coat.

I served this up with some grilled chicken and sauteed Brussels sprouts.  My husband, who is a huge meat eater, kept returning to the cauliflower, saying ~ and I quote ~ “This stuff is off the hook!”  Score!

Sweet n Spicy Cauliflower