As I mentioned on Friday’s post, I joined in on a really fun virtual cookie swap with some other bloggers. These gals really came through with a whole slew of different and delicious cookies!

I’m always looking for something new to bake each year, to go along with our traditional favorites – and all of these look like sweet treats my family would enjoy. I know yours will too! I just hope I have time to bake them all before Christmas…














Festive Shortbread Bites

I’d seen these little festive Shortbread Bites pop up in my Facebook feed several times over the past couple weeks. I immediately was smitten. I mean, seriously, how cute are they? While I love shortbread, it’s so rich that a whole cookie can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. But, one perfect little bite? How can one resist that?

The recipe for the shortbread is on-point. Tender, buttery, and crumbly – it really is a little perfect little bite of  baked perfection. The key is to knead the dough with your hands until it comes together. Use the mixer to break down the butter, but then your hands to bring it all together. When you dump the mix out of the work bowl it will be crumbly – don’t despair! After a few scrunches in your palms, the butter warms and makes a dough that is easy to work with.

I loved the flecks of color through-out the bites. Looking forward to making this with different colored nonpareils for other holidays as well – pink & red for Valentine’s, pastels for Easter, purple and orange for Halloween! I’ll definitely be making them again before the year is over for gift bags as well. There’s nothing better than homemade goodies to give as gifts!

Speaking of which, make sure you check back here on Sunday for a cookie swap party that I’m doing with some fellow blogger friends. There will be some great ideas to add to your “must bake” list this year! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Source: adapted from Good Housekeeping

Happy National Pi (3.14) Day! I was in the kitchen yesterday, to share an awesome pie recipe – but, it didn’t quite pan out the way I’d like. So, here’s an awesome round-up of the pies I’ve made so far (and loved!) instead. The geek in me loves any holiday centered around numbers and decimals – but one that involves pie? You definitely don’t have to twist my arm to celebrate this food holiday!Fresh Strawberry PieFresh Strawberry Pie – this pie is ideal when strawberries are in season locally, which I believe they are for some of my friends down south already. But, I’ve made it with strawberries from a clam-shell container in my grocery store before and it’s still wonderful. I loved making a strawberry pie from scratch – that didn’t involve a tub of that horrid red gel.

Triple Berry PieTriple Berry Pie – this is another delicious berry pie, which just so happens to be over-the-top beautiful! Filled with plump blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries – it’s sure to please any pie lover!Tomato PieTomato Pie – Who said savory pies shouldn’t have any fun? Tomato pie is pretty much my lunch for at least half of the days in the summer. I like to eat it warm, or cold – and paired with a salad? It’s the perfect meal in my eyes. I actually made one this week with hothouse tomatoes from the grocery store, I just couldn’t wait for July!

Apple {oeClassic Apple Pie – this guy needs to introduction. It’s the pie to end all pies – apple. This is a great recipe too, no overly sweet with plenty of spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side? Perfection.

Chocolate Cream PieChocolate Cream Pie – I’d say this is my favorite of the lot. Although, I’ve always been more of a cream-based pie versus a fruit-based pie – but don’t hold it against me! An Oreo crust, a creamy and rich chocolate pudding, then topped off with fluffy whipped cream. Heaven in a pie plate!

Peach PiePeach Pie – I love any dessert involving peaches, but in a buttery flaky pie crust – topped with a gorgeous lattice topping? A true thing of beauty. Also, does peach pie remind anyone else of The Peach Pie and Beverly Hills, 90210? Nat would be proud of this pie!

Macadamia Key Lime PieMacadamia Key Lime Pie – the crust is composed of rich, buttery shortbread cookies and crushed up macadamia nuts. Then filled with a traditional key lime filling that’s made with lime juice, condensed milk, and cream cheese. One of my favorite pies, without a doubt!

Blueberry PieBlueberry Pie – an all American favorite. A buttery, flaky double-layer pie crust stuffed with a sweet filling that’s composed of lots of fresh blueberries. Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Ricotta Pineapple PieRicotta Pineapple Pie – definitely not the most traditional version of a pie in this lot, it’s definitely not one to be overlooked. It’s light and refreshing, perfect for warmer weather. A rich and creamy filling, topped with sweet and refreshing pineapple. Definitely one to try!

Caprese PieCaprese Pie – similar to my tomato pie, but a little heartier since it’s layered with mozzarella cheese. Absolutely delicious, and the perfect meal in the warmer months!

Sweet Cherry PieSweet Cherry Pie – I always look forward to cherry season just so that I can make a pie with fresh cherries. This version uses sweet dark cherries, since that’s all I can ever get my hands on. It’s absolutely delicious – and worth all the work of pitting the cherries, I promise!

Earlier this week I shared your favorite recipes here at Tide & Thyme in 2012. However, some of my absolute favorites weren’t on the list and I couldn’t let the end of the year go by without sharing those too! I know if you enjoy any one of these recipes, half as much as we do, it’s sure to be a winner in your home too!

Beatty's Chocolate CakeBeatty’s Chocolate Cake – this is the cake that my family always requests for birthdays. It’s moist, rich, and decadent. The addition of coffee to the cake batter and frosting sets it apart from any other chocolate cake I’ve had. It’s wonderful.

Shrimp EnchiladasShrimp Enchiladas – this dish has “wow”-ed everyone that I’ve served it to. In fact, it’s actually rendered a couple of people speechless. I never thought that a shrimp rendition would turn out to be my favorite enchilada, but it certainly has.

"Animal" Double-Double“Animal” Double-Doubles – I’d been craving In-N-Out Burger for a solid two years before I finally got the nerve to try to re-create them at home. These burgers are pretty damn close, and it’s definitely one of the recipes I’m so glad I added to my recipe box this year!

Buffalo Chicken PizzaBuffalo Chicken Pizza – My favorite pizza of the year, hands down. The buffalo pizza sauce is amazeballs, then to top it with sliced chicken and red onion that gets crunchy in the oven? Crazy good.

diymargaritamixDIY Margarita Mix – it was definitely the year of the margarita in our house. No matter what seasonal fruit I was whipping into a marg, this was always the base component. It’s great as a mixer for other things too, like lime daiquiris. We always have a bottle in the fridge!

Chicken MarsalaChicken Marsala – my signature dish. Well, one of them at least! I’ve made this time and time again, and we never get tired of it. The sauce is so silky and rich, and the chicken tender and flavorful. Kids, this is one for the books. Make it!

Raspberry CheesecakeRaspberry Cheesecake – the picture pretty much sums this one up. A thick, rich cheesecake topped with mounds of gorgeous sweet/tart berries? It doesn’t get any better than this.

Blackened Fish TacosBlackened Fish Tacos – while my love for fish tacos was born out of the beer-battered variety, these blackened fish tacos quickly became our favorite. They take a few minutes to throw together, are about a million times healthier, and have more flavor. The mango salsa on top is killer too!

Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl BreadCinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread – We enjoy a loaf of this bread at least once a week. It’s perfect for an easy breakfast or snack, and everyone always loves it. Definitely one of recipes I’m most proud of for making myself home (instead of buying at the store) in 2012!

Pork Tenderloin with Madiera-Fig GravyPork Tenderloin with Madiera Fig Gravy – my favorite new recipe that I tried this year, and I totally didn’t see it coming. Prior to this year, I hadn’t been a fan of pork tenderloin. But, when seasoned and cooked properly – it’s a wonderful, lean cut of meat. I’m already looking forward to spring when our fig tree will produce again!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup CookiesChocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies – I entered these cookies in my small town’s fair this year, and they won Reserve Champion. They’re big, they’re rich,  and one is all you need. Our favorite cookie!

porcini and pumpkin ale mac and cheesePorcini and Pumpkin Ale Macaroni & Cheese – we eat a considerable amount of pasta dishes in a one-year time frame, but this one really sticks out with me. All the flavors just work so beautifully together to create a dish that’s so satisfyingly delicious. I need to make this one again soon!

So, there they are. It never ceases to amaze me – all the wonderful food that I’ve made at home as a result of doing this little food blog. It’s definitely forced me to go out on a limb more, and try recipes I wouldn’t normally try. I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things we whip up in 2013!