Monday, December 19, 2011

4 Great Places to Find Recipes for Tasty Holiday Treats

Christmas is just around the corner, and that means that you will be baking soon, if you aren’t already. There are so many goodies passed around to snack on this time of the year. It’s no wonder most people add a pound, or two, during the holidays.

If you are like me, you have so many good recipes that it’s hard to choose each year what to make. I can’t possibly make them all, and yet I crave something new once in a while. I wouldn’t dream of getting rid of the old favorites, but I like to come up with a couple surprises for my family.

Do you get bored with making the same treats each year? There’s no reason why you can’t mix it up a bit by adding a couple new recipes along with your family’s favorites goodies. Unless you have a hard time finding new recipes that spark your interest.

I have a few ideas and sources that will help you with finding a few tasty recipes to try, without having to buy a cookbook.

Dotcom À la Mode

Cooks and Bakers can find a wealth of information and opportunity on the Internet. You can find just about anything pertaining to food, from a nice selection of Cuisinart food processors, to home delivery for your groceries.

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that good recipes are abundant on the Internet as well. The websites vary greatly and can specialize in certain areas such as:

    * Diabetic
    * Cookies
    * Italian
    * Pork Chops
    * Dieting

I have utilized a few, depending on what I am looking for in a recipe. However, I think my favorite is sparkrecipe.com. This website has a large selection of recipes for any category. It also has online tools to help you with cooking, calculating nutritional value, and the ability to store your own recipes online.

The database of recipes are made up of recipes submitted by the users of the site. You can either submit recipes to share, or keep them private for your own safe keeping.

There are several websites that are available like this, where you can find delightful holiday baking recipes. So, I recommend searching around the Internet, or search for ‘Holiday Baking’.

Grandma’s Recipe Box

I have my Grandma’s old recipe box, with all her handwritten recipes of great treats, which bring back childhood memories. That in itself is a treat for me.

It always amazes me when I try one of my old favorites from her box, how my children get excited about a new goodie that I made. I then get to take a trip down Memory Lane with them, as I explain how my Grandma used to make this for me.

Recipe Exchange with Your Friends

Perhaps my favorite way to obtain new ideas is to have a recipe-exchange coffee with a group of friends, or family. It’s a great way to get new recipes, and catch up with everyone.

I like to host a coffee at my house, shortly after the home is decorated for Christmas, so we can feel the spirit. It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season.

Each guest brings a treat to pass, which could be cookies, bars, muffins, pie, cake, or even a savory appetizer. They then bring a copy of the recipe for everyone to take home.

The only ‘rule’ we have is that the recipe has to be relatively unique, by finding a completely new recipe, tweaking an old one, or creating one of our own.

Tap into Your Creative Side

I believe that anyone who loves to bake and cook could quite possibly have an untapped talent for creating some special creations. If you have a passion for food, but haven’t dared to create your own recipes, you really should give it a try.

You could start small, with making some simple changes to an existing recipe until you are more comfortable. For example, take a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and add chopped maraschino cherries and walnuts.

Just be careful when you do this. Make sure to write the changes down, in case you like it. I made that mistake once, and my husband loved what I created, then found out I didn’t write it down. We actually made a little wager on whether or not I could duplicate it again. Unfortunately, I lost out on a white Cuisinart toaster that I had my eye on. I now know to have pen and paper handy when I am creating.

A Recipe to Inspire

I hope that I have given you some ideas on how to find new recipes, and inspire creativity in the kitchen, especially for the holidays.

Even if you give just one of the ideas above a chance, you should be able to come up with a few new recipes to add your collection.

From our home to yours, Happy Holidays!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Cameron is a freelance writer, who lives in Texas with her husband Dave, and their 2 young children. She loves to spend time with her family, bake, and research on the Internet for her writing.