Ever wonder what a colly bird is? Or why anyone would want a partridge in a pear tree? As a kid, I loved Christmas caroling and was quite proud when I learned all of the words to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” at a young age. I’m not sure my voice was beloved by others, though. One year the nun who led our student choir asked me to mouth the words because I was throwing others off. That was a bit embarrassing! Nevertheless, I continued to carol (quietly) in groups of middle-school girls. We’d go from house to house singing on cold and snowy doorsteps. Usually, we’d be offered the reward of a candy cane, a few coins, or sometimes get the big score of being invited in for hot chocolate.
One of our caroling staples was “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” As we’d sing, I’d picture the items being given as gifts and wonder who in their right minds would want the stuff (except may? And I was never quite sure what some of it was. Like the colly birds. In fact, until recently I thought they were "calling birds." But I looked up the original words and there it was, “colly birds.” Either way, who wants them? Still, I love the idea of the song’s theme. So, this year I decided to make 12 Days of Christmas Food, and starting tomorrow, I’ll share my creations with you here.
Tune in for each of the next 12 days (and maybe a few bonus days thereafter) to see the Easy Weekly Meals ideas for holiday appetizers, quick meals, sweet treats and snacks. And don’t forget, Easy Weekly Meals
ecookbooks make great and inexpensive virtual stocking stuffers for people on the go! Don’t worry, ebooks can be sent as gifts to anyone with an email address. Take a moment to browse through our food photos, techniques, and sample recipe under the “Recipe”
tab. Check out the pictures of our First Annual Cupcake Games
decorating contest too.
See you tomorrow, same time, same place.
Sheila Sanford's Pre-contest Icing and Piping Clinic
They came from Houston, Kennesaw, Atlanta, Athens, and Tennessee to participate in the First Annual Cupcake Games
. With piping kits in hand, and hours of instruction and practice under their belts, competitors gathered in Dining Room Stadium to take Sheila Sanford's Icing and Piping Clinic.
Cupcakes of many styles, flavors, and sizes, including regular, fluted, and mini; chocolate, pumpkin, red velvet, and French vanilla were lined up and available to contestants. Some cakes had candy treats, such as peanut butter cups, Rolos, and mint kisses baked into their centers. Others had room for filling.
Butter cream, strawberry, chocolate, and cream cheese icings; candies; gels; and all kinds of sugary Decors sat in the table's center, within easy reach of all.
"Two-tiered Cupcake" and "Rudolph" by the Tennessee Ringers.
With a ring of the starting bell, Chief Contest Official, Bill, pronounced, "Allez Cupcake!" and the contest was on. Contestants grabbed cupcakes and got to work.
Sprinkles flew here and there. Sugary scents filled the air. After a flurry of hectic activity, the Chief Official rang the closing bell and contestants lined up to present their entries to the contest judges, Official Bill, and me.
Contestants explained their designs, named the categories under which they were entered, and hovered around in the background awaiting the contest results.
After careful consideration and lots of tasting, winners were declared as follows:
"Amish Chariot" Most Comical
$10 Gift Certificate to Gigi's Cupcakes:
"Amish Chariot" in the Most Comical Category
"Rose, Black Gold, and Peppermints" Most Gorgeous 1
$10 Gift Certificate to Gigi's Cupcakes:
"Rose, Black Gold, and Peppermints" in the Most Gorgeous Category
"Lithium" Most Creative
Spreading Spatula Set:
"Lithium" in the Most Creative Category
"Candy Heaven" Most Gorgeous 2
Gourmet Cupcake Kit:
"Candy Heaven" in the Most Gorgeous Category
"Engineering" Most Delicious
Gourmet Red Velvet Cupcake Mix:
"Engineering with Stuffed Eclair Cupcake and Two-tiered Cupcake" in Most Delicious Category
Honorable Mentions go to:
See all entries and more contest pictures
- "Me" in the Most Gorgeous Category
- "Rudolph" in the Most Creative Category
- "My White Shi-Tzu with Red Bows" in Most Comical Category
- "Three Evils: Hitler, the Devil, and Devil's Trident" in Most Comical Category
Thanks to all who participated in the First Annual Cupcake Games! And may the odds continue to be in your favor.Special thanks to Gigis Cupcakes at the Forum
My Thanksgiving guests have returned to their homes. I've finally put away the last of my dinnerware. The cupcakes from EWM's first annual Cupcake Decorating Contest
have been consumed. (Watch the EWM blog for the results to be posted here soon!)
The Christmas season lies before me now and I realize I've got a million things to do! On days such as these I like to take a page from Easy Weekly Meals
and make dinner, and my life, easy and delicious. Tonight I'm putting a holiday twist onto EWM's Turkey Pinwheel
recipe by using green wraps like the ones pictured here. They are quick and easy to make, taste great, and the green and red colors bring a little holiday to the table.
If you'd like to follow suit and make this quick and healthy meal, just follow the linked words to our recipe page and use the Turkey Pinwheel Recipe
Image courtesy of cybercomm.nl
In the 1960’s I watched the Jetson Family “talk” virtually and make amazing things happen electronically through pushing buttons and voice activation. I loved the fantastical nature of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon and wished life could be so easy for me. As if by magic many of the Jetson’s conveniences are a reality 20-somethings think have always been available.
Texting and emailing factored into the success of this year’s Thanksgiving holiday for me. I was lucky enough to have family visit for the weekend. I grew up in a large family by today’s standards, although it felt normal to me then. With 5 siblings and a dog our house always felt full. My mom was the eldest of 5 siblings, and my Dad’s family lived nearby. So, holidays were always full-house time. The entire day would be loaded with culinary tasks. As a pre-teen responsibility for filling the mixed nut bowl, cutting up carrots and celery for the relish tray, helping fill the ubiquitous Jell-O molds with mandarin oranges, and stirring the gravy until it thickened fell to me. One year my mom promoted me to making the stuffing. I was quickly demoted back to the relish trays after an inadvertent over-saturation of the bread cubes left too little broth for the giblet gravy. My grandmother would roll out and cut her biscuits with a “glass” glass, and then reign supreme at the head of the table when my mom’s gigantic stuffed turkey was all cooked and ready for carving.
While the turkey roasted, and then again after a huge meal, the cards would be cut and dealt. Hearts and Sevens were the best family games and players filled the house with shrieks of joy and anguish, depending upon the kind of hand one was dealt. The day was hectic, but spent in one location.
By contrast my brood has headed for midnight openings of Black Friday sales after our lighter Thanksgiving feasts in recent years. I’m always too tired to participate, and don’t relish the crowds anyway. So I’ve enjoyed the move to cyber sales, and bought “virtual” merchandise at excellent prices.
Today is Cyber Monday, which gives us all another day to cash in on great deals from the comfort of our homes or offices. Yay! I’ve got so much to do in the next few months I’m rejoicing over the push-button method of filling stockings virtually and waiting for the UPS truck to arrive. The weight of my holiday “to-do” list has already lifted immensely.
Take advantage of Cyber Monday by visiting our products page where you’ll find our e-cookbooks. They make hectic lives easy by taking all of the planning and thinking off the shoulders of busy people on the go who still want to eat healthy and balanced meals. And since they are downloadable to smart devices such as phones, tablets, ereaders, and computers, you can send one as a gift to any person with an email address!
Our book for Moms on the Go
is designed to help moms (and dads) put healthy food on the table quickly so they can shuttle the family to the myriad of activities that fill our modern lives. Most meals take 30 minutes or less. Since second and sometimes even third meals are tweaked into interesting leftovers, all food is used in delicious ways to result in what looks and tastes like completely different meals. The book’s weekly grocery lists are easily accessed through the touch of a link in the Table of Contents, so you can pull it up quickly in your smart phone, tablet, or ereader, and shop from your device while in the grocery store. Most people cover the cost of the book (just $7.99) during their first week of use with the savings from using all of their food and avoiding the drive-thru line.
Our version for College Students
(priced at only $5.99) has saved our family a bundle with my two kids away at school, tempted by the many fast food establishments calling to them in their college town.
Both books use our week-at-a-glance menu plans, grocery lists, and quick recipes making them excellent stocking stuffers that are easy to procure.
Take advantage of Cyber Monday, and make stuffing stockings, and your life, Easy
Gigis Cupcakes at The Forum
Happy Vanilla Cupcake Day!
Do you love cupcakes? I do! Why?
Partly for their uniform serving size. They eliminate the need for a server of the little yummies to decipher what “just a sliver” means. That pesky skinny guest who is too stuffed from the 3 French fries she just consumed is forced to do her own portion control.
The uniformity factor also comes in handy for moms (and dads) serving kids at birthday or classroom parties. When all the treats are the same size you avoid the normally inevitable claim that “he got a bigger piece than me!” (Here’s a tip to make serving children go smoothly: Make sure that all the cupcakes have the same type of cake and icing too.)
The main reason I love these little gems is because of their versatility. I can put the above tip aside with older crowds and serve a potpourri of cake, icing, and topping types to make a beautiful and colorful spread (with most of my friends, that is!)
I recently had an idea to have a “make your own cupcake bar” on Thanksgiving this year and presented it to my relatives. Our genes being what they are the event quickly evolved into a cupcake decorating competition. Wednesday night before Thanksgiving we plan to bake 3 different types of cupcakes—yes, from the box. Cut us a break--it’s holiday time and we’ve got other stuff to do too. Then, on Thursday we’ll arm competitors with equal access to each type of cake and an array of icings, decorations and toppings.
The First Place prize is a gift certificate to Gigi’s Cupcakes, where the winner can treat him or herself to cupcakes like those featured above from our local Gigi’s Cupcakes at the Forum
, here in Peachtree Corners, GA. Other prizes will be awarded for those who Place and Show.
The Win, Place, and Show cupcakes will be feature here on the Easy Weekly Meals blog, and on our Facebook Page
Want to participate in our contest? Send us a picture of you decorating your cupcake, along with the finished product, and your contact email. We'll pick an online winner, and award them with a gift certificate to Gigi's Cupcakes! Use our secure email on the contact page to enter!
Have a Happy Vanilla Cupcake Day!
Stop by your local Gigi’s to celebrate.
Tune in here to see the competition results after Thanksgiving.
And stop by our products page to see what’s cooking at Easy Weekly Meals