Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

If Baking Day could be a national holiday, I would encourage every family and group of friends to celebrate. Every December, my family and I organize a baking day where we each make a recipe and then share the treats with each other. It is one of my favorite days of the holiday season because it involves some of my favorite things: family, the kitchen, food and mimosas. Yesterday I decided to try a new recipe and whipped up Gimme Some Oven’s Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies.

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Ever since I had the gingerbread cupcake from Sprinkles a few weeks ago, I have been obsessed with the flavor. These cookies did not disappoint. I mean, look at that butter…how could cookies ever taste that bad with that much butter? The molasses and combination of spices gives the cookies the gingerbread-like flavor. My trick for measuring molasses: Spritz your measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray before the sticky syrup slides right out!

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Baking Day would not be complete without my pink Kitchen Aid mixer. I got this mixer as a surprise Christmas present when I was twelve and it has been with me for the last 10 years. So many memories, so many recipes and so many more to come. It whips up the perfect cookie dough every time.

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Speaking of which, check out how gorgeous these cookies look right out of the oven. Rolling the dough in sugar gives them a sparkle–perfect for the holiday season. Eight minutes cooking in the oven was plenty…I would even go with six or seven if you love the really soft almost gooey like cookies. Serve them in coffee for dessert (or breakfast) and your company will be quite happy.

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Love food. Love self. Love life.
Gabriela

Six Homemade Gifts for Friends and Family

For my first Christmas post-graduation I am keeping a tight budget. I’m looking for personalized gifts that come from the heart for my friends and family. Homemade food gifts are always a good go-to, especially because for those that know you as an expert in the kitchen. I’ve narrowed down the DIYs of the internet and formed a list of six gifts for six different types of people.

holidaygifts1 | For the trendsetter: Ginger is such a trendy flavor, whether it goes into a Moscow mule or is the pair to aged tequila. For a friend that would appreciate adding something homemade to their bar cart or who loves entertaining, you could make them homemade ginger syrup. Via: Joy the Baker

2 | For the sweet tooth: Let’s be honest about the fact that Trader Joe’s cookie butter has ruined all of our lives because it’s so dang good.  For those in your life who could eat cookie butter by the spoonful–cough cough, that’s me–you can make them a homemade batch of cookie butter from their favorite cookie. Via: A Beautiful Mess

3 | For the happy hour lover: Infused vodka is the perfect gift for a someone that appreciates a good cocktail. You can make infused vodka in every flavor imaginable, but a pickle-infused vodka will elevate all the Bloody Mary’s that will be made for holiday brunches. Via: Foodie Crush

4 | For the dog whisperer: Friends will appreciate homemade doggie treats for their pups. I love that they are all natural and the cookie-cutter shape is just too cute. These would also make the perfect stocking stuffer. Via: TheKitchn

5 | For the coffee addict: Making a homemade syrup for your caffeine-fueled friends will be the perfect gift. Every time they pour their cup of joe, they will think of you. Try the vanilla, honey and lavender, or make all three for a gift combo. Via: A Beautiful Mess

6 | For the gourmet: Good salt is the secret to any meal. Your gourmet friend will appreciate the thought you put into creating a custom flavor like lemon, shiitake or roasted garlic. Package the homemade salt with a little label and cute ribbon. Via: POPSUGAR Food

Love food. Love self. Love life.
Gabriela

How to Get Through a Holiday Break Up

Where my single ladies at? If you are enduring a breakup this holiday season, know that you are not alone. The holiday season is one of the most common time for couples to call it quits, according to NBC news. So in the spirit of singleness, I pulled together a few essential items that will help any lady get through a holiday break up.

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When in doubt, wine.
While I typically am the advocate for quality wine over cutesy labels, this scenario is the exception. Browse the isles of Target for the most inspiring bottle of vino. I particularly like “Flirt” to inspire you to put on that LBD and get back into the dating scene or “Wine Sisterhood” to enjoy with your real soul mates…your girlfriends!

Be Scandalous
Complete your glass of wine with this empowering glass that got Olivia Pope through countless emotional and tearful evenings battling between Fitz and Jake. If you’re not a fan of Scandal, you can still admire the beauty of this ultra-feminine and sophisticated glass.

Spice it Up
Yes, I’m not kidding. Just because your love life is no longer steamy doesn’t mean you taste buds shouldn’t have a little heat. Kick up the flavor of your food with a few dashes of your favorite sauce.

Treat Yo Self
Spend some time with two new boyfriends, Ben and Jerry, and indulge in Chocolate Therapy or make your own holiday flavor and don’t feel guilty about eating the whole pint. My mom used to always tell me ice cream heals everything. In this case, let it heal your broken heart.

LOL
A man cannot ruin your holiday season, regardless of how big the heartbreak is. Whether it’s seeing the latest comedy in theaters or playing Cards Against Humanity with some (spiked) hot apple cider, give yourself the freedom to laugh off the tears with friends and family.

Cook a Meal for One
Just because you don’t have to cook for date nights anymore does not mean you shouldn’t eat like a queen. Whether it’s a recipe you’ve been dying to try–but knew your man would be less than thrilled about–or your favorite Barefoot Contessa meal, turn on the stove and get cooking!

Don’t let your breakup put a damper on your holiday season. Swipe on MAC’s Rebel lipstick and confidently stand under that mistletoe. You deserve to celebrate the most dazzling time of the year and ring in the new year in good spirits.

Love food. Love self. Love life.
Gabriela