Häagen-Dazs Peppermint Bark Ice Cream Is Back









Food & Recipes

Do you someone who would love this flavor?





While I admit that I spend the end of summer wishing it was pumpkin spice season, by the time Halloween rolls around, I’m already over it and ready for all things peppermint — especially peppermint bark.

There’s just something about white chocolate and peppermint together — and bonus points if the white chocolate is layered with milk chocolate— that makes it my favorite seasonal flavor. And judging by the many peppermint-bark-flavored foods you’ll be able to find this season, I’m clearly not alone.





Mean Girls Your Face Smells Like Peppermint GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Not only will we find peppermint bark Oreos in stores near the end of the year, but there are at least two ice cream brands selling peppermint bark ice cream! While Blue Bell’s peppermint bark ice cream can only be found in certain areas of the country, Häagen-Dazs is filling the gap with not one, but two peppermint bark treats that are already available nationwide.

The peppermint bark ice cream consists of white chocolate ice cream blended with chocolate peppermint bark and peppermint candy pieces. For an extra dose of chocolate, you can also get the peppermint bark ice cream in bar form, with white chocolate ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint candy pieces.

Häagen-Dazs

I can’t help but think this ice cream would be amazing alongside some other peppermint treats, like white chocolate peppermint bark cheesecake or candy cane shortbread.





Or, of course, you could always just dip the peppermint bark bars into the pint of ice cream! Will you be picking up some peppermint bark ice cream before it’s gone again until next season?

You Can Soon Buy ‘Magnum’ Bottles Of Ranch Dressing From Hidden Valley









The perfect gift for the ranch lover in your life!





There’s no denying that Americans have a love affair with ranch dressing. Particularly in the Midwest, where I’m from, people love to put ranch on just about everything.  From salad to pizza to buffalo wings and more, there’s really no food that can’t be made better with a little ranch.

If you agree with that sentiment, you will soon have access to more ranch dressing than you could possibly need with a magnum-sized bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. Yup, the limited-edition bottle holds a whopping 1.75 liters of the stuff and will be available online for $25 beginning Dec. 3.

“Let the ranch flavor flow with this limited-edition bottle that comes in a custom-designed box perfect for any holiday occasion,” reads the product description. Check it out:





Hidden Valley Ranch

To give a sense of just how large this huge bottle of ranch is, check it out next to the brand’s regular 8-ounce bottle:

Hidden Valley Ranch

Now, that is a lot of ranch! And here is the custom box it comes with:

Hidden Valley Ranch

How fancy!

For those who not only want to enjoy their ranch but also need to show off their dedication to the dressing, the company has launched a line festive products, including ranch ornaments for the Christmas tree, outdoor inflatable ranch bottles to put up in the yard and pizza-and-ranch themed wrapping paper. What a great way to spread holiday cheer and show off your ranch fandom at the same time!





This ranch-themed ugly Christmas sweater is guaranteed to make you the best-dressed guest at any holiday party:

Hidden Valley Ranch

Do you know a ranch-lover who would swoon over a gift from Hidden Valley this holiday season?

This Corn Casserole Is Easy To Throw Together When You’re In A Hurry









Food & Recipes

Yum!





If you’ve never tasted the creamy goodness that is corn casserole, you’re in for a treat. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, we whip up multiple dishes of this holiday staple. It’s both delicious and ridiculously easy to make, only requiring five ingredients. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can sweeten it up with a sprinkle of sugar, making it the perfect dessert-like side dish (next to your candied yam, perhaps?).

Blogger Two Sisters Crafting breaks down the simple corn casserole dish on her blog, which also includes easy-to-follow directions of the process, start to finish. Using only one bowl, you mix all the ingredients, pop it in the oven, top it with cheese and voila!





Her version is a more savory style, one she describes as a “cornbread-like dish.”

Two Sisters Crafting

For another savory, slightly more nuanced version of corn casserole, head to Spend With Pennies. The recipe there incorporates fresh herbs into the mix. Buttery and golden in color, she opts for fresh corn over frozen, though she admits the frozen variety works just as well. For an extra special casserole, she adds in crumbled bacon, minced onion and/or jalapenos and a cup of cheddar cheese. What’s not to love?

Spend With Pennies

Another standard version of the corn casserole, or corn pudding, can be found at Tastes of Lizzy T. Though her recipe is, again, just five ingredients, she suggests several variations. For a lighter, fluffier pudding, add two eggs, and for a sweeter style, add more sugar.

I personally love more of a souffle-style pudding, so we opt for adding eggs and sugar. The options are pretty much endless.





If trying out these corn casseroles gets you fired up for making all casseroles, all the time, check out these 15 casseroles you can make for under $4 per serving.

What type of corn casserole do you prefer?

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This Slow Cooker Stuffing Recipe Will Make Cooking For The Holidays So Much Easier









Food & Recipes

If stuffing isn’t already your favorite holiday side dish, it’s about to be!





Preparing for Thanksgiving dinner requires a lot of prep work so, obviously, we welcome any shortcuts that make cooking for the big day easier. So when you see this recipe — which makes prepping easier without sacrificing taste — you’ll want to make it a staple in your kitchen. Ready for the big reveal? Behold this slow cooker stuffing recipe.

The Crock-Pot Stuffing recipe that will save you some major time in the kitchen this season comes from the Spend With Pennies website. It’s great because it’s homemade — which beats stuffing from the box — but only requires minimal effort.

All you need to create this amazing dish is bread, chicken broth, eggs, celery, onion and spices. The Spend With Pennies website also walks you through the best types of bread for making stuffing and how to dry it out on your own.





The recipe does require some minimal effort before you add it all to the crockpot. You’ve got to season and saute the onions and celery and then mix it all together. But as you can see in this video from the Spend With Pennies YouTube channel, it’s all very easy to get to that final slow cooker step:

Once you’ve got the ingredients combined, you throw them in the crockpot and let them slow cook for four hours. They’ll be ready to be served immediately, or can even be made 24 hours in advance to get one step out of the way before Turkey Day. How amazing is that?

When the stuffing’s all warmed and ready, it’ll look a little something like this:

Spend With Pennies

Yum!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, here’s something to be thankful for. This stuffing recipe isn’t the only slow-cooked version of classic sides that can be served up for the holiday.





For instance, Gimme Some Oven has a recipe for slow-cooked cranberry sauce that will make your Thanksgiving preparations all the easier. Orange juice, water, sugar, cranberries and some time in the crockpot will yield a delicious turkey topping:

Gimme Some Oven

This recipe from Dinner Then Dessert will walk you through the steps to yield perfectly delicious macaroni and cheese that takes little to no effort to make:

Dinner Then Dessert

And mashed potatoes — a dish that can be a labor of love thanks to all the peeling, boiling and mashing — can have almost all of the work taken out of them thanks to hours spend slow cooking. This recipe from Cooking Classy shows you how to create creamy garlic mashed potatoes right in your crockpot:

Cooking Classy

Who’s ready to keep the actual hands-on cooking at a minimum and opt for these time-saving recipes this Thanksgiving?

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Apple Pie Bars Might Just Replace Apple Pie At Your Holiday Meals This Year









Food & Recipes

They sound delicious!





There’s nothing quite as classic as good ol’ apple pie, but if that’s what you’ve brought to holiday gatherings every year, you may be in the mood to switch things up. To present that traditional, nostalgic flavor in a brand-new form, we’ve got just the thing: apple pie bars!

This recipe from Tastes of Lizzy T will walk you through how to create a dessert that’s part apple danish, part apple pie — and 100-percent delicious.

A major thing that separates this dessert from a traditional apple pie is the fact that it’s served up in a 9 x 13 pan, and can therefore yield more servings. No double-pie-baking for you this year.





Using little more than flour, butter, eggs and sugar, you’ll make your own crust. Next, layer on the apple slices and spices. Sounds like apple pie so far, right?

Here’s where it gets interesting: There’s a layer of crushed corn flakes in between the apples and the bottom layer of crust to keep the crust from becoming soggy. And if that wasn’t enough to set this dessert apart, you’ll also top it with an almond glaze.

Tastes of Lizzy T

If you like the idea of creating a pie bar instead of a pie this year, this is only the beginning. For instance, this recipe for apple pie bars from Sally’s Baking Addiction calls for a healthy amount of salted caramel and a crunchy streusel crust on top for a take on apple pie that’s delicious — and far from average.

Sally’s Baking Addiction

This version from What Molly Made uses homemade snickerdoodles as the “crust,” giving this dessert even more cinnamon and brown sugar flavor, plus the ooey-gooey texture of a cookie.





What Molly Made

If you’re really looking to mix things up, you could use this recipe from Mom On Timeout, which combines classic apple pie ingredients with cheesecake to yield a tasty treat that’s basically two desserts in one.

Mom On Timeout

Ready to throw caution to the wind and create a new holiday tradition? Use these recipes as inspiration to change up the way you enjoy apple pie this year!

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These Shelters Are Asking Families To Embrace The Holiday Spirit By Hosting A Shelter Pet For Thanksgiving









What a great idea! Do you know someone who would love to do this?





Room for one more? An animal shelter in Richmond, Virginia, is accepting volunteers to open their homes to one of their shelter animals for Thanksgiving. So, if you were worried about having too many leftovers, get ready to share some of your scraps with these deserving animals.

The Richmond Animal Care and Control started this Thanksgiving fostering system four years ago, The Dodo reports.

“I was feeling so sad about the dogs being alone in the shelter for Thanksgiving,” shelter director Christie Chipps Peters told The Dodo. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if people could invite them over for Thanksgiving dinner?’”





She let the community know that taking a pet home temporarily over Thanksgiving was an option, and pretty soon, 35 of the animals had families inviting them over for dinner.

According to Peters, more than half of the animals were adopted that year, either by the families who had offered to host them or by people who had met them through the family over Thanksgiving.

That’s why four years later, this fostering program is still going strong. This year, the shelter posted to Facebook offering the chance to take an animal home this holiday season:

For all those in the Richmond area who are interesting in hosting a furry friend this Thanksgiving, please also keep in mind that the shelter is looking for families who don’t already have pets. From there, you’ll be interviewed to find out which animal might be the best fit for your family. Then, you’ll walk away with a new best friend for the next few days (or longer if you decide to adopt!). You’ll be asked to foster the animal beginning as early as Nov. 18, and you can wait as late as Nov. 21 to bring the animal home with you.

If you don’t happen to be in the Richmond area, there’s still a chance that your local shelter will let you host a dog or cat for Thanksgiving.





For example, the LifeLine Animal Project in Atlanta is serving up an extra bit of cheer this holiday season by allowing families to foster animals for the entire week leading up to Turkey Day. In their Facebook post about the program, they say the shelter will even provide you with supplies for fostering an animal:

And last year, after a successful Thanksgiving fostering program, the Humane Society of Delaware County in Ohio also offered the option to take a pet home for Christmas and New Year’s, too. In fact, this pup they posted on Instagram looks 100 percent ready to snuggle when you need to nap after the big Thanksgiving meal:

Awww!

You can always check in with your local shelter to see if fostering over Thanksgiving is an option. Some shelters have an internal program for holiday fostering that allows their regular volunteers to host a pet, but not the general public. Sounds like one more reason to help out at your local animal shelter!

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Hot Chocolate Floats Are The Perfect Holiday Drink









Food & Recipes

The hot fudge alone is making us drool.





With the holiday season right around the corner, you’re guaranteed to make and drink many mugs of hot cocoa. That’s why it’s high time to upgrade your hot chocolate game.

Powder hot cocoa packets have cut it for many years. What they lack in flavor they make up for with speed and convenience. They earned a special place in our hearts and nostalgia but they don’t belong in our mugs anymore. Rich, creamy homemade hot chocolate does, and it’s easier to make than you’d think.

And to make your hot cocoa even more festive for the holidays? Add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to make a hot chocolate float. The ice cream creates a frothy, foamy layer that lasts all the way to the bottom of the mug. Like this hot chocolate float from Delish:





The hot fudge alone is making us drool.

Curious what else is out there? The recipes below are rich, fudgy and full of chocolate flavor — plus they’re so easy you can try them all!

This recipe from Sugar Hero, for example, includes fudge sauce and ice cream over creamy, homemade hot chocolate. The beverage is, quite simply, mind-blowing.

Sugar Hero

This recipe from Rachael Hartley Nutrition, meanwhile, ups the ante with gelato. But that’s not all. The decadent hot cocoa base is anything but basic. It includes cocoa powder, chocolate chips and maple syrup.





Rachael Hartley Nutrition

We also endorse trying other hot cocoa recipes and just adding in the à la mode afterward. This recipe from Fifteen Spatulas, for one, keeps things simple and delicious. It seems that the key to creamy homemade hot cocoa is melted chocolate.

Fifteen Spatulas

And Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for a giftable homemade hot cocoa mix is almost too delicious to give away. It includes two kinds of chocolate, as well as a bit of vanilla bean to make it extra special.

Smitten Kitchen

We bet those powder packets are already a distant memory.

These Florentine ‘Lace’ Cookies Are Delightfully Light And Crispy









Food & Recipes

Yum!





Florentine lace cookies are light, delicate and delicious cookies that look like something you would find in an expensive bakery but are actually deceptively simple to make.

They are also perfect for the holiday season, as they elevate the traditional chocolate chip or shortbread cookie recipe into something more refined and elegant. They make perfect holiday gifts and they are impressive and unique enough to play a starring role in a Christmas cookie swap.

As the name suggests, Florentine cookies hail from Italy, and they get their “lace” moniker because they are so delicate and lacy.





To make these cookies, you first start by melting sugar, butter and heavy cream in a saucepan. Some recipes, such as this one from Bright-Eyed Baker, also call for corn syrup (which helps the cookies stay together and lends a touch of sweetness).

After you let the mixture cool, you then add in cocoa and finely crushed almonds. You can use a food processor or blender to get the right consistency for the almonds or crush them by hand. Remember: You don’t want the almonds to be completely ground, just chopped into small, crunchy chunks.

Bright Eyed Baker

Once the cookies have baked and cooled, you then drizzle them with melted chocolate. Over at Fifteen Spatulas, Joanne drizzles hers with both white and dark chocolate, and she really brings in the flavors of the season by using orange zest and orange marmalade in her cookie dough. Yum!

There is something so festive about almonds, chocolate and oranges. The combination of all three is like a Christmas party in your mouth!





Fifteen Spatulas

Or try this recipe variation for Oatmeal Lace Florentine Cookies from Dessert Now, Dinner Later that calls for quick oats, which gives substance and depth to the dough without requiring the legwork (or armwork) of crushing up your own almonds. This is also a smart bet if you are making cookies for a school event or anyplace else where nut allergies could be a concern.

Dessert Now, Dinner Later

Whatever option you choose, Florentine lace cookies are some of the prettiest and most delicious ways to ring in the holiday season!

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These Are The Best Early Black Friday Deals On Amazon









Snag these deals before the madness of Black Friday begins!





Beat the crowds this holiday season with Amazon’s online Black Friday Deals. That’s right. You can enjoy all the savings of the famously chaotic Black Friday without ever leaving your home — and you don’t even have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving!

We’ve rounded up some of the best Amazon deals below. All you have to do is scroll and click.

XDesign 10W Wireless Charger

Looking for a foolproof gift that anyone would appreciate? Get this wireless cell phone charger that’s compatible with phones that range from the iPhone 8 Plus to the Galaxy S7 Edge. Never having to deal with annoying, tangled chargers, cables or wires again? Yes, please! This super-fast gadget quickly charges your devices with ease. All you need to do is place your phone directly on it and wait until the device’s power indicator light turns blue/green. Get it now for $13.99.





Amazon

6-Blade Vegetable Spiralizer

This year, give the gift of never having to chop with a knife again! Any health-conscious friend on a low-carb, paleo, gluten-free or even keto diet would love this veggie spiralizer. With six blades made of stainless steel, it’s ideal for making quick, beautiful noodles (angel hair, ribbon cuts, thick, shredded, etc.) out of any firm fruit or veggie your heart desires. Think: carrot, zucchini, sweet potato, squash and more. Get it now for $30.59.

Amazon

Portable Photo Printer

For your nostalgic, social media-savvy friends, this portable photo printer will make their year. This printer prints 2-by-3-inch snapshots or stickers straight from your iOS or Andriod devices with just the press of a button. It comes in five different colors and is the size of a smartphone, making it super simple to print memories on the go. Plus, you can get creative by customizing the snapshots with filters, borders, emojis and more prior to printing. What a cute, fun gift! Get it now for $99.99.

Amazon

Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser and Mist Humidifier

With a sleek wood finish, this essential oil diffuser is guaranteed to add both style and a fresh, fabulous scent to any room in your home, office or studio. The diffuser gives out a quiet mist that also serves as a humidifier, which is perfect for the winter months. Pair this gift with your friend’s favorite scents and your gift is good to go! Get it now for $26.34.

Amazon

Himalayan Glow Pink Crystal Salt Lamp

Looking for something special for your bohemian, yoga-loving friend who appreciates a room with ambiance and welcoming vibes? Get her this handmade Himalayan salt lamp, which comes in various sizes from 5 to 30 pounds, along with a bulb, dimmer and 100 percent natural wooden base. This salt lamp is known to create a relaxing, soothing atmosphere thanks to its captivating amber glow. It’s also perfect as a nightlight. Light pink in color, it adds a rustic, meditative quality to any room. Get it now for $13.99.





DoubleNest Hammock for Two

We all have that super outdoorsy friend who would rather go on a massive hike at the break of dawn than get brunch on a Sunday morning. Well, surprise her with this thoughtful gift: a portable hammock for two! Compact, lightweight and perfect for camping and other strenuous, nature-centric activities, this hammock is ideal for taking a snooze in the sun after a long day of outdoor activity. Get it now (over half off!) for $39.64.

Amazon

Zojirushi Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker

We’re all obsessed with coffee, right? But how many of us are willing to splurge on a high-end coffee maker? Not many. Enter the Zojirushi Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker! Currently over 50 percent off, this high-tech coffee maker features a 10-cup carafe that keeps coffee warm for hours, thumb-activated pouring, a brewing temperature of over 200 degrees and an automated clean cycle. Your caffeine-fueled friend will thank you for years to come with this gift. Get it now for $87.49.

Amazon

Who’s ready to shop?

We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer’s website.

This Christmas Cookie-Dough Dip Is The Perfect Appetizer For The Holidays









Food & Recipes

Holy cow this sounds amazing!





Move over, chips and dip. There’s a new dip combo in town — cookies and cookie-dough dip. Yes, really. If that doesn’t have your mouth watering, you might need to get your salivary glands checked.

This sweet, creamy cookie-dough dip is absolutely perfect for the holiday season, whether you want to dip your favorite sugar cookie or gingerbread cookie, or whether you want to dip fruit or pretzels in it instead. Or, heck, just eat it straight off a spoon (or, let’s be real, your finger).

Dinner at the Zoo has the full recipe for this holiday dip that will please both kids and adults alike. As a bonus, it’s egg-free, so unlike regular cookie dough, you don’t have to worry about raw eggs in the mix.





Dinner at the Zoo

The best part might be that it should only take you five minutes to whip this up for your guests. Plus, the recipe for this velvety dip calls for just a handful of ingredients, and you might already have them in the refrigerator and pantry.

This dip gets its creaminess from yogurt and cream cheese, and the decorations that make it holiday-appropriate are up to you. You can add red and green sprinkles on top for a Christmas party, or blue and white for a Hannukah celebration. Or keep it simple and elegant with white or silver sprinkles or even edible gold glitter spray.

Amazon

Arrange this concoction on a holiday party tray with dip-worthy fruit, cookies, graham crackers and pretzels. No one will ever guess that this dip took you just five minutes to prepare!

If you want to try another variation of a cookie-dip recipe, consider this Sugar Cookie Dough Dip option from Yellow Bliss Road. It calls for a pre-made sugar cookie mix, along with cream cheese and sweetened coffee creamer, and it’s super easy to put together.





The nice thing about this recipe is that it would be easy to play with flavors to customize your dip. For example, you could try using gingerbread cookie mix to give it that ginger kick, or pumpkin spice coffee creamer for some last-bit-of-fall flavor.

Yellow Bliss Road

Yellow Bliss Road has the full recipe. And best of all, if you have leftovers, this stores easily in the fridge. So it’s perfect for your next snack, when the kids bring friends home, or for sharing at an office lunch. For ideal dipping, open a box of graham crackers and slice up some seasonal fruits such as pears or apples. Enjoy!

We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer’s website.

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