winter

Winter Garden Views in January

These winter garden views, from the USA, Canada and the UK show that there are some stark differences and lots of similarities when you look outside your window in winter. These photos are shared by readers of my blog. Why not share your photo too?

The weather outside does not lend itself to gardening right now. We recently had a snow storm that dumped about three inches here in North Carolina.  Looking over my snow soaked garden gave me the idea to have a share day on my Facebook page. I asked my Facebook fans to share their Winter Garden Views and…

Antipasto Platter Tips – Starting Dinner Italian Style

Antipasto Platter with specialty meats and cheeses

One of my favorite ways to start an evening with friends is to serve an antipasto platter. Antipasto, when translated, means “before the meal.” A good antipasto platter is a combination of small bites of tasty food and is usually accompanied by wine. An antipasto platter is meant to stimulate your guest’s appetite before they dig into…

Chicken Cheese Panini Sandwich – Slimmed Down Lunch Delight

Chicken cheese panini with a bowl of slimmed down turkey chili

My daughter bought me a panini pan for Christmas.  She and I often have mum-daughter dates at Panera Bread and I always choose a half panini sandwich and bowl of soup.  Jess knew that I would be cooking up a panini storm for lunch if I had my own pan. She was right!  This slimmed…

My 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

See what made the list of the most famous posts of 2016 for The Gardening Cook. This year, household tips, gardening tips and one great recipe made the top 10!

Each year, at the end of December, I take stock of what worked (and what didn’t!) on my blog.  Sometimes, I am surprised when a blog post makes my top 10 list for the past year when I wasn’t expecting it.  Other times, I think “not you again” when a tried and true favorite post…

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

This Reese's peanut butter cup fudge has a crumbly bottom layer, a rich chocolate middle and chunks of Reese's peanut butter cups on the top. It is TO DIE FOR!

If you like a fudge with texture this is, hands down the best tasting fudge ever! If you love Reese’s peanut butter cups, you will want to dive right into this pan as soon as it sets.  IT IS THAT GOOD! This Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge has everything that you want in a fudge…

12 Unusual Christmas Wreaths

12 great Christmas wreaths

A Christmas wreath is a popular way to decorate your entry for the holiday season.  Christmas Wreaths are also used on mantles and in other areas of the home and garden such as garden gates.  Nothing quite sets the mood for your party guests like a front door decorated with a Christmas Wreath. Decorate Your…

Cranberry Pecan Crostini Appetizers

These cranberry pecan crostini appetizers make the perfect party appetizers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BoursinCheese #CollectiveBias It’s time to make some Cranberry Pecan Crostini Appetizers! Cranberries are one of those foods that always seem to find their way onto the holiday table.  These lovely Cranberry Pecan Crostini Appetizers are the perfect way to…

Burlap Wine Bottle Bag – Easy DIY Christmas Gift

This DIY burlap wine bottle bag is the prefect way to wrap your favorite bottle of Sutter home family wine.

  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SutterHomeForTheHolidays #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. It’s time to make a Burlap Wine Bottle Bag!This Burlap Wine Bottle Bag is an inexpensive way to dress up a bottle of wine…

Boxwood Christmas Wreath – DIY Holiday Project

DIY Holiday Boxwood Wreath form

We got our Christmas tree the other day, and I always buy my wreath from the same vendor at the Farmer’s market each year.  Normally, they will give me a discount on the tree if I also buy the wreath. I usually get a fir wreath. They are relatively inexpensive and most of the vendors have…

Fudge Brownie Truffles

These fudge brownie truffle are so festive looking!

‘Tis the season for fudge, and brownies, and truffles. These Fudge Brownie Truffles combine all of my favorite tastes in one delicious bite.They are so tasty that they’ll deserve pride of placement on your holiday dessert table. The holidays give me an excuse to cook up a batch or two of my favorite treats.  I…

Snowman Wall Hanging – A Rustic Christmas Decoration

This cute snowman wall hanging was made from a old kitchen door frame. He is easy to do and looks great hanging on a wall.

I have a huge collection of both snowmen and Santa Claus Christmas decorations.  Our family room really gets into the Christmas spirit this time of the year when I bring them out of hiding for their yearly winter display.  Long gone are the days of purchasing new items for the collection.  I have so many…

Pumpkin Cake with Toasted Coconut Frosting

This pumpkin cake is moist and delicious and has a crunchy toasted coconut frosting.

  My mother died a year ago so she missed out on our last Thanksgiving and Christmas. One of her time honored traditions was to serve a pumpkin cake each year, for both of these holidays, with her special toasted coconut frosting.  She is not here this year, but that does not mean the cake…

Santa Paintbrush Ornament

This Santa Paintbrush Ornament is whimsical and fun to make and will look cute on a Christmas tree or as a wall hanging.

I have to admit, I am enjoying being a kid this holiday season.  I’ve been crafting up a storm of fun and whimsical Christmas decorations.I think I must need a grandchild or something.  Or maybe I am just missing my grown baby girl.  Whatever the reason, this cute Santa Paintbrush Ornament is my latest fun…

Lemon Snowball Cookies

Lemon Snowball Cookies

Oh the weather outside is frightful and the time is just delightful – or something like that!  The time is just perfect for making these Lemon Snowball Cookies!  After all, what is more perfect for the cold weather than a tasty snowball bite of goodness? The holiday season is the time for making cookies.  There…

Grinch Paintbrush Ornament

Grinch Paintbrush Ornament

Yes, folks, it is getting to that time of the year. This is the time when my mind goes into overdrive trying to come up with ideas for fun craft decor items to make for the Christmas holiday. My latest creation is this Grinch Paintbrush Ornament. I have always loved the movie The Grinch Stole…

Roasted Root Vegetable Medley

Roasted root vegetable medley

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SamsClubMag #CollectiveBias It’s time for a roasted root vegetable medley. Fall flavors combined to make this roasted root vegetable medley a hit with your family. For me, fall is the time for anything cooked in the oven. I roast…

7 Bean Soup Mix plus Recipe

This easy 7 bean soup mix project makes a great hostess or housewarming gift

For most of the year, I am not normally much of a soup girl.  But when autumn rolls around, I find myself making soup all the time.  This 7 bean soup mix is the perfect fall recipe. It is rich and hearty and has a lovely spicy herb blend to give the soup a lot of…

How to Grow Helleborus Perennial – Lenten Rose

Helleborus perennial

One of my favorite plants for late winter and early spring is Helleborus Perennial – an ever green flowering plant.   I first heard of Helleborus perennial several years ago when I spent a season trying to grow some uncommon plants from seed.  I didn’t have any luck with them, but the idea of a flowering…

Health and Wellness Goals for 2016

Nature made supplements help when diet is not enough

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. It’s time to focus on health and wellness goals for 2016! Getting a little help on health and wellness goals in 2016 is easy with Nature Made. If you have been reading my blog lately, you will know…

Winter Door Swag Makeover

Ice skate door swag makeover

The cold weather is here and it is time for my winter door swag makeover. I have a wreath, or door swag on my front door year round.  The door has an oval glass panel in it and putting a swag there gives me a bit of extra privacy and I like the way it makes…

My North Carolina Winter Garden

Sun peeking through the frozen trees in North Carolina

My North Carolina winter garden is a wonderland this week. Winter storm Jonas has been all in the news this week.  It left a blanket of snow and ice from the South in the US right up the corridor to New England.  My North Carolina winter garden is a sight to behold. Winter storm Jonas…

Slow Cooker Spiced Wine with Oranges and Cranberries

slow-cooker-spiced-wine-main

Treat your New Year’s guests to this slow cooker spiced wine recipe for some celebratory cheer! It’s time to bring out the big guns for your New Year’s party.  And by big guns, I mean big on flavor, big on appeal and big on festive cheer.  This recipe for slow cooker spiced wine with oranges…

How to Cook the Perfect Holiday Ham

Cooking the perfect holiday ham is as easy as your secret ingredients for the glaze. This recipe is simple to do and tastes heavenly. thegardeningcook.com #ForTheLoveOfHam

Treat your family to a holiday ham this Perfect Holiday Christmas instead of a turkey. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ForTheLoveOfHam #CollectiveBias For years, our family always had turkey at both Thanksgiving and for our Christmas meal. But a few years ago, I…

15 Tips for Making the Perfect Gingerbread House

Making the perfect Gingerbread house is easier than you might think! See my 15 tips to make sure yours is the best one yet. thegardningcook.com

Making the Perfect Gingerbread House is Easy with these 15 tips. We love to make Gingerbread houses each year. It has been a tradition ever since Jess was a little girl.  And even though she is grown and living away, she comes home for the holidays and we always take the time to make a…

Pecan Pie Cookies – A Holiday Treat

drizzled pecan pie cookies

These pecan pie cookies are the perfect choice for your next cookie swap, or to add to your holiday dessert table. My husband is a pecan pie fanatic. He loves everything about it.  Except for the calories, that is.  He’s been trying to lose a bit of weight and having a whole pecan pie on…

Festive Ice Skates Door Swag

This festive ice skate swag looks perfect on a front door with an oval glass panel. The skates add a whimsical touch to the burlap bow and gives the whole project a country look. thegardeningcook.com

Decorate your front door country style with this ice skates door swag. We changed our front door this summer, and now have an oval glass panel on the front entry.  The shape means that I no longer use round wreaths for it and swags have become my go-to door decoration.  This project for a festive…