Tree Classics’ Favorite Recipes: 5 Fancy Brunch Ideas with the Neighbors

Autumn is the perfect time to come together with your neighbors, catch up, and plan for the upcoming holiday activities. One splendid way to do this is to throw a fancy brunch party. Here are several wonderful themes to mark the occasion and make the gathering all the more special:

1. A Sweet Syrupy Breakfast Paradise

delicious fluffy pancakes with bananas and bacon

Brunch is popularly regarded as breakfast for anyone who doesn’t have an alarm clock. Hence, serving everyone’s favorite dish after a restful slumber is always a great idea. Pancakes, waffles, and Pink Parsley’s French toast kebobs are a hit with kids and grownups. Serve a variety of syrups and sweet toppings to make dishes more mouthwatering. It’s also smart to prepare an assortment of fresh fruits to include in the feast.

2. A Scrumptious Breakfast Pizza Fest

spinach and artichoke pizza is a perfect dish for your brunch pizza spread

The great thing about pizza is that you can enjoy it any time of the day. Setting a spread with different kinds of pizzas is one brunch party theme everyone will love. Classic recipes such as pepperoni, margherita, meat lovers, and four cheeses are top choices. For a twist on the timeless delight, serve vegetarian pizzas. How Sweet It Is’ spinach artichoke and cheese, Just A Taste’s shaved asparagus and ricotta, and Beard and Bonnet’s garlicky greens and fried egg are marvelous selections!

3. A Berry Chocolatey Brunch Party

a delectable berry dipped in hot chocolate

Chocolates and berries paired together put a smile on everyone’s faces. Let this combination inspire your brunch. Serve up savory meals that use chocolate and berries, such Casa Veneracion’s fettuccine with chocolate and bacon or Taste of Home’s pork steak cutlets with a blueberry glaze. End the delicious meal with Just a Pinch’s very berry fondue or Baked with Stork’s delicious white chocolate and raspberry brownies.

4. Miniature Brunch Munchies Served in a Big Way

yummy mini-turkey burgers

Miniature versions of fave munchies are a definite crowd pleaser. Fill your guests’ hearts and tummies with a mini feast featuring turkey sliders, Serious Eats’ grilled cheese sandwiches served with tomato soup, chicken fingers, Delish’s fish and chips, frosted cupcakes, mini ice cream cups, and even cake balls. Guests will adore these little pleasures that satisfy a big appetite!

5. Backyard Brunch Picnic

a picnic basket filled with delicious treats

Another nifty suggestion is to combine brunch with the timeless all-American picnic. Prepare Closet Cooking’s delicious Monte Cristo sandwiches with maple syrup and turkey burgers; fix an egg salad or Janna Patterson’s good old chicken Caesar salad with red grapes; mix a delicious and refreshing iced tea and lemonade; lastly, bake some fluffy muffins! Set out a large blanket in your backyard and place your food in classic wicker baskets. The beautiful morning sunshine and heavenly breakfast are a spectacular treat!

Have a wonderful and lovely brunch with your neighbors with these fine ideas from Tree Classics!

Photo Credits

Photo by istargazer via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Photo by Muy Yum via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Photo by Denis Derisevic via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Photo by MarxFoods.com via Flickr. CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0.

Photo by California Baker via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Tree Classics Favorite Recipes: 10 Breakfast Essentials

Healthy and satisfying are the two main requirements for an American breakfast. Tree Classics shares with you 10 must-have dishes to help you start your day right.

All-American breakfast of fresh fruits and whole grain cereals from Tree Classics
Photo by ralph and jenny via Flickr CC BY 2.0

1. Maple-Glazed Pears and Cereals

Eating tasty maple-glazed pears and cereals for breakfast can give you the nutrition you need for sustained energy. Real maple syrup features high levels of antioxidants, zinc, and manganese, which keep the heart healthy and boost the immune system.

Pears are a good source of fiber, vitamin E, C, B2, potassium, and copper. Whole grain cereals contain many essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that have been linked to significant health benefits, such as lowering the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.

2. Oatmeal with Banana and Molasses

Delicious and comforting, warm oatmeal with banana and molasses can satisfy your hunger easily, and it can make you feel full until lunch. The whole grain oats in this meal help prevent heart diseases and type 2 diabetes, and also help lower bad cholesterol. Bananas add flavor while helping dieters reach weight-loss goals and keep bowels healthy. They also provide nutrients that regulate heart rhythm and contain vitamin compounds for eye health. Sweet organic molasses, which has a high mineral content, is a healthy energy-booster as well as a natural laxative.

3. Whole Grain Pancakes with Maple Syrup

Whole grain pancakes are a delicious way to add fiber and nutrients to the body first thing in the morning. These pancakes will help you feel full longer than do white flour pancakes. The milk and eggs in the pancake batter also provide protein and calcium. Additionally, eggs are a great source of vitamins A and B as well as other nutrients needed for nerve and brain health. Top the pancakes with maple syrup to increase their health benefits!

4. Granola Yogurt Berry Parfait

Make breakfast more fun with this granola yogurt berry parfait. Assemble it by layering your favorite granola, plain yogurt, fresh blue berries and other fruit. Drizzle with honey. Made from oats, granola is rich in fiber and antioxidants. Yogurt contains probiotics that promote good digestion. Blueberry is known as the antioxidant super fruit because of its high concentration of antioxidants.

5. Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa is usually served in savory side dishes but it also makes a wonderful hot breakfast meal. This high-protein seed contains all nine essential amino acids, and has almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Serve it with milk, honey, cinnamon, and blueberries for a tasty, healthy breakfast treat.

6. Turkey BLT Sandwich

Turkey bacon is a healthy alternative to pork, which has long been a staple of American breakfast. Turkey bacon is a rich source of dietary protein and vitamin B12, and comes with a relatively low fat content while retaining the flavor of regular bacon. Romaine lettuce adds crunch to the sandwich, as well as fiber, folate, and antioxidants. Sweet, juicy tomatoes are a rich source of potassium, vitamins, and cancer-fighting lycopene. The whole wheat bread maximizes the nutritional goodness of this meal with more fiber.

7. French Toast with Blueberries and Strawberry Jam

French toast stuffed with fruit and jam is a refreshing way to wake up in the morning. French toast offers nutrients from egg and milk, and because bread is rich in carbohydrates, it gives you the energy you need to start the day. Top it with blueberries and strawberry jam – and the classic breakfast becomes even more appetizing.

8. Tomato and Basil Quiche

Quiches are great for breakfast or brunch, and are ideal for families on the go. You can whip a batch at night and enjoy it hot or cold in the morning. Eating a tomato and basil quiche lets you enjoy the flavors and nutrients of eggs, milk, tomatoes, and basil, which not only lends a sweet, earthy aroma but also offers an impressive list of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins K and A, and minerals calcium, manganese, and iron.

9. Chunky Apple Muffins

Muffins are a delicious way to get the energy you need for the day. They’re great for a quick breakfast or snack, and, like quiches, can be made the night before. Filled with oats, bran, and plenty of fruit, these chunky apple muffins contain plenty of fiber. In addition, apples are high in potassium, which helps control blood pressure, and quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cells from degeneration.

10. Spinach Breakfast Stuffins

Combining spinach, red bell pepper, egg, milk, and whole grain bread cut into cubes, spinach breakfast stuffins are not only filling but also packed with nutrients. The spinach provides vitamins K, A, C, B2, and B6 as well as minerals such as magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, and potassium. Red bell pepper gives the body phytochemicals and a decent amount of fiber.

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. With these healthy recipes, you can eat like a king and get the energy and nutrients you need to get going.

An Apple a Day: 30 Wonderful Apple Recipes for September

Three delicious apples

In celebration of the Apple Month of September, Tree Classics pays homage to America’s favorite fruit. Here are 30 healthy and delectable apple recipes, from appetizers to desserts, to keep the doctor away each day:

Appetizer

Apple Relish

Apple relish is a simple delicious dish that brings out the goodness of the more ordinary flavors of hamburgers and hot dogs. Cooking this sweet tangy appetizer is as easy as combining chopped green apples with green and red bell peppers, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. OPTIONAL: Add raisins and spice with a pinch of cayenne pepper and turmeric for a bit of heat.

Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Great both as an appetizer and snack, this fruit-and-chips combo is a sure fire hit! Make the apple salsa by combining apples with strawberries, pears, or grapes, along with a few tablespoons of orange juice, grated orange peel, and brown sugar. Spoon the salsa over cinnamon-sprinkled flour tortilla, and enjoy with your friends!

Baked Apples with Feta and Thyme

Apple, cheese, and a little seasoning make up this glorious appetizer all foodies will appreciate. Try this by baking apple halves with apple cider and thyme, and stuffing the centers with raisins, feta cheese, thyme, and olive oil. The saltiness of the feta cheese balances the sweetness of the apples and raisins quite beautifully to make this dish a lovely way to start your meal.

Sausage Apple Tarts

This savory puff pastry tart will fill your kitchen with appetizing aromas. The best thing is it takes only 15 minutes to bake! Just stir-fry the sausage and onion with the apples, and scoop up about a tablespoonful into each muffin pastry. Bake and sprinkle with cheese.

Apple Chicken Rolls

Stimulate your appetite with this winning dish that combines two of the world’s most favorite foods. To make apple chicken rolls, place finely chopped apples, onions, parsley, and breadcrumbs on top of the chicken. Roll and secure the chicken with toothpicks, and brown it in a skillet with melted butter. Splash a little wine or brandy while cooking.

Tuna-Apple Mini Melts

Give a refreshing spin to your canned tuna with this healthy, tasty bite-sized appetizer recipe. Combine mayonnaise, diced apples, celery, red onions, hard boiled egg, and tuna. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Divide the creamy tuna-apple mixture among phyllo shells then top with cheese. Broil until the cheese melts.

Main Course

A savory dinner using apples

Grilled Apple Chicken

This elegant dish is sweet, juicy, and very filling. You can even slice any leftover chicken into strips and serve them on a bed of salad greens or as sandwiches. To make grilled apple chicken, marinate chicken breast halves in a mixture of apple juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic powder and ground ginger. Grill over medium heat on each side or until juices run clear, and serve with apple rings.

Pork Chops with Apple & Onions

Pork chops with sautéed apples and onions served over rice or mashed potatoes offer fantastic flavors that never disappoint. Start by seasoning pork chops generously with salt and pepper, then sear pork chops to a nice golden brown. Sauté onions and apples in butter, and cover the chops with the apple mixture.

Apple Cider Beef Stew

Apple cider beef stew is a simple and sweet meal the whole family will enjoy. Apples and apple cider give the beef in this recipe a mellow sweetness. To make the dish, season beef cubes with flour, salt, pepper, and thyme. Brown the beef on a large pot with olive oil. Add apple cider, water, cider vinegar, and bay leaf.  Stir in carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, and apple. Serve with a hearty bread.

Ribs with Apples and Sauerkraut

Savor the aroma and flavor of pork country-style ribs with apples. Combine potatoes, carrots, onion, browned pork ribs, and sauerkraut in electric crockery cooker. Mix apple cider, caraway seed, and cloves, and pour over sauerkraut. Turn the drippings into gravy by boiling it with apples and flour diluted in water.

Lamb Shoulder Chops with Apples and Prunes

Bring a touch of French country into your dining table by serving lamb shoulder chops with apples and prunes.  Sauté apples in butter, add shallots and garlic, and a mixture of brandy, vinegar, prunes, and bay leaf. Boil until liquid is reduced to a glaze, and season with salt and pepper. Serve over medium-rare lamb chops.

Apple Glazed Turkey

Why wait until November when you can relish Thanksgiving’s culinary super star today? Mix apple cider or juice, butter, and honey, and brush over the entire turkey 45 minutes before it completes cooking. Glaze the bird several times more before finally removing it from the oven.

Side Dish

Apple Cole Slaw

A selection of side dishes that use apples

Our Apple Cole Slaw complements a meal with the delicious flavors of fruit and veggies in a sweet dressing. Plus, it’s so easy to throw together. Just mix together cabbage, apples, carrots, and green onions. For the dressing, combine mayonnaise, brown sugar, and a splash of lemon juice.

Apple Mashed Potatoes

The addition of apples in mashed potato makes this side dish a real winner, and it works great with any meat! To prepare, mash boiled apples and potatoes. Add butter, vinegar, and sugar. Top with bacon and onions, and a dash of ground nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Apples

Add color and flavor to your favorite fall meal with a great side dish recipe that features the perfect blend of tart cranberries and the nutty, earthy taste of wild rice. Combine diced apples with cooked wild rice pilaf. Stir in a mixture of oil, vinegar, and sugar, and top with toasted almonds, cranberries, raisin, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Apple Salad

This sweet, creamy apple salad recipe has a beautiful mix of flavors and textures. You’ll love the crunch of the apples, celery, and nuts, the sweetness of craisins, and the citrus undertones in the dressing. Make this side dish by combining sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, and lemon juice. Add chopped apples, craisins, and nuts, and serve on lettuce leaves.

Green Apple Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Give a light, crisp, and delicious contrast to rich turkey dishes and heavier meals with this Green Apple Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette recipe. The side dish offers cool, tangy, tart, and crunchy layers of textures and flavors achieved by combining celery, apples, and walnuts in  a vinaigrette of Dijon mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Bacon

Smokey. Crisp. Sweet. Savory! All these come together in this hearty side dish perfect for the fall. Make this delicious medley by combining bacon crisps with caramelized onions, charred sprouts, and cooked apples. Spice it up with a dash of pepper.

Beverage

apple smoothie

Honey-Apple Tea

Enjoy a nice cup of comforting tea infused with the refreshing taste of apple. Brew green tea. Add apple juice and garnish with apple slices. A good dose of fresh honey makes this hot concoction sweet and smooth. Sprinkle some cinnamon if you want an aromatic burst of sweet and spicy flavors.

Apple Iced Tea

Relish the flavors of fall in this thirst-quenching iced tea recipe. Brew English breakfast tea and stir in cinnamon quills, and apple juice. Add apple and lemon slices, ice cubes, and mint sprigs. Sweeten with brown sugar or honey.

Cinnamon-Apple Cooler

In need of a refreshing drink to combat stress? Go for our Cinnamon-Apple Cooler. Add cold water and grape juice to brewed tea. Pour in ice-filled glasses with a splash of soda. For a richer flavor, add lemon slices.

Apple Banana Pear Smoothie

Celebrate autumn’s bounty with this healthy, refreshing concoction. Mix apples, bananas, and pears with ice cubes. Blend until smooth. You can also go without the ice by slicing and freezing your fruits at least one hour ahead.

Apple Cider, Cranberry, and Ginger Cocktail

This tangy beverage is a great way to start a festive dinner. Serve this punch to entertain the crowd. To prepare, muddle cranberries with sugar, then stir in apple cider, ginger beer, lemon juice, and gin (optional). Serve chilled or over ice.

Carrot-Apple Smoothie

Packed with powerful health benefits, this delicious smoothie is the perfect way to jumpstart an autumn morning.  Combine baby carrots, apples, and banana with orange juice, and blend well.

Dessert

A delicious apple pie

Apple Peach Cobbler

Cap off your dinner with this apple peach cobbler recipe. A crowd pleaser, this baked dessert combines sliced peaches and apples with a pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with a crumbly batter. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.

Bavarian Apple Torte

With gorgeous layers of buttery crust, cream cheese filling, and apple toppings, the Bavarian apple torte is a must-try. To make this rich dessert, combine cream cheese, egg and sugar, and pour into a pastry lined pan. Top it with a mixture of apples, sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle with almonds. Bake and serve.

Caramel Apples

Surprise kids and adults this September with this decadent Halloween treat. Insert popsicle sticks into crisp apples, and cover the fruit with a layer of hot caramel, and then a layer of chocolate. Dip the bottom part of the apples into peanuts or coat with chopped candy bars.

Apple Spice Cake with Apple Cream Cheese Frosting

This apple spice cake is a great way to impress guests and conclude a nice family dinner. You’ll love how it’s deliciously spiced with ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and filled with apple butter in between. The apple cream cheese frosting on top gives it the right amount of sweetness.

Caramel Apple Sundae

A decadent treat such as this caramel apple sundae is guaranteed to end your meal in a sweet, comforting note. The dessert combines rich layers of caramelized apple wedges, cinnamon ice cream, and some pecan-oat crumble, topped with whipped cream.

Peanut Butter Apple Dessert

Everybody loves peanut butter and apple, and this recipe turns the classic childhood snack into a nice dessert.  To make, layer a mixture of graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, peanut butter, and butter. Cover with whipped cream cheese and top with apple pie filling.

This September, celebrate good health and good bounty with these yummy apple recipes. Happy eating!

Image no. 2 courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Throw a Lovely Garden Party on Labor Day

Celebrate Labor Day and say farewell to the summer that was by throwing a pleasant garden party for friends and family. Here are a few tips on how to throw a quaint and marvelous get-together right in your own outdoor space:

A Lovely Location for a Party
Photo by Devonshire via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

1. Send out Invitations

Make sure to send out personal invitations to friends and family. Almost everyone makes plan for the Labor Day weekend, so it’ll be great if you get confirmations early on. Don’t forget to attract them with delicious dishes and good company.

2. Organize a Great Menu

Juicy and Tangy Ribs
Photo by stevendpolo via flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Food is the star of any gathering, so prepare something truly sumptuous and filling. For starters, prepare this delicious and refreshing watermelon feta salad with mint from The Shiksa in the Kitchen. For the main entrée, go for something smoky and delectable. Fire up the grill and prepare this mouthwatering sweet and tangy barbecue ribs from A Sweet Pea Chef. Everyone will go back for seconds with this juicy and irresistible entrée.

A Yummy Turkey Burger
Photo by isab3l via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

For a different spin on the classic American burger, try these Hawaiian turkey burgers from Taste of Home. As a side dish, prepare this hefty serving of potato and cheese puree from The Galley Gourmet.

Delcious Sangrias
Photo by divya_ via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.

For drinks, these classic sangrias from Smitten Kitchen will perfectly complement the amazing food.

3. Prepare a Charming Dining Space

Set up a couple of tables and comfortable chairs. Make sure to place mats for a more elegant and sophisticated look. For the food, it might be better to prepare a buffet table. This will make it easier for the host to distribute the food and drinks. Make sure to serve a wide selection of drinks, including beer and wine for the adults, and different kinds of sodas and juice boxes for the kids.

A Great Buffet Table
Photo by Cambridge Brewing Co. via flickr. CC-BY-ND-2.0.

At the same time, the guests can easily stand up and enjoy seconds to their heart’s desire. Also, hire someone to put up a tent for the occasion. This might come in handy if it becomes too hot or if it starts to rain.

4. Prepare Games for Children

Some of the kids might get bored while the adults immerse themselves in their lively and engaging conversations. To avoid this, prepare a couple of board games that will occupy their time. Classic ones like Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, and Sorry are surefire hits. For something a little more challenging, set up a Ping Pong table or volleyball net so that your kids can play a match or two. This is also a great way for the kids to make friends.

5. Enjoy the Company of Friends

After all the preparations have been made, it’s time to sit back and relax. Introduce people to one another. Spark up interesting conversations. Relive the fun memories of summer. Just enjoy! At the end of the day, it’s all about good people coming together.

Throw a wonderful garden party to cap off the summer and celebrate Labor Day with these tips from Tree Classics.

Tree Classics’ Favorite Recipes: Say Cheesecake!

The cheesecake has become one of the world’s most loved desserts. Wonderfully paired with coffee or tea and perfect after a delicious supper, the cheesecake is simply divine with its sweet, creamy, and tangy taste, rich and soft texture, and moist crust. Here are several mouthwatering recipes that will satisfy any cheesecake lovers’ craving:

(cheesecake) Photo by kulinarno via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Photo by kulinarno via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

1. Cheesecake Chess Squares

The simple but superb Cheesecake Chess Squares from Six Sisters’ Stuff capture the goodness of the classic cheesecake in just one single bite. This no-fuss recipe only needs ingredients that are readily available in the kitchen and only takes less than an hour. Kids will love this wonderful snack.

2. No-Bake Lime Cheesecake

(lime) Photo by Shaw Girl via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
Photo by Shaw Girl via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The lime cheesecake has always been a summer favorite. Treat yourself to this dessert right before the sunny season ends! The light and zesty flavor is refreshing. This No-Bake Lime Cheesecake from chef-in-training is a simple take on the classic dish.

3. Easy Chocolate Cheesecake

(choc) Photo by Back to the Cutting Board via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Photo by Back to the Cutting Board via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Easy Chocolate Cheesecake, also from chef-in-training, is a delightful treat for chocolate lovers. Made with only four ingredients, this quick, microwave-made dessert is for anyone who has had a long day and just wants a bite of something sweet to take all their stress away. Make sure to serve this cheesecake chilled for a yummier experience.

4. Miniature Peanut Butter Cheesecake

(peanut) Photo by Sassy Sampler via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Photo by Sassy Sampler via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

A must-have snack for the kids, this Miniature Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Taste of Home is better than any peanut butter cup out there. Give your kids this sumptuous treat after a long day of fun and games.

5. Double Decker Cheesecake

If you can’t get enough of that delicious filling, then this Double Decker Cheesecake from I am Baker is for you. This is every cheesecake aficionado’s dream made even more palatable because it has two thick layers of cream cheese.

6. Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake

Most people would think that these two flavors just wouldn’t get along, but they’re truly a match made in culinary heaven. This marvelous Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake from Sweet Treats and More is perfect for holidays and special occasions this fall.

7. Layered Lemon Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Almond Crust

A more elegant version of the timeless dish, the Layered Lemon Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Almond Crust from Barefoot in the Kitchen has a magnificent filling and mouthwatering almond crust. Prepare this dish for a dinner party. It will make for the perfect end note to a great evening.

Satisfy your cheesecake cravings all year round with these recipe recommendations from Tree Classics!

Tree Classics Christmas in July: Host a Milk and Cookies Party in 2 Easy Steps!

In our fifth and final installment of Tree Classics Christmas in July, we give you two easy steps (plus lots of quick tips!) for hosting an amazing milk and cookies party to keep the yuletide spirit alive. You don’t have to wait for Santa to come down the chimney just to enjoy these oven-fresh delights. Gather friends and family this summer for one unforgettable holiday!

Tree Classics Christmas Tree Cookies
Photo from The Tedster via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

Step 1: Bake the Cookies with Your Friends and Family

Let’s face it. It’s more fun to bake when you have friends and family helping you out in the kitchen. It’s also the perfect excuse to try out a tiny pinch of your favorite mouthwatering cookie dough!

Line up the ingredients for your selection of baked goodies and give each baker a corner in your work station. Whip up a batch of the classic chocolate chip cookies using red and green candy morsels or, for the more advanced bakers, a batch of stained glass sugar cookies with a colorful Jolly Rancher center.

QUICK TIP: Don’t forget the cookie cutters and stamps! Make your guests feel right at home by letting them take part in baking goodies with sweet and thoughtful holiday greetings they can exchange with one another.

Another great thing about cookie parties is that everyone can garnish their cookies their own way. For Christmas in July, have red, green, and yellow candy sprinkles, gumdrops, and crushed candy canes ready for your happy helpers to lavish on their baked goodies.

 

Step 2: Serve Up Ice Cold Milk

While waiting for your cookies to bake, you can start serving ice cold milk to your kitchen helpers! Kick off your summer Christmas party with various flavors of milk, such as chocolate and strawberry, and for the figure- and health-conscious, a serving of low-fat and lactose-free milk from your very own milk bar.

Tree Classics Variants
Photo from Joe Shlabotnik via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

QUICK TIP: Instead of using the usual pitcher and glass, fill old-fashioned bottles to add a vintage feel to your summer Christmas party. These wonderful glass bottles can be used later on as a quaint flower vase or container for your trinkets. You can also fill the bottles three hours before the celebration and place them in the chiller. When it’s time for the party, you’ll have your cool drink ready to be paired with your oven-fresh cookies!

 

For friends and family who can’t get enough of those delicious cookies, you can give them extra treats packed in these lovely antique-styled French canning jars. They make classy take-home gifts and nifty containers for other baking ingredients.

 

Tree Classics’ Recommended Treats:

1. Classic Cookie Recipes

A Christmas milk and cookies party in the middle of summer should serve fun and unique treats. This New York Times favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and these colorful Oreo cookie pops are sure to make your celebration all the more special.

Tree Classics Chocolate Chip Cookies
Photo from arnold | inuyaki via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

2. Healthy Cookie Recipes

Health-conscious guests need not worry about the fare as you can also serve flourless and sugar-free peanut butter cookies and whole grain low-sugar chocolate cookies with pecans from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Tree Classics Peanut Butter Cookies
Photo from Maggie Hoffman via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Have a merry and memorable Christmas in July with a fun and simple two-step milk and cookies party!

Tree Classics Christmas in July: How to Make an Edible Christmas Tree!

Deck the halls with fruits and berries, or better yet, make a miniature Christmas tree with sugar cookies and candy sprinkles! Because Tree Classics absolutely loves Christmas in July, we’re celebrating it with all the luscious fruits, veggies, and sweets from this season. It’s one unique holiday that infuses elements of traditional yuletide festivities with the flavors of summer. Have fun adorning your home – and satisfying your tummy – with edible Christmas decorations. Tree Classics presents three great ideas to spruce up your summer holiday with delicious treats.

Have a Yuletide Fiesta with Fruits

Infuse your Christmas in July celebration with the flair of a summer fiesta by whipping up a fruit Christmas tree. This new take on the traditional fruit salad consists of strawberry, raspberry, orange, watermelon, kiwi, and grape carefully mounted in the conical shape of a tree. You can also add pear, mango, papaya, and banana into the mix. As a finishing touch, you can cut out a star out of a pineapple to top your scrumptious yuletide tree.

Tree Classics Tropical Fruits
Photo from Tama Leaver via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

Tropical fruits are known to have a wide array of health benefits. Aside from vitamin C, fruits such as mangoes and papaya help reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to the International Journal of Cancer. Eating potassium-rich bananas is great for regulating blood pressure. The vitamin B6 in the fruit is credited for improving a person’s mood. Fresh pineapples also make for an excellent anti-inflammatory food due to an enzyme called bromelain.

Taste a Veggie Merry Christmas

If you prefer a Christmas dish that packs an even healthier punch, you can’t go wrong with a fresh produce holiday tree. This ideal edible centerpiece can be made with broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, and lettuce leaves. Arrange the vegetables into a Christmas tree and place on a large platter. Serve this marvelous treat with a creamy garlic herb dip or hot spinach and artichoke dip for an even healthier fare.

Tree Classics Veggie Tree
Photo from djprybyl via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

While broccoli may not be the tastiest of vegetables, it is certainly one of the healthiest to eat, especially for people with age. Its health benefits include a high concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin, which help improve eyesight, and also soluble fiber and chromium, which regulate blood sugar levels. The vitamins A and K present in broccoli also aid in breaking down the vitamin D in our bodies, which in turn promotes better calcium absorption and bone growth.

For people on diet, the lettuce leaves in our veggie Christmas tree offer a light yet filling dining option. A cup of shredded lettuce leaves only has 12 calories and almost zero fat. Also, its high fiber and cellulose content improves digestion and promotes long-term weight control.

Enjoy a Sweet, Sugary Holiday

Since it’s summer, a little sweet treat wouldn’t hurt. Spruce up your beloved Christmas tree with delectable confectionery creations straight from your kitchen. This Christmas nougat candy, carefully placed in miniature baskets or decorative tins, makes a great highlight for your tree and a thoughtful gift for guests as well. In place of regular candy canes, you can create these fabric candy cane cone treats as creative and tasty accents. Hang up these cute and delicious iced Christmas cookie decorations to make your Christmas tree more fun to look at. If you want to save time baking edible decorations, go for these nifty gingerbread decorations from Tree Classics.

Christmas Cookies
Photo from starshaped via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

Whichever edible idea you choose for your tree, you’re sure to enjoy a fun-filled Christmas in July.

Tree Classics Favorite Recipes: 7 Delicious Smoothies that Detoxify

Summer inspires people to get healthy. Just think of all the luscious fruits and mouthwatering veggies bursting with color and flavor! They’re not only tasty. They also cleanse your body. But if you’re looking for something other than your usual summer salad, you can switch things up. Count on these thirst-quenching smoothies that also work as a complete meal, light snack, or summer drink that takes all your worries away.

Summer Smoothies
Photo from Andrew Michaels via flickr. CC BY 2.0

1. Carrot, Mango, and Herb Smoothie

Sip your way to good health with this carrot, mango, and herb smoothie. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene and vitamin A, which promote good eye health and slow down the aging of cells. The falcarinol and falcarindiol in carrots also reduce the risk of lung, breast, and colon cancers. Meanwhile, mangoes prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, promote good eyesight and help alkalize the body. The fusion of mint, tarragon, and basil helps with its digestive and anti-oxidant properties.

Enjoy these amazing benefits with the carrot, mango, and herb smoothie by Whole Living. Combine two cups of frozen mango chunks, one cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, one cup of fresh carrot juice, 1/4 cup of fresh herbs, such as mint, tarragon, or basil, and blend until smooth. Super easy!

2. Avocado-Apple Smoothie

Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats that help the body absorb vitamins A and E important for maintaining the smoothness of skin. This fleshy green-skinned fruit can also lower cholesterol, fight eye disease, and prevent oral, breast, and prostate cancers. Anti-oxidant and fiber-enriched apples, meanwhile, fight the effects of aging on the brain, providing protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Make the avocado-apple smoothie from Incredible Smoothies by blending together one green apple, 1/2 avocado, one tablespoon of lime juice, and 1/2 to one cup of water. This is one yummy anti-aging recipe that you’ll never get out of your mind!

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5 Amazing Gift Ideas for Foodie Friends

It’s time to wow your foodie friends with a delicious goodie basket bursting with the flavors of summer! Tree Classics recommends these sweet and savory homemade treats that are sure to uplift spirits and excite your gourmand buddies:

1. Homemade Limoncello and Frozen Bellini

Gift a friend hosting a party with homemade gourmet drinks, such as limoncello or frozen bellini. Crisp and fragrant, limoncello is an iconic drink from the Italian coast. This lemon liqueur is appreciated by gourmands amid the sweltering summer heat. The frozen bellini, on the other hand, blends champagne with peach or passion fruit nectar and grenadine. Served with a fine meal of roast and veggies, the intense citrusy flavors of these drinks give you the perfect summer blend.

2. Baked Goodies

A tea party gives your foodie friends the perfect opportunity to sample some of your heavenly cakes and cookies! A box of freshly baked goodies is a great gift for those who appreciate the unique combination of bittersweet tea and light and fluffy treats.

Whip up buttery delights such as sugar cookies or an assortment of miniature berry tarts. Present these homemade specialties in a gorgeous tin can or papier-mâché box. Tie a bright yellow or pink ribbon and decorate with a pretty label.

Tree Classics Baked Goodies
By studiocherie / flickr

3. Chutneys

Little jars of fruit chutney make a nice homemade gift that brings the fresh taste of summer into your chowhound friends’ kitchens. What’s great is that these flavors last beyond the season. Chutneys are one of the easiest preserves to make. Ripe nectarines and peaches are a wonderful accompaniment to grilled chicken or pork, as well as an excellent garnish in your sandwich or salad.

Package your homemade concoction in a decorative glass bottle, which your friend can later reuse as a cute shelf display. Don’t forget to use ribbons and labels to embellish the jar. You can also add a “best by” date or a list of the ingredients.

4. Cheeses

It’s not a secret that the best summer cheeses can make outdoor barbecues and picnics a gourmet experience. Surprise your foodie friends by gifting them premium cheese that you yourself have made. You can make something from scratch, such as queso blanco, yogurt cheese, and ricotta cheese, or pair the cheese you already have with a few gourmet herbs like basil and mint.

Wrap hard aged cheese in a beautiful cheese cloth or place freshly made soft potted cheese in a fancy jar.

5. Spice Mixes

A jar of spice mixes can be one of the most thoughtful gifts you can ever give a foodie friend. Quality spice blends are not only very easy to make but are also a lot healthier than store-bought versions, which may contain some chemical additives. From pesto to taco and cajun seasonings, you can conveniently create your own blend for making even plain meat and vegetables exciting.

Pack your spice mixes in a pretty mason jar, and include a set of colorful, decorative measuring spoons for a creative touch.

The great thing about these food gifts is that they are almost always eagerly consumed within days of being received. And with the right packaging, you will not only wow your friends with your fine culinary taste but also with your creativity!

Tree Classics Favorite Recipes: Weekend Breakfast Ideas

Tree Classics Weekend Breakfast Ideas
By voraorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Breakfast need not be the usual fare on Saturday and Sunday morning. With family members enjoying their time off, weekend mornings become an opportunity to nourish your tummies and warm your hearts. Brighten your Saturdays and Sundays by trying out these creative ideas for the most important meal of the day – all while spending quality time with your family.

No Ordinary Pancake

Stop making boring pancakes and start whipping up something you’ll all be excited to see on the breakfast table. The weekend allows you more time to give your breakfast a delightful twist. Add in special ingredients to impress your family. Include berries or chocolate chips into your pancake batter, or cook them in silly shapes. Top with even more fruits, chocolate syrup, and swirls of whipped cream!

Rainbow Parfait

Make a rainbow parfait from fresh fruits and yogurt the way Delia from Delia Creates prepared it with her kids; this is a perfect example of spending quality time in the kitchen with your family. Summer weekend mornings will be brighter when you create this colorful concoction. It’s as easy as slicing your favorite fruits, such as berries, bananas, kiwis, grapes, and pineapples, and layering them in a tall glass to make a nice rainbow mix. Spoon a small dollop of yogurt into the center of the glass, and top with granola or a whole grain, unsweetened cereal for crunch.

Breakfast Pizza

Eggs + pizza = gangbuster delicioso! With her breakfast pizza, Catherine of Weelicious took advantage of her family’s love for pizza and eggs. To make this morning delight, just crack one egg on top of a round mini pizza dough, sprinkle it with salt, cheese, and crumbled bacon or any other toppings you prefer, and bake it in the oven. It’s so simple that you can get your whole family cookin’ with you and piling on their own favorite toppings.

Scrambled Egg Muffins

These heavenly – and oh-so healthy! - scrambled egg muffins are guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s morning faces. Anne from Fannetastic Food shares the recipe for this easy breakfast that has all the nutritious stuff you need to start the day. How to make them? Whisk eggs. Add in chopped fresh spinach, basil, tomato, skim milk, spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour), grated cheddar cheese, sea salt, and black pepper. Pop them in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. And as Anne says, “Everything is better in muffin form.”

After a long work week, reward yourself and the whole family by whipping up a delightful breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. And while you’re at it, have some early morning fun and get the whole family involved, too!