Top 5 make-ahead holiday appetizers!

You know what makes the holidays even better than gifts? Great make-ahead recipes that keep entertaining easy like these appetizers.

Best holiday dessert recipes and Christmas sweets.

Cheesecake, Reindeer Chow, Christmas cookies, oh my!

Bacon Wrapped Dates: The genius holiday appetizer you didn’t know you needed (but do).

Meet your new obsession. These Bacon Wrapped Dates are, hands down, the best, easiest, and most popular party appetizer you'll ever make—or eat.

Maple Harvest Mousse: Healthy holiday dessert recipe

Maple Harvest Mousse: Surprise everyone with a light and healthy holiday dessert made with squash. Or don't surprise them at all by keeping the squash thing a secret.

Easy DIY Vanilla Extract, aka last-minute holiday gift gold

Making vanilla extract at home is beyond easy. Make some for yourself or put a bottle together as an easy DIY food gift.

The big list of delicious holiday food gifts and fun kitchen gadgets

I've been hard at work at Cool Mom Picks rounding up food and kitchen gifts for everyone and every holiday. From edible Hanukkah gifts, to indispensable kitchen gadgets, to food gifts that will make any child swoon (hello, personal ice cream maker), I've got what your foodies, picky eaters, and family cooks want this holiday season. And maybe something for you, too. (more after the jump)

Cumin Lime Roasted Carrot Salad: A perfect healthy holiday recipe.

A boldly flavored salad that can pair with simply cooked protein for a healthy weeknight dinner or keep it's own on a holiday table.

A quick-look guide to Thanksgiving pies & holiday baking

The title says it all: A quick and easy guide to holiday desserts with tips and recipes to get you through. Yum.

Homemade Cheddar Crackers: The ultimate all-purpose recipe for school lunch, snack time, holiday parties, and more.

This homemade cheddar cracker recipe works for everything: school lunch, cocktail parties, play dates, baking with kids, snack time, and more.

Meyer Lemon Curd, simple or spiced: Edible holiday gift gold

Finger-lickin' deliciousness with a few prize-worthy combinations.

Enter to WIN personalized holiday cards from Minted! [CLOSED]

If you're contemplating sending out holiday stationary, including those cute family photo holiday cards, check out Minted's adorable selection.

{video} Holiday pie plan: make-ahead Pie Dough recipe for the holidays

Make-ahead dough for satisfy all of your holiday pie-baking dreams.

5 holiday cider drinks great with or without booze

[caption id="attachment_12361" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="Cider Rum Punch from Verses From My Kitchen"][/caption] I do declare: Let the Christmas festivities drinking begin! What? Monday is Christmas Eve, it's not like we're going to actually work. Why not get a head start?! If you're with me, I want you to save the fussing and fancy bitters for next week (or, even better, for New Year's Eve). This weekend is about relaxing by the glow of your tree after last minute shopping, sipping cocktails while wrapping presents and hanging with family and friends through it all. Forget the signature cocktail and mix up a simple elixir using the apple cider you already have in the fridge. It'll be festive, easy, and you can use nearly any booze you have in the house. In fact, you can skip the booze all together. At Cool Mom Picks, I've rounded up 5 apple cider cocktails that make killer mocktails, too. These drinks are what you need to be sipping on this weekend. (more after the jump)

TWO Momofuku Milk Bar holiday cookie recipes {giveaway closed}

The subject line read: American Express | Christina Tosi's Holiday Cookie Party. It was all I needed to know. But then there was the small print. (Oh, the small print!) Come grab an apron and roll up your sleeves as Christina and her mom celebrate with a Holiday baking party of signature kid-friendly recipes. It went on: Invitation valid for yourself and up to 2 children. A party with cookies and Christina Tosi, the genius baker behind Momofuku Milk Bar is enough to make this mama giddy, but with the hungry boy in tow?! And Christina's mom (how cute is that)?! It was a no brainer. Time and place didn't matter. I'd be there. RSVP'ing was just the beginning of the fun, and if you don't believe me, I have six words for you: Cornflake Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies. BAM! (more after the jump)

{recipe} Holiday Breakfast! Oven Baked Cinnamon Sugar Puffs

I did it! I found the recipe. The one that yields a magical food that is like donut, cinnamon muffin and buttery crumb cake all rolled into one. The one that gives you two bites of heaven. The one for these Oven Baked Cinnamon Sugar Puffs. These are my palate's soul mate. They satisfy my appetite in a dangerous way, but I like living on the edge. Especially for love. (more after the jump)

{holidays} My Favorite Hanukkah Recipes & Making Donuts with Kids!

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate! Tonight is the first night of the Festival of Lights and I may have forgotten had it not been for the fact that I heard the Hungry Boys singing, "Hanukkah! Today is Hanukkah!" at the top of their lungs at 6:45 a.m. Good thing those boys aren't too busy to forget such things like their mama! (more after the jump)