Desserts Eat Holidays

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Greek Easter bread is a semisweet dense bread decorated with brilliant red hard boiled eggs rubbed with olive oil. It’s a beloved family tradition that we enjoy each year.

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

This Greek Easter bread is one of the most eagerly anticipated sweet treats of the year at our house. For over 20 plus years, the week before Greek Easter has  been filled with days spent in the kitchen making cookies, dolmades, spanakopita and of course the beloved Easter bread. My Greek mother-in-law takes the traditional Greek food very seriously when it comes to the holidays and for that I am grateful. My girls have grown up watching Yaya create her magic in the kitchen which always includes beautiful stories from days gone past. Aside from learning about Yaya’s cooking and baking techniques, we walk away from our time spent together, hearts wrapped in a warm blanket of memories that was woven from spending time in the kitchen together. That’s what food and family is all about isn’t it?

Tsoureki is the Greek word for Greek Easter bread. I spent a lovely afternoon making and baking this delicious bread with Yaya (my mother-in-law) laughing and telling stories and I just had to share this special tradition with all of you. ThisEaster bread is a semisweet bread that is pleasingly light yet pleasingly dense once it meets your mouth and is the perfect pairing alongside a pipping hot cup of coffee. It is something that we all look forward to sinking our teeth into each and every spring on Easter day.

One of the key ingredients to this semisweet bread is a spice called, Mahlepi. You can find this spice at your local Mediterranean grocery store (sometimes called Mahlab).

This is what it looks like…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

You’ll want to grind the seeds until it becomes a fine flour-like consistency like this…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

This unusual spice is a wonderfully warm cinnamony nutmeggy slightly nutty spice that is the undertone flavor in this marvelous bread.

Once you mix all of the lovely ingredients in a large bowl by hand, including the fresh zest of lemons and oranges, you’re kitchen will smell divine.

The dough will look like this…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Don’t worry about the melted butter pooling around the sides it will absorb as the bread sits in a warm place to rise.

Meet Yaya…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

she is beyond giddy about how beautifully the bread has come together.

Once mixed, the dough should be covered with plastic wrap that is actually tucked down in and touching the dough. Then wrap towels around the entire bowl and put it in a warm place for a couple of hours.

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Our dough was ready much faster than usual. After an hour and a half of chatting while drinking coffee and munching on paximathakia our dough had risen.

The bowl of dough should look like this when it’s ready…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

You could hear angels singing and Yaya too. She was like a little school girl swirling around the kitchen while explaining to me that the secret of making “good dough” is the happiness that you have in your heart while making it. I wholeheartedly agree. A happy heart makes happy food.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured counter and divide the dough into four equal parts. Then separate each of the four parts into three pieces and roll the dough with your hands into approximately 14 inch long and about finger thickness.

reek Easter Bread With Yaya

Braid the three long cylinder pieces just like you would braid hair. It should look like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Then place the braid into a round pan that is lined with wax paper.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Then let that rise again, covered and placed in a warm spot. This should take about 30-45 minutes.

I would recommend a little dancing and singing to expedite the process. It worked for us!

Once the dough looks nice and plump like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Brush the dough with a mixture of beaten egg, vanilla and water. Then place in a preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes until it looks like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Once the bread has cooled, cut out the center of the bread and place a red dyed hard boiled egg inside.

And there you have a traditional loaf of Greek Easter bread.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Help yourself to a slice of the beautiful bread, pour a cup of coffee and exclaim Xristos Anesti (Christ Has Risen)!

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Just like the beautiful bread.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

I’ve shared some mouthwatering Greek recipes with you in the past. Here are a few fav’s ::

Wishing you a marvelous and blessed Easter.


Here’s the delicious recipe –

Originally published April 6, 2012

Drinks Eat Holidays

White Cranberry Martini

Entertain family and friends with a white cranberry martini for the holidays! This festive cocktail will add a beautiful sparkle to any gathering.

White Cranberry Martini

It’s been a white Christmas around here as of late and I just had to continue the merriment with a festive twist on the traditional red cranberry martini and make a white cranberry martini! I just love the elegance of this cocktail. The pale color of the white cranberry juice reminds me of champagne, but once you take a sip you’ll know the two can’t be mistaken!

White Cranberry Martini

This drink is the perfect holiday cocktail! It’s refreshing and light, cheery & festive. Served in an etched antique glass that’s reminiscent of icy patterns on a frozen winter window and garnished with frozen cranberries to add a pop of color, it makes a stunning drink! (Don’t fret if you don’t have an antique glass, this cocktail will impress in any vessel.)

White Cranberry Martini

Treat your guests this holiday season with a white cranberry martini. Or better yet, pour yourself one after a long day of  hustle and bustle or whilst finishing up your wrapping.

Cheers to you & yours!




Desserts Eat Holidays

Favorite Snowball Cookies Recipe

This favorite snowball cookies recipe has been a family go to since I was a little girl. They’re a delicious addition to any holiday cookie platter.

Favorite Snowball Cookies Recipe

Have you ever tasted one of these darling snowball cookies? They are to die for! I have been making them since I was old enough to stand on a stool at the counter to help. They take minutes to put together and they’re a cinch to roll into simple round orbs (I now use a melon baller to make a unified size).  They’ve always added the perfect sophisticated touch to any cookie assortment and they always had to make an appearance on Santa’s special cookie plate on Christmas Eve.

Favorite Snowball Cookies Recipe

Snowball cookies have such a simple elegance that matches their unique taste. A dry, crumby, not-to-sweet cookie that seems to melt in your mouth when the cool powdered sugar touches your tongue to create the perfect marriage of taste and texture.

Favorite Snowball Cookies Recipe

And what could be more festive for a white christmas celebration than these sweet little snowball cookies? Do yourself a favor and whip up a batch today! I’m certain that they’ll instantly become a family favorite at your house too! Here’s the recipe…

Wishing you a wondrous white Christmas full of blessings & love,


Desserts Eat Holidays Make

Easy Turkey Cookies

Make room for these adorable turkey cookies on your Thanksgiving dessert table! Kids big and small will love these sandwich cookies turned turkey!

Easy Turkey Cookies

There will be a new sweet treat joining the plethora of pies on the dessert table this year! Chocolate covered sandwich cookies topped with a chocolate kiss and a fan of fruit leather are all you’ll need to to make these turkey cookies. Make them ahead or set up a station and invite your younger guests to busy themselves with making their very own turkey creations!

Easy Turkey Cookies

These festive turkey cookies could even be used as place cards if you wish! Just tuck a thin strip of paper with your guests name in between the fruit leather feathers. How cute is that?

Easy Turkey Cookies

Whether you make your turkey cookies ahead or entertain the kiddos with an edible sweet-treat-turkey-making-station, I can guarantee a fun element of whimsy will be enjoyed by all as they indulge in one of these turkey cookies.

Supplies you’ll need to make the turkey cookies :

  • sandwich cookies
  • chocolate melts
  • red & orange fruit leather strips
  • gold dragees
  • small tube red gel icing
  • small leaf cookie cutter

What you’ll do :

Melt the chocolate melts according to package instructions. Cut fruit leather with a small leaf cookie cutter into as many leaf feathers as you like (I used 4 leaf feathers on each cookie). Open cookie and spread melted chocolate over the center icing (take care not to put too much or it will squeeze out the sides). Lay the fruit leather leaves on the melted chocolate in a fan along top half of cookie. Put the top cookie back on and gently squeeze to help seal cookies back together. Spread melted chocolate on top of cookie. Place a chocolate kiss onto melted chocolate and let set a few minutes. Put two dabs of melted chocolate on kiss where eyes should go (I used a clean paint brush to do this). Place gold dragees on the dabs of chocolate and hold in place with finger for a few seconds. Squirt a small line of red gel icing to to side of the tip of the chocolate kiss to make the turkey gobbler.

Wishing you & yours a very sweet Thanksgiving!




Desserts Eat Holidays

Peppermint Patty Recipe

This peppermint patty recipe is perfect for any sweet tooth.


To me the month of March means biting cold blustery days filled with blue skies, fast moving clouds and bursts of bright sunshine poking through.

It’s a month of transition.

Winter is loosing its icy hold as spring ever so slowly begins to unfurl tender green leaves pushing through the semi-frozen earth.   

If I had to pick a flavor combination to express March it would be a cool refreshing minty bite surrounded by smooth, rich chocolate. 

In other words, a peppermint pattie.


Or actually, a “Peppermint O’Pattie”. They’re fun & easy and even better with a shamrock green center. Let me show you how easy this Peppermint Patty recipe is! 


 Cool and refreshing, melt in your mouth, chocolatey goodness that just scream Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

*insert bagpipes playing over a gloomy marsh* 


Enjoy a bite with a cup of steamy coffee (with a splash of Bailey’s cream maybe?) And cheers to the cold blustery winds of March bringing plenty of warm golden sun-filled days.



Here’s the recipe!



Drinks Eat Holidays

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year Of Holidays and Resolution Smoothies {CLOSED}


Happy New Year!!!

After a year of indulging in delicious dishes I’m ringing in the new year with my fingers wrapped tightly around a scrumptious smoothie as visions of resolutions dance in my head.

Do you make New Year resolutions? I usually think about making them and then never see them through to fruition. So this year I’ve just made a little promise to myself. I’ve decided to make sure that I carve out the time to embrace and celebrate my family, friends and food each and every day. It’s a simple concept but one that I want to keep in the forefront of my mind rather than on the sidelines of a busy hectic life.

Family, friends and food. My trifecta of life.

That’s what I love about Ree’s (aka The Pioneer Woman)  new book. Whether she’s sharing her recipes and stories on her blog or celebrating life on the ranch on television, she always seems to eloquently celebrate the magic that comes together with friends, family and food. And have you seen her newest cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year Of Holidays? 

Well let me show you.


It’s exquisite.

Every holiday unfolds before you in chapter after chapter of beautiful photos that capture the very essence of each and every month. Delicious step-by-step recipes, heartwarming stories, precious family photographs and snippets of life on the ranch make this so much more than a cookbook. It’s a lovely little reminder to do the same with your own family.




A reminder to embrace life and all of the little blessings that are tucked into not only every season but also in each and every day.

So as I lazily sip on one of Ree’s scrumptious smoothies, my mind weaves through the memories of the year past.


And I eagerly await the new year and the magic of what’s to come!!


Maybe you should treat yourself to the same indulgence!

We have 3 lucky winners!!

#13 Alina who said, “Yes, I made new year’s resolutions. Top of my list is to be more organized and manage my time more wisely.”

#67 Julie who said, “I don’t usually make resolutions; I find I forget about them within a few weeks. Thanks for the chance to win!”

#115 Amber who said, “My resolution is to get in shape for my upcoming wedding. Oh, and to plan said wedding.”

Congratulations ladies! I will contacting you via email about your PW cookbook details!! Thanks so much for joining in the fun!!

GIVEAWAY! {Now Closed}

Ree has generously offered 3 signed copies of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year Of Holidays to giveaway here on Wenderly!!  Talk about the PERFECT way to kick off the new year, right?!? 

To enter : leave a comment on this post telling me if you make new year resolutions and if you do what are they? 

Entries will be accepted until midnight EST on Wednesday, January 8, 2014. Winners will be randomly chosen and notified via email after giveaway ends. Good Luck!


Don’t forget to treat yourself to one of these beauties…



And then roll up your sleeves and dig in to all the deliciousness that Ree’s book has to offer!

Happy New Year!!



Eat Holidays Snacks Sponsored Post

Harry & David Holiday Tower of Treats Giveaway

It’s December! Can you believe it?

It’s that magical time of year when we all seem to make the time to show family, friends and colleagues just how much we care and appreciate them. To me, there is just nothing as glorious as the gift of giving and knowing I’ve put a smile on somebody’s face. When I was asked by Harry & David if I’d like to receive one of their gorgeous gift baskets as well as give one away to one lucky Wenderly reader, I was beyond thrilled! Harry & David has always been a family favorite at my house.

After pouring over all of their fabulous gift baskets I selected the Holiday Tower of Treats.

In no time flat I was greeted by this on my doorstep…

The moment I opened the door a smile instantly spread across my lips. Even their mailing boxes are superbly detailed and full of charm.

I was then reminded again of why Harry & David gift baskets are such a delight.

Not only are they packaged impeccably, in the most beautifully designed boxes and ribbons,

but each individual box is brimming with beautiful fruit,

decadent sweet treats,

and only the finest quality.

Each individual box is a delight to savor each time you open it.


*Giveaway is now closed*

 We have a WINNER!!

Congratulations to Catherine who said…

My favorite gift to give are ones that I make myself…pretzels dipped in almond bark, homemade cocoa mix with homemade marshmallows, or homemade granola. They take time, but come from the heart and are always appreciated!”

I will be in touch with you via email with details!


*Closed* One winner will receive a Holiday Tower of Treats gift basket that contains…

  • 5-6 Royal Riviera® Pears (2 lbs. 3 oz.)
  • Milk Chocolate Moose Munch Popcorn (10 oz.)
  • Mixed Nuts (4 oz.)
  • Original Baklava (5 oz.)
  • Raspberry Galettes (5.25 oz.)
  • Chocolate Cherries (3 oz.)
  • Assorted Truffles (4 oz.)



 How to enter: *Closed*

To enter leave me a comment below telling me your favorite gift to give or just say “hello”.

* Giveaway starts today December 3, 2012 and will end Wednesday December 5, 2012, midnight EST. One winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email sometime Thursday.

* Open to US residents only.

* You can have the gift basket sent to you or someone else living in the US. 



For additional entries:*Closed*

* Share on twitter about the giveaway and leave me a separate comment that you did so.

* Share on facebook about the giveaway and stop back to leave me a comment that you did so.
* (That gives you THREE chances to win this gorgeous Holiday Tower of Treats gift basket!!)

Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy gift giving!


(I would like to thank the kind folks at Harry & David for providing the giveaway and my gift basket to review! As always all photos, thoughts and opinions are my very own.)


Eat Holidays Sides

Creamy Parmesan Vegetables


Ever since I can remember, these gorgeous creamy Parmesan vegetables have graced the table for every holiday.

Thanksgiving… Christmas…Easter…you name it, creamy Parmesan vegetables are there. They are that good. They are the quintessential side. They have the taste, texture and flavor that truly compliments any dish, but in our house it has become the sacred side served only at the holidays.

One year my mom actually “forgot” to make them on Thanksgiving. I can still remember standing in her kitchen with my mouth hanging open, as tiny beads of sweat gathered on my forehead and the beginnings of a panic attack set in.

NO creamy Parmesan vegetables?

That’s…that’s unacceptable! It can’t be Thanksgiving without creamy Parmesan vegetables.

I’ll never forget the silence that fell over the room. The deep mourning that emanated from each family member. My mom was flabbergasted, almost entertained by the drama that had just unfolded before her. “Really? You all love them that much?” she asked in amazement. With a twinkle in her eye and swat of her wooden spoon, she had creamed Parmesan vegetables put together in no time.

I remember being in awwww of my mom that day. How could she magically just whip up this coveted, delicious dish so quickly? I never did ask and she never did tell. I guess that I’ve always just enjoyed not knowing.

Until this week.

This week I decided that it was time to learn all of my mom’s deep dark secrets. I have raided her recipe box. I’ve already had a fabulous flop of a French Silk pie that will haunt me until I get it right, but the creamy Parmesan vegetables?


Now I know why she was able to whip these up on a moments notice. This is a secret too good not to share!  If you’re looking for a fabulous last minute side dish, this is it!

These are the ingredients: frozen mixed vegetables, half & half, butter, onions, Parmesan cheese and flour.

And Beau Monde seasoning.

And salt and pepper.

Begin by melting your butter.

Add the onions and saute until translucent.

Sprinkle in the flour.

Mix vigorously until it is all incorporated.

Let me just tell ya, it’s starting to smell like a party now!

Slowly pour in the half & half while stirring constantly.

Add in your thawed and cooked mixed vegetables…

pour in the Parmesan cheese…

then add your Beau Monde seasoning and salt & pepper and give a good stir.

That’s it.

Now I know, for a fact, without a doubt, that this dish will never be missing from any of my holiday tables. And who knows?

It just may make an appearance weekly.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make a second batch…

Wishing you & yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Creamy Parmesan Vegetables
serves 6-8

1 pkg (24 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups half & half
1/2 teaspoon Beau Monde seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook frozen vegetables as directed on package; drain and set aside. Melt butter in a dutch oven; saute onion until translucent (about 5-10 minutes). Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of flour in stirring vigorously until incorporated. Next slowly add cream, stirring constantly over low heat until thick. Add drained vegetables & seasonings; stir in Parmesan cheese. Cook 5 minutes more and serve!