My Top 10 Posts of 2018

I see bloggers do this a lot, listing their top posts of the previous year or even month. I’ve never felt like I had enough regular content to do so, but this year I do. I did have some very popular giveaways go up this year, but those aren’t going to count. Instead, we have a mix of mostly author interviews and a few cocktails. So enjoy this flashback over the year. I can’t wait to see what you all love to read in 2019!

#10 ~ Interview with Caiseal Mor, author of King of the Blind

Let’s kick off the countdown with an author interview. This is one of my longer interviews, but author Caiseal Mor is full of all kinds of interesting stories and has had many adventures in his life. One fascinating aspect to me is that he was diagnosed with severe autism when he was a kid. Immerse yourself in his world and his book in this Interview with Caiseal Mor, author of King of the Blind. There is a giveaway for a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card that runs until February 6, 2019.

#9 ~ Meet John Feldman, Author of Out of Hiding

If you’re a fan of mysteries and thrillers, be sure to check out Out of Hiding by John Feldman. You can get a sneak peek into it here, plus a bit of the story behind the story from the author. The giveaway ended back in May, but you’ll enjoy the rest of it. So Meet John Feldman, Author of Out of Hiding.

#8 ~ Interview with Madeleine Romeyer Dherbey, author of The Fortress

Historical fiction buffs, especially lovers of WWII history, are going to enjoy this story of the French Resistance. Author Madeleine Romeyer takes us behind the scenes of the book, plus an excerpt to enjoy. The giveaway associated with this one ended back in October, but you’ll still enjoy reading about the book. So enjoy the Interview with Madeleine Romeyer Dherbey, author of The Fortress.

#7 ~ 50 Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

Sometimes you just want to give your Valentine’s Day cards a more personal touch. Or maybe you find the ones in the stores to be a little bit corny and just not your style. Perhaps you just don’t need as many as are in the box or just don’t want extras lying around once you are done. No worries, here are 50 Printable Valentine’s Day Cards for you to make at home.

#6 ~ Meet P.D. Alleva, author of Twisted Tales of Deceit

Author P.D. Alleva is so passionate about his work. Last year I did an interview with him about his book Twisted Tales of Deceit, which is the first book in the Beyond the Chamber Door series. He dives in deep about the book, the series, and his other books and writing. Plus you can get to know a little bit more about him and what he does outside of writing. The giveaway associated with this one ended back in December 2018, but it’s still worth checking out. So Meet P.D. Alleva, author of Twisted Tales of Deceit.

#5 ~ 10 Things You Don’t Know About Author Peggy Jaeger

Contemporary romances are one of my favorite genres. Last year, Peggy Jaeger released Can’t Stand the Heat. Here she gives us 10 facts about herself, plus we get a sneak peek into the book. The associated giveaway ended back in April 2018, but it’s still an interesting read. Learn 10 Things You Don’t Know About Author Peggy Jaeger.

#4 ~ Meet Pamela Foland, author of the Megan’s World Series

I “met” Pamela Foland through the wonderful world of Fiverr when she wanted me to promote her books. We took it a step further and I later read the first books in the series, which I really liked a lot. And then I conducted an interview with her. Learn more about this series, plus some tips for petsitting at Meet Pamela Foland, author of the Megan’s World series and check them out!

#3 ~ Refresh Your Holiday Cocktails with a Peppermint Martini

The holiday season requires cocktails. Even better is when those cocktails have the flavor of the season. Peppermint martinis give a fun twist to this classic drink and actually taste pretty good. So Refresh Your Holiday Cocktails with a Peppermint Martini, or enjoy any time of year!

#2 ~ Meet Michael Jordan, author of The Company of Demons

The Company of Demons is a novel based on a true story, the unsolved Torso Murders, that even the infamous Eliot Ness couldn’t solve. Author Michael Jordan takes us into his process of writing this novel, plus gives us an excerpt to whet our appetites. I admit it also appeals to me because it takes place in my home state and the author lives not too far from where I grew up. But murder mysteries are always fascinating.

This one has a giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card associated with it that actually runs until February 27, 2019, so you can still enter it as of this writing. Check out Meet Michael Jordan, author of The Company of Demons.

#1 ~ 10 Purple Rain Cocktails – RIP Prince

2016 was a horrible year when it came to celebrity deaths. I felt like I was losing my childhood. When Prince died, I took it pretty hard and randomly decided to see if there were any Purple Rain cocktails. I wasn’t disappointed. So here is my best-performing post of 2018, and all time, 10 Purple Rain Cocktails.

What are you looking forward to reading in 2019?

January Food Holiday Observances

January is a time to start fresh. We tend to be more focused on our health and wellness and are eager to start new diet routines. Sometimes it can be hard to stick with those, but with so many delicious January Food Holidays, you can find something to tempt your palate while also sticking to those resolutions. It’s the perfect month to bust out your slow cookers, Instant Pots, juicers, and blenders that you just got for Christmas.  Use this guide to help you to plan your menu at home, for creative snack ideas in the classroom, or party fun! I’ll keep adding links as I come up with them. Also be sure to check out my Pinterest boards of Recipes to Try and Montessori Food Prep Activities for even more ideas. Which ones are your favorites?

Monthly January Food Holiday Observances

January is the month that everyone decides to change their eating habits. It’s a great idea in theory, but remember it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. One of the mistakes that most people make is trying to do a massive overhaul in one fell swoop. Start small with just one at a time and you will be more likely to make it a permanent dietary change. Luckily with so many great themes for the month, most of which are quite healthy, you should be able to find something to tempt you.

For example, it’s Fat-Free Living Month, so you can find new fat-free recipes to try. With it being Bread Machine Making Month, National Wheat Bread Month, and National Baking Month, you can find healthier ways to make your favorite baked goods. Plus anything you can make at home from scratch is usually going to be healthier for you anyway, as you know what’s really going in there and can control it.

Turn your breakfast around as you learn about new recipes for National Egg Month, National Hot Tea Month, and National Oatmeal Month. Find new lunch and dinner options with National Meat Month, National Slow Cooking Month, and National Soup Month. You can even help yourself get more regular with Prune Breakfast Month (although I can’t imagine!). And sure, let yourself indulge every once in a while with National Candy Month.

Daily January Food Holiday Observances

January 1 – National Bloody Mary Day

January 1 –  National Black Eyed Pea Day

January 1 – Apple Gifting Day

January 2 – National Buffet Day

January 2 – National Cream Puff Day

January 3-  Chocolate-Covered Cherry Day

January 4 – National Spaghetti Day – Try something new with Zucchini Pasta Sauce with Toasted Pine Nuts, or one of these 30 Spaghetti Recipes.

January 5 – National Whipped Cream Day

January 6 – National Shortbread Day

January 6 – National Bean Day

January 7 – National Tempura Day (I love tempura! Need to make sure to go to my favorite Japanese restaurant today!)

January 8 – National English Toffee Day

January 9 – National Apricot Day

January 9 – National Cassoulet Day

January 10 – National Bittersweet Chocolate Day

January 10 – National Oysters Rockefeller Day

January 11 – National Hot Toddy Day

January 11 – National Milk Day

January 12 – National Marzipan Day

January 12 – National Curried Chicken Day

January 12 – National Glazed Doughnut Day

January 13 – National Gluten-Free Day

January 13 – National Peach Melba Day

January 14 – National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

January 15 – National Bagel Day

January 15 – National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day

January 15 – National Strawberry Ice Cream Day

January 16 – National Fig Newton Day

January 16 – International Hot and Spicy Food Day

January 17– National Hot Buttered Rum Day

January 18 – National Gourmet Coffee Day

January 18 – Peking Duck Day

January 19 – National Popcorn Day – Try some Spicy Popcorn Recipes!

January 20 – National Buttercrunch Day

January 20 – National Cheese Lovers Day

January 20 – National Coffee Break Day (Isn’t this every day?)

January 20 – National Potluck Day

January 21 – National Granola Bar Day

January 21 – National New England Clam Chowder Day

January 22 – National Blondie Brownie Day

January 22 – National Southern Food Day

January 23 – National Pie Day

January 23 – National Rhubarb Pie Day

January 24 – National Peanut Butter Day (I am always all about peanut butter everything.)

January 24 – Lobster Thermidor Day

January 25 – National Irish Coffee Day (I fully support this day!)

January 26 – National Green Juice Day

January 26 – National Peanut Brittle Day

January 26 – National Pistachio Day

January 27 – National Chocolate Cake Day

January 28 – National Blueberry Pancake Day

January 29 – National Corn Chip Day

January 30 – National Croissant Day

January 31 – National Brandi Alexander Day

January 31 – National Hot Chocolate Day – OK, I know that there are differences between hot cocoa and hot chocolate, but most of us use the terms interchangeably. And I still consider this to count – White Peppermint Hot Cocoa. You can find more on this Valentine’s Day Hot Cocoa roundup.

Which January food holiday observances are you most looking forward to celebrating?

Resources:

Foodimentary

Mobile Cuisine

The Nibble

Other Monthly Food Holiday Observances:

January * February * March * April * May * June * July * August * September * October * November * December

#InstantPot Stuffed Poblano Pepper Soup

Stuffed peppers are so good. I’ve had them as a side dish and as a main dish. But how about in the Instant Pot as a soup? It’s tasty, it’s healthy, and it will warm you up from the inside out. So prepare to get spicy! It will take about 15 minutes to prep. Active cook time is 25-30 minutes, plus time to reach pressure and 10 minutes for the natural release. Serves four to six. Enjoy!

Continue reading “#InstantPot Stuffed Poblano Pepper Soup”