Brown Sugar Danishes

Brown Sugar Danishes by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is quick puff pastry filling with pecans and butter and brown sugar. Perfect for breakfast for brunch or dessert. These treats require some how to so check out the photos for instruction on folding and rolling the dough. These mini danish sweets can be filled with nuts or additional dried fruit. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

What makes you joyful?Last week we went to one of my favorite vacation destinations, Blackberry Farm. (You might remember me going on about our previous trips here and here!) A cozy oasis nestled in the Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm is southern foodie vacationing at its finest. Brett and I travel there with our friends at the turn of every new year, and it is nothing short of spectacular. Something about that place relaxes me to my core, way moreso than beach, island, or other mountain retreats do. It feels like home and somehow, in just a few short years, it's become a place that brings me a ton of joy.I want more of that in 2018. The things that bring me joy and refresh my zeal for life are a top priority this year. Yes, there will continue to be work and hustle and obligations, but I feel like my day to day needs more of the things...

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Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins

Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins by the Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are healthy, whole grain muffins, sweetened naturally with golden raisins and topped with a simple streusel. The muffins are kept moist with oil and grated carrots and can be made ahead and frozen to be shared later. These better for you breakfast treats are the great way to stay on top of your diet in the new year! Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions. The idea of a resolution always feels a little like a temporary fix, a band-aid, for needs that require long-term effort and solutions. In my experience, resolutions are typically nothing more than the onset of a 3-week fad diet and an onslaught of inner shame when I inevitably fail. There's an unspoken expectation that I will eventually quit my resolution, even on January 1. In the past, I've been consumed by who I'm not and the things I don't have. The new year, a fresh start, a clean slate, has always been an escape route- the perfect opportunity for an unsteady leap towards the illusion of something that I think might make me more content. I've literally spent years of Januarys starving and straining and guilting myself into perfect misery. Into failure.This year, I'm looking at resolutions a little differently. I'm still making goals, still setting the bar high for myself, but I want more. Instead of smaller thighs, I want more...

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Marbled Sugar Cookies

Marbled Sugar Cookies DIY Tutorial from The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a how to for sugar cookies frosted with black and white grey to look like stone marble! Simply dip the cookies in the powdered sugar glaze and watch the swirls decorate each dessert. These cookies are simple and a perfect treat for the holidays, particularly New YEar's eve parties! Check out this party recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

This past week was  good for my soul. Going back home to Florida is beautiful in and of itself, but the glorious addition of Christmas spirit and celebration made my time there extra cozy. Something about being back in my parent's house is comforting, and the familiarity of those rooms and the faces I see in them fills me with loads of nostalgia. It feels good to be welcomed back and to know that I am known there.We spent the week wrangling the babies and carting them to see old friends. My mom and I made the trek with Aimee to Disney World (because if you go to Florida without visiting Mickey, did you really go to Florida?), and oh man, does my girl love her some theme parks. Although she's already been to Disney a number of times, the Magic Kingdom never fails to bring the magic. I love to...

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Mocha Cookies

Mocha Cookies by Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a coffee and chocolate lover's dream dessert! Soft and chewy chocolate crinkle cookies scented with espresso and made a little crunchy from the addition of sprinkling/ sanding sugar. This is a great cookie for cookie exchanges and holiday Christmas parties. Find the recipe and the how to for these baked good treats on thewoodandspoon.com

The holidays have got to be the biggest joke we're playing on kids. Christmas, a time of year that is paraded as fun and joyful, full of love and surprises just might be a giant trick we're playing on our little ones. Okay, level with me for a minute. Is it not mildly terrifying that a stranger might shimmy down the chimney in the middle of the night? Who wants to be awoken by the sound of live animals on the roof of their home? And what kid is going to be excited about some old fellow breaking into their home and EATING ALL OF THE COOKIES? It's outrageous. This concept we use to drum up excitement for our children is actually pretty disturbing.It's no wonder our kids are bad all year. We tell them, "Oh, Santa Claus won't come if you don't finish your vegetables! Santa won't visit if you hit your sister! No...

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Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies recipe by Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon blog. These are an old fashioned recipe handed down to me for soft and fluffy cutout Christmas cookies. These cookies hold their shape well and are perfect for decorating with buttercream style frosting. Host a cookie exchange or decorating party with these cookies that look great with sprinkles and other piped frosting. Find the recipe and how to for these holiday favorites on thewoodandspoon.com

After today, you and I will have very few secrets. The recipe I'm sharing this morning is nearest and dearest to my heart and is one that I've been savoring for years- my Mimi's frosted sugar cookies. Every Christmas, for as long as I can remember, my Mimi would make these frosted sugar cookies. Sometimes I'd join her at the counter to watch her roll out dough. Tediously, she'd flour her surface, then the rolling pin. I'd tinker with her copper cookie cutters while she trimmed the dough and placed the shapes on cookie sheets. While the kitchen warmed from the heat of the oven and the scent of butter and vanilla, I'd pick at remnants of dough, nibbling on whatever was stuck to the beaters and the bowl. We'd then gather around the table, some of us eagerly and others by the hair, as racks of bare cookies were placed in front of us....

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Peppermint Bark Bread and a GIVEAWAY!

Peppermint Bark Bread Recipe by Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon blog. This is a sweet yeast bread similar to babka filled with a semisweet chocolate filling and bits of chopped white chocolate peppermint bark. The bread is swirled and braided into a wreath and baked in a cast iron skillet. This bread is festive enough for dessert but able to be eaten as breakfast too. Find the tutorial for how to braid bread and a review of the wolf gourmet counter oven on thewoodandspoon.com Christmas holiday recipe!

Y'all. I am in full throttle Christmas mode over here. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of wrapping paper and Mariah Carey Christmas songs, and I'm so excited about it, I could squeal.Last week we enjoyed our first (and maybe only) snow of the season. Aimee was unsure about the snow at first, but eventually came around. She made a snowman and ate the snow, and all in all, I'd say she enjoyed her first winter wonderland. George didn't have a clue what was going on but was less than enthusiastic about snowballs. Is anyone surprised? It seems like the harder I try to get my kids excited about Christmas, the more annoyed they get with me. Case and point:  [caption id="attachment_15371" align="aligncenter" width="950"] Have you ever seen kids be this savage to Santa? Poor guy.[/caption]After a weekend of Santa visits, snow flurries, and mugs of cocoa, we've pretty much hit all of the Christmas highlights. Even...

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Raspberry Lemon Linzer Cookies

Raspberry Lemon Linzer Cookies recipe by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a classic linzer cookie recipe made with almond flour and all-purpose flour. The cookies are scented with lemon zest and are filled with a raspberry jam. The dough is cut out with cookie cutters. Sprinkle the tops of these Christmas baked goods with powdered sugar. These are what to bring to holiday or Christmas party / exchange. Find the recipe and the how to on thewoodandspoon.com

Ok, let's be honest. Gift giving can be hard, right? Sometimes we buy gifts out of necessity, but often, we do it because we love those people. We want to show them they're awesome! That they rock! That they make our lives better than a turtleneck on the coldest day of the year. So I ask you, is there really a gift that can encompass all of those sentiments? Is there such thing as the perfect gift?I've got a lot of people on my Christmas shopping list this year. There's my children (who need nothing), my husband (who only wants things he can pick out himself), and then my parents (who have everything they could ever want and then some). Sometimes I get stumped in the hustle of the season, and I make the tragic mistake of trusting Google to help me with my holiday shopping. I find myself typing, "What to...

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