The Easiest Sparkling Punch

Easy Punch Recipe | simplykierste.com

I bought my first punch bowl very early on in life.  As a piano teacher, I felt it quite necessary to have punch and cookies after each recital, and a girl can't be without a punch bowl!  Now I use a drink dispenser, but I still have my punch bowl! This particular recipe is my go-to punch, and it's the easiest sparkling punch around. It only has two basic ingredients, so it's also so quick to put together, which I love. You can also easily change flavors to match a theme, season, or holiday, and I've made many different kinds.  The kind I love for Christmas and the holidays is what I call...Sparkling Cranberry Punch! Its delightful red color with cranberries with floating on top is perfect … [Read more...]

Easy Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate | simplykierste.com

We are such a hot chocolate family! I don't think many days pass through the holiday and winter season where my kids aren't asking me to make hot chocolate...and I oblige quite often.  One of my favorite versions is Mexican Hot Chocolate.  The added cinnamon and nutmeg brings a depth of flavor that is deep and rich, and accents the chocolate.  It's SO delicious, and easy! I like to serve it with whipped cream, then shaved chocolate and cinnamon & sugar sprinkled on top.  Mmmmmm...my mouth is watering just writing this out!  It's perfect for serving at home, or to guests.  I like to make a big pot of it on Christmas morning, and just keep it simmering in my crock pot or on the stove, … [Read more...]

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms | simplykierste.com

Peppermint is one of my favorite holiday flavors, and I LOVE it with chocolate.  The pairing is a match made in heaven, and heavenly would be the perfect way to describe these cookies.  When I came across Candy Cane Kisses at the store last week, I knew exactly what I wanted to do...I took the popular Peanut Butter Blossom cookie, and traded out the flavors for a delightful Christmas cookie! The rich, chocolate-y cookie, with that little creamy bite of peppermint on the top...it's absolute perfection. And isn't it so adorable and festive? I love love the cute stripes on the Candy Cane Kiss!  I love this chocolate cookie--it's one of my favorite basic chocolate cookie recipes, and it's … [Read more...]

Caramel Pecan Sauce

Caramel Pecan Sauce | simplykierste.com

 You guys.  Do you want to experience a little bit of heaven?  You must try this decadent Caramel Pecan Sauce, you won't be sorry! Confession. This sauce doesn't always make it "on top" of anything, except my spoon.  It's THAT good. Rich, buttery, with the toasty crunch of the nuts...divine! One of my biggest temptations is anything caramel, and I have to say, this is one of my most favorite things.  EVER.  If you don't like nuts, or someone in your family can't have them, you can certainly omit them. The caramel is good enough to stand alone.  I do love the nuts, though, so I always add them.   And talk about easy...you make it in the microwave! Pour it over ice cream.  Get really … [Read more...]

Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies | simplykierste.com

It's the 10th of the month...another fun blog hop today, with a SNOW theme!  When I was growing up, every Christmas we would receive an eagerly anticipated package from my grandmother.  It was packed full with all of her famous Christmas cookies and treats, and we couldn't wait to get them.  Snowball Cookies were always included, and they've long been one of my favorites.  This classic shortbread cookie is rich, buttery, melts in your mouth, and is the perfect addition to your holiday baking! The ingredients are few, but that's all this cookie needs!  I love how simple they are to make, and it doesn't take long at all to whip up a batch.  Do you have a tradition for the first day it … [Read more...]

The Best Apple Crisp

The Best Apple Crisp | simplykierste.com

One of my husband's most favorite desserts is Apple Crisp. So, as the very good wife that I am, I spent years searching for the best recipe I could find, with the focus being on that yummy, crumbly topping, which is what I think the whole point of having Apple Crisp is.  :)  And you know what?  I found it.  Several years ago, I tried this recipe, and I've never gone back.  It really is The Best Apple Crisp!   I will tell you, I love it because there it makes A LOT of the topping, which is my favorite part. My husband also always asks for "extra" crumbly topping of any kind, so it satisfied both of our appetites.  If you like more apple than crisp, than you might want to consider cutting … [Read more...]

10 Spooky & Easy Halloween Dinner Ideas

Easy & Spooky Halloween Meals | simplykierste.com

Halloween night is one of the most fun nights of the year, and one our whole family looks forward to.  Costumes, trick-or-treating, friends, and food!!  I love to make something fun for Halloween dinner, but it has to be pretty quick and easy.  Usually the day includes dashing from one school classroom to another, costume parades, and other Halloween activities, so it doesn't leave a whole lot of prep time. This year I was on the hunt for some fun, spooky & easy Halloween dinner ideas, and I wanted to pass them on to you! So many yummy and creative ideas! Mini Halloween Pizzas Who doesn't love pizza? Always popular with a crowd...no matter the size! Pumpkin Veggie Tray, Taste of … [Read more...]

Mummy Oreo Lollipops

Mummy Oreo Lollipops | simplykierste.com

These darling Mummy Oreo Lollipops are so easy and fun, and perfect for little helpers!   How adorable, right?  If you're looking for an easy Halloween treat, you've found it! These just take a few minutes to put together, and are perfect for party favors, class parties, gifts, and...Family Night treats. :) You need just a few supplies to put these together... -Oreos (Mega Stuf!) -white melting chocolate -mini chocolate chips -lollipop sticks Directions: 1.  Slide the lollipop sticks into the middle of the Oreos.  I highly suggest the "Mega Stuf" ones, because the center is thicker, and it's easier to slide the sticks into, and the cookies are less likely to break. 2.  Melt the … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

Pumpkin Crumb Cake | simplykierste.com

It’s the 10th of the month which means another fabulous themed roundup from this talented bunch of bloggers! This month’s theme is pumpkin– recipes, crafts, and more. I love seeing how each blogger takes the theme and runs with it, and this month is no different. After you check out my Pumpkin Crumb Cake, be sure to check out what everyone else is sharing as well! Okay, so I'm totally admitting to you that pumpkin is usually not my favorite--pumpkin pie I just can't do.  But...this Pumpkin Crumb Cake is so yummy, that even if you're not a pumpkin fan, if anything will change your mind, this will!  If you already love pumpkin, then this is a must-try! My kids love it too, and it's one of … [Read more...]

Halloween Rolo Pretzel Treats

Halloween Rolo Pretzel Treats | simplykierste.com

One of our favorite treats to make at Christmastime is Rolo Pretzel Treats. They are brilliantly quick and easy and completely addicting.  Sweet caramel and chocolate, combined with salty and crunchy pretzels?  That's a recipe for perfection!  Because we love them so much, I thought it would be fun to make a Halloween version! This is one of my kids' favorite treats to help with in the kitchen, and it's perfect for little hands. Everything from unwrapping all the Rolo wrappers to laying out the pretzels on a cookie sheet, to setting the M&Ms on top...they love it, and I love it too!  It saves me a ton of time, so if you can find some little (or big) helpers at your house, I would grab … [Read more...]