Holiday Recipes and Travel

Published: Fri, 12/02/22

The Cooking Mom
December 2, 2022
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Hi Cooking Moms, Dads & Friends,

Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week. I can’t believe it’s December! Our Christmas tree is up and we’ve decked the halls. It’s party time! I love having friends over during the holidays, but I want to enjoy them too. It’s no fun to be stuck in the kitchen the whole time. Lots of fun, simple appetizers are a great way to go.

This year really WOW everybody with a home made cheese ball! My Seafood Cheese Ball seems fancy, looks beautiful, and you can make it ahead. I just have to serve seafood during the holidays and this is a great way to do it on a budget.

Speaking of seafood, we LOVE shrimp cocktail. It’s a must during the holidays! My Beer Boiled Shrimp with my Seriously Good Cocktail Sauce is always a special treat this time of year. It’s a party favorite. Boiling your own shrimp always make such a difference, making your own cocktail sauce too. Everybody loves it, so make plenty because it will be gone before you know it.

My Simply Great Stuffed Mushrooms are always a WINNER! Best stuffed mushrooms ever. Nobody needs to know how easy they were to make. Just 5 ingredients.

My Party Meatballs in the Slow Cooker are another one of my favorites. I mean who doesn’t love meatballs?

I always keep a few wheels of Brie cheese in my fridge during the holidays. That way when last minute guests stop by it's no big deal. I can whip up my Apple Walnut Brie in less than ten minutes. It looks so fancy on a pretty plate surrounded by slices of French bread or crackers. Make this over the holidays and I’m telling you, you will look like a total rock star!

I think it’s always a good idea to have a mixture of both hot and cold appetizers at your holiday get together. My Hot Bacon, Swiss and Roast Beef Sliders are AMAZING. The perfect party food!

My Party Pinwheels are another one of my go-to's. I can have them all made ahead of time and because they are wraps they don’t get soggy. LOVE that!

Click Appetizers, Sandwiches and Slow Cooker for more of my favorite recipes.

For dessert, it’s fudge making time. I love giving gifts from my kitchen! My Five Pounds of Fantastic Fudge makes a big batch, perfect to put in pretty tins or wrap up on a holiday plate. Click Desserts for more holiday treats.

Next week I’ll be on TV in Milwaukee and Minneapolis cooking up more of my favorite holiday recipes. I’ll be on Fox 6 Wakeup in Milwaukee on Monday and The Jason Show on Tuesday. I hope you’ll watch!

Amy's Cookbooks Make Great Gifts!

It's that time of year. If you're looking for a colorful cookbook filled with easy breezy recipes, I think you will love my cookbooks! They make fun gifts. I have two cookbooks. Each one is filled with nearly 200 unique recipes. Lots of secrets, tips and amusing stories, too! Click Amy's Books on Amazon to order.

The Cooking Mom Vacations - Give Yourself the Gift of Travel in 2023!

Besides cooking, I love to travel. I’m hosting one of a kind vacations that are so special. We’ll stay at the best hotels, eat the best food, and we may even take a cooking class or two! Plus, since we’re a group my trips are a real deal. I hope you’ll join me in 2023 for trips of a lifetime! Click Culinary Vacations with The Cooking Mom to see what makes my trips unique and different from the rest! Call Sara from Rose Travel at 720-884-7913 or email her at if you’re interested or have questions on any of my 3 upcoming trips.

I’m planning more WONDERFUL trips for 2023 and 2024 right now. Email me at and let me know if you want to get on my list for exclusive early trip announcements. I want to know where you want to go, too. Let me know!

ABSOLUTE LAST CHANCE! Join Amy Summer 2023 on Mackinac Island for Lilac Fest!

My trip to Mackinac Island in June 2023 SOLD OUT immediately, but we were able to get a few more rooms. Thing is, we have to release them TODAY so if you are interested in this trip don’t wait! Mackinac Island, Michigan is one my treasured places. There are no cars on the island, just bikes and horses and carriages. It’s so charming. It’s like you’ve stepped back in time. We’re staying at my favorite place, Mission Point Resort, voted one of the BEST on the island and in the Midwest. It’s AMAZING! We’ll be there for 4 magical nights June 12-16, 2023 during Lilac Festival. The whole Island is covered in lilacs. It’s so gorgeous. It smells beautiful too! Click Join The Cooking Mom on Mackinac Island to get pricing and see lots of pictures.

Read all about the fun we’re going to have and the appetizing food we are going to eat. Hotel rates on the island have sky rocketed but my trips are group trips and because of that we can negotiate the best deals. We worked hard to get the absolute BEST rates possible for lots of included things, like your ferry ride to the island, gourmet cooked-to-order breakfasts every morning at the resort, a wine tasting and lunch on our drive to get to the island, a big wine and cheese party, a delicious welcome dinner and more. It’s going to be a blast! You can get pricing and book directly by clicking on Book Your Spot!

Join Me in Italy in September 2023!

It’s one of my most popular trips! I’m going back to Italy in September 2023! I hope you’ll join me. I’ve been working hard to plan every last detail to make it this trip the best one ever! Instead of 7 days, my next trip to Tuscany will be 8 days to give us a little more time to see and do even more. The trip is going to be INCREDIBLE!

We’ll fly out Friday night September 8th and spend 8 nights in the most beautiful Tuscan Villa resort. We’ll do and eat it all. We’ll tour vineyards and taste the best Italian wines. We’ll visit several charming Italian towns and the big wonderful city of Florence too. We’ll take 3 different cooking classes to learn how to make authentic Italian dishes like homemade pasta, tiramisu and so much more. Get ready to dive in to the best gelato in the world! We’ll even go truffle hunting and get to enjoy a tasty truffle pasta lunch. After Tuscany, you’ll have the option to stay a few days longer with me to see Rome and the Vatican!

If you're interested, don't wait! This trip is booking up quickly. It ALWAYS sells out! We have a limited number of rooms and I don’t want any of you to miss out. I hope you’ll all join me for this trip of a lifetime. Cheers to traveling and eating our way around the world together! Click 2023 Trip to Tuscany to get pricing and full itinerary, and to book your spot! To read more about the trip click Join The Cooking Mom in Tuscany 2023.

Join Me in July 2023 on a Danube River Cruise to Germany, Austria and Budapest!

I’m so excited to announce the next Cooking Mom Vacation! Join me on a river cruise through Europe on the impressive Danube river. We’ll visit Germany, Austria, Hungary and more!

A river cruise is THE ULTIMATE way to see Europe. On this trip we are going first class all the way! Uniworld river cruises are top of the line and voted the ABSOLUTE BEST! Uniworld is a TRUE all-inclusive. That means ALL of your wine, beer, champagne and cocktails are included on our cruise. Tipping on the ship and most of our excursions is included too.

We’ll be on the elegant S.S. Maria Theresa. The cabins are bigger than most and the ship is so beautiful! The food, wine and breathtaking scenery are also what make this trip so special. There are only 150 passengers on board, so it's an intimate, wonderful experience. The staff on our ship will take care of our every need.

We’ll spend 8 glorious days cruising the Danube. The itinerary is marvelous! You’ll have the chance to visit a small family winery in Austria that produces some of the best Riesling in the world. We’ll also get a private concert and opera performance in Vienna. We’ll visit Budapest. At night, the city is all lights. It’s one of the most splendid places I’ve ever seen!

Before we board the ship, I’ve planned something really special. We’ll fly out July 27, 2023 to Munich, Germany. It’s one of my best-loved cities. We'll do a German pub crawl, go to a beer garden and so much more. I timed this trip so we’d be there for an authentic German Festival. It’s like a mini Oktoberfest. It’s so much fun! Bring on the giant pretzels, grilled sausages and giant steins of German beer!

Click The Cooking Mom Vacations - Danube River Cruise 2023 to read more and see more pictures. Click Danube River Cruise 2023 for the full itinerary and pricing to book this trip. Call Sara from Rose Travel at 720-884-7913 or email her at if you’re interested or have questions. I hope you’ll join me on this trip of a lifetime!

Gotta run. Lots to do as the holidays ramp up. You can always see what I'm up to on Facebook and Instagram. Follow me! Hey, check out my food videos on YouTube, too.

I hope you have a great weekend. Cook up some memories!

Take care,
Amy, The Cooking Mom

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