Holiday Survival Guide: 10, 9, 8 ...

We love this time of year – family, friends, celebrations and FOOD .. lots and lots of food! By now you've probably pulled out all your best party tricks, but don't worry. We've got a few new, fantastic New Year's Eve celebratory recipes that are sure to draw cheers from any crowd and fit any (post-holiday shopping) budget.

Sparkling Snacks: AKA Party Food!

We love to host parties and serve "heavy hors d'oeuvres" instead of dinner. With these simple & delicious appetizers you're sure to fill up your party guests so they'll be awake to ring in the new year, but you won’t have all the mess or the stress of a full dinner. And finger foods are way more fun at parties anyway!

Butterfly Shrimp Caprese: SeaPak Shrimp Company makes you the envy of all your friends with this amazing appetizer! It's an old Italian favorite with a new, coastal twist!

Scampi Bruschetta: Again, SeaPak lets you in on their secret to a great party with the simpli-tastic bruschetta. DELISH!

Crescent-Wrapped Meatballs: Elegant and scrumptious! So scrumptious, in fact, you'll want to double this recipe!

Artichoke Pizza: Perfect for a crowd! Cut into bite-sized pieces and voila! - a yummy, affordable and impressive appetizer!

Still hungry? Need a few more dishes to make your party spread appropriate for ringing in 2010? Try Carrie's favorite Parmesan Crisps (one ingredient!), or the Feta Cheese Spread or one of these.

What New Year's Eve party is complete without a signature cocktail? And a little bubbly? We've combined both into the Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail. Refreshing, festive and a perfect complement to the array of bites above.

Countdown In Style!

Who says you need watch the Dick Clark countdown like you've done for the last 20 years? Stir it up a bit this year with a game like Celebrity or Catchphrase - both are favorites around our homes. Lots of fun for groups of all ages. Any sort of pop culture game would be fun given all the crazy events of 2009!!

Healthy Holidays

New Year's Eve is a time of reflection, anticipation and sometimes a little over-indulgence. Recent studies show that dark liquors give you more of a hangover than clear liquors. So, if you’re going to indulge stick to vodka, light rum and clear tequila. Oh, and drink lots of water and get some extra sleep so you can start the new year off on the right foot (and not on the couch!).

And don't worry ... it's OK to indulge on New Year's Eve. In fact, we encourage it! We'll be back in early January with a winter slim down menu to help fight the holiday bulge!

Bon Appétit!
Carrie & Vicki

Happy Holidays from FunnySpoon

Your friends at FunnySpoon, from the bottom of our cookie-filled tummies, wish you a very happy holiday season!

Thank you for all of your support during our first year! With your continued help we've begun to fulfill our dreams. You've given us many things to celebrate this year and we thank you.

Have a happy & safe holiday and scrumptious 2010!

Bon Appétit!
The FunnySpoon Team
Carrie, Vicki, Lindsay, Mark & Elle

Veggie Tuesday: Pizza Time

OK, I know it's late, but I went to see "A Christmas Story" (the play version) and it was awesome. Anyway, what I meant to recommend early for a quick and easy dinner (perhaps before going to see a holiday play?) is this yummy Spinach and Artichoke Pizza from Farm Rich. We all know I love cheese, so the cheese sticks totally hit the spot, but then the spinach and artichokes make me feel less guilty. So happy holidays and bon appetit!

Pssst! Notice how this recipe uses Farm Rich? Just leave a comment on the blog, the recipe, or our Facebook fan page and you're automatically entered to win our weekly contest for a free Farm Rich product. So what are you waiting for?

Holiday Survival Guide: T Minus 7!!

The holidays are upon us! It's the time of year for shopping, gift exchanges, decorating, and, best of all, parties! FunnySpoon helps take the stress out of the holidays, so check out our fast party fixes that'll make all your elves giddy with joy!

Seasonal Eats: AKA Party Food!

Ensure your spot on the nice list with these Santa-stic party foods guaranteed to be loved by all and save you time in the kitchen. That's a holiday duo every cook loves!

BBQ Bacon Chestnuts: Make a double batch because these mouthwatering apps will be devoured in minutes!

Best Party Dip Ever: The name says it all! And if you're not a feta-lover, substitute shredded sharp cheddar for an equally fabulous taste.

Crab Rangoon Dip: Simple and elegant! So scrumptious that you might not want to share (but you better if you want to remain on the nice list!)

Need to feed the kids before a big party? Try the Spinach Pita Pizzas or the Ravioli Bites. They're hearty enough to be substituted for a meal and double as a party appetizer, too!

And go ahead, be a little naughty. Pair these melt-in-your-mouth Mint Chocolate Brownies with a King's Cider. We promise Santa won't hold it against you!

Mirth-Making Mood

Update your holiday playlist with "A Very Special Christmas" compilations – they're loaded with contemporary artists that are bound to brighten your mood and chase scrooge out of the house!

Healthy Holidays

'Tis the season to falalala ... and that leads to lots of rundown and sick people! Take care of yourself and your family this merry season with our top tips to fight off colds:

  • Eat more mushrooms - they're a natural (and delicious!) source of vitamin D.
  • Get sunshine whenever it peeks out at you. Just 15 minutes a day gives you all the vitamin D you need.
  • Drink Emergen-C - it's LOADED with vitamins and B12, which keep us healthy and provide extra energy around the holidays.
  • Most importantly ... take time to enjoy the holidays with your family and friends. Didn't get something done? Don't sweat it! There's always next year ...

    Bon Appétit!
    Carrie & Vicki

    Chocolate Covered Anything??

    Wow ... I think this just might be my favorite day ever! It's National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. Yep, that's right - chocolate covered pretzels, peanuts, raisins, marshmallows, fruit, espresso beans. I believe that even chocolate covered chocolate counts!

    Looking for a little inspiration? Never fear, try some of these chocolate recipes.

    Go ahead and indulge. January 1 and your new year resolution to work off the holiday pounds is right around the corner. Go out in style!

    Veggie Tuesday: Holiday Style

    Tick-tock, tick-tock. The days are flying by and somehow my list keeps getting longer with all of the last minute things to do before the holidays are here! And, to be honest, I'm still struggling a bit to get in the Ho-Ho-Ho spirit of things. However, tonight we're going to have this delish Holiday Rotini for dinner. And I think I'll turn on a little 'Santa Baby' while I'm cooking. Between the festive food and the merry music I'm sure to get in the holiday spirit, right?

    What are some of your favorite holiday dishes? Or holiday mood-making tricks? Help me out, please?!?

    Cozy Up Tonight!

    With the cold wave passing through the nation (and if it hasn't hit you, don't rub it in!) why not cozy up tonight with these tasty cinnamon treats:

    Cinn-ful Apple Cider

    Maple, Apple, and Cinnamon Dip

    Got something to say? Share it on the blog, Facebook or Twitter! If you mention Farm Rich you'll automatically be entered in our contest for a free Farm Rich product. While you're at it, might as well check out all our fabulous contests!

    Farm Rich is a brand we personally love and is also one of our sponsors. Thanks to brands like them, we can recommend tasty, high quality products while keeping the site alive. Want more info? Check out our advertisers page.

    Festively Fun Salad

    I know, I know, who wants to talk about salads when there are tons of cookies and party appetizers and roasted turkeys everywhere? Well, maybe that's precisely WHY we could all use a salad! Instead of overloading on all the decadent holiday stuff, why not take a break this evening with a light salad, but one that's still festive so you don't feel like a scrooge?

    Voila - this Bridal Shower Salad (not just for bridal showers, obviously!) from our partner Stephanie Ashcraft is the perfect solution.

    Festive (with the red and green) - check
    Light (save those calories for parties) - check
    Tasty (even if you aren't big on salads this is a winner) - check
    Easy (hello, it's FunnySpoon, easy is our middle name) - check

    National Pastry Day

    We'll probably be indulging ourselves all month, so might as well start now, right? For National Pastry Day try one of the following easy treats, and spend the rest of your time making your wish list for the holidays!

    These Chocolate Croissants are a taste of Paris (home of the best pastries in the world!) right at home - and only have two ingredients!

    This Strawberry Shortcake is marginally more difficult with a whopping three ingredients but I'm pretty sure you can handle it. Plus it uses one of our freezer faves: Farm Rich French Toast Sticks.

    Got something to say? Share it on the blog, Facebook or Twitter! If you mention Farm Rich you'll automatically be entered in our contest for a free Farm Rich product. While you're at it, might as well check out all our fabulous contests!

    Farm Rich is a brand we personally love and is also one of our sponsors. Thanks to brands like them, we can recommend tasty, high quality products while keeping the site alive. Want more info? Check out our advertisers page.

    Veggie Tuesday: If a Beatle says so ...

    If I learned one thing from my mom, it's that Paul McCartney is the coolest Beatle. So if he says it's a good idea to go meatless once per week, I'm cool with doing it. Especially since we've already been doing it.

    However, "going meatless once a week" is easier said than done for most people who are used to throwing some ground beef in a pan or some chicken in the oven for a quick dinner. So hopefully you'll find our meatless dinner suggestions helpful (and tasty!) as opposed to preachy.

    Tonight, why not try the Spinach and Articohoke Strata? It only takes 10 minutes to prepare, then you can toss it in the oven for 30 minutes while you do something else (like throw on your comfy pants, pop in the Beatles Love album, and dance like an idiot. No? Just me?). Plus, the festive red and green will put you in the holiday mood!

    Now, if anyone has Mr. McCartney's number, I'd be happy to cook this for him tonight. Just trying to help, you know.

    5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Mushrooms

    I was digging through some papers and found a newpaper clipping with some interesting facts about mushrooms. The good news? You get interesting facts about mushrooms. The bad news? I didn't save the whole thing so I'm having a hard time giving proper credit. But I found the same info on this site so hopefully that proves to you that I am in no way trying to be Mushroom Information Queen of the World (but that would be cool). And now, without further ado:

    Margo Kraus, a registered dietitian and consultant for The Mushroom Council, advises:

    1. 20 calories: Just a handful of mushrooms may be nature's hidden treasure for healthier meals. Mushrooms have essential nutrients that are good for heart health and help boost immunity. With just 20 calories per serving, they have fewer calories than a rice cake.

    2. Flavor: Mushrooms have umami -- the fifth taste. They add savory flavor when paired with other foods.

    3. Vitamin D: Mushrooms contain 4 percent of the daily value of vitamin D. No other fresh vegetable or fruit has vitamin D.

    4. Good for you: Mushrooms' antioxidant capacity is comparable to that of brightly colored vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, red peppers and broccoli.

    5. Hold the burger: Data suggests if men substituted a 4-ounce grilled portabello mushroom for a 4-ounce grilled hamburger over the course of a year and didn't change anything else, they could save more than 18,000 calories and nearly 3,000 grams of fat. That's the equivalent of 5.3 pounds, or 30 sticks of butter.

    Did that get your taste buds going? Then check out these easy recipes with mushrooms or try Farm Rich's breaded mushrooms for a quick appetizer.

    Take mushrooms to the max with this Portabello Lasagna.

    Speaking of Farm Rich, if you haven't entered our contests yet, what are you waiting for?

    Farm Rich is a brand we personally love and is also one of our sponsors. Thanks to brands like them, we can recommend tasty, high quality products while keeping the site alive. Want more info? Check out our advertisers page.

    Two Ways to Win This Holiday Season

    This holiday season we're offering two ways to win some great goodies from Farm Rich!

    The Farm Rich Coupon Giveaway

    You probably noticed we've been talking about Farm Rich lately. That's because we really love their products! They're totally tasty and super easy to prepare, which is exactly what FunnySpoon is all about.

    But enough blabbing from us - what do you think? Have a favorite recipe using Farm Rich you'd like to share? Tried a Farm Rich recipe and want to tell us how it went? Addicted to a particular Farm Rich product and want to admit it to the rest of us?

    Simply cruise over to your fave FunnySpoon online destination -, here at the FunnyScoop blog, Facebook, or Twitter - and share what you think about Farm Rich. From now until December 31, 2009, the first two people to buzz about Farm Rich each week will score a coupon for a FREE Farm Rich product. (Read the rules here.) So c'mon, get into the spirit of giving and share your kitchen wisdom!

    The Meatball Cookbook Giveaway
    We've got a few copies of "101 Things to do with Meatballs", by Stephanie Ashcraft, and we'd love to share them with our fans. So from now until December 31, 2009, everyone that opts in to receive our FunnyMail emails will be entered to win a free cookbook. (Read the rules here.)

    We're spreading the joy, you're spreading the word!

    Farm Rich is a brand we personally love and is also one of our sponsors. Thanks to brands like them, we can recommend tasty, high quality products while keeping the site alive. Want more info? Check out our advertisers page.

    We Want Chili!

    According to Google's Zeitgeist (a summary of what people searched on each year), the recipe most people were looking for this year was chili. You want it, you got it! Below are some of our favorite chili recipes on

    Lazy Man's Chili

    Lindsay's Spicy Vegetarian Chili

    FunnySpoon's Turkey Chili

    Poorman's Blackbean Chili

    White Turkey Chili

    Were you one of the people looking for a chili recipe? Did you find something good? Share your recipe with the rest of us!

    The FunnySpoon Holiday Survival Guide - Revving Up

    Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to trim the tree and deck the halls. Wait, what? How'd that happen so fast?

    Never fear, the FunnySpoon Holiday Survival Guide is here to help. This edition features easy recipes, healthy holiday tips, and simple ideas to get in the holiday spirit. Save your energy for the festivities and leave the planning to us!

    Seasonal Eats

    You'll make everyone's gift list when you serve SeaPak's Holiday Scampi Tortellini. Not only is it amazingly simple, it's also festive for the holidays with roasted red peppers and fresh spinach tortellini.

    For a versatile holiday dish try these scrumptious Mini Crab Cake Sliders from SeaPak. They make a great meal, snack, or party appetizer. So whether you're starving after shopping or have partygoers to feed, these sliders are a must.

    Pair up sliders with easy Holiday Spinach Dip and voila - your mirth-making meal is complete.

    Healthy Holidays

    In December our social calendars are busier, we eat more cookies and party food, and exercise less. Don't let the holidays get the best of you! When planning a meal or browsing an appetizer spread, keep seafood top-of-mind.

    Eating seafood twice a week gives your body fabulous health benefits since it's:

    • High in omega 3's and vitamin D

    • Low in "bad" cholesterol

    • A good source of low-fat protein

    Get in the Holiday Spirit
    Not quite ready to dive into the holiday spirit? Stimulate your senses with these simple merry-mood-makers and ease into the holidays:

    • Fill your house with that wonderful holiday aroma with easy homemade potpourri.

    • Enjoy the tastes of the season by adding a splash of egg nog to your morning coffee.

    • Create a mini wonderland by setting out just one holiday decoration: a candy dish, a tiny tinsel tree, or a glass bowl filled holiday ornaments.

    A Season for Giving
    In the spirit of the holidays, FunnySpoon is donating $1 to Toys for Tots for every new fan we receive on our Facebook page. Join the Facebook fun and help make the holiday season a little more special for some deserving children.

    Happy Holidays!

    Holiday Scampi Tortellini

    Mini Crab Cake Sliders

    Holiday Spinach Dip

    Homemade Holiday Potpourri

    Egg Nog Latte

    View all our holiday recipes

    View all our SeaPak recipes

    Money-Saving Monday

    In honor of Cyber Monday (and all the great deals you're hopefully finding online!), we figured we'd share some money-saving tips. We rounded up the food and cooking-related tips from this great Real Simple article about saving money:

    • From 10/2: Bulk up on basics. Purchase oranges, onions, and potatoes in bags rather than individually. You'll pay roughly half the price, and the staples will get eaten before going bad.

    • From 10/7: Look up, look down. At the grocery store, pick products on the top and bottom shelves. Bigger sizes of items, which tend to offer a lower price per unit, are usually placed on the highest and lowest shelves.

    • From 10/10: Shop locally, late in the day. Plow through the farmers' market right before it closes and you'll find sharp discounts (up to 35 percent), because no one likes to head back home with perishable goods.

    • From 10/13: Put your herbs on ice. To extend the short six-month shelf life of little-used herbs and spices, try freezing half of a new bottle's contents in an airtight bag or container (don't forget to label it). When the unfrozen portion of the herb or spice loses its aroma or flavor, replace it with the other half from the freezer. No more chagrin over throwing away a half empty $6 bottle of marjoram.

    • From 10/14: Break out the crockpot. You don't have to serve lobster to have a memorable dinner party. Stewing uses inexpensive cuts of meat, but the results taste great and you get to spend more time with your guests.

    • From 10/18: Wine about it. Instead of buying by the bottle, spring for an entire case of wine at once. Some retailers will offer a 10 percent discount.

    • From 11/1: Use your leftovers. Chop up chocolate candy or candy corn you didn't hand out on Halloween and use in your cookie recipes in place of pricey chocolate chips.

    Be sure to check out the full article for all sorts of good tips!

    Reinvent your leftovers!

    We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed relaxing with their families. Maybe even caught a few zzz's in front of the TV after dinner. Not that we did that (shhhh).

    So now you're probably looking at a pile of tupperware dishes full of the exact same stuff you ate yesterday. If you want to whip up something new and exciting (but don't want to go to a lot of work) check out our Thanksgiving guide from Saturday and these easy recipes:

    Turkey Melt

    Mashed Potato Pancakes

    Stuffing Cupcakes

    Cranberry Bran Muffins

    Want more? Check out all our Thanksgiving leftover recipes!

    Homemade Holiday Potpourri

    Not quite in the holiday spirit yet? Black Friday and Cyber Monday didn't bring out your merry mirth-making energy? Never fear ... you've got plenty of time! And we've got some tips to help get you there. Like this Homemade Holiday Potpourri. It'll make your house smell like the holidays and brighten your mood. Plus it's SO simple and SO cheap!

    Heat 2(ish) cups of water on medium-high heat. Add a handful of cloves and 4 or 5 cinnamon sticks. When it comes to a slow boil reduce heat to simmer/low and let it sit on the stove for a few hours. Be sure to keep an eye on it and add more water if it gets too low.

    What are your holiday homemade rememdies? C'mon ... share with us. It is the season to give, right?!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    FunnySpoon wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you have a relaxing day!

    (Psst! Procrastinators! Need some last-minute Thanksgiving help? Check out all our Thanksgiving recipes for ideas.)

    The FunnySpoon Toys for Tots Facebook Challenge

    We set a goal for ourselves to reach 1,000 Facebook fans by the end of the year. We really think Facebook is a great way to reach fans like you - people that are internet savvy and interested in recipes - because most people are already on Facebook and it makes it one less place to go to get what you're looking for.

    We also like to help out charities around the holidays. This year we chose Toys for Tots because we saw all the children in our lives we were buying presents for and felt bad that there are less fortunate kids who won't be getting any presents.

    So you're probably wondering what our point is! Well, we decided to combine our two goals and donate $1 for every new Facebook fan we get before Dececember 31, 2009 (up to 1,000 total fans). The contest started yesterday and we've already added 60 new people! So (and you don't have to be a math whiz for this), that's $60 already headed toward Toys for Tots.

    Want to help us reach our goal? Want to help kids in need this holiday season? Become a fan of FunnySpoon on Facebook or share this with your friends and encourage them to!

    FunnySpoon and Toys for Tots thank you!

    Check out the full contest rules.

    Veggie Tuesday

    Yesterday we gave some tips on fighting fat before turkey day, now today is Veggie Tuesday - a great way to help the environment and also save a few calories in anticipation of Belt-Busting Thursday (also known as Thanksgiving in some parts).

    So for a quick an easy dinner tonight - don't tell me you've got everything so under control for Thursday that you have time for a big meal tonight (but if you do, congrats! Care to share your tips????) - try out Poorman's Black Bean Chili:

    Only two more days!

    Fight Fat BEFORE Turkey Day

    With Thanksgiving just a few days away, some of us are digging out our big comfy pants and some of us are worrying about all the pounds we're going to pack on. I'm trying to settle somewhere in the middle - I'm going to let myself enjoy the foods I love on Thanksgiving, and just try to go a little lighter from today up until then. That way I'll (hopefully) still fit in my favorite jeans but I won't feel deprived on turkey day!

    Thanks to Self Magazine, here's a helpful list of 8 fat fighting foods (with some Thanksgiving recipe suggestions!):

    1. Almonds

    2. Berries

    3. Cinnamon (check out these "Cinn"ful Cupcakes)

    4. Mustard

    5. Oranges

    6. Soybeans

    7. Sweet potatoes (check out these Mashed Sweet Potatoes)

    8. Swiss cheese

    Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

    Menu Planning: Help is here!!

    One thing I've learned over the last few years is that my weeks go MUCH better when I take 10 minutes on Sunday and plan the menu out for the work week. Weekdays are usually a bit hectic and dinner is complete chaos when I walk in the door at 5:30 with hungry children and absolutley no plan! Especially this week - all the preparation for Thanksgiving, houseguests and travel you're sure to be rushed. Don't stress out over it ... let us help!

    MONDAY: Ease into your week with this very simple, no hassle Scampi with Broccoli Florets.
    You can walk in the door at 5:30, decompress for 10 minutes and still have dinner on the table before 6pm. And this is a PERFECT way to start the week off with seafood!

    TUESDAY: As you know, we like to celebrate Veggie Tuesday to encourage ourselves to live a little healthier and take it easy on the environment when we can. In the spirit of that, why not try the Poorman's Blackbean Chili? It's unbelievably simple, yummy and SUPER affordable (the entire meal will cost less than $6 to feed a family of 4.)

    WEDNESDAY: Tomorrow's Thanksgiving so definitely give yourself a break on the cooking tonight! This delish Almost Lasagna is simple, perfect for your houseguests and gives you a nice alternative to all the Turkey and American Goodness you'll be eating tomorrow!

    THURSDAY: Happy Thanksgiving!! We're sure you've already got a huge menu and family celebration planned; however, if you find yourself in need of a little help check out our Thanksgiving recipes. And if you find yourself trying to fight off the turkey induced coma later in the day, take a few minutes and take our Facebook Quiz: What Type of Cook Are You? Gobble, gobble!

    FRIDAY: We know you enjoyed your fabulous feast yesterday and don't want to have repeat of the same meal, but you've got lots of leftover turkey. No worries! Whip up this simple Turkey Tortellini Soup. It's yummy, easy and can easily feed all the houseguests still lingering around! Not in the mood for soup? Put your leftovers to use with one of these simple recipes.

    Now go tackle your week and worry about the big stuff ... not the cooking.

    We hope this helps make your week a little simpler and stress-free! We'd love to hear your thoughts on the dishes - were they yummy? Were they easy? We're also interested in hearing your stories about how planning helps you avert a crisis (like a 3-year old hunger meltdown!)

    NOTE: You can find these meal plans under "Menu Plannng" on our blog.

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