Category: Holidays


The Best Gingersnap Cookies Ever

Gingersnap Cookies from

To get the memory of our last gingerbread experience out of my head, the girls and I decided to make our favorite gingersnap cookies this afternoon.

These gingersnaps have a permanent place in my Christmas cookie giveaways for the neighbors, and they’re always the first to go when I have the leftovers sitting on the counter for my family.

The girls have fun rolling the dough in the sugar before putting them on the pan, and as you can imagine the house smells amazing while they bake. While the outside of these cookies gets nice and crunchy, once you take them out of the oven they deflate a bit and create an amazing chewy cookie.

Careful, these are very addicting!

Gingersnap Cookies from

The Best Gingersnap Cookies Ever

3/4 C shortening
1 C sugar
1/4 C unsulphured dark molasses
1 egg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 C all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well mixed, then add the molasses and mix well.

Add the ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and mix well, then add the flour and mix until well combined.

Using a scoop, scoop out dough and form into balls, about 1 inch around. Roll the balls of dough in sugar and then place on a baking sheet. Give them room, they will spread out while baking.

Bake in the preheated oven for 9 minutes.


Merci Chocolates for the Holidays and a Giveaway

Merci Chocolates for the Holidays

I was recently contacted by Merci Chocolates to see if I would be interested in reviewing a box of their chocolates. We all know what the answer to that was, yes?

Each box of Merci (which means “thank you” in French) includes a selection of rich, European chocolates made from premium ingredients. The 7 different chocolates are smooth and creamy and though each bar is no bigger than your finger, it’s the perfect, decadent little treat that just hits the spot when you get a chocolate craving.

Merci Chocolates for the Holidays

The 7 varieties include Milk Chocolate, Coffee and Cream, Hazelnut-Almond, Hazelnut-Creme, Dark Cream, Dark Mousse, and Praline-Creme. There are at least two bars of each, and my favorite of the bunch was the Dark Mousse — talk about a treat!

Merci Chocolates for the Holidays

The affordable 9 ounce box is the perfect size for a meaningful gift, whether it’s for a holiday hostess gift, a teacher’s gift, or just a general thank you, your recipient will be very grateful! You can use the handy store location page here to find out where you can get Merci Chocolates in your area.

I was asked to share who I would give a meaningful thank you to this year, and I didn’t have to give it any thought — that thank you would go to my husband Mike. My reasons border on schmoopy (as they should), but since I don’t do schmoopy I will spare you. But he is schmoop-worthy 🙂

Merci Chocolates for the Holidays Giveaway

So on that note, and in the spirit of the season, Merci has provided me with one box to give away to one Heather’s Bytes reader!


~ Leave a comment in this post telling me who would you like to give a meaningful thank you to this holiday season.

>> Extra entries:

~ Retweet this giveaway on Twitter and get an extra entry, once per day. Your tweet must include the hashtag #MeaningfulMerci. Then leave a comment here with a link to each day’s tweet.

~ Add a link to this post to social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Stumble, Digg, etc, and receive one extra entry for each one (be sure to leave a comment with the link to the posting).

~ Like Heather’s Bytes on Facebook.

~ Post about the giveaway on your own blog.

edit: All of the above can each be done once a day!

[Comments may get caught in moderation — please don’t panic, I will approve them as soon as I get to them.]


~ Contest ends Friday, December 14, 2012 at 5:00pm PST.

~ You may enter once a day, per household. Duplicate entries in one day will be discarded for the entire duration of the giveaway.

~ Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

~ One winner will receive one box of Merci Chocolates.

~ Winner will be randomly drawn and notified by email, and will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Good luck!


Black Friday Pot Pies

Black Friday Pot Pie

The day after Thanksgiving is never as low-key or relaxing as I hope it’ll be, and I don’t even go shopping!

Though it’d be nice to have a day of vegging in front of the TV after the all day cook-a-thon, family tradition (ie: the kids) dictates that the Christmas tree and decorations MUST. GO. UP. RIGHT. NOW. And over the years (and the accumulation of a lot of crap– er, decor) it’s become a longer and longer process.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Thankfully, Black Friday dinner is low-key. I take advantage of all the leftovers in the fridge, but instead of serving the same meal we just had yesterday, I created a one-dish meal that everyone loves.

As you can see, it’s as easy as can be. Using ramekins (mine hold 14 ounces) or a 13×9 casserole dish, line the bottom with a layer of mashed potatoes.

Black Friday Pot Pie

On top of the potatoes, put a layer of chopped turkey.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Drizzle some delicious leftover gravy on top of the turkey.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Top off the whole thing with stuffing.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Bake uncovered in a 350° oven for about 40-45 minutes.

For the last ten minutes, I drizzle about a tablespoon of melted butter per ramekin (or half a stick for a casserole dish) on top of the stuffing, which gets it really nice and crispy.

Black Friday Pot Pie

Serve it with leftover rolls, cranberry sauce and a nice salad. It doesn’t get any easier!