Gingerbread Holiday Puzzles

Tomorrow my best friend and I are going to spend a little quality time together for the holidays in lieu of exchanging gifts, and we’re going to make a gingerbread house. Of course, this meant I had to start researching how to make a good gingerbread house.

There are tons of resources on the web for building gingerbread houses:

Directions for simple gingerbread house
Challenge yourself with elaborate gingerbread house design

This is really a great way to spend quality time with family and friends! We also have some really cute gingerbread cookie puzzles for inspiration, and even a great 3D puzzle if you don’t feel like working with tempting treats and sweets! This 3D model of a colorful and magical gingerbread house is a super fun way to build that dream candy house without all the mess! And you can keep it forever!

Gingerbread House 3D Puzzle by Hasbro. $34.99. 441 pieces. Finished size: 12.375″H x 13″ W x 10.25″L.

Christmas Cookies by Springbok. $11.99. 500 pieces. Finished size: 20″ x 20″.

Holiday Treats by Springbok. $16.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 30″.

Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett from New York Puzzle Co. $16.99. 36 pieces. Ages: 3+

Heartfelt Christmas (Puzzle/Gift Box 2-in-1) by Lang. $11.99. 500 pieces. Finished size: 18″ x 24″ with framable 5″ x 7″ print included.

For Santa Only by Sunsout. $10.99. 500 pieces. Finished size: 18″ x 24″.

Food Puzzles to Inspire Your Holiday Cooking Recipes

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I think it beats out all the others by a longshot, and this is probably because of my love for a good meal. And while I’m a sucker for the traditional turkey-and-potato meal, when I looked up alternative menu items for the holidays, it got me thinking that there’s always room for another platter on the table! We’ve got some great Food Jigsaw Puzzles – so even if you don’t have room for another dish in your tummy – put one of these puzzles out on side table and the whole family can enjoy it without impacting the waistline!

Piatnik Puzzle - Pasta Food Puzzle

Pasta by Platnik. $16.99. 1000 Pieces. Finished size: 26.5″ x 17.4″.

Thanksgiving isn’t really thought of as a “noodle” holiday, what with all that turkey and potatoes and yams and stuffing going on. But if you’ve got a bunch of leftover turkey, or if you want to do something different, why not use it to make some new recipes—like creamy turkey with noodles? Mmm!

Jigsaw Puzzle

Baseball and Apple Pie by Peaceful Wooden Puzzles. Starting from $46.99, these are quality custom made with your choice anywhere from 220-890 pieces.

Apple pie is a classic and you can’t go wrong with it, but if you feel like spicing up your holiday desserts, why not try finding recipes to these delightfully different pies from Gardener Pie Co.? They’ve got flavors like cherry lime chipotle and japaleño apple. Also check out this recipe for Salty Honey Pie.

Vegetable 500 piece jigsaw puzzle

Canned Veggies by Springbok. $11.99. 500 pieces. Finished size 18″ X 23.5″.

If you’re a vegetarian or just really like vegetables, you can make some new veggie dishes to try out this holiday season to replace or complement your meat dishes, like asparagus enchiladas or asparagus quiche. Be Well Philly also has a collection of unique recipes that include beets. The New York Times has a great article with an assortment of recipes for a vegetarian Thanksgiving.

Food Puzzle - 500 pieces

Snack Stack by Springbok. $11.99. 500 Pieces. Finished size 18″ X 23.5″.

Thanksgiving leftovers aren’t just for sandwiches anymore. Check out the Food Network’s compilation of new recipes for your day-after meals!

EASY WILD ALASKA BERRY RECIPES

This is a handmade wooden puzzle made my Peaceful Wooden Puzzles. Makes an awesome and memorable gift!

Seeing this beautiful picture of our wooden Alaska Wild Berries puzzle, I was curious: what kinds of delicious foods could I be prevailed on to make with these, as I am in the beginning stages of learning to cook at all? Here are some fun, easy recipes for Alaska Wild Berries, and some interesting information about the berries as well!

Juicy – 1000 piece summer berry puzzle is sure to inspire some tasty treats!

Wild berries that found in Alaska are an excellent source of antioxidants, those helpful substances that fight other substances which roam around and deplete healthy cells of oxygen and contribute to aging, heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Basically antioxidants counteract other bad things going on in your body, so they’re very good for you.

Some of Alaska’s berries, like lingonberries, have just over eight times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries found in the contiguous U.S.

So you can use that excuse when you treat yourself to these sweeter indulgences offered below.

ESKIMO ICE CREAM
Eskimo ice cream, or Akutaq-Alaskan, is a light and fluffy dessert that can vary quite a bit as to its ingredients. Some recipes call for moose, caribou, or fish fat and oils. The recipe holds quite a bit of history: Native women traditionally made Akutaq after the first polar bear or seal catch, and the dessert was shared with the community members as part of special ceremonies. The modern recipe, which omits the animal fats, is as follows:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more is optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 cups of berries (salmonberries, blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries)

Directions

  • Soak raisins in hot water
  • Whip Crisco and water in a bowl until smooth/creamy
  • Add in 1/2 cup sugar; mix well
  • Add berries and soaked raisins; mix well
  • Chill before serving

NAGOONBERRY SYRUP
Nagoonberry syrup is a delightful recipe to put over the classic waffles and pancakes, but also tastes delicious over ice cream or hot biscuits. After it is prepared, it will keep up to six months in the refrigerator without sugaring.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups nagoonberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  • Extract juice by combining 4 cups of nagoonberries with 1 cup water in a bowl
  • Crush berries
  • On stove, bring mix to a simmer in a covered pot for 10 minutes
  • Place mix in a jellybag OR layers of cheesecloth in a colander
  • Let juice drip into a bowl (do not twist or press jellybag/cheesecloth)
  • Combine nagoonberry and lemon juices and sugar in saucepan
  • Heat to 160 degrees; do not boil

ALASKA WILD BERRIES MUFFINS

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups Wild Alaska berries (1 cup each of blueberries, cranberries preferred)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (more is optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more is optional)

Directions:

  • Mix together flour, salt and baking powder in large bowl
  • In SEPARATE bowl mix Crisco, vanilla, sugar, eggs
  • Combine both mixtures together
  • Add milk
  • Fold in wild berries
  • Pour batter into lightly greased muffin tins
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes

WILD BERRY STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

This is a recipe which could be used with any berries of your preference, but would also be great with the syrup you made from the noganberry recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf Italian bread, unsliced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cup wild berries (blueberries or raspberries preferred)
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Maple syrup

Directions

  • Slice end off bread (save for another use)
  • Cut next slice part way through so that it has a pocket and is thick, but to your preference
  • Cut next slice all the way through
  • Continue until all bread is sliced (6-7 pieces preferred)
  • Place slices of cream cheese in each pocket
  • Add spoonfulls of berries
  • Place bread on cookie sheets
  • In large/shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup, and melted butter
  • Dip each slice stuffed bread in egg mixture; coat well
  • Place on greased griddle over medium heat
  • Cook until lightly browned (about 3 min. per side, turning once)
  • Remove from griddle, sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional)