Recipe: Homemade Lime Sherbet

Lime sherbet is a flavor I associate with childhood, but it’s also something I secretly love as an adult. And I haven’t done any official research, but I’m pretty sure it’s the most popular sherbet flavor out there. Since we have so many limes growing on our lime tree, I thought it would be fun to try a homemade version of lime sherbet. And the results are delicious! It tastes like a limeade milkshake: tart and citrusy and creamy and sweet—a million times better than a store-bought carton. Keep reading for the full recipe.

homemade lime sherbet

Using a food processor to make the base for the sherbet ensures that the sugar is completely dissolved in the lime juice, making the finished sherbet smooth instead of gritty (alternatively, you could alternately use a blender). After mixing, make sure you chill the lime juice mixture for at least a couple of hours, then add the heavy cream and milk just before pouring the mixture into your ice cream machine.

homemade lime sherbet

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Recipe: Meyer Lemon Cupcakes and Buttercream

We have a small, potted Meyer lemon tree at our house that produced dozens (and dozens!) of lemons this year. It’s been so fun to think of delicious ways to use them up. One of my favorites so far has been Meyer lemon cupcakes topped with fresh Meyer lemon buttercream. The homemade cupcakes are light, fluffy and sweet, just like all good cupcakes should be. And the frosting is tart and tangy, bursting with fresh lemon flavor and beautiful flecks of bright-yellow zest. These cupcakes are truly irresistible and are a little taste of sunshine, the perfect pick-me-up during the long, dreary days of winter. If you can’t find Meyers, you can use regular lemons instead, although the flavor will be slightly different (Meyer lemons taste a little more like oranges and tangerines).

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Meyer Lemon Buttercream

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Recipe: Citrus Bars

At the start of the new year, I always crave citrus flavors. I think it’s due in part to all the heavy holiday foods and flavors: spices, chocolate, gingerbread, pumpkin. People always want to start eating better, cleaner food in January, and if I’m going to have dessert, I want treats that taste fresh and vibrant.

Luckily, winter is prime citrus season and one of my favorite zingy desserts is lemon bars. They’re so tart and buttery, and they look so beautiful, with their golden lemon curd and a dusting of snowy powdered sugar. You can actually make them using any citrus fruit and they taste equally amazing. Each variety brings a unique zing and right now, we have a huge basket of limes from our lime tree. So I pulled out my favorite lemon bar recipe, swapped out the lemons for limes, and no one can get enough of them! They are just a little more mouth-puckering than lemon bars, with that wonderful, tropical lime flavor. Make a batch with your favorite citrus fruit and bring a little winter sunshine to your tastebuds!

These tart and tasty lime bars feature creamy lime curd atop buttery shortbread.

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Recipe: 3 Tasty Treats for Last-Minute Holiday Gifting

Guys! Christmas is this weekend! I feel like I had a mile-long to-do list last week, but thankfully, I’ve chipped away at it little by little, and I’m almost at the point where I can just relax. Most gifts are bought. There’s a wrapping station set up in the basement. And we’ve started making and delivering holiday treats to our friends and neighbors.

I usually have grand plans for my edible gifts and was dreaming up some fancy cinnamon-swirl bread sprinkled with Swedish pearl sugar to give this year. It was going to be epic. Not to mention a lot of work. Though I still might make a few loaves, we wound up switching gears and cranked out a bunch of really easy, really delicious treats the other day and delivered them to the long list of people we love (gotta get names crossed off that list!). So if you’re in the same predicament—wanting to make a tasty, homemade treat without having to slave away in the kitchen—then try one of these three simple holiday treat recipes. They all take less than an hour to make and only require six ingredients, max. Make just one or all three like we did and impress your friends and family members with your handiwork this year.

Need some yummy treats to take to friends and neighbors? These 3 super simple holiday recipes will save the day! Need some yummy treats to take to friends and neighbors? These 3 super simple holiday recipes will save the day!

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Recipe: Easy Peppermint Fudge Brownies

One of my favorite flavor combinations is peppermint and chocolate. And luckily, the holiday season is the perfect time of year for baked goods featuring this tasty pairing. These easy-to-make peppermint fudge brownies have a great mix of dark, fudgy chocolate and brisk peppermint. Thanks to a dressed-up boxed brownie mix, they are super easy to make, but they’re so decadent that no one will ever know you used a baking shortcut!

These delicious peppermint fudge brownies are super simple!

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Recipe: Salami Cheese Ball

One of my all-time favorite holiday appetizers is the ubiquitous cheese ball. I’m not talking about the store-bought ones, but rather the irresistible homemade versions that taste a million times better. I have a couple of cheese ball recipes I love, and this easy one from my beloved Nana is among them. Back in the 80s, my grandma made a little cookbook to give to her children filled with all of her go-to holiday recipes, including her favorite Christmas fudge, the herb bread she makes every holiday season, and this tasty cheese ball. A few years ago, she reprinted the cookbook and gave all of us grandkids our own copies. It’s really fun to read through it and think about our family’s holiday food traditions.

cheese ball with salami, ranch, and green onions

cheese ball with salami, ranch, and green onions

This cheese ball is as easy to make as it is delicious. It takes about 10 minutes to put together from start to finish, and you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until party time. It tastes great with all kinds of crackers and breads, looks pretty on a serving plate, and gets rave reviews from everyone who tastes it. I’m excited that cheese ball season is here again and can’t wait to take this to one of my holiday parties this year!

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Recipe: Sawdust Pie with Bananas and Whipped Cream

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, my mind is on PIE! I’ve never been a huge pumpkin-pie fan, so it’s always a good excuse to explore other delicious pie flavors for turkey dinner. One of my favorite pies to make at this time of year is Sawdust Pie—I was first introduced to it a few years ago while browsing Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. I made the pie a couple of times that year, including for Thanksgiving at my parents’ house, and I’ve been itching to make it again ever since.


Sawdust Pie is filled with chocolate chips, pecans, shredded coconut, and graham cracker crumbs. Topped with banana slices and fresh whipped cream, it makes a delicious addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table!

I like to think of Sawdust Pie as Magic Cookie Bars in pie form. Magic Cookie Bars are those delicious, ridiculously easy bar cookies made with chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and pecans on a graham cracker crust, all held together with sweetened condensed milk. They’re a childhood bake sale favorite, and Sawdust Pie captures all of those magical flavors, stuffs them in a pastry crust, and tops them with fresh bananas and piles of whipped cream. Take a walk on the wild side this Thanksgiving  and add Sawdust Pie to your dessert lineup!

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Horror Movie-Inspired Cocktails: The Drowned Rat

The final installment in our series of horror movie-inspired Halloween cocktails: The Drowned Rat. Inspired by the classic 1971 horror flick Willard, this fiendish cocktail is a fitting tribute to the furry stars of the film, resembling a rat that encounters a grisly end at the bottom of a cup of sewer sludge. But this macabre trick is an actual treat—the libation features hints of chocolate and creamy stout beer. And the rat tail? A simple roasted beet.


More Horror Movie-Inspired Cocktails:
• The Spider Bite (inspired by Arachnophobia)
The Eel Charmer (inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein) 


drowned rat halloween cocktail by kelli hall for minted, guiness float with roasted beet rat tail
roasted beet rat tail garnish for halloween cocktailRoasted beet tails make the perfect rat-rump garnish.

drowned rat halloween cocktail by kelli hall for minted, guiness float with roasted beet rat tail

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Recipe: Peanut-Butter Pretzel Popcorn Balls

When I think about classic, homemade Halloween treats, popcorn balls are the first thing that come to mind. I wanted to make some this year but instead of regular versions, I decided to make really over-the-top popcorn balls loaded with all kinds of delicious treats! Peanut-butter cups and pretzels have the perfect salty-sweet flavor combination that I love, and they happen to go great with popcorn. These popcorn balls are chocolatey, peanut buttery, salty, and chewy—perfect for little kids but so yummy that adults won’t be able to resist!

These yummy peanut butter pretzel popcorn balls will be irresistible to kids and adults alike!

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Horror Movie-Inspired Cocktails: The Spider Bite

Next up in our horror movie-inspired series of Halloween cocktails: The Spider Bite. It’s an Arachnophobia-themed libation that’s a fitting homage to the deadly arachnid nest in the film. In the spirit of the film, the drink is infested with an oozing overflow of gelatinous spider eggs, threatening to burst open and release a torrent of tiny hatchlings. But don’t let its sinister look fool you—this cocktail is actually silk sweet and full of rich coffee flavors (the spider eggs are simply tapioca pearls with flecks of vanilla bean!).


More Horror Movie-Inspired Cocktails:
• The Spider Bite (inspired by Arachnophobia)
The Eel Charmer (inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein) 


halloween horror inspired cocktails by kelli hall: Spider bite black russian with tapioca pearl spider sac garnish
A shallow glass like a coupe will help the “spider eggs” float to the top when filled with ice.

halloween horror inspired cocktails by kelli hall: Spider bite black russian with tapioca pearl spider sac garnishTapioca pearls with flecks of vanilla bean shine like spider sacs, ready to hatch.

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