5 Easy Holiday Desserts

5 Easy Holiday Desserts

The Holidays are a time to gather around the table to enjoy time with friends and family. Sweeten up your moments together by trying some of these delicious recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.

No-Bake Butterscotch Bars

Instant butterscotch pudding and Butterfinger candy bars are the key ingredients in this low-stress dessert bar recipe.

Find the original recipe here.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light-color corn syrup
  • 2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cup crisp rice cereal
  • 3 cup cornflakes
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 4-serving-size packages butterscotch instant pudding and pie filling mix
  • 1 3.7 ounce package (2 bars) chocolate-covered crisp peanut butter candy (such as Butterfingers, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 12 ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
  • ½ cup butter

Directions

Line 15x10x1-inch baking pan with heavy foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan; set aside.

In a large saucepan combine granulated sugar and corn syrup; heat and stir over medium heat just until mixture boils around edges. Heat and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Stir in rice cereal and cornflakes until coated. Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place a piece of waxed paper over the mixture and press firmly with your hands; set aside.

For pudding layer, in a medium saucepan melt the 3/4 cup butter over medium heat. Stir in powdered sugar, pudding mixes, 1/2 cup of the chopped candy, and the milk. Spread pudding mixture over cereal layer; set aside.

For frosting, in a small saucepan heat and stir chocolate pieces and the 1/2 cup butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Spread frosting over pudding layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped candy. Chill, uncovered, about 1 hour or until set. Cover for longer storage. To serve, use foil to lift uncut bars out of pan. Place on a cutting board; cut into bars.

To Make Ahead:

Layer bars between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Before serving, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Peanut Butter Truffles

These chocolate-covered Peanut Butter Truffles are a perfect party dessert that no one will be able to resist!

Find the original recipe here.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 5 ounce can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cup tiny marshmallows
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 ounce dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon shortening
  • Finely chopped peanuts (optional)
 

Directions

Butter the side of a medium heavy saucepan. In the saucepan, combine sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture is boiling. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in marshmallows, peanut butter, and vanilla. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until mixture is thick and can be molded.

Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip balls, one at a time, into melted chocolate. Let excess chocolate drip off balls. Place on a wire rack set over waxed paper. If desired, sprinkle with peanuts. Let stand until chocolate is set.* Makes about 50 truffles.

 

*Test Kitchen Tip:

If desired, when chocolate is set, drizzle with a little melted milk chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Layer truffles between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Polka-Dot Neapolitan Pie

Something-for-everyone Neapolitan ice cream takes on a new look in a pie with a crunchy sugar cone crust and peekaboo pattern of strawberry and chocolate polka dots.

Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 1 14 ounce container strawberry ice cream
  • 1 14 ounce container chocolate ice cream
  • 1 pkg. (12-count) sugar cones
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ gallon vanilla custard-style ice cream, softened in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  • Strawberry Marshmallow Meringue
  • Crushed freeze-dried strawberries (optional)

Directions

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with waxed paper. Using a melon baller or tiny cookie scoop dipped in warm water, scoop ice cream into small balls and place on prepared trays. Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place sugar cones in a food processor.* Cover and process until fine crumbs. In a bowl combine melted butter, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir in the cone crumbs until evenly coated. Press the crumbs evenly against the sides and bottom of a 9-inch pie plate; use a small cup with smooth sides to create a smooth crust. Freeze 10 minutes. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Spread some of the softened ice cream into a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the crust. Top with half of the frozen ice cream balls, placing them randomly over the vanilla ice cream. Spread another layer of ice cream over the balls to cover and press down on ice cream to eliminate any gaps around the balls. Add another layer of ice cream balls. (You may have some balls left over.) Add enough additional ice cream to fill the pan as deep as you like, pressing again to eliminate any gaps. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving to allow ice cream to become firm.

To serve, prepare Strawberry-Marshmallow Meringue. Spread meringue on top of frozen pie. If you like, brown with a kitchen torch and sprinkle with crushed dried strawberries.

Alternatively, place sugar cones in a large resealable bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the cones into fine crumbs.

Strawberry Marshmallow Meringue

Grind 1/2 oz. freeze-dried strawberries in a small food processor. Sift powder through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds. (You should have about 1 Tbsp. strawberry powder.) In a large mixing bowl combine 2 pasteurized egg whites, 1 Tbsp. freeze-dried strawberry powder, 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until foamy. Gradually add 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1Tbsp. at a time, beating until soft, glossy peaks form (tips curl). Add half of a 7-oz. jar marshmallow creme in large spoonfuls while beating at medium speed. Beat until smooth and mixture almost forms stiff peaks (tips stand straight).

Linzer Bars

This jam-filled Linzer Bar recipe is a simplified version of an Austrian linzer tart. The bars have a tender, nutty shortbread base and a crumb topping. Even without the stained-glass-window effect, their unique shape and drizzle of glaze dress them up for the holidays.

Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 18 oz seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 teaspoons water

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 15x10-inch pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Grease foil.

In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and granulated sugar. Beat on medium 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla until combined. Beat in flour until soft dough forms. Press two-thirds (about 3⅓ cups) of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes.

Whisk jam until smooth. Carefully pour jam over crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with almonds. Use your fingers to grab bits of the remaining dough. Slightly flatten dough and place randomly over the filling.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes more or until top is golden. Cool on a wire rack. Drizzle bars with Almond Glaze. Use foil to lift uncut bars out of pan; cut into triangles.

Almond Glaze

In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough water to reach drizzling consistency.

Candy Cane Bark

A wonderful Christmas gift from the kitchen, this chocolate and peppermint candy is simply delicious. For easy cleanup, line the baking sheet with foil.

Find the original recipe here.

 

Ingredients

  • 6 ounce chopped chocolate-flavor candy coating
  • 3 ounce chopped milk chocolate bar
  • 6 ounce chopped vanilla-flavor candy coating
  • 3 ounce chopped white chocolate baking squares
  • ¼ cup crushed peppermint candy canes

Directions

Line a large baking sheet with foil. In a small, heavy saucepan, melt chocolate-flavor candy coating and milk chocolate bar, stirring over low heat until smooth. Pour onto baking sheet and spread into a 10x8-inch rectangle; set aside.

In another small, heavy saucepan, melt vanilla-flavor candy coating and white chocolate baking squares, stirring over low heat until

smooth.

Slowly pour white mixture over chocolate mixture on baking sheet. With a thin spatula, swirl white mixture into chocolate mixture. Shake baking sheet gently for even thickness.

Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Chill 30 minutes or until firm. Use foil to lift candy from baking sheet; break candy into pieces. Makes 1-1/4 pounds.

Tips

Layer pieces between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.

We hope these recipes help make your holiday a little more delightful. From our family to yours, wishing you a very Happy & Healthy Holiday Season.

2022 Thanksgiving Pie Event

2022 Thanksgiving Pie Event

Thanksgiving Appreciation

Every year dozens of agents purchase nearly 200 pies to give to their clients to show their appreciation.  Agents meet in the office and decorate the pie boxes with beautiful fall ribbons finishing them off with cute greeting tags. Clients are invited into the office to pick up their pies while enjoying laughs, desserts, wraps and beverages.
 

How it Began

It was about 14 years ago that Geoff Green first heard of something called a “Reverse Pop By” at a Buffini event.  He watched a video on the big screen of a Realtor out in Dallas, Texas who purchased hundreds of pumpkin pies from Costco and threw a huge party at her house right before Thanksgiving.  There were cars parked all over the place in her neighborhood.  It was really something to behold.  After seeing that video, Geoff instantly knew that it was something Green Team had to do, not just as individual agents, but an agency as a whole.   For about 10 years now we have been successfully doing this Pie Event  on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
 
“I have to say that I am very proud that this tradition has continued to persist….It’s a first class touch that very few people do…BRAVO!” stated Geoff.
 
 

The Turnout

Smiles were abound and laughs to be heard as clients came into our Warwick and Vernon office to pick up their pies throughout the day.Walking into either office you can feel the warmth and joy and know that you are welcome.  Pies were stacked high, waiting to be distributed  .  Being a local brokerage, it’s important to BHGRE Green Team to support other local businesses.  Thus, this years pies were purchased from Puchuck Valley Farms in Vernon, NJ.  Their pies are baked from locally sourced ingredients when available.

Events like this one bring everyone together, strengthening bonds between associates and between clients and associates.  Probably one of the best thing is that two days later pies  will be sweetening Thanksgiving Dinners at many homes reminding our clients know how much they are appreciated.

Another Successful Applefest!

Warwick’s Most Anticipated Event

The charming village of Warwick welcomed people for another very successful Applefest. An estimated 30,000 people come every year to enjoy the many treats Warwick has to offer. 

Taking part in the Excitement

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Green Team was excited to join in on the fun. Our booth included the perfect photo opp with a beautiful faux house, courtesy of Valentine Home Builders, complete with branded pumpkins and fabulous fall decor. Clearly many others were also impressed as we had hundreds of people stop by to take photos throughout the day. 

Many people jokingly asked, “Can you come to my house and decorate my front door?” BHGRE Green Team’s Marketing Director, Nicole McCormick, who organized the event took that as a huge compliment. “As a lifestyle brand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate offers many staging tips and guides for the home. I wanted to bring that to life at Applefest. With the help of the brand, our agents and Valentine Home Builders, that thought came to fruition. We will be using the same Door Front Display at our Furever Homes for Pets: Pet Portrait Fundraiser this weekend; all proceeds benefit the Warwick Valley Humane Society.” said Nicole. 

Showing their devotion to their Community

Our sales associates were front and center to enjoy the festivities. They handed out brochures about the area, balloons to little ones, and goody bags they created themselves. Our agents love to go above and beyond; an ideal that is shown in the care that they take with their clients every day. Being able to meet new people and spread the love during Applefest was a great experience for everyone.

“It was a great event; it felt really good being a part of the team.” stated Brian Cisek.

“Me too!” Replied Nancy Sardo, “It was a great day spent with great people! Here’s to next year!”

A Rewarding Experience

In addition, Green Team was excited to have the opportunity to host a raffle to win a brand new Apple Watch SE. We had many people enter but the lucky winner was Linda Zappala! 

We love having the opportunity to get to know our community on a personal level. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Green Team strives to ensure that everyone we have the honor to work with receives the best possible experience.

Apple Fest 2022 was a huge success and we look forward to participating again next year! 

Honoring our Local Heroes

Honoring our Local Heroes

The Initiative

The Warwick Valley Rotary Club launched a new fundraiser this year to place banners throughout the streets of Warwick in honor of our local,  or locally connected, veterans. This endeavor is an amazing way to not only fundraise for the Warwick Valley Rotary Club, who donates to many local non-profit organizations, but also to pay tribute to our heroes. A few weeks into the launch of the initiative, Green Team Realty became aware that only one veteran from the VFW had been sponsored. Knowing the sacrifices these men and women have made for our country, Green Team Realty started a campaign to sponsor Veterans of VFW Post 4662. 

Honoring Our Local Heroes

When real estate professionals received the news, an outpour of support came to honor our local heroes!

I would love to purchase a banner. These Vets deserve everything and anything!! ” wrote Michelle Spina.

Within a few days, without knowing who many of them were,16 local members of the VFW and American Legion were sponsored by Green Team Realty agents; many others sponsoring friends and family who had served. In total, 20 banners were purchased raising $4000 for the Warwick Valley Rotary Club. 

Many veterans live with complications from when they served our country; this recognition  as small as it may seem, though well-deserved and often forgotten, means so much to them and often adds a little pep in their step. When the Warwick VFW Post 4662  received the news, they were overjoyed. As phone calls were made to honorees, gathering their military information and pictures, joy was abundant;  some even shedding tears of happiness to be recognized for the sacrifices they have made. 

It is the actions like this that make a town,  a community you are proud to call home. Thank you to our military servicemen and women for all that you have done and continue to do. 

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King

Thank you to our agents who supported this initiative!

 

TUH is Making a Difference

TUH is Making a Difference

Geoff Green and Amy Green Morris founded Team Up for Hope in early 2020, with a small all-volunteer group of Green Team sales associates and staff. The mission statement was clear. The 501(c)(3) non-profit would seek to address the impact of mental health, substance use, and suicide in our communities. In order to accomplish this, TUH would raise funds and awareness for local nonprofit organizations at the forefront of these crises. The Green Team had previously raised money for its local NAMI affiliates. Thus, TUH decided to continue supporting the amazing work these volunteer organizations do. Now, just a year into its mission, TUH is making a difference!

Raising Funds

On October 15, 2021, checks were presented to NAMI Orange and NAMI Sussex in the amount of $3,000 each. This was in addition to the $2,000 presented to each of these NAMI affiliates in November 2020. What is truly remarkable is the use these organizations have made of these donations. In response to the loss of in-person support and treatment, these organizations stepped up. Zoom became the platform for support groups, classes, and training. The amazing NAMI volunteers became proficient at the tech necessary to reach those in need.  Additionally, printing, mailing, phone, and other expenses were incurred to provide needed resources.

Team Up for Hope freed these same volunteers from having to raise necessary funds. And, together with our TUH Sponsors, we were able to provide funding for most of their overhead and program costs. Furthermore, Team Up for Hope provided donations to other local non-profits.

Raising Awareness

TUH’s method of raising awareness was shaped by the Pandemic. Team Up for Hope was unable to hold a planned in-person event. Therefore, TUH decided to create a series of webinars.  Importantly, the first webinar discussed the impact of the pandemic on mental health and substance use. Subsequent webinars covered topics related to the TUH mission statement. For a list of, and to view these webinars, click here.

TUH collaborates on its webinars with local experts and advocates to provide education, resources, and support.

Join us for our next Webinar

Join Team Up for Hope on Thursday, November 4 at 7..pm. for a special webinar. Geoff Green will be interviewing author Bobi Conn. Bobi’s book is In the Shadow of the Valley: A Memoir, an extraordinary tale of survival and hope.

Become a Sponsor

Sponsorships are for a 12-month period and are a way of showing your community that you care. Moreover, you can become a sponsor at any time. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Team Up for Hope is an all-volunteer organization. Sponsorship money is donated to NAMI Orange County, NY, and NAMI Sussex County, NJ. Furthermore, In addition, TUH makes donations to other local non-profit organizations. Recipients include local artist and mental health advocate, Dan McQuade, Moreover, donations went to the Center for Evaluation and Counseling, Family Partners of Morris & Sussex County, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Our Diamond Sponsors 

Platinum Sponsors 

  • NuOp – The Business Opportunity Exchange;
  • Thomas & Tina Herceg, and
  • Kristin Hess.

Gold Sponsors 

  • Spring Brook Farm;
  • Olinski Law, LLC; Executive Insurance Services;
  • Lexington Avenue Capital Management LLC;
  • NJ Home Check Home Inspections;
  • Pamela Zachowski, Green Team New Jersey Realty, and
  • Edward Sattler, Green Team New York Salesperson, and Deborah Sattler.

You can make a difference, too!

What can you do to help?   Firstly, make a donation or become a sponsor (Click here).  Secondly, don’t be afraid to talk about mental health, substance use, and suicide. Ultimately, together we can help end the stigma and the silence, 

 

Green Team 2021 Summer Social – Fun with a Purpose

Green Team 2021 Summer Social – Fun with a Purpose

 

The Green Team  2021 Summer Social was about more than getting together and having a good time. It was also about having fun with a purpose. For many, this occasion marked the first time they had been able to socialize in a long time. There was a lot to talk about and catch up on. Therefore, Green Team Sales Associates, their families, and invited guests enjoyed a beautiful day together at lovely Spring Brook Farm in Warwick.  Of course, the food was great!  Furthermore, there was even a signature green cocktail. And, many stayed to watch the magnificent sunset and enjoy smores at the firepit. However, the occasion also included fun for an important purpose, and Green Teamers came through for a special cause…

 

Green Team 2021 Summer Social

 

 

Team Up for Hope

Team Up for Hope, a non-profit organization founded by Geoff Green and Amy Green, was that cause. Its goal is to address the challenges of mental health, drug use, and suicide in our communities. This all-volunteer organization is currently made up of a small group of Green Team Sales Associates and Staffers. And, to raise money for TUH, Keren Gonen and Tiffany Megna manned the t-shirt table. Furthermore, they sold tickets for a 50/50 raffle, However, one of the main draws of the day was Dunking Geoff. Yes, the president of Green Team Realty and founder of Team Up for Hope, volunteered to get dunked!  A donation of $10 got you three throws. Finally, at the end of the day, Geoff had been dunked several times, and the Green Team 2021 Summer Social raised $740 for Team Up for Hope. 

 

Green Team Realty Summer Social

Keren Gonen and Tiffany Megna at the Team Up for Hope table

Pip Klein is first up at Dunk Geoff

Pip Klein is first up to Dunk Geoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAMI

Team Up for Hope provides donations to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) local chapters in Orange and Sussex Counties. NAMI, an all-volunteer organization, provides peer support, education, and resources to individuals and families whose lives are impacted by mental health diagnoses. TUH makes donations to other local non-profit organizations that share their time and knowledge to help meet the challenges of mental health, drug use, and suicide.

We were honored to have Dhanu Sannesy, President of NAMI Orange, and Mary Anne McInerney, President of NAMI Sussex in attendance. Dhanu addressed the crowd. She told them how much the support that Team Up for Hope provides means to her organization. In addition, TUH  produces webinars that address various aspects of mental health, drug use, and suicide. And, while many of the resources shared are for local organizations, the topics covered are global in content, touching on the very real challenges that impact individuals and families living with these challenges.

 

Geoff Green introduces Dhanu Sannesy

Geoff Green with Dhanu Sannesy, President of NAMI Orange

Green Team 2021 Summer Social

Dhanu Sannesy, Wayne Patterson, and Mary Anne McInerney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to our Sponsors 

We would not be able to do events like the Green Team Summer Social without the generous support of our sponsors. They are:

Diamond Sponsor ($1,000 level)

Platinum Sponsors ($500 level)

Gold Sponsors ($250 level)

Thank you to our local vendors

We appreciate the services of the local businesses and vendors that helped to make the 2021 Summer Social a big success:

Scenes from the Summer Social

Here are some moments from the Green Team 2021 Summer Social. We are all looking forward to the next time we’re able to get together like this.

Green Team 2021 Summer Social

Green Team Agents and FamiliesRelaxing at the 2021 Green Team Summer Social

Green Team Realty Summer Social

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