Can’t-Miss Recipe Ideas for NFL Playoff Parties

The NFL playoffs are already underway. Every weekend until the big showdown on February 5th will be set aside in many households for football. Chances are that you’ll either be throwing your own NFL playoff party this month or attending a neighbor’s football party. If you’re throwing your own party, you’re going to need a wide variety of recipe ideas. And if you’re showing up to the party, you can surprise your host with delicious homemade snacks. Take a look at a few of our favorite recipe ideas we’ve assembled from around the web.


 Can't-Miss Recipe Ideas for Your NFL Playoff Party

The Best Buffalo Wings

Fried chicken wings usually can’t be beat, but this recipe for baked buffalo wings is up to the challenge. Not only are you getting the classic taste traditional football fans will love, you’re also crafting a healthier version by baking the wings in the oven and prepping ingredients at home rather than frying ’em or getting take-out.

The Greatest Guacamole

Guacamole is the ultimate party dip for a reason. Many people don’t really care for avocados, but they can’t pass up a delicious bowl of guacamole with a bowl of their favorite chips. Courtesy of allrecipes.com, this is an easy guacamole recipe with some unique twists and easy-to-multiply numbers to make bigger servings.

Delicious Dip Recipes

Chips are the first thing many people buy for their NFL parties because they’re simple crowd-pleasers, but you can take any chip to the next level with delicious dip recipes. Skim through this great list for ideas about spinach dips, salsa creations, hummus, as well as a few brand new dip ideas in this interesting recipe list.

Homemade Pizza Recipes

If you’re up to the challenge of trying to make a homemade pizza that competes with the many pizza places vying for your business this time of year, you’re in luck. This Pinterest board has a variety of options you can try, from healthier flatbread options to taco pizzas to delicious ideas you won’t find at your local pizza place.


Get everything you need to cook and serve great party snacks with supplies from The Lakeside Collection. Here are a few of our kitchen and dining favorites with a fun NFL theme that will be perfect for your party…

NFL Magnetic Chip Clips12 Piece NFL Food Storage SetsNFL Ceramic Gameday Platters

10 Common Household Items We Always Forget to Clean

You may have noticed while putting your Christmas decorations away or preparing for your New Year’s Eve party that your house isn’t as clean as you’d like it to be. That’s why many of us don’t wait for spring cleaning to do a thorough sweep of the house. But no matter how detailed our checklist is, we always seem to miss a few household items that gather dust, dirt and debris. If we forgot them once, chances are we will miss them again…and again. Check out this quick list to make sure you’re not missing any of those easy-to-miss spots.

10 Household Items We Always Forget to Clean


Vents & Radiators

Heating vents, air conditioning vents and radiators are magnets for dust and other debris. Aside from taking some power out of your air flow or just appearing unsightly, the dust and dirt on your heating vents can be a safety hazard, potentially causing fires. If you want to give your vents a thorough cleaning this season, make sure you unscrew the vents and wipe them clean, inside and out, and take a look inside the air duct as well.

Ceiling Fans

Not many people realize that ceiling fans can cut down on heating costs in the winter and make your home feel a little bit cozier. All you have to do is reverse the flow of your fan to clockwise. This simple switch pulls cold air up (use a low speed setting) while pushing warm air to the edge of the room so it flows down to the floor. If you’re interested in saving on heating costs, turn on your ceiling fan, but wipe down the blades first.

Door Handles & Buttons

Some household items just don’t pop up on our radar when we’re cleaning. Door knobs, handles, even the buttons on electronics like the TV, video game console or DVD player are things we touch every day. If we touch it with our hands and fingers, it needs to be cleaned, so take a quick moment and walk through every surface and appliance you turn, hold, press, and twist. Light switches are also a common culprit we forget.


10 Household Items We Always Forget to Clean

Refrigerator Drawers & Shelves

It’s easy to think of the refrigerator as that nice, cold place where bacteria can’t survive, but that’s pretty far from the truth. Because it’s not something we clean very regularly (aside from spills and ordinary upkeep), it’s always possible that some unseen germs are lurking in the drawers and on the shelves. A quick clean will also get rid of any underlying odors. Make sure you clean underneath shelves, and get the walls, too.

Refrigerator Coils

To keep our refrigerator working properly, it’s important to clean the coils at least once a year. It’s such an easy process, but few of us remember to do it. This isn’t just about brushing off or vacuuming the coils. It’s also about vacuuming or cleaning the fan. Yes, this means pulling out the fridge, unplugging it for a brief period of time and shutting off the water supply (if it’s connected for water or ice), but it’s only once a year.

Coffee Maker

It doesn’t matter if you’re a coffee connoisseur or just need that morning brew to wake up for work, chances are your coffee maker is filled with bacteria, even mold. Maintaining a clean coffee maker requires more work than scrubbing the coffee pot. Bacteria and mold build up in the machine’s reservoir and carafe more than anywhere else. Separate all the removable parts, scrub them clean and put everything back together.


10 Household Items We Always Forget to Clean

Toothbrush Holders

We use our toothbrush holders every single day, exposing them to new germs or leaving them susceptible to residue over time. A lot of nasty gunk can build up on the edges, bottom and deep inside your toothbrush holder, so once in awhile we need to give it a deep clean. All you need is some hot water and soap. Better not to take any chances on something that houses our precious toothbrush almost twenty-four hours a day.

Bath Mats & Runners

Mold is constantly trying to invade the bathroom, and that goes for common items like bath mats. We might think that if the top of the mat looks clean then we’re in good shape, but bacteria can be hiding deep inside and is particularly fond of the underside of the mat. If your mat is machine washable, it’s as easy as tossing the mat in on its own. But if your bath mat is a little more fragile, you’re going to want to hand wash and dry.

Shower Curtain Liners

Shower curtains and shower curtain liners are built to thrive in their environment, but they’re not built to last forever. Instead of throwing yours out or changing the liner after a certain period of time, you can save some money by washing it yourself. Use this washing technique to clean your shower curtain and shower curtain liners in the washing machine with some assistance from baking soda and vinegar to keep it looking fresh.


Credit Cards & Keys

It’s probably weird to think about adding items like credit or debit cards to your regular cleaning list, but they are some of the things we own that are handled by strangers the most. Whenever you hand your credit card over to pay for something, it’s picking up bacteria. This goes for anything in wallets or purses, from licenses to car keys. Try to keep purses, handbags or anything else you take out of the house on a daily basis clean.

Christmas Brunch Recipe Ideas We Can’t Wait to Try

There’s more to look forward to on Christmas morning than opening presents. Today (like most mornings) we’re thinking about breakfast food, contemplating late-morning meal possibilities that combine the holiday feel we love with our favorite breakfast treats. Here are the Christmas brunch ideas we’re currently craving.


Christmas Brunch Recipes - Christmas Pancakes

Christmas Pancakes

Pancakes are the perfect breakfast food and will definitely hit the spot on Christmas morning. And there are so many creative ways to make your pancakes festive with simple shapes and easy food accents. Make the kids smile when you serve them up some snowman pancakes with a bacon scarf, stack them high to create a Christmas tree or use toppings to create festive holiday characters with this inspiring list of pancake ideas.

Gingerbread Waffles

If you have a waffle maker handy, let it do most of the work. All you have to do is get the batter ready and get your toppings lined up. It’ll save you time whipping up the batter the night before. Just heat up the waffle iron and start pumping out delicious portions for the entire family. Just like pancakes, waffles will make everyone happy on Christmas morning, especially if you mix up your classic recipe–try out these gingerbread waffles.

Christmas Brunch Ideas - Glazed Holiday Ham

Breakfast Ideas for Leftover Ham

Many of us enjoy a glazed holiday ham on Christmas Eve. Meaning leftovers. Meaning ham at-the-ready for a variety of uses on Christmas morning. With recipes like this ham and cheese breakfast casserole, it’s easy to use those leftovers to prep a hearty meal for the next morning. You’ll be glad you prepped your Christmas morning meal the night before when all you have to do is get up, pop the casserole in the oven and sit back.

Baked Croissant Casserole

If you’re feeling a little more ambitious about your breakfast casserole, mix it up with this croissant breakfast bake. It’s also a great alternative in case your plans for plenty of leftover holiday ham didn’t pan out like you thought they might. The buttery mini croissants, melty cheese and eggs will entice any late-riser out of bed.

Christmas Brunch Recipes - Cinnamon Rolls

Specialty Cinnamon Rolls

Slow-cookers are perfect for Christmas morning because they simplify the cooking process and allow you to enjoy your holiday with the family while your meal cooks. But slow-cookers are not just for hearty casseroles or quinoa. They can also be used for classic breakfast treats like gooey, sugary cinnamon rolls. Check out a simple recipe from Creme de la Crumb to make slow-cooker cinnamon rolls a reality on Christmas morning.

National Pumpkin Day: Top 5 Pumpkin Dessert Recipes

Pumpkin pie might be a Thanksgiving staple, but National Pumpkin Day is today–October 26th! Get in the mood for holiday desserts with some of our favorite pumpkin pie recipes. We’ll start you off with the classic pumpkin pie recipe, and then serve up a few pumpkin twists on traditional dessert ideas to get you baking.

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1. Classic Pumpkin Pie
There’s nothing more satisfying around the holiday season than a delicious pumpkin pie. There’s no need to get fancy with special ingredients and toppings. Stick to the original with this recipe from Taste of Home®. If classic recipes are exactly what you’re looking for, check out these Taste of Home cookbooks at Lakeside.

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2. Bite-Sized Pumpkin Pies
Mix up your classic pumpkin pie recipe with an entire plate of bite-sized or mini pumpkin pies. Not only are these delicious little snacks perfect for your holiday dessert trays, they can also be a fun cooking activity to do with the kids leading up to Thanksgiving. Give everyone their own personal pie with this unique recipe.


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3. Creamy Pumpkin Pudding
If that warm pumpkin flavor isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, cool things down with this pumpkin pudding recipe. The great thing about this recipe is it allows you to mix and match the ingredients you want. If you’re not a walnut fan, leave ’em out. If you like the idea of adding a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, go right ahead.


Gourmet-cookies

4. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Everyone has their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, some of them passed down from generations. The best part about the chocolate chip cookie is you can easily tweak it with a special flavor. Pumpkin is the best ingredient. Check out this simple recipe, and refresh your cookie cooking gear with products from Lakeside.

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5. Pumpkin Brownies
As if we weren’t already prepared to add pies, puddings and cookies to our Thanksgiving dessert menu. It’s hard to pass up this pumpkin brownies recipe. It’s the perfect solution for your sweet tooth, and also satisfies your pumpkin craving. If you’re in the mood for chocolate, check out these chocolaty gifts ideas at Lakeside.

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Fall Flavors: Apple Picking and Oktoberfest Menu Ideas

A few weeks into Autumn. The air is crisp, but not too cold. The leaves are changing and starting to fall. But the weather isn’t the only thing that is changing. Our taste in food changes a little bit as well. Fall flavors like apple, pumpkin and cinnamon are what we crave. Fall festivals like Oktoberfest offer mouthwatering menus we look forward to every year. Learn about the flavors of fall with these articles on apples and Oktoberfest.

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American As Apple Pie: The Apple’s Journey to America
For a country that’s second in the world in apple production, a nation with a proud idiom like “American as apple pie,” it’s odd to learn that all these apples weren’t around when colonists first settled on American soil. The apple’s journey to America is a curious one, intertwined with colonial tastes, the founding fathers and even a popular legend or two. Read on to learn more about the apple’s deep roots in our American history.

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What to Put On Your Oktoberfest Menu
With summer barbecues in our past and holiday parties ahead of us, we’re in that wonderful fall transitional period. Oktoberfest is to us what trick-or-treating is for the little ones. But you don’t have to pack your travel pillow and get on a 10-hour flight to take part in the festival. You can have your own fest at home. You know that beer is a must, but you need some snacks to go with it. Here’s what to put on your Oktoberfest menu.

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Apple Picking Guide
It’s that time of year when apples taste the sweetest and farms open to the public for apple picking. It is one of those fall activities for which everyone should set aside a crisp day and leave behind the cheap toys and chores to celebrate the beautiful autumn season. Here’s a quick guide to picking the best apples this fall.

Wine Decor, Hostess Gifts and Tabletop Essentials

You don’t have to be a wine enthusiast to appreciate the fun home decorating possibilities of a wine theme. From repurposing corks and wine bottles to create a design all your guests will envy to personalized gifts to please your generous host or hostess, Lakeside is filled with wine decor products everyone will appreciate.

Tasteful Decor for Wine Enthusiasts
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The Metal Monogram Wine Cork-Holder adds a distinctive look to your dining room or kitchen, especially when you fill it up with the corks left over from your favorite wines. Just start from the bottom and try to fill up the entire letter. Get multiple letters to spell out your name or wine-related words for a truly unique design.

As long as you’re reusing your corks, why not reuse a wine bottle too? Light My Bottle adds a dazzling touch to your tabletop. Simply thread the 42″ light string through the top of any bottle that’s at least 9″ tall, place the pole inside and click the on/off switch on the top to watch the 15 beautiful fairy lights illuminate the interior.

Gifts for Your Host or Hostess
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The Set of 4 Personalized Travertine Stone Coasters makes a great gift for almost any occasion, but it’s the ideal gift for a wine-tasting or dinner party. Each stone coaster protects your table surfaces from water rings. The cork design on the bottom helps prevent scratches. Personalize the coasters with the recipient’s name.

Monogram Wine Gift Set makes it easy to add a thoughtful, personal touch to that wine-tasting, dinner party, housewarming, birthday or wedding. The classy gift set comes with a metal coaster and wine stopper. Each piece has an identical monogram worked into its design, and comes in a stylish box that’s ready for giving.

Don’t Forget the Tabletop
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Add a romantic touch to your decor or set the scene for an elegant party with Set of 2 LED Taper Candles. Each candle has a wax coating and gives off an amber glow that looks beautiful in a floral arrangement or centerpiece. Timer lets you set the candles to automatically turn on at a desired time and off after 6 hours.

Organize the eating necessities on your tabletop with an elegant Buffet Caddy. Each caddy features a lovely scroll design that complements existing decor. The Plate Caddy provides quick, easy access to plates, while the Flatware & Napkin Caddy has 3 separate sections for utensils and an open space for holding napkins.

Wine Wednesday: Interesting Facts About Wine in America

It took some time for wine to become as popular in America as it is in Europe, and even longer for American wine to earn worldwide recognition and respect. While wine isn’t nearly as popular as beer on U.S. soil, it’s widely consumed and continues to blend into mainstream culture. Wine Wednesday is the perfect occasion to uncork your favorite vintage in the middle of the week. Before pouring a glass of sauvignon blanc or while you’re sipping a sweet Riesling, take a look at these fun, interesting facts on the history of wine in America.

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Oldest Winery in the U.S.A.
The oldest operating winery in America is the Brotherhood Winery. Located in Washingtonville, New York, it produced its first wine for commercial consumption in 1839, and is still up and running. In fact, some original facilities are still being used in the wine-making process, and wine enthusiasts can explore the sights to get an idea of what it was like to make wine in America during the 19th century. Visitors to this National Historic Site can try wine tastings, check out the grounds, take special tours and bring home some delicious wines.

Wine During Prohibition
Establishments like the Brotherhood Winery were in danger of going out of business during the Prohibition throughout the 1920’s. However, there was a loophole for wineries to continue to operate, selling their wine to the Catholic Church for sacramental wine purposes. While many wineries and businesses dependent on wine didn’t make it through the dry years, wineries which were lucky enough to stay under contract with the church thrived (likely selling to more customers than the church). In addition, at-home wine making kits were legal during Prohibition, allowing Americans to produce a certain amount of wine per year for personal use.

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When Everything Changed
In May of 1976, the most respected wine connoisseurs in Paris assembled for a blind taste-test between the noble French wines that were regarded as the best in the world and up-and-coming American wines from a few vineyards in California. The challenge wasn’t given much attention by the French media because it was impossible for the unknown Californian wineries to compete with France. Surprisingly, the wines judged as the best for red and white were both Californian, paving the way for wine in America and around the world.

Top Spot for the Time Being
Americans drink a lot of wine. More and more since the wine scene really started to take root and trickle into popular culture. In addition to consuming the most wine, the American wine tourism scene is also booming, attracting millions of tourists annually to hot spots like Napa Valley and Sonoma Country in California. And in case you were wondering what wines Americans love the most, the top spot goes to Chardonnay, with a close following from Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Merlot, while Pinot Noir rounds out the top five.


Whether you love capping off a long day with a glass of wine or plan on serving wine at Thanksgiving this year, find all the wine supplies you need at The Lakeside Collection, from glasses to wine bottle holders.

Wine and Dine: Tips on Wine Tasting, Pairing and Stains

The world of wine is huge and constantly growing. Whether you enjoy a glass of your favorite vintage on the weekend or throw together wine-tastings as often as football parties, there’s always room to grow. Check out tips on pairing wine with cheese or grilled foods, and tips on stains in this wine and dine article showcase.

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Holiday Wine & Cheese Guide: Tips on Choosing the Right Vintage
Wine and cheese provide the perfect one-two punch for any and every type of social gathering. Many adults know what kind of wine they prefer, but deciding what kind of cheese to pair with their favorite vintage might be a bigger mystery. Learn about some of the best combinations with our holiday wine and cheese guide.

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Tips on Getting Red Wine and Other Tough Stains Out of Clothes
Few stains are more demoralizing than red wine stains. But with a packed holiday social calendar, spills are inevitable, which means your favorite outfit might be in danger. Red wine stains aren’t the end of the world, and shouldn’t mean the end of the party. Rest easy with tips on getting wine and other stains out of clothes.

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Gourmet Grill: Advice on Pairing Grilled Food with Wine
With summer winding down, there aren’t going to be many more months to get outside and cook on the grill; and traditionally, grilled foods are associated with beer or mixed drinks, not wine. Try out something new on the grill before summer ends and keep the grill going in fall by learning what grilled foods go best with wine.

4 Popular Christmas Tree Types & How to Decorate Them

It’s never too early to start thinking about your Christmas decorating plans, especially with all the great early Christmas deals already out on the market. The Lakeside Collection is already stocked with Christmas gear to get your home ready for the holidays. In the spirit of the upcoming season, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Christmas tree types and the best ways to dress them up to help you find the right decorations.

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Douglas Fir
Perhaps the most well-known Christmas tree by name, but there are many reasons why the iconic tree has been a popular staple in American homes around Christmas time. For one, the needles are pretty soft, safer for kids or pets. Second, the firm needles branch out in many directions, making it easy to hang ornaments. Lastly, unlike most trees bred for the holidays, they can be found in giant sizes for families that like to go big.

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Fraser Fir
If you’re in need of a tree that will stand tough while being transported and dragged around, the Fraser Fir might be the tree for you. Fairly similar to the Balsam Fir, this durable tree is usually found in the 6 to 7 foot range that makes it easy for most people to throw the star on top, has a bluish tint to its dark green needles and sturdy branches that will be able to hold up most of the heavier ornaments you need to put on the tree.

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Scotch Pine
While it might not have the sweet Christmas scent that the Douglas, Fraser or Balsam Firs might, the Scotch Pine was literally made for Christmas. It’s the most commercial Christmas tree, with brighter coat of needles than the typically bluish firs. The Scotch Pine is also known for its durability, easily surviving throughout the holidays, capable of withstanding dry spells and rarely shedding its needles to save time on maintenance.

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Artificial Options
Christmas traditionalists scoff at the rising popularity of artificial trees, but the truth is that they’re much more practical than real firs and pines. Families across the country delight in how much money can be saved by using the same artificial tree year after year, sigh in relief at avoiding another holiday shopping session and rave about not having to deal with all the watering and needle cleanup that can occur on a daily basis.

What kind of Christmas tree does your family prefer? Comment below to share your own tips and tricks…

Bathroom Mirror Ideas to Inspire Your Home Refresh

Updating the bathroom with exciting new features seems to be on every homeowner’s to-do list. Sometimes the projects never get completed because we want to overhaul the entire bathroom instead of making small fixes here and there. But if the overhaul just isn’t feasible or too far in the future, making little changes is one of the best ways to give your bathroom a fresh new look. Instead of taking on a complicated DIY project, get inspired by some of these bathroom mirror ideas to make a quick change and inspire your future overhaul.

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Traditional Frame
The main design elements you’ll encounter with bathroom mirrors are the shape and whether or not they’re framed. Framed designs can serve as simple accents that allow you to tie in colors and textures in your bath or bold statements that can add unique contrast and look like beautiful wall art in some luxurious art gallery.

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Clean Lines
Mirrors without frames are great if you aren’t trying to make a bold statement in your bathroom. This is great if you’re going for clean lines or a modern touch, but this doesn’t necessary mean a mirror without a frame is specific to modern or contemporary designs. Also, they really pop when contrasted with a bold paint color.

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Strong Shapes
Changing the shape of your bathroom mirror can make an immediate impact in your bathroom. Traditional square or rectangular designs have a completely different feel from a smooth, circular pattern or a strange geometric shape. Just make sure the design of your mirror doesn’t get in the way of your bathroom routine.

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Unique Accents
It’s not all about the shape, pattern or frame. There are many options for mirrors that add a unique look and feel to your bathroom with the way they are mounted or hung on the wall. They can also be easier to install compared to larger mirrors. If you have a double vanity, you could get two smaller mirrors for a stylish look.