Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

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Merry Christmas Eve, friends! This post is a little late on the draw, but if any of you poor souls out there are concerned that you may have made it on the naughty list this year, I suggest you leave a plate of these cookies out for Santa and hope for the best… Continue reading

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Honey Glazed Pear, Sausage, & Sage Meatloaf

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It’s finally December, the best month of the year, which means it’s time to bust out the holiday decorations and start cooking something other than turkeys and pumpkins! And what better way to kick off this joyful season than with a new take on an old favorite. With this thought in mind, I took my standard meatloaf recipe and jazzed it up with some festive flavors like pears and cinnamon, then topped it off with a sweet drizzling of honey. This meal is so festive, that for a spilt second I considered naming it Merry Meatloaf, but opted instead for this much longer and more descriptive (read boring) title. However, that in no way means you can’t be merry while eating it. Fa la la la la, la la la la! Continue reading

Turkey Leftovers Sandwich with Caramelized Onions, Sautéed Cinnamon Apples, & Champagne Honey Mustard

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Whew! We made it through Thanksgiving! A show of hands, how many people are having a hard time buttoning their pants today? Come on, I can’t be the only one! Okay, now that the big turkey dinner is over, it’s time to concentrate on how to you’re going to put your leftovers to use… Continue reading

Roasted Red Pepper, Asparagus, & Goat Cheese Bread Pudding

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Thanksgiving is less than one week away and for all of you, like myself, who are just starting to put together your Turkey Day menus, let me offer a suggestion; why not try something new this year? It’s crazy, I know, to break away from tradition and consider something other than the obligatory stuffing (or dressing, if you’re not putting it into the bird), but I’ve got something else in mind for you. This incredible side dish will go with whatever meat or meat substitute (Tofurky anyone?) is the customary centerpiece at your table. (Side note: I just learned that many Texans serve ribs on Thanksgiving. How awesome is that?!) Anyway, regardless of what other lovely foods grace your plates next Thursday, this savory bread pudding will make you and your tastebuds very thankful. Continue reading

Harvest Soup

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Okay, so Harvest Soup isn’t the actual name of this soup. It’s proper name is Mushroom and Hazelnut Soup, but since my mom only made it on Thanksgiving, my sister and I started referring to it as this (and be grateful, because the runner up was Pilgrim Stew). This is yet another recipe that’s been in the family for years, and we have no idea where it originated, other than one of my mom’s cooking magazines from way back. You see, at one point in the early 90’s (about the time Martha Stewart hit the scene), my mom decided that she wanted to fancy up our Thanksgiving dinner by serving courses. She was looking for something seasonally appropriate for the first course and felt that hazelnuts and mushrooms sounded autumny and elegant. It was an immediate hit with our guests, who, nearly 20 years later, ended up becoming my in-laws; that’s how magical this soup is! (Just kidding. Kind of.) Anyway, since that fateful Thanksgiving, this soup has made a return appearance every single year, but ONLY on the fourth Thursday in November. Continue reading

Crunchy Butterfinger Cookies

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Happy Halloween, candy fiends! Before you and the kiddos embark on your day of rowdy parties, twilight trick-or-treating, and massive sugar consumption, I want to impart you with some knowledge. The quickest way to rid your house of excess Halloween candy is to bake it into cookies. That’s right folks, you know as well as I that every year we end up with gobs of candy that will take our little pirates and princesses weeks, maybe months, to get through (or eventually get toss out). Which is why I thought up a recipe that will put some of those confections to better use. These flourless peanut butter cookies are generously studded with hunks of Butterfingers and pack a candy-worthy crunch! Seriously, these guys are so good that your monsters won’t even bother with the Dum-Dums and Smarties in the bottom of their trick-or-treat bag. Continue reading

Pumpkin Soup

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Pumpkin soup is one of my favorite meals this time of year. To me it feels like I’m getting away with something, almost like I’m eating pumpkin pie in liquid form – just without the sugar. (Incidentally, I made a pumpkin pie one Thanksgiving and forgot to add the sugar. I have yet to live it down.) Now, like pumpkin pie, this soup is bursting with warm autumn flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, but unlike pumpkin pie, it’s incredibly healthy. So this Halloween why not put your conscience to rest, fill up on this festive soup, and leave the candy bowl to the trick-or-treaters. (Oh, who am I kidding, go ahead and stuff your face – it’s Halloween!) Continue reading