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

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

Gingersnaps (Two Ways)

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Well hello, stranger, long time no see! It’s been a couple weeks since I posted anything to my blog and I have a good excuse for that (or lots of little excuses that add up to one good excuse). What started out as me taking a single week off to battle the plague which brought my entire family to its knees (seriously, even the cat was sick), Continue reading

Pumpkin Roll

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Well it looks like Texas finally got the message that autumn is coming. For the past couple days we’ve been enjoying foggy, rainy weather, and temperatures in the mid-80’s (believe me, that’s chilly for this area). All it took was this slight change in climate for the mound of pumpkins sitting outside our grocery store to stop looking ridiculous and out of place, and start looking appealing. A few days ago I dug out all of my pumpkin recipes and tried to figure out what I wanted to make first, and that’s when I found my mom’s Pumpkin Roll recipe. Now, this isn’t actually her recipe, but it’s one that she’s been making since I was a toddler and can be traced back only as far as her friend Roxie. My mom’s copy is handwritten on a yellowing index card that has orange flowers and brown mushrooms decorating the corners (it was the 70’s afterall). Most likely the original recipe came from Betty Crocker or Good Housekeeping, but she made it often and it always marked the beginning of fall for my sister and me, so in my mind it will always be my mom’s pumpkin roll…and now it can be yours, too. Continue reading

Spectacular Sides for the 4th of July!

IMG_8711Tomorrow’s the 4th of July and if you’re anything like me, you’ve waited until the very last minute to make plans. Again. But that doesn’t mean you should let a little procrastination stop you from enjoying a fantastic meal. Which is why I decided to throw together these super easy, incredibly tasty (and, I might add, spectacular looking!) side dishes to jazz up your celebration. As my husband says, If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute! So why not whip up these dishes tomorrow before the party gets started — I guarantee you’ll get as many ooh’s and ahh’s as the fireworks do. Continue reading