Do you ever crave those soft, chewy, irresistible smelling soft pretzels you get from street vendors or mall kiosks?  If so, you’re in luck!  I have a recipe for Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites that is a perfect replica. These Homemade Pretzel Bites have a perfectly doughy center, crispy crust, and buttery and salty flavor.  They are fun to make and fun to eat.  Great for dipping – the perfect finger food!  A bit of work is required to make these but it’s worth it.  They are SO good right out of the oven. The recipe can be found here. Start by preparing the dough.  I recommend using a stand mixer if you have one.  You can mix the dough by hand, but your arms will be quite sore! Add the water, brown sugar, yeast, and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and let sit for 5 minutes.  Add … Continue reading

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While on vacation over Thanksgiving I had THE BEST drink at one of our favorite restaurants and have been talking about it ever since (seriously).  I wanted to recreate the drink for a special occasion and thought New Year’s Eve would be the perfect time (although, I could drink this every day and not just on special occasions) … It’s called a Bailey’s Banana Colada and is the most amazing alcoholic shake-like beverage I’ve ever had.  Be warned – there isn’t a lot of booze in this drink, so the alcohol flavors won’t be overpowering.  It’s more like a chocolate banana shake.  But it’s delicious. Here’s how you make it: Ingredients 2 Ripe Bananas, broken into chunks 6 fl oz Banana Liqueur 6 lf oz Bailey’s Irish Cream 6 fl oz Coconut Cream, room temperature 4 Cups Ice   Directions Add the banana chunks and banana liqueur to a blender … Continue reading

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For many years I thought the word “slider” meant a tiny hamburger, but boy was I wrong!  Sliders are small sandwiches made with slider rolls that come in a variety of flavors, and they are all the rage.  Think meat and cheese melted together in the oven on a crisp roll – yum! I can attest that all the recipes I’m about to share with you are not only delicious but easy to make.  You can even customize for various occasions – Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders for a Kentucky Derby Party, Apple Turkey Cheddar Sliders using the apples you purchased at the Apple Orchard, Chicken and Waffle Sliders when hosting brunch, etc.  You get the idea 🙂 Ham and Swiss Sliders are probably the most common slider (in my world at least).  These are filled with juicy ham and Swiss cheese nestled in a Kings Hawaiian Roll.  The tops of … Continue reading

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Friends and family will be coming together with Christmas right around the corner.  Are you ready for all the festivities?  Are you hosting a party?  It can be stressful preparing for a get-together with a house full of guests, but it doesn’t need to be.  Some people have multiple places to stop in one night while others have one stop to make.  Whether your guest are coming and going or staying for the evening, you can serve a simple menu of appetizers. I think this is a great idea because 1) your guests can eat as much or as little as they like, 2) you can have a large variety of options to choose from, and 3) you spend more time socializing with your guests than you do in the kitchen. Here’s what I plan on serving: Burrata with Cranberries and Ciabatta Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes Chicken Parmesan … Continue reading

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I love baking any time of year but baking for Christmas is something special.  There so many themed recipes, fun cookie cutter shapes, and festive decorations to choose from.  Whether you are baking treats for your coworkers, participating in a cookie exchange, or stocking up to have plenty of sweets on hand for family, the creativity and effort put into baking this time of year is appreciated by all. I would like to share with you 4 new recipes that can easily be added to your cookie platter.  I think they will be a hit! Christmas Light Sugar Cookies These sugar cookies are super simple to make and even more fun to decorate!  I used store-bought sugar cookie dough but if you have a favorite recipe you can definitely use that instead.  Store-bought dough is nice when you don’t have a lot of time or don’t want to make a … Continue reading

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Christmas Cocktails are needed to help get you through the holiday season.  Well…they might not be “needed” but they definitely enhance the experience 🙂 And, cocktails should be as important as the food served at any party.  A themed cocktail is fun for guests and creates another focal point of the night.  I have three cocktails to warm you up when (baby it’s) cold outside. First is a Mistletoe Cocktail.  This cocktail is appealing to the eye and something you (or your guests) can enjoy while socializing before dinner.  The ginger beer (non-alcoholic) gives this drink a spicy flavor while the sugar rim adds a sweet aftertaste.  I said non-alcoholic, but this drink does contain vodka.  The ginger beer is what is non-alcoholic, so if you want to skip the vodka and perhaps add a splash of Sprite instead, you can serve this to your underage guests. The recipe can … Continue reading

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Is anyone else still full from Thanksgiving?  I for sure am…but it was worth every bite!  Depending on your point of view, Thanksgiving leftovers are either a good thing or a bad thing.  In my opinion, they are a great thing! You can enjoy the same delicious meal a second time around, or third, or forth…you get the picture.  Or, you can put those leftovers to good use and create something new.  Think of Thanksgiving as the holiday that keeps on giving.  If you use the leftovers wisely, you can have a different meal each day of “leftover week”. I have three different recipes to share with you today.  I still had plenty of leftovers in addition to these recipes, so I filled in the meal by also using the leftovers as a side dish.  So, the meal included a “new” leftover creation with a side of “traditional” leftovers (aka … Continue reading

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With a little over a week to go, Thanksgiving will be here before we know it.  Are you ready?  I’m in full planning mode.  Making my guest list, creating a menu, finding the perfect table linens, etc.  The most important part of planning in my opinion is the food.  If you plan a menu full of delicious food, yet items that won’t require you to spend the entire day in the kitchen, you can spend that time with family instead.  And what is better than your friends and family gathered at your house, a table full of food, with lots of laughs? The menu I created for this year’s feast includes a few items you can make ahead of time and a few items to make the day of.  I love tradition and serving the same type of food each year because it’s what my company likes and expects, but … Continue reading

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French Onion Soup has always been one of my favorite soups.  Traditional French Onion soup is a soup based on meat stock and onions, served with croutons or bread and grated cheese on top.  Usually beef stock is used but my recipe calls for chicken stock.  The reason I use stock is it creates a slightly thicker liquid as opposed to broth, and the chicken stock yields better flavor in this dish (in my opinion). This is by far the best French Onion Soup I have had!  It’s worth the time spent caramelizing the onions to have the perfect flavor.  I can’t begin to describe how yummy this soup is…I literally have no words because I can’t stop eating the soup long enough to talk…so let me describe how to make it instead 🙂 The recipe can be found here. Start by slicing the onions.  The recipe calls for 8 … Continue reading

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I recently had a bowl of Butternut Squash Bisque at a restaurant while traveling and it was one recipe I knew I had to remake!  It took a few tries, but I have something luscious and delicious to share with you. Soup is such a popular fall dish; it warms the body and curbs those comfort food cravings as the temperatures start to drop.  This Butternut Squash Bisque is thick, creamy, rich, and healthy – great for a cozy dinner!  I’m calling this recipe “bisque” instead of “soup” because it’s so thick and creamy. The recipe can be found here. I start by chopping all the veggies and doing some prep work.  This was the longest part of making the bisque and admittedly was my first-time preparing butternut squash, so it took some getting used to.  If you’ve never cut squash before, start by cutting off both ends, then cut … Continue reading

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