One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions from my childhood was getting up early to help my mom prepare all the food.  We’d spend hours in the kitchen chopping vegetables, assembling casseroles, prepping the turkey (one in the oven and one on the grill), and baking pies.  We would clean up and get ready for the day while everything was baking in the oven, then we’d wait for company to arrive.  It was the best! This year, I’m thinking of changing the plan.  Why not do something a little simpler and less time consuming so we can enjoy each other’s company and spend the day with family?  The holidays are busy enough without spending hours in the kitchen, so I want to create a menu that is delicious but also fairly quick to put together.  At least that’s what I want my thought process to be going into the holiday season!  … Continue reading

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With the cold weather approaching, I thought it would be fun to make a Mediterranean based meal, and imagine I’m in warmer weather, perhaps sitting on a beach somewhere 🙂  I made Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce for the main course and served Mediterranean Layered Hummus on the side.  Both are easy to make, flavorful, and healthy! Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce are filled with spiced chicken, fresh veggies, and a tangy homemade sauce, and are served on warm pita bread.  The tangy homemade sauce is Tzatziki Sauce, which is a Greek yogurt-based sauce with cucumber and fresh herbs added.  These gyros are incredibly tasty! Start by preheating the oven.  While the oven preheats, prep the chicken.  Place the chicken in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.  Use your hands to rub the olive oil over both sides of the chicken.  Then sprinkle fresh minced garlic, paprika, … Continue reading

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With the temperatures starting to drop I’ve been craving something warm and hearty for dinner.  My criteria is the dish has to be hot, filling, seasonal, and something good enough (and big enough) to have leftovers.  I ended up with the following: Pumpkin Dinner Rolls Apple Cheese and Beer Soup Banana Cookies with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting   The Pumpkin Dinner Rolls are homemade.  Sure, you can buy store-bought rolls if you prefer but there is something about the smell of bread baking in the oven that gets me every time.  The bread is fresh (literally right out of the oven), warm and so easy to pull apart to eat. I recommend using a stand mixer to make these rolls but it’s OK to mix by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer – you’ll just get quite the arm workout! Heat the milk in a microwave safe … Continue reading

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Sliders are a great way to keep everyone happy whether you’re hosting a football party, entertaining with appetizers, or trying to be creative with school lunches.  They really are a crowd pleaser with so many different flavors!  I recently tried 3 different kinds of sliders and want to share them with you today.  Each is delicious in its own way and something I will definitely make again! Sliders are incredibly easy to make.  You slice the rolls in half, layer the ingredients, place the other half of the rolls on top, brush with a buttery topping, bake, and enjoy! Caprese Sliders Pizza Sliders Chicken Bacon Ranch Sliders   Caprese Sliders are light and refreshing.  The combination of fresh sliced mozzarella with tomatoes and basil is perfection!  Next year, we plan on using the tomatoes and basil from our garden to make these sliders – it doesn’t get any fresher than … Continue reading

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Instant Pot Cajun Chicken with Rice has become a family dinner favorite at my house.  It’s easy to make, delicious, and something simple you can make in one pot.  It’s the perfect comfort food on a cold night…or any busy night when you don’t have a lot of time to cook!  Even better, it saves on dishes, so you don’t have to spend too much time on cleanup duty 🙂 The recipe can be found here. Start by chopping the veggies. Then slice the chicken breasts into strips.  You can keep the chicken breasts whole if you want but the chicken strips cook faster and more evenly.  Place the chicken in a bowl with 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning and toss to coat. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse thoroughly.  You want to remove the outside starch and prevent the rice from clumping together while cooking. Turn the Instant … Continue reading

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Frittata’s make a great breakfast, brunch or brinner (breakfast for dinner as we call it at our house).  A frittata is an egg-based dish, similar to an omelet or quiche, with your choice of veggies, meat, or cheese inside.  I like to make frittata’s in an Instant Pot because it requires a lot less work – use one pot, set the timer, and go about your day until the timer ends.  The frittata is cooked to perfection with fluffy eggs, tender veggies, and melted cheese. The recipe can be found here. Start by doing all the prep work.  Chop the veggies and set aside.  I like to use a combination of peppers, onion, and spinach, but you can add any veggies you like! Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.  Then add the heavy cream and whisk to combine.  Then season with salt and pepper and … Continue reading

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Caramel Apples are a classic fall treat.  These Gourmet Caramel Apples are even better and will satisfy any sweet tooth! You can make these caramel apples at home in a few easy steps.  Start with tart green apples (or any apple of your choosing), dip into melted caramel, cover with any topping of your choice, let set, and enjoy – treat yourself! The recipe can be found here. My favorite toppings are mini chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, crumbled Oreo cookies, peanuts or mixed nuts, and chocolate almond bark.  You can use any candy or snack topping of your choice.  A fun topping to try would be potato chips – the perfect combination of sweet and salty.  Maybe next time I’ll give that a try! I like to make these Gourmet Caramel Apples to serve for dessert when company is over, bring out as a snack, or give as a fun … Continue reading

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Are you ready for some football…and delicious food?  Snacks and appetizers served during a football game need to be fit for a crowd and easy to eat.  Think finger foods, grab-and-go, quick and easy…. foods that don’t draw your attention away from the game for too long – you don’t want to miss any big plays!     We’re hosting a football part this week and will be serving the following items: Football Pretzel Rods Individual Chicken Taco Bowls Loaded Tater Tot Kabobs Mini Football Pizzas Dessert   Football Pretzel Rods are super simple to make and a crowd favorite!  Plus, pretzels are such a common snack food so you can’t go wrong. I like to pick team colors or traditional football colors (or think seasonably if making these for a holiday gathering).  My pretzel rods wills be dipped in milk chocolate with white chocolate used to create the look … Continue reading

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Halloween is fast approaching. For some, Halloween is a lifestyle and obsession, for others, it’s a day to be someone or something else.  I personally love decorating the house, buying candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters, dressing up the dog…. but mostly, I love the food!  I like to take a traditional dish and “dress it up” for Halloween.  For example, a pepperoni pizza might have the pepperoni in the shape of a jack-o-lantern.  You get the picture 🙂   This year, I have quite the spread.  It’s going to be one big Halloween celebration at our house, starting with breakfast, and ending with dinner.  Here’s what’s on the menu: Eyeball Donuts Spider Web Donuts Candy “Charcuterie” Board Eyeball Asparagus and Gruyere Tart Spider Web Loaded Potatoes Festival Feetloaf Mini Skeleton Cheesecakes   Halloween is full of candy and treats so why not start the day with something sugary?  Eyeball … Continue reading

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National Pasta Day is today and what better way to celebrate than with homemade pasta!  If you haven’t had a cheat day yet this week, I highly recommend it be today 🙂 If you don’t mind putting in a little elbow grease and work, homemade pasta is the way to go.  If you’re on a time crunch or just not that interested in cooking, boxed noodles or a heat-and-serve pasta dish is just fine.  My preference is homemade pasta.  Yes, it can be time consuming, but the flavor is incredible, and it has a great texture! My go-to recipe is for Homemade Egg Noodles.  You do need a stand mixer and pasta attachment for this recipe to work.  You can also use this recipe with a hand cranked pasta maker, but I have yet to try that method. Start by adding your ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer.  … Continue reading

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