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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I’ve been craving Lemon Chicken for quite some time and finally found the perfect day to make it!  This recipe is a homemade version of the take-out classic that tastes just as good, if not better, then what you would get in a restaurant.  It’s fairly simple to make and delivers a delicious balance between tangy and savory flavors, with crispy chicken and a citrus sauce. The recipe can be found here. Don’t let the number of ingredients or steps scare you away!  A lot of the ingredients are repeated throughout the marinade, batter, and sauce recipes, and the steps don’t take that long.  Plus, this is a recipe you can work on ahead of time and come back to when ready to cook. The first step is to marinate the chicken.  Slice each chicken breast into thin strips (or buy boneless skinless chicken tenders if you want to skip … Continue reading

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Chicken Gnocchi Soup is the perfect comfort food!  It’s creamy, hearty, and delicious with lots of veggies and chicken in every bite.  This soup is wonderful on a cool night or when you’re looking for something a little more filling. The recipe can be found here. Gnocchi is basically a mini dumpling made from potato and flour.  They are dense, soft, and small in size.  They are yummy in soup and add great texture.  You can typically find gnocchi in the pasta section of the grocery store and sometimes in the freezer section by other frozen pasta. This soup is pretty simple to make.  Start by melting the butter with the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic, and cook until translucent.  I like to buy matchstick carrots, so I don’t have to chop them.  It makes prep work much easier. … Continue reading

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I have a great recipe for Chicken Cheddar Apple Burgers to share with you today.  If you love Fall and are looking to put the apples you bought at the orchard to good use or if you just aren’t ready to put the grill away, this recipe is for you!  The complimentary Fall favors come together to create a new take on classic BBQ. The recipe can be found here. Start by combining all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  The apple will need to be shredded before mixing.  This is simple to do by using a cheese grater or potato peeler, depending on how big you want the apple shavings.  The apple will help keep the burger moist and ensure the flavor is included in every bite. Next form into 4 equal size patties.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook on each side for about 6 minutes or … Continue reading

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My new favorite slow cooker chili recipe is for Buffalo Chicken Chili.  It has the perfect amount of spice, a creamy base, tender chicken in every bite, and only take about 10 minutes to assemble.  Then…set it and forget it!  There is so much flavor packed into this recipe, you’re sure to like it! The recipe can be found here. Start by adding the chicken to the base of the crock pot, then layer all other ingredients on top – beans, corn, tomatoes, chicken broth, Ranch dressing mix, buffalo wing sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, dried cilantro, and salt. Stir to combine all ingredients.  Then place the brick of cream cheese on top. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Once 4 hours have passed, remove the chicken and either shred or cube, and put back into the crock pot.  Stir and cook for another 30 minutes. … Continue reading

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