The holidays are here which means we’re all seriously BUSY running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Between the shopping, the planning, the cleaning the COOKING things are just NUTS. Literally! These spicy dark chocolate espresso roasted nuts are perfect for snacking and YES even holiday gift giving! I don’t know about you but I love edible gifts. I’d much rather have some tasty treat vs. an ugly Christmas sweater that’s never going to see the light of day (well unless there’s an ugly Christmas sweater party to go to). Amen? These chocolatey caffeinated bursts of bliss come together quickly. A few tosses of ingredients and then you’ll just pop them into a low oven for a bit. Before you know it you’ll be getting your snack on.
“What the heck is a Dutch Baby and why would we be eating one?” Questions asked by my children while serving this for BRINNER the other night. I can understand that they might be confused but there’s no confusing how delicious these little puffs of pancake are. You might have heard these referred to as: a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff. I think of them as a cross between a popover and a pancake with the added bonus that it doesn’t have to be flipped. Nope. You mix up this beauty and then pop it into your cast iron skillet and then into the oven. Quick and easy.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Well almost. We know with over 1000 recipes here on our site searching can be cumbersome. Heck, even I sometimes forget a recipe until I run across it. To help make things easier (because cooking for a crowd is stressful enough), we’ve compiled all of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes in one easy to find post. We’ve included everything from starters to sides, the starring attraction and of course sweets! Because we’re never one to do the minimum, we’ve even thrown in a DIY table scape project (easy enough for even novice crafters) and a few recipes to use with your leftovers for good measure!
Holy cow, next week is THANKSGIVING! Yes, gobble gobble until we can’t wobble. I will be enjoying my Mom’s cooking this year. Happy. Happy. Dance. I don’t care how ehem old I get, there’s nothing like your Mamma’s cooking is there? What I’m most looking forward to is talking her into making Turkey and Dumplings with the leftover 10 pounds of turkey that I KNOW we’ll have. My Mom has ALWAYS over cooked. I’m guessing it stems from the years of always having extra guests at our table. My Dad was forever bringing home Air Force boys with no family in town. It made for a rowdy meal (with the mandatory embarrassing stories) but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Go Blue ; )
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sargento for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
I can’t believe that the year is almost over. The shorter days, the fact that’s it’s now dark by 5pm (sigh), the COLD temperatures and the sheer amount of appetizer recipes that are being searched for on the site all tell me this is true. It also tells me that it’s time to share a few more easy and effortless appetizers with y’all. Wouldn’t want you to not have options. That would be a shame. Today we’re going way back to a family favorite. Sausage balls. Not just any regular sausage balls, oh no, SPICY sausage balls. Now IF you don’t happen to like spicy, you’re welcome to simply substitute a milder Italian sausage for the hot. We won’t hold it against you. Much.
Stuff it! I meant that in the nicest possible way of course. We’re stuffing ‘shrooms because they’re obviously delicious and because it’s appetizer season. Small bites rule the roost for the next little while and stuffed shrooms are one of the simplest and crowd pleasing appetizers you can put together. They grace just about every restaurant menu (read they’re good people, really good). Not to mention you can stuff them with just about anything your heart desires. Today our heart desires SAUSAGE and CHEESE please. What could be bad about those two? Um, nothing.
I’ve never been able to resist a cupcake. Especially a chocolate cupcake. It’s just not going to happen. No matter how tight my pants are. Sigh. I’ll just spend a little more time on the treadmill. Reading my kindle and perhaps eating another chocolate cupcake while I’m there. What, haven’t you ever eaten while on the treadmill? If not, don’t tell me. Apparently I’m not very good at this whole exercise thing. Back to something I am good at, cupcakes. Swoonworthy Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes.
This isn’t your grandma’s pot roast. Oh no. This one is bigger, badder and bolder in the flavor department. It’s tender, melt in your mouth beef that’s made even better by the balsamic mushroom sauce that you’ll want to just spoon into your mouth (yes I did that). If that doesn’t make you want to make this tonight how about I sweeten the pot. It’s made in ONE POT. Y’all know how excited I get about those kinds of things. This roast is a low and slow stunner that you’ll be gravitating to all fall and winter long.
If I could put a fall dessert in a jar this would be it. It’s like pumpkin pie but better. Way better. There’s no crust bogging you down, which also makes this little gem in a jar gluten free. Bonus. It’s pumpkin perfection and if this doesn’t make you want to jump on the pumpkin train that’s currently making it’s way across the food blogging virtual highway I’m not sure what will. Go ahead and pick up a few cans of pumpkin puree (or make your own whatever floats your culinary boat) because these won’t last long.
Are you ready for some tailgating? You all know that I’m not actually a big football fan. I don’t keep that a secret but I do enjoy tailgating. What’s not to love about sitting on the back of a tailgate with your boot (cowboy of course) covered feet swinging away with your favorite cold beverage in your hand and a slider or two in the other. Right? Right. I’m already thinking about recipes for this season. Wings and SLIDERS are some of my favorites. This Pork Tenderloin Slider with Cranberry Sauce and Caramelized Onions might be my new all time favorite slider and could possibly be yours too. It’s cooked to perfection and without worry too. Want to know the secret?
I’m all for low and slow cooking. Set it and forget it if you will. Now that it’s finally fall (happy dance) I’m doing a lot more of that type of cooking. I’m excited to share with y’all that I’ve partnered with Crock-Pot® Slow Cookers to bring you a few recipes using their new Crock-Pot® Smart Slow Cooker WeMo Enabled. What does that mean? It means that it works with your smart device (Android and Apple) to let you easily adjust cook settings … from virtually anywhere. Pretty smart, right? Right!
We eat a lot of chicken. So it goes without saying that I have a REALLY large repertoire of chicken recipes. We have our favorites of course, everyone does but if I served the same ones week in and week out I’d probably end up with a mutiny on my hands (ain’t nobody got time for that). This was one of my “clean out the refrigerator” ideas for chicken. Sometimes they work out. Sometimes they don’t. Obviously if its making it to our corner of the web here Mikey (aka the family) liked it. Woot. Glazes are a great way to go with chicken. Making a glaze is super easy. You take a liquid and reduce it. My soon to be eight year old could do this, he calls it sauce and I just don’t have the heart to correct him, being the baby and all, and well let’s be honest he’s cute. Real cute (for the record, and just in case they might read this – my other two children are equally adorable.)
I have a confession to make. I’m kind of obsessed with chicken wings. The saucier the better. If you’re not getting sauce on your face while you eat wings then you’re not doing it right. It’s not a first date kind of food. Best eaten amongst friends. Just saying. I also recommend not wearing a white shirt. It’s just a bad idea. Sauce stains and those just don’t come out. I also prefer the legs over the wings so it’s good to pair up with someone who likes the opposite so you can scarf down all the legs (or wings) that you like. Or is that just me? I suppose I could just make all legs but then I couldn’t call them wings. Seems I’m quite particular about this aren’t I. Ha.
I’m a big fan of chicken thighs, bone in (flavor baby) it’s the cut that I gravitate to first. Sometimes I need a cut that’s going to cook up much much faster. Say when I have a herd of hungry people in my kitchen screaming what’s for dinner, MOM I’m hungry, and the other dozen or so statements that I block out after the first two. Am I the only one? Surely I can’t be. That’s where chicken breast tenderloins come in. They cook up in lickety split and help keep the peace and my headaches at bay.
I think from now on I might actually put candied bacon on everything. It’s so good it’s should probably be illegal. So good I’m pretty much willing to put up with the inevitable sticky fingers that come with. A word to the wise, you’ll want to wait until your newly candied bacon is cooled before you go diving into a slice. Let’s just say I learned the hard way and I may or may not be speaking with a lisp today because my tongue is burned. Silver lining the cool panna cotta helped.
Next to pasta the most consumed food in our house is probably rice. We keep a variety on hand because you know how much we like options around bell’alimento land. White, Basamati, Jasmine, Yellow. You get the picture. We like to be prepared. That’s the girl scout in me. We didn’t even cover the fact that rice is incredibly versatile and can be used in a plethora of cuisines. Extra points for that (and for using the word plethora – too bad we’re not playing scrabble). It’s also kid friendly.
We’re celebrating today. It’s not any particular milestone or event we just felt like celebrating. Happy Monday. Happy End of Summer. Happy almost Labor Day. Happy Un-Birthday. Happy Happy Happy. Do you have that song in your head now. It’s kind of addictive. Know what other song is addictive? Kenny Chesney’s new one “American Kids”. That my friends might be my new favorite KC song. It’s snappy, and sassy. Kind of like me. Yes, since I’ve been developing recipes for Kenny Chesney’s Rum Company – Blue Chair Bay Rum, over the past few months we’ve developed this friendship (even if it’s only in my head but whatever just roll with it).
Next week it’s back to school for my kids. I! Am! Thrilled! You can probably tell by the exclamation marks. It’s been a long summer people. No judging. What I’m not looking forward to is waking up early after a summer of lazy mornings. I’m not a morning person. Never have been and I’m thinking that’s probably never going to change. Thank goodness for coffee is all I can say. For me though, it’s important to get the kids off with a full belly. This biscuits and sausage gravy is a shortcut breakfast that can be prepped the night before and then just heated up in the morning. That’s definitely a good thing.
I seem to be on a sweet tooth tare these days. No Bake Nutella Cheesecake. Espresso Ice Cream, Sweet Corn Ice and Blackberry Ice Cream and the like. Which is probably why I’m having to get reacquainted with my treadmill. It’s amazing how much reading and catching up on my shows I can do via my Kindle while I’m logging the miles. I’m a multi tasker what can I say. It’s also where I can dream about all those desserts I want to whip up. I make myself feel a whole better about inhaling eating them when they’re in individual portions. Totally rational right.
I know what you’re thinking CORN ICE CREAM. Has she lost her ever loving mind? No (well maybe summer is getting to me if we’re going to be completely honest). Sweet Corn Ice Cream it’s a real thing. Of course I didn’t know this was a thing myself until last year when I walked into the newly opened Jeni’s in Nashville TN. I saw it on the massive chalkboard amongst a sea of other delectable flavors and knew I needed to try it. I’m always up for trying somewhat off the wall flavor combinations. How are you ever go to know if you like something if not. Right? Right.