Sweet Potato Soup

If you’re looking to add more vegetables into your weekly dinner rotation, look no further than this Sweet Potato Soup recipe. It’s packed with: carrot, onion, celery, orange bell pepper, garlic, and of course the star of the soup…swe…

If you’re looking to add more vegetables into your weekly dinner rotation, look no further than this Sweet Potato Soup recipe. It’s packed with: carrot, onion, celery, orange bell pepper, garlic, and of course the star of the soup…sweet potatoes! My favorite vegetable! It has the most vibrant, rocking orange color that I’m absolutely obsessed…

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Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream…

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creamy spinach artichoke dip recipe

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream cheese, sour cream, plus green onions and poblano pepper or bell pepper.

We’ll cook the green onions until they’re a little golden and frazzled around the edges, which is an easy way to yield tons of flavor. I’m obsessed with using lightly spicy, tender poblanos in this recipe (a great twist on standard spinach artichoke dip) but you can use a red bell pepper for a mild dip (also delicious!).

creamy spinach artichoke dip ingredients

The end result is not the most beautiful dip in the world, but it’s definitely amongst the most tasty. It’s creamy and indulgent, yet tastes fresh and full of flavor. This dip is fully loaded with veggies and greens, so it’s actually more redeeming than you might think.

I hope you’ll whip together this spinach artichoke dip on the holidays, or for movie nights, or just any time you get a hankering for it. I’m daydreaming about serving this dip at parties next year!

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Magic Cookie Bars

Magic Bars (aka 7-Layer Bars or Hello Dolly Bars) are the ultimate bar treat. I have been making these famous bars ever since I started baking, years and years ago. They are a classic dessert that everyone loves. So what are Magic Bars? The name really…

Magic Bars (aka 7-Layer Bars or Hello Dolly Bars) are the ultimate bar treat. I have been making these famous bars ever since I started baking, years and years ago. They are a classic dessert that everyone loves. So what are Magic Bars? The name really says it all. Magic bars are a rich, delicious…

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Brownie Cookies

I love cookies and brownies, two of my all-time favorite desserts. Combine them in ONE recipe and you’ve got the BEST dessert ever. These Brownie Cookies are phenomenal. The recipe is from 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer, one of my new favorite cook…

I love cookies and brownies, two of my all-time favorite desserts. Combine them in ONE recipe and you’ve got the BEST dessert ever. These Brownie Cookies are phenomenal. The recipe is from 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer, one of my new favorite cookbooks. It is ALL about cookies, so of course I am a huge…

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The New Old Fashioned Cocktail

Who wants a drink? It’s been a long week. Let’s relax with an Old Fashioned, one of the oldest cocktails around. The Old Fashioned is for whiskey…

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old fashioned cocktail with maple syrup

Who wants a drink? It’s been a long week. Let’s relax with an Old Fashioned, one of the oldest cocktails around. The Old Fashioned is for whiskey lovers, certainly, but it also might convince naysayers to become whiskey cocktail drinkers after all.

Like mulled wine, the Old Fashioned is perfect during the holidays, on chilly evenings, and basically any time you find yourself sitting around a fire. It’s a bold, dynamic drink that’s a little citrusy and a little sweet.

I came up with one delicious twist on the classic recipe, which also happens to be a shortcut. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, I bet you can guess what it is.

old fashioned ingredients

That’s right, I used maple syrup instead of simple syrup. Historically, Old Fashioned cocktails are made with a sugar cube or simple syrup. I’m here to tell you that they taste better with maple syrup, which complements bourbon’s caramel notes and stirs in like a dream.

Back when the Old Fashioned gained popularity, maple syrup was not readily accessible. Lucky for us, it is now. I hope you’ll give it a try!

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Classic Mulled Wine

Let’s cozy up with some mulled wine. Turn on some music, build a fire or light some candles, throw some spices and wine in a pot, and…

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classic mulled wine recipe

Let’s cozy up with some mulled wine. Turn on some music, build a fire or light some candles, throw some spices and wine in a pot, and embrace the holiday season. It’s really that simple.

I’ve always associated mulled wine with holiday parties, but a single batch is perfect for two to four people. Mulled wine is unbelievably easy to make, even on a weeknight, and fills your home with holiday fragrance.

mulled wine ingredients

This mulled wine is for wine lovers. I’ve encountered a few mulled wines over the years that tasted like sweet potpourri, but not this recipe. It’s fruity and spiced, but the wine still shines through.

You just might even have all of the ingredients at home! If so, you’re just fifteen minutes away from mulled wine. Let’s make some.

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Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that …

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Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that calls for comfort food more than the fall and winter holiday seasons, and that means that this Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding is a perfect option for dessert during that time of year.

The bread pudding is made with pumpkin puree and a generous amount of pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice, or pumpkin pie spice, is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger that is typically included in pumpkin pies and other pumpkin desserts. You have undoubtedly had it in a pumpkin spice latte, even if you weren’t familiar with the individual spices that went into the mix in the first place! The spices add a delicious warmth to the natural sweetness of pumpkin puree, which is further enhanced in this dessert with brown sugar and vanilla.

Bread puddings are usually soft and custardy, without much texture of their own. In this recipe, I add in a generous amount of toasted pecans. The flavor of the pecans works beautifully with the pumpkin spice elements, as well as adding a nice crunch to each serving of bread pudding. Toasted pecans will give you the best results in this recipe, as they will hold up to the custard without loosing their texture. Feel free to use pecans that are both roasted and salted if you like a little extra salty-sweetness in your desserts (I do!). I like to toss a few extra on top for garnish, to hint at the flavors that are inside the bread pudding.

This recipe makes a generous batch of bread pudding and you might not have a large enough gathering to serve it all at once. Fortunately, bread pudding keeps very well and the leftovers are just as delicious as the freshly baked dessert. If you do have leftovers, store them in the fridge. You can serve them cold or reheat individual portions in the microwave for a few minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding
2 3/4 cups milk (pref. whole)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (1-15 oz can)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
9-10 cups cubed bread (pref. white bread or brioche)
1 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
topping: 2 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice until very smooth.
Place cubed bread in a large bowl, and pour pumpkin mixture over the top. Use a spatula to gently fold the bread cubes until they are well coated. Allow bread mixture to stand for 20 minutes to soak up the custard mixture.
Pour bread custard mixture into prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the bread pudding.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the pudding springs back when lightly pressed and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers should be cooled completely and stored in the refrigerator.

Serves 10-12

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Homemade Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola
During the fall, when I’m using a lot of pumpkin in my baking, I’m always looking for new pumpkin recipes to use up leftover pumpkin that I might have sitting around in my refrigerator. This Pumpkin Granola is definitely worth making even if you don’t have leftover pumpkin that needs to be used …

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Pumpkin Granola
During the fall, when I’m using a lot of pumpkin in my baking, I’m always looking for new pumpkin recipes to use up leftover pumpkin that I might have sitting around in my refrigerator. This Pumpkin Granola is definitely worth making even if you don’t have leftover pumpkin that needs to be used up because it is so tasty, but you have no excuse not to make it if you have a half-used can of pumpkin puree waiting to be stirred into something.

This granola recipe is a bit unusual in that it only contains a very small amount of added fat, just a tablespoon of oil. The rest of the moisture in this recipe comes from the pumpkin puree itself, which binds all the granola components together. You might think that this would result in a soggy granola, but it bakes up to be perfectly crisp in the oven, just as you would want it to! The granola is packed with rolled oats, pumpkin pie spices, sugar and maple syrup. It also has generous quantities of both slivered almonds and toasted pumpkin seeds, which add a great texture to the granola. You can use untoasted nuts in the granola, since they will toast in the oven, however toasted nuts can also be used and they should hold up to the additional baking time without a problem.

I usually use puffed rice cereals in my granolas to lighten them up and give them a bit more crunch, however I opted to use a chocolate cereal in this batch of granola. Specifically, I used Count Chocula cereal, which is a cocoa flavored seasonal cereal that you can find around Halloween. It has a great texture and flavor (though I remove all the little marshmallows that come in it), and the chocolate adds a little complexity to the granola. If you don’t have Count Chocula available, you can use something like chocolate rice krispy cereal or simply use plain puffed rice cereal and you will still get a delicious granola.

This granola has a nice blend of flavors and is perfect for breakfast or a snack anytime during the fall. It keeps very well in an airtight container, so you can also consider packing it up as a homemade gift for pumpkin-loving friends and family members!

Pumpkin Granola
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate puffed rice cereal (such as Count Chocula or Cocoa Krispies)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup real maple syrup (pref. Grade B)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet (or two smaller sheets) with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vegetable oil and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients along with nuts and pumpkin seeds and stir to combine. Spread on prepared baking sheet(s) in an even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn over the granola carefully using a large wide spatula, and bake for additional 10-15 minutes, until crisp and golden. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, the center might not be fully dried if your granola layer is thick, so if necessary remove the edges of the cooked granola to a cooling rack and let the rest cook for another 10 minutes until done.
Cool on pan or on a wire rack.
Break granola up and transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Makes about 6-8 servings.

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Stovetop Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Stovetop Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with brown butter panko Parmesan sage topping is the perfect mac and cheese recipe for fall! It is easy to make and super comforting! Enjoy as a main dish or side dish! Mac and cheese is a favorite meal at our house. Our…

Stovetop Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with brown butter panko Parmesan sage topping is the perfect mac and cheese recipe for fall! It is easy to make and super comforting! Enjoy as a main dish or side dish! Mac and cheese is a favorite meal at our house. Our boys ask for either stovetop mac and…

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Chicken Fajita Soup

Warm up with a bowl of Chicken Fajita Soup loaded with your favorite toppings. All of your favorite fajita flavors are combined in an easy and comforting soup that’s perfect for weeknights or easy entertaining. Some chilly days just demand a bowl…

Warm up with a bowl of Chicken Fajita Soup loaded with your favorite toppings. All of your favorite fajita flavors are combined in an easy and comforting soup that’s perfect for weeknights or easy entertaining. Some chilly days just demand a bowl of soup! Luckily, one of my family’s favorite soup recipes is also one…

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