Perfect Roasted Butternut Squash

Want to know something cool about roasted butternut squash? You don’t have to peel it before roasting. That’s right. You do not have to suffer through peeling…

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roasted butternut squash on serving platter

Want to know something cool about roasted butternut squash? You don’t have to peel it before roasting. That’s right. You do not have to suffer through peeling an entire slippery butternut squash if you’re going to roast it. The skin is perfectly safe to eat, and it’s hardly noticeable after a nice roast in a hot oven. You can see proof here and here.

Butternut squash is technically a winter squash, and it is indeed hearty and wonderful on a chilly day. Spring zucchini hasn’t arrived yet, so let’s use up the butternut in the pantry while it’s still good.

how to cut butternut squash

Butternut squash is naturally quite sweet. Roasted butternut squash is my favorite preparation because the edges caramelize against the pan, yielding delicious savory bits that help balance the sweetness.

Roasted butternut makes a great side dish with a few garnishes on top, but it’s more versatile than that. Over the years, I’ve used it in risotto and soup, hearty fall and winter salads, and even tacos. Again, I love to contrast the sweetness with spicy and savory ingredients, and you’ll find a list of suggestions below.

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Easy Honey Butter

Do you have room for some honey butter on your holiday table? Let’s make some! Honey butter is creamy and utterly irresistible. It’s sweet and a little…

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easy honey butter recipe

Do you have room for some honey butter on your holiday table? Let’s make some! Honey butter is creamy and utterly irresistible. It’s sweet and a little bit salty, which always sends me back for more. It looks dazzling on the table, and it makes everyone’s eyes light up.

In fact, honey butter is so easy to make that you can whip it up for a special dinner any time of year. Start with softened butter and it’s ready in five minutes or less.

honey butter ingredients

This recipe tastes extra-special thanks to a little sprinkle of cinnamon. Finish it with a little drizzle of honey and a light sprinkle of salt for bonus points in flavor and visual appeal.

I’m telling you, if you’re looking for a last-minute holiday meal menu item, definitely bring honey butter. It’s not a cop-out contribution; it’s a revelation!

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Fresh Turmeric Tea

Let’s warm up with some fresh turmeric tea, shall we? It’s golden and earthy, spicy and soothing at the same time. Fresh turmeric is too precious to…

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turmeric tea recipe

Let’s warm up with some fresh turmeric tea, shall we? It’s golden and earthy, spicy and soothing at the same time.

Fresh turmeric is too precious to go to waste, so this tea is the perfect way to use up any leftover turmeric you might have on hand.

turmeric tea ingredients

If you’re a fan of fresh ginger tea, I’m confident you’ll enjoy turmeric tea. Turmeric and ginger are close cousins, after all. Like ginger tea, turmeric tea can also help settle an upset stomach.

Try turmeric tea as a mid-day pick-me-up, or wind down with a mug in the evenings. It’s simple to make, and a lovely alternative to caffeinated or alcoholic drinks.

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Easy Blue Cheese Dip

This blue cheese dip just might convert blue cheese skeptics into fans. Yes, it really might. You can trust me on this because I’m a little iffy…

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easy blue cheese dip

This blue cheese dip just might convert blue cheese skeptics into fans. Yes, it really might. You can trust me on this because I’m a little iffy on blue cheese myself. Sometimes I love blue cheese, like in this peach and avocado salad, and sometimes it’s too much.

In this dip, it’s perfect. This blue cheese dip recipe is cold, creamy, and savory with an unmistakeable—but not overpowering—blue cheese funk. It’s easy to stir together and tastes even better after a brief rest.

how to make blue cheese dip

In addition to blue cheese (try a mild one, like gorgonzola), you’ll need just a few basic ingredients to make this dip: sour cream or Greek yogurt, chives or green onion, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Rarely do I suggest Greek yogurt as a worthy alternative to sour cream, but it really works here and yields a lighter dip. For a different flavor profile altogether, try feta cheese instead of blue.

Serve your dip with Buffalo Cauliflower, or simply with raw vegetables like celery, carrot and bell pepper. Please let me know how you like it in the comments!

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Buffalo Cauliflower

This buffalo cauliflower recipe has been a long time coming. I’m glad to get it to you just before the big game! This recipe is a vegetarian…

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buffalo cauliflower recipe

This buffalo cauliflower recipe has been a long time coming. I’m glad to get it to you just before the big game! This recipe is a vegetarian spin on buffalo wings, featuring caramelized roasted cauliflower with an irresistibly spicy coating. It’s the perfect watch party appetizer.

Restaurant-style buffalo cauliflower is typically deep fried (and delicious), but I wanted to make homemade buffalo cauliflower in the oven. I tried it every which way to get here, and many renditions were simply not good. The cauliflower was either soggy, too saucy, too salty, or otherwise not quite right.

I gave up on the idea last year after I landed on buffalo Brussels sprouts instead.

buffalo cauliflower ingredients

Here’s what I ran into along the way. Many homemade buffalo cauliflower recipes feature cauliflower tossed in a flour and water mixture before baking, with the promise that it produces a deep fried effect. It would be cool if that worked, but it doesn’t. Simply roasting the cauliflower on its own doesn’t yield crispy-enough results, and tossing the cauliflower in sauce after baking negates all crispness anyway.

I finally picked up a new tip from a loosely-written Bon Appetit recipe—cornstarch. Cornstarch helps make my baked sweet potato fries extra crispy, and it does the same for this cauliflower, offering a crispy outside to a high-moisture vegetable without frying. That means that this recipe is gluten free as well. Hooray!

It’s way too easy to eat this buffalo cauliflower straight off the sheet pan before it makes it to the serving platter. You have been warned.

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Christmas Enchiladas

These red and green enchiladas are inspired by my trips to Santa Fe, New Mexico! I love visiting Santa Fe for my fill of saucy burritos, enchiladas…

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Enchiladas Christmas recipe

These red and green enchiladas are inspired by my trips to Santa Fe, New Mexico! I love visiting Santa Fe for my fill of saucy burritos, enchiladas and breakfast dishes. Whenever the server asks if I want red sauce, green sauce or both, the answer is always both. They call it Christmas-style or divorciadas (divorced).

Coming to you just in time for Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner, these enchiladas are a festive and delicious main dish. They’re stuffed with vibrant vegetables, spinach, black beans, and enough cheese to qualify as a holiday meal.

Christmas enchiladas ingredients

I’ve been keeping this recipe on reserve for the holidays, and I just now realized that I poured the enchilada sauce in the wrong fashion. In Santa Fe, they split the sauce down the middle of the enchiladas, so each enchilada features both red and green sauce. Although, my way may be a little easier to distribute (and you can always just eat two enchiladas to get one of each)!

Do as you wish—the ingredients and quantities will remain the same. You’ll find side dish suggestions to round out your meal below. Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season!

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Easy Green Enchilada Sauce

Fellow enchilada enthusiasts, I’m so pleased to introduce this green enchilada sauce. This recipe is inspired by the green chili sauces I’ve enjoyed on recent trips to…

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green enchilada sauce recipe

Fellow enchilada enthusiasts, I’m so pleased to introduce this green enchilada sauce. This recipe is inspired by the green chili sauces I’ve enjoyed on recent trips to New Mexico. While the real-deal sauces often feature elusive New Mexican chili peppers, this flavorful sauce is easy to make with basic grocery store ingredients. It’s a pretty ideal alternative.

Try this green enchilada sauce in place of red enchilada sauce the next time you make your favorite enchilada recipe.

green enchilada sauce ingredients

To make this recipe, I experimented with combinations of readily available chili peppers, tomatillos, broth, and flour with disappointing results. Finally, I found a great shortcut that yields the best flavor, thanks to a tip from Rick Bayless. This green enchilada sauce recipe takes advantage of store-bought salsa verde! And yet, the end result tastes much nicer than store-bought enchilada sauce.

This green enchilada sauce requires only three basic ingredients—salsa verde, sour cream and cilantro. I love how simple it is to make, especially since enchiladas are always a project. This recipe is gluten free, too, if that is a consideration for you. Let’s make some.

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18 Festive Holiday Cocktails

Cheers to the holidays! I’ve rounded up my favorite holiday cocktails for you. Whether you’re hosting friends and family or looking for a festive drink to enjoy…

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holiday cocktail recipes

Cheers to the holidays! I’ve rounded up my favorite holiday cocktails for you. Whether you’re hosting friends and family or looking for a festive drink to enjoy by the fire, you’ll find plenty of fun options below. Don’t miss this not-too-sweet holiday punch, or the mulled wine that makes your home smell like Christmas, or the fresh cranberry margaritas.

Looking for non-alcoholic options? Check out my hot chocolate, ginger tea (add a cinnamon stick) and hibiscus mocktail.

Before I go, here are some simple snacks and treats to round out your evening:

naturally sweetened punch recipe

1) Vanilla-Pear Holiday Punch

Reposado tequila or bourbon

“Made it tonight for our Christmas eve family time and a virgin version for my kids. So wonderful! Sent a jar to a neighbor friend and got rave reviews. Will be making this for years to come. I did sub in bourbon because that’s what I had. Such a beautiful drink either way. Thank you!!” – Malia

Learn how to make a New York sour cocktail. I sweeten mine with maple syrup instead of simple syrup, which tastes amazing! They're easy to make, too.

2) Maple New York Sour

Whiskey and red wine

“These cocktails were perfect for game night. The flavors were well balanced and the wine float presentation just adds that extra something. Our friends mistakenly thought we knew something about cocktails! Thanks, Kate!” – Leigh

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Coconut Macaroons

You’re going to love these coconut macaroons. I just know it. These chocolate-dipped macaroons are my favorite holiday cookie, ten years in the running! Coconut macaroons (two…

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best coconut macaroons recipe

You’re going to love these coconut macaroons. I just know it. These chocolate-dipped macaroons are my favorite holiday cookie, ten years in the running!

Coconut macaroons (two o’s) are often confused with macarons (one o), the colorful and delicate layered French cookies. Both call for egg whites, but that’s about where their similarities end.

These macaroons feature rich coconut flavor and texture with subtle hints of honey (or maple syrup) and cinnamon. While you don’t have to dip them in chocolate, I strongly suggest that you do. They are the perfect little treat—satisfying and sweet, but not cloying.

macaroon ingredients

These coconut beauties have a lot going for them in the preparation department. They look impressive with their high-contrast exteriors, but they’re easy to whip together. You can cram them all on one cookie sheet without consequence. Plus, they don’t require any artistic skills to decorate. Just dunk them in chocolate and be done. Can I get an amen?

These flourless cookies are naturally gluten free. They both freeze well and ship well, if you’re interested in mailing some homemade goodies to your loved ones. You’ll find the full recipe, plus step-by-step photos and a video below.

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Perfect Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted acorn squash deserves a place on your table this season. It’s easy to make, warming and hearty, and almost nutty in flavor. Acorn squash is often…

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roasted acorn squash

Roasted acorn squash deserves a place on your table this season. It’s easy to make, warming and hearty, and almost nutty in flavor.

Acorn squash is often overlooked when surrounded by its brighter squash cousins. Unlike butternut squash, it’s satisfyingly but not overtly sweet. Like pumpkin, it plays nicely with autumnal spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

If you’ve already had your fill of the other squash varieties this fall, give acorn squash a try!

how to prepare acorn squash for roasting

Halved and roasted acorn squash makes a beautifully simple side dish. It’s worthy of your Thanksgiving table, but easy enough for a regular weeknight dinner.

Today, I’m showing you how to prepare perfectly roasted acorn squash, with caramelized edges and tender insides. The method is very similar to roasted spaghetti squash. Let’s get to it.

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