Friday, November 28, 2014

Sweet Potato Brown Sugar Bars with Brown Butter Marshmallow Topping

It's no news to any of you that have been reading my blog for any amount of time that I love bars.  Bars are one of my all time favorite desserts.  They are quick, easy to throw together and all the goodness of a cookie without all the work. 

Brownies are probably my ultimate favorite. I could eat a pan of brownies by myself... if I didn't practice self control.  There's something about that slightly crispy outer edge and fudgy center that just makes me weak in the knees.

Now we all know that brownies include chocolate, but what about blondes...or brown sugar squares?  Well, brown sugar squares are the same concept of brownies but without the chocolate.  So if you aren't an avid lover of chocolate or just want a chocolate free dessert this go around, then brown sugar squares should go to the top of your list.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey, Cranberry, Avocado Salad

The turkey.  It's the centerpiece on practically ever Thanksgiving table.  Although there are different preparations; roasted, baked, fried, smoked and even the not so classic variations such as the turducken.  One thing stays consistent, everyone looks forward to having a slice or two of that bird on Thanksgiving day

There's so much thought and preparation that goes into the meal.  People plan for months, weeks and days to ensure their family is served an amazing meal.  But, what happens after the turkey is carved, the dressing is eaten and the pies are sliced?  Lots of leftovers.  And a big emphasis on the lots.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweet Potato Waffles

As much as I love mashed potatoes; both regular and sweet, I always make sure to make enough to ensure I have leftovers.  Why?  For one reason.  Potato cakes.  If you're wondering what the heck a potato cake is, let me enlighten you.

It's only the best thing ever.  Not to mention one of the simplest ways to spice up those leftovers.  It's leftover mashed potatoes that are scooped in about 1/4 cup portions and placed in a frying pan.  From there the outsides gets golden brown and crispy and the inside stays the consistency of those beautiful buttery mashed potatoes.

I could make a meal out of these alone.  They are great without adding any extras, but that's not to say you couldn't add awesomeness to the mix.  Say like, bacon, cheese or even some chives.  It'd be just like eating a loaded baked potato.  Yum!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake {Boozy or Non-boozy}

By now I'm pretty sure you've all got your menus planned and preparations are taking place in order to prepared for the big Thanksgiving meal.  So, I'm not going to talk to you about some recipe that you MUST make and place on your Thanksgiving table.  No, that's not what I want to talk about. Instead, I want to talk about the day after Thanksgiving.

No, not black Friday.  Although, technically the day after Thanksgiving is black Friday, that's not where I'm going with this.  I want to talk to you about the day after and all that food you have leftover.  I know, you can eat that Thanksgiving meal once, maybe twice after that actual big meal is actually consumed but after that it's time to get creative.

So, I want to focus on desserts today.  On Friday, you'll be looking at a counter full of half eaten pies, cakes and cookies.  What to do, oh what to do.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie

Do you have those moments when you want to step out and try something new.  Something from a different cuisine, a new recipe, a new ingredient; something you've never had before and possibly aren't very comfortable with?  I have those moments quite often, Spencer would say I push the boundaries from time to time.  But about 95% of the time we're both glad I stepped outside my comfort zone.

This was one of those times I really wanted to take that step.  Why, you ask?  Well, for this month's secret recipe club assignment I was give a blog that will take your taste buds all around the world.  Tara's Multicultural Table definitely lives up to the name, it's packed with amazing recipes from all over and they all sound incredible.  From her beautifully fluffy Brusselse WaflesHortobagy Palacsinta (Hungarian stuffed crepes)caramelle (pasta stuffed with sweet potato) and cioccolata calda (Italian hot chocolate with orange whipped cream)...and that's just a glimpse into what she has to offer.  All of her recipes look so good, so be sure to head over there and check them all out!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Iced Hot Chocolate

If you're like me when you go to the grocery store you meander down the seasonal isle to see all those delicious foods and treats.  I check the isle to see if any of my old favorites are available, all the while checking out all the new goods to see if any are calling my name.

Also, if you're like me, then you take notice of what new and great creation Oreo has piled on those shelves.  Birthday cake, tried it.  Mint Oreos, tried it and my little guy devoured the rest.  Then there's all those I haven't even gotten a chance to try; root beer, berry creme, cookie dough, Reese's, just to name a few.  I mean, Oreo has really expanded their brand.

When the different seasons roll around, it's not just Oreos with those brightly colored cremes that line the shelves, it's also various flavors that join the mix.  So, when fall rolled around and I browsed the cookie isle you can guess what caught my eye.  Pumpkin Spice Oreos.  It didn't take long for those puppies to find a place in my cart.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Salted Caramel Apple Cider

Aside from pumpkin, apples are synonymous with this time of year.  Just think about it, the fair rolls around and there are booths filled with candy and caramel apples.  Trips to the apple orchard are planned and bushel upon bushel of apples are picked and a plethora of baked goods are made.

What is it about the simple apple that makes me weak in the knees?  The perfect apple, how would you describe it?  Mine would be firm, juicy, crispy, sweet and slightly tart.  My favorite apples are the Honeycrisp variety.  Have you tried them?  If not, you must.  And now.

Anyway, I love apples.  Aside from sweet and savory recipes, I love apple flavored beverages. Apple cider to be specific.  Me and apple cider go way back.  I mean, like over 25 years ago.  I remember the first time I tasted it.  I was first drawn in by the intoxicating smell; apples and cinnamon, to this day still one of my favorite smells.  Then I took my first sip and that was it.  I was hooked.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall Spiced Popcorn

Folks, popcorn is no longer just for the movie theaters.  Just as with all other food crazes, over the past few years popcorn has been given a food category all it's own.  Popcorn lover's rejoice!

While I'm a fanatic of freshly popped popcorn that's been tossed in melted butter, there's so many more other ways to serve that fluffy, crispy stuff.  Just think about it, long before the chef's and home cooks started experimenting with different flavor concoctions there were Cracker Jacks, Crunch N Much, Fiddle Faddle and those infamous tins that come out during the holidays.

Put, the popcorn creations aren't limited to large companies or chefs anymore.  Home cooks around the glob are taking those crispy kernels and making some amazing creations.  I have to admit, I'm a little behind on the popcorn bandwagon.  Not that I haven't found, bookmarked, clipped and pinned several recipes with every intention of making them.  The problem is, I'm sometimes over ambitious and have these grand plans, then I get myself overwhelmed and take a brake.  Unfortunately for myself, I did this with the popcorn and never got back around to it.  Until now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Butter Toffee Rice Krispie Treats

This time of year we get wrapped up in so many things; two in particular are elaborate holiday spreads and pumpkin everything.  I know I am guilty of both.  As I've mentioned before, I get wrapped up in the research and planning of what I will make to help contribute to the big meal.  And, I'm just as guilty of falling face first into as many pumpkin recipes I possibly can.

I think it's easy to let ourselves get wrapped up in our own little world of planning and pumpkin ecstasy, all the while forgetting about the simple things in life and the fact that there are some people out there that just don't care that much about pumpkin.  So, I decided it was time to take a step back from my dessert planning and pumpkin coma.

I wanted to make something not only for the non-pumpkin fans, but also for those little's that could care less about some show stopping dessert.  They would rather have a slice of vanilla cake, a scoop of ice cream or even a rice krispie treat instead.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Bake Pumpkin Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Tartlettes

The holidays are here!  Halloween is just a warm-up for the food and indulgences we are about to consume for the next two months.  I love the holidays; the friends, family, and the amazing food.  The food that everyone dreams of for 9 months out of the year.  I would say 10 but everyone is recovering in January from all the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and sweets that they ate over the last two months.

But, now it's November and it's time to bring on the food.  Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and the desserts.  Pies, cakes, and cheesecakes, just to name a few.  I think I look forward to the main course as much as I look forward to all the desserts, both classic and new.  

I love trying new desserts to present at Thanksgiving, and I'm so grateful my family allows me to practice my passion by leaving my options open to make new desserts to grace the Thanksgiving table. This is an honor I don't take lightly.  I spend months reading, researching, pinning and even writing recipes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Crescents with Maple Glaze

I'm a sucker for breakfast pastries.  Anytime I go into a bakery or coffee shop, my first stop is the breakfast pastries.  The first thing that lures me in is the look.  They are like little works of art, lining a shelf for decoration.  Then I start looking at all the fillings and toppings and instantly want one of everything.

But, while I could take one of everything, there is one pastry in particular that I have a weakness for.  The simple, yet amazing cream cheese danish.  I'm not sure what it is about it, but I'm a sucker for fluffy, flaky pastries that are filled with that tangy cream cheese filling.  If I see one of those in the case, it's done.  There's no question what I'm walking out with.

During the fall, it's no news to you, I love pumpkin.  When the weather starts cooling off I start counting down the days until it's actual okay to break out the pumpkin.  Once that time finally rolls around, the pumpkin fest begins.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Apple, Bacon, White Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese

My addiction started long, long ago.  It's comprised of three very simple things; bread, butter, and cheese.  Alone these ingredients are basic, plain ol', kitchen staples, but when combined they amazing and incredibly addicting.

What is it about melty, gooey cheese sandwiched between two buttery, slightly crunchy pieces of toast that is so irresistible?  Besides being irresistible, it's also addicting.  Let's take it one step further and just say it's the epitome of comfort food.

While I love the basic grilled cheese, I can't help but play around with it.  I love playing with different cheeses, cheese combinations, as well as adding different ingredients to kind of change things up from time to time.

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