Wild Rice Soup with Bacon and Butternut Squash

Wild Rice Soup

For the winter months nothing beats a hot bowl of wild rice soup! I tend to avoid creamy soups due to their heaviness but I decided to give it a try. In the past I’ve made it as a broth-based soup instead of cream-based. Even though it doesn’t skimp on the cream and bacon, it wasn’t especially heavy which was surprising. I made this recipe with the leftover bones I froze from the Thanksgiving turkey. The recipe for homemade stock (swap out chicken for turkey) can be found here. The soup is also packed with butternut squash, corn and other veggies.  For the rice, I decided to save the broth and not add it into the soup as it cooked; that way the rice didn’t absorb all the tasty broth. I really liked how this turned out and it was a perfect recipe for the holidays!
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Pumpkin Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust

Pumpkin Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust

I love pumpkin pie and it has been a must for me to make every year for the holidays. Usually I make it with an all butter crust but this year I went with something that adds a bit of texture. The graham cracker allows for a crunchier crust and I would say it compliments the pumpkin pie filling nicely. The filling is deliciously spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and cloves. Make sure to whip up a batch of fresh whipped cream for topping and serve with vanilla ice cream.
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Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

There are so many ways to tinker with the traditional cranberry sauce for the holidays, the options feel practically endless! This time for Thanksgiving I decided to take it up a notch by adding bourbon and vanilla extract to the cranberries. You can’t really go wrong with bourbon, right? Something about the flavor came through the nose more than the taste buds. You could smell the bourbon and vanilla, but you tasted the flavor of the cranberries. Similar to wine, you could say that these cranberries had a “nose.” I loved the way these cranberries came out and they will definitely become a holiday staple!

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Classic Cornbread Muffins

Classic Cornbread Muffins 2

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and there are so many different side dishes that accompany the big meal! Many tables feature rolls as a side dish but I thought it would be nice to try a slightly more rustic cornbread recipe. The muffins are surprisingly not too crumbly and retained a good amount of moisture on the inside. The outside was golden and just slightly crusty on top. Slightly sweet, not too crumbly and a pretty yellow color makes for a nice display on any Thanksgiving table! Slice open a warm muffin and pair with butter or a healthy dollop of cranberry sauce–or if you’re gunning for a food coma make it both!
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Classic Beef Tacos with Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Classic Beef Tacos with Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Even though it isn’t summer anymore it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good taco! If you’re craving food truck style tacos this is the recipe you need to make it at home. Seasoned ground beef comes together with smoky chipotle salsa, sharp cheddar and slices of avocado. The beef is seasoned in a simple combination of garlic, jalapenos, paprika and cumin. Finish it off with fresh lime juice and cilantro and you have one flavorful taco (or 10)!
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Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Chipotle Tomato Salsa

This salsa is a great last minute recipe and can be a go-to for anything tex-mex. One week day I didn’t have much in the pantry and this salsa was born. If you have diced tomatoes and a can of Chipotle peppers in adobo you are already on your way! Add spices and chopped cilantro and you have a fresh salsa without a lot of chopping and prep work. The spicy and smoky flavor goes great with beef tacos, quesadillas and eggs.
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Roasted Winter Vegetables with Butternut Squash

Roasted Root Vegetable and Butternut Squash

Well it’s November and officially a few weeks away from Thanksgiving! This recipe is a great side dish for the holidays even though it’s difficult to think they are right around the corner. I even saw some Christmas commercials come on the other day which was pretty hard to believe. This recipe combines potatoes, beets and butternut squash tossed in olive oil and roasted with garlic and fresh herbs. It doesn’t get much easier than that! The flavors from each vegetable came together perfectly. Works well as a holiday side dish but is great for any time of the week during the winter.
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Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of soup on chillier evenings? Since it’s starting to get darker and the winter months are on their way I thought chicken and dumpling soup would be an appropriate post for the season. The dumplings are so easy to make since the shape of the dough balls don’t matter at all. You simply drop spoonfuls of dough into the hot broth and it does all the work for you. The more lumpy and asymmetrical the better! The dumplings are seasoned with fresh herbs and parmesan which really adds to their flavor. I went with homemade chicken stock since it tastes better than store bought and makes the soup more nutrient rich. I chose chicken breasts for the protein but thighs or even a whole roasted chicken would make great substitutes as well. I look forward to the winter months so I can whip up a batch of this again!
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Pumpkin, Banana & Oat Breakfast Muffins

Banana, Oats & Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins 2

I have been really into breakfast muffins lately. They’re not too sweet and more fulling than regular muffins because of the rolled oats. They’re quick to make and easy to grab and go in the mornings. For October, I thought a pumpkin based muffin along with bananas would be a delicious combination. One of the benefits of never going through bananas fast enough is I always have plenty of over-ripe ones to get creative with! These muffins are flavored with seasonal spices to compliment the pumpkin. They also freeze well so keeping them as a back up snack or breakfast in the freezer is a great way to go!
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Homemade Spiced Peanut Butter

Spiced Peanut Butter 2

Homemade peanut butter is a great alternative to buying it from the store. You can’t get much fresher than grinding up your own peanuts! If you have a food processor you already have everything you need to make your own. This recipe takes it up a notch with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It makes for a great seasonal recipe and goes perfectly with sliced apples. I must confess that the numbers given for the salt, honey and spices are approximate. Feel free to use more less as desired. This recipe is excellent with chocolate and any jam you can think of. Or you can drop all pretense and go to town with a tablespoon. I definitely won’t judge you!
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