Category Archives: thanksgiving

Decadent Chocolate Fudge & Pumpkin layer bars

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With Thanksgiving upon us- I am trying to break outta the mold with my pumpkin dishes.

Is there anything better than ooey gooey thick rich chocolate fudge?

Is there anything better than a velvety creamy pumpkin pie slice?

YES!  The marriage of both of them!

Decadent Chocolate Fudge & Pumpkin Layer Bars

(adapted from How Sweet it is)

9×13 pan

brownie layer

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/4 cups sugar

10 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 F.

In a small bowl, beat eggs and vanilla and set aside.

In a double boiler, add butter, cocoa, sugar and salt. Mix until the mixture becomes a batter –this will take some time….let it do its thing….it will all come together.

Remove the bowl from heat and whisk in the egg mixture (very slowly while whisking, so you don’t have scrambled eggs!) until combined. Stir in flour until batter is smooth, then pour in baking dish.

Remove from oven and let cool completely

pumpkin layer

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 large egg

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup egg nog

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a bowl, whisk together sugars and egg until smooth.

Add in pumpkin and spice, again mixing until combine. Finish by adding in heavy cream & eggnog stirring until everything is mixed, then pour on top of the cooled brownie layer and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 10 minutes  then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake for 18-20 minutes or until pumpkin layer is set. Let cool completely (ideally overnight, HA HA HA good luck with that !) then slice and serve.

Another wonderful way to bring these two guilty pleasures together!

Happy almost Turkey Day!  I have to get back to cooking!

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Friday FoodGawker Favorites

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Happy Friday Everyone!

I can’t believe how fast this week has flown.  It has been a super busy week but deep breath for some FoodGawker favs…..YUM!

Favorite Breakfast/Dessert

Apple pie is definitely the epitome of comfort food but this just takes it to a whole different level!

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Favorite Healthy Veggie

These are from a Delicata Squash- what a pretty name!  Don’t they look like the butter ring cookies you used to get in Sunday school?  So pretty and just another wonderful and healthy way to get your vegetables in;)

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Favorite Cocktail Pop-in-your-mouth-food

With all the holiday cocktail parties coming up- we all need new ideas!  Curry Roasted Chickpeas?!  Move over nuts!

Crispy, Crunchy – once you pop you can’t stop!

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Favorite Dip

My mom has talked about this dip for years!  She had it when she went to a neighborhood Christmas party and has never forgotten it!  This recipe is also figure friendly too SCORE!  Also, if you can get the really good ginger snaps to dip they are fabulous- Nyaker’s Ginger Snaps can be bought at World Market

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Favorite Pumpkin Roll

As you see I am a little obsessed with pumpkin but hey it’s Fall and we only have a few months a year to truly enjoy this heavenly squash!  I made pumpkin bread this week and it was great with just a little butter but add some cream cheese—-DROOL

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Favorite Salad

The simplicity and freshness of this salad have me hooked!  I am not a huge fennel fan because I don’t like the anise (black licorice) flavor BUT with tart green apple, onion, pomegranate & goat cheese- YES PLEASE!

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Favorite Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry + Pomegranate + Orange = never ever buy that jellied cranberry in a can gloop again!

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Favorite Waffles

Pumpkin Waffles……I am taking a break to go make these NOW

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Favorite Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Ooey Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake…….there is no bad time to eat this but I am sure the most pleasure comes when you are in your pj’s in the dark with only the light of the open refrigerator

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Have a fabulous weekend!  So excited to get ready for Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Knock Your Socks Off Fall Harvest Salad

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Happy Tuesday Friends!

I have been busy combing the interwebs for Thanksgiving inspired recipes.  I have been obsessed with butternut squash lately but when I saw the gorgeous brussels sprouts and perfect pomegranate at the store, my focus shifted.  I wanted to create a beautiful salad using these components.  I was not at all prepared for how well it all came together and the barrage of compliments from my family last night at my Mom’s birthday dinner.

The layers of flavor in this one hit wonder will leave you wanting more.  The tender leaves of the brussels sprouts, bright bursts of the pomegranate, smokey peppered bacon bites, and the crunchy glazed walnuts all bathed in the peppery, mustardy vinaigrette dressing….oh my.

Here are the players for the salad base minus the bacon because I came up with that addition while I was making the salad:

Fall Harvest Salad

  • 1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, about 1/2 cup jeweled seeds
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced paper-thin on mandolin
  • small head of green cabbage
  • 3/4-1 cup glazed walnuts
  • 3-4 pieces peppered bacon

Before you dive into making the salad- go ahead and make the super simple dressing so it can come together while you prep the salad

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar (I like my vinaigrettes strong so you can use less if you don’t want a strong vinegar taste)
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (use fresh if you can but I didn’t have any so the plastic lemon will do)
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Penzey’s Country French Vinaigrette base (buy here)

Put all the ingredients into an airtight container and then treat it like the shake weight and get your workout

**TASTE THE DRESSING TO MAKE SURE IT IS SEASONED CORRECTLY BEFORE YOU SET ASIDE**

Let’s get started on the salad

Cut your cabbage in half and thinly slice around the core- 1 used about 3/4 of the cabbage- it was a small head- you want the star of this show to be the brussels sprouts

How cute is this?  A wittle bitty baby cabbage

You need to chop off the ends and remove and course/damaged/dirty leaves

Then place them in a bowl of water to open them up a little and it let me get all the pretty outer leaves off to place in the bowl with the sliced cabbage.  Then slice the brussels sprouts

Then you will thinly slice the apples- my fav blogger Kristen, IowaGirlEats, shows the perfect way to slice apples

Click here to learn how to perfectly slice your apples

You will also now want to slice your onions on your mandolin and if you don’t have a mandolin you can use a vegetable peeler- but please be careful!  The point is you want those onions paperthin….you don’t want them to overtake this salad

I am sorry I don’t have a picture but apparently my ginkgo biloba wasn’t working….maybe I should ask for my money back…hmm

This is point where you need to pour the Mustard Vinaigrette over the apples, onions, brussels & cabbage and let it marinate for at least 3 hours.  This process really helps the flavors come together and the cabbage & brussels soften a bit.

~~2 1/2 hours later~~

Over low heat cook a couple of slices of peppered bacon.  The low heat helps with too things 1) it does not splatter all over your cooktop 2) allows the bacon to caramelize – drool

Here is the best peppered bacon I have ever had –  BACON 

Now is Nueske’s Peppered Bacon a requirement?  No, but I couldn’t very well go on in life harboring that secret…whew, I feel cleansed.

p.s. you will want to make extra as a BLT may be in your future after making said bacon

Look at this beautiful pomegranate

If you have never had a fresh pomegranate- you must run out and buy one NOW!  They are a lot of work to get the beautiful jeweled seeds out and the juice will stain everything…but my friends it is beyond worth it!!

I want to make these into jewelry for me to wear they are so so beautiful

And the burst of sweet flavor- OH MY GOODNESS

To finish assembly of the salad- chop up the bacon and toss it with the salad.  On top sprinkle the glazed walnuts and the pomegranate and it will look freaking AWESOME!

The looks will get you in the door but the flavor will have them asking for more at your next get together!

This is going to be on our table for Thanksgiving~ hope to see it on yours:)

Are you trying out any new dishes for Thanksgiving this year?