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Written by Daniel Puma

Breakfast – the most important meal of the day is also the hardest meal of the day for us all to find the time to eat, much less eat something healthy. Many people value sleep over breakfast, so we tend to leave ourselves just enough time to get ready and out the door for work, sacrificing a healthy, hearty meal to start the day.

A portable breakfast made from real ingredients can go a long way to setting up the day for success. Here are a few recipes designed to get you out of the door with a delicious breakfast, and not ruin your work clothes. Many of these recipes are designed to be made ahead of time and used as a heat-and-go option throughout the week.

 

Mini Quiches

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Skip the crumbly carb-laden crust and opt for this option. The quiche mixture is baked in muffin tins to create a no-mess advantage for eating breakfast on the run. Additionally, these mini quiches are easy to customize with your own favorite flavors and ingredients.

 

Corned Beef Hash Egg Cups

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A personal breakfast favorite, corned beef hash has been a diner and brunch mainstay for years. The classic breakfast gets a makeover in design with this recipe. The hash is pressed into the cups of a muffin tin, creating a vessel to contain the egg. The end result is familiar flavors in a portable package.

 

Avocado Toast w/ Eggs

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A healthy breakfast is the foundation for many productive days. This breakfast has it all; whole grain bread to fill you up, eggs for protein and nutrient-dense avocado. The eggs can be made in advance to make morning assembly a breeze.

 

Breakfast Burritos

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These make-ahead burritos are perfect for freezing and heating whenever needed. The combination of hearty ingredients wrapped up in an easy to eat tortilla makes this burrito recipe is an ideal option for on-the-go eating.

 

Breakfast Empanada

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Many countries have their version of a hand pie. In many Spanish and Latin American countries, the empanada reigns supreme. This pocket pastry can be filled with just about anything you desire, so why not breakfast.

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Written by Daniel Puma

During the holiday season, we see certain foods and drinks that don’t normally show up in restaurants and bars any other time of year. That’s part of what makes these particular foods and drinks associated with the holidays so special. Their exclusivity to the season helps us get excited and geared up to enjoy them each year.

We have picked a handful of iconic holiday beverages for you to recreate. While you may find exquisite renditions of these at a bar or restaurant, why leave the comfort of your home if you can make something just as good, if not more delicious.

 

Eggnog

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The exact origins of eggnog are up for debate, but most tend to agree the beverage is a derivative of a medieval British concoction – posset. Over the centuries, eggnog took shape and became associated with the holidays in 1700s America. The colonies had a plentiful stock of cows and chickens, resulting in an abundance of milk and eggs. The drink was popular enough that George Washington even wrote down his own recipe for eggnog. The origins of the name are still a bit murky, but by the late 1800s, the name eggnog was solidified.

Eggnog is a mixture of eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, alcohol and some freshly grated spices. Countries from many parts of the world have their own versions of eggnog. Most variations center on what alcohol and milk options they use. In the U.S., we tend to see eggnog mixed with either bourbon, rum or brandy.

If alcohol doesn’t strike your fancy, eggnog can also be made without a potent potable. Simply leave it out of any recipe and taste for adjustments such as additional sweetener or vanilla.

 

Wassail

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Wassail, a hot mulled cider, also comes from medieval England. Wassail was traditionally consumed on New Year’s Eve and Twelfth Night. Wassailing is the tradition of going room to room or house to house offering drinks from the wassail bowl along with cheers, toasts and songs.

Wassail bowls became very intricate, some coated in silver and large enough to hold 10 gallons of the warm beverage. The tradition continued to develop as people creating a carol to sing while serving the drink.

Wassail combines apple cider, spices and sometimes alcohol. The mixture is slowly heated, allowing the spices to steep and impart flavor into the rest of the beverage. Recipes vary drastically between households, but these tend to be the base ingredients. Variations see the inclusion of orange juice or cranberry juice.

The alcohol in this recipe can easily be left out and is purely optional for those who wish to imbibe in some wassail with a little more potency.

 

Hot Buttered Rum

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When American colonists began importing molasses, distilleries began popping up in the Northeast. Rum became the go-to alcohol for many colonists and the spirit started showing up in toddies, an English drink made from sugar, water and spices.

The drink became closely associated with the holiday season due to its warming properties on a cold winter’s day. The spices invoke traditional flavors surrounding the holidays while the distilled spirit brings a warm numbing effect. Add in the richness from the butter and the temperature of the drink, and you’ve got yourself a drink that will warm both your body and soul. Hot Buttered Rum is comfort food in a cup.

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Written by Daniel Puma

We’ve taken a good portion of the creativity load off your shoulders and came up with these recipes perfect for utilizing those leftovers. Depending on what you chose to make and serve at Thanksgiving may require a little bit of adaptation to these recipes. That’s ok though! The recipes you see below are meant as guidelines and can be customized to match your leftovers.

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If your family is anything like mine, our eyes tend to be bigger than our stomachs – especially when it comes to Thanksgiving. After waist bands have been stretched and food comas have ceased, the age old question remains; what to do with the leftovers.

As great as the Thanksgiving meal may be, eating it for three days in a row can quickly zap the joy and excitement of holiday meals. The best way to break out of the rut while ensuring nothing goes to waste is implementing some creativity to the post-holiday meal plan and adapting to what’s available.

By using these recipes as a guideline, you will use up all of those Thanksgiving leftovers in no time while never being bored for your next meal.

 

Turkey Pot Pie Cone

Chicken pot pie is one of those dishes that warms the soul on a chilly day. I think many of us could use a soul warming on black Friday. Using the turkey and vegetables from your leftovers, make this unique approach to pot pie by filling it into a delicious homemade cone. It’s a cornucopia of ooey, gooey, tryptophantastic bliss.

 

Christmas on a Bun

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Homemade cranberry sauce is a thing of beauty. It’s hard to even compare the real thing with canned versions. Think of homemade cranberry sauce as a slightly tart jam. The sweet, tartness of cranberry sauce is the perfect ingredient to cut through the fat on a thick juicy burger loaded up with toppings. This is a great base recipe but feel free to customize it with other cheeses and vegetables you may have on hand. If you still have lots of dinner rolls, turn this recipe into sliders instead of getting new buns.

 

Open Face Turkey Melt

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Sandwiches tend to be the easiest option of utilizing Thanksgiving leftovers. There are thousands of combinations out there to make a great sandwich; just don’t fall into the same rut as every year. In this recipe, each ingredient from the creamy melted brie to the aggressive Dijon mustard meld together for a symphony of opposite textures and flavors.

 

White Turkey Chili

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Does anything warm you up faster on a cold day than chili? This white chili utilizes leftover turkey and doesn’t skimp on the flavor with spices straight from the southwest; roasted green chili peppers, cumin and cilantro. For an extra treat, toast up some dressing or stuffing and use as a few crunchy croutons to add some texture.

 

Turkey Club Pizza

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Incorporating a few fresh ingredients with the leftover ones can go a long way to making a dish feel bright and vibrant. Combining leftover turkey and vegetables with fresh tomatoes and avocado make this club pizza a delicious option for those post-holidy meals.

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Written by Daniel Puma

Sweet potatoes have become synonymous with Thanksgiving as a side dish. Unfortunately, most sweet potato recipes would be better suited for the dessert course. I say that knowing full well there are sweet potato desserts – sweet potato pie and it’s delicious. But that’s not what’s I’m talking about. I’m referring specifically to sweet potatoes covered with brown sugar, maple syrup (sugar), marshmallows (sugar), honey (sugar), candied ginger (sugar) and candied nuts (sugar).

While these old-school recipes can be delicious, their abundant sweetness counteracts the health benefits present in sweet potatoes, not to mention they prove to be a difficult pairing for the rest of the Thanksgiving smorgasbord.

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Sweet potatoes are wonderful as a savory dish. Their natural sweetness brings a balance to many dishes and shouldn’t be overloaded with additional sweet items. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for a touch of brown sugar or maple syrup. Sweet ingredients can be an asset to a sweet potato side dish, but a deft hand will go a long way into creating a balanced, flavorful dish.

The best recipes for any dish know how to balance opposite textures and flavors with complementary ones to create complexity. Salty and sweet are opposite, but just mentioning the two flavors in one sentence brings to mind a plethora of delicious salty, sweet combinations – peanut butter and jelly, honey-glazed ham, salted caramel and bacon-wrapped dates. Heck, even chocolate chip cookies contain salt to maintain balance.

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When cooking sweet potatoes, it’s important to be mindful of their culinary make up. Due to the additional sugars, sweet potatoes are prone to scorching and burning if cooked at too high of a heat for too long. Additionally, the reduced starches compared to other potatoes mean sweet potatoes will not crisp in the same way a russet potato would. Additionally, sweet potatoes are more fibrous than their other potato counterparts. These fibrous portions generally lie just underneath the skin and are noticeable once the potato is cooked. The fibrous portions are easy to remove when peeling the potatoes.

Below is a smattering of sweet potato recipes created to elevate the ingredient through a balanced approach. They are delicious and will help maintain a diverse profile of dishes for this Thanksgiving.

 

Maple Grilled Sweet Potatoes

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The maple syrup accents the soupcon of smoke from the grill. The syrup’s sweetness, along with the sweetness of the potato, is counterbalanced by the spice of the chili powder and touch of cayenne pepper.

 

Sweet Potato Latkes w/ Spiced Apple Butter

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These sweet potato latkes are a wonderful play on the traditional latke. The sugars in the sweet potato caramelize while cooking, adding a touch of pleasant roasty, toasty bitterness that balances the spiced apple butter. The cooling pop of some sour cream rounds out the dish with some complexity and brightness to cut through the savory and sweet flavors.

 

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

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These loaded sweet potatoes are great as a side and wonderful as the main meal. Combining sautéed vegetables, fresh herbs and parmesan cheese with the already roasted potato makes for a mean combination of stick-to-your-ribs food without breaking the calorie bank. While this would be a great side dish for Thanksgiving, try substituting some of the ingredients with Thanksgiving leftovers for an interesting and delightful post-holiday meal.

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Written By: Tom Platten


Halloween is just around the corner and that means Halloween parties! Make your party “Spooktacular” with some of these fun Halloween treats.

 

1. Spooky Spider Cookies

These peanut butter cookies are so easy to make. Just add your favorite chocolate sphere and add some arms! Recipe

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2. Banana Ghosts with Chocolate-Sweet Potato Dip

This is one of my favorite dishes on the list. It’s perfect for any halloween party! Recipe

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3. Donut spiders with pretzel legs

I “Donut” usually mess with spiders, but in this case, I think i’ll make an exception! Video

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4. Meatball Mummies

Unravel the tastiness of these mummy meatballs! Recipe

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5. Creepy apple teeth

The kids always get a kick out of this creepy apple treat. All you need are apples, peanut butter and almonds! Video

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6. Halloween Cookies

Baking cookies is a great way to let the kids be creative and to get them involved in the kitchen! Recipe

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7. Witch Hat Cupcakes

Witch hats are a must have when it comes to Halloween treats! Made with buttercream frosting and Oreos, yum! Recipe

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8. Ghost Candy Bark

Oh no, the ghost has melted! This fun treat can be made for Halloween! Video

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9. Pumpkin Oranges

If you’re looking for a healthy option to bring to your party, here it is. These pumpkin oranges are so adorable! Recipe

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10. Frankenstein Marshmallow pops

Bring your Halloween party to life with these Frankenstein marshmallow pops! Recipe

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It is officially October! As these chilly days and nights begin to make their appearance (since September did not get the memo), warm comfort foods make their way back into the kitchen. Now, I don’t know about you, but I happen to love when fall weather rolls around because it (finally) becomes soup season in my house. There is just something magical about a bowl of soup around a bonfire with family and friends, don’t you think? I have taken it upon myself to compile a list of the most popular/delicious/fall-themed soups and stews to get you in the fall spirit! Click the picture of each soup below for the recipe, or visit our Pinterest page for more soup options!

 

1. Chicken & Rice Soup

Curl up in the couch with this modern take on a classic soup. Recipe

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2. Vegetable Soup

This vegetable soup is so good even the biggest carnivore will enjoy it! Recipe

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3. Broccoli Cheddar Soup

There is something about the fall weather that makes this dish so much better! Recipe

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4. French Onion Soup

This soup can be whipped up with even the barest of refrigerators. Recipe

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5. Chicken Noodle Soup

This is our take on a classic recipe. Check it out here!

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6. Chili

Okay, it’s not technically a soup, but it still makes a great meal on a cool fall day! Recipe

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7. Potato Soup

Some may consider soup as an appetizer, but this recipe is a full-on meal! Recipe

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8. Vegetable Beef Soup

Easy and delicious! Add a little beef to your vegetable soup and you have a hearty meal! Recipe

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