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Crave-Worthy Recipes

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Lightly creamy chicken and rice soup

I like to keep a pot of homemade soup on hand at all times. It kills the question “what’s for lunch?” almost immediately. Plus, it never hurts to have something delicious on hand to help you avoid the drive-thru line during the busy holiday season. Feel free to adjust the amount of broth. I like a lot, but you might like less. It’s definitely a personal choice with soup, so see what works for you! Here is a quick and easy chicken and rice soup. It’s not too creamy, yet it has just enough to add some flavor. lightly Creamy chicken and rice soup Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 1 large carrot, chopped 1 large celery rib, chopped 1 small onion, chopped 1 tsp minced garlic 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, rinsed 2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice 1 tsp dried basil 1/2 tsp pepper 32-36 ounces chicken broth (or…

Apricot Pinwheel Cookies

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without these dainty, bright orange apricot-filled cookies brightening up the table. The melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese pastry dough and light fresh, apricot filling are too good not to share this holiday season. I remember my grandmother saying these cookies were an Italian tradition, yet, much like the handful of Italian slang words she spoke, I’m not sure how much validity there is to that claim. I’ve found links to similar Hungarian and Polish recipes, and even a few from Finland. Regardless of their origins, this cookie has become a Christmas classic. You’ll often see similar cookies on mixed catered cookie trays in a basic roll shape —but those cookies don’t even compare to the perfection of these little wonders. Plus, the pinwheel shape adds some extra fun for the season. My aunt (who has literally made our family thousands of these little time consuming cookies in her…

Crispy Cheese Tortellini Appetizer with a kick

If I had to think of the one* recipe that I’ve been making my entire life, it would probably be these parmesan crusted tortellini bites. I’ve been making these since before I knew anything about food, and definitely before I cared even the slightest bit about cooking. So let me share this most delicious of all appetizers. These cheese tortellini are breaded and fried to crispy, golden perfection. Sprinkle them with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and dip them in warm marinara sauce. I call it an appetizer, but really, I never want to eat anything else when these are around. You can use a deep fryer, but I just stick with a deep pot. It can be a little tedious moving the little tortellini through all of the steps of breading and frying, but it’s worth it. I typically just settle in for the long haul, pop on some…

Holiday Ornament Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats might already be your go-to when you need a quick treat for a kid’s birthday party or snack for the class, but this holiday season, dress them up a bit for a brand new take on the old classic. They’ll look just as good in your kid’s lunchbox as they will on the buffet table at your holiday party. I made red and green Rice Krispie ornaments, but you could easily adapt to make them match the color scheme of your holiday decor — blues or purples. Leave some without food coloring for an all natural golden ornament look. I sprinkled in some golden sugar sprinkle for extra shine, but the photo doesn’t pick up on it well. Add sprinkles in the colors of your choice for extra customization.  I could even see them decorated with piped white chocolate for more fun and flavor. The Rolos were…

Roasted butternut squash with cranberries, goat cheese and walnuts

Cranberries can turn just about anything into a festive side dish. I’m definitely guilty of overusing the little red seasonal berries, but I can’t get enough of their sweet, tart taste this time of year. Roasted butternut squash is good on its own, but trust me, it’s made better by a little juicy pop. I learned a saying years ago — “If it grows together, it goes together.” (It’s actually pretty common in the gardening and food world nowadays.) I think about it often when I pair foods. And it’s so true. Strawberries and rhubarb; tomatoes and basil; squash and cranberries. They both peak this time of year and are a perfect pair. I purchased some pre sliced squash at the grocery store the other day. I couldn’t resist. It was on super sale since it was about to go bad. That meant I needed to use it up right…

Baked brie with cranberry jalapeño jam

I am, without a doubt, an appetizer person. It’s where all the best foods are found! They’re always so cheesy, gooey, warm, and dunkable — This spicy baked brie with cranberry jalapeño jam appetizer is no exception. This recipe is great around the holidays because you might already have fresh cranberries are your house. You can substitute a cup of homemade cranberry sauce for the fresh cranberries if you have leftovers. Plus, just look at those colors! They’re a perfect pop to any holiday table. This delicious sweet and spicy brie recipe comes together without a whole lot of work involved. Just warm the brie and top with a simple 10 minute cranberry jalapeño sauce. It’s so creamy and such an unusual combination, it will be gone in no time! Serve it with crackers, apple slices, and/or sliced baguettes. Baked brie with cranberry jalapeño jam Serves 8 as an appetizer…

Overnight apple cinnamon raisin french toast casserole

Dishes like this overnight apple cinnamon raisin french toast casserole are particularly great around the holidays when you have guests, but you also want to sleep in. You want it all! And I agree. On top of being easy to make, breakfast casseroles are a great choice because you can prep them ahead of time, and feed an army in to time. Try making customs omelets or stacks and stacks of pancakes when you’ve been entertaining the entire day and night before — yawn! This casserole says “I care” yet, “I also care about my sanity.” Just tear or chop up some bread and apples. Add some raisin and let soak overnight in the creamy french toast egg mixture. The bread will sop up all that delicious flavor and give you super moist french toast, loaded cinnamon flavor. And all the fruit in this dish means that you don’t have…

Sweet and spicy glazed bourbon carrots

These carrots are simple to make but pack tons of flavor. All you need is a stove top and five easy ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and you have yourself a delicious side dish for any holiday meal. I like to use baby carrots because they save time and always look pretty, but feel free to clean and chop whatever else you have in the fridge. The whole dish can be ready in under 30 minutes. You’ll love this glaze so much, you’ll start imagining what else you can smother in it — salmon? Chicken? Swedish meatballs? Ice cream? But you’ll have to make more, but there is no way you won’t want to lick the bowl clean. Make sure you choose a liquor you like, because the flavor combo comes across pretty strong — in a good way. The sweetness from the sugar and the heat from the cayenne…

Thanksgiving Day broccoli cheese casserole

I know people love their healthy, steamed broccoli, but holiday meals are no time to hold back. Broccoli smothered in cheese is really the most delicious way to eat the cruciferous vegetable. Even kids who usually run and hide from the dreaded broccoli side dish will be asking for seconds. Dare I say, this broccoli cheese casserole might even replace the beloved green bean casserole at your Thanksgiving table? This casserole is extremely easy to make, and it freezes well too — incredibly important if you’re trying to prepare all of the delicious Thanksgiving sides and need to get a few ready and out of the way. The broccoli is pre-blanched in boiling water, just to shorten the cooking time and keep the cheese gooey. The sauce is a simple roux of flour, butter, milk, and cheese. The crunchy topping is just crackers with butter and shredded cheddar. broccoli cheese…

Crock pot stuffing saves time on Thanksgiving Day

Between the sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and about a dozen other side dishes, something has to give. After all, you only have one set of hands and one oven. If you’re looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more manageable this year, look no further. Crock pot stuffing is a set-it-and-forget-it recipe that is easy, delicious and decadent. I know some people like to cook stuffing in the bird, but in our family, that just wouldn’t be enough. We LOVE stuffing, and need lots for leftovers, so we always prepare an extra baked dish of them. The stuffing that cooks inside of the bird is good, but I’ve always loved baked or crock pot kind because it has more texture and some crunch you just cant get cooking inside the bird. This recipe is so easy to make, but the best part is that it won’t take up precious time in…