Cheesecake Stuffed Baked Apples

Apparently Minnesota is the land of scandal this holiday season. First there was pointergate. And now? Now we have grapegate.

Cheesecake stuffed baked apples

It all started when the New York Times ran an article on what Thanksgiving dish best “evokes” a given state. They bestowed grape salad upon our unsuspecting state, to which they earned a collective response of “Um….what’s grape salad?” which is passive aggressive code for “WTF NYT?!” Continue reading

Scalloped Potato Stacks

I think I’m my boyfriend’s new favorite person.

Scalloped Potato Stacks

I know that should go without saying. But when you split the chores and he gets the dishes, and I happily dirty every dish we own baking a three layer cake, I sometimes wonder if my cooking habit isn’t slowly driving him crazy.

But then, I made these. Continue reading

Quinoa-stuffed Acorn Squash

It’s unseasonably cold in Minnesota right now. We’re talking snow, and single digit low temps overnight.

Quinoa stuffed Acorn Squash - Thanksgiving side dish?

It’s exactly the sort of weather that makes me want to throw in a Christmas movie, roll up my sleeves, and bake a million cookies.

Except I can’t. I just can’t. I have a very strong belief that we can’t ignore Thanksgiving. Continue reading

Apple Butternut Squash and Sausage Gratin

Gotta love a dish that does double duty. This gratin works well as a side dish (Thanksgiving anyone?) or as a main, paired with some green veggies.

With the abundance of fresh fall produce, and the dark and chilly nights, what’s sounds better than a pan of cheesy, meaty, veggies and fruit? This is comfort food at it’s best. Filling, but not heavy, and loaded with vitamins to beat the winter blues. Continue reading

Classic Cranberry Sauce

I don’t know about you, but I was always a fan of cranberry sauce from a can. Maybe it was the shape. Maybe it was the texture. Maybe it was the fact it was sort of (in my younger brain) like apple sauce, and therefore better than the vegetables, but for whatever reason, I have always loved cranberry sauce.

I was first introduced to fresh cranberry sauce while visiting friends in Oxford. Their mom made an amazing traditional roast, and had fresh cranberry sauce as one of the sides.  Continue reading

Pecan Pie Bars

Martha Stewart, you really worked it. Sometimes I am put off by your recipes, not having white truffle oil, freshly ground nutmeg, or a cornish game hen on hand, but these pecan pie bars are amazing. I’d say hats off to you, but it just snowed here, and I’d really like to keep mine on.

If you’re heading to a Thanksgiving gathering this week and you have no idea what to bring, take these bars. They are wonderfully portable, and taste just like pecan pie! Not only do they taste fantastic, but they’re very easy to make, perfect for when you suddenly realize Thanksgiving is 4 days away and you haven’t done a darn thing to prepare for it yet. (Oops!) Continue reading

Turkey Burgers with Cranberry Sauce and Sweet Potato Fries

I call this my Thanksgiving meal for two! While at my boyfriend’s apartment this weekend, I was feeling particularly festive and decided I wanted to tackle some Thanksgiving recipes. As I sat there pondering what type of stuffing I wanted to make, it dawned on me how many leftovers I always have after Thanksgiving. So how was I going to create a Thanksgiving meal for two? Time to get creative. Continue reading

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods. The tang of the cranberry mixed with the sweetness of stuffing all piled on juicy sliced turkey is what it’s all about. For years I had only ever had cranberry sauce with a can, so imagine how life-chaning it was for me when I had it at a friend’s house made from scratch! I left determined to try it myself, and it was so easy! Ever since then, I have made my cranberry sauce from scratch. Here’s my favorite recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 shallot, finely diced
  • 12 oz. of cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine (I used cabernet)
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1. Dice your shallot and place it in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat. Cook for a minute, then add the cranberries and sugar. You’ll hear some popping and sizzling, but don’t worry, that’s meant to happen! As the berries burst the sugar will dissolve. Keep stirring to make sure nothing gets burned.
2. As the sauce simmers, add the orange juice, wine and zest. Keep stirring occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken. Cook to your desired thickness and then remove from the heat.
3. Serve with your favorite Thanksgiving traditions, or add it to a sandwich, burger, or anywhere else you’d like!

Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potatoes. For me, sweet potatoes are like the candy of vegetables. I get lots of healthy fiber and vitamin A, and I can put cinnamon and maple syrup on it? Yes please!

So really, it’s no surprise that I love sweet potato fries. It’s a natural extension of my adoration for sweet-meets-salty, and I can pretend they’re healthy because they are, after all, a vegetable.

What is surprising is that I have never attempted to make them on my own. The only fries I’ve ever had at home came from a bag, so I was a little intimidated when I decided to take these on. But once those puppies were fresh out of the oven, I just sat there and munched away, straight from the pan! For anyone toying with the idea of making fries at home, go for it! They’re easy, amazingly delicious and much lower in fat since mine are baked and not fried. Even my sweet potato hating boyfriend (How I ask you, HOW do you hate sweet potatoes?) went back for seconds.

Ingredients: Makes about 3 servings depending on how much you love sweet potato

  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley – substitute dried if you don’t have fresh on hand
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes in long sticks, about 1/4 inch thick.
2. Lay the fries in a shallow baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the garlic and parsley over the top. Mix, making sure all the fries are coated and put in the oven.
3. Bake for approximately 17 minutes, then switch the oven to broil and cook a few minutes longer to get a nice crispy outside.
4. Pull out of the oven and serve up with your favorite burger!