Bourbon Caramel Peanut Butter Cups

Bourbon Caramel Peanut Butter Cups

Too often I find myself in this situation: I just finished a swanky meal (most recently at Wayfare Tavern) and the waiter asks if I want to see the dessert menu.

Um, NO. Then I’ll want every single thing on it, and there is absolutely no room left in my stomach after the appetizer, entree and two cocktails. It just isn’t going to happen. That always makes me sad.

Bourbon Caramel Peanut Butter Cups

This is why it’s nice to have something like these Bourbon Caramel Peanut Butter Cups on hand. Post-Valentine’s Day dinner, you don’t want to have to be rolled away from the dinner table.

A little treat like this will be rich and satisfying, but won’t leave you feeling like a glutton.

Although I guess that depends on how many you eat…

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Roasted Pepper Turkey Burger

Roasted Pepper Turkey Burger

Ah, the humble burger.

Sometimes I get so caught up in kitchen experiments that I forget to just cook a damn burger once in a while.

We have a red-meat-intolerant hubby in the house though, so burgers here are generally made from alternative meat sources.

And since a plain chicken, pork or turkey patty can’t even pretend to compare to beef, I dress them up a little.

roasted peppers

Sometimes a lot.

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Indian Spiced Chicken Wings

Indian Spiced Chicken Wings

When it comes to food and holidays, are you a traditionalist or do you thrive on serving the unexpected?

(Have I been watching too many Sex & the City marathons? I feel that question was worded in the style of Carrie Bradshaw…)

Personally, I like to walk the line between the two worlds. Take Thanksgiving – of course I’ll serve turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and something green, but they won’t necessarily be prepared in “traditional” ways. Then maybe I’ll throw in a curveball of an appetizer.

Indian Spiced Chicken Wings

You have to keep them on their toes, but you can’t leave out the classics.

That’s where spices come in.

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Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad

Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad

I guess I can see why some people aren’t down with beets.

They’re a bit funky looking, and most people seem to have some unpleasant childhood beet memories. Just like peas, lima beans and brussels sprouts before them, beets get tossed in the mental “icky healthy food” bin without a fair fight!

You can’t just slop some plain boiled peas or a pile of raw shredded beets on a plate and expect your kid (or anyone, for that matter) to rejoice.

beets ready to roast

Beets deserve a bit more attention.

A little time and love, that’s all they’re asking for.

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Spiced Mixed Nuts

Spiced Mixed Nuts

Over the past several years, I’ve made an effort to cook from scratch as much as possible. This has lead to a growing number of pre-made, shortcut-type-shenanigans that I just don’t buy any more.

Jarred pasta sauce comes to mind. In a pinch, sure I’ll grab some. But why spend $6 or $7 for what’s basically a glorified can of tomatoes when I can very quickly and easily put together my own, using all the ingredients I want and none that I don’t?

Spiced Mixed Nuts

Now, I by no means want to make you feel bad if you’re a fan of the food shortcut. We all have to pick our battles.

But let’s pretend that your resolution this year is to save money. Or to eat healthier.

Making things like these Spiced Mixed Nuts from scratch works on both fronts!

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