Julie’s Spinach Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette

O.K., I need to come up for air.  If you look over the recipes that I have posted over the last few weeks, you might notice that many of them err on the hearty, rich, or sugary side.  It’s a miracle that my husband and I haven’t gained 20 pounds–thank goodness for all of my friends who have been kind enough to take the cookies,

Holiday Sandwich Cookies: Raspberry Linzer and Rum Raisin

The end of November through the beginning of January is usually referred to as “The Holiday Season”, but it would be just as appropriate to call it “The Cookie Season.”  From cookie swaps to school parties to refreshments for Santa, KitchenAid mixers everywhere are putting in overtime to keep up with the cookie demand.  Grocery stores stock up on the sugar, butter, and holiday sprinkles,

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup (with a grilled cheese sandwich!)

I love soup.  I love to make soup and I love to eat soup.  I love that you can spend less than an hour in the kitchen preparing something that you can make several meals out of.  I love that soup is both healthy (with the exception of a few) and filling at the same time.  I love that soup makes that most out of

Sticky Toffee Cake

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time in London while my parents were living there for 6 months.  Prior to my trip, there were many things that I lwas looking forward to: seeing Buckingham Palace, shopping at Harrod’s,  touring the Tower of London.  Eating English food was not one of these things.  Like may people, I had heard the horrible reports

Mom’s Hot Fudge Sauce

Right now, most of you are probably exhausted from a whirlwind holiday weekend full of relatives, eating, drinking, and shopping, and are ready for a little rest and relaxation.  Is that too much to ask?  I’m afraid so.  Might I remind you that Thanksgiving is just the kick-off of the busy holiday season and that, as my mother reminded me this morning, Christmas is exactly

Peanut Butter and Julie’s Favorite Things

After spending two straight days in my mother’s kitchen slicing, dicing, basting, and baking in preparation for twenty minutes of feasting (but very delicious feasting), you will hopefully understand why I am not motivated to discuss my latest recipe creation for today’s posting.  Yes, sometimes even I need a day out of the kitchen.  Of course, I usually spend that day poring over the latest

Savory “Dipping” Biscuits

I know that time is getting tight and that there are only a few days remaining to get everything together for the big meal.  That being said, what if I told you that in the time that it takes for you to run to the grocery store, fight for the last tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, and get through the checkout (you know that no

Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pine Nuts and Caramelized Shallots

O.K., so I know that this recipe is probably not the one that people are going to be flocking from all corners of the Internet to read.  I considered putting “chocolate” in the title, but that ended up making it entirely too long.  Brussels sprouts are one of those foods, like leeks or eggplant, that many people just assume that they don’t like because of

Spiced Nuts Trio

Warning, the items made from the following recipes are very addictive.  Putting them out for your family to snack on prior to Thanksgiving dinner may result in some appetites being spoiled.  Sometimes, the heavenly aromas that occur while they bake cause the nuts to never even make it out of the kitchen.   I almost didn’t have a photo of the Rosemary Roasted Cashews to share

Gingerbread Waffles and “THE” Bacon

So I think that it is safe to say that over the past two weeks, I have pretty much covered all of the traditional Thanksgiving recipe categories.  All of them, that is, except for the green vegetable.  I’ll have a stellar brussels sprouts dish (no, that is not an oxymoron) for you on Monday.  Let’s face it, nobody wants to read about vegetables over the

Apricot-Glazed Turkey with Caramelized Shallot Gravy

Well, I’m sure that you were wondering when my turkey recipe would make its grand appearance.  You certainly didn’t think that I was going to leave it for Wednesday night, did you?  Of course this means that my husband will be eating turkey for breakfast, lunch, and dinner up until the time that we leave for our Thanksgiving trip, when he will start eating turkey

Potato, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese Gratin

I am not a big mashed potato fan.  I know, it’s un-American.  I just think that there are so many better ways to prepare potatoes and, so often, mashed potatoes end up being bland, too starchy, or lost under that huge pool of butter.  So, I’m sorry to say that I will not be offering up my “Go-To Foolproof Super Amazing Mashed Potato Recipe”.   Instead,

Apple, Turkey Sausage, and Dried Cranberry Stuffing

Stuffing has a very long history, going back as far as the ancient Roman period.  An old Roman cookbook that was discovered contains recipes for stuffed chicken, hare, pig and dormouse.   Most of the recipes consisted of a selection of the following ingredients:  vegetables, herbs, spices, nut, spelt (a grain), liver, brains, and various other organ meats.  Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?  You will be relieved

Decadent Chocolate Cranberry Torte

I always like to serve a chocolate dessert option at Thanksgiving.  True, the traditional flavors usually include pumpkin, apple, or pecan, but let’s be honest:  Is chocolate ever really out of place on any menu??  I actually first made this luscious torte a few years ago, for Christmas Eve dinner, but it would be great for Thanksgiving, or New Year’s for that matter.  The recipe

Cider-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

A yam is always a sweet potato but a sweet potato is not always a yam.  Most people use these two words interchangeably (I know that I do), but for all of you agricultural sticklers out there, I am going to try to do my part to help educate.  When orange flesh sweet potatoes were introduced in the southern United States, producers wanted to distinguish

Creamed Onions au Gratin

The first year that my husband and I celebrated Thanksgiving together, he asked me if we were going to have creamed onions.  I said, “Are we going to have what??”  I had never heard of them (we weren’t big on creamed anything in my house growing up).  I was certain that they must have been the only family to ever put such a dish on

Cranberry-Port Sauce with Dried Figs

I know that many times in life it is tempting to take the easier route.  We are all very busy and sometimes we just don’t have the time  or energy to devote to certain things.  That being said, is the eyesore that is pictured to the right really necessary (double-click on it to enlarge)???   I mean honestly, yes, it’s funny looking and can definitely

Maple Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

  When thinking about which desserts I was going to post prior to Thanksgiving, one option that I considered was to take the less traditional route and make a pumpkin bread pudding, pumpkin mousse, or even pumpkin profiteroles.  But then I realized that having a Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie might be viewed as inexcusable by some of you, and I certainly don’t want to ruffle

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This recipe is one that I always have on hand in my refrigerator.  I used to make a traditional hummus, which is still a favorite, but this recipe is even easier to make, and usually takes me about 5 minutes to whip up.  I am also a big fan of the spice cumin, which is a predominant flavor in this hummus (I usually end up

Wild Rice Stuffing with Dried Cherries, Apricots, and Pecans

This recipe produces a stuffing that is both delicious and beautiful to present to your guests.   Although less traditional than bread-based stuffing, it can be baked inside the bird or on its own in the oven (I personally have never baked any of my stuffings inside the turkey, but I know that this is very much an individual preference, so I’m not even going to