Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats

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One dinner my kids can always agree on not pouting over is Chicken Parmesan.  Who doesn’t love Chicken Parmesan?  Breaded chicken, rich tomato sauce, pasta, and cheese?  It’s a carb lovers dream.  When I saw these little stuffed zucchini boats, though, filled with all of the flavors of our favorite chicken parm but in a slightly-less-calorie-packed frame, I decided to give it a whirl.  After all, this time of year, I’m saving all of my calorie splurges for cookies and party food.  Dinner needs to keep me satisfied, but in the month of many splurges, I really don’t need it to weigh me down.

Everything Spice Coated Cheddar Cheese Ball

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Party season is upon us, and that means that party food is upon us as well.  Is there anything better than a fabulous spread of munchies?  I don’t think so.

 I’ve made this cheese ball for two parties in the past few weeks, and if you’re attending a party that I’m attending in the coming weeks, you’ll likely bump into this cheese ball as well!  It’s that good, and I’m mildly obsessed.  It’s creamy, and spicy, and cheesy, and crunchy, and garlicky, and just so many good things wrapped up in a perfectly spreadable little party package.

The Bake-it-Better Challenge with Miss Jones Baking Co.

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With a steady stream of holiday parties from Thanksgiving all the way to the New Year, I have a lot of opportunities to make delicious desserts that are truly special to share with my family and friends.  But, you know what?  Sometimes, and I know this will come as a shock, I am really busy from Thanksgiving until New Year’s.  Crazy, right? Who knew?  Sometimes, I need a little help in the kitchen.
I just learned about Miss Jones Baking Co. and am so excited about using their products as my baker’s helpers this year! Not only are their baking mixes and frostings completely and utterly drool-worthy—they’re certified organic, non-GMO, plant-based, responsibly sourced, and contain no artificial colors or flavors. They are practically guilt free!
Miss Jones Baking Co. sent me some of their spectacular fudgy brownie mix and Salted Caramel frosting to try out.  (OK…twist my arm…)
In no time flat, I was able to whip up some gooey Turtle Brownies, with the simple addition of some chopped toasted pecans on top.
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The brownies were deliciously rich and fudgy, and the frosting was so light and fluffy you’d swear I’d whipped it up myself in my mixer.
(And nobody needs to know otherwise. Wink wink.)
Between November 11 and December 23, Miss Jones Baking Co. is holding the Bake-it-Better Challenge, which gives you the chance to win a Grand Prize worth over $1,500—including a $1,000 gift card, the full line of Miss Jones products, a KitchenAid Mixer, William-Sonoma Goldtouch Baking Set, Scharffen Berger Chocolates, and much more!
Plus, every entry means $1 donated to the SF-Marin Food Bank [https://www.sfmfoodbank.org/]. At this time of year, I know every little bit helps those in need—so join in the fun and make the holiday season sweeter for everyone!
It’s really easy to participate:
Step 1: Bake something fantastic using a Miss Jones baking mix or frosting. Get creative—ideas like pumpkin cake bars, chocolate and pecan cupcakes, maple and walnut sugar cookies. The Miss Jones website [www.missjones.co] has great inspiration, and using one of their mixes makes it super easy (and yummy, obviously).
Step 2: Take a photo of your beautiful treat and post it to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #betterwithmissjones. If you’re submitting via Instagram, be sure to tag @missjonesco, too! If you’re submitting via Facebook, be sure to post your entry directly onto the official Miss Jones Baking Co. Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/missjonesbakingco/].
That’s it. For each entry containing the hashtag #betterwithmissjones, $1 goes to the SF-Marin Food Bank—and you can enter multiple times!
To learn more about the contest, go to: www.missjones.co/better. 
Let’s all Bake It Better this season!
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Simple Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

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THANKSGIVING IS ON THURSDAY, PEOPLE!!

Anyone else caught off guard with how quickly the holidays popped up this year?  Anyone?  Just me?  I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year, which I love to do, but at three days out, I’m still a little mystified that I’m going to be cooking up a turkey on Thursday.  I wrote out my game plan and grocery list over the weekend, laying out exactly what I need to make, so I guess it’s slowly sinking in, but I really need to get a move-on.

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup: Top Ten Recipes for a Delicious Thanksgiving

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Tis the season to start stuffing ourselves, and our turkeys.  Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year?  I am.  And you know what?  I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  Sure, it’s stressful and there’s a lot going on, but it’s absolutely my favorite meal of the year.  I’ve tried a lot of Thanksgiving recipes in my day, and there are a few favorites I always return to.  The Herb Buttered and Brined Turkey recipe featured in this roundup is always my go-to Thanksgiving turkey, and my husband’s favorite “Thanksgiving in a Dish” dressing will make an appearance again this year as well…because if I didn’t make it, husband would be sad, and nobody wants a pouty husband at the Thanksgiving table.

Ultimate Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

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There’s something innately comforting in a French Dip sandwich for me.  If it’s cold and dreary, this is the sandwich I want.  And as the days are going to start kicking into “cold and dreary” mode pretty darn soon, I’m really happy that I managed to stumble across this recipe!  These Ultimate Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are perfect winter weather food, football party food, comforting “My toes are cold” food.  Or, most importantly, “I need something simple to throw together for dinner” food.

I started by sprinkling a beef chuck roast with salt and pepper and browning it on the stove top.

Monster Cookies

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I’m all for elaborate holiday recipes, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes life gets in the way and you want to have something special for, oh let’s say, Halloween, but you’re short on time and energy.  That’s when adding a simple touch to a familiar favorite can make all the difference.  Fun? Check.  Sanity in place after not having to deal with five dozen meticulously decorated Candy Corn cookies?  Check.

Simple Skillet Lasagna

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I love lasagna, but it’s not something I make often.  It can be time consuming, depending on the recipe, and unless I have a large chunk of time to play around with in the kitchen (which doesn’t happen often), it’s just not on my recipe radar.

This version, however, changed all of that.

This Skillet Lasagna is so good that two days later, I’m still thinking about how good it was.  The more I ate, the more I enjoyed it, and I can safely say that THIS lasagna will be making multiple appearances at our dinner table.  It’s simple, perfect, delicious comfort food, and just the right thing as the air starts to crisp up and the leaves begin to turn.

Old Fashioned Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

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Is anyone else out there having a rough time getting into fall this year?  Fall is my favorite season, and I’m just not feeling it yet.  I’m usually one of those stereotypical Pumpkin Spice loving, boot wearing, sweater snugly people, and I’m just having the toughest time getting in the fall mood.  It could be that it’s still pretty warm and the trees haven’t really started changing yet. I don’t know.  I just know I’m not feeling it, and my not feeling it is annoying me.

*Insert Grumpy Cat picture here.*

Chicken Florentine Bundles

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It isn’t often around here that we have the same thing for dinner two weeks in a row.  But, after I made these awesome little Chicken Florentine Bundles one night, and watched my family devour them in a matter of minutes, I knew I was onto something.  So, on another crazy night the following week, I made them again. And they devoured them again. And nobody complained. Children smiled, angels sang, and all was right with the world.

OK, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but you know what I mean. It’s good stuff all around.