Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Ten Best Christmas Cookies


I'm having a cookie-baking party on Saturday. We'll be making some of these. Because they're the best.

1. Chocolate Sugar Cookies (that hold their shape). If you, like me, really want to like sugar cookies because they're so pretty and festive and traditional, but you just can't because they always taste like dry sugary lumps of flour coal, this recipe might be for you. Flavorful, beautiful, chocolate. Need I say more. (pictured above)

2. Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies. So so good. If you don't like Marciano cherries, no worries. You can top these with other delights.

3. Molasses Curls. Pretty (this picture is NOT doing them justice), delicious, and not very difficult, these are Christmas in a crisp. Not interested in rolling a cookie and filling it with billows of whipped cream (have you no soul?), you can make their flat sisters, Cinnamon Oat Crispies (which has a simple GF adaptation).

(Molasses Curls)

(Cinnamon Oat Crispies)

4. Chocolate Cookies with Orange Sugar Edges. Sophisticated and amazing. These are one of my all-time favorite cookies.

5. Seven Layer Cookies (Magic Cookie Bars, Dolly Bars). The best. Easy enough for an 8-year-old to make. (Also, why have these not gotten a photo re-do. Seriously. I make them EVERY year. We must eat them too fast.)

6. Molasses Crinkles. My favorite ginger/molasses cookie. And I've made quite a few.

7. Dutch Almond Bars. These remind me of The Netherlands and Christmas all wrapped up in a pretty box together. Also, SO easy. You mix, like, five ingredients with a spoon, pour in a pan, and bake. Done.

8. Katie's Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. These will melt you into a puddle of sweet agreement and holiday love. If you'd like, you can roll the edges in peppermint.

9. Speculaas/Speculoos. A traditional Dutch/German cookie. All the spice cookie goodness with the soft chewiness of an American cookie. Right here.

10. Easy Double Chocolate Cookies. And in case you crack under the cookie pressure. (Don't. It's gonna be alright), just make your favorite Chocolate Chip or Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip recipe and throw in some holiday M & M's.

Well, folks, you can definitely see how my photography skills have evolved over the years...

My daughter might be manning a teen/tween table making the easiest ever cheater gingerbread houses.

Merry Christmas!!!

(My favorite salad recipes coming January...)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ten Best Pies


So, uh, I noticed something as I was picking the "best of" pies on The Tasty Cheapskate. At least 50% of them are chocolate. I don't know what to say, except that we are people of weak moral values. Why don't we eat more fruit pies? What about nut pies? How can you eat this many of the same pie type of pie and feel good about yourself? What is wrong with getting to know pies that are different from you, huh? I'm sorry, friends, I truly am. We should have a delicious strawberry pie, an amazing cooked peach pie. We should have lemon. And berry. And chess. They are delicious and I love those types of pies.

But I will say this. What we do, we do well. Each and every chocolate pie featured here will make you want to lick the plate. Clean.

But since it's almost Thanksgiving, we'll start today with pumpkin.

1. Pumpkin Pie. This is the best one I know. Pumpkin pie is lovely because it's so much easier than most people think. May you never buy overly-bright-orange pumpkin pie from the Wallymart again.


2. Vegan Pumpkin Pie. In the event that you are a vegan, or want to feel good eating pie for breakfast because it's healthy. This is for you, baby. Also, I think the post is kinda funny. I mean, kinda. In a me, kind of way.

3. Chocolate Pie with Latticed Cookie Crust. This is my favorite chocolate pie for Thanksgiving. It's basically like a big cookie with a chocolate filling. Yeeesss, we have pumpkin and chocolate pies for Thanksgiving. I think we've established that we have issues, okay.

4. Chocolate Orange Mascapone Cheesecake Pie. And this is my favorite pie for Christmas. Yeesss, I have enough chocolate pies on my blog to designate them for different holidays. We've established that a problem exists. Would you please stop harping on it? I'm sure I'll get help for it soon.

5. Peanut Butter Pie. Oh look, a non-chocolate pie. That may or may not have a chocolate crust with chocolate garnish. But, come on, we're branching out, right?

6. Classic Apple Pie. Okay, fine, you win. Here is a classic fruit pie for you. Oh so classic. And oh so amazing. Also, completely gorgeous. And if you make it for the holidays, you're kids can go nuts doing cute little seasonally appropriate dough cut outs. Fun for the whole family!

7. Easy chocolate Pie. Hey, look, we're back to chocolate. What d'ya know? This one was my first chocolate pie love. Simple, rich, delicious. And SO EASY. Three ingredient filling! If you're looking to save time and still be amazing for Thanksgiving, pick this one.

8. Raw Peach Pie. This one is seasonally inappropriate. But it's so good, it needed to make the list. Plus, I needed it to diversify. It's like the one ethnic character on that TV show you like.

9. No Cook Chocolate Mousse Pie. Are you in love? This is the pie for lovers. (Or addicts, I suppose.) So, yes, I it's our Valentine's chocolate pie. So rich. Surprisingly easy. Potentially gorgeous.

10. Chocolate Chunk Chocolate Pie. And I saved the best for last. Yes, it does have the word 'chocolate' twice in its title. (You know, it's rude to keep pointing out my weakness publicly like this.) Creamy chocolate-chess-pie filling with chunks of chocolate throughout. I love this pie. The end.

If you happen to eat things BESIDES pie on Thanksgiving, I've got some tips for baking, brining, and other stuff HERE and HERE.

I hope to get to a cranberry post next week, but just in case I don't, check out some of the recipes in THIS POST.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

15 Best Soups


I love soup. I love it so much that if you check the RECIPES section of this blog you'll find many many soups. I tried to choose my favorites, but even then I did a bad job narrowing things down (I chose fifteen and could have kept going, but these really are the BEST). I hope you love some of these in the cold months ahead as much as I do. Note: I wanted to re-do some of the ugly pictures (you can see that my photography has improved over the years even if it's still not perfect), but I simply didn't have time. One day maybe I will, but for now, know that they are delicious and usually gorgeous.

1. Beef Stew. Simply the best. But not the easiest. But the best. Ever.

2. Cheesy Potato Soup. This is my big group cheapskate go-to. It can feed a crowd on a few dollars. And it's amazing.

3. Meatball Soup. Italian lovers, this is going to be your jam. Also, a great crowd pleaser.

4. Moroccan Carrot Soup. The best carrot soup ever. Mmm. I'm seeing this in my near future.

5. Scared Silly White Chili. Perfect for Halloween. Or whenever. It's the best white chili I've had.


6. Broccoli Cheese Soup. The best. We eat this every year for Christmas Eve. Simple, delicious, lovely with sparkling cider.

7. Crock Pot Creamy Chicken and Ranch Chili. We can't do this without at least one crock pot recipe right. This one is delicious.

8. Green gumbo. Super Greens. Here you go. This looks ugly. I've made it often and it always does. But it tastes fantastic and is LOADED with greens you don't usually eat.

9. Spinach Soup. And while we're talking greens.... I make this when I have a bunch of spinach that needs using, or I feel a little draggy and need a green boost. It's easy. It's good for you. It tastes delicious. It really is good, which you might need to take on faith if you think that you and yourn feel a little nervous about something called Spinach Soup. But if you're frightened, try it's more carbalicious sibling, Spinach Potato Soup. You might find it more accessible for your crowd and it's still packed with spinach.

10. Corn and Kale Chowder. Again with the greens. But don't worry, this one has corn and potatoes too, so it's less frightening. And sooo good.

11. Fire Roasted Fish Soup. You don't have to love fish to like this. It's so good. A little heat, a little cool.

12. Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. Tomato soup is my favorite. It just is. This is a tiny bit more grown up than the \Campbell's. And world's tastier. It deserves a more grown up picture, but I haven't had time to get one:(.

13. Summer Stew. This really is best in summer, but I've had it in winter too.

14. Thai Soup. When it gets cold, I always crave tangy, creamy things. This hits that spot.

15. Zuppa Tuscana. Yes, that Zuppa Tuscana. Only better. It just is. So so good.


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