Black Bean Soup

Thanksgiving dinner has been eaten, Christmas music is in the CD player, and it’s COLD out!!! It seems like Mother Nature got the memo, and all of a sudden it feels like winter.

Since my mom always hosts Thanksgiving, I’m not stuck trying to get rid of leftovers all week. No turkey sandwiches here! I’m focused on more important things. Like soup. This time of year, there is very little that appeals to me more than a nice, warm bowl of soup. This bean soup is a great way to get back on track after the Thanksgiving weekend – it’s vegetarian (vegan if you skip the sour cream on top), full of wholesome vegetables and fiber, and extremely soul-satisfying. Adding your own toppings also makes the soup fun, and allows you to switch it up a little bit so that the leftovers don’t all taste exactly the same. [....]

Eggplant and Sausage Calzones


Judging from the lack of reactions yesterday, it seems like everyone is tired of Brussels Sprouts? OK, no more of those for a while. Today I’m back with something that has a little more mass appeal – calzones! I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love a calzone. These are jam-packed with eggplant, caramelized onion, red bell pepper, and just a touch of sausage. Served with a side of sauce for dunking, they make a fun and easy dinner that’s bursting with fresh flavor. The neat little package shape also makes them extremely portable, and the leftovers make a great lunch at work the next day.

What I like most about calzones it that you can really stuff them with fillings. With pizza, I usually like to keep toppings relatively simple and limit myself to 2 or 3 things. But with calzones, I feel like i can go all out since it’s really all about the flavor. You can throw in whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand, or plan your fillings out more methodologically like I did here. I really wanted to use caramelized onions, and eggplant sounded like a nice change. I added some red bell pepper for color and a sausage link for zip. Topped it all off with a healthy serving of fresh basil and couldn’t have been happier with the results! [....]

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Ponzu


After a long day raking leaves and a late lunch that left me not really wanting dinner, finding the motivation to get up from my nap on the couch wasn’t really there. Until I remembered my plan to make these Brussels Sprouts in Ponzu or dinner! Then I was off the couch and in the kitchen in about 5 minutes!

At the FoodBuzz Festival, one of the major hits with everyone at dinner was Namu Chef Dennis Lee’s Brussels Sprouts. They were incredible, and no one could stop talking about them. In fact, we all kept talking about them so much that he finally relented and gave out the recipe. Score!! I’m not likely to get tired of Brussels sprouts when there are recipes like this out there. They’re browned in butter, and then simmered in a citrusy ponzu sauce until they’re very tender. Oh… and there’s bacon, too! [....]

Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops


Nothing beats a good pork chop. For a long time, I forgot that they existed. I must have gone years without eating a pork chop! I’m really glad that I rediscovered them though, because they’re a really easy weeknight option. In this preparation, the chops are beautifully browned before being glazed with a luscious balsamic reduction. I’m not normally the kid of girl who will happily gnaw on a bone, but I’ll admit that I picked these up and made sure I nibbled off every delicious morsel that was to be had. [....]

Your chance to win $100!

Hey everyone. No new recipe today, sorry! Things have been a little crazier than expected at work this week and I’ve been too exhausted to cook – let alone write! I have one recipe that I made recently that I’m really excited about posting though, so I’ll try to get that up tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can win $100, right? It’s easy! A few food bloggers are working with Springpad to host “Springsgiving.” We were each asked to submit a Thanksgiving menu There’s a lot of great recipes -and you get to “vote” on your favorites by springing them! Every time you spring a recipe, you’ll be entered to win $100!! (And the blogger with the most springs wins $300!).

What are you waiting for? Get Springing!

Note: In order to spring recipes you will need to create an account. But as I’ve said before its a really cool site and is a great way to keep track of and organize recipes that you find on various blogs. I can’t make any promises as to what they’ll do in the future, but based on past performance I have no hesitations in recommending registering with them. No spam at all!

Maple-Laced Butternut Squash Soup is a great Fall appetizer

Potato and Parsnip Latkes make a great, unexpected Thanksgiving side dish!
If you’re only cooking for a few people, consider an alternate to turkey. May I suggest duck breast?

Low-Fat Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Icing


People often ask me where I get my inspiration in the kitchen. It’s a hard question to answer, because it comes from all sorts of places. Sometimes its a simple as a restaurant menu, a childhood memory, or a random item that catches my eye in the grocery store. Other times it’s a little more random – a color, a texture, a feeling. The inspiration for these pumpkin cinnamon buns came from a question. Someone on twitter asked how they should use up some leftover pumpkin cream cheese icing. My mind immediately went to cinnamon buns. Pumpkin and cinnamon goes so well together, and I thought pumpkin cinnamon buns sounded fabulous. I did some research, attempted a few recipes, and finally came up with a pan of buns that I couldn’t keep my hands off of. [....]