November 2013 Roundup

November 2013 Roundup

November 2013 Roundup

It’s the end of November already! Can you believe it? I feel like I was just writing my October roundup, and now here we are. Before you know it, we’ll be in 2014 and struggling once again to remember to write the correct year when we date things (it always takes me until at least April to get that one right).

So, we are headlong into the holiday season. Did you survive Black Friday? I chose to keep my deal-hunting indoors- in fact, we didn’t leave the house ONCE yesterday. However, I did finish pretty much all my Christmas shopping from the comfort of my sweatpants. Honestly, what did anyone do before online shopping?

With that, let’s get on with our November 2013 Roundup!

On the blog this month:

Cannoli Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: These were a birthday gift for my husband (and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t enjoy a few myself)! Filled with homemade cannoli cream and topped with chocolate buttercream, these are a treat sure to please anyone special to you.

Cannoli Cupcakes

Loaded Potato Skins: The ultimate decadent game day treat, these potato skins are loaded with cheese, bacon and guacamole. Also, don’t miss the step-by-step video tutorial for this recipe!

Potato Skins

Nutella Cookies: This is one of my favorite cookie recipes, and what I led off with for #cookieweek a few weeks back!

Nutella Cookies

 Maple Cookies: Also part of #cookieweek, these cookies are perfect for the fall and are spiced with real maple syrup. I made another video tutorial for this recipe, too!

Maple Cookies

Ginger Cookies: I personally feel that I saved the best for last for #cookieweek- I love these ginger cookies so much. Soft as snickerdoodles with just a hint of spice, I think these make for a seriously bomb dessert.

Ginger Cookies

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash: This mash was a part of our Thanksgiving spread this year, and I love the way they totally emulate that potato flavor in a much healthier way! If you’ve never made cauliflower mash before, you’re in for a great surprise!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Kale and Sausage Stuffing Muffins: Another awesome Thanksgiving side, loaded with spicy Andouille sausage, kale, and fresh herbs. Plus another video tutorial to show you how to make them step-by-step!

Kale Sausage Stuffing Muffins

Sweet Potato Latkes: In honor of Thanksgivukkah this past week, I created a recipe for sweet potato latkes paired with traditional cranberry sauce and Greek yogurt for a fun take an a classic.

Sweet Potato Latkes

30+ Things To Make With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers: And finally, yesterday I posted recipes for over THIRTY different things you can do with your Thanksgiving leftovers. Did you try any? 🙂

30+ Thanksgiving Leftovers Ideas

Recipes I’ve Gotta Try:

  • These Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction practically scream holiday time to me. Aren’t they gorgeous??
  • Check out Averie’s round up of things you can do with leftover buttermilk over at Averie Cooks. I for one am always stumped as to why they sell buttermilk in such large cartons when all I ever really need is a cup (at most). This is a great resource to keep handy!
  • I feel like I’ve been overloading on sweets lately, so this Ginger Beef, Mushroom and Kale Stir Fry from Gimme Some Oven looks extra appetizing to me!
  • But really, how can you say no to a Bourbon Pecan Pie Milkshake that uses a whole slice of actual pecan pie? Thanks a lot, Buns in My Oven 🙂 This looks fabulous for a decadent drinkable treat, don’t you think?

Other Things from November:

  • Paul turned 32 this month! And we celebrated our one-month anniversary on the 11th- we’re like an old married couple now… right?
  • As you saw, a bunch of food blogger friends and I participated in a fun virtual event called Cookie Week during the middle of the month- not only were there hundreds of cookie recipes shared during the week, but we had a kickass giveaway to boot! So much fun, and I hope to participate next year!
  • I mentioned during last month’s roundup that I was going to take a food writing class at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) this month. Well, four weeks later, and I just had my last class. You will definitely see more active voice and less use of the word “delicious” around here, though I’m still trying to kick my reliance on the words “amazing” and “awesome”. I learned these words essentially mean nothing in the context of food- it’s like calling something “nice” or “good”. We did a lot of exercises where we worked on describing foods as if we were talking to an alien- which I highly recommend if you’re in need of a mental and vocabulary workout. I loved learning from our instructor, Marge Perry- a fellow food blogger and highly talented writer!

  • Speaking of great language (ha), I started a new series on my YouTube channel called “How the F#!& Do I Make That?”! I’m working on new videos for you all in addition to my normal weekly step-by-step recipe tutorials, so please drop me a line on things you’d like to see me take on and explain from step 1!
  • As I mentioned yesterday, Thanksgiving was just wonderful. I am blessed to now have two wonderful groups of people in my life who I can call “family” now, and spending the day with both my family and my in-laws was very meaningful (as well as bellyful).
  • Now this is just the weirdest thing. Yesterday, I decided to use up my leftover purple sweet potato from the sweet potato latkes I made earlier in this beautiful-looking recipe from Home Cooking Memories (which I also featured in my Thanksgiving leftovers roundup). I didn’t expect them to turn out the warm orange color as seen in Brandie’s photos since I was using a different color potato, but I certainly did not expect this:

Blue Biscuits

Has anyone else seen this happen with purple potatoes, where they turn almost blue-green when baked? This didn’t happen when I made the latkes, so I’m really curious! They still tasted totally fine (delicious, I might say, if I wasn’t saying that anymore). Am I onto something with a natural, no-chemical food dye?? 🙂

What’s coming up in December:

  • Well I’ll start with the obvious… Santa is coming! I know him! We just watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas last night on ABC Family (OK, I watched, PJ was doing some fantasy football maintenance things), and it really got me in the mood. I am such a sap when it comes to the holidays! And not to repeat it, but I FINISHED 75% OF MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING YESTERDAY. OK, I will stop bragging. About how awesome I am at Christmas shopping.
  • (By the by, Macy’s phone customer service is just wonderful. I was having a lot of trouble using their online system yesterday, accessing gift cards, my registry, and a few other things. After dialing their 800 number and expecting to be on hold forever, I was connected within a minute with a gentleman named Ian who helped me right away AND gave me a 15% discount on everything just because AND gave me free premium shipping just because. Tis the season for kindness!)
  • Other than the normal holiday planning, PJ and I are going to see John Mayer at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn this coming month. My husband is a HUGE John Mayer fan, and we’ve both never been to Barclays yet, so I’m really looking forward to that.

And that’s our November 2013 Roundup! Thanks again for sticking around and see you in December with some more great recipes!

Happy Eating 🙂

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