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Gift Ideas for Home Cooks

This time of year I'm always struggling with gift ideas for the foodie adults on my gift list.  I thought you might be, too.   I've pulled together a list of the best kitchen essential gift ideas for home cooks. These ideas are based on my own experience.  They represent the kitchen essentials I reach for day after day and have gifted to family and friends. They will be appreciated by any home cook on your gift list. Perfect for Gift Giving Kitchen Essentials This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  I receive compensation that supports publishing this blog when you shop using these links. Potholders may seem mundane and boring, but there is nothing more important in the kitchen than potholders you will use.  I especially love thick, colorful, terry potholders because they are so flexible and easy to use.  I've had a variety of potholders over the years but my favorites are these terry potholders.
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Kitchen Essentials for Holiday Baking

It’s time to get busy baking memorable holiday treats.  Holiday baking often requires baking tools you don't use frequently throughout the year and some of your tools may need a refresh. This is the time of year to take inventory of your kitchen tools as you prepare for your holiday baking.  Having the right tools on hand makes baking easier and less frustrating when you have a lot to do.  Some of these would make nice gifts or stocking stuffers for the bakers on your list, too. Prepare for Holiday Baking with the Right Tools  I’ve made it easier for you to think through what you might need by assembling a list of highly-rated kitchen tools essential for your holiday baking. Use these affiliate links and you’ll be baking holiday treats in a few short days.

My Favorite Clam Dip

Hubby and I have a favorite restaurant that serves a to-die-for clam dip with freshly made potato chips.  Every once in a while we find ourselves craving that clam dip. It is easy to make the dip at home with a few ingredients, you may even have on hand now.  That makes this dip easy to whip together for a party or holiday gathering as well as watching the big game this weekend. A Clam Dip Perfect for Any Time of Year Yummy Clam Dip Make the clam dip a day or two ahead of serving for optimal flavor, but if you are like me you'll make it and eat it the same day. It's that good. While we love freshly made potato chips, we don't usually make our own.  A favorite brand of kettle chips is perfect for us. The recipe is perfect as is when served with crackers, vegetables, or thick-cut potato chips. You might want to thin the dip a bit with the reserved clam juice if you are serving it with thinner store-bought potato chips. The dip will thicken when refrig

Cran-Apple Muffins for Thanksgiving Breakfast

About this time of year, I start to give up my obsession with all things pumpkin in favor of the tart flavor of cranberries.  Are you with me on this? These Cran-Apple Muffins scream out with fall flavor and that makes them perfect to bake now and add to your Thanksgiving breakfast menu this year. A Taste of Fall with Cranberry-Apple Muffins This delicious cranberry-apple muffin will be perfect for your breakfast table. The combination of sweet and tart is a perfect way to wake up your senses in the morning.   A basket of these freshly-baked muffins on your Thanksgiving breakfast table will be perfect with steaming hot coffee, a cup of tea, or warm apple cider.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

October 26th is National Pumpkin Day. Are you a lover of all things pumpkin?  Well, mark your calendar for October 26th! I love pumpkin, and fall signals it's time to add plenty of pumpkin flavor to my menu.   It’s also October and October also means Halloween.  You should know that Halloween is my least favorite holiday of the year.  When I say the least favorite, I really mean I dislike it.  I don't like the focus on all things macabre.  I don't like scary costumes and masks.  I dislike being subjected to horror movie trailers every time I flip on the television.   Truth be told, I'm not keen on trick-or-treating either.  We do it at my house and I make sure to have full-size candy bars to give out to our neighborhood ghosts and goblins, but I admit I lack enthusiasm for the evening. What I do like about Halloween is the colorful decorations.  That includes decorations on cupcakes and cookies.  That's why I decided to combine my love of pumpkin and decorati

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasting Brussels sprouts in your oven is one sure way to get family members to eat their vegetables. This is my tried and true recipe for oven-roasted Brussels sprouts.    You'll be surprised how fast these Brussels sprouts disappear from the table when you prepare them this way.  I continue to be surprised when family and friends ask me to make them for our gatherings.     Make these for weeknight dinners or special occasion meals.  They are a delicious side dish for any occasion. The Best Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts  The Best Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts One of the keys to super flavorful roasted Brussels Sprouts is preparing them in advance.  This will allow time for the flavor of the onions, garlic, and bacon to blend throughout.   Mix all the ingredients together at least an hour in advance but even the day before will work.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

As the days shorten and the leaves turn do you find yourself wanting to spend more time in your kitchen? Try baking a batch of these chewy oatmeal cookies with a fall twist. These Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies add a taste of fall by switching out raisins for cranberries.   Adding chocolate chips makes a cookie that mixes sweet and tart flavors together that work with the chewy goodness of an oatmeal cookie. Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies Don't you love the texture of a soft and chewy oatmeal cookie?  I'm not a fan of raisins so I prefer substituting dried cranberries for the raisins you might find in a traditional oatmeal cookie.  Adding semi-sweet chocolate chips pairs well with the tartness of the dried cranberries in these cookies.  Feel free to use milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips, if you prefer.