Grinders in the Slow Cooker

How’s your pandemic cooking fatigue? Yes, it’s a real thing. Chances are even if you dove into cooking projects with gusto back in March, it’s not bringing the same joy.

You know what? It’s okay. It’s okay to dial back. It’s okay to ask to share the load. It’s okay to take the easiest option.

I found myself burning out hard a little more than a month ago, so I made a conscious effort to switch up my meal planning. After I pick our meals for the week, I sit with the list and go though asking – what can I do to make this easier? In many cases, that means putting off new blog experiments for things I know will work.

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Kids in the Kitchen: Chocolate Pumpkin Blender Muffins

The kids have been loving being independent in the kitchen lately – they want to do as much as possible without my help. Blender muffins have been one of my favorite projects to give them because they’re pretty much fool proof.

The measurements are forgiving if you go over or under, and thanks to the blender they always mix up perfectly. Whether you’re letting the kiddos fly solo or looking for an easy project for the them to help with, this is a great recipe to tackle!

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Cranberry Pecan Pinwheels

These two-bite treats are so versatile for the holidays and so easy to make! The pinwheels start with refrigerated pie dough and add a filling that’s ready in just a few pulses. The result is a flaky crust with a nutty, tangy filling – all topped off with a perfect, sweet icing that hardens nicely for easy storing.

Whether you’re serving these as part of a holiday breakfast or adding them to your cookie tray, they’ll be well received!

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Baked Cranberry & White Cheddar Dip

Looking for small batch recipes this holiday? Or ways to use up leftovers? This appetizer nails both because not only is it perfectly sized for a single family, it also use up the one thing I always seem to have left over – cranberry sauce.

This dip is only 4 ingredients and is super easy to put together. It’s also a beautiful balance of creamy, sweet, and tangy and the beautiful color from the cranberries makes it look at home on any holiday table.

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Cranberry Scones

Quarantine has brought a lot of new routines for us. Afternoon tea is now a regular thing for me and the kids – and my baking is often scaled-down.

Scones have become one of my favorite thing to bake during quarantine because they yield a relatively small batch and making them seasonal is such a fun challenge.

Our scones-of-the-week are these cranberry ones. They’re perfectly flaky, but not at all dry thanks to the buttermilk in them – and they’re a breeze to throw together thanks to the food processor!

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Winter Pecan Horns

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

When you hear “Christmas cookies”, do you think of a certain type of cookie? For me, it’s three – the three that my Opa made us in huge batches every year.

We’d always look forward to the package he’d send in December with oranges picked from his backyard trees and an enormous amount of gingerbread, butter cookies, and these pecan horns.

I love his recipes so much – but hardly anyone needs to be cranking out 15 dozen cookies, especially this year! I’ve spent time adapting his bakery-scale recipes measured by weight into something more manageable to the family tradition would live on.

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New York-Style Black & White Cookies

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

If you’ve never had a black and white cookie, put it on your list for the next time you visit NYC. These oversized, cake-like cookies that are frosted half with vanilla and half with chocolate are some of my favorites – and they’ve been on my baking bucket list forever.

All this extra time home is giving me some time to get around to ideas I’ve had stashed away – and these pillowy cookies just made my heart so, so happy.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Slice-and-Bake Cookies

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Are you prepping for Christmas early this year?

I was chatting about my pull to decorate early this year over on Instagram last week even though I’m usually a wait-until-Thanksgiving person – and just about everyone agreed with me. It seems like we all need a little extra holiday cheer this year!

If you are prepping ahead, add these cookies to your list! This slice-and-bake dough is freezer friendly so you can mix it up now, before all the holiday craziness, and then pull it out to bake late.

Fresh baked cookies on Christmas Eve with minimal effort? That’s definitely something 2020 needs!

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Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

This big, beautiful salad is the perfect for autumn – the colors remind me of the trees right now and the warm beets are perfect for a chilly day!

A nice salad is always my favorite addition to a holiday table. It’s an awesome way to showcase seasonal flavors and often elements can be made ahead, making it one of the easiest dishes to get on the table at meal time!

For this salad, the beets can be roasted and chopped ahead of time, making the prep at meal time minimal!

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Roasted Carrots with Honey and Thyme

We attempted to grow our own carrots this year to mixed results – the tops made an incredible pesto but we only harvested enough carrots for one meal!

I decided to cook them up with some thyme from the garden and local honey and the result was incredible! The mix of savory and sweet was just perfect.

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