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Hummingbird Cake

If you enjoy carrot and banana cake you’ll love hummingbird cake. Banana, pineapple, and pecans make a moist fluffy cake topped with cream cheese frosting and even more pecans.

Hummingbird Cake

Over the weekend a certain family member of mine celebrated a birthday – my dad turned 70 on Sunday! We threw him party filled with all of his golf, softball, pickleball, shenanigan, etc. friends and had all kinds of things to eat such as my dad’s cook-off winning chili, corn spoon bread, sweet and sour meatballs, cocktail weenies, buffalo chicken dip, sausage cheese bread, and spinach dip. Of course no 70th birthday is complete without scads of desserts! We had potica, pineapple angel food cake, three different kinds of brownies (turtle, hot chocolate, peanut butter), and last but not least, hummingbird birthday cake!

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The birthday boy requested this cake and even had a recipe saved for it. If you’ve never had hummingbird cake, it is like a fluffy version of banana bread with not only banana but also crushed pineapple, pecans, and cinnamon. It’s topped by the best kind of frosting on earth, cream cheese frosting, and then garnished with even more pecans. Basically it is a cake stuffed with some of my dad’s favorite things: fruit and nuts. After he quickly blew out the candles in one breath (and I sadly didn’t have my flash on and ended up with a blurry photo – below is staged), I made sure to slice him a piece with the most nuts on top!

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One year ago: Caramel Frosted Pumpkin Mini Cakes

Two years ago: Arugula Pesto Pasta

Four years ago: Caramel Apple Pie
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Gingered Turkey & Rice Soup with Basil

Jazz up your Thanksgiving leftovers with this soup using leftover turkey, homemade stock, fresh ginger, wild rice, and basil. So good you’ll want to set aside turkey to make it.

Gingered Turkey & Rice Soup with Basil 1

You know you are a food blogger when: you are cooking leftover Thanksgiving recipes before Thanksgiving even occurs because you cooked your Thanksgiving turkey 2 weeks ago. Ah yes the constant dilemma of living up to a month ahead of the holidays. I sometimes feel like the retail stores, pushing Christmas before we’ve even started putting together Thanksgiving plans. But when it comes to recipes, what good is the recipe for the turkey made on Thanksgiving Day posted the day after Thanksgiving? Are your really going to remember to dig out that recipe next year? So the recipes for turkey and all the other usual suspects seen on Thanksgiving tables are posted a at least a week in advance providing time for you fine readers to prepare your own Thanksgiving meal, whether you are hosting or just bringing a side dish or dessert.

Gingered Turkey & Rice Soup with Basil 2

Of course one of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers! And my favorite thing to do with leftovers year-round is to repurpose them into an entirely new meal. Last year I threw together a quick single serving turkey noodle soup using leftover veggies, turkey, and even gravy watered down and used as the broth. This year I waved my jazz hands around a bit and made a gingered turkey soup with wild rice, homemade stock, and basil sprinkled on top right before serving (adapted from a recipe I recently saved on Girl Carnivore). The ginger was such a fantastic addition to the flavors of this soup and quickly became my new favorite Thanksgiving leftovers recipe.

How do you like to use your Thanksgiving leftovers?

One year ago: Egg in a Hole Waffles

Three years ago: Apple Cider Pancakes
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Ham Florentine Stuffed French Toast

Set aside your sweet french toast and pile up on the savory for breakfast with this ham florentine stuffed french toast. Like a a grown-up ham and grilled cheese sandwich, but for breakfast!

Ham Florentine Stuffed French Toast 2

Welcome to this month’s installment of The Secret Recipe Club. This time around I was assigned to Ros’s bog The More Than Occasional Baker! I somehow managed not to cook one of Ros’s desserts. I could happily get lost in all of her amazing flavor combinations with things such as Crystallized Ginger and Beer Cake, Marmalade Chocolate Croissant Pudding, and Pear Walnut Cake. Be sure to stop over and check out her blog!

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Sometimes happy coincidences happen when you don’t fully read recipe instructions. Usually unhappy things, but sometimes good. For example, even though I read the title of this recipe on The More Than Occasional Baker and saw the word “baked” I most definitely whipped out the skillet and went to town before I could correct myself. Apparently I was so excited to try a savory stuffed french toast, drizzled in maple syrup, that I didn’t want to wait for it to bake! I am one of those people that loves sopping up the remnant syrup on my breakfast plate not with my pancake, but with my sausage or whatever other breakfast meat I’ve got going on, so the idea of syrup on this savory stuffed french toast pulled me right in and it did not disappoint. I do like the idea of baking it with some extra cheese on top though, cause when is that ever a bad thing?

And yes I drank wine with my french toast. Don’t hate, I developed a weakness for Gewurztraminer. So very unlike me loving a white, but I do enjoy my whites sweet, while my reds are dry.

Ham Florentine Stuffed French Toast 1

One year ago: Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Two years ago: Buckeye Cupcakes

Three years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie

Four years ago: Cranberry Sauce
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Buckeye Brownie Cookies

Turn the popular buckeye candies into a cookie. Brownie-like cookies are baked with peanut butter balls in the center and then drizzled with chocolate.

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It’s no secret that I love peanut butter and chocolate, especially in the form of buckeye candies which is why #PBChocSat is my favorite day of the week! Today those lovely candies are being transformed into cookies. The peanut butter center is made similarly to buckeye candies – consisting of peanut butter and powdered sugar. The peanut butter balls and places right into the center of the brownie cookie dough to bake right in. Kind of like making thumbprint cookies but you add the filling before you bake instead of after.

Buckeye Brownie Cookies 1

When baked, the cookies look just like squashed, puffy buckeye candies. I actually hesitated to put the chocolate on top because it would hide the eye of the buckeye, and they reminded me of the reverse of the Salted Nutella Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies. But I decided that a little extra chocolate would be worth the sacrifice and this way the peanut butter center would be a bit of a surprise to others. Whether people were surprised I could not tell, but they were certainly devoured quickly!

Buckeye Brownie Cookies 2

One year ago: Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce

Two years ago: Individual Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Three years ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup (2011)

Four years ago: Veggie Lasagna
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Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Speculoos Icing & Baker’s Secret Giveaway

These gingerbread cinnamon rolls topped with speculoos icing would be a great for breakfast on a holiday morning.Make it easier on yourself my preparing the night before.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Speculoos Icing 1

Thanksgiving may still be on it’s way but I’m ready to pass over the pumpkin and start on some gingerbread. So I went ahead and made these gingerbread cinnamon rolls. If you have a lot of time in the morning, you could make these rolls all at once. Or you can divide the process by refrigerating the rolls overnight and then in the morning all you have to do is pop them in the oven. Then they get coated with a speculoos icing. Sounds like a great Thanksgiving or Christmas morning breakfast option to me.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Speculoos Icing 2

I was inspired to make these cinnamon rolls when I got my hands on Baker’s Secret new colored metal bakeware, which are pretty enough to serve out of.  Feel free to use them this holiday season for baking and serving without needing to dirty up another dish. To help you out, I have two pieces of Baker’s Secret colored metal bakeware to giveaway. Just use the Rafflecopter widget located at the end of this post.

One year ago: DOVE® Christmas Chocolate Drops

Two years ago: Penne with Trapanese Pesto

Three years ago: Butter Pecan with Brandy Ice Cream
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Roasted Poultry Stock

Save your leftover turkey bones and innards this Thanksgiving and make your own poultry stock to use in your favorite comfort soups and stews during cold month.

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When you think of pets, certain toys are associated with cats and dogs. For cats it’s little balls with bells in them, catnip-stuffed animals, and string or wands with a string and a little object on the end. For dogs it’s balls, ropes, bones, kongs, and stuffed animals. While my cat enjoys his share of stringed and jingly things his favorite toys are a fuzzy kong octopus and a tennis ball. He loves rolling on his side/back while hugging either of those objects with his font paws, kicking at it with his back paws, and biting it (it’s obscenely adorable btw but he moves too fast to get pictures). I’m beginning to wonder if he doesn’t think he is a dog. He did spend the first 2 years of his life living with my roommate at the time’s two toy fox terriers. I used to think that he got along so well with them because he thought they were cats, but maybe he thinks he is a small dog? He is awfully needy and by my side at all times. Who knows, he is cute and he is mine.

Anyway, I rambled on about that much longer than I had intended. Originally I had planned on just saying “Hey guess what? My cat’s favorite toy is a tennis ball.” and leave it at that, but apparently I had much more to say on the subject. Unfortunately Thankfully it has absolutely nothing to do with today’s recipe.

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After you gut your turkey next Thursday, cut out its spine (if spatchcocking), and then cook and devour it leaving the bones behind – don’t throw it out! You have some quality ingredients on your hands. I know all that stuff looks gross but I promise, just throw it all in a pot of water with some roasted vegetables and herbs. Not only will your house continue to smell like thanksgiving dinner, you’ll also be on your way to some easy, homemade poultry stock. Then you can use it to make leftover turkey soup, or any of those other cozy fall/winter soups and stews I know you are planning to make in order to survive the cold weather. (Which by the way, my friends in upstate NY got pounded with some serious snow this week. I kind of miss it… and then I don’t.)

Some of my favorite comfort soups that I will make with the stock:

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One year ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup (2013)

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Marshmallows

Four years ago: Buckeye Candies
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Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Looking for Thanksgiving Menu inspiration? Browse through some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes from over the years, including sides, turkey, and desserts.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Alright folks! Thanksgiving is a week away which means if you haven’t already finalized your meal plan, you better start cracking. For all my procrastinators out there, or those of your looking for that perfect side dish of dessert to complete your menu lineup, here is a list of all my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. I even included links to two full menus and recipes to use up any leftovers.

One year ago: Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies

Two years ago: Sweet Potato Pie Oat Bars

Four years ago: Secret Ingredient Sugar Cookies
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Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake

Caramel cheesecake, speculoos cookie crust, apples, more caramel, pecans, and cinnamon whipped cream. If that’s not the works for an epic caramel cheesecake I don’t know what is.

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Time for the obligatory “I woke up to snow this morning” proclamation. Funny how living in the South for the past 8 years has already altered my Northerner mind set into thinking it is way too early for below freezing temperatures, let alone snow. But it will probably melt by noon so all is well, at least down here. I know some of my friends still living in the North are about to get pounded with snow. Not that they don’t know how to handle it up there but it is a bit early to be getting that much snow. Stay warm, my friends!

You will notice that I did not take the photos of this cheesecake during this snowy event. This is the dessert I made for Friendsgiving, when it was still warm and sunny out (was that really only 1-1/2 weeks ago?). Instead of making pumpkin or apple pie, since I knew we were get our fill in a couple weeks on Thanksgiving, I made a caramel cheesecake with a speculoos cookie crust, topped with apples, more caramel sauce, pecans, and even cinnamon whipped cream. And yes every last bit of it was devoured. One of my friends even took it upon himself to top his slice with all of the excess whipped cream.

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One year ago: Penne with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Goat Cheese

Three years ago: Baked Apple Cider Doughnut Minis

Four years: Asian BBQ Chicken
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Butternut Squash Casserole

Switch out your sweet potato casserole with butternut squash! This butternut squash casserole is sweet and creamy and topped with crispy butternut squash seeds.

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Looks like sweet potato casserole doesn’t it? Well I hate to burst your bubble but it’s butternut squash and it tastes even better! Roasted with nutmeg and chili powder and then blended with honey, cinnamon, and ginger (don’t ask why I roasted with one seasoning and then added more later). Since one friend at Friendsgiving has a nut allergy I quickly substituted the nuts in the topping for butternut seeds. Now that’s how you make the most out of your squash! You could also try swapping sweet potato in your favorite casserole recipe and using butternut squash instead. You won’t be sorry. After being shocked to discover it wasn’t sweet potato, all my friends said they preferred it with butternut squash!

Butternut Squash Casserole 1

One year ago: Single Serving Apple Crumble

Two years ago: Homemade Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa Mix

Three years ago: Pumpkin Kissed Gingerbread Brownies
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Pita Breakfast Pizza for One

Treat yourself with your own personal breakfast pizza. A whole pita topped with pesto, mozzarella, bacon, and a fried egg.

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I love college football, it’s full of so many surprises. Part of the tension and excitement yesterday was due to Ohio State’s battle against Minnesota and while I enjoy a close game it still made me nervous and had several outbursts. But once that win was clinched I sat back to watch the rest of the games unfold and there were definitely plenty to pick from. I can only hope that due to a few choice upsets, Ohio State’s potential to get into the college football playoffs has increased.

But I digress for the sake of those of you who could care less about college football.

Make your own personal breakfast pizza using a pita! I’ve posted a pizza for one recipe complete with a mini from scratch pizza crust in the past, but today I made things simpler by throwing Breakfast-y toppings onto a pita. This would also work on a bagel or English muffin. My favorite part of course was the oozy egg yolk.

Pita Breakfast Pizza for One 1

One year ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Roulade

Two years ago: Tortellini with Guiltless Pumpkin Alfredo

Three years ago: Butternut Squash Lasagna

Four years ago: Broccoli Cheddar Soup
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