Holidays

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.

Roasted Poultry Stock 1

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.

Roasted Poultry Stock 2

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:

Roasted Poultry Stock 3

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.

Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake 2

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.

Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake 1

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.

Butternut Squash Casserole 2

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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Spatchcocked Turkey with Champagne-Thyme Gravy & #OXOTurkeyDay Giveaway

The biggest Thanksgiving problem is always how much oven space and time the turkey hogs. Try this sptachcocked turkey that not only takes up less space but is done in 90 minutes!

Friendsgiving 3

Turkey, the Thanksgiving staple. However I actually did try to convince my parents into having smoked ham this year instead but that was meat with instant dismissal. Maybe for Easter. It is true though, all the potatoes, green beans, and stuffing seems better fit for turkey. So a turkey is what I cooked when I hosted Friendsgiving at my friends home, marking only the second time I have ever cooked a Thanksgiving meal and both times in someone else’s kitchen. Thankfully I brought along some trusty OXO tools to make this adventure less stressful than the last time, because cooking in someone else’s kitchen is never as easy as your own.

  • Poultry Lifter – This is one heavy duty tool used to lift your turkey unscathed onto the serving platter.
  • Twine Dispenser – Although I did not need twine for a spatchcocked turkey this is a really handy tool if you do truss your turkey or use twine in other baking/cooking adventures. Pork loin roulade anyone?
  • Angled Baster with Cleaning Brush – Whether you are basting your turkey or sucking up the pan drippings everyone needs a good baster. It even has little feet for resting on the counter.
  • 2 Cup Fat Separator – Easily removes fat from pan drippings, comes with it’s own stopper and strainer, had measurement markings, and is heat-resistant.
  • Stainless Steel Butter Dish – Pass the butter! And don’t worry about butter fingers with this good grips butter dish.

OXO Turkey Day 1
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Pear-Cranberry Sauce

Can-shaped cranberry sauce may be nostalgic, but homemade cranberry sauce is almost as easy as using a can opener and you can add extra flavor by adding different juices and fruits.

Pear-Cranberry Sauce 1

A Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving meal is not complete without certain items, one of which being cranberry sauce. Like most people I grew up with the can-shaped cranberry sauce and although I didn’t enjoy it as a kid I do now have a special place in my heart for that can-shaped gelled delicacy. However, it’s so darn easy to make and of course the best part is adding extra flavors to it. I’ve made regular, pomegranate, and now pear! Originally I had planned on using apple but switched to pear at the last minute because it would soften quicker than apple, and I was already using apple in the stuffing and the dessert so I craved a little diversity. Of course I then found out that one of my friends cannot stand pears, but oddly enough he was obsessed with this cranberry sauce.

And out of no where Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off” popped into my head. “And the haters gonna hate hate hate” make it stop, too catchy! But while I am talking about it my friends and I started making up our own lyrics after hearing it one too many times during Maggie’s birthday weekend and we are convinced that the line about the fakers would be better if it were “and the bakers gonna bake bake bake”. Weird Al parody anyone?

Pear-Cranberry Sauce 2

One year ago: Gluten-Free Chipotle Cornbread Muffins

Two years ago: Streusel-Topped Milky Way Apple Butter Bread
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Holiday Time-Saver: Make Cookies and Cookie Dough Now, Freeze for Later

The holidays are upon us which means it’s time to stock up on butter for cookies! With Thanksgiving around the corning and Christmas and New Years a month later it is definitely cookie season. Save time later and start preparing now by freezing the cookies dough and/or freshly baked cookies. Head on over to Allrecipes.com to read my guest post about how to freeze your cookies and cookie dough for the holidays. Heck I use these tricks year round!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Allrecipes. The opinions and text are all mine.

Apple & Caramelized Onion Pretzel Stuffing

Change up your traditional stuffing/dressing with pretzels! Salty pretzel rolls, sweet apples, caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, and sage.

Apple & Caramelized Onion Pretzel Stuffing 1

With two fantastic giveaways going on right now, I’ve really been enjoying the comments in response to both prompts. The comments in response to my blogiversary have been particularly awesome as I am learning more about all of you, especially those coming out of the woodwork who do not normally post. It’s nice to know you’re out there and are enjoying what I am dishing out to you.

I also want to come over for Thanksgiving dinner after hearing all the recipes you would make with the CW bakeware by CorningWare. In fact may have to track some of you down for those recipes. But first I will hold up my end of the deal and start sharing the recipes I made for Friendsgiving starting with the stuffing.

Apple & Caramelized Onion Pretzel Stuffing 2

This stuffing was inspired by the stuffing I made last year for my Thanksgiving dinner for two menu which was made with a bagel. After thoroughly enjoying the alternative bread choice in that stuffing I wanted to try another with pretzel rolls – one of my favorite alternative bread options. The combinations of salty bread, sweet apples, caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, and the savory elements of sage made for an exceptional stuffing to serve with Thanksgiving turkey. It is baked in a separate dish from the turkey and can either be baked covered to retain it’s softness or uncover it at the end and cook a little longer for a crispy top. Whatever you preference, I’ve got you covered. Or uncovered ;-).
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Friendsgiving & CorningWare Giveaway

Whether your are hosting Thanksgiving with family or Friendsgiving with friends, you’ll love the colorful array of bakeware from CW by CorningWare.

Friendsgiving 1

On Saturday I got together with some friends and hosted a Friendsgiving meal, which is the same as Thanksgiving but celebrated with friends instead of family. Basically it’s an excuse to another gluttonous meal in the month of November. Or maybe a stretching exercise for your stomach, preparing it for Thanksgiving? Either way it involved a lot of delicious food, wine, and a lengthy-gigglefest game of loaded questions (and random outbursts as I cheered on Ohio State against Michigan State – it’s not Thanksgiving without football).
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