Thanksgiving Style Meatballs

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the holidays as we enter another cold month, these turkey meatballs with cranberry sauce are perfect for you. They are hearty enough to be satisfying as a winter meal, while also helping to remind you of how excited you are about Thanksgiving 2015. I served these as an appetizer but you could also serve them with a salad for dinner.

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Also, apologies for the less than awesome photos. I made these for our holiday party (when I made around 15 dishes in two days pretty much by myself), so I didn’t have a ton of time to devote to photos! But I promise they’re delicious!

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Mini Pecan Pies

If you’re starting to plan your Thanksgiving menu, be sure to add these to the list. I made them for a friend’s birthday recently, and will be making them again for Thanksgiving because they were so good (and so easy).

As a result of the upcoming finals season, this post will be the last until I come out on the other side (and am then officially half way done with law school). I will be back in mid-December. Happy holidays everyone!

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Patriotic Pinwheel Cookies

I definitely get into the 4th of July spirit. I try to work red, white, and blue into my wardrobe, my apartment, and my food. Normally, I do the classic flag cake (made with strawberries and blueberries), but this year I decided to change it up with these cookies. They involve a few steps (aka you should make them the night before), but they look so cool that they are definitely worth the effort!

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Chocolate Whoopie Pies

So here is the deal. Chocolate cookies are amazing by themselves. And so is cream cheese frosting. So why not put the two together and end with a delicious whoopie pie sandwich? I made these around Thanksgiving time so I did pumpkin cream cheese frosting, but you could substitute that in for a plain cream cheese frosting, or you could also make mint frosting to go with the chocolate.

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Rosemary Butter Cookies

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to post a cookie that would be perfect to make for loved ones and friends. Most of the cookie recipes I post are just oozing with sweetness (if you hadn’t figured it out yet, I love everything sweet). But these are much simpler, with just a hint of sweetness. They are a twist on the traditional shortbread cookies. I decorated them with red sprinkles to help give them a festive feel, but you could also just use clear decorative sugar if you’d like them to be simpler. If you want the more traditional Valentine’s Day cookie, see my post from last year!

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Salted Caramel Bars

For my holiday party last month, in typical Amelia fashion, I made a very ambitious list of things I wanted to bake and cook (I think I made 18 items in the end). And then as I was going crazy trying to get ready by myself since our party was on a Tuesday and everyone else was at work, I decided I’d cut a couple of things I had been planning on baking. But then I just couldn’t do it. I wanted to eat every single thing on my list. This dessert was one of things I was going to cut because nothing I’d bought for it would go bad. But I am so glad I did not because I think these bars might have been the best dessert I made. These are seriously addictive, so if you just want a little snack for yourself, I recommend not making these. If you’re like me, you’ll eat every last one. But if you want to take a delicious dessert for a party, these are the perfect treat!

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Mini Peppermint Brownies

I love brownies. More specifically, I love brownies made from the box. I know. I can’t believe it either. But I’ve tried making brownies from scratch before, and normally I still come crawling back to the boxed ones. I also have a particular soft spot for any place that sells brownies with that horribly fake chocolate frosting on top. There was this cafe in college that sold MASSIVE brownies with the frosting. And I mean really massive, like the size of a plate. I don’t even want to know how many of their brownies I ate.

Anyways, back to the subject at hand – homemade brownies. So normally I don’t make these myself, but because I wanted to make them slightly more festive for our holiday party, I decided to make my own, and I have to say, they were amazing. They turned out just like the mini ones you can buy at the store (Costco, Trader Joe’s, etc) but with peppermint added. And the best part – they are so easy to make! The only complication was trying to track down peppermint extract (it took way too many trips to different grocery stores, but I did eventually get it). If you’re not a peppermint fan, I think these would also be great with some peanut butter mixed in, or perhaps some broken up bits of peanut butter cups. Anyways, here’s how to make mini peppermint brownies…

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Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes

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So I know this post is going up after Christmas, but I am hoping it will still come in handy for those of you who have some leftover eggnog in your fridge and are looking for a way to get rid of it. I made these for our holiday party because eggnog is such a classic holiday treat, but I personally have never been the biggest fan of drinking it. So instead of just serving it in liquid form, I figured I’d put it in a dessert. Plus, these were fun because they are mini and as I’ve mentioned before, small or bite size desserts always seem to do better at parties.

The only slightly complicated part about this recipe is the pan. First of all, you have to buy a special mini cheesecake pan. I found one on Amazon, like this one. Then, getting the cheesecakes in and out of the pan takes a lot of patience. Plus, assuming you only have one pan, you have to do these in batches if you are making more than 12 (I made 36). Despite all of the hurdles involved, these were very popular. You can do the mini cheesecakes with any flavor, not just a holiday appropriate one. So if you’re like me, and you like to bake things like this just for the challenge (and because you know people will like them), go ahead. However, if you’re not a big baker and are easily frustrated, this may not be the best recipe for you.
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Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

When Dave and I first started dating, I would leave a couple of food items in his fridge and freezer so that I could still eat the kinds of food I liked when I was over there (eventually he figured out how to shop at Trader Joe’s so I stopped doing this). But one of the things I loved to leave in his freezer was the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread from Trader Joe’s. The only problem was, Dave realized how awesome this bread was and tended to eat some (or all of it) when I wasn’t around. I did eventually put a stop to that, but then at some point I forgot about this bread and stopped buying it. That is, until I decided to make my own, and I have to say, it was just as good!

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

I wanted to make sure to get this post up before the holidays because this is exactly the kind of thing you want to be eating on Christmas morning, with a hot beverage in your hand, in front of the fire, and possibly while opening some presents. It’s decadent, but still tastes like breakfast and not dessert. It’s also very easy to make and serve if you are having a bunch of people over for the holidays.

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