Chestnut soup with Brie and Thyme

What a wonderful soup for the season!

A creamy chestnut soup with brie and thyme that will warm your soul. It’s full of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. It’s gluten free and vegan friendly!

You can find the recipe @Nutrizonia

 Chestnut soup with Brie and Thyme

Coooookies

 

 

 

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I’m with Buddy 🎄🍪 But my cookies were a little more complicated, and well, I baked them. I have a cookie exchange to attend this week!  A cookie exchange, in case you never hear of one is where several people bake batches of cookies for the party. At the party based on how many attend, each person can take x amount of your cookies. And you do the same with theirs. It’s a great way to get a variety of cookies for the holidays! Plus, another reason for a party!! I decided to make three kinds of cookies. Pecan & Chocolate Turtle Cookies, Peppermint Chocolate Drop Cookies, and Decadent Cranberry & White Chocolate Sugar Cookies. Now I’ll warn you. The lighting in our apartment needs serious help I’ve come to discover, for photography. After the new year I’m hoping to fix that because I plan to create and post a lot of recipes this coming year. I still wanted to share the recipes for my cookies with you, so don’t dwell on bad photography. I swear they are delicious!

 

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Pecan & Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup earth balance butter, softened
½ cup coconut sugar
dash of coconut milk if needed
1½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ cups mini chocolate chips
1½ cups caramel bits
Roasted pecan bits or crushed pecans
Instructions

Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Using a standing mixer, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes on med/high. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 2 more minutes or so. If you don’t like the consistency add a bit of coconut milk.
In a bowl add your dry ingredients, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour mixture until it has been fully incorporated. Remove the bowl from the standing mixer and add the chocolate chips, pecan bits & caramel bits. Gently mix by hand. The batter should/will be sticky and thick.
Drop about 2 tablespoons of the cookie dough or use a medium cookie scoop and place the cookie dough ball onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown. Turn off the oven and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes, keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies You can sprinkle with a little sea salt over each, but this is optional.

 

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Peppermint Chocolate Drop Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup earth balance butter; room temperature
1 cup granulated coconut or regular sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut or almond, milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup + crushed peppermint candies or candy canes OR peppermint chips (found here)

Instructions
Cream butter and sugar at high speed with a hand mixer. Slowly add in milk, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Combine baking powder with flour and slowly add to butter & sugar mixture, be careful not to over mix. Dough will be crumbly. Use plastic wrap to form log shape. Refrigerate dough for at least 45 minutes. {Can also be put in the freezer for later.}
Remove dough from fridge and slice into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices. {You can also roll dough and use cookie cutters. But if you do, allow the dough to warm a bit so you can work with it).
Place cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Made 26 large cookies.

 

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Decadent Cranberry & White Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
1 cup earth balance butter, softened
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped dried cranberries
½ cup ghirardelli white chocoklate chips
Instructions
Preheat oven to 325ºF. In a medium bowl, cream together with a large spoon butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add flour and salt, stir until combined. Stir in dried cranberries & Ghirardelli chocolate chips . Divide dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into 1 1/2″ x 4″ log. You can use plastic wrap to help with this. Wrap tightly in plastic. Chill 45 minutes. With a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool sheets on wire racks.

emiej

 

Too late

I already did

while making cookies!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing A Delicious Dish – Baked apples for Christmas

From Cooking without Limits, this dish not only looks amazing, but can you just imagine the way the kitchen will smell when you make this? Heavenly! I can’t wait to try this out. I’ll actually be making it next month because I get off easy and am not the cook this year 😉

Apples, cinnamon, honey and walnuts. This is the smell of Christmas in the kitchen. Pure heaven. Recipe can be found here… Baked apples for Christmas

Goodbye November

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Oh my gosh, it’s already December! November flew by like a flash. This time of year is so special. Everyone is just a little kinder & everything just has a bit more sparkle & shine.

Living in a warm weather climate has some major advantages, but not in December. I mean seriously we hardly ever get snow. And when we do, it melts within a day. And there’s a lot less holiday ⛄️ festivity around the town. Fewer people decorate for the season and those who do usually just throw a strand of white lights around the roof, or the porch/patio. I like heading back home(s) in December. We don’t get to do it as often as we’d like but both my husband and I come from states where blizzard is in the weather forecast vocabulary ❄️But back home(s) they decorate, and some go all out with the lights and silly inflatables. Sometimes it’s even tacky looking, but even that is something special and something I miss.

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December is also a time when everyone starts reflecting on the past year. How can next year be improved. Our hopes and dreams get wrapped into resolutions and marks on a calendar as we prepare to be better humans. Self improvements to home improvements. Flights of fancy off the bucket list. And looking within to see how we can “be the change” in our small way to better our world around us. And those thoughts have a way of manifesting outward and in December we become that better person we hope to be. Ok, ok, maybe not with our diets 🍪🍾 or improving our finances 🎁✈️🎄🔯

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BUT, we do open our hearts just a little more. We donate to charities, give more at church, reach out to homeless and shelters. We give blankets to wildlife rescues and add our favorite animal shelter to our amazon smiles account. We become better versions of ourselves and are more prone to giving and being charitable. It really is a wonderful time of the year. The key is to keep that momentum going into the New Year! THIS, this is my focus for the upcoming year! That and run training more and turning down the offer of donuts more 😊 When January rolls around I’ll post my resolutions. It’s good to have accountability that way!

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So, DECEMBER! It’s really here with all the trimmings and celebrations! I’m the kind of person who tries in vain to keep a running to do list in my head. So this December I decided to make a list. 

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  • Finish shopping, EARLY (already almost done!). This is seriously a first for me!
  • Get Holiday Cards actually in the mail…making out the cards, stuffing the envelopes, addressed & stamped aaaaaaand they never make it to the post office. Yep, I’m that girl, more than once. Or they get sent out late, not so festive to get your card after New Years.
  • I plan on doing some baking, mmmm cookies. And maybe making some food gifts!
  • Donations already done ✔️ Which means I can do more ❤️
  • Decorations are going up late late late because I need them to stay looking pretty through the end of December. Celebrations have been extended this year!
  • Making appointments for January so I actually get them in January lol.

 

I know I’m leaving things off my list, but now that I started one, I’ll add to, quickly! Have to started decorating? Baking? Shopping? Any great deals you’ve come across? 

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The Great Stuffed Pumpkin

This stuffed pumpkin recipe is a dramatic side dish or vegetarian main course that will command center stage on your table.

Recipe@ the view from great island

Pumpkin Gingerbread Pie

Easy and Cruelty Free Pie From Making Thyme For Health , Sarah’s recipes are nothing short of amazing!

Vegan Pumpkin Gingerbread Pie- a simple recipe for ginger-spiced pumpkin pie that’s made in a blender and cooked in a gingersnap crust …

Recipe For: Vegan Pumpkin Gingerbread Pie

Coconut Oil & A Recipe

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COCONUT OIL PIECRUST

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) refined solid (not liquid) coconut oil
  • 8 tablespoons ice water

Place flour and salt a food processor and pulse briefly to combine, or combine by hand in a large bowl. Add coconut oil and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, making sure there are no large pieces of coconut oil remaining. Or, cut coconut oil in by hand with 2 table knives or grate coconut oil into the flour mixture using a box grater.

Add ice water a couple of tablespoons at a time, and continue to pulse, or mix by hand with a fork, just until dough begins to come together.

Turn dough out onto a cutting board or a smooth surface and form into a flattened disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface when ready to use.