This post is sponsored by Cabot Creamery Co-Operative.

Now that Easter has been celebrated, we have a fair amount of ham leftover. Never a bad problem to have, if you ask me. This year, I wanted to do something a little extra special with the leftovers and this dish is just that. Comforting, bubbly, spicy and it hits all the right notes of flavor! 

While the ham usually takes center stage, it’s definitely been moved to the role of supporting actor here. Hands down, the main star of this dish is the bold and delicious Habanero Cheddar Cheese from Cabot Creamery Co-Operative! I absolutely love Cabot and their entire line of cheeses…because the farm families that own the co-operative put so much love into what they do.  This particular cheddar is boldly spiced and works so nicely with the salty ham. What’s more; now more than ever, they’re honoring their retail partners who put Cabot on their shelves or online. Their farmers are dedicated to making sure that those on the front lines have nutritional support, healthy cows that produce the rich, buttery milk used to make Cabot’s award-winning cheese and dairy products. You can read more about how they’re supporting volunteers during these times here.

This dish comes together with just a few simple steps + an hour bake in the oven. Serve it with a warm crusty loaf of bread and a salad and you’ve got yourself the most delicious dinner that will excite your family. Who said leftovers are boring? Certainly not in this case!

Be sure to head to their site to find a way you can purchase their cheeses, support the farmers in their co-op, and grab these delicious cheeses for your snacking and cooking pleasure!

Happy cooking from my kitchen to yours!! 

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large baking potatoes (or 6 medium sized potatoes)
  • 1 x 8 oz block of Cabot Creamery Habanero Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • ½ yellow onion, cut thinly into half moons
  • 1 medium sized jalapeno, finely diced
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ⅓ cup flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 1 cup ham, cubed
  • 1.5 tsp each of Salt + Pepper 
  • Chives for garnish (optional)

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Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 7×9” or 9×9” pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Pre-cut your onion and jalapeno and ham. Measure out your milk and add the flour then whisk it together until no lumps remain. Grate the block of habanero cheese. Set aside.
  3. Peel your potatoes + use a mandolin or equally slice potatoes into quarter to half inch thick rounds.
  4. In a medium saute pan on your stovetop, add the milk/flour mixture, salt + pepper and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it starts to thicken. About 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and add in the shredded cheese. Whisk until the cheese melts and remove from heat.
  5. Layer half of the sliced potato rounds, ham, onions and jalapenos on the bottom of the sprayed pan. Spoon half the cheese sauce over the ingredients and then top with remaining potatoes, ham, jalapenos and onions. Pour remaining cheese sauce over the dish and use a spoon to evenly distribute the cheese sauce throughout the dish.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle can easily slide through the potatoes. (Tent with aluminum foil for the first 35-40 minutes of bake time.)
  7. Top with finely diced chives + serve hot.

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Be sure to tag me if you make this recipe on Instagram
@girlmeetskitchen and use #girlmeetskitchen !

 

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This sweet little family of mine has a soft spot for homemade pizzas, and I have a soft spot for them. Between working full-time and attempting to homeschool during COVID-19 stay home procedures, dinner time is a much welcomed time of the day to put away distractions and connect around the table. It’s a place where we temporarily put the chaos of the world on hold and focus on what we’re grateful for is in front of us; gathering around the table.

I love this dough because it comes together in 90 minutes. I’ve even made it in as little as 60 in a pinch, and with made only 5 ingredients usually found in your pantry. The recipe makes two large crusts.

The only other decision you’ll need to make is what to put on top of your pizzas! Happy gathering around the table, friends. It’s where the magic can be found these days.

*note: you can make the crusts in advance and allow them to proof on the kitchen counter covered with a tea towel. Or refrigerate for next day use – just place the dough in a olive oiled bowl and cover. To use the next day, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temp before rolling.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 tsp active yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 1 cup warm (not hot!) filtered water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour

Method:

  1. In your kitchen-aid mixer fitted with the hook attachment, add 1 cup warm water and the active yeast. Stir with your hands and allow to bloom for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the olive oil, salt and AP flour to the mix and turn your mixer on, not going above speed 4.
  3. Let the hook knead the dough for 5 minutes then remove. Add the dough to an olive oiled or sprayed bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise 60 minutes.
  4. Take the dough out of the bowl and divide into 2 equal halves. Re-shape into 2 rounds and re-cover with the tea towel on your counter top. Let sit 30 minutes.
  5. On a well-floured surface, roll out each dough round into your pizzas and top and bake accordingly. May I suggest on a Baking Steel for the best pizzas!

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If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram @girlmeetskitchen and use the #girlmeetskitchen 

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In Argentina and Uruguay, chimichurri is an herbaceous, flavorful green sauce primarily used as a marinade or condiment to grilled meat. I find it to be incredibly versatile on almost any protein, pasta or roasted vegetable.

It’s packed with flavor (especially garlic!) and adds such a great freshness to any dish. My favorite way to eat it is on top of crispy potatoes.

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The main ingredients to a chimichurri are fresh herbs (parsley and cilantro), olive oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes. I’ve substituted jalapeño for heat instead of red pepper flakes; but you’ll find this recipe doesn’t go too far out of the box ingredients-wise. Make it just before serving or in advance and store it covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, per your preference.
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), reserving an additional 1/4 cup depending on how thick or thin you prefer your chimichurri.
  • 1/3 cup red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 a large jalapeño (include the seeds and pith for heat!)
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp each salt + pepper

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to your food processor and pulse until combined. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and pulse a few more times.
  2. If it’s on the dry side, add a little bit more EVOO and pulse until you’ve reached your desired consistency. For a pasta sauce or marinade, you will want a bit more oil, and for a condiment, you may prefer it a little thicker.
  3. Enjoy right away or refrigerate in advance. Store in an airtight container up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

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Be sure to tag me on Instagram @girlmeetskitchen if you make this recipe and use #girlmeetskitchen .

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!

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Some days a simple chocolate chip cookie doesn’t cut it. Some days call for a thick, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside cookie bar. On those days you just want something extra…this recipe is for you!

This is my grandma’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies, just baked in a rectangle pan – so if you’re also looking for a stellar chocolate chip cookie, how fortunate that you’ve stumbled upon this space. It’s one I have memorized and bake on a whim or for special occasions alike. There’s just something wonderfully comforting found in a family recipe passed down. Every time I make these, I hear her laugh and smell the amaretto coffee she sips as she offered simple directions over my shoulder as a child in her kitchen. And her tip was to always add extra vanilla. To every recipe. I heed that quite liberally, as you’ll see in the recipe below.

When I make these, my girls rush to the kitchen waiting for a spoon full of cookie dough. If they’re not already there helping me bake them. I encourage you to do the same with your friends or family; share with the people you love and practice hospitality one bite at a time.

Tip: I enjoy thicker, gooey bars. So I use a 7×9″ pan. Hence the longer bake time. If you use a 9×13, cut the bake time down to 15-17 minutes.

cookie dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter at room temp
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs at room temp
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 2 cups AP flour (for my gluten free friends, I sub a 1:1 GF flour)
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

*as a side note; I’m a believer that quality of ingredients always matters when it comes to making a recipe shine. When possible I use minimally processed or organic ingredients and stay away from artificial ingredients.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 7×9″ rectangle pan with non-stick cooking spray. (*see comment above about pan size and cooking time alterations. Optional: line your pan with parchment paper as well.)
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together 1 minute to combine with your mixer or in your KitchenAid fitted with the paddle attachment.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla and milk, scraping down the sides until combined.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix.
  6. Transfer to your baking dish and smooth out until even. (Please be sure to reserve a spoonful or two to test!)
  7. Bake 27-29 minutes – noting it will be slightly under baked. The bars will cook more as they cool. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

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Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If they last that long.

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Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you bake these @girlmeetskitchen using #girlmeetskitchen 

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This post is sponsored by Nature’s Bakery.

I know it’s January and everyone is filling your feeds with cleanses, whole30 and the like…but posting a new chocolate dessert recipe is way more my style. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge healthy lifestyle advocate, but I see healthy living as more of an intuitive eating (that includes occasional sugar), more plants than meat, move your body regularly kind of plan. Which is why this recipe for chocolate pot de creme is coming at you in January!

This recipe is so very simple, and is made using seven ingredients; six of which I’d bet you already have on hand in your kitchen! The best part of these is the Nature’s Bakery Double Chocolate Brownie Bars, however. They bring a slight texture and a delicious flavor from cocoa, real dates, and wholesome whole grains. These are such a sweet treat on their own, but added to these Pot de Creme Desserts brings them to the next level! Be sure to grab your own at a store near you and enjoy them both ways!

Recipe yields 4 desserts. 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (you can substitute a 1:1 gluten-free flour as well!)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk. Want to make them Vegan? Substitute 2 cups dark chocolate almond milk instead.
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 packs of Nature’s Bakery Double Chocolate Brownie Bars, crumbled and divided.
  • Optional toppings: miniature marshmallows, semi-sweet chocolate chips, nuts – be creative!

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Method:

  1. Crumble the Brownie Bars from one package (each package yields 2 brownie bars) and add to the bottom of each of the 4 serving dishes*. 
  2. Place the first 6 ingredients into a small saucepan on your stove top and turn it on low heat. Whisk the ingredients together occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the sugar has dissolved (approximately 3 minutes.)
  3. Continue to heat on low, whisking constantly but gently until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes. It will turn into a thick custard. Remove from heat.
  4. Immediately pour the custard evenly divided into your 4 serving glasses. Cover with plastic wrap, then place in the fridge for 2 hours before serving. 
  5. Remove from fridge and add the second package of the crumbled Brownie Bars to the top of each dessert, along with any other desired toppings and serve!

*I used 7.5 oz glass tumblers from amazon, but any small glass dish will do!

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Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe
@girlmeetskitchen and use the #girlmeetskitchen!

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This post is sponsored by Crunch Pak®

Christmas morning is typically a flurry of excitement and magic now that I have little ones. It’s always been a magical holiday, but there’s just something about watching your children enjoy the season that makes it so much better. We love every ounce of December from the snow to the family gatherings, and everything in between! 

Not surprisingly, food plays a key part in our celebrations as well. Christmas morning carries so much excitement, so our breakfast has to match those vibes. I also believe it shouldn’t be a morning where you spend hours in the kitchen, so I’ve developed this baked apple french toast that you can prep the night before and pop it in the oven Christmas morning! Your family will thank you for it, and you can sit back and sip that morning coffee while the smells of apple cinnamon goodness spread through your house.

The star of this apple french toast bake is and should be the apples! Crunch Pak® has the most delicious apples because they’re grown in Cashmere, Washington (a.k.a the epicenter of apple perfection!) I used their certified organic pre-sliced apples, which boast the perfect fresh and crunchy sweetness on their own – but also hold up nicely to the saute and baking process for this recipe. 

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So go ahead and sleep in as long as the littles will allow you Christmas morning! Prep this recipe the night before, refrigerate it, then take it out of the fridge while the oven warms up and bake while everyone opens their gifts. From my home to yours, I’m wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a joy-filled Holiday season!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf brioche or hawaiian bread, cubed
  • 2 12 oz bags of Crunch Pak® Organic Apple Slices, cut into 2” pieces
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, plus more for topping
  • 1 stick butter, cubed and divided
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

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Method:

 

  • Add 1/2 stick of butter, diced apples, cinnamon and 1/3 cup of water to a skillet and saute over medium heat, stirring often on your stovetop for 7-8 minutes. Add the brown sugar to skillet and stir until dissolved, about 1 minute.

  • Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place a layer of bread cubes evenly into the baking dish. Top with the other half of the stick of butter and half the apple mixture in an even layer. Top with remaining bread cubes and remaining apple mixture.

  • In a large mixing cup, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup and the zest of 1 orange. Pour over the bread cube and apple mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 350. Remove the dish from the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or at least while your oven heats up!)

  • Bake slightly covered with tinfoil for 20 minutes, then remove the tinfoil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown and the center is firm.

  • Serve immediately and top with powdered sugar and maple syrup!

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Traditions are what make the holidays magical in my opinion. Whether your traditions are cutting down a tree every year or baking with friends and family, it’s those very memories that you likely hold onto and look forward to all year round. It’s probably no surprise to you that one of our traditions is a day spend baking Christmas treats. Everyone contributes some ingredients and we get to work rolling, cutting, mixing, baking and decorating. It’s a full day with all hands on deck from littles to adults.

From sipping coffee to sampling cookies, it always brings me back to baking in my grandma’s small apple studded kitchen in North Minneapolis. The laughter was loud, the coffee was hot and the conversation never lulled. I can still remember her buckets of homemade frosting and the way she would tip her head back when in full laughter mode. Those very memories are ones I cherish and am trying to recreate for my girls.

These cookies were always a part of the Christmas baking repertoire – and while you can certainly enjoy them year round, to me they’ll always represent Christmas. I encourage you to invite some loved ones over, put on a pot of coffee and bake together!

Recipe yields 2 dozen cookies.

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Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cup flour (gluten-free? Sub a 1:1 GF flour!)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. Mix the first 4 ingredients until smooth
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined
  4. Roll the dough into even sized balls (I use a cookie scoop for consistency) and roll them in sugar
  5. Place the sugared dough balls onto the lined baking sheets and using your finger, drop one drop of water onto the tops of every cookie
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes
  7. Wait 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack, then cool for 15 minutes
  8. Store in a cool, dry place or freeze

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Be sure and tag me if you make this recipe on Instagram @girlmeetskitchen and use #girlmeetskitchen 

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This post is sponsored by Nature’s Bakery

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, and because of the fast paced nature of motherhood mixed with work, it’s also usually my heartiest meal. From the moment we wake until late at night life brings a frenzy of activities and demands, so I need meals that both energize and provide the right nutrients to keep our family going. Smoothie bowls are a great way to meet these needs! 

I love mixing different fruits together to introduce my girls to a variety of flavors, but my favorite combo is this acai smoothie bowl. It’s loaded with acai berries (great little powerhouses of antioxidants), bananas, and mangoes. The really fun part is the toppings + I let my girls get creative when it comes to what they choose! Think all the fun of an ice cream toppings bar but with heartier, wholesome ingredients like these new Nature’s Bakery Oatmeal Crumble Bars. They come in a variety of flavors like cherry, strawberry or apple cinnamon and the oat-topped whole grains make any morning as happy as happy can be – especially when topped on these smoothie bowls!

Aside from eating them on our morning smoothie bowls, my girls love their wide variety of snack bars. I love that they’re wholesome, non-GMO dairy-free, nut-free, gmo-free, soy-free, and made with hearty whole grains and sun ripened fruits. They also have Double Chocolate Brownies for the occasional sweet treat made with dates, cocoa and whole wheat.

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The Fig Bars are a huge hit for snacks in our home (they also offer a gluten-free variety!).They’re plant-based and perfect for on the go and the entire family!

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Grab the recipe for the acai smoothie oatmeal crumble bowls below, and happy snacking from my kitchen to yours! Recipe yields 2 smoothie bowls.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup frozen acai berries
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup juice of choice (I used pomegranate)
  • ½ cup frozen mango chunks, plus another ½ cup partially thawed
  • 2 Nature’s Bakery Oatmeal Crumble Bars in any flavor, cut into 2” squares
  • Optional: protein powder + toppings of choice!


Method:

  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients (and optional protein powder) in the blender and whir until smooth.
  2. Divide between 2 bowls + top with the oatmeal crumble bars.
  3. Add any other desired toppings and enjoy with loved ones!

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Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe @girlmeetskitchen and use the #girlmeetskitchen 

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This post is sponsored by Taylor Farms

What does Autumn mean to you? When fall arrives, my head immediately begins to imagine gathering around the table with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. From fall birthdays to Friends and Thanksgiving and even the everyday ordinary…these are the moments where the world seems to slow down, people connect, the outside stressors melt away and we mindfully practice tuning in.

Traditions vary from house to house, but we have a Thanksgiving tradition in my family that has stayed the course of time. Our Thanksgiving meal is lunch, but the understanding is guests stay all day and nosh on the leftovers again at dinner. There’s football on in the background, a competitive game of scrabble or two, slow sips of wine or champagne and a variety of food. 

This year, we’re mixing it up when it comes to some of the sides. Sure to be featured will be a few bright and hearty salads like this Taylor Farms Maple Bourbon Bacon Chopped Kit served inside a hollowed out butternut squash. Taylor Farms wants to bring friends and families back to the dinner table by offering up an easy, healthy alternative found through its salads and produce. Their Chopped Kits are the perfect fresh dish for the holidays, and the variety of flavors in each kit will compliment any menu – traditional or non traditional!

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The squash and maple notes are a natural pairing and the bacon and bourbon round it out with just the right amount of smoky + salty flavors. Not to mention, the dish is vibrant and adds the most amazing punch of color to the table!

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Another salad that will be on the table is their Spiced Apple Chopped Kit (available at Sam’s Club.)

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The salad is perfectly bright and autumnal as is, but pomegranate arils compliment the flavors of apple and it all pairs so well with the carved turkey! The colors sing in the bowl and all those flavors together don’t fail to delight the taste buds. Simply mix the ingredients in the kit together and add fresh pomegranate arils!

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When it comes to menu planning, I follow a few simple rules. First, include your guests. Have each bring one item like an appetizer or side dish to help you lighten the cooking responsibilities. Second, focus on a few dishes that will be tasking and plan out the timing for them. In our case, it means brining and cooking the turkey, the homemade stuffing, etc. Lastly, grab some sustainable and fresh items like these Taylor Farms Chopped Salad Kits to brighten up and elevate the flavors of your side dishes.

Whether your menu is traditional or nontraditional, extravagant or simple – I’m wishing you the most beautiful holiday gatherings! Find the recipe for the squash salad below. Cheers from my kitchen to yours!

Maple Bourbon Bacon Squash Salad

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. After you’ve halved and seeded the butternut squash, run a sharp knife halfway through the squash in cross sections and drizzle each half with 1 tbsp. EVOO
  3. Place them meat side up on two baking sheets, add 1/2 cup of water onto the pan and cover loosely with tinfoil.
  4. Bake 45-50 minutes.
  5. On another parchment paper lined baking sheet, spread out the halved delicata squash pieces and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in the same oven for 30-40 minutes or until tender and browned on the bottom.
  6. Let the butternut squash sit for 15 minutes, then use a large spoon to remove the squash from the exterior layer. Cube the cooked squash and set aside.
  7. Mix together the Maple Bourbon Bacon Chopped salad in a separate bowl and dress it. Add to the hollowed out squash halves and sprinkle with the bacon + golden honey almonds. Finish by topping with the cubed squash + delicata halves.

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Scoring the squash aids in cooking and makes it easier to remove!

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For more information on where to buy your Taylor Farms Chopped Salad Kits, be sure to visit their site!

If you make this maple bourbon bacon squash salad recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram @girlmeetskitchen!

 

Just in time for all your Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving gatherings – here is the promised recipe for apple crisp! If you follow me over on Instagram, you may recall we did a poll about how you prefer your apple crisp. I’m a girl who likes it tart and not overly sweet. I know it’s dessert…but apples are already sweet. When you compliment that natural sweetness with spices and a hit of bright acidity, they really shine and make a recipe sing.

When I did the poll, however, a lot of you prefer it sweet – so I’ll give you direction on which apples to use that will change the notes of the dessert more to your liking without over doing it on the sugar.

Best Apples to use for Tart Apple Crisp: Gala, Honey Crisp, Granny Smith

Best Apples to use for Sweeter Apple Crisp: Mutsu, Jonagold, Golden Delicious

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For this recipe, I used Honey Crisp…because I wanted it to be celebratory in honor of Friendsgiving. The more cost effective alternative with bright tart notes would definitely be the Granny Smith. A mixture of 1/2 of each also works great here.

Let’s get to the recipe for the best apple crisp, and we will discuss the table setting after that.

Ingredients:

For the apple filling

  • 2 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and sliced into half-moon uniform pieces (see above for apple choices for sweet vs. tart!)
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter, cubed
  • juice of 1 lemon

For the Topping:

  • 1 stick of cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp. cinnamom
  • 1 cup AP flour (gluten-free sub a 1:1 GF flour)
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar

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Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Butter or spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Add the sliced apples to a large bowl, then add the lemon juice and stir.
  3. Combine all spices and sugar together, then stir into the apples until evenly coated. Set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, add the topping ingredients and combine with a fork or pie crust mixer. You can also use clean hands. The idea is to get the ingredients combined to a crumble consistency.
  5. Add the apples to the sprayed/buttered pan and add the 4 tbsp. of cubed butter throughout the apples. Then top with the crumble topping.
  6. Bake 55-60 minutes on the center rack of your oven. Serve warm topped with your favorite ice cream.

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When planning your Friendsgiving…follow a few simple rules: keep it simple, include your guests and borrow what you don’t have!

When I say keep it simple, I mean everything from the menu to the table setting. Simple can be fancy – I’m referring to simplicity on your budget and using what you have. The main dish was Ham instead of turkey because it’s more cost effective during Thanksgiving season, and simpler to cook. The rest of the menu consisted of a variety of roasted veggies, collard greens, scalloped potatoes, a wild rice salad, a cheese platter all paired with some crisp Rosés. We ended the evening with the warm apple crisp.

I included my friends by assigning them a dish or beverage to bring, making it interactive for them as a guest. It could be as simple as a bottle of wine to a cheese platter or side dish – but odds are your guests will love being included and it helps you as well.

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For the table setting: I have China from a zillion years ago, so I used that for both the adults and the kids. Finally, I texted a few neighbors for plate chargers and one of them had the most amazing variety that added dimension to the tablescape.

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I decided to use a tablecloth I had purchased on amazon for my girls’ birthday party a couple years ago that is 100% sparkle and over the top, which is linked here. Layering texture for visual affect, I added a burlap runner on top followed by a yellow leaf garland and a few white pumpkins from Target’s dollar section. Finally, I brought it all together with some white unscented candles that bounced the best light off the glitter of the tablecloth and chargers.

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There you have it: a recipe for the best apple crisp plus a few tips on how to host your own Friendsgiving. More importantly than what’s on the table, however, is those who gather around it. Wishing you a beautiful fall season celebrating with friends and family alike!

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