Enjoy the classic green bean casserole from scratch with fresh ingredients and without any cans and best of all this recipe is gluten free!Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

We love green bean casserole in our house. We only ever have it on holidays because it can be so fattening. It’s a holiday indulgence for sure. I’ve grown up on the canned variety. I will be the first to tell you that I do not knock the canned version. I love the canned version. I have a cousin who has a gluten-allergy and every year I feel bad that she can’t indulge in the same green bean casserole that we are all enjoying. Years ago, she use to be able to enjoy that same canned casserole. But over the years she has developed a pretty severe gluten allergy. So I made a note to myself that this year I would be making a from-scratch gluten free green bean casserole. 

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

Oh my gosh you guys, did I hit this one out of the park. Even my husband who has been a converted canned casserole guy was in love with this casserole. He felt that I hit this one perfectly and so I will be making our canned casserole and this gluten free green bean casserole for my cousin. But to be honest, my husband and I might be enjoying this homemade version right alongside with her. I subbed out the tasty friend onions (loaded with gluten) for crispy pan fried shallots. Just a little butter and shallots–I let them crisp up and the sub works perfect. Freshly chopped white mushrooms are added to the fresh haricot vert and they steam/boil together. Take the green beans off the stove top and stir in the heavy cream/cornstarch mixture and you’ve got a creamy-decadent homemade from-scratch gluten free green bean casserole.
Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

On a side note, I’ve recently been taking note of all the meals I make from scratch… 100% with no cans or boxed foods. Even though this is a little on the rich side with the heavy cream it’s from scratch and I feel better about eating it. I know kind of silly, but I do. I don’t write about my weight-loss journey on here at all (and funny that I put weight-loss and green bean casserole together in the same post), but I’ve continued to eat the same way just up my exercise. And be a little more conscious of what I’m eating. Smaller portions of the same decadent food. That’s where I’m going with this. Don’t feel guilty about indulging this holiday season, just have a smaller portion (and take a family walk after the big meal vs taking a nap). Trust me, your waistline will probably thank me for that advice.

Katie Original Recipe

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 shallots thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 lb. Haricot Vert
  • 1/2 cup white mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

Directions

  1. In a saute pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and heat on high. Then add in the shallots. Reduce to medium heat with lid on and cook for 10 minutes, mixing often so that the shallots don't burn. Half way through cooking add the water and mix well. Cook until golden brown and mostly crispy. Remove the crispy shallots from the pan and set to the side.
  2. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the sauté pan, melt, and add the haricot vert and diced mushrooms in the pan with 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 8 minutes until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. In a measuring cup (or bowl) mix together the heavy cream and corn starch.
  3. Pour the heavy cream/corn starch mixture into the pan. Turn the heat off and stir. Cover and let sit for 2 additional minutes.
  4. Place the green bean casserole in a serving dish, and top with crispy shallots. Enjoy.

Notes

-if the sauce seems to thick feel free to add additional water to thin it out. -if you like the green beans cooked more cook additional time and add in the heavy cream at the end of the cooking time. *do not cook the heavy cream--it will curdle. You must remove the pan from the stove top and mix to avoid curdling.

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Circulon. As always all opinions are my own.

Oven Roasted Sage Turkey with Brown Butter Sage Gravy recipe created for @Circulon #TurkeyTalk

Thanksgiving is just 2 weeks away and if you haven’t finalized your menu yet–you better get started. I had the opportunity to develop a turkey recipe for Circulon recently.  I’ve been cooking with Circulon pots and pans for years now (well 7 years to be exact). I received a set plus additional pots and pans at our engagement party from family and friends. So when they contacted me to work with them on a turkey recipe it was a match made in heaven! Roasting turkey’s is relatively new to me. I’ve probably cooked less than dozen–I’ll be the first one to admit that. However, I know that it’s key to brine the turkey first.

Oven Roasted Sage Turkey with Brown Butter Sage Gravy

Then it’s time to dress it up. In my case I made a sage rub with unsalted butter. Slathered the rub underneath the skin of the bird and on top. A good hour into the cooking process I like to baste it with a little bit of the leftover rub to help the turkey achieve the golden brown color! Then I add in a few fresh sage leaves to the pan drippings. It crisps up the sage leaves and even better gives additional flavor to the pan drippings. You’ll want to save those pan drippings.

Oven Roasted Sage Turkey with Brown Butter Sage Gravy

Once you remove the turkey from the oven, remove it from the gorgeous Circulon Roaster with U-Rack and set it to the side. Fire up the stove top and begin to melt the butter until it begins to foam… then its time to use the reserved pan drippings to create the most rich and decadent brown butter sage gravy. Yes… brown butter gravy. You know, let’s cook fat with fat and add in lots of delicious seasonings to achieve one amazing gravy. You guys, I seriously wanted to drink this gravy. I mean the turkey is flavorful and oh-so-moist. But the gravy… I’m a sucker for a good gravy and boy-oh-boy did I achieve an amazing gravy. Even better both turkey and gravy are gluten free! So if you or a guest has a gluten allergy you won’t have to worry about cooking an extra turkey sans the gluten!

Oven Roasted Sage Turkey with Brown Butter Sage Gravy  #TurkeyTalk

I can’t wait to make my recipe for Oven Roasted Sage Turkey with Brown Butter Sage Gravy for my family on Thanksgiving day. If you want the recipe I invite you to visit Circulon for the full recipe.

Head on over to Circulon to get the full recipe! 

p.s. stop back on Friday for a chance to win your very own Circulon Roaster with U-Rack and Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 11-Piece Set.


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the side dish solution holiday style ebook by Christine Pittman

You guys, I’m so excited to share that my friend Christine, from Cook the Story has self-published her very first cookbook!  Christine and I met years ago at the first Food Blog Forum here in Orlando and have remained friends since. When she told me earlier this summer she was working on a cookbook I was so excited for her. I know it’s been her dream for a while. And she is the queen of side dishes! Her cookbook launched yesterday and I wanted to share the goodness of her book with my readers, too!

Have you ever been stumped when it comes to what side dishes you are going to serve for dinner? Even more so when it’s a holiday dinner? My friend, Christine, takes all the worry out of your menu planning and helps resolve your side dish dilemma.  Even as a food blogger I still have challenges deciding on what side dishes I want to pair with a meal. The side dishes are what really make up a great meal. Heck, when I go to a restaurant and can’t find a main dish I really want I order a bunch of side dishes.

the side dish solution holiday style ebook

The Side Dish Solution: Holiday Style is organized into menus. Christine has made it super easy for entertaining. It has everything you need to create five memorable holiday meals.
The cookbook includes:

  • A Thanksgiving Menu with lightened up side dishes so that you can eat dinner guilt-free and then load up on decadent desserts!
  • A Christmas Dinner with new innovative holiday sides that everyone will enjoy.
  • Three more festive holiday menus full of delicious side dishes that everyone will be raving about for years to come (and of course will request the recipes for).

Each menu also comes with entree and dessert suggestions.

Here are a few reviews from a few of my blog friends from around the internet. Everyone is loving Christine’s new book; The Side Dish Solution: Holiday Style.

Promotional Material Endorsement - Sommer red background Promotional Material

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So what are you waiting for? Go buy The Side Dish Solution: Holiday Style now!

You get 3 downloads of the pdf and 3 downloads of the epub so you can put it on multiple devices or give it to friends and family.

Plus, if you get the ebook right now, you’ll also receive the 5 grocery lists in a separate pdf document so that you can print them easily whenever you need them. So convenient!

All of this is at the low cost of only $4.99.

Payment instructions: Payment is done securely through Paypal. Here’s what happens. When you click to buy, you will be taken to Paypal. You can sign in or proceed as a guest. Then you click on the button with Cook the Story on it which takes you to your unique link where your ebook downloads are available. Shortly thereafter, you’ll be sent an email with the link so that you can go back if you want to download the book again.

Download instructions: It’s super-easy. For the pdf files, just save them to your computer and then open them anytime in a pdf viewer like Adobe Acrobat. For the epub on ibooks, open up your web browser on your device. Go to the link that was emailed to you. Click on the epub file. It will ask you where you want to open the file. Open it in ibooks. It will then show up in your library.
Disclaimer: I received a copy for review purposes. There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase from one of the links I will receive a portion of the sale. As always all opinions are my own. 

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Brine your next turkey with this easy recipe for Buttermilk Sage Turkey Brine. It only takes 5 minutes to make and needs at least 12 hours to rest refrigerated!  

Buttermilk Sage Turkey Brine

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and today I’m sharing with you my recipe for Buttermilk Sage Turkey Brine. Last year, was the first year I’ve ever brined a turkey. Of course I’ve only hosted Thanksgiving 3 times now which means I’ve only ever cooked 3 complete Thanksgiving dinners. I took a gamble last year and steered away from my mom’s traditional turkey recipe. She wasn’t really happy with my decision and insisted that I only brine one of the two turkey breast in case my brine failed us miserably. Let me tell you that brining a turkey can be a little tricky in a brining bag and especially so when your 6 months pregnant like I was last Thanksgiving. If you choose to brine in a brining bag, I highly suggest you have an extra set of hands in the kitchen to help. I did and I was so thankful for the help.

Buttermilk Sage Turkey Brine

After my turkey brined and baked side-by-side to my mom’s traditional salt/pepper/butter turkey it was time for a turkey taste-test. The family lined up and tried a piece of each and everyone (minus my mom) agreed that the brined turkey was much more flavorful and juicy. I had heard all of my friends raving about brining a turkey and I’m glad I’ve joined the brining band-wagon. After brining last year I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the “traditional” way again. So you might be wondering what makes a brine so special? According to Fine Cooking, leaner meat like a turkey, when overcooked by just a few minutes can tend to dry out rather quickly. When you brine the meat it can reduce the moisture loss by as little as 15%. So in a nut shell the brine helps protect your turkey in the event that it is over cooked–keeping the coveted prized bird nice and juicy.

Buttermilk Sage Turkey BrineA few things to note here about my recipe for Buttermilk Sage Turkey Brine:

  • This recipe was created for a 6.5 lb turkey breast. If using for a larger turkey double, triple, quadruple recipe as needed.
  • If you do not have a pot large enough to brine the turkey you can use a brining bag. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, place turkey in brining bag and then pour the brine over the turkey. Place a large bowl/ cupped plate and/or pot underneath brining bag in case of leaks.

So if you’ve never brined a turkey before. I challenge you to try it this year. I promise you this recipe will not fail you and will result in a plump and juicy turkey on Thanksgiving day!

Katie Original Recipe

Buttermilk Sage Turkey Brine

Prep Time: 12 hours, 5 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 1 brine recipe for 6.5lb turkey breast

Buttermilk Sage Turkey Brine

Make this easy buttermilk sage turkey brine recipe for a juicy and flavorful turkey!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorn
  • 20 sage leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 10 cups warm water
  • 1 quart buttermilk

Directions

  1. Place kosher salt, whole peppercorns, fresh sage leaves and garlic cloves in a large stock pot (large enough to cover your turkey breast with a lid on). Then pour in warm water. Whisk water until salt has dissolved (about 2 minutes). Pour the buttermilk into the pot. Whisk again then place the turkey inside the pot. Turn the turkey breast so that only a small piece is exposed. Place lid on pot and refrigerate for at least 12 hours no more than 24 hours.
  2. After turkey breast has sat in brine for at least 12 hours. Rinse turkey breast off thoroughly and pat dry before baking.

Notes

This recipe was created for a 6.5 lb turkey breast. If using for a larger turkey double recipe as needed.

*If you do not have a pot large enough to brine turkey you can use a brining bag. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, place turkey in brining bag and then pour the brine over the turkey. Place a large bowl/ cupped plate and/or pot underneath brining bag in case of leaks.

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Concord Foods. As always all opinions are my own.

What do you do when you love banana bread, raisins, and granola? You make Raisin Banana Bread Granola of course!

Raisin Banana Bread Granola

My friends at Concord Foods challenged me to create a recipe using Sun-Maid Raisins and Chiquita Banana Bread Mix. I went to the drawing board and started writing down a few recipe ideas. My first recipe idea, banana bread marshmallow squares, in my head worked beautifully but once in the kitchen it failed miserably. Then I thought about making granola bars but then I realized:

1. I was out of granola in my house

2. I haven’t made a new granola recipe since earlier this year.

So I figured the idea of combining a banana bread mix with raisins and turning it into a delicious breakfast treat would be a fitting idea. After a few test runs in my kitchen I have finally perfected my recipe for Raisin Banana Bread Granola.

Raisin Banana Bread Granola

You want to bake your granola in the oven for 30 minutes stirring once–but if you like not-so-clumpy granola then you can stir every 5-10 minutes. I like my granola extra clumpy so I only stirred it once while it was baking in the oven. I’ve always been one to soak my raisins in liquid before adding them to baked goods. It helps plump them up and keep them juicy instead of shriveling to a sad death. I added the raisins in the oil/agave/banana mixture so that it could soak up all the flavors and of course plump up. That way when cooking they weren’t shriveling away!

Raisin Banana Bread Granola

Looking for more delicious recipes featuring Sun-Maid Raisins and Concord Foods Chiquita Banana Bread Mix!? Head over to Sweeter Together where you’ll find other recipes ideas plus you can download a free recipe ebook. Be sure to follow Concord Foods on Facebook and Pinterest and Sun-Maid Raisins on Facebook and Twitter.

Raisin Banana Bread Granola

Katie Original Recipe

Raisin Banana Bread Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6 cups

Raisin Banana Bread Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup Banana Bread Mix
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large pot, place the coconut oil and agave syrup in the pot. Heat to high for one minute (do not let it boil) reduce down to low once the coconut oil has liquified. Add the vanilla extract and bananas. Mash bananas in the pot until no longer whole. Add in the cup of raisins and cinnamon let it cook on low for 5 minutes. Mix well and take of the heat.
  3. In a large bowl combine the quick cooking oats, banana bread mix, walnuts, pecans, sliced almonds, brown sugar, and flax seed meal. Pour the oil/agave mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix well until all the dry ingredients are wet.
  4. Line an extra large baking sheet with parchment paper, pour the granola on top of the parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, then mix, then bake for an additional 15 minutes, and if your granola still seems a little soft/wet bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven let the granola cool and store in an air-tight container for up to one week.
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 On a chilly fall day there is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of creamy soup–no cream in this Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup recipe, though! 

Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup

I’m always looking for a quick and easy lunch. Even better if I can make it comfort food that doesn’t make my waste line look like I’ve been consuming lots of comfort food! I love pureed soups, and tend to always eat my fill of them on cruise ships–but rarely ever make them at home. I decided I wanted a big bowl of comfort but with out the heavy cream and all that goes with comfort food.

Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup

I would like to call this soup fall in a bowl. The mix of pumpkin and butternut squash with a dash of nutmeg reminds you that fall is definitely here. And here in Florida we have actually had a few “fall like” days out. The cooler weather forces me to turn on the oven and make comfort food. I devoured a big bowl of this soup for about a week straight at lunch time. Some days I would pair it with a salad and other days a flatbread or sandwich.

Katie Original Recipe

Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 6

Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz pumpkin puree
  • 12 oz cooked butternut squash, frozen and thawed
  • 2 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 32 oz chicken broth

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Then add in the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minutes. Add in the pumpkin, butternut squash, and spices. Mix well and then add in the chicken broth. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and enjoy.
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The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide - The Foodie

The holidays are right around the corner and what better way to help guide you in the right direction than to take a look at a variety of gift guides. I’m sharing with you my picks for The Foodie in your life. Even better if you scroll to the bottom you’ll have a chance to win some of the items I’m featuring in my 2014 Foodies Gift Guide. And you can also get ideas for a wide variety of topics from 22 other bloggers (and enter their giveaways too)!

2014 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide - 25 Gifts for Foodies

1. Zoku Ice Cream Maker: I’ve been making ZOKU ice pops for a few years now and now I’m so excited I can make single serve ice cream!!! Make individual portions of ice cream, custard, frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet, or sherbet in as little as 10 minutes with the Zoku Ice Cream Maker
2. OXO Twist Top Bottle: This is my go-to use everyday water bottle. Everyone needs a good water bottle in their life! The large opening makes filling, cleaning and adding ice easy.  The 24 oz Twist Top Bottle features a soft, non-slip carrying loop that is angled downwards for a natural, comfortable hold and is perfect for attaching to backpacks. Convenient measurement markings help track how much you’re drinking and can be used as a reference when adding supplements.
 
3. Silpat Mat: I’ve been using Silpat® Non-Stick Baking Mats for the past two years. I bake everything on my Silpat! They are designed for every type of oven. From savory to pastry baking, nothing sticks to Silpat®. It is reusable for thousands of uses and provides even heat transfer to baked goods.

4.Lindt Celebrations Chocolate Basket: Everyone loves chocolate and who doesn’t love Lindt Chocolate? The basket gives a little bit of everything and holds the most popular recipes, including LINDOR truffles, EXCELLENCE bars and diamonds and SWISS LUXURY SELECTION.

5. Peugeot Annecy Cheese Mill: I love freshly grated cheese and this is one of my favorites! Exclusive mechanism grates hard and semi-hard cheeses effortlessly; chocolate, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and more.5. I Like Pig Butts Multi Pack Can Coolies: Everyone needs a coolie to keep their drink cold. If your at the Food Trucks or tailgating you will appreciate this for sure. This vintage style can cooler is perfect for keeping your drink cool while the party heats up.

6. OXO Little Salad Dressing Shaker: I love this smaller version of a salad shaker. Perfect for a one-dinner salad dressing with no leftovers. The watertight Shaker offers a clean, neat and convenient way to mix, serve and store dressings, sauces and marinades. The top unscrews to reveal a wide opening ideal for adding a range of ingredients like oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, onions and spices. The Shaker is made of a BPA-free, break-resistant and dishwasher safe material.

7. Spiceologist Block™ – Starter With Spices: I had to include this into my holiday gift guide for foodies. This company of amazing spices was created by a fellow food blogger Heather from Farmgirl GourmetKnife block meets spice rack in this beautiful European Beech block filled with 22 glass vials of fresh spices.  Beautify your kitchen in one easy step!  It’s not only gorgeous, but it will help you be creative in the kitchen by keeping your most used spices close at hand.  Each cork is hand stamped and every tube is hand filled.
8. Peugeot Spring Cradle: If you are a wine lover you will love this stylish wine bottle holder.  A beautiful piece that underlines discreetly yet graciously your most beautiful wines. Spring holds all styles of bottles in the ideal position, highlighting the label.
9. OXO SteeL Wine Stopper/Pourer Combination: To follow up with the foodie wine lover you need this wine stop and pourer in one. The OXO SteeL Wine Stopper/Pourer Combination is the perfect two-in-one gift for anyone from the wine connoisseur to the casual entertainer. Combining function and elegance, the sleek, brushed stainless steel Stopper/Pourer Combination reduces drips and spills while pouring and allows for even and consistent wine flow.
10. Wine Club by Whole Foods Market: Who doesn’t love wine delivered to their door? Whole Foods Market is now offering six extraordinary, hard-to-find wines. Carefully curated by their two Global Wine Buyers. Delivered to your door four times a year for $125 per shipment.

11.Skillet Bacon Jam Bacon Spread 7 0z. – 3 Jar Pack: Most foodies (like me) love bacon. Give a little bacon this holiday season. Made from Uncured Bacon, No Nitrite or Nitrates added and an incredibly flavorful, tasty condiment!

12. CDN ProAccurate Waterproof Pocket Thermometer: Every foodie MUST own a thermometer and what better than one that is waterproof! For home cooks who want a highly practical cooking thermometer, the long stem provides accurate temperature readings with a fast 6-second response.
13. Frieling Black Cube Fry Pan: Ever since I’ve received this frying pan I haven’t stopped using it. This is the first of many other pans coming out from Frieling–once you cook with this frying pan you will never go back to anything else. The Ultimate Cooking Surface – A world’s first: Black Cube™ combines all the benefits of stainless steel and nonstick cookware.

14.Molecular Mixology Kit – Cocktail R-EVOLUTION: If you know someone who loves a good cocktail this is the kit for them. This kit comes with 5 food additives (50 sachets), 5 pipettes, 1 slotted spoon, 1 set of measuring spoons, and 1 DVD of 30 recipes.

15. OXO Small Silicone Spatula: Every foodie needs a good spatula in their life (or a dozen like me). Easy-to-clean silicone covers the head and neck of the Spatulas and they are heat-resistant up to 600°F, so they won’t discolor, warp or melt.
16. Welcome Home Brands Paper Bakeware: I’m all for disposable and cute bakeware!!! The free-standing, disposable bakeware eliminates the need for metal bakeware, offering a whole new way to bake, serve, store, and give all in one unit. It’s oven safe to 400°F and freezer safe.

17.LETTER PRESSED Type-Style Cookie Cutter/Stampers: If you know a foodie and font lover you know they will love these cookie cutter stamps! These cookie cutters are made of strong durable food-safe plastic, packed in reusable storage trays, makes 26 different designs, and are fun and easy to use!

18. OXO Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer: My absolute favorite go-to tool that I use EVERY single day! Use the soft knob to adjust to the desired slice thickness, and slide the food over the stainless steel blade for perfect, even slices. The Hand-Held Mandoline features a clear surface that shows slices accumulating below.
19. Kitchen IQ Better Zester: I’ve bought this zester for all the foodies in my life. The only way I’ll zest! The V-etched Zester blade is made up of over 300 tiny V- shaped teeth and is covered with a non- stick coating. The food- approved coating allows the zester to smoothly glide across the surface of all types of citrus, while finely zesting the outer layer of skin and not the bitter pith. The Better Zester includes a “fresh zest” storage container with squeegee. This additional accessory gathers the fresh zest as it is grating and the squeegee helps remove the moist zest from the back of the blade. The clear container is marked with measurements in TSP and ML.

20.Misto Brushed Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer, Tomato: Get your spray on. These olive oil sprayers are awesome! Perfect for the foodie trying to watch their weight and still want to indulge in a little EVOO. Or simply just want to mist on the olive oil while cooking.

21. Totally Bamboo 3-Tiered Salt Box: I love having salt right next to my stove when I’m cooking. What better way than a 3-tier salt box. Pivoting three-section storage box holds sea salt, spices and more. Designed with weighted base for better balance when open. Keep multiple salts or other seasonings near the stove and ready to use when cooking or baking
22. OXO Locktop Lunch Set: Every foodie needs a sturdy container to store their lunch or leftovers in. LockTop™ Lunch Containers were designed with leakproof, airtight lids that snap on easily and confidently. Just push the outer frame down onto the lid to engage the inner locking tabs and silicone ring for an instant, secure seal. Durable, BPA free Tritan Container bodies resist warping and staining, and are crystal clear to reveal contents inside.  The lids are also clear to make contents viewable from above.

23. Deluxe DIY Cheese Kit for Beginners- Make Mozzarella, Ricotta, Crumbly Goat Cheese, Creamy Chevre, Paneer or Queso Blanco in 1 Hour!: I’ve always wanted to make my own cheese and what better way then to give this gift to the foodie lover in your life–or cheese lover for that matter. Kit includes: Instruction& Recipe Handbook and Unlimited Email Support. Fine Mesh, 100% Cotton Cheesecloth also known as Butter Muslin. Glass Dairy Thermometer (alcohol not mercury). Gluten-free, Non-GMO Vegetarian Rennet Tablets. Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Citric Acid. Pure, Non-Iodized Flake Salt. Makes at least 30 batches of the listed cheeses.

24. Kyocera 6-Piece Slicer Set: Grate cheese or vegetables with ease of knowing it’s contained in one place! Kyocera’s handy six-piece set equips you with everything you need for a variety of slicing and grating tasks.

25. I Like Pig Butts 2 Pack Can Coolies Magenta- perfect doozie to have if you are frequenting the food trucks for a meal! Holds 12 oz cans or 12-16 oz bottles. Folds flat for easy storage. Machine washable. Neoprene material allows for beverages to stay cool.

foodie ultimate gift guide giveaway

Now for the giveaway. ONE reader will win some of my favorite foodie gifts this holiday season. If you win you can choose to keep them for yourself or give them as a gift to the foodie of your choice! Must reside in the USA and be 18+. Must enter the mandatory entry to qualify to win. One winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends 11/9/14 at 11:59 pm EST.

Giveaway items up for grabs:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Bloggers


I hope this helps get you in the spirit and ready for the holidays!

Disclaimer: We did not receive any compensation to create this gift guide. All prizes are donated from our favorite brands that we love. As always all opinions are our own. There are affiliate links in this post, if you buy from the links we will receive a percentage of the sale. 

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Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Hot Pimento Cheese Dip
Today I’m sharing my easy recipe for Hot Pimento Cheese Dip. A southern classic appetizer fit for your next date-night in with the one you love. I’m sharing a little bit about the one I love and my favorite kitchen essentials that I received when we got married 6.5 years ago!

For those who don’t know, my husband and I have been together for 12.5 years and married for 6.5 of those years. Now with a new baby we are finding that we are having way more date-nights in. Even before baby we always liked to have a date-night in a few times each month. When we got engaged neither of us lived on our own yet. We both lived with our parents, worked full time day jobs, and went to college at night. We were not the typical college student nor did we live that lifestyle. My husband popped the question 4 years and 9 months into us dating. I may have told him that by the 5 year mark if he didn’t know that he wanted to marry me that we were going to call it quits because I didn’t want any more of my precious years wasted. Yes, true story. Harsh, but let’s face it–reality. If your with someone for 5 years you should know by then if you are going to marry them.

engagement and wedding collage

Jon, sealed the deal and got down on one knee March 15, 2007 on the white sandy beach of Meagan’s Bay in St. Thomas, USVI. Of course I said yes… well more like “is this for real”? My inlays graciously threw us an amazing engagement party a few months later. Prior to our engagement party we had to create a registry. We were starting from scratch since we had never lived on our own. Thankfully, between our engagement party, bridal shower, and wedding our kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom was just about furnished for us. 6.5 years later and I’m still cooking with the same pots and pans we registered for and my trusty KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer. I use it daily. It’s a work horse and I’m so grateful that my parents bought me the stand mixer of my dreams!

12 Must Have Kitchen Products for the Perfect Date-Night In

Since I’ve been married for a while I figured I would put together my picks for the ultimate wedding registry for those of you who might be at the point where you need to register for gifts for the kitchen. All of these items will help you create the ultimate date-night in any day of the week for the rest of your life.

  1. KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer
  2. Threshold™ 45 Piece Sydney Sand Flatware Set with Caddy
  3. Threshold™ Sherbrook Classic Glass Drinkware Set of 12 – Clear
  4. American Atelier 16 Piece Dinnerware Set
  5. Crock-Pot® Programmable Slow Cooker
  6. Pyrex 19 Piece Bake and Store Set – Clear
  7. Ninja – Professional Blender – NJ600
  8. Olde Thompson 16 Jar Square Rotating Filled Spice Rack
  9. Threshold™ Glass Cylinder Canister Set of 4
  10. Target Seasonal Products
  11. Calphalon Kitchen Essentials 20pc Utensil & Gadget Set
  12. BakerEze Nonstick 10-pc. Baker’s Basics Set

Hot Pimento Cheese Dip 1

So let’s talk about what make’s a good date-night in? Of course being with the one you love and food. Our typical date nights consist of appetizers or snacks and a movie. Since having, Ryder, my husband, Jon, now helps a lot more in the kitchen. He is my sous chef and will prep meat, chop veggies, mix, and do just about whatever I need help with in order to get dinner on the table in a timely manner. The same goes with date night. If we have a date night scheduled he will prep our appetizer or snack while I’m feeding and putting the baby down to sleep. Typically, Ryder is asleep by 8-8:30 and wakes every 3-5 hours. Perfect for a movie and appetizer in with the two of us!

Hot Pimento Cheese Dip

My recipe for hot pimento cheese dip is a classic one. Perfect for cooler nights. You can use crackers, tortilla chips, or a whole wheat crusty bread to scoop up the cheesy goodness. I use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer and put in all the ingredients to make this dip. Bake it in the oven for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly and our appetizer is ready for our date-night in.

Katie Original Recipe

Hot Pimento Cheese Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8

Hot Pimento Cheese Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar + 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimentos
  • 2 tbsp green onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a stand mixer combine the cream cheese, 2 cups grated cheddar and mayonnaise. Mix until well incorporated. Stir in the chopped pimento, green onion, salt, pepper, paprika, and hot sauce. Mix until well incorporated.
  3. Spray an oven safe dish with cooking spray. Place the pimento cheese dip mixture in the dish. Top with a tablespoon of shredded cheddar. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve with crusty bread, crackers, or chips!
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One lucky reader can enter to win a $50 Target eGift Card to help stock your kitchen for your next date-night in. Please wait for the rafflecopter widget to load. If it does not load please click on the rafflecopter link. To be eligible you must answer the mandatory question. One reader will be chosen at random. Giveaway open to USA residents only 18+. Giveaway ends on Thursday, November 5 at 11:59 pm EST.

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Gone are the days of boiling noodles and layering  and baking… make my One Pot Lasagna Bolognese recipe and you’ll have dinner ready in under an hour!

One Pot Lasagna Bolognese

Get ready for the easiest lasagna recipe on the planet. I started making this One Pot Lasagna Bolognese once Ryder was born and have been making it since (at least once a month). Over the past 7 months I’ve perfected it. Wait, let’s stop right there. How is my baby 7 month’s old today!?!?! Time is flying and I would officially like it to stay still!

Back to the One Pot Lasagna Bolognese… It’s so good that I’ll be making it during the holidays when my family is in town. Easy dinner that can be made in under an hour. No boiling noodles in one pot, making sauce in another, then spending the time to layer the noodles and sauce and cheese only to have to wait for it to bake in the oven for an additional hour. One pot and taste just as good if not better. What more can you ask for?

One Pot Lasagna BologneseEven better it tastes amazing the next day. That is if you actually have leftovers. I find that a skillet typically gives us 4 servings. Perfect for dinner and then lunch the next day for a family 2 (and a half). I fear the day that Ryder can eat and eat meals like this. I’m sure he will be just like his dad, and eat me out of house and home. I know he will one day enjoy this One Pot Lasagna Bolognese as much as we do.

Katie Original Recipe


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Use up your leftover Halloween candy and make my easy recipe for White Chocolate Halloween Candy Bark for your family and friends.

White Chocolate Halloween Candy Bark

What do you do with the bags and bags of leftover candy your children get after a night full of trick or treating? Of course, you could hide in a closet and eat it all or you could whip up a batch of white chocolate Halloween candy bark. It’s easy to make and transform your plain old Halloween candy into something a little more. Who knows this could even be your new after-Halloween tradition. Make a batch just before you have to clean-up the decorations and fuel your clean-up with this bark.

White Chocolate Halloween Candy Bark

I love the mix of white chocolate and milk chocolate. I list specific chocolate bars I used for this recipe, but any chocolate bars will do. You can double, triple or even quadruple the recipe as you choose.  Have M&M’s? Great… throw them in the bark. What about some roll’s? Great, those will work too. You can even do sour or chewy candies too. The sky is the limit.

Katie Original Recipe

White Chocolate Halloween Bark

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 36 minutes

Yield: 12

White Chocolate Halloween Bark

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. Baker's Premium White Chocolate
  • 3 of each "fun size" Chocolate bar, Kit Kat, Reese Peanut Buttercup, Snickers, and Almond Joy
  • 1 tbsp Halloween Nonpareils
  • 25 candy eyes

Directions

  1. Unwrap all of the fun size bars. Cut into bite size pieces and set to the side.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave (follow the directions found on the box). Pour the melted white chocolate on to a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the white chocolate evenly. Begin to place candy bar pieces throughout white chocolate. Sprinkle the nonpareils and place the candy eyes around the bark.
  3. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Cut into bite size pieces and enjoy.
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