An Easy Appetizer

I love fancy appetizers. I think they are so fun and they’re always so tasty but when it comes to hosting a dinner, I always look for something really easy to make instead. I don’t want to spend all day preparing food or miss the party because I’m in the kitchen. Instead, I prefer to make “faux fancy” things, ie appetizers that seem fancy but in reality only take a few minutes to throw together. My go-to easy appetizer? A fun cheese plate.

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Sweet Potato Casserole

sweet_potato_casserole4Lately I have been all about sweet potato casserole. I usually only like sweet potatoes in small doses- I love the taste but they are so dense that it’s hard to eat an entire one. Sweet potato fries are okay and I can probably eat half of a baked sweet potato but that’s about my limit. However, when they are mashed and sweetened, I’m able to eat as much as I want. I love the flavor of the sweet potatoes and they’re even better when topped with crunchy, gooey marshmallows. When I found this recipe which also adds a layer of candied pecans, I couldn’t resist trying it out for Thanksgiving but it would be absolutely perfect for Christmas as well. I altered the recipe a bit (making it a hybrid between the above recipe and the one found here) and also cut it in half since we were also making mashed potatoes.

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Turkey Pot Pie

I spent the past week in Arizona to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family. Several of my relatives were out of town this year so we had a small Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house before going over to my uncle’s house for a second dinner. My parents roasted a 14 pound turkey so we had plenty of leftovers. On Sunday, my mom and I decided to make turkey pot pie with all of the leftover turkey! The recipe was actually quite simple; lots of turkey, peas, carrots, onions, gravy ( we used the homemade gravy my mom made on Thanksgiving), and a couple potatoes as well! My mom found the recipe in the Peninsula Clarion, an Alaskan newspaper, when my parents were visiting a couple summers ago. You can find the recipe here. We mostly followed the recipe with a few modifications including using turkey instead of chicken.

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Slutty Brownies

slutty_brownies9Growing up, I was always torn between double fudge brownie and cookie dough ice cream. I loved both equally, how was I ever supposed to choose which one I wanted? The day I discovered Half Baked ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s literally changed my life. It was like the storm clouds parted and sunshine started streaming in. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but finding an ice cream that combined my two favorites into one was definitely life-changing. I had that same reaction when I discovered slutty brownies. A layer of cookie dough topped with a layer of brownie and an Oreo sandwiched in between? Sure, the name is kind of dumb (I think The Most Amazing Brownies You’ll Ever Eat sounds a little better) but I couldn’t wait to try them.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts

Chocolate Peanut Butter DonutsA few weeks ago I decided to attempt making donuts for the first time for my roommate’s birthday. Learning to make donuts had been on my “To Bake” list for awhile but I never seemed to have the right occasion. While I was browsing potential treats to make for my roommate’s birthday I found this amazing looking recipe by Joy the Baker for Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts- chocolate mini donuts with peanut butter frosting. Once I read the recipe I knew I had to make these. I was on Amazon almost immediately ordering a mini donut pan!

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The Blender Girl Smoothies

The Blender Girl SmoothiesI’m a huge fan of smoothies. I love how they are a nice sweet treat that are actually healthy for you. I’m a regular at Tropical Smoothie Cafe and I also like make smoothies at home. I usually end up making the same flavors so I was excited to get The Blender Girl Smoothies by Tess Masters, a recipe book with all sorts of new flavors for me to try.

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