Hello from Hawaii! I’m currently sitting on the balcony off our bedroom wondering how the hell I got here. In a good way, of course. The best way! It’s very surreal.
Since it’s the holiday season and I just spent a bunch of time with my family, living in a real house with a real kitchen, I thought I’d share all my favorite things I cooked while I was there. I have a few super solid recipes that were real crowd pleasers that you totally need to go make.
What you’ll find below…
I have one awesome breakfast recipe that lends itself to a simple family breakfast or a fancy brunch. I also made a few “one pot” meals that are so good. I think it’s important to have a few meals like this up your sleeve if you’re hosting friends and family so that you get a break from the heavier holiday meals, and easily provide lunch leftovers if you double the recipe. The one-potters I made below are chock full of veggies, but still warm and hearty. No sad salads over here. The real kickers are the desserts. Not healthy, but DO IT. We are all mentally prepared to gain ~5 pounds this month anyway, right? Don’t be a ninny – eat dessert.
Oh She Glows has so many baked oatmeal recipes that I just love. It would be super easy to mix and match and make more than one flavor for a bigger crowd. I’ve made her Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal in the past and it was super yummy. When my college friends visited, I served this fruity baked oatmeal for brunch and it was a nice addition to the usual breakfast suspects.
This Broccoli Cornbread was a winner! The ingredient list sounds odd – cottage cheese??….broccoli?? I made this a few times at my sister’s, for my college friends and for my parents and everyone loved it. It makes a huge tray that will suffice for a large dinner party or last a few days! It reheats really nicely in the toaster.
Obviously, chili is the perfect sidekick to cornbread. Because, lets be real, that cornbread is the star. And for me, chili is just the vehicle to get the carbs to my face. Anyway, this Pumpkin Chili is unique and if you double it, the flavors just get better with time!
My sister proclaims to HATE sweet potatoes but she loved this Instant Pot Curry and even requested that I make it again. Winner winner,
chicken vegetarian dinner. I always add kale or spinach at the end of cooking to add some green, too. (PS: I made this in my InstaPot in the camper. Evidence as to how easy this really is!)
After Halloween, we were looking for a way to get rid of my nieces’ excess of candy. Enter, cookies. I randomly googled “Chocolate Chip Cookies” and found this recipe. Never in my life have I made cookies so beautiful! These stay nice and high and don’t spread out, making one big sheet pan-sized cookie. Follow the notes about not over baking and you’ll be happy you did!
This Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cake is so unexpected. You do need a blender or food processor for this, but once you get over that mental hurdle, it is truly a very simple recipe. Finding mexican chocolate in central PA on the other hand, was more of a struggle. I ended up making a dupe by adding cinnamon and almond extract. If I had to do it again, I’d add a bit of cayenne too! The “crust” created by baking the blended seeds (read: DIY pumpkin seed butter) with the spiced chocolate chunks is to. die. for.
Every year at Thanksgiving my dad and I make the Joy of Cooking’s chocolate pecan pie. Well, that’s a lie. We make the regular pecan pie recipe and reduce the amount of caro syrup and add chocolate chips on top in a layer. So, this isn’t a recipe as much as a suggestion to ADD CHOCOLATE TO YOUR PECAN PIE. I promise you’ll be happy you did. Oh, and make your own crust. Yaaaas, I said it. It’s so easy, and you’ll impress your fam. Win win!
I need to scheme about what I’ll be making for Christmas here in Hawaii.
As they say here, Mele Kalikimaka!!