Sweet Potato Energy Shake

A seriously delicious shake that also happens to be full of healthy goodness.

Sweet potato energy shake

Hello, 2016.  I’ve been…expecting you.

The start of the new year seems like a good time to lay down some Ready to Yumble principles.  Now, I know that approximately 132% of Americans take January to set some new goals, plans some new resolutions, and hit the gym and the juice.  I’m all for healthy food and fitness, but let’s be honest, this blog has one focus, and that’s deliciousness.  We won’t….nay, we can’t…post a recipe for raw kale and call it a day.

Fortunately, there are a good number of recipes out there which are both delicious and nutritious.  Mom was right!  And because we love all of you folks on the other side of internet, this month we will put a special emphasis on those dishes.  Because we want to help you reach your goals!  (And because we are likewise trying to wean ourselves off Christmas cookies.  It’s a struggle.)

So here’s your first serving of goodness, and trust me, I would not be featuring a drink without alcohol if it weren’t really really really tasty.

Sweet potato energy shake

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Smoked Salmon and Caper Spread

All the flavors of a perfect bagel sandwich, only finger-friendly and fancy.

Smoked salmon and caper spreadI’m not a huge New Year’s Eve person.  I count it among the most overrated of holidays, especially because I refuse to pay cover at a bar, on principle, just because it happens to be the last day of the year.  I’m lame that way.

But I CAN get behind snacks, always, any day.  And New Years Eve is a good time to make snacks.  If you’re hosting a group of people, they need something to eat with that champagne, right?  Here’s something easy and oh-so-classy to add to your shindig: smoked salmon and caper spread.  It’s finger-friendly, it’s drink-friendly, and it’s make-ahead friendly.  Quite simply, it’s friendly!  And your friends will love it back.

New Year’s Eve?  Overrated.  Snacks and friends?  RATED.  (I don’t underrate them. They are both actually really good things.  And it’s probably impossible to overrate both.  So….new adjective.  You’re welcome.)

Smoked salmon and caper spread (more…)

Eggnog French Toast Casserole with Gingersnap Streusel

A make-ahead recipe that is perfectly moist and subtly eggnog-y, with a sweet and spicy gingersnap cookie topping.

Eggnog French toast casserole

 

First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!  Or if you don’t celebrate, happy December 24th.  Either way, here’s something delicious to add to your table over the next couple days!

But first, some real talk: I really struggled with naming this dish.

There were two fairly obvious options, but each carried very clear social expectations.  Some people might ask what’s in a name, but I’ve found that what you call a food is incredibly important in determining how you intend to interact with it.  Context, people.  It’s real.

Would you rather try a Patagonian toothfish or a Chilean sea bass?  Regardless of your answer, you probably have two very different images in your head based on each name.  (For me, the first image is rather terrifying.)  And since you already know where this story is headed, you know those must be the same fish.  (Context again!)

And even without giving things unusual names, all labels create expectations.  You know when someone offers you dessert, and then brings out a plate of fruit, and you’re super disappointed because fruit is most definitely not dessert but a health food you avoid at all costs? (Just me?)

So what were the names I was considering?

One is at the top of this post: eggnog French toast casserole.

The second, reluctantly rejected option? Eggnog bread pudding.

YOU SEE MY DILEMMA!

Eggnog french toast casserole

Is this breakfast or dessert?? It’s both!!  I considered compromising and calling it eggnog French toast bread pudding, but that just sounds like I have an affliction causing me to yell out random words.

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Cranberry Orange Muffins

Both sweet and tart, these tender cranberry orange muffins are perfect for the holidays, or any day.Cranberry orange muffins

What, exactly, is cranberry season?

And by that, I’m not asking about when the fruit is harvested (although it may correlate).  No, just like pumpkin spice has a season, as does gingerbread, as does peppermint (why are all of these Starbucks latte flavors, come to think of it?  Bravo, marketing team, bravo) — is there a cranberry season?

If there is one, it would probably have its peak around Thanksgiving.  I don’t suppose anyone eats cranberry sauce the rest of the year.  But cranberry baked goods seem rather cozy for all of wintertime.  I mean, cranberry bliss bars live on at Starbucks until January or something, right?  Since they seem to be my barometer of seasonality?  Not to mention the cranberry color is so wonderfully holidayish.

Cranberries (more…)