Christmas Praline Crunch

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Christmas time is here and it’s time to spread some delicious cheer! Every time I make this it takes everything inside of me not to eat more than a handful and most times I fail miserably and end up doubling the recipe. Here’s my simple holiday snack that I love to wrap up and share with neighbors, co-workers, and friends. This would also be a hit at any holiday party. I like to call it Christmas Crunch, but its street name is Christmas Crack.

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Keep reading for the recipe…

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Non-Traditional Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Stuffing

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DSC_0922We are doing back-to-back food posts, folks! Because it’s not too late to run to the store and buy the ingredients to all these delicious Thanksgiving day meals we’re cookin’ up.

DSC_0821Over the years, I’ve been asked to share this recipe a thousand times. Ok, maybe not a thousand times, but it feels like it. I’ve been making this stuffing recipe for YEARS! My friends don’t request this dish; they EXPECT this stuffing to be on the table at our Friendsgiving every year. Let’s get out of the boxed thanksgiving meals and make something delicious!

Here’s my step by step tutorial:

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Pumpkin Bars for Friendsgiving

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Our annual Friendsgiving is coming up, and we are testing out recipes here on Foggy Dress!  Normally, I would grab a special store bought treat, but this year I decided to make something intentional. I’m (Anna that is) sharing my super easy & quick recipe for pumpkin bars that you should definitely consider taking to your holiday dinner.

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When I was a poor and starving college student, I worked in our Human Resources department as a work-study student. I loved that job mostly because my boss was like a second mom. She would bring me tasty homemade treats and listen to me complain about my classes. Every fall Noelle would make these PUMPKIN BARS! They literally put a smile on my face and made my day (because good food does that to me).

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This upcoming Friendsgiving gave me the perfect excuse to make a bunch of pumpkin bars, “taste test” a handful, and remember those good old college days. Be it a bake sale, dinner party, or a treat to share with a friend having a hard day, I hope these bars will bring you and your friends warm fall feelings!

Happy Holidays!  -abc

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Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs

1 Cup oil

2 ¼ Cups sugar

1 (15oz) Can of Pumpkin

2 Cups Flour

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 Cup walnuts, optional

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350°. Beat eggs, oil, and sugar. Add sugar one cup at a time and gradually introduce into the egg and oil mix. Mix in pumpkin, then gradually add flour (half a cup a time). Once flour and pumpkin are mixed well, add salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir in all the nuts except 1 heaping tablespoon. Pour into greased and floured 17 x 11 inch baking pan (jelly roll pan). Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining nuts on top of frosting. Cut into bars. Top with cream cheese frosting below.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (3oz) package cream cheese, softened

6 tbsp butter or margarine, softened

1 tbsp half and half

1.5 Cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Directions: Beat cream cheese with butter until creamy. Add half and half, powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Place in Ziploc bag, cut off tip and pipe frosting over individual bars.

PS – How to Throw a Party and What to Wear to Friendsgiving

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Russian Potato Salad aka Vinegrét

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InŸtentŸionŸal food (/inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/) (/FŌŌD/): food created with intent and a purpose. Be it to evoke a memory or continue a tradition, intentional food is synonymous with culture, memories, and warm fuzzy feelings. Wow, that was very phyllosophical (get it? Phyllo?) of me. Anyway, back in high school Hana and I, along with 7 other good friends, were selected to be student ambassadors to Volgograd, Russia. We were each paired with a Russian student and lived with that student’s family for two weeks and spent a third week exploring Moscow and St. Petersburg. It was an experience of a lifetime. We forged lifetime friendships with our Russians, but the one thing I still have to keep me close to those people and memories is food, duhh. One of my coping mechanisms for missing Russia is making this intentional dish that my host mom would make because she knew I’d eat the whole darn thing.

It’s pronounced vinŸaŸ-gree-Ÿét and easiest described as a Russian potato salad. Every family puts their own twist on this dish. You can add any ingredients (i.e. peas, carrots, & sauerkraut) your taste buds see fit. I’m a tangy vinegar person and this dish hits the spot when I’m craving something savory. It’s simple to make and if beets intimidate you, they shouldn’t. Read this post on prepping beets to get comfortable. Plus side to bringing this dish to a potluck: it will unite meat eaters, vegetarians, and even Vegans!

 

Here’s how I do Vinegrét:

1. Prep beets (Peel, quarter, boil)

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How to: Prep Beets

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Hi guys! it’s Anna.

The boots are out, warm sweaters are on (75F in SD now…Burrrrrr), and we are surrounded by pumpkin flavored everything. This can mean only one thing: Fall is here. But Fall isn’t just for the pumpkins. It’s also the season of turnips, potatoes, persimmons, cabbage and BEETS. ::Insert corny beet jokes here::

In the past, I’ve been inclined to buy canned beets or prepackaged beets because they are so easy and convenient, but les-bi-onest they don’t quite taste as good as fresh beets. With beets now in season, I’ve decided to hone my mad beet skills (hah). It’s JUST like boiling potatoes! It takes about 10 mins of prep and 4 easy steps! Now we have no excuse for avoiding fresh beets! You can boil them in a pot or cook them in the oven (see step #4).

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