Category Archives: holidays

For Kids & Grownups! Halloween Graveyard Cake Recipe

halloween graveyard cake recipe

Gourmet cooking was not something that we usually associated with children until very recently, and in part we can thank reality TV for that. But with the advent of cooking shows like Junior Master Chef (in the UK) and MasterChef Junior (in the US), we’ve come to realize that kids in the kitchen can deliver delicious -if messy – results.

Because Halloween is a holiday almost exclusively designed for kids, we thought it was a great time to share our love of all things delicious with the tiny chefs of our life. But enough with processed, packaged, sugary-sweet candy and out-of-the-box cookies! Our version of a Halloween treat this year is something made at home, made from scratch, and that both kids and grown-ups can enjoy making and eating. A spooky Graveyard Cake!

Anything chocolate is sure to please all palates, young or old, so our Graveyard Cake starts with a delicious chocolate cake base. Building our fun and frightful “graveyard” is easy from there – it’s as easy as some scrumptious shortbread cookies shaped like tombstones that your kids will have so much fun decorating. A dusting of chocolate to look like the earth has been removed (and the undead come up to party!), and you’re pretty much done. If chocolate cake is not your thing, you can always substitute with a brownie base, which will also look and taste great.

This Halloween, share the kitchen with your kids, and discover how much fun it can be! Have a spooky and deliciously good time!

halloween graveyard cake recipe

 

Halloween Graveyard Cake Recipe

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Halloween Graveyard Cake Recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

    For Cookies
  1. Print and cut out a tombstone stencil over cardboard. Alternatively, you can draw it by hand. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour over your counter and make a bowl-like indentation in the middle.
  3. Place the butter, powdered sugar, yolk and vanilla extract in the indentation.
  4. Start mixing the ingredients, folding the flour into the wet ingredients, and forming the dough. Alternatively, you can also do this with an electric mixer with paddle attachment.
  5. After the dough ball is formed, flatten into a disc, wrap in film and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before use.
  6. Turn the oven to 350 C.
  7. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into 3 or 4 sections. Over a floured surface, roll each one into ¼ inch thick discs.
  8. Using your cardboard mold to guide you, cut out the dough into the tombstone shape, using a sharp pointed knife.
  9. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with wax paper, and place back in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
  10. Bake until just lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  11. Melt the chocolate with the cream, and use it to decorate the cookies, using a piping bag.
  12. For Cake
  13. Turn oven to 350 F.
  14. In a bowl, combine the buttermilk with the oil.
  15. In a different bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, until it turns light and frothy. Add the buttermilk and oil mix, mixing gently to incorporate. Sift the flour and cacao powder and fold into the mix, using a spatula.
  16. Line your cake mold with waxed paper, then grease both the paper and the sides of the mold with butter.
  17. Bake for about 24 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the cake, if it comes out clean and dry, it’s ready. Remove from oven and let it cool over a rack. Once cooled down, unmold, and cut into rectangular portions. Reserve.
  18. For the frosting, start by heating the cream. Once it reaches a boil, remove from the stove and add the chopped chocolate, but do not mix. After a few minutes, mix with a spatula until combined and leave to cool and thicken.
  19. Cover each mini cake with the chocolate icing, using a spatula or palette knife. Place a Tombstone Cookie on each cake. Finish off with a sprinkling of grated chocolate.
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lamb-burger-with-brie-spicy-sriracha-mayo-recipe-1S-2163

Labor Day Recipe: Lamb Burger With Brie & Spicy Sriracha Mayo

lamb burger sriracha mayoWe’re only a couple of days away from the holiday weekend, and chances are that in between your spreadsheets, documents, files and forms, you’re Pinterest-ing away for some delicious grilling and cookout recipes. To help you out, we’ve come up with an incredible lamb burger recipe, developed right here at the Gourmet Food Store kitchens! We’re big fans of flavorful lamb meat, with its bold taste and always-juicy texture. Plus, it’s healthy! Lamb is primarily grass-fed, which means the meat is higher in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef.

Start with premium quality ground lamb meat, like Broadleaf’s New Zealand grass-fed lamb, raised in a healthy natural environment in family-run farms (you can find it at SteaksandGame.com at $8.23 per lb.).

After you’ve done your shopping, there are a few tricks to learn to grill up the perfect lamb burger, so read on!

First, mix all the ingredients with the lamb meat well, but gently. You don’t want to give it a Swedish massage, but you want the mix to be dense enough that it will hold its shape during cooking and won’t fall apart on the grill. We also used grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in our mix, not only to add flavor, but also because it helps hold the mix together as it melts. Another tip? Creating a small indentation or dimple with your thumb in the middle of the patty also helps to keep the shape of the burger (otherwise you’ll end up with a puffy ball).

When grilling, always stay away from open flames to avoid flare-ups. You’ll want coals only and a two-zone grill to cook these lamb burgers to perfection. Lamb meat has some great fat in it that needs to be melted to be enjoyable, so you really don’t want “rare” lamb burgers. That being said, nobody likes a charred, overcooked burger, so aim for medium or medium-rare when cooking lamb burgers. The Internal cooking temperatures for lamb are:  125°F for medium-rare and 135°F for medium.

Rather than going for the traditional doughy burger bun, opt for brioche bread. This enriched French-style bread is perfect for hamburgers. Light but firm, buttery and a bit sweet, it complements the rich flavors of the meat wonderfully.

Finally, go light on the condiments. You don’t want to overwhelm that great, complex flavor that is so particular to lamb meat by over-seasoning it or over-spicing it. We went with some onions and salty capers, and then mixed up a spicy Sriracha mayo to add some zest. A few slices of gooey Brie, and you’ve got the ultimate gourmet burger for your (almost) final summer grilling event this weekend!

Rest, relax and eat! Happy Labor Day!

Lamb Burger With Brie & Spicy Sriracha Mayo Recipe

Rating: 51

Yield: 4 burgers

Lamb Burger With Brie & Spicy Sriracha Mayo Recipe

Ingredients

  • 30 oz. ground lamb meat
  • 2 oz. grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. Capers, chopped
  • 2 or 3 tbsps. Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 8 slices of brioche bread
  • 7 oz. Brie
  • 2 cups baby greens
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 5 tbsps. Mayonnaise
  • 1 or 2 tbsps. Sriracha sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Using your hands, gently mix the lamb meat with the Parmigiano cheese, onion, capers, salt and pepper. Mix well so that the ingredients will mix fully. This will make the patties keep their shape better during cooking.
  2. Divide in 4 parts and form 4 disc-shaped patties. Wrap each individual patties in film and reserve in the fridge.
  3. Mix the mayo with the Sriracha, whisking until fully blended. Reserve in the fridge.
  4. Cut the brioche in half and brush with olive oil. Toast in the oven, flipping them so that they’re evenly toasted on both sides. If you want to use your toaster, toast first, then brush with olive oil.
  5. While the bread is toasting, start grilling your burgers.
  6. Heat up your grill to medium, and make sure your coals are distributed evenly. You don’t want a direct open flame.
  7. Brush the burgers with extra virgin olive oil, and grill about 5 minutes on each side. If you have an instant-read thermometer, lamb is medium-rare at 125°F, and medium at 135°F. Let burgers rest outside the grill for at last 2 minutes before serving, so that the juices have time to redistribute.
  8. Just before the lamb burgers are done, cut the brioche in half and brush with olive oil, then toast them over the grill, flipping once so that they’re evenly toasted on both sides. Alternative: If you want to use your toaster, toast first, then brush with olive oil.
  9. Spread the Sriracha mayo on each side of the bread; place a few greens, the red onions, a slice of tomatoes, and the burger, finishing with a slice of Brie and a few more greens.
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4th of july menu

9 Amazing Recipes For Your Fourth of July Menu

4th of july menu

Fourth of July is all about celebrating America and the great culinary traditions of this incredible country. But it’s also about summer, that bright, hot and sunny season that always seems to just fly us by entirely too quickly. This Independence Day, we’re making the most of the weather and taking our celebration outside – be it poolside or backyard, beach or park, rooftop or balcony, our 4th of July menu is simple, fresh and delicious. The plan: elevated versions of Americana food classics, like grilled cheese, burgers, corn on the cob, slaw, and more. Plus, a show-stopping perfectly-grilled pork tenderloin, and to finish off, a centerpiece worthy patriotic cake. America rocks!

 

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

4th of July Menu

Photo credit: Bev Cooks

This mouthwatering pork tenderloin recipe by Bev of Bev Cooks is the stuff of grilling dreams. It all starts with a spicy (but not mouth-melting) chipotle pepper, brown sugar and lime marinade, and a succulent pork tenderloin (we suggest the buttery Berkshire Pork Tenderloin by Steaks & Game). The trick is to marinade the pork in advance, so all the flavors will soak right into the meat. We love that this only looks like a time-consuming recipe – the pork actually grills in 45 minutes. Which leaves you plenty of time for cocktails and fireworks. Get the Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin Recipe >

 

Sliders with Beer-Glazed Onions and Brie

4th of July Menu

Photo credit: Confections of a Foodie Bride

You’ve invited all your friends and family over and planned everything to the last red-white-and-blue napkin:  now’s the time to dazzle their tastebuds with a super-fancy burger that will leave your neighbors talking about your Fourth of July menu all sumer long. These elegant and delicious sliders (try out our Australian Wagyu sliders) by Confections of A Foodie Bride are just the thing. Topped with brie and craft brew-glazed caramelized onions, you’ll want to make sure you have enough of these to go around – they’re guaranteed to disappear as soon as you set them out.  Get the Sliders with Beer-Glazed Onions and Brie Recipe

 

Crab and Avocado Grilled Cheese

4th of July Menu

Photo credit: Foodie Crush

We absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this grilled cheese recipe by Foodie Crush. It’s sophisticated yet super simple, and there’s something about a grilled cheese that just takes us back to our summers at camp. But there’s nothing childish about this sandwich! It has meaty pieces of sweet snow crab and thick slices of avocado, all topped with melted Havarti cheese. It’s also a perfect vegetarian option to your Fourth of July menu. We might suggest adding a flavored mayo, and you can switch up the Havarti for any of your favorites (like Swiss, Gouda, or even Comte) – but just make sure the cheese you pick melts well (see our great selection of melting cheeses). Get the Crab and Avocado Grilled Cheese Recipe >

Fruit & Nuts Blue Cheese Slaw

4th of July menu

Photo credit: Tidymom.net

This coleslaw recipe is a far cry from the traditional mayo-soaked slaw of picnics of yore. First of all, it’s loaded not with mayo but with delicious fruits like strawberries, mandarin oranges and grapes, then sprinkled with meaty pecans and topped with crumbled blue cheese. It’s also really simple to put together (you can even make it ahead the day before your party) AND it’s vegetarian. A great way to class up classic picnic fare! Get the Fruit and Nut Slaw Recipe by Tidy Mom > 

Spicy Shrimp & Avocado Salad

4th of July Menu

Photo credit: Dine and Dish

The riot of colors and flavors in this salad by Dine and Dish completely grabbed us. It combines fabulous (and healthy!) seasonal summer ingredients like juicy tomatoes, meaty avocados and sweet corn, but it goes a step further with the zesty addition of Sriracha grilled shrimp. The contrast of the crisp lettuce, the creamy avocado and the hot shrimp is festive, delicious and hearty.  A drizzle of a great quality olive oil and some good balsamic vinegar, and you’ve got a side dish for your Fourth of July menu that can easily serve as a main course for your vegetarian and/or health conscious guests.  Get the Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Avocado Salad Recipe >

 

Smoky Parmesan Corn On The Cob

4th of July menu

Photo credit: The Endless Meal

Corn on the cob and summer go together, no question about it. Add Parmesan and a hint of smoked paprika to the equation, and you’ve got a dish worthy of your fireworks! This corn on the cob recipe by The Endless Meal will be your go-to summer staple, guaranteed.  Just brush the butter and parmigiano mix on the corn and wrap in foil (you can do all this and refrigerate up to two days in advance) and then throw on the grill alongside your burgers.  The perfect summer gourmet side dish for your Fourth of July menu! Get the Parmesan Corn on The Cob Recipe >

 

Red, White & Blue Mini Fruit Pizzas

4th of july menu

Photo credit: Mommy’s Kitchen

This patriotic dessert by Mommy’s Kitchen will please kids and adults alike! We’re big fans of adding fresh, seasonal produce to everything, and these “mini pizzas” (actually cookies) are the perfect vehicle to give kids a serving of fresh fruit (sneaky!). You can make your favorite cookie recipe, top it with a cream cheese filling and then add slices of fresh berries – just make sure you have blueberries for that red, white and blue theme. Or, instead of cookies and cream cheese, try some fresh blini and creme fraiche for a savory, grown-up alternative. Get the Red, White and Blue Mini Fruit Pizzas Recipe >

 

Summer Sangria

4th of july menu

Photo credit: Eat Drink Love

What’s a party without a signature cocktail? Our pick this year is this delish fruit-filled sangria byEat Drink Love. It’s sweet, it’s filled with berries, and just like a punch, you can just make a big ol’ pitcher instead of laboring at the bar over individual drinks.  To keep with the patriotic theme, use blueberries and strawberries, and cut out some pineapples (it’s not white, but it’s close enough!) with a star-shaped cutter. Get the Summer Sangria Recipe >

 

Ombre Independence Day Cake

4th of July Menu

Photo credit: Brit + Co.

Does this cake really need an introduction? Don’t you just want to run to the recipe just by looking at it? We did! This is the piece (of cake) de resistance for our Fourth of July menu. The crafty gals at Brit + Co. (their site is a treasure trove of all sorts of ideas – from food, to crafts to fashion – go get lost in the awesomeness!) made the executive decision to use cake mix and ready-made frosting to offset the time it takes to assemble the cake, but more enterprising and expert bakers can definitely use their favorite cake recipe and make their own frosting instead. This is the moment to go BIG, and this cake definitely fits the bill – just make sure you have enough height on your fridge to store it. Get the Ombre Independence Day Recipe > 

 

A big thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who let us share the amazing recipes that make up our Fourth of July menu. We encourage you to visit their blogs and sites for more incredible recipes, menu ideas and general awesomeness.

Happy Fourth of July!

 

Which one of these yummy recipes is your favorites? Do you have any great recipes for the Fourth? Share them in the comments below or on Facebook

 

 

berries

Video: A Patriotic 4th of July Dessert!

berries

Juicy peaches, sweet strawberries and plump berries are ripe for the picking – and ready to be the star of your 4th of July desserts.

Need some inspiration for your 4th of July dessert? Joan Nathan’s fruit crisp is our featured pick! It’s filled with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, then topped with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, for the perfect and most delicious red, white and blue patriotic dessert.

There’s nothing more wonderful in the too-short summer season than making the most of the bounty of fruit that is just bursting with flavor and color. Juicy peaches, sweet strawberries and plump berries, to name a few, are ripe for the picking – and ready to be the star of your summer desserts. For this 4th of July dessert “pie”, the concept of tart is turned upside down, with the dough on top, the fruit at the bottom. This way, the juices of the fruit don’t turn the dough soggy, ensuring crisp bites.

Serve in spoonfuls over bowls, or, to give the presentation a more “summery” twist, spoon into mason jars and use long milkshake spoons.

Bonus!  This wonderful recipe is an all-season must – just replace the summer berries and rhubarb with whatever fruit is at the market, like crisp apples in the fall, or citrus fruit in the winter.  If the weather is cooler, top with whipped cream instead of ice cream (although we’re partial to ice cream all year long!).

 

Video source: Tablet Magazine

father's day menu

Celebrating Dad: A Father’s Day Menu In 4 Steps (With Recipes!)

father's day menu

The weather just calls us out to the great outdoors (or the backyard), so we thought up a Father’s Day menu that’s designed to enjoy al fresco.

Each Dad has a different palate, but a quick poll around the Gourmet Food Store office turned up one unanimous winner – meat. Grilled meats, to be specific. So this year, our Father’s Day menu is about firing up that grill and giving Dad an upscale version of his favorites foods.

And of course, no cookout would be complete without a signature cocktail, something for Dad to sip while he opens his presents. A selection of sweet desserts, a thoughtful, heartfelt card and lots of hugs and kisses, and you have the recipe for his most fantastic Father’s Day ever!

Step 1: Dad’s Upscale Dogs

cocktailweiners

Nothing could be easier or more delicious than throwing some delicious franks on the grill. To level things up a bit, try these fabulous Wagyu mini-dogs. Made from all-natural Australian Wagyu beef, they’re a super affordable way to give Dad a taste of the world-famous Kobe beef without breaking your retirement-fund piggy bank. Pair them with a sophisticated honey mustard dipping sauce, which you can make ahead and keep refrigerated – just warm it up when you’re serving the dogs.

Step 2: Cool Caipirinha Cocktail

father's day menu

He’ll need a refreshing beverage to wash down all this food, and we think he’ll appreciate this one. All Dads love sports, so in honor of the World Cup festivities, we included Brazil’s most popular cocktail to our Father’s Day menu: the citrusy and sweet Caipirinha. Limes, sugar, cachaca (pronouns kah//SHAH/sah) and lots of ice are all you’ll need to craft this cocktail. Need some pointers? This video will show you how to make the perfect Caipirinha.

Step 3: The Father of All Burgers

father's day menu

This next course is the one that will make you his favorite forever: Grass-Fed Burgers Topped With Foie Gras. Start with great-quality grass-fed beef patties (or grind your own). The secret is in thefoie gras slices – rich and succulent, it adds a layer of delicious decadence to what would otherwise be a regular backyard burger. Keep in mind that this is a relatively heavy dish, so make sure Dad doesn’t load up on lots of chips (or too many of those delicious Wagyu cocktail hot dogs) beforehand. Or, just leave enough time between the appetizer and the burgers!  See the full recipe for this meaty masterpiece below.

Step 4: Dad’s Just Desserts

father's day menu

After recovering from his food coma, Dad will certainly be ready for his something sweet. Surprise him with a variety of summer-ready mini tarts from Galaxy Dessert. The Tart Sampler includes four Dad-approved tarts: Pecan, Apple, Lemon and Key Lime. The best part? These delicious tarts are pre-made and all ready to go, no cooking required – and after all the work you put into the meal, we’re sure you’ll appreciate this sweet break from the oven!

 

Grass Fed Beef Burgers with Foie Gras

Yield: 4 burgers

Grass Fed Beef Burgers with Foie Gras

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Fire up the grill and get the heat up to high. While the grill is heating up, start on your foie gras.
  3. Season the foie gras slices with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat a medium non-stick saucepan over very high heat. When it’s smoking hot, place the foie gras slices. Cook for about two minutes – the fat should start rendering immediately – then flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the pan (but don’t wash or discard the pan) and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes. While the foie gras is in the oven, start your shitake cream sauce.
  6. In the same pan used to cook the foie gras slices – which should have the rendered fat from the foie gras – add the shiitake mushrooms, 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar and a 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook for about 4 minutes over medium heat. Incorporate the heavy cream and cook, stirring, until the cream turns light brown.
  7. Leave the foie gras in a warm place while you cook your burgers.
  8. Season the burgers with salt and pepper and place on the grill over a hot fire – which will get you that nice crust. Grill each side for about 4 to 5 minutes – checking to make sure it’s not burning – then flip, and grill for another 2 minutes or so. To check for doneness, use an instant-read food thermometer: 125°F for medium rare or 135°F for medium.
  9. Serve each burger over a warm roll, topped with a slice of foie gras and drizzle with the shiitake sauce.
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Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. In a small pot, mix all ingredients and simmer for 25 minutes on medium-low heat.
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The Gourmet Father’s Day Gift Guide

Need a gift that’s as brilliant and inspired as Dad? We’ve selected our best and most exclusive treats to indulge him come Father’s Day. From sweet to savory, for cooking or for snacking, we’ve got the best gourmet Father’s Day gifts for the best men in our lives.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53  54 55 56 57

FATHER’S DAY GIFTS (from top to bottom, left to right):

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Thanksgiving Dinner Menu – 11 Delicious Recipes!

It’s the final countdown to Thanksgiving, so how about some delicious inspiration? We gathered our culinary troops to help you out! We’ve selected our favorite Thanksgiving recipes from genius foodies from all around the web. Spend spend less time researching, and more time enjoying.  Take a look and get cookinspired!

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A THANKSGIVING DINNER MENU

  1. Homemade Cranberry Sauce – My Endless Picnic
  2. Dry Brined High-Heat Roast Turkey – The Galley Gourmet
  3. Turkey Gravy – Cooking Canuck
  4. Apple Cider Turkey Gravy – A Spicy Perspective
  5. Roasted Turkey – Tide & Thyme
  6. Pumpkin And Cheese Spice Bread –  An Edible Mosaic
  7. Cranberry Sauce – The Faux Martha
  8. Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese, Sage and Pepitas – Domesticate ME!
  9. Roasted Sweet Potato With Pecan and Maple – Drizzle & Dip
  10. Pecan Pie – Unexpected Elegance
  11. Buttermilk Biscuits – Simple Gourmet Cooking
Giving Sbux a bit of competition! Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whipped Cream. Photo by: Mary Younkin

Top Five Gourmet Halloween Recipes Featuring Pumpkin!

We post a lot about sophisticated, la-di-da recipes around here, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But today we’re looking for more fun than fondue. It’s almost Halloween! Our favorite Halloween recipes featuring pumpkin by our spookily talented contributing bloggers will make this Halloween frighteningly delicious.

Read on for our favorite Halloween recipes featuring everyone’s orange vegetable, pumpkin.

1. Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Giving Sbux a bit of competition! Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whipped Cream. Photo by: Mary Younkin

Giving Sbux a bit of competition! Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whipped Cream. Photo by: Mary Younkin

Long lines at the coffee shop spooking you out? This the perfect Halloween recipe for latte-lovers! Try Mary’s recipe for a homemade pumpkin latte made from pumpkin puree. So easy to make at home, no styrofoam cups required!

You can find our more great recipes from Many on her cooking blog:
www.barefeetinthekitchen.com

View Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe >

2. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie

Our fave pumpkin-for-breakfast Halloween recipe: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie. Photo by: Rachel Farnsworth

Our fave pumpkin-for-breakfast Halloween recipe: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie. Photo by: Rachel Farnsworth

You know us, we’re suckers for gourmet recipes that are also healthy, and this Halloween recipe is perfect to kick off your day. Rachel’s smoothie recipe of Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, spices and rolled oats will get you up and going for a long afternoon of trick-or-treating!

View Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe >

Find more delicious from-scratch recipes from Rachel on her blog at:
www.thestayathomechef.com

3. Pumpkin Harvest Cookies

Our favorite cookies for Halloween – Pumpkin Harvest Cookies. Photo by: Katie Compton

Our favorite cookies for Halloween – Pumpkin Harvest Cookies. Photo by: Katie Compton

Pumpkin, chocolate chips, shredded coconuts and spices? Our taste buds went crazy just looking at the ingredient list for Katie’s Halloween recipe of Pumpkin Cookies. Make a large batch to give away to trick-or-treaters, and save some to have with your afternoon coffee.

View Pumpkin Harvest Cookie Recipe > 

For more recipes (and fashion style tips!), visit Katie’s blog:
 www.rufflesandtruffles.com

4. Pumpkin Birmuelos with Caramel Drizzle

A deliciously Kosher Halloween! Pumpkin Birmuelos With Caramel Drizzle. Photo by: Melinda Strauss

A deliciously Kosher Halloween! Pumpkin Birmuelos With Caramel Drizzle. Photo by: Melinda Strauss

It’s easy to keep kosher on Halloween when you have the help of Melinda Strauss, of Kitchen Tested. Her adaptation of the classic birmuelo – a sort of fried doughnut – includes mixing up some pumpkin puree, and drizzling the whole thing with caramel.  L’Chaim!

View Kosher Pumpkin Birmuelos Recipe >

For more incredible (and always kosher) recipes from Melinda, find at her at:
www.kitchentested.com 

5. Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes

Frighteningly yummy spiderwebs adorn these decadent chocolate and pumpkin-frosted cupcakes. Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes. Photo by: Alexandra @ Confessions of A Bright Eyed Baker.

Frighteningly yummy spiderwebs adorn these decadent chocolate and pumpkin-frosted cupcakes. Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes. Photo by: Alexandra @ Confessions of A Bright Eyed Baker.

We promised Halloween cupcakes, and cupcakes you shall have! But these are no scary store-bought cupcakes, no sir. Alexandra of Confessions of a Bright Eyed Baker brewed up some decadent, moist chocolate-and-pumpkin cupcakes with bright orange-spiced cream cheese frosting. Plus a sophisticated chocolate “spiderweb” to top it all of.  Wickedly good!

View Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcake Recipe >

For more indulgent baking (and more) from Alexandra, check out her blog at:
http://www.brighteyedbaker.com

 

Happy Halloween, fellow foodies!

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A Festive And Fabulous Holiday Menu

It’s beginning to feel – and taste – a lot like Christmas ! The tree is up, the snow has coated everything in wonderful white, and the season is in full, festive swing.

Our Christmas menu selection this year is full of fabulous flavor, using the foods and ingredients we love so much around here. We looked for great innovative ways to prepare some classics, but also wanted to have pretty presentation and a bit of a wow factor – this is a once-a-year event, and your table should be anything but ordinary!

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START…

…with this festive Pomegranate Cheese Ball by How Sweet It Is. Twinkling pomegranate gems glisten and glow festively in this incredible appetizer that reminds us of a Christmas ornament (an edible, delicious one!) and acts double duty as a centerpiece. This classic-yet-chic cheese-ball appetizer is made with sharp white cheddar, mixed with some smoky toasted almonds, then sumptuously finished with cream cheese, mascarpone, and sage butter.  Everything gets blended with an electric mixer and then formed not a ball. We are raving about this appetizer!

pomegranate-cheeseball-I-howsweeteats.com-2

A delicious centerpiece to start off your feast! Photo: Pomegranate Cheese Ball by How Sweet It is.

Get the Pomegranate Cheese Ball recipe here >

 

FOLLOW…

Instead of a Christmas ham or turkey, we’re making this a sophisticated, delicious and upscale alternative:  Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck by Spoon Fork Bacon. Traditional dishes are great and all, but sometimes it’s time to shake things up, but there’s something very “everyday” about ham, and by December 25th, we’ve just about had enough with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. This duck is juicy and tender, but with loads more flavor than a turkey. You can use a whole duck, or two if you’re feeding a large crowd. This recipe also includes a Spiced Cranberry -Persimmon Chutney (which we think is just perfecto for this), but since a roasted duck is a super versatile main, you can pair it with your favorite sauce.

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A very crispy Christmas! Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck by Spoon Fork Bacon.

Find the Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck recipe here >

 

SERVE WITH…

Creamy, cheesy, luscious Scalloped Potatoes by Oh Sweet Basil! We almost have no words to describe the incredibleness that is this au gratin dish. It’s classic and comforting, and we think it will pair perfectly with our more complicated main dish. Russet potatoes, butter, heavy cream, a great sharp cheddar cheese, all spiced with thyme, bay and cloves, and baked until gorgeously golden and deliciously melty. We’re planning to make this with sharp and buttery Fiscalini Farmstead 18 Month cheddar for an extra boost of flavor…and we’re planning to make it our staple winter comfort dish throughout the season!

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A sumptuous side! Creamy Scalloped Potatoes. Photo by: Oh Sweet Basil.

Find the Scalloped Potatoes recipe here >

 

TOAST…

…with a warm glass of Glogg (recipe by Taste Food Blog). If you’re ready to go beyond the Eggnog this year, you should definitely try this yummy alternative.  Glogg is the classic Scandinavian Christmas drink. A kind of spiced mulled wine, it’s made with cloves, cinnamon, red wine and brandy, served cozily warm with almonds and raisins. It’s pretty much the grown-ups cup of hot chocolate, and it’s much more beautiful to serve, the merry red drink adding to the Christmas atmosphere.

Stay mellow and warm with a glass of Glogg. Photy by; Taste Food Blog.

Stay mellow and warm with a glass of Glogg. Photy by; Taste Food Blog.

Find the Gløgg recipe here >

 

AND FINISH WITH…

Mascarpone Nutella Mousse! The creamy hazelnut chocolate spread is pretty much an addiction of ours, and it’s the perfect treat to end a holiday meal. This dessert combines sweet mascarpone with Nutella and heavy whipping cream. Just blend equal parts of each in a blender and you’re done. Garnished with cheery red berries, festive green mint and (more) chocolate, this is the ideal clincher to our picture-perfect Christmas meal!

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Nuts for Nutella! Nutella Mascarpone Mousse. Photo: Gourmet Food Store.

 

CONTRIBUTORS:

We’d like to thank the following bloggers for sharing their amazing recipes and beautiful photographs. Visit their blogs for more delicious recipes and tons of culinary inspiration.

www.SpoonForkBacon.com
www.howsweeteats.com
www.tastefoodblog.com
www.ohsweetbasil.com

Bye, Bye Summertime! A Sophisticated Gourmet Labor Day Cookout Menu

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It’s… inevitable. Summer, with all it’s fun under the sun, is almost over. Labor Day weekend is almost upon us, and with it, the unofficial close to the summer season. But before we unpack the sweaters and bring out the comforters, there’s still time for a last summer hurrah! Get ready for a Labor Day Cookout! Celebrate a fun-filled, warm and beautiful long weekend with family and friends… and great food, of course!

Labor Day weekend celebrations are all about barbeques and grilling, picnics and cookouts, so we’ve prepared a summery Labor Day Cookout Menu for you, with recipes as fresh as they’re unfussy, as down-to-earth as they’re sophisticated, with the freshest ingredients of the summer season.

 Labor Day Cookout Menu

Appetizer: 
Grilled Bacon Scallops by Kate

Salad: 
 Summer Succotash by Profiteroles & Ponytails

Main
: Gourmet Chili Dogs by Bev Cooks

Dessert
: Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts

 

Grilled Bacon Scallops

Summer on a stick! Photo: Bacon Scallops by Kate of FramedCooks.com

Summer on a stick! Photo: Bacon Scallops by Kate of FramedCooks.com

Start off your meal with an easy, summer-ready appetizer.  Plump sea scallops wrapped with bacon, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and grilled to perfection.  Add a squeeze of lemon and you have the most delicious start to a Labor Day cookout. Grilled Bacon Scallops Recipe

 

Summer Succotash Salad by Profiteroles & Ponytails

The most colorful Labor Day yet! Ph: Saccutash by Profiteroles & Ponytails

The most colorful Labor Day yet! Ph: Saccutash by Profiteroles & Ponytails

An outdoor meal is never complete without a fresh, seasonal salad. This Succotash Summer Salad by Profiteroles & Ponytails could just as easily be a meal by itself. Sweet corn, juicy grape tomatoes, plump edamame, avocado, onions and sweet pepper. Drizzle with some lime juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and you’re done! Summer Saccutash Recipe

 

Gourmet Chili Hot Dogs by BevCooks.com

(Hot) Dog days of summer! Gourmet Chili Hot Dogs, Ph: Bevcooks.com

(Hot) Dog days of summer! Gourmet Chili Hot Dogs, Ph: Bevcooks.com

A stylish, sophisticated version of an American classic we all know and love? That’s what we’re talking about! There’s no need to get complicated, to get gourmet. Bev of Bevcooks.com made these barkin’ hot dogs with grilled Polish Kielbasa, slid those puppies into fresh baguettes, then ladled a generous portion of her amazing sweet and spicy chili and finished off with shredded cheddar, diced onion and cilantro. This recipe inspired our Labor Day Cookout Menu, so run for the recipe, now!  Gourmet Chili Dog Recipe

 

Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts

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Our Labor Day Cookout dessert is the most labor-less of them all! These gourmet key lime tarts are made by Galaxy Desserts in California, featuring an all-butter shortbread crust and a filling made out of real Key limes. Just take out of the freezer and serve. Order here >