Waffles are my mom’s favorite thing for brunch, no contest. While I like to mix it up with pancakes, biscuits, scones, and french toast, she will ALWAYS want belgian waffles.
Problem was, when I was a kid our waffle recipe was kind of a pain in the rear to make because it required you to beat egg whites into a stiff meringue of sorts before gently folding them into the waffle batter.
And seriously, who wants to sit there for several minutes trying to get your egg whites to stiffen when you aren’t even properly caffeinated?!
Enter this recipe—the awesomest easy waffles I’ve ever made! My grandma has been making this for eons, but she has no idea where it came from…she was the first to stop using beaten egg whites, though, because our family is all about low-maintenance cooking (we also almost never do wet and dry ingredients separately, or chill cookie dough).
We’ve adapted it over the years to make it even better and healthier. It’s practically dummy-proof, and yields golden, crispy, fast waffles every time.
Any waffle iron will work with this, but I like to make them on a belgian waffle maker which makes deeper pockets and crispier outsides than a regular one (I’m absolutely in love with my new one!!).READ THE POST
It’s weird because I don’t really like caramel, and I’m not super into popcorn…but I’m ALL IN on this homemade caramel popcorn.
My mom’s been making it since I was a kid, and it’s a must-have on Thanksgiving for my family. It’s just SO GOOD! She makes a massive tub and we munch on it all afternoon while playing cards and watching .
It’s also so easy…caramel can feel quite daunting. I’ve watched approximately 1,250 hours of Great British Bake-Off and caramel is always tripping up the bakers.
But the caramel we’re making today is the opposite of fiddly. And the actual hands-on portion of this recipe is quite minimal.
Thanksgiving is a BIG deal in my family. And that includes the food…which is why I feel like I have some of the best Thanksgiving recipes around. You know, the tried-and-true ones that the family requests over and over.
See, I have a big extended family, and we spend the day before baking, cooking, and prepping. The morning of Thanksgiving is always insane—my mom’s up super early with the turkey, then leaves around 10:30 to get down to my grandma’s. I get up a little later, go for a run, finish up all the remaining dishes, and head down around noon.
We eat a huge lunch, then graze all afternoon and have leftovers for dinner. We play football, watch football, play cards, and talk. Chase the kids around.
When you’re cooking for a big crowd (anywhere from 25 to 50 in past years; usually around 25-30 these days), there are some realities in the kinds of dishes that make sense. Anything super time-intensive that doesn’t yield a lot of servings is automatically out.
So these are some of my favorite relatively easy Thanksgiving recipes that I’ve contributed over the years, and it’s all about the sides, breads, desserts, and cocktails. Turkey just…exists. Hope you enjoy and everyone has a safe, happy (American) Thanksgiving with family and friends!
What are basted eggs, you ask? Well, friend, prepare to fall in love. It is a super fast and easy way to cook eggs, but strangely flies under the radar. It’s somewhere between fried (which I never ate growing up) and poached (which is complicated and challenging). Basting eggs takes like five minutes total, and you can choose whether the yolks are runny or firm. So let’s talk how to baste eggs.
And then I’ll share a “recipe”…which isn’t really a recipe so much as a meal combination that I stumbled upon many years ago in the throes of desperation, trying to avoid yet another meal of cereal and wine.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
I’ve already shared my love of brussels sprouts, including this delicious, easy caramelized shredded brussels sprouts (and much faster than roasting them in the oven!).
So one night, I had a few brussels sprouts sitting in the fridge I knew I could make up, but that wasn’t going to cut it for dinner. So I decided to baste up some eggs for a protein kick. What was great was how the egg yolk (I like mine on the runny side) mixed in with the brussels sprouts. Think of these brussels sprouts like you would a vegetable hash, a wonderful base for eggs.
The very first time I made this recipe was many years ago, when the leaves were turning all shades of fiery red and orange, signaling a gorgeous Georgia fall. There was a chill in the air, co-workers arguing over SEC football, and comfort food cravings were haunting me.
You know what else says “fall”? Apple butter. Well, technically anything apple + cinnamon, but apple butter is definitely high up on the list. My mom had shared a homemade apple butter recipes from our family friend, Louise, and I decided to give it a try…and it’s become one of my favorite recipes of all time.
Since that time many years ago, making this apple butter has been a rite of fall. I’ve made it, without fail, every single year for going on a decade. I share jars with friends, co-workers, family…this stuff is legendary. And all the better because it’s so easy.
One of the best parts?? No peeling necessary–you keep the peels on your apples, because the pectin in the peels helps it thicken up. The combination of spices and brown sugar makes for a complex and warm flavor, completely adaptable to your own preferences. This is one of those great things that bubbles away on the stove, but takes very little hands-on time and effort.
I’ve posted the original homemade apple butter recipe as I was given it below, but when I make this I make one major tweak—the amount of sugar it called for seemed extreme, so I decrease it significantly. It lets the natural sweetness of the apples as well as the spices shine through, and makes it healthier overall.READ THE POST
Y’all, this is probably the best bread I have ever made. One of the best breads I’ve ever eaten.
I know, I know—that’s a bold statement. But I’m being completely serious. As I’ve said previously on this blog, I’m not a huge bread person. I can take it or leave most bread, and would rather have dessert or wine or even a good veggie side dish. But this bread changed my mind.
I first tested out this rosemary olive oil bread many years ago on Thanksgiving weekend, trying to come up with new ways to feed a bajillion people. It’s become a family favorite and staple at Thanksgiving and even normal weekend family events.
One thing I like about it is that it’s really flexible. The first time I made it, I was under the gun time-wise and so had to cheat and force the timings a bit for both the first and second rise. But it’s a very forgiving recipe and has always turned out well. What I’ve laid out here are ideal timings, but don’t be put off by them.
I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe, like adding sea salt on top (rather than the dried rosemary it called for). I do believe that fresh rosemary in the dough makes a huge difference, so strongly recommend you use it if at all possible. The bread flour called for is nice and adds a great chewy texture, but if you don’t have bread flour then just substitute more regular flour. I quite like this using mostly white whole wheat flour, but that’s your call…all-purpose works fine as well.
I love pie. Pie is the best. But for a holiday where pie plays a major role, I don’t really love Thanksgiving pies. Thanksgiving’s a big deal in my family. We always come home. We get together not only all day on Thanksgiving, but pretty much every other day that weekend. We play football. We play cards. There are glorious sunsets. There is SO much food. This year I think we actually set a record.
[Note: I edited and republished this in December 2019 with refreshed photos]
Every year I make a fruit pie or two, because pumpkin, German chocolate, and chocolate chip pie are just not for me. There’s usually a pear-apple pie with streusel topping, or some similar combination (I’ve been on a roll with this bourbon pear crumble pie). A couple years ago, though, I was really at a loss for what else to make, and then my mom found a bag of dark cherries in the freezer.
After looking up a number of recipes on Pinterest, I had to basically make up the recipe and hope it would work (I had visions of it just being this giant pool of juice, the soggiest pie ever). It was actually super simple and so easy to throw together.
This bing cherry pie ended up being my favorite dessert that year, and I had it for lunch, dinner, breakfast the next morning, and the tiny sliver that was left the next morning as well. This pie is my everything. I have no idea why, but it’s amazing.
I’ve been on a kick of re-making some of my all-time favorite recipes, many of which I’ve (inexplicably) never posted on this site. Completely on a whim this week, I whipped up this pear-apple pie (and proceeded to entirely eat it myself over the course of a few days…) and fell in love with it all over again. I made up this recipe several years ago and it definitely holds up over time.
I think streusel topping is totally underrated as a pie topping. I’m a sucker for the crumbly-crunchy-spiced-sweet texture and flavor it adds, and it’s so much easier than putting a pie crust topper on. I have a basic streusel formula I use and adapt as needed for different recipes, and it couldn’t be simpler.
I almost always make this for Thanksgiving when I go home to visit my family (and we eat on it for several days), so I have a strong association with the flavors here and fall in Kansas. In particular, the beautiful (and chilly) sunsets, quiet runs on our dirt road, and a breakfast of pie and coffee the next morning.
I also love that this recipe is reasonably healthy (as desserts go) and super easy to make. Other than dealing with pie crust dough (something I’m not terribly skilled with), the filling and topping are crazy simple and don’t require any special skills. You can throw this together while making dinner or doing other things, and it’s pretty forgiving if you don’t do something exactly right. In fact there isn’t really an “exactly right” with this recipe. You do you.
I moved away from home when I left for college, and only get back to Kansas once or twice a year. Usually that’s around Thanksgiving, but on the rare occasions it happens to be during the summer, my mom invariably asks if there’s anything in particular I want to eat, and I invariably answer “grilled chicken and steak with fried baby potatoes”.
It’s our thing.
It’s nice that some things in life are consistent 🙂 This is barely a “recipe”, but I’ve never really had these quite the same anywhere else so I wanted to share how we do this. The reason that summer is key is because we want to get fresh new potatoes if possible (red is best), and the key is SMALL. Yes, you can make regular potatoes this way, but it’s only with smaller potatoes that you get the right ratio of buttery crispy goodness and soft fluffy innards.
Full disclosure: I have no idea if this recipe is truly Pakistani, nor do I know what “kima” is.
But I *do* know that it’s delicious, filling, healthy, and easy. That’s a dinner grand slam in my books.
My sister has been making this for her family for quite a while, and she made it for us while I was visiting my parents a couple years ago. I fell in love with the incredible aroma and flavors of the spice combination. It’s truly what makes this dish special.
But it has a lot more going for it. It’s chock-full of veggies, across the color spectrum (something that I’m usually desperately needing). It’s also super satiating, with a one-two-three punch of the fat in the butter (don’t skimp on this), the lean ground beef, and the fiber-full vegetables.
It clocks in at around 320 calories per serving (if you make 6 servings out of the batch), which is great if you’re trying to keep your calories down but not feel hungry all the time.
And best of all, this recipe is super easy to make, a one-pot standby. It only takes about a half-hour total, and only requires you to do some vegetable chopping and throw everything into a pot. I made two desserts while putting this together a couple weeks ago, because I didn’t have to spare any brainpower for it. So I’m kind of in love.READ THE POST