Baked Pears with Oat Streusel Topping

Baked Pears with Oat Streusel Topping

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while because life just got in the way, but it’s SO simple and yummy and the holiday season isn’t over yet, so I’m squeezing them in as a bonus weekend post for you guys! I think pears are totally underrated. Apples always seem to get the spotlight during the fall and holiday season, but pears are so dang good and just perfectly ripe this time of year!

I love making individual desserts and these baked pears make for the best little individual dessert to serve. First, they are a bit lighter than a big heavy piece of cake or pie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ALL about cake and pie, but sometimes after a really big meal, it’s nice to just finish with something lighter.

Baked Pears with Oat Streusel Topping

These couldn’t be easier to make! The trick is to find pears that are not super hard, but also not super ripe. If you try to use really ripe pears for this recipe, they may come out mushy after baking. I like to look for pears that are just lightly soft to the touch. Then I cut them in half, scoop a bit out, and brush them in cinnamon butter and then they are stuffed with a totally delicious oat streusel topping and baked! Need another reason to make these? Your house is going to smell AMAZING while these guys are baking. The oat topping gets nice and crispy on the outside, but is soft in the middle.

After baking, I just drizzled some caramel sauce over mine, but whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be even better!

Baked Pears with Oat Streusel Topping

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles

It’s cookie season and if you are still considering what to cookies to make to add to your cookie tray, snickerdoodles are always a good choice! Snickerdoodles are simple cookies and may not seem all that impressive, but they are indeed a group favorite and they can be tricky to get right! I like my snickerdoodles just like I prefer, well, all my cookies…thick, soft, and chewy. I’m just not a fan of really thin crispy cookies. No, I say!

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles

In my humble opinion though, these snickerdoodles are everything a snickerdoodle should be. They have that classic tangy flavor thanks to the cream of tartar, an important ingredient in traditional snickerdoodle cookies. To give the cookies their thickness, I use a bit more flour in this recipe. The other secret to soft, pillowy snickerdoodles is the bake time. I bake mine for about 10 minutes, this is just enough time for the cookie to bake through and maintain that doughy texture. If you overbake them, they will have a crispier texture. You do not have to chill the dough. I did not chill my dough when baking the batch photographed in this post, but you can chill it if needed and you may end up with a slightly thicker cookie, which is never a bad thing!

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles

Of course, before baking, you will roll them in cinnamon sugar, and I also add a bit of cinnamon to the dough. I love these cookies because they are so simple, but also so dreamy. And even better, they are so easy to make! I had them ready for the oven in about 20 minutes. I should also add that these cookies freeze really well so you can make them in advance until you are ready to serve them!

Mini Bacon Cheddar Cheese Balls

Mini Bacon Cheddar Cheese Balls

It’s holiday party time, friends! The parties have begun and it’s time to start planning your menus! I feel like I’m always invited to a lot of pot lucks this time of year so I love having lots of good appetizer recipes on hand. You guys love my Cranberry Pecan and White Cheddar Cheese Ball seeing as it’s one of the most popular recipes on the blog so I decided to do a twist on that one with these mini-sized cheese balls!

Mini Bacon Cheddar Cheese Balls

The mixture for these is quite simple, just cheddar cheese, cream cheese, some walnuts, chives, and then instead of cranberries, I coated these guys in bacon bits! I love the added crunch from the bacon bits. Also, how festive are the red and green colors?! If you don’t want to do bacon bits, you can use cooked chopped bacon. Or, if you want to keep these vegetarian-friendly, dried cranberries or currants work well too!

I used pretzel sticks to serve these and actually didn’t mind not eating them with other crackers, the pretzel stick was enough for me, but you could also serve these with crackers if you wanted to.

Mini Bacon Cheddar Cheese Balls

Gingerbread Coffee Syrup

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SavorHolidayFlavors #CollectiveBias

Gingerbread Coffee Syrup

Whenever I think of the holiday season, I always tend to first think about how busy and stressful it can be with traveling, and dragging kids, and presents everywhere. Then, I start thinking about all of the family and friends that we will get to see and the excitement sets in! After making a delicious dinner and the dreaded cleanup, some of my most favorite holiday memories are the those after all the dinner craziness ends when everybody sits down with a cup of coffee, and dessert to relax and have fun. The holidays are all about bringing people together. When you think about it, coffee always brings people together!

Gingerbread Coffee Syrup

And what better way to set up your dessert table this holiday season than with my favorite holiday coffee, Starbucks® Holiday Blend Coffee? I love the K-Cups® because they let people make their own cups of coffee fresh when they are ready for it, but the Starbucks® Holiday Blend Coffee is also available in ground coffee if you’d prefer to make a pot instead! I love this flavor because it has warm notes of maple and a smooth taste. It pairs perfectly with all of your holiday desserts or of course, breakfast! And to make things even sweeter, I’ve made a delicious homemade gingerbread coffee syrup that you can set up next to your coffee bar. Even better though is that this coffee syrup is the perfect homemade gift for the holiday season!

This gingerbread syrup is perfection for mixing up your own gingerbread lattes at home. It’s so simple to make since all you have to do is stir everything together in a pan on the stove! If you want to give the syrup away as a gift, you can buy little jars and decorate them with ribbon, twine, and add cute gift tags and voila! You’ve got the best homemade gift to give out. I love the idea of putting together a gift basket with this homemade gingerbread coffee syrup, some Starbucks® Holiday Blend coffee, some cookies, and a pretty mug. What a great gift that would be for the coffee-lover in your life!

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

One of my most popular recipes on the blog is this white chicken chili from a few years back. I haven’t made it in a really long time, but as I was looking through old posts, I came upon it and remembered how much I loved it!

I adapted the original recipe a bit here for the Instant Pot. I know some people don’t get the appeal of the Instant Pot, but it has truly become my favorite appliance in the kitchen. I love that I can get home at 5 with no plans for dinner and have dinner ready within the hour with minimal prep ans hands on time, and I can even use mostly frozen chicken breasts. This is perfect for me because I sometimes get pretty caught up at work and will get home with no plan for dinner. The IP has made life a lot easier! I have adapted all of my favorite slow cooker recipes and haven’t pulled out my slow cooker since July. So, if you don’t have one, try to snag one this holiday season! And, no, this is not sponsored post for the Instant Pot, I’m just a fan and you guys know I’m all about finding ways to get delicious and nutritious dinners on the table as quickly and as easily as possible. But, if you don’t have one and want to make this chili, fear not, you can also make it in your slow cooker and I’ve provided the directions for both below.

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

This recipe couldn’t be easier. I just toss in some sliced chicken breasts, beans, corn, broth, and a bunch of seasonings and I’ve got dinner ready in a snap! I used navy beans, but if you want to try other beans like cannelini or pinto beans, that is just fine too!

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

The Christmas season has officially arrived and as usual, I’m in full gingerbread-mode! We put up all of our decorations last week and just as it always does, the baking bug hits me right away. The only problem is that it was literally 90 degrees last week! It should never be 90 degrees on Thanksgiving, by the way! We are willing it to be colder this week by making a bunch of soups for dinner. That should work, right?!

My first gingerbread recipe this year is this super moist and flavorful gingerbread bundt cake. Raise your hand if you have a bundt cake pan that gets used like maybe once every few years? *Raises hand! Yup, my poor little pan needed to get some love. I added a bit less molasses to this cake pictured as my daughter wanted to eat it and she doesn’t really like a lot of that strong gingerbread flavor, but add more and it will have an even darker gingerbread shade!

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

I also like to add a bit of espresso or brewed coffee to the batter. It just adds a nice flavor that really compliments the molasses and spices. For the frosting, I made a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do more of a glaze or a thicker frosting so I sort of went somewhere in the middle of the two, but you can really decide to make the frosting however you want. Just add more milk to thin or less to get a thicker cake frosting!

Gingerbread Bundt Cake