Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup

Today is Christmas Eve! I hope everyone has all their Christmas shopping done and presents wrapped.  I’m still behind on my gift wrapping.  My last few presents came via delivery yesterday so I’ll be wrapping today  —yay!

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Garlic Chipotle Muffins with Scallions Cheddar & Bacon

Garlic Chipotle Muffins with Scallions Cheddar & Bacon

My mother-in-law is engaged! This is her third marriage and I hope it’ll be a happily ever after for her.  Chris and I have been together for almost 15 years and it has been a wonderful and blissful union.  I hope she finds the same with her new fiancé.  She sounded really happy over the phone about being engaged to a man she has known for 20 years.  I’m happy that she’s happy.  She deserves it.  She’ll be visiting us with her new fiancé next Tuesday.  I know, odd day but they’re only in town for a day.  This means I’ll be cleaning the house this weekend.

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Bacon and Cheddar Cornbread

Bacon and Cheddar Cornbread

I generally prefer to bake from scratch.  But on those days when you don’t have the time to be bothered with measuring, these baking mixes sure come in handy! I love Trader Joe’s baking mixes.  They never have those hydrogenated soybean oil or any preservatives in their mixes.  With this particular baking mix, they also have corn kernels, which is nice because it actually gave the cornbread more texture and flavor.

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Fusilli with Wild Mushrooms and Bacon

Fusilli with Wild Mushrooms and Bacon

I love weeks where there is a holiday.  It makes the week go by either fast or extremely slow.  This week is going by quickly! When I used to have a 9-5 job, those weeks are the toughest, as they dragged on and it took the weekends forever to arrive.  Now that I’m a homemaker/food blogger, every day goes by fast!

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Potato Leek Soup with Dill and Bacon

Potato Leek Soup with Dill and Bacon

After a long weekend of eating out, I was relieved to be back in my kitchen cooking my own meals.  I don’t know what it is but it’s really hard for me to constantly be eating out.  I love the idea, but the food just tasted utterly heavy and it weighed me down.  Not to mention how overly and heavily seasoned some of the meals are, I felt disgusted after eating!

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Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables

Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables

Chicken is always my choice of meat for dinner and it’s quick cooking too.  I usually like to pan-fry my chicken but every now and then, braising is good too.  The braising liquid is always fantastic on potatoes, rice or even crusty bread.  Keep in mind that when you are braising, you’re not going to find any crispy skins here, even though it was browned in the beginning.  I kept this dish simple but flavorful so if you are looking for a hearty chicken dish, keep looking.  I served it with rice and it was delicious!

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Bacon and Gorgonzola Muffins

Bacon and Gorgonzola Muffins

I was a bit skeptical about this recipe when it came out of the oven.  I had it while it was warm and wasn’t too fond of it.  I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why.  So I wasn’t going to bother with this post.  But I wanted a second opinion so when Chris got home, I had him sample this muffin.  Chris thought it was good and that he was able to distinguish the smokey bacon and the strong blue cheese flavors.  By that time, the muffins have cooled quite a bit.  So I took another bite out of the muffin and this time, I enjoyed it more.  I have to warn you though —if you are not a big fan of strong blue cheese flavor or smell, you might not care for this recipe.  But if you like bacon and you like gorgonzola, this can be a tasty treat!

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Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog with Kimchi Relish

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog with Kimchi Relish

Earlier this year, Chris and I visited Ann Arbor and we stopped by a Korean diner in Kerrytown for lunch.  Chris ordered a bacon wrapped hot dog deep fried with kimchi on it.  It was pretty interesting! It inspired me to make my own at-home version so here it is —slightly healthier.  I don’t normally eat hot dogs but when you get the organic kind with no nitrates or additives you feel better about eating it.

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Bacon Jalapeno and Cheddar Beer Muffins

Bacon Jalapeno and Cheddar Beer Bread Muffins

Kimi told me the best bacon she had was the Black Pig bacon out in Sonoma.  She had it in some corn bread, which she never eats or likes.  It was so good, she got a package.  The other day, I spotted some at the market so I bought it.  I thought it would be fun to bake with it and when the weekend rolls around, I can have it for breakfast.

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