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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Cranberry Margaritas

Cranberry Margaritas

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. Are you still stuffed? Or maybe you’re enjoying leftovers after a day of shopping? Eric and I skipped the malls and spent the morning at our local children’s museum with Clara and then enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite local coffee shops. Now we’re back to working on our kitchen renovation (psst -I’ve got cabinets to show you next week!).

Since we didn’t travel to see family yesterday, we had a lot of time to hang out and work on the kitchen make margaritas while Clara napped. Cranberries are everywhere this time of year, and I figured it only made sense to put them in a drink. You may even have some  left in your fridge after Thanksgiving, and this is the perfect way to use them. A drink like this is festive all the way through New Year’s, so you’ve got plenty of time to test out a batch before making it for your next holiday gathering.

These margaritas have a quick cranberry jam as their base. It can be made ahead of time, and you can even make a double batch so there’s plenty to go around. Like my favorite cranberry sauce, this recipe uses orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice. Add in some lime juice and tequila, and you’ve got a simple and stunning cocktail that everyone is sure to love.

Cranberry Margaritas

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Salted Caramel Cashew Bark + Giveaway

Salted Caramel Cashew Bark

I’m over at A Southern Fairytale today, sharing the recipe for this supremely decadent salted caramel cashew bark. Rachel is co-hosting 30 days of handmade holidays, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. If you’re looking for a place to find lots of gifts from the kitchen, Rachel’s got you covered.


Chocolate bark is as easy as it gets when it comes to homemade desserts, and this one is the best one I’ve ever made. Caramel, roasted cashews and flaky sea salt give chocolate bark a fancy makeover. I’ve been sneaking a small bite practically every time I open the refrigerator because it’s just that irresistible. It would be great for sharing, especially packaged up in a cute box or tin, if you can manage to part with it. I meant to share this with neighbors, but it started disappearing before I had the chance. Oops! Head on over to A Southern Fairytale for my recipe.

Salted Caramel Cashew Bark

There’s also a seriously awesome giveaway, just in time for the holidays. Check out the insane amount of goodies included:

Stella Epiphanie bag in the color of your choice (I’ve been swooning over these bags for months!)
Ninja Ultima Blender
・A $100 design credit to Design Chicky
Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden
・One year subscription to Momables and a $25 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Apple Galettes with Salted Caramel Sauce

Apple Galettes with Salted Caramel Sauce

I know pumpkin is the standard when it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, and you won’t hear any complaints from this pumpkin lover about that. However, I know not everyone out there feels the same, and this dessert is for them.

We went apple picking with our friends Dan and Rebecca a few weekends ago. It was a spur of the moment, all three of us were dressed and out of the house in less than an hour, type of thing. As such, I didn’t know in advance what I would make with my apples, which of course didn’t stop us from picking several pounds of them anyway. Apparently this is a common occurrence, but I usually account for all the recipes I want to make before picking apples. Oops.

Once we got home, I started looking through my saved recipes. I have a lot of them, but I kept coming back to this one. Apples, caramel and pie dough? Oh yes. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, even when looking at other recipes. Times like that, it’s best just to go ahead and make whatever recipe I’m craving because I know nothing else will satisfy me until I do.

This recipe takes a few simple components – all butter pie dough, sweetened apples and homemade caramel sauce – and turns them into a sum greater than the parts. All of those things are good enough on their own, so just think about how good they must be together (hint: really, really good).

Apple Galettes with Salted Caramel Sauce

I love my standard pie dough recipe, but I decided to go with the recipe included here for a couple of reasons, the main one being that I don’t feel like I need a butter and shortening pie dough if I’m not cutting and re-rolling over and over again (like I did for Clara’s party). Galettes are meant to be rustic looking, so there’s no concern over keeping the dough in a perfect circle. Once it’s rolled and filled, the dough is creased and folded, and it doesn’t even really matter how it looks as long as it holds the filling in.

These were good right out of the oven, and I barely let them cool before diving in. It’s hard to beat flaky pie dough and sweet, juicy apples, but adding caramel sauce is a guaranteed way to do just that. In the case of these apple galettes, it makes them taste especially rich and decadent. If you’re looking for a stunning dessert to showcase at Thanksgiving, this could very well be it.

Apple Galettes with Salted Caramel Sauce
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Smoky Bacon-Biscuit Dressing

Smoky Bacon-Biscuit Dressing

Thanksgiving is next week. What?! Thanks to our kitchen renovation, we are not at all prepared for a food-centric holiday. The good news, though, is that our kitchen is nearing completion. About freaking time, right? The cabinets look so good, and I can’t wait to show all of you our new kitchen. Until then, here’s something that will come in handy next week – an awesome Thanksgiving recipe.

I’ve had my share of dressing/stuffing (side note: Do you know people that still call it stuffing even though it wasn’t stuffed into a turkey? That’s always been odd to me, but I find myself doing it sometimes, too. Dressing makes me think of salads. Can we give this a new name? Haha.) in my 28 years of life, and I can honestly say that most of them haven’t been that memorable. Eric and I made a pretty fantastic chorizo and brioche version for our first Thanksgiving in Virginia, but that’s the only one that really sticks out as a dish I’d eat again. I find most dressings to be, well, lacking – too mushy, too uniform in texture, you get the point. I’ve had typical bread cube dressings and cornbread dressings, but what I’ve never had before is a dressing made with biscuits. Oh yes, you heard that right. Biscuits AND bacon. You’re welcome.

Why it never occurred to me to make dressing with biscuits, I don’t know, but I do know this is the only way I’ll make it for the foreseeable future. Homemade biscuits are combined with a full pound of bacon, some aromatics, mushrooms, celery, onions and chicken broth to form what is easily going to be the Thanksgiving showstopper. What was once a boring, flavorless, afterthought is now going to be the center of my Thanksgiving table for many years to come. The biscuits have the perfect texture for dressing. They absorb just enough broth without becoming soggy. The big pieces of biscuits and the crispy bacon give this dressing layers of texture. This is just an all around fabulous recipe, and I’m thinking it might be making an appearance at Christmas, too.

Smoky Bacon-Biscuit Dressing

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Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna

One-pan and slow cooker meals have been reigning in our kitchen ever since we started our renovation. This has given me a plethora of new recipes to add to my repertoire, and I’m certain these quick dinners will come in handy well after our renovation is complete (which will hopefully be soon). This recipe is one we’ve been making for a couple years now, and I figured it was about time to share it with all of you (nighttime picture and all).

The best thing about adding all my old starred items from Google Reader into Pocket (see my tutorial) is that I’ve come across a lot of recipes I had forgotten about, this being one of them. When I was on the hunt for a one-pan meal, I came across this gem that I saved in 2011. We made it a couple times that year and once again shortly after Clara was born, and I’m so glad to have it in the back of my mind next time I need a quick dinner.

I love lasagna but rarely make it, probably for the same reasons as some of you. It makes a ton of food, something we almost never need, and it can be somewhat time consuming. For a special occasion, sure. But on a weeknight? During a renovation? Definitely not. This recipe takes all the components of lasagna and turns them into a dinner that’s made entirely on the stovetop, without any layering or spreading. There isn’t much work involved, and the bulk of the time it takes to cook is hands off time, requiring only occasional stirring. This is one lasagna I’m happy to make on a weeknight. Also, look how happy this girl is to be eating it.

Untitled

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