Gift-Giving Season

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the hustle and bustle of the next holiday season has arrived in its place. However, this year is still a tough one for some of us. With the ongoing economic turmoil, the continuing trend is to cut back on frivolous spending and bring the holidays back to their roots, giving simple gestures of love, straight from the heart. That’s why homemade food is an especially good gift this year – it’s inexpensive, personal, unique and naturally delicious because it isn’t loaded with preservatives. What better way to wish family and friends a happy and healthy holiday season than with homemade goodies made with love?

Gingerbread Cookies

Sesame seeds add a delicate crunch to these spicy treats. I like it when the cookies soften up as they are stored, but my husband is a crisp cookie fan, so I reheat them for a few minutes in a warm oven before serving the second day.

Sweet Potatoes and Apples for Thanksgiving

Sweet and soothing, tart and rich, apples and sweet potatoes make a fall duet that is irresistable when sprinkled with spice and honeyed walnuts. I made these lovely layers with the help of a Japanese mandoline that will give you uniform slices in seconds. But there are plenty of other tools to make the prep time for your favorite Thanksgiving dishes go a lot faster without investing too much cash.

Shallots and Green Beans

Shallots belong to the family of chives, leeks, garlic and onions. I think they look like tulip bulbs and taste a lot milder than garlic and onions. They lend a gentle onion flavor to vinaigrettes and are a great substitute for raw garlic that can sometimes be hard to digest

Healing Herbs for the Holidays

The holidays should be a time for relaxation as well as reconnecting with friends and family. Make your holiday more cheerful by instituting some healing rituals into your schedule that both sooth and celebrate the season. Take five minutes, or more, a day to treat yourself and your family to these self care activities to lessen stress and more.

Fast and Flavorful Side Dishes

I want to start eating more vegetables! That’s what many of my friends say – but with hectic works schedules, kids and households to care for, it can be tough to squeeze it all in. Yet getting more veggies onto your dinner table can be effortless when you learn to switch up the flavor profile and keep it fresh. Take these four scrumptious flavorings – garlic, ginger, onion and salsa – that you can mix and match (or find your own favorites)…

Cooking With Jalapeño

Jalapeños, also known as the ‘fat chili’ (or chili gordo), hails from the Mexican town Jalapa. Jalapeños can range from mild to hot, making them a good ‘starter chili’ for those who want add more liveliness to their dishes, but are newbies to fiery capsaicin. So find out what to look out for, and select Skinny Chef recipes with Jalapeños.

Stress-Free Thanksgiving Prep

Make Thanksgiving delicious and effortless – with just a bit of planning ahead you can cook a huge feast for 20 guests all by yourself – tips that expert and beginning cooks can use alike.