Super Easy and Healthy Warm Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup is so hearty, flavorful and healthy that I wonder why I don’t make it more often. Two out of three of my kids even asked for seconds when I served this for dinner the other night, and I was thrilled. Lentils are filled with protein and fiber as well as iron, minerals and B vitamins.¬†Lentils come in three main varieties: brown, green and red. Most grocery stores carry brown lentils, usually dried. Green and red lentils may be found at specialty food markets.¬†Unlike other legumes, lentils cook quickly without pre-soaking. Just make sure to rinse away any dirt, dust or debris before adding them to recipes.

Cozy Up with Peppermint Hot Chocolate

It has been so cold outside lately, so my kids have been requesting hot chocolate. Since I had some peppermint sticks on hand, I crushed them up and made this really simple Peppermint Hot Chocolate mixture. They were ecstatic, and this has been a weekly beverage. I used skim milk in my recipe because that is what we drink at my house to reduce the calories and fat a bit. Enjoy this cozy beverage just in time for the holidays.

Brussels Sprouts-Tomato Salad

I love Brussels Sprouts this time of year, and I was so excited about a new way to serve them in this Brussels Sprouts-Tomato Salad. This recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving or your weeknight dinner, and it’s a cinch, flavorful and pretty. It was featured in the November issue of Birmingham Magazine and on NBC 13 “Daytime Alabama” this month so it’s quite the popular Brussels Sprouts recipe. I even got two out of three of my kids to try it, and honestly, they liked it a lot!

Thanksgiving Dessert: Cranberry-Pomegranate Granita

My kids are obsessed with Italian ices, frozen treats and popsicles. I thought, “Why not create a Thanksgiving dessert that would be refreshing, tasty and one that they would go wild over?” I started with Cran-Apple juice (which is their favorite), added some POM pomegranate juice (my favorite) and ginger-ale (everyone’s favorite). It came out great, and it was an instant hit. What a fun idea for Thanksgiving or anytime during the holiday season or year!

Chipotle Spiced Peanuts

Since it’s another big football weekend ahead, and I am entertaining for the Alabama/LSU game, I thought I would try a new peanut snack recipe. I’m hooked on chipotle seasoning, and this simple Chipotle Spiced Peanuts is a winning recipe. It also makes a great holiday food gift idea, and it’s under 30 minutes to prepare. Be sure to start with dry, unsalted peanuts. Have a great weekend everyone! Alison

Fantastic Appetizer: Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini

Before fig season comes to an end, I wanted to share this incredibly delicious Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini appetizer recipe. It’s so easy to prepare and tastes out of this world. You can make these anytime of the year. Just substitute dried figs for fresh ones. The combination of flavors, orange, figs, honey and pepper, pair wonderfully with the goat cheese.

Note: The incredible platter in this picture can be found at Earthborne Pottery.