10 best cookies to bake this christmas

December is here, let the over-the-top holiday treat baking begin!

I’m a sucker for all things holiday-treat related. I’m seriously the biggest fan of this season and the excuse to eat all the sweet treats. I mean how can anyone pass up on all the festive cakes and peppermint candies, gingerbread men and fudge squares, and all those cookies!! Last year we had a little cookie exchange at the office and it was so much fun to try everyone’s favorites and of course take home a little goodie box filled to the brim with extra cookies to take home. I made Molly Yeh’s linzer cookies and they were a smash hit (recipe link below!). This year I’m working on a cookie recipe for a little virtual cookie exchange, and I can’t wait to share the recipe with y’all. I drove my mom crazy during the recipe testing on that cookie, so here’s hoping that y’all love it enough to make all the mess I made in her kitchen worth it.

Below are 10 cookie recipes that I’m loving and are full of festive vibes – I’m currently planning on making a batch of the Almond Blossoms and Oatmeal Cookies as my Christmas movie watching snack! Let me know what your favorite seasonal treat is, hope y’all have a beautiful week!

Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies from Half Baked Harvest

Linzer Cookies from My Name is Yeh

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies from Heartbeet Kitchen

Chai Chocolate Chip Cookies from A Cozy Kitchen

Gingerbread Cookies with Salted Caramel from Donna Kay

Almond Butter Blossoms from Fit Freedom Lifestyle

Chocolate Truffle Cookies from Flourishing Foodie

Gingerbread Cutout Cookies from Canadian Living

Iced Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Ambitious Kitchen

Lavender Cashew Shortbread Cookies from Will Frolic for Food




8 best pie recipes to try this Thanksgiving

It’s pie season! Each year I ever so carefully assemble the ingredients for the pies at our family Thanksgiving. We are a mighty gathering of four people, and each year I somehow manage to make at least six pies. It makes no sense and I think it drives my mom crazy to have all that leftover pie hanging out in the fridge for days after Thanksgiving, but my brother and I use it as an excuse to eat pie for breakfast. There are worse things. I normally stick to a pretty solid rotation of pies for the holiday :: two pumpkin pies, one deep dish apple pie, and a pecan pie. Last year, I added this chocolate crust pumpkin pie to the rotation to mix things up, but this year I’m contemplating adding something a little different but still traditional. I love the idea of having another fruity pie on the table, but maybe something like a lemon cream or coconut would do good as well. I’m doing a #pieweek over on Instagram for the next few days and am tallying up votes for which additional pie I should make. Suggestions are welcome if you have a family favorite or a recipe you’ve been dying to try! Happy weekend!

8 best pie recipes to try this Thanksgiving

Rhubarb Raspberry Streusel Tart with Lavender Whipped Cream from Wit & Delight

8 best pie recipes to try this Thanksgiving

Fig and Lemon Cream Tart from Hummingbird High

8 best pie recipes to try this Thanksgiving

Chocolate Pecan Slab Pie from Camille Styles

8 best pie recipes to try this Thanksgiving

Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie from A Cozy Kitchen

8 best pie recipes to try this Thanksgiving

Gluten Free Bourbon Cherry Pie from The Bojon Gourmet

8 best pie recipes to try this Thanksgiving

Lemon and Earl Grey Tart with Buttermilk Chantilly from Hint of Vanilla

8 best pie recipes to try this Thanksgiving

Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie from This Brown Kitchen

8 best pie recipes to try this Thanksgiving

Hawaij Apple Pie with Cardamom Whipped Cream from My Name is Yeh

a sheet pan quiche + october thoughts (and a giveaway!)

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

*The giveaway in this post is in partnership with Workman Publishing.

Let’s talk October, shall we?

I’m currently writing this from my favorite corner of Minneapolis – Spyhouse Coffee – and feeling so energized after a crisp fall walk around Lake of the Isles with some of my favorite people in the world. As much that has changed over these last few months, it’s amazing how some things can never change and being in a certain city and a specific place can make it seem like everything is the same as it has always been. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of Sunday’s I spent in this corner of Spyhouse while living in Minneapolis, typing away on this computer, calling my mom and having her tell me couldn’t hear me with the background noise, sipping on lattes, planning blog recipes, and seeing each season in the city from this window. It’s almost comforting to know that as much as some things change, there are certain experiences and places that give you the experience of feeling that everything is right. There is so much that feels wrong in the world right now, and to find my little corner of my coffee shop still giving me the feeling and sense of completeness has me with a giant smile plastered on my face.This is the kind of energy I needed to go into the last quarter of the year (yup, that’s corporate America coming through in me!) and finish out strong. After one more trip up here to Minneapolis in two weeks and then a chance to return to my beloved H-town, these last few months are going to fly by, and I can’t help but feel reminiscent on all that has happened over the last year while sitting in this spot that I spent so much time in. Oh, nostalgia. 

Other life-happenings? I’ve discovered the joys of dry-brushing (blog post to come about my full experience – still experimenting with this habit), I’m spending more time trying to commit to a solid workout routine which is hard for someone who hates workouts other than yoga and spin class, and have started a morning meditation routine. Meditation has always been something that I’m interested in, as I always figured most of my yoga-time is pretty close I was kind of wrong and have discovered how intentional you need to be with meditation. Like, it’s really hard, y’all. I’m about to try the calm app so will update with my thoughts.Other than wellness-focused things, people in my new Northern California home are all coming together to help those who have been affected by the wildfires. If you’re looking for a way to help, there’s a great list here :: How to Help Those Affected by the Northern California Wildfires.

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

Alright, now on to the food. It’s a sheet pan quiche and it is pretty freakin’ genius. I got a copy of Raquel Pelzel’s new book – Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless – in the mail a couple weeks ago and was super excited to try out one the recipes. If you didn’t know, my least favorite chore in the whole world is doing dishes. Ironic, because obviously when I shoot food there is a whole sink of dishes waiting for me after, but here I am. I just think it’s the worst task to do at home and would rather do anything else than have my hands in the sink rinsing and scrubbing dishes. UGH. So I get this book and the title alone has me sold. You’re telling me these recipes require the absolute minimum in dishes? Sign me up. There are some amazing recipes in the book like one that shows how to cook pasta in a sheet pan—like No-Boil Mac and Cheese, how to cook soups in a sheet pan, and of course desserts like a Pear Galette and a Sticky Toffee Pudding. Literally so stoked to try out some of these recipes.

So I took a little poll on Instagram about which recipe to share here with y’all first and this quiche won. I’m actually super glad it did because that meant that I had breakfast to eat for the whole week after making it hahaha. I made a few healthier substitutions in the making of this recipe and it tasted amazing, so I’m sure if you kept all as is – it would be even more so. I swapped kale out for the spinach, left out the gruyere and heavy cream, and only used one extra egg yolk. Y’all this dish was still so good and I can’t wait to make it again because it’s so easy. The most genius part of this recipe was the caramelized onions that you make IN THE OVEN. Like you don’t need to keep checking up on a stove top pan and stirring them every so often to get those beautiful sweet onions. Literally obsessed with this new method. 

And lucky for you I’m giving away a copy of the book – Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless – and a Zwilling Pro Vegetable Knife!!! **This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks for participating!**

sheet pan quiche recipe with kale and goat cheese and a cookbook giveaway!

Sheet Pan Suppers Cookbook Giveaway | This Brown Kitchen

You can also purchase a copy of Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless on Amazon!

slab quiche with spinach, goat cheese, and caramelized onions

serves 4 to 6

ingredients ::

1 medium-size red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
All-purpose flour, for rolling
1 sheet thawed frozen puff pastry
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Guyére cheese
2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled

directions ::

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees G.
  2. Place the red onion on a rimmed 10 x 16 inch pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with the thyme and spread into an even layer. Cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil (you may need 2 sheets), crimping it tightly around the edges to seal, and roast the onions until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Uncover the pan, stir, and continue to cook until the onions are very soft, sticky, and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, sprinkle the onions with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and transfer them to a plate to cool completely (reserve the sheet pan and any grease or seasonings left in it for step 4.)
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and put the puff pastry on top. Lightly roll out the pastry to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the pastry to the reserved sheet pan – it should just cover the bottom. With a fork, prick the dough all over, then place the sheet pan in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  5. Whisk the whole eggs and egg yolks to combine in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk and cream, and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and sprinkle half the Gruyére over it. Add the onions in an even layer and then the spinach followed by the remaining Gruyére. Pour the egg filling over and crumble the goat cheese over the top.
  6. Bake the quiche for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to bake until the filling is set around the edges and bounces back to light pressure in the center, 20 – 25 minutes.
  7. Turn the broiler on to high and adjust the oven rack to the top position. Move the quiche to the top rack and broil until browned, about 1 minute (watch the quiche closely as broiler intensities vary). Remove from the oven, slice, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Excerpted from Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017.

a spicy curry cauliflower, rice, and kale soup

spicy curry cauliflower, rice, and kale soup perfect for your cozy fall nights | this brown kitchen

spicy curry cauliflower, rice, and kale soup perfect for your cozy fall nights | this brown kitchen

There’s something about that slight dip in temperatures come October that gets everyone into a fall-frenzy. What’s not to love about flannel shirts, crisp mornings with colored leaves, and of course all the pumpkins and gourds starting to make their appearance at the market? With the slightly cooler days, my tastes start turning to warm dishes and heartier flavors to eat while under a big knit blanket. That’s why I’m so excited to welcome “soup season” back into my kitchen with this curry soup filled with some of my favorite ingredients! Making a big pot of soup is one of my favorite weekly things to do this time of year, and I’ve officially discovered my favorite way to make it. By adding all of the broth flavorings into a blender along with a few thickening ingredients at the beginning, you don’t have to worry about handling hot soup later on. All you do is pour the blended broth into a pot, bring it up to a simmer, and then add your mix-ins. Seriously so easy!

spicy curry cauliflower, rice, and kale soup perfect for your cozy fall nights | this brown kitchen

spicy curry cauliflower, rice, and kale soup perfect for your cozy fall nights | this brown kitchen

spicy curry cauliflower, rice, and kale soup perfect for your cozy fall nights | this brown kitchen

After spending many years thinking that the only vegetarian option for soup was a water-y, broth-ladden minestrone, I’ve developed a huge appreciation for a bowl of soup that has different textures and lots of flavor. The texture and heartiness in this soup come from the wild rice and riced cauliflower, while the flavor comes from the always aromatic curry spice blend. So this is the thing about curry powder – if you go into an Indian store and say “can I please get some curry powder?”, the response you’ll get will be “which one?”. There really is no such thing as an actual curry powder, as each dish in Indian cooking has its own unique mix of the spices used to create the blend that you most likely know as “curry powder”. Most grocery stores and spice brands have their own version of a curry powder, so my suggestion is to try your hand at a few different blends, put your taste-testing hat on, and figure out which blend gives you the taste that you like. Some blends are more savory while others have a spicier kick, and if you don’t have a go to mix that you like, try DIY-ing your own.

This is what I put in to my go-to “curry” blend if I’m not just buying a pre-packaged version ::

2 tablespoons of ground cumin seeds
2 tablespoons of ground coriander seeds
2 tablespoons of ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp chili powder

spicy curry cauliflower, rice, and kale soup perfect for your cozy fall nights | this brown kitchen

spicy curry cauliflower, rice, and kale soup perfect for your cozy fall nights | this brown kitchen

This is a more spicy blend for a curry powder, so you can cut the amount of black pepper and chili powder if you don’t like that much heat. If you’re going with a store-bought curry powder, just make sure it contains turmeric in it for this recipe! Spice blends like a curry powder are a powerhouse of health benefits, and adding a tablespoon or so to a soup like this is such an easy way to reap those benefits, especially this time of year. Almost all of the spices in a traditional curry blend can aid in digestion, help your body detox, and consuming pepper and warming spices during the fall and winter will help you fight off those cold weather coughs.

I’m so excited for the weather to keep cooling off and get to experimenting with different ingredient combinations here. The best thing about recipes like this one are how you can totally customize the mix ins based on what you’ve got. I might toss in so cubed sweet potato, other leafy greens, and even try replacing the rice with small pasta next time I make it. Here’s to the fall season, enjoy!

curry cauliflower, rice, and kale soup

ingredients –

for the broth ::

1/2 cup cubed carrots
1/2 cup peeled and cubed yellow potatoes
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tbsp of curry powder (store-bought or homemade)
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp of coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp honey
juice of 1 lime
4 cups of veggie broth

for the soup ::

1 cup of cubed carrots
4 cups of chopped kale
3 cups of riced cauliflower (you can find this in the frozen section of most grocery stores, or you can make your own!)
1 cup cooked wild rice

  1. add all of the broth ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth. taste and adjust salt as needed.
  2. pour the broth into a large stove top pot and bring up to a simmer.
  3. add the carrots, kale, cauliflower, and rice into the broth and simmer until the carrots are tender and the kale has slightly wilted – this should take about 10 minutes.
  4. pour into soup bowls and serve with warm bread of choice. enjoy!