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Wholesome Family Kitchen

Amanda | writer, photographer, cook, baker, food literacy educator | mom of 2 hungry boys | New England | sharing recipes & telling stories at

http://wholesomefamilykitchen.com/

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PEACE, LOVE, & COOKIES | I still haven’t decorated our Christmas tree, I haven’t mailed out any cards yet, & I’m woefully behind in gift shopping. But my pantry is fully stocked and I’m ready to start baking all the cookies tomorrow, so clearly my priorities are in order. 😉 . 🎄 Per tradition (and by popular demand), I always kick off my annual cookie-baking marathon with these Brown-Butter Shortbread Cookies, sandwiched with my favorite jam, or, to really kick things up a notch, with Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread [swipe ⬅️ to see this drool-worthy variation 🤤]. These buttery cookies melt in your mouth, & the fruity jam (or the rich, chocolatey spread) perfectly complements the slightly nutty flavor of the brown butter. I’ve been making these cookies since 2005, & once you taste them, you’ll know why they’re a holiday cookie tray must-have. 😍😋 . 🎄The recipe is on my blog (link in profile; go to Recipes > Cookies), along with the story behind it & some thoughts on my favorite holiday tradition: baking & sharing cookies! . By the way, I usually use @stonewallkitchen Holiday Jam (with cranberries, orange, & pear) in these beauties, & I highly recommend it! 😋 For the chocolate-hazelnut spread, last year I used @venchi1878 Chocolate Spread with Hazelnut & Olive Oil (😍), which I found at @eatalyboston, & the cookies were next-level! 🤩 When I can’t find it though, I also love @rigoniasiagousa Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread, which I buy at @wholefoods. Their jams are also top notch. #notsponsored #justafan . . #christmascookies #holidaybaking #holidayfoodgifts #foodgiftlove #sharethelove #howiholiday #tastespotting #thekitchn #bhgfood #bhgcelebrate #lifeandthyme #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #todayfood #f52grams #f52holidaycookie #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #thebakefeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats #wholesomebaking #wholesomefamilykitchen #wholesomefamilycookies

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DECEMBER 🎄📚🍪 | I took a (mostly intentional) social media/Instagram break at Thanksgiving, which was followed by a (somewhat unintentional) break until this week, when I blinked & suddenly it was December! 😳 . 🎄 Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed by the holidays this year, or is it just me? I feel like I’m still recovering from hosting Thanksgiving: Both of my kids got sick right after the holiday, & I literally *just* took down the rest of my fall/Thanksgiving decorations today. 😬🙈 I should probably drag the bins of Christmas decorations up from the basement now... or do some Christmas shopping... or, I don’t know, take a nap. 😴 My mind is racing with all I have to do, & when I’m feeling overwhelmed (as I often do in December), I like to make lists & prioritize all of my tasks. (It gives me the illusion of control & temporarily quiets my mind .😉) And at the top of that long December to-do list? Cookies, of course! #priorities 😊 . 🎄 I pulled out my favorite holiday & cookie cookbooks today, & a few special holiday magazines, including my treasured “Martha Stewart’s Favorite Cookie Recipes” from 2002, which was the original inspiration behind my annual cookie-baking-&-gifting tradition & includes some of my tried-&-true holiday favorites. (Not pictured: My non-photogenic, falling-apart-at-the-seams cookie recipe folder. ☺️) Then fueled by ☕️☕️, I made a list of all the things I want to bake—& all the things I have to do—this month. And then I made another list of what I can actually, realistically get done without sacrificing my sleep, or my sanity! 🤪 So many cookies, so little time! 😁 . 🎄 Do you have any favorite holiday cookies you make every year, or a go-to holiday cookie or baking cookbook that you’d recommend? My Christmas to-bake list (& my cookbook collection) certainly doesn’t need any additions, but I’m always on the lookout for new cookie recipes to try & new cookbooks to ask Santa for, so hit me up with your recommendations! 😊 . Happy Holiday Baking, friends! 🎄🍪🎁💖 . . #cookbooklove #cookbookaddict #christmascookies #holidaybaking #holidayfoodgifts #foodgiftlove #wholesomebaking #wholesomefamilykitchen #wholesomefamilycookies

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THANKSGIVING 🦃 | Only 4 days until Thanksgiving! Are you ready? I am far from ready & am feeling less prepared/more behind than usual this year 😬, but I'm *really* trying to make some progress today by getting organized: writing lists, gathering recipes, & finalizing the menu, all while hoping that this next snow storm misses us & doesn’t mess up my final pre-Thanksgiving grocery run this week (& the Thanksgiving celebration at my son’s school).😬🤞🏻 . 🦃 Here’s my annual Thanksgiving PSA (I’ve said it before, & I’ll say it again 😉): If you need a wholesome, crowd-pleasing, & (most importantly!) extra-delicious veggie side dish for your Thanksgiving table, may I suggest this one: A big bowl of roasted fall vegetables—butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, & brussels sprouts. I’ve been making it every Thanksgiving for many years now, & it couldn’t be easier: Just toss the veggies on a sheet pan with some olive oil & roast them in the oven until they're bronzed & caramelized & perfectly delectable! Other than the chopping of the veggies, it’s mostly a “hands off” dish—a quality that is particularly welcome on Thanksgiving Day—& everyone loves them! 😊 And this #vegan, #glutenfree dish makes enough to feed a crowd! It’s the one thing I don’t have to think too much about as I plan the Big Day! 😊 . Recipe is on my blog; link is in my profile. Go to Recipes > Side Dishes. . . #thanksgiving #thanksgivingsides #eatyourveggies #tastespotting #thekitchn #bhgfood #bhgcelebrate #lifeandthyme #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #tastingtable #f52grams #f52thanksgivingcountdown #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats #healthyaperture #foodphotography #vegetarian #wholesomefamilykitchen

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NEW POST + 2 NEW RECIPES! | Apple Cider Donut Cake + Vanilla-Bean Applesauce 🍎🍏 . In case you missed it.... In my latest blog post, I share the recipe for this not-too-sweet, moist and tender cake. It's essentially a giant apple cider donut (😳😍) made a little more wholesome with @kingarthurflour white whole-wheat flour and olive oil, gently spiced with cinnamon and kicked up with vanilla—October in the form of a cake, each bite a delectable taste of fall. And when made with the Vanilla-Bean Applesauce, it's even better! 😋 It happily straddles the line between dessert & an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee or tea, and, some might argue, is just healthful enough for breakfast. 😉 Trust me, you're going to want to make this one this fall. 😊 . Recipes are on the blog now, along with a (narrative & photographic) ode to my favorite time of year: Fall in New England. ❤️🍁🍂🌻🧡 Link is in my profile. . . #apples #applepicking #edibleNH #mynewengland #nhmagazine #newnenglandfall #lifeandthyme #thekitchn #bhgfood #bhgcelebrate #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #marthabakes #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #f52apple #f52grams #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #thebakefeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats #healthyaperture #surlatable #wholesomebaking #wholesomefamilykitchen @williamssonoma #kingarthurflour @nordicwareusa #bundtcake

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HALLOWEEN SNACK BOARD 🎃👻 | Halloween is just 3 days away! Are you ready? Do you care? 😜 My 2 little goblins are excited, & they’re usually too excited to eat a big dinner before trick-or-treating. This year, I’m changing things up & serving a Halloween snack platter in lieu of dinner before trick-or-treating, & my boys couldn’t be happier about it. (They get really excited about snack platters/cheese boards, especially for dinner. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂) . I did a “test run” of this Halloween snack platter this afternoon, so I could snap a photo & share it with you all before Halloween, in case you, too, don’t want to make dinner for your kids before trick-or-treating but still want to get some healthful foods in their bellies before all the candy! 😉 Although it might look “fancy,” it couldn’t be easier to put together. And if you prep all your veggies, fruits, etc. ahead of time, all you need to do come dinnertime is arrange everything on a board/platter/tray, then dig in! . I used a variety of black & orange foods to keep things festive, but obviously you can serve whatever fruits/veggies/cheese/meats/dips your crew likes. 😊 I picked up most everything on this board at @traderjoes (including pumpkin tortilla chips 😋!) & @wholefoods (including chai spice cashews! 😋). The only thing I made from scratch was the orange-hued roasted red-pepper version of our favorite homemade hummus, topped with a black-olive “spider” 🕷, but of course you can just buy the hummus too! Let me know if you have any questions about anything on the board! 😊 Happy Halloween, friends! 🎃 . . #halloweenfood #healthyhalloween #cheeseboard #thatcheeseplate #ainttooproudtocheese @ainttooproudtomeg #snackplatter #snackboard #realfoodforkids #tastespotting #thekitchn #bhgfood #bhgcelebrate #cratestyle @crateandbarrel #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #huffposttaste #tastingtable #f52grams #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole #healthyaperture #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats #todayfood #fnegrams #pbsfood #wholesomefamilykitchen

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APPLES 🍎🍏 | We’re slowly working our way through all the local apples we picked this month, & these Apple Crisp Yogurt Parfaits have been one of our favorite ways to enjoy them. My boys have been eating them for breakfast most mornings, & I’ve been enjoying them as a quick afternoon snack. With the cinnamon apples, @stonyfield Greek yogurt, & our favorite Maple Walnut Granola, they taste like an indulgent dessert but they’re really a healthful, protein-packed breakfast or snack. And although I layered the ingredients here to make the parfaits look pretty, I’ll be honest: Most times I just quickly throw the ingredients in a bowl—it still tastes the same. 😉 . The recipes for these parfaits (& other healthful snacks with apples), along with my crowd-pleasing “house” granola can all be found on my blog; link is in my profile. Just go to Recipes > Fall, or search “apple snacks.” . . #apples #applepicking #applecrisp #greekyogurt #granola #visitnh #mynewengland #nhmagazine #eatlocal #newnenglandfall #lifeandthyme #tastespotting #thekitchn #bhgfood #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #tastingtable #f52grams #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats #healthyaperture #foodphotography #wholesomefamilykitchen

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MID-OCTOBER TO-DO LIST | 🍁 . ✔️🍁 Head to the local apple orchard on the one weekend day it finally wasn’t raining & pick (way too many) apples. 🍎🍏 . ✔️🍁 In the span of 24 hours, turn off the A/C & crank up the heat inside the house when the outside temperatures finally go from the summer-like 80s to the more-fall-appropriate 40s! . ✔️🍁 (Try not to) get stressed out about Halloween costumes & attempt to gently steer each of your kids towards a costume choice that can be easily cobbled together in 2 weeks. 😬 (Can’t they ever just choose something simple... & inexpensive? Is it just my kids? And yes, I know I said we were going to start planning much earlier this year... & yet, here we are. 😂) 🎃 . ✔️🍁 Start to find my autumn groove by cooking and baking fall things with all the apples. The basket of apples pictured here has since been turned into applesauce... & an apple-cider donut cake. 😋 Recipes coming soon! 🍎🍏 . Okay, fall, I think I’m finally ready for you! 😅😊 . . . #apples #applepicking #edibleNH #visitnh #mynewengland #nhmagazine #eatlocal #newnenglandfall #tellnewengland #fnegrams #lifeandthyme #tastespotting #thekitchn #bhgfood #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #tastingtable #f52grams #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats #healthyaperture #foodphotography #flashesofdelight #wholesomefamilykitchen

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NEW POST + 2 NEW RECIPES! | I know, I know. It’s fall & I should be sharing recipes for apple-this & pumpkin-that. And I will, of course, in due time. 😊 But right now, I’m still trying to get my fill of the last of the summer corn & tomatoes. In case you missed it, I shared 2 recipes for this simple late-summer #corn & #tomato salad: a Mexican-inspired version spiked with cumin, garlic, & lime, & one with a Mediterranean flavor profile that swaps the cumin for basil & the lime for lemon & is topped with a shower of feta cheese. . It’s a super versatile dish that works as a side dish, a taco or quesadilla filling, part of a grain bowl, or even a dip scooped up with chips. And if locally grown corn & summer tomatoes are no longer available in your area, no worries: This dish is just as satisfying made with frozen corn & canned tomatoes. 😊 . Both recipes are on the blog now; link is in my profile (go to Recipes > Summer). (I’m also told that it’s prime #football season, & this is a great #tailgating dish, if you’re into that sort of thing. 🏈😊) . . #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #eatyourveggies #howisummer #eatlocal #newnenglandsummer #tastespotting #thekitchn #bhgfood #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #tastingtable #f52grams #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats #healthyaperture #foodphotography #wholesomefamilykitchen

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My boys went back to school today 😢, and I'm already counting down the hours until the long weekend begins. I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to summer—or to summer foods—so I'm planning to take full advantage of the unofficial last weekend of summer. You too? Cool! Need some ideas for what to make this Labor Day weekend? I've got you covered. 😊 . Here are some of my favorite wholesome, healthy-ish summer recipes from the blog: . 🍑 Sweet-and-Spicy Grilled Chicken with Peaches (a modern, more wholesome spin on the first meal I made for my then-boyfriend/now-husband, which I coincidentally wrote about a year ago today, on our 20th wedding anniversary 😊💖) . 🍅 Farro Salad with Tomatoes & Mozzarella (a perfect accompaniment to grilled fare and an ideal summer potluck dish) . 🍔 Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers (for my #vegetarian/#vegan friends) . 🍝 Pasta with Balsamic-Roasted Summer Vegetables, Chickpeas, & Herbs (if it's too hot to turn on your oven, the veggies are just as yummy on the grill) . 🍓and for dessert... Strawberry Shortcakes with Yogurt Whipped Cream (in-season local peaches or plums would also be a delicious substitute for the strawberries—see the recipe's headnotes for some helpful tips) . All these recipes can be found on my blog; link is in my profile. Go to Recipes > Summer. . Happy End-of-Summer, friends! Make it a good one! ☀️🏖💖 . . . #howisummer #kidsinthekitchen #superhealthykids #eatyourveggies #realfoodforkids #tastespotting #thekitchn #bhgfood #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #huffposttaste #tastingtable #f52grams #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole @wholefoodsnh #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats #wholesomefamilykitchen

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MONDAY | We are back from our annual beach vacation and sloooowly getting back into some sort of routine, starting with eating ALL the greens. 🌱🥗😊 (#balance) To help us ease back into our daily salad habit again after a week of eating (mostly) lobster rolls and ice cream 😉, my boys & I are whipping up a batch of our favorite ranch dressing. In case you missed it, it’s the newest recipe posted on my blog; link is in my profile. (Or go to Recipes > Salads.) If you have some particularly salad-averse kiddos (or spouses) in your house, you must try this ranch dressing! It’s tested & enthusiastically approved by my 2 boys... & also by the 200+ middle-school students whom I taught how to make this wholesome, tangy, creamy dressing. It’s so much better—& better for you!—than the bottled stuff. 👍🏻😊 . . #stonyfield #greekyogurt #ranchdressing #kidsinthekitchen #kidscook #cookingwithkids #superhealthykids #produceforkids #eatyourveggies #realfoodforkids #schoolgarden #herbs #tastespotting #thekitchn #bhgfood #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #tastingtable #f52grams #f52salad #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole @wholefoodsnh #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats #wholesomefamilykitchen

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If you have ice cream on vacation (an absolute must, right?), and you don’t share a photo of it on Instagram, did you even really go on vacation? 🤔😜 . My go-to ice cream stand order is coffee ice cream, & this one did not disappoint! 😍😋 What’s your favorite🍦flavor? . . #icecream #howisummer #vacationmode #fnegrams #mynewenglandsummer #mynewengland #tellnewengland #wholesomefamilykitchen

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NEW POST + RECIPE! | This is the ranch dressing that my kids will dip just about anything in and happily eat it: carrot sticks, cucumber slices, chicken, pizza crusts, cardboard…. 😉 This is the ranch dressing that even my dairy-averse husband will generously pour on his salads. This is the ranch dressing that my boys’ friends will devour (with copious amounts of veggies) when they come over for playdates. So I thought it was finally time that I share my ranch dressing recipe with you, my Internet friends, because now that it’s been made and tested and approved by 200+ middle-school students (and several teachers), I can officially proclaim it to be The Best Ranch Dressing in All the Land. Or maybe The Best Ranch Dressing to Come out of a Home Kitchen in New England… in 2018. Or The Best Ranch Dressing Ever Made in a Middle-School Classroom. 😀 The recipe is up on the blog now, along with the story of how I taught an entire 7th-grade class how to make it! 😊 . . #stonyfield #greekyogurt #ranchdressing #kidsinthekitchen #kidscook #cookingwithkids #superhealthykids #produceforkids #eatyourveggies #realfoodforkids #schoolgarden #herbs #tastespotting #thekitchn #bhgfood #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #tastingtable #f52grams #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #makesmewhole @wholefoodsnh #thenewhealthy #eatingwelleats @thecookbookproject #wholesomefamilykitchen

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SPRING GREEN | If you know me well, then you know that spring is my least favorite season. The bugs! The pollen! The allergies! 😫 So I was actually feeling okay with spring’s late arrival this year, as I was hoping it would give me a reprieve from my seasonal suffering. Alas, instead I’ve been dealing with a stubborn bout of sinusitis for almost 4 weeks now. 😕 After trying every natural remedy I know to no avail, I finally went to see my doctor last week, & I left with a sinus infection diagnosis & a prescription for antibiotics—neither of which I’ve had in 15 years! Five days into taking my meds, I’m still not even close to feeling 💯, but today was the first day I didn’t feel like my eye was going to pop out of my head when I bent over to tie my shoes, so I guess that’s progress! 😏 🌱 I’ve also restarted my daily #greensmoothie habit to try to get as many probiotics & immune-boosting nutrients into my body as I can, to help fight off the infection AND to balance out the negative effects of the antibiotics. 😬 🌱 Pictured here is today’s green smoothie, improvised with what I had on hand (amounts are approximate): • 1 packed cup each kale & spinach (#powergreens) • 3/4 cup kefir & 1/2 c. Greek yogurt (probiotics) • 1/2 c. frozen pineapple (digestive enzymes) • 1 banana (creaminess) • 1 heaping tbs. #almondbutter (protein & healthy fat & yumminess 😋) (My 13yo shared half of it with me as an after-school snack & gave it 👍🏻👍🏻. ) 🌱 Anyone else dealing with sinusitis/sinus infections &/or allergies? Hit me up with your tips & tricks for coping! 😊 . . #vegetarian #drinkyourveggies #drinkyourgreens #eattherainbow #realfoodforkids #tastespotting #thekitchn #buzzfeedfood #huffposttaste #ImSoMartha #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #huffposttaste #tastingtable #f52grams #foodblogfeed @foodblogfeed #foods4thought #WholeFoodsFaves #healthyaperture #thenewhealthy #fnegrams #eatingwelleats #vitamix #wellness #cleaneats #healthysnacks #wholesomefamilykitchen

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