Happy 2015 to you guys!! I just returned from what I can only say was a most perfect way to ring in the new year…

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Cool winter beach days full of great people, delicious food (hello freshly caught oysters!), and fabulous times :)

Amidst all the festivities there was one simple easy “recipe” that really stayed on my mind and one that I just had to share with you!

It’s so easy that you might just laugh when you see it. But. Trust me. This easy app does not lack in flavor. Seriously, SO good!!

3 ingredients. I mean how can you go wrong here? (And how have I never thought of this before?!)

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Simply fry up some bacon. Crumble into small pieces. Sprinkle over a block of softened cream cheese. Then drape in honey.

Serve with your favorite crackers and you have yourself a pretty magical party app if I must say so myself. That salty sweet combo plus one of my favorite food (groups? ;)) cream cheese is just the trifecta of delicious right there my friends.

So there you have it. In the event that you aren’t app’ed and dip’ed outta your mind from all the holiday dining quite yet, give this one a try! And even if you are, this might just change your mind :)

Happy Holidays to all of you! Christmas isn’t so far behind us that I can’t share a little Christmas Eve family tradition with ya, right?

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Christmas Eve is a big deal in our house. I mean, a BIG deal. Christmas who? (But really)

We base our food spread off the Polish tradition of Wigilia. Seven dishes are served (we show our creative counting side here 😉 ) and a pescatarian theme. No beef, chicken, pork, you catch my drift.

This year’s menu may have been one of the BEST yet. Here’s what we had!

– Mom’s homemade crab cakes
– Pierogi with green onion butter
– Mushrooms sautéed in white wine
– Shrimp cocktail
– Fresh greens w/ avocado, red onion, & mint
– Appetizer spread above (see, creative counting!)

But the recipe that stands closest to my heart and the one I can’t recall a Christmas Eve without is this one. And one I want to share today with you!

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Sauerkraut and Noodles

– 1/2 package small noodles (macaroni, mini shells, etc)
– 1/2 onion, chopped
– 1 can sauerkraut
– 3 tbslp butter
– salt & pepper

1. Boil noodles until done. Drain.

2. Sauté onion in 1 tbslp butter for 5 minutes. Add sauerkraut and season with salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes.

3. Stir noodles and rest of butter into the sauerkraut pot. Add additional butter as necessary.

These noodles are best when they have some time to sit on a warm stove once combined for just a bit. Make them ahead if time and you won’t even have to think twice about them!

They’re also a perfect main dish meal if you top with some kielbasa, chicken sausage, or something similar.

Happy holidays from our fam to yours, however you may be spending it :)

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Venison. Deer. Bambi. Whatever you choose to call it. It sure does make a pretty delicious winter weather chili. That I know…

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And if venison isn’t your thing, then ground beef or just some extra black beans I’m sure would work just perfectly too!

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I’ll just continue on this route though, especially considering how cute the source of this venison is 😉 (the hunter, not the deer y’all) …

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Serves 4-6

– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 green pepper, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 14.5 oz can petit diced tomatoes
– 2 cups beef broth (or any)
– 1 cup red wine
– 2 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
– 1 tablespoon chili powder
– 1 tablespoon cumin
– 1.25 lbs ground venison
– 15 oz. can black beans
– 2 zucchini, chopped
– 2 cups frozen corn
– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (omit if using beef)

Sauté onion and green pepper in 1 tablespoon olive oil for a few minutes until soft. Add garlic at the end.

Add tomatoes, broth, wine, spices, salt, pepper, and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Now add venison, breaking up in the liquid and stirring. Cook for 30 minutes, covered.

Lil Chef Trick: adding the meat to the liquid this way versus sautéing with the onion and peppers allows it to soak in all that brothy flavor while it cooks. Totally changed the way I did chili once I realized this!

Add beans, zucchini, and corn and cook another 30 minutes and you’re done :)

Serve with cornbread, sour cream, cilantro and hot sauce! And perhaps a handsome hunter to help you make sure there isn’t too many leftovers 😉