A Classic Made Easy – Five Cheese Fifteen Minute Stovetop Mac and Cheese

I adore a good cookbook. I always seem to have one at the ready to peruse, gain some culinary inspiration, learn some tips and tricks and adore the pretty pictures contained within its pages. Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook from QVC’s resident foodie, David Venable, has been on my “must get” list since I heard about it. I have his first cookbook and adore it so I knew his second would be just as great if not better!

David Venable is a staple at QVC. So many of my favorite chefs and bloggers have appeared on his show, In The Kitchen With David®. You know their recipes are “that good” when David does his “happy dance.” His enthusiasm for good food, good times and good friends is infectious. His recipes are tried and true and are comforting for everyday or chic enough for a soiree.

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Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie – Perfect For The Holiday Table #BRMHolidays

Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie | Cooking In Stilettos

The holiday is less than two weeks away and do I have the perfect pie to grace your holiday table – a Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie.

Holidays with my family growing up meant two dinners – one at my grandma’s and another at my Bampa’s house.  Grandma always had pecan and pumpkin pie cooling on the counter where my Bampa had a dark chocolate pie cooling on the sideboard.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Bampa’s pie (though I did constantly ask him why there was no whipped topping in a tub in his fridge), but my grandma made a to.die.for pumpkin pie.  Her pecan pie also was excellent but I always got a slice of pumpkin and a smidgen slice of pecan.  How could I choose between the two right?

Well, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have had to make a choice because this Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie is the best of both worlds.  A rich and velvety pumpkin pie filling layered with a divinely rich pecan pie layer.  All of this pie goodness is nestled in a “from scratch” pie crust.  Yes – you heard me right – a FROM SCRATCH pie crust.

Yes – I confess, during the holidays I have been known to keep store bought dough in the fridge.  Yes, I know – I have an irrational fear of all things pie crust.  Yes, I know – the time has come for me to put on my big girl stilettos and face that pie crust fear head on and there was no time like the present to get into the kitchen.  Bob’s Red Mill put forth the challenge to make a from scratch pie, perfect for the holiday season and I stepped up to the plate.

Look at these goodies that Bob’s Red Mill sent to be played with – their organic all purpose and whole wheat flours.  I think it’s time for me to face my fears and make a pie crust from scratch.

Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie - Bob's Red Mill | Cooking In Stilettos

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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey With Cranberry Chile Tequila Glaze For #OXOTurkeyDay

Turkey with Cranberry Chile Tequila Glaze | Cooking In Stilettos

Thanksgiving is fast approaching – have you started thinking of your menu yet?

There has been a turkey that I have always wanted to try but I’m used to the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey – basted with butter, crispy skin and stuffed with a bit of onions, garlic, thyme, sage and rosemary.  However, when Marcela Valladolid made an Apricot and Tequila Glazed Turkey on her show, I made a mental note to give that recipe a try.  After all, you know I love adding a bit of “spirit” to some dishes and a turkey injected with a butter and tequila infusion – now that is intriguing.

OXO recently challenged a group of food bloggers to make “The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey” for #OXOTurkeyDay and the first thing I thought – I need to make that tequila turkey.  I love Latin flavors and, with a few twists, this Cranberry Chile Tequila Glazed Turkey took center stage.  OXO sent us some tools to help make the turkey preparation super simple and you know their tools always produce a fantastic dish.  I mean, look at these OXO tools we had to play with…

Turkey with Cranberry Chile Tequila Glaze - OXO Tools for #OXOTurkeyDay | Cooking In Stilettos

Everything you might need for the perfect turkey!  I especially loved the Poultry Lifter, angled baster and the fat separator.  After many a drama lifting the bird from pan to plate over the years, seeing this poultry lifter was like angels singing. … 

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Festive Entertaining With Bud Light Lime Cran-Brrr-Rita and The Best Marinated Olives #FiestaForever #GlamFiestaForever

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Anheuser Busch via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Anheuser Busch.

Marinated Olives | Cooking In Stilettos

The holiday season is upon us and, with that, come the requests for a quick get together, an impromptu soiree or, as I often find, “Can you bring something?” Well – if you need a recipe for any of the three – I have one of the best recipes that your guests will love and so ridiculously easy for you to make that you will find yourself making it often!

During one of my first major “Let Me Cook” moments (we’re talking way back in the Orlando days when I learned how to cook via the internet and all things Food Network and cookbooks), I scoured the ‘net looking for recipes to wow my guests. One of my friends adored olives but I, on the other hand, was not a fan. However, according to the Barefoot Contessa, apparently olives are necessary for cocktail hour. After much research, I found a recipe for marinated olives that became a tried and true. After tweaking over the years, these Marinated Olives have become a favorite that I make often…. 

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Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb Made Easy In The Slow Cooker #LocalLambGlobalFlavor

Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb | Cooking In Stilettos

Growing up, we didn’t often have lamb, but, when we did, my Bampa would make his famous Lamb Meatballs.  Being Irish, lamb should be in the family DNA, however outside of the Lamb Meatballs or an occasional rack of lamb I’d see on a restaurant menu, my exposure to lamb was minimal.

The American Lamb Board asked us to create a global dish with their Natural American Lamb and I knew this is something my Bampa would encourage me to try. I was thrilled to learn that not only is it local and here in the states, but it’s affordable too!  So, when a box arrived on the doorstep with the most perfect boneless leg of lamb,  I knew that I’d draw on my Irish roots and let the lamb’s natural flavor shine through.  I would accent it with root veggies, like carrots and parsnips with a bit of onion and garlic and fresh rosemary.   While I originally was tempted to cook it low and slow in the oven, I decided to let my slow cooker do the heavy work and, when I got home from work, the house smelled fantastic and dinner was a home run.  The lamb was tender and moist and the flavors were out of this world.  If my Bampa was still here, I’m sure he would have loved this recipe!  American Lamb will be on the menu more often…. 

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Arugula Salad With Baked Goat Cheese and Rosemary Honey #BloggerCLUE

Arugula Salad with Baked Goat Cheese and Rosemary Honey | Cooking In Stilettos

I LOVE  a good mystery.  I LOVE a fantastic blog.  Combine both of them and I’m a happy happy girl.  Recently, I got a little note asking me if I wanted to join in on a game of BloggerCLUE where we play super sleuths and hunt for a fantastic recipe in a fellow food blog that fits a particular theme for the month.  Well, you know me – I can never back down from a challenge.  Plus – the assignees are some of my favorite bloggy peeps so I knew I had to join in on the fun.

I was assigned Kate’s Kitchen for the inaugural edition of the Blogger C.L.U.E. society and I was tasked with finding a fabulous recipe perfect for the holiday table.  Easy peasy, right?  WRONG – there were so many good recipes to choose from, I had the worst time picking just one.  I wanted to make everything.  I found one so intriguing that I had to give it a whirl – her Salad with Baked Goat Cheese and Rosemary Infused Honey.    This Arugula Salad with Baked Goat Cheese and Rosemary Honey is easy enough to whip up for  a last minute soiree and chic enough for a fancy holiday table.  One tip – put the goat cheese in the freezer before you slice them – then a quick chill before heading into the oven.  As for the Rosemary Infused Honey, well, that’s a recipe that is perfect not only for this salad, but also for a holiday gift.  I added a bit of pecan and cranberry love and used my favorite greens – arugula for that peppery spicy bite.  This salad is a winner and would be excellent on the holiday table!… 

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Sweet Treats For The Holidays – Hawaiian Crunch White Chocolate Bark

This is a sponsored post. My opinions are my own.

Hawaiian Crunch White Chocolate Bar | Cooking In Stilettos

Have you seen all of the commercials advertising that the holidays are JUST around the corner? Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

Growing up, a majority of my shopping was done on Christmas Eve.  My dad and I had a tradition of doing family shopping on Christmas Eve, followed by a major present wrap session, wrapping everything in oodles of paper, tape and bows. As I got older, I still would shop closer to Christmas but, with the crowds and chaos at the stores, I started to do a majority of my shopping online (much to my UPS and FedEx driver’s chagrin). This year, I did some thinking about holiday gifts and decided that I’d do something different.  Some of my gifts are going to be straight from my Stiletto Kitchen – made with lots of love and laughter and given to family and friends.

With homemade treats on the mind and knowing how I test a recipe a few times before I pronounce it “perfect”, I needed to get to research mode and start planning! After all, the holidays are only weeks away and some of these gifts need to be sent with a bit of planning and packing care.  After perusing one of my favorite sites, Yahoo! Food, I came across an idea that essentially gave this gal a light-bulb moment – How To Make Chocolate Bark Without a Recipe…. 

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