Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies with Eggnog Frosting

This week has been all about the cookies for me.  With the holidays coming up, The Best Chewy Cafe-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies have been all over the web, which makes me a happy gal.  Especially because it’s given me an excuse to make a couple of extra batches this week.  “I just want to make sure they’re still the best chocolate chip cookies, I guess I should taste test at least a dozen of them… yup, we’re all good.”

While I feel like most everyone has a go-to Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe for the holiday season, I don’t know many people with a go-to Ginger Cookie recipe!  They’re underrated, I tell you.

Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies with Eggnog Frosting.  The perfect Christmas cookie to warm your heart this winter!  | hostthetoast.com

It might be because we usually associate Ginger Cookies with Gingerbread Cookies, which are too often tough and cardboard-y.  I can understand making houses out of them, or ornaments, or whatever it is that doesn’t require you to chip a tooth while trying to chow down, but eating Gingerbread Cookies has never been on my radar.  They sure do smell amazing, though.

With that in mind, I decided to make a Ginger Cookie that those of us who like our cookies soft & chewy can enjoy.  These Ginger Cookies would combine the typical spices from gingerbread and from chai tea, and they’d be topped with a dollop of eggnog frosting for a little extra Christmahanakwanzikah kick.

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Crock Pot Kung Pao Chicken

This time of year, the Crock Pot and One Pot recipes look more and more appealing.  I want as much flavor with as little effort as humanly possible when the holidays approach and the temperature plummets.  This time of year, I don’t have the time or the energy to do much that doesn’t revolve around Christmas shopping or working– in fact, I put mascara on this morning for the first time in a while and I’m awfully proud of myself for that five-second investment in looking marginally presentable.

Crock Pot Kung Pao Chicken.   This is so delicious, and easy to throw together!  You can adjust the spice level to suit your own tastes, and add in more vegetables if you'd like.  All made in the slow cooker.  | hostthetoast.com

Anyway, because the cold and the calendar are kicking my butt this month, my new crock pot has become one of my dear pals.  The great thing about befriending a crock pot this December is that it will make delicious food for you and not expect a present in return.  That’s real friendship.

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One Pot Greek Chicken Pasta with Creamy Feta Wine Sauce

Back when I was in college, my signature dish was Pasta Greco, an easy-to-make Greek-inspired pasta dish that I adapted from a local restaurant.  When James and I were in the wee-beginning of our relationship and I was just beginning to realize that I could, in fact, make my own food instead of spending all of my money on takeout, I made Pasta Greco at least 3 times a week.  It was my lifeblood.

One Pot Greek Chicken Pasta with Creamy Feta Wine Sauce.  You don't even need to boil the noodles first-- just cook it all in one pot!  Easy and impressive dinner. | hostthetoast.com

Now that I have a little more experience, I’ve been wanting to upgrade the Pasta Greco into something slightly more impressive and flavorful, but still keep it easy.  The key?  Making it a One Pot Pasta dish.

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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Cookies

Everywhere you look this time of year, there’s red and white– striped, dotted, or blocked together, running its way up candy canes and down pillars, and circling around knit scarves and Santa hats.

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Cookies.  So soft and chewy and perfect for Christmas or Valentine's Day! | hostthetoast.com

So it’s no surprise that a deep red, chewy cookie with swirls of sweet cream cheese and dots of white chocolate chips fit right in this holiday season.

These Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Cookies will look gorgeous at your cookie exchange, or piled high on a platter at Christmas.  (Or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or Diwali, or Festivus… cookies have no religious affiliation, you know.)

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Four Cheese Sausage & Spinach Lasanga

This is the last thing I made before burning the ever-loving you-know-what out of my fingers.

Four Cheese Sausage & Spinach Lasagna.  Everyone says this is the BEST lasagna they've ever eaten! | hostthetoast.com

About two weeks ago, I was making this Four Cheese Sausage and Spinach Lasagna and some Jack Daniels Burgers to bring to my friend’s surprise party. My lasagna was fresh out of the oven and I was trying to position it to take pictures, when my glaze that I had been ignoring for quite a while called out for my attention by angrily boiling over. (Sigh.  That’s what I get for attempting to multi-task.)

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