Flourless Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Cookies

They’re peanut butter.  They’re dark chocolate.  They’re peanut butter.  They’re dark chocolate.  A little naughty, a little nice, and a lot of yum.

Flourless Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Cookies.  They're surprisingly quick and easy to make, gluten-free, and an absolute hit with everyone who tries them! | hostthetoast.com

These cookies are just as tasty as they are attractive (who sees a half-and-half chocolate and peanut butter cookie and thinks, “nah“?) and they’re quick and easy to make, to boot.  BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!  They’re also conveniently gluten-free, so your friends with special dietary needs can enjoy them in the cookie exchange this year.  You will not miss the flour.  Not one bit.

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Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy

I am so obsessed with this recipe, I wrote a haiku about it.

Oh, succulent hog
With walnut crust and cider
Is this how love feels?

Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy.  Succulent, delicious, impressive, and surprisingly easier than you'd think.  Serve it with the Goat Cheese Chive Mashed Potatoes! | hostthetoast.com

…Perhaps not my greatest work of poetry, but the recipe is far better than my writing, luckily.

This Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy is now one of my new favorite impressive dinners.  Everyone who tried it kept asking for more and commenting on how juicy and flavorful it was.  (Thus disproving James’ aforementioned theory that “the people hate walnuts.”  Boo-ya, walnut-hater!)  The walnuts add crunch to the pork, which itself is tender and dripping and all of the things you can only hope for when sinking your teeth into some tenderloin.  The sweet-and-savory Apple Cider Gravy takes it over the top.  It’s everything you’re imagining it would taste like, and more.


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Pumpkin Pie Cornucopia Cannoli

It is 28 degrees outside right now and the only comfort I can find is in the fact that I made these insanely cute Pumpkin Pie Cornucopia Cannoli and I’m sharing the recipe with you.  It warms my heart, just a little bit, to see them in all of their caramel-drizzled sugar cone glory, knowing that you might be motivated to make them this Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Cornucopia Cannoli!  These Thanksgiving treats are easy to make, and they're a tasty alternative to time-consuming pumpkin pie.  It doesn't get much cuter than this. | hostthetoast.com

Imagine all of your favorite things about pumpkin pie (the spices, the creaminess, and of course, the pumpkin) combined with all of your favorite things about cannoli (the crunchy shell, the sweet, soft cheese filling) and then try to tell me you’re not drooling over the idea of these Pumpkin Pie Cornucopia Cannoli!  I dare ya!


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Warm Brussels Sprouts and Kale Bacon Caesar Salad

Last night I went to the Vendor Summit for Kitchen Kapers, so I’m in an especially good mood today.  If you’ve ever seen “Oprah’s Favorite Things”, then imagine that, just with kitchenware.  Instead of cars, it’s like “YOU GET A VEGETABLE PEELER, YOU GET A VEGETABLE PEELER, EVERYBODY GETS A VEGETABLE PEELER!

Warm Brussels Sprouts and Kale Bacon Caesar Salad.  The sprouts and kale are sauteed in the bacon drippings and then tossed with creamy Caesar dressing, homemade croutons, and plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese.  I want to eat this every day. | hostthetoast.com

It actually is really fun for everyone who comes, but I get overly excited.  For example, CDN gave out thermometers and I think I freaked out the representative with how pumped I was about it.  I was beaming from ear to ear and kept telling him, almost aggressively, about how happy it made me.

He was really nice, but the look on his face was like, I am slightly scared of you.  Take the thermometer and leave, crazy lady.  I’d back away slowly, but I’m stuck at this table.

I’m okay with admitting that I get all sorts of amped up for things that other people might find a little bit weird.  Another prime example of that would be my reaction to brussels sprouts.  Oh man, I love those things.


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Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake with Apple Roses

I worked on this all day and night just to be sure I could get it to you today.  Why?  Because it would be a crime to not give you a recipe for something this good as soon as humanly possible.  So here we are.  It’s 9AM as I write this and I’m on my fourth cup of coffee.  Fourth.

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake with Apple Roses.  One of the prettiest, tastiest desserts I've ever eaten.  Don't be intimidated-- it's easier to make than it looks!  | hostthetoast.com

I refuse to sacrifice my one true love– sleep — for anything.  But this recipe isn’t just “anything”.  It’s Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake with Apple Roses.  I mean, I might sacrifice my first-born, Rumpelstiltskin-style, for Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake with Apple Roses.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point here.  We’ve got the signature graham cracker crust, which infuses with salted caramel and apple juices as it bakes.  Then, there’s a thin layer of sweet apple chunks, which in my opinion qualifies this dessert as a health food.  (Fruit is good for you, right?)  The next layer is the rich, creamy, smooth cheesecake.  On top, a thin blanket of caramel drips over the sides and helps the beautiful apple roses and nuts stay on for a stunning presentation.


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