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Spread Holiday Cheer with These Cheesy Appetizers

A foolproof way to keep hunger at bay — and ravenous partygoers out of the kitchen — before the big holiday dinner is appetizers, and lots of ‘em. We have plenty of tried-and-true Christmas appetizer recipes to choose from, but the ones that fly off the table the fastest are always ones filled with cheese.

Here are  five of our favorites, including crunchy crostini topped with baked prosciutto, apple butter and melted Brie (pictured above) and deep-fried mozzarella bites. The best part? They’re all ready in 30 minutes or less, so you can get back to babysitting your slow-roasted prime rib and other magnificent holiday dishes.

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What to Look for in a Quality Cheap Eat

 

Eating well on the cheap. It’s not nearly as easy as just eating on the cheap. And we have 50 years of the fast-food industry to thank for that. Not that I’m opposed to the occasional bag o’ drive-thru, mind you, but the old maxim is still true: You get what you pay for. The truth is we all have our own budgets in mind, and not all $6 burgers are created equal. So let’s look for a moment, beyond the bucks, to what makes food bang at any price point — a happy medium sandwiched in between Kobe dry-aged beef and the dollar menu. Here are my four tips for finding a legit cheap eat:

Figure out if the food/restaurant is “people driven.”

This is kinda like “chef driven,” but it involves a little more on your part than pulling up a website or a Yelp review. Bottom line: Are the people who work at this restaurant proud about the food there? Do they eat there on their days off? Can they list the faves from the menu in, like, no time flat? For most of you, this means gathering intel from your waiter, but don’t ignore the person bussing your table either. And, no, this doesn’t apply to only table-service restaurants. I reviewed a national burger chain ($6 and up) and was floored by how both the ladies taking my order were so down for their employer and the burgers they smashed (that’s a hint). After all, don’t you want happy people — people who genuinely believe that they are worthy of your hard-earned buck — serving your food?

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Thanksgiving Side Dishes That’ll Hold Up to Reheating

Thanksgiving is full of wonderful food, family and fun, but before you get to the good stuff, there’s a lot of stress in the kitchen. Help calm things down by preparing in advance many Thanksgiving side dishes that can reheat well. We’ve rounded up five of our favorites — including Haricots Verts with Rosemary (pictured above), which can be served either room temperature or warm — that will keep you from going berserk on Turkey Day.

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5 Gorgeous Carrot Recipes That Will Make You Eat with Your Eyes

Vitamin A-rich carrots are good for your eyes, so we’re always thinking of new ways to incorporate them into meals. One foolproof way to get more carrots into your diet is to make recipes that are easy on the eyes and thoroughly craveworthy. Take this Beet and Carrot Slaw, pictured above, that takes only minutes to make and is instantly Instagram-ready. Below, we’ve rounded up four more gorgeous ways to eat more carrots — some healthy, and some cake — that’ll have you saying, “What’s up, Doc?”

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Every Day We’re Brusselin’: 4 Craveable Brussels Sprout Salads

Brussels sprouts have come a long way in the palate-pleasing department. Once known as the foul-smelling, boiled, soggy vegetable of nightmares, they’ve transformed into a trendy, craveable and usually healthy dish. When you get sick of roasted Brussels, try crafting new, innovative salads instead.

Chuck Hughes makes a warm Brussels sprout salad (pictured above) by lightly sauteing leaves with bacon and Parmesan — hey, we said usually healthy. Check out three more of our favorite Brussels salads below.

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Give ‘Em Pumpkin to Talk About with 4 Instagram-Ready Desserts

The best time of the year is upon us, and with it comes a seasonal favorite flavor: pumpkin. Whether you bow to the throne of pumpkin spice or want to banish the trend, these four gorgeous desserts will at least be pleasing to the eyes. From an imposing pumpkin cheesecake with amaretto whipped cream, orange-almond crunch and fresh figs (pictured above) to teeny-tiny pecan pies, these treats will cause a double-tap frenzy on Instagram.

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Combine Squash and Pasta for the Ultimate Fall Comfort Food

Pumpkin goes great with espresso and milk, but we’ve found an even better combination: pumpkin and gooey, melted cheese. Put down the pumpkin spice latte and try making a savory squash dish this fall, like Pumpkin Lovers’ Lasagna (pictured above) and other easy, comforting pasta dishes that will warm you from the inside out.

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4 Sneaky Ways to Replace Carbs with Cauliflower

At the base of most of our favorite comfort foods are carbs, making it tough to justify eating them every day. But with one magical ingredient swap, you can indulge more often without the guilt trip and get in a serving of vegetables. Stock up on a few heads of cauliflower to make pizza crust (using Tia Mowry’s easy recipe, pictured above), tots, mac and cheese, and more.

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Recipes to Get Apples Into Every Meal

It’s said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but that’s only one reason to embrace fall by using the fruit as a core ingredient for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kick off the season with Bobby Flay’s Belgian Waffles with Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Butter and Sauteed Cider Apples (pictured above), and then move on to juicy pork chops, butternut-apple soup and more savory and sweet apple harvest recipes.

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4 One-Pot Soups, Because Who Has Time to Do the Dishes?

After a long day of work, the last thing you want to do is cook dinner and wash a pile of dishes. Instead of calling in a takeout order, try simplifying the cooking process with one-pot meal recipes that will definitely cut down on time scrubbing pots and pans, and possibly also create leftovers that can last all week.

Check out four of our favorite one-pot soup recipes — including easy Creamy Tomato Soup (pictured above) — to start getting warm and cozy for fall. You don’t have to wait until September 22 to enjoy a comforting bowl.

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