Food for Thought #12: November.

1.// I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and you got to eat all your favorite Thanksgiving foods with your favorite people! I personally like to have turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy all in one bite. A lot of times. :o)

2.// I accidentally missed my own anniversary – the blog turned 2 in October! Today’s post is my 145th since it all started in 2014. Thanks for coming along for another year of good food and welcoming family and friends to the table with it!

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3.// Christmas?? is coming?? Really soon?! We have our tree up and it’s beautiful, and only one ornament has sustained irreparable damage. But that’s about as far as my preparations have gone, other than a few Cyber Monday purchases rolling in this week. Helllp!

4.// Speaking of Cyber Monday – I know a few of you snagged that amazing Instant Pot deal from Amazon! (affiliate link) It was almost half price, which is quite a steal. Did you get a chance to try it out, or do you have to wait for it to appear under your tree?? I’ve had mine for a few months, and I really like it – I’ve only posted one recipe (this yummy Balsamic Chicken has both crockpot and Instant Pot instructions!) but hoping to change that in 2017! I used it just last week to make an Instant Pot version of this Apple Cider Pulled Pork from Foodie With Family. I cut up the pork shoulder into 3 pieces so it would fit, and added a cup of water with the boiled cider so it would come to pressure. I cooked it on the Manual setting at high pressure for 2 hours and it was falling-apart tender and amazing! (Love that time compared to 12 in the slow cooker!) I highly recommend it. I don’t even think you necessarily need the sauce – we heated up leftovers plain in a skillet and they got a little crispy which was amazing.

5.// One of my goals this month is to eat through our freezer and pantry. I can’t quite decide if this is more lazy or ambitious, but I like to do it once a year so that nothing in there gets too old/expired/unidentifiable. I’ve tried in January before, but I feel like I want to eat fresh! healthy! things then, not random mushroom risotto in a box I bought without a purpose in mind. Plus, it’s a good month to save some money on groceries, and with all the extra stuff on the calendar you can cash in those freezer meals to simplify dinner. Join me??

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6.// Not to add anything to your plate (except, you know, all these would be delicious on your plate), but here are my favorite Christmas treats!

Gingersnaps (my must-have Christmas cookie!)

Russian Tea Cookies (Snowballs? Mexican Wedding Cookies? These go by many names but they’re another family favorite!)

Cookie Dough Truffles (Edible cookie dough. Dipped in chocolate. Amen.)

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread (not to be confused with a man-shaped cookie, this is a dense, spicy, delicious cake that you serve with big dollops of whipped cream)

Do you do any can’t-veer-from-it traditional baking for the holidays? What are your go-to treats?

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