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Salt and vinegar dress up these sweet potato bites for a mouth watering, tangy & delicious take on a classic potato chip.

Salt and vinegar dress up these sweet potato bites for a mouth watering, tangy & delicious take on a classic potato chip. My salt & vinegar love affair started back when I was a child in Canada.  I used to love the Hostess brand with little devils on the front of the bag.  Those seemed to pack the most punch and made my mouth pucker more than any other.  I'm pretty sure there was a time or two that I ate so many chips that I could no longer feel my tongue!  Despite both the pain and delight I put my mouth through, my love affair continued.

Whether you are throwing a party or attending one to celebrate the New Year, it's always good to start off the year with a few delicious appetizers, like these incredibly easy Hasselback Baby Potatoes.

The perfect holiday appetizer made to impress your guests and amuse your tastebuds. V,GF,T8Free

During this years' Christmas party, I made a batch Hasselback Potatoes for the first time using baby sized spuds. I barely had time after they came out of the oven to sneak a pic or 2 because they were gobbled up, right away.  Needless to say, I just had to make them again then again until finally, no one was around to eat them (except me and I may or may not have eaten 1 right out of the pan).

I tell you this because these little munchies made everyone happy!  Hubby, kiddos, guests...really everyone.  Because I only share the "hits" not "misses",  I was determined to get this recipe with you before New Years Eve.  Then I realized...tomorrow is NYE!!! WOW.  SO in order to get this out in a timely manner, this is going to be short and sweet.  Sorry.... no long stories, no wordy explanations, just pictures and this Hasselback Baby Potato recipe.   You have parties to get to anyways, right?

"What I say is that, if a man really like potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow." A.A. Milne

Even though I make mashed potatoes throughout the year, Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without it. However, most recipes are loaded with butter & creams, which make it taste amazing but not healthy or allergy-friendly. So what if i told you that I had a healthier version.... a deliciously creamy, healthier version? Last year, I experimented a bit by making mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes and although it does taste perfectly fine, it just wasn’t the same.  Like when you know you're eating something healthy, but you’re still secretly wishing it was the real thing.  So I decided to mix the cauliflower in with the potatoes and you know what, it's the best darn Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes you’ll ever have.

Homemade stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving and should be eaten more than once a year.

This is truly something to be thankful for!  Our family favorite stuffing, made vegan & allergy-friendly When I was younger, Thanksgiving was a big deal!  The entire family would gather together at my Grandparents house for a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings!  Mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade rolls, and best of all STUFFING!  Oh my goodness, stuffing was my favorite. That was, until I learned what was in it!  Sausage, bacon, giblets (including the liver and heart of the turkey) and all the pieces of meat that came off the bones from the turkey neck. Eeew, so gross! But here's the thing, back then, it was so delicious!  All the flavors that melded together, all the layers of texture, it really did outdo any bagged stuffing mix.  Thankfully, after years of messing with my Grandma's recipe, I've recreated it to be completely allergy-friendly as well as vegan!  The texture is still there and the flavor.....amazing! This is absolutely the best Allergy-friendly Stuffing (without all those giblets) that you'll want to serve this Thanksgiving.

After years of cooking corn,  I found a foolproof method that is incredibly easy, unique and simply delicious. Summer corn is sweeter when steamed within its own husks and grilled to perfection Moving around a lot has created an opportunity to try new things and to incorporate different flavors & methods then I had tried before. Take corn on the cob for example.  For most of my early years, I remember hanging out in the kitchen, shucking fresh corn with my mom and/or grandma and then adding the cobs to a pot of boiling, salted water.  I use to love watching the corn go from a pale yellow to a vibrant hue which signaled they were ready to be devoured.  I sure loved corn this way, especially with a big 'ol slab of butter. After moving to Maryland, a friend of mine cooked their corn on the grill and their special little twist, created the best Grilled Corn on the Cob I had ever tasted (Sorry MOM!). This is now my favorite way to make corn, especially when adding a little Sriracha for heat. 

"Sriracha cauliflower wings are my Bae",  or at least that is what my daughter says.  This is HUGE as it is coming from my not completely vegan child who has labeled herself as a "chikatarian" (she likes Chik-fil-a basically).  I know, this is technically a vegan food blog, but to be perfectly honest, I just cannot make everyone eat as I would.  Now, when we are home, I only make 1 dish and everyone eats that 1 dish, but when we go out, they are all free to make their own choices.  Thankfully, they no longer go crazy when they order and have realized how certain foods make them feel as well as realize how eating foods affects other creatures, but chicken, I can't quite get her to give up yet. Thankfully, my kids all LOVE vegetables and so getting them to eat veggies is really easy.   Cauliflower is one of their favorites, whether its raw or cooked and we've used this veggie as a substitute for rice or mashed potatoes and even in shrimp cocktail.  It also works well as "chicken" for making wings.   I mean, it's better than eating "fake" meat made of weird ingredients, right?

Sweet mango & mashed avocado is heavenly, especially with the added crunch of jicama in these delightful spring rolls. Spring Rolls I absolutely love looking out to my back yard through our bay window.  Although the trees are bare and the grass is brown, the site of beautiful red cardinals grazing off the bird feeder, all but makeup for the lack of color due to winter months. And although it is still a little chilly some days, the sunlight warms the room and reminds me that Spring isn't too far off. This sunlight, not only makes this the perfect sitting area for gazing, but it also makes this the perfect place for ripening those stone fruits not quite recipe ready.  The mango and avocado I recently purchased from the market have patiently been sitting on the table, just waiting for the sun to ripen & sweeten them up for the perfect recipe. Meanwhile, as the sun was doing its thing, there was this wonderfully, crunchy jicama just waiting to join the party as I had something wonderful in store for them. Mango Avocado Spring Rolls with a Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce.

Sprouted lentils

Did you ever have a Chia Pet when you were growing up? They were those silly clay pot characters who magically grew green sprouts of "hair" when you spread this mixture on them?  Back in the 80's, these were all the rage, but what I didn't know then, and what I do know now, is that this was simply a process of sprouting the now popular Chia seed.  Seems a little crazy that we used a "superfood" to create an unusual figurine for our window seals but it's great insight on just easy sprouting nuts and seeds can be.

[caption id="attachment_2396" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]Image from Amazon.com Image from Amazon.com[/caption]

Even if you never had a chia pet, you've had to have heard about sprouting.  Maybe you read about it in your health magazine, maybe you purchased some alfalfa sprouts for your salad, maybe you looked into sprouting but all the specialized boxes and jars have you confused.  SO let's just start with what sprouting IS, to get the basics first.

Vegan & Gluten Free, Southern Style Grits
Bite-size Grits & Greens I am not a Southern girl by any means, but I do love me some southern food.  Biscuits and gravy, warm cornbread, or grits and greens, Oh MY! Throw in some sweet tea and we're having a party (and making my kiddos & hubby, incredibly happy). Southern cooking really is good 'ol comfort food, and grits may just win as my favorite since they are little healthier (depending on how you make them) and easier to make vegan & allergy-friendly .

cranberry sauce Everywhere I turn, Christmas is already happening.  The store aisles are full of decorations, neighborhood homes are all lit up in beautiful twinkling lights and every toy catalog has found its way into my living room.  It is definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas,,,,,although Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet.