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Sugar Cookies

by Michele Pesula Kuegler December 1st, 2022 | Desserts, Recipes
What would Christmas be without a batch of sugar cookies?  For me they are an important part of the holiday season.  I made numerous batches with my mom when I was a child and now make batches with my children.  I oversee a crew of four cookie makers, but luckily, everyone usually chooses to be harmonious during these times.  However, I have learned to divide
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Soft Sugar Cookies

by Michele Pesula Kuegler November 29th, 2022 | Desserts, Recipes

Cookies + frosting = happiness






Soft Sugar Cookies



Cookies + Frosting = Happiness!



  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • food coloring (if desired)


  1. Make the cookies
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Combine butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer.
  4. Beat for 2 minutes on low speed using paddle attachment.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined.
  6. Add yogurt and vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
  7. Add baking powder, soda, salt, and flour. Mix on
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Apple Cheddar Pinwheels

by Michele Pesula Kuegler November 24th, 2022 | Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday

A little bit of sweet and a lot of savory make these Apple Cheddar Pinwheels simply irresistible.











Apple Cheddar Pinwheels



Apples, show us your savory side!



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups diced apples
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt & pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 sheet puff pastry


  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Saute the apples for 4 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the sage; season with salt and/or pepper, if desired
  4. Unroll the puff pastry.
  5. Roll out to 10” x
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How To Plan A Last-Minute NYE Party In 6 Steps

by Editorial Team November 23rd, 2022 | Cooking Basics





New Year's Eve is one the most celebrated times of the year, and throwing a party is almost a must. It’s the one night of the year that almost everyone is looking for an excuse to get out and party. Planning a party can be tough though and requires a good amount of lead time, something you may not have. If you're running short on time, here is how to plan the best last-minute NYE party in just 6 steps.






  1. Decide The Kind Of
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Homemade Applesauce

by Michele Pesula Kuegler November 22nd, 2022 | Recipes, Side Dishes

No need for store-bought when homemade is so simple.




I haven't made homemade applesauce in a while. I attribute that to the fact that I am cooking only for two and also that we haven't been apple picking in a couple years, so there isn't an abundance of apples at home. However, as I was searching for an apple recipe in the archives, I saw this recipe and realized it was time to make a batch of it. Even though it's just the two of us at home, I think it's time for a trip to the local orchard,
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Cinnamon Apple Whoopie Pies

by Michele Pesula Kuegler November 17th, 2022 | Desserts, Recipes

Move over, apple pie. This is the new Thanksgiving dessert!






Cinnamon Apple Whoopie Pies



Move over, apple pie. This is the new Thanksgiving dessert!



  • Cakes
  • ½ cup butter (melted & cooled)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place melted butter and brown sugar in stand mixer, and
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Apple Parfait

by Michele Pesula Kuegler November 15th, 2022 | Desserts, Healthy Cooking, Recipes

A moderately healthy dessert that lets the apples shine






Apple Parfait



A moderately healthy dessert that lets the apples shine



  • 2 apples (peeled, cored, & diced*)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt


  1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add apples, and saute
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Caramel Apple Scones

by Michele Pesula Kuegler November 10th, 2022 | Breads, Breakfast Dishes, Recipes

Who says sweet treats are only for dessert? Start your day with a caramel apple scone for breakfast!






Caramel Apple Scones





  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter (diced)
  • 3/4 cup caramel chips
  • 3/4 cup peeled (diced apple)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add butter.
  4. Combine dry ingredients using a pastry blender (or two forks) until butter is reduced to
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Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Michele Pesula Kuegler November 8th, 2022 | Desserts, Party Snacks, Recipes

Mini cookies loaded with chocolate chips and stuffed with caramel candy? Yes, please!





Although cookies can't be an everyday snack after school, they do make a special way to acknowledge the day. Maybe it's the first day of school, the completion of a major project, or a made-up celebration. Whatever the reason, all the kids I know surely appreciate a warm cookie or two or three. . .


My children are fans of chocolate, so their after-school treats tend to include chocolate in some form or fashion. We've had plain old chocolate chip cookies, reverse chocolate

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Savory Butternut Squash & Spinach Soup

by Michele Pesula Kuegler November 3rd, 2022 | Recipes, Soups & Stews


Last week I shared my recipe for a sweeter version of butternut squash soup. If that's your kind of thing, feel free to click, read, and return. This article will still be here when you come back.  For those of you who prefer a more traditional soup, one that is savory, this is the recipe for you!  This soup recipe still is quite simple and another great way to use some of the butternut squash you have on hand.

This soup is made with a chicken broth base, but it could be made with vegetable broth also.
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Butternut Squash Chili

by Michele Pesula Kuegler November 1st, 2022 | Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Soups & Stews, Vegetarian


I will admit it takes a special palate and an open mind to consider this recipe. In fact, when I named this recipe I considered calling it Vegetarian Chili. I probably could have convinced more people to continue reading if I hadn't mentioned that butternut squash has a prominent role in this chili. I understand that squash doesn't sound like it should be a key ingredient. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that whether I called it vegetarian or butternut squash, I probably was losing the same audience. And quite possibly, by mentioning the squash,
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Cheesy Cranberry Sauce Puffs

by Michele Pesula Kuegler October 27th, 2022 | Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday, Vegetarian

Cranberry sauce gets its chance to shine as the star ingredient with these cheesy cranberry sauce puffs.











Cheesy Cranberry Sauce Puffs



Cranberry sauce- key to a simple snack!



  • 2 sheets puff pastry (defrosted)
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup homemade cranberry sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. On
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Simple Sausage Rolls

by Michele Pesula Kuegler October 25th, 2022 | Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday

Sausage + seasonings + puff pastry = a deliciously simple sausage roll appetizer




One of the best ways to my husband's heart is by making a recipe that incorporates bourbon. Or by baking a loaf of homemade bread. Or by serving cheese in a molten

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Classic Meatballs

by Michele Pesula Kuegler October 20th, 2022 | Appetizers, Main Dishes, Recipes, Tapas Monday

Perfect for topping pasta or filling a sub roll




I've written about a variety of meatballs on Think Tasty, but I've never written about the basic meatball that I serve with zoodles or in subs. It's about time I did so.


Meatballs are something that I used to make based off of a recipe every time I made them. There was good reason for me to do so. I found that when I didn't follow a recipe they tended to be less flavorful. I was hesitant with my spice usage. Unable to taste the uncooked dish,

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Cheesy Sausage Balls- A Whole New Spin on Meatballs

by Michele Pesula Kuegler October 18th, 2022 | Appetizers, Recipes, Tapas Monday




Sometimes I am so excited by a recipe because I know it will make someone else happy. This dish is one of those recipes. It's fairly simple. My husband loves sausage. My husband also loves meatballs. If I could make a sausage based meatball, I would have a doubly happy diner. And, I made it happen.


Sure, I could have incorporated sausage into a meatball made with ground beef or veal, but I wanted the dish to focus on the sausage. I didn't want the sausage to have to compete to be the prominent

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Peach Caprese Salad

by Michele Pesula Kuegler October 13th, 2022 | Appetizers, Recipes, Salads, Tapas Monday

Making a tweak to the classic Italian recipe produces a peach caprese salad that is sweet and savory.






Peach Caprese Salad





  • 2 peaches
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • Honey
  • 4 medium-sized basil leaves
  • Flaked sea salt


  1. Using a sharp knife, cut each peach into 16 segments, removing each carefully from pit.
  2. Cut mozzarella into thin strips, approximately 1-1/2″ x 1/2″.
  3. On individual serving plates, place a peach slice.
  4. Layering slightly, top with a mozzarella slice.
  5. Repeat until each plate has 8 peach/mozzarella layers.
  6. Drizzle a small amount of honey
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Dining in Philly- Part 4

by Michele Pesula Kuegler October 12th, 2022 | Restaurant Reviews





There are so many great restaurants within a few blocks of our Rittenhouse Square apartment that deciding where to go is difficult. Since we are only here for two months, I am torn between returning to a restaurant we enjoyed and trying somewhere new to us. Most of the time I opt for a new place, because trying new menus usually is fun. The Dandelion definitely fell into the fun and delicious category.




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Southern Salad with Bourbon Vinaigrette

by Michele Pesula Kuegler October 11th, 2022 | Recipes, Salads


It's funny to think that when I originally wrote this recipe I was living in New Hampshire. I knew that I would not stay there forever, but I really didn't know where we would end up. Fast forward almost four years and here I am a resident of Florida. Surrounded
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Dining in Philly- Part 3

by Michele Pesula Kuegler October 7th, 2022 | Restaurant Reviews





Taco Tuesday may be a thing, but sometimes the right time to eat tacos is on a Friday night! That was the case for us a few weeks ago. With late summer weather, keeping it warm during the day, that Friday was the perfect time to walk a handful of blocks and give Rosy's Taco Bar a try.





Since it's a taco bar, it was obvious that we needed to start the evening with margaritas, which are pictured above. I had the margarita negra, which is made with

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Balsamic Roasted Pineapple

Michele Pesula Kuegler October 6th, 2022 | Appetizers, Healthy Cooking, Recipes

Why eat plain cheese and crackers when you can have them topped with balsamic roasted pineapple?





The holidays are over, and so should all of our indulgent snacking be. However, after devouring dozens of decorated cookies, sampling a multitude of meatballs, and sipping who knows how many holiday-themed cocktails, it can be hard to give up these eating habits. At least for me, my stomach

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