This easy Pumpkin Eggnog is fall take on the classic winter cocktail, and is ready start-to-finish in about 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Eggnog

This easy Pumpkin Eggnog is fall take on the classic winter cocktail, and is ready start-to-finish in about 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Eggnog

This easy Pumpkin Eggnog is an autumn take on the classic winter cocktail, and is ready start-to-finish in about 10 minutes.  This post is sponsored by Drizly.

Do you love eggnog?  The thick, creamy drink is one of the husband’s favorites.  When he sees the cartons of eggnog start to magically appear in the dairy aisle in late fall, his eyes light up, and I know the eggnog guzzling is about to begin.  However, not all store-bought eggnog tastes as dairy-licious as one might hope, and these can also have an undeliciously long list of strange ingredients.  If you too wait all year for a drink of eggy luxury, but find yourself wrinkling your forehead in concern over the ingredients, or crinkling your nose because you thought it would taste better– listen up!  Eggnog is EASY to make at home.  I promise.  And this Pumpkin Eggnog isn’t just easy– it’s even BETTER than regular old eggnog because, well– because it has pumpkin!

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This decadent, vegan-friendly Salted French Hot Chocolate (Chocolat Chaud) is made with crushed chocolate, whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and topped with flavorful gourmet salt. The salt for this recipe was provided by J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

Salted French Hot Chocolate

This decadent, vegan-friendly Salted French Hot Chocolate (Chocolat Chaud) is made with crushed chocolate, whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and topped with flavorful gourmet salt. The salt for this recipe was provided by J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

Salted French Hot Chocolate

This decadent, vegan-friendly Salted French Hot Chocolate (Chocolat Chaud) is made with chocolate, whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and topped with flavorful gourmet salt.  The salt for this recipe was provided by J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

It’s been “officially” fall for a few weeks now, but summer has been holding on for dear life, doing its best to make sure I stay warm for just a little while longer.  I’m taking this as further proof that the universe really does revolve around me.  (I’ll pause here so that you can wonder if I’m joking.)  At any rate, at this point– fall has definitely arrived here in Central Appalachia.  The days are still warm, but the nights are cooling down, and the leaves have started to turn.  This, of course, means it’s time for cozy warm drinks– like this Salted French Hot Chocolate.  This cocoa is rich– richer than your normal hot cocoa– and is made with whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and lots of crushed chocolate.  Top it off with some extra delicious gourmet salt, and you’re all set for those chilly fall evenings.

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Chickpea Sloppy Joe

Chickpea Sloppy Joe

Chickpea Sloppy Joe: A Vegan Version of a Classic. Ready in 15 minutes

Oh, the Sloppy Joe.  This messy, tomato sauce and beef sandwich was a school lunch favorite, and honestly, that alone should probably convince me to never touch it again.  I do, however, remember it fondly, and was thrilled when I saw a vegetarian chickpea version on the menu at a local cafe.  As delicious as their sandwich was, it didn’t taste like a Sloppy Joe– the sauce was different.  To make a more accurate vegetarian Sloppy Joe, you could, of course, just go buy a can of Manwich and add chickpeas.  Yes, you could do that.  However, if you’re trying to avoid the dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup, as well as pre-made food with hard-to-pronounce ingredients, you might prefer to make your own sauce.  This vegan Chickpea Sloppy Joe is delicious, simple, and takes about 15 minutes start to finish.

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Clam Chowder with Smoked Oysters

Clam Chowder with Smoked Oysters

clam chowder graphic

Winter is still here, guys!  I keep telling it to go away, and the seasonally grey skies and periodic bursts of snow are still around.  Winter doesn’t care what I think.  This, of course, means that I’ve found myself making even more soup than usual.  Last week, I cooked homemade seafood broth, and my soup-obsessed brain decided it was time to make seafood stew.  My absolute favorite seafood soup is Clam Chowder (the creamy New England kind).  It’s the wonderful mixture of two food worlds– creamy and hearty potato soup, and flavorful seafood.  In short, it’s amazing.

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Spicy Hot Chocolate

Mexican Spicy Hot Chocolate

Vegan-Friendly Spicy Hot Chocolate: 4 Ingredients, 10 Minutes

Spicy Hot Chocolate

This vegan-friendly Spicy Hot Chocolate is made with chile de arbol, chocolate, cinnamon, and either milk or coconut milk, leaving you with a decadently spiced winter treat.

Do you have a favorite kind of chocolate?  I used to say I loved dark chocolate the most, which is still partially true, but awhile back I discovered my true chocolate obsession- dark chocolate with a kick of chili pepper.  The first time I ever heard of chili chocolate was while watching the old Johnny Depp movie “Chocolat,” when Vianne picked a Mexican spicy chocolate for someone visiting her chocolaterie.  I was intrigued, and then when I tasted spicy chili chocolate, I was hooked.  Chocolate with chili is amazing, fantastical, tantalizing, and it makes me smile.  I especially like this spicy kick in my hot chocolate.

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This Indian Spiced Tomato Soup is a flavorful twist on the classic American soup is made with warming spices, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Champagne Tastes - champagne-tastes.com

Indian Spiced Tomato Soup

This Indian Spiced Tomato Soup is a flavorful twist on the classic American soup, and is made with warming spices, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. champagne-tastes.com

Indian Spiced Tomato Soup

This Indian Spiced Tomato Soup is a flavorful twist on the classic American soup, and is made with warming spices, tomatoes, and fresh herbs.

I’m not sure if you heard, but it snowed a little bit this weekend.  Just a little bit of a blizzard. No biggie.  It’s only the biggest snow storm I’ve seen since I was seven.  At any rate, I’m sure a lot of you are still snowed in, and those of us who’ve managed to tunnel out of our homes might be tempted to turn right back around and go inside where it’s warm.  All this, my friends, means one thing.  Soup, of course.  Specifically, tomato soup.

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Homemade Vegetable Stock - For the best flavor, make your own stock!

Cooking 101: Homemade Vegetable Broth

Do you wish you could take a basic cooking class?  Do you find yourself buying lots of pre-made ingredients, but suspect your food would taste even better from scratch?  Periodically, Champagne Tastes will be featuring ‘Cooking 101’ recipes.  These cooking staples will take your food to the next level, and will help you make more ingredients from scratch.

Easy Homemade Vegetable Broth: Less Salt, More Flavor, Incredibly Simple

One basic recipe I find myself using over and over again is vegetable broth.  Yes, yes.. I know. Broth comes in a box.  It’s cheap.  It’s so so easy to just pop the lid off the box, and pour that broth into your soup (or whatever you’re making).  Well guess what.. pre-made broth also has tons of salt.  I don’t mind using it periodically, and typically in late spring or summer I just go ahead and use pre-made broth.  Once it starts getting cold outside, I start making soup almost daily, and I don’t really want to eat that much salt on a regular basis.  (Really… I eat So. Much. Soup.)

Another reason I love homemade vegetable broth is that I don’t always have pre-made broth in my pantry! And isn’t that sad?? You decide you want soup.. you have all the ingredients.. except the broth.  Sadness.  Well, be sad no more!! This homemade broth is delicious, takes about 30 minutes, and you can easily customize the ingredients.

vegetable broth

Vegetable Broth

My favorite thing about homemade broth is that it’s just so tasty!  My second favorite thing is that I use vegetable scraps to make it, and that makes me feel good about my life.  Like I’ve really got things together.  I’m reusing, recycling… and whatever the 3rd thing you’re supposed to do is.  I keep a ‘broth scraps’ bag in my freezer.  Yes that’s right- I have a weird bag full of onion peels, herb stems, carrot peels, mushroom stalks etc sitting underneath my ice cube tray.  And you can have one too!  (All the cool kids are doing it).  Save the scraps!

Some recipes I’ve seen call for all scraps, but personally, I’ve never gotten my broth to taste fantastic when I use ONLY scraps.  Instead, I use my scraps and mix in a few whole veggies.  I think the key is to have a variety.  You may also find that certain vegetables have stronger flavors than others (personally- I don’t like bell pepper scraps in my broth, but that’s just me!).  Also, although I go through more onions than any other vegetable, and would really love to use all my scraps at once in broth, too many onions makes for some very bitter broth.  Restrain yourself.

When making broth, either use it immediately, refrigerate it and use it within a few days, or freeze it.  It’s also a good idea to freeze it in different size containers- that way you don’t have to defrost an entire container if you only need 1 cup.

Go ahead- make broth.  And then make soup.

Need recipes to use your homemade broth? Try these:

Homemade Vegetable Stock - For the best flavor, make your own stock!
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Homemade Vegetable Broth

Yields 1 quart

Total Time 45 minutes
Author Champagne Tastes

Ingredients

  • *Vegetables may be substituted for equal quantity vegetable scraps. I've found a mixture of whole vegetables and scraps makes delicious broth.
  • **Vegetables can be subbed for other veggies that you have on hand
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 leek or 1 onion, roughly chopped (not peeled)
  • 2 carrots, chopped (not peeled)
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly sliced
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 3-4 tsp salt
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme (fresh or dried)
  • 1 sprig rosemary (fresh or dried)
  • 2 splashes white wine (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in soup pan on medium heat, and add leeks or onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and about 1 quart water.

  2. Cover, bring to a boil, and then lower heat to medium. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

  3. Ladle out all solid ingredients, or place a mesh strainer over another bowl or pot and pour broth through strainer to remove solid ingredients. Throw away the cooked veggies and keep the broth.

  4. Use broth immediately, refrigerate and use within a few days, or freeze.

Recipe adapted from: The French Market Cookbook

Easy, Vegan Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal- Steel Cut Oats cooked in a slow cooker overnight. Let the slow cooker make your breakfast while you sleep

Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal

Easy, Vegan Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal- Steel Cut Oats cooked in a slow cooker overnight. Let the slow cooker make your breakfast while you sleep

Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal

This vegan Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal is made with steel-cut oats and pumpkin purée in a slow cooker.  

Fall is fading – the leaves have changed, fallen, and winter is threatening to make an appearance.  That said, I’m not ready to move on from my pumpkin obsession.  This oatmeal is the perfect way to combine my love of all things pumpkin with my love for breakfast.  These oats are made with heart-healthy steel-cut oats, pumpkin purée, and whatever milk or milk substitute you prefer.  Pour all your ingredients into a slow cooker, and walk away.  Forget about it.  Forget about it until morning, that is, when you’ll wake up to the delicious smell of fall.  I mean pumpkin.  (It’s the same thing, right?)  This Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal will fill you with pumpkiny goodness, with practically zero effort.

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Easy Vegan Steel-Cut Overnight Cranberry Oatmeal with Cranberry Topping

Overnight Cranberry Oatmeal

Easy Vegan Steel-Cut Overnight Cranberry Oatmeal with Cranberry Topping

Overnight Cranberry Oatmeal

This vegan Overnight Cranberry Oatmeal uses heart-healthy steel-cut oats, and cooks overnight in a slow cooker.

Do you wander down the produce aisle at the grocery store in late fall, gaze at the gorgeous bags of cranberries, and think, “Those MUST be good for something other than cranberry sauce.”  Well, my friend, you are correct.  Cranberries, unlike blackberries or raspberries, are a little too tart to eat raw, but become sweeter when cooked.  My favorite thing to use them in is oatmeal– the berries sweeten and burst into the creamy oats, leaving you with a deliciously seasonal bowl of berries and grains.  This Overnight Cranberry Oatmeal cooks in a slow cooker while you sleep, and is made with fresh cranberries, steel-cut oats, and whatever milk or milk-substitute you prefer.

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