Peppermint Sugar Cookies + Free Printable

Sugar Cookie Kit

Very simple, no-chill peppermint flavored sugar cookies with a delicious peppermint cream cheese frosting. Plus an easy way to gift these cookies with a free printable

Easy Peppermint Sugar Cookies WITH a free printable #Christmas #gift #cookie #sugarcookie #peppermint

Happy Friday everyone!! I am so excited — we are heading out to Vermont for this whole next week and for Thanksgiving. It’s not going to be the most traditional Thanksgiving (on the road), but I figure we’ve already had our Thanksgiving meal in several increments. Like here, here, and here.

The husband was born and raised in Vermont and we’ve only been back there once. The first time was an absolute blast. We went to the schools he attended, the places their family would go, old jobs, and saw all the fun things he did growing up. We even stayed overnight in a Church campground that he helped build as a teenager. Um. Yeah my husband’s really cool and handy.

I’m pretty excited to visit again and especially with the little guy – although I’m certain he won’t remember anything. BUT at least he won’t sleep through the whole trip. Yeah…did I ever tell you that time we took him to Disneyland and he slept the ENTIRE time? I guess that is what you should expect from a 2-month old though.

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A Thanksgiving Feast Round-up

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Hey everyone!! Can you believe it – Thanksgiving is almost here!! This round-up includes 15 recipes from side dishes to desserts – everything you’ll want to make alongside your turkey! In addition to the pictures that link to the recipes below, I’ve also included a link to my Foodie collection. This collection has even more Thanksgiving ideas to help you plan the day!

Happy eating :)

Check out Thanksgiving Feast

by Chelsea Lords at Foodie.com

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Turkey Decorated Peanut Butter Cookies

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Cranberry and Vanilla Ice Cream

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Homemade Sweet Potato Tots

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Pumpkin Cream Pie

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Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

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Rosemary Ranch Glazed Carrots

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Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

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French onion and sweet potato soup

Sweet potato casserole crockpot

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole

brussels

Brussels sprouts and bacon 

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Frozen Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

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Chipotle Mashed Rutabaga

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Cranberry Bacon Gravy

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Crockpot Quinoa and Butternut Squash Soup

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Tex Mex Mashed Potatoes

Side Dishes and desserts for Thanksgiving Round-up

Special thanks to Foodie by Glam for sponsoring this round-up of recipes!

Slow Cooker Sugared Nuts (With a Free Printable)

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Sugared pecans, walnuts, and almonds with delicious spices all prepared in the slow cooker make the perfect and most delicious Christmas gift. This recipe includes a free gifting printable.

Crockpot sugared nuts with a FREE printable!! Perfect for Christmas gifts #slowcooker #nuts #Christmas #gift

Okay so remember that “secret” project I told you all about? Well it’s finally here and I’m so excited!! For a few weeks now I’ve been working on some super great foodie Christmas projects – recipes with free printables.

I’m sorry, I’m not even pretending to respect the fact that Thanksgiving still has not come. It’s not that I am one of those “lets-skip-Thanksgiving-and-go-straight-to-Christmas” type of people, it’s just I’m a super planner. Like it’s a little ridiculous. Even since I was a little girl I would plan out Christmas gifts way back in October, one time I even started lists in July. Not kidding — I even still have the journal to prove it ha!

So it’s not that I’m trying to skip Thanksgiving or anything, I’m just already planning Christmas gifts and I think there may be some other people out there like me…you know, getting prepared and planning out gifts. Also since I’m going to be gone most of the month of December, I’ve definitely got to be prepared and have everything planned out way in advance. So, non-planners or strict-wait-til-Thanksgiving-is-over-before celebrating-Christmas people, please forgive me, but Christmas is here on CMA.

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Cinnamon Cheesecake Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread Muffins with Cream Cheese

These delicious, moist, and spice-filled muffins are filled with a cinnamon cheesecake swirl and topped with a sweet cinnamon glaze. 

cinnamon cheesecake gingerbread muffins

Okay have you all seen that eCard or picture or whatever that says — “Once you lick the frosting off a cupcake it becomes a muffin, and muffins are healthy. Your Welcome!”?

For some reason it totally cracks me up. And it’s kind of true for a lot of muffins – they are pretty sugary. Okay not most of the ones I have on this site – in fact, making healthy and flourless muffins are one of my favorite things to make. But these muffins – they are pretty far from healthy. Essentially they are pretty close to cupcakes without the mile high glob of frosting. But there is a glaze which is almost the same thing. Gosh the glaze is good. It’s a very simple glaze and pretty much all sugar, but it hardens quickly and is very similar to a doughnut glaze.

And if these muffins weren’t good enough, I went and filled them with a cinnamon cheesecake swirl. It’s so-so-so good…. 

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{Slow Cooker} Quinoa, White Bean, and Kale Soup

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A simple crockpot soup with quinoa, white beans, diced tomatoes, and freshly chopped kale. This soup has delicious Italian flavoring and is super easy to make.

Easiest slow cooker quinoa, kale, and white bean soup #crockpot #kale #quinoa #cleaneating

I’m pretty obsessed with soup. My big goal this year has been to get the husband on board with soups since in years past, he’s never been the biggest fan. After eating a bowl of this soup, he commented that he likes my soups because they “have stuff in them.” Apparently he just doesn’t like the super-brothy-with-not-much-added-to-them kind of soups. Wow, that was a mouthful.

He was a little skeptical at first, since this seemed to be a brothy soup, but he absolutely loved it! And although this recipe touts a full 4 cups of broth, do you want to hear my secret of making it not so brothy? Blending beans in the broth! That’s right, I blend an entire can of beans with some of the broth and stir that in the soup. It gives it a thick and hearty cream-like texture, but without all the cream ingredients. Plus it’s super easy to do!

Oh… and since I’m bragging about how easy this soup is to make, one more fun fact — the only thing you’ll need to chop is the kale!!… 

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Fudgy Molten Lava Brookie Cups

Molten lava brookie cups

A deliciously fudgy molten lava miniature cookie cup that tastes like a brownie! This seven-ingredient dessert is absolutely delicious and perfect for holiday baking.

7-ingredient Molten Lava Cookie Cups (Brownie Flavored) #dessert #moltenlava #brownie #cookieMolten lava cookies are an idea I’ve had for months now. And finally, it is here!!

The husband and I are pretty obsessed with molten lava cakes. In fact, we have a family tradition that involves having them every single Thursday. Although, honestly, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that knows about this tradition since I’m just now deciding it is going to be one. For the past month I think we’ve had one every single Thursday on our weekly date, so now I just need to tell the husband that it’s going to continue to happen every Thursday.

When we go out to dinner the very first thing we do is look at the dessert menu for a molten lava cake. If there is one, we always order it. If we are too full, we get it to-go AKA we eat it on the car ride home :) So naturally I’ve wanted to re-create delicious molten lava goodness, but in cookie form. Since we have the cakes on Thursdays, we now can have cookies every other day, right?!… 

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Cream Cheese Chicken Tortellini Bake

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A delicious cream cheese and Parmesan chicken bake with broccoli and tortellini. This delicious casserole is comfort food at its best!

EASY Cream Cheese Chicken Tortellini Bake - all put in one casserole dish (even the unbaked tortellini) and baked! #dinner #chicken #casserole #tortellini

Aaaand it’s Monday! How was everyone’s weekend? Ours is pretty much a blur already; they go by too quickly! But I will tell you one thing, I worked super hard on an exciting thing coming to the blog soon… I am so excited!!

It’s not as big as the book I wrote about starting a blog, but it’s going to be pretty great :)

I’ll give you some hints, but don’t hate me for saying these things already… First, it has to do with Christmas. (I know, I know….). Second, it has to do with Christmas gift giving. Since running a blog, I’ve come to understand (at least a little bit) why stores bring out holiday (and particularly Christmas) stuff so early. It’s for planners like me. So I can buy the things, create stuff with those things, and post it giving you all plenty of time to plan for and then replicate it before the holiday has already come and gone.

I like to be way planned out and have everything done in advance. You remember when I had pumpkin recipes and it was still about 90 degrees outside, right? :)… 

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Best EVER healthy chocolate chip cookies

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The best ever flourless + healthier chocolate chip cookies. These cookies have no butter, white flour, or refined white sugar. They are bursting with flavor and sure to be your new favorite healthy “indulgence.”

Healthy + Flourless BEST ever chocolate chip cookies! via chelseasmessyapron.com #cleaneating #cookie #dessertI hope you all know I don’t just throw around the words “best ever.” In fact, I don’t think those two words have ever made it into a recipe title thus far. That’s how deserving these cookies are. Because for how many healthy swaps they have, they really are the best!

That and they have literally been weeks in the making. I can’t even tell you how many long I have worked on this recipe. I wanted them to be the healthiest possible cookie, but not to taste like…cardboard. That’s been pretty hard. I’ve made some cookies that stack up pretty well nutritionally…I just didn’t want to eat them afterwords. So, yeah…those recipes weren’t worth sharing.

And then I made some delicious cookies, but they weren’t all that healthy by the time they were finished, so nix that one too. But this one, it’s a winner.

One of the ways I’ve “judged” how good the batches of test cookies are is by how many are left by the end of the day. That or seeing if the husband takes more than one bite without running to the sink to spit out that first bite. That test is always effective. Well good news with this recipe — all were gone by the end of the day and the husband ate the majority of them.

Healthy + Flourless BEST ever chocolate chip cookies! via chelseasmessyapron.com #cleaneating #cookie #dessert

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{Slow Cooker} Sweet Potato Casserole

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A delicious sweet potato casserole with pecans all made in the slow cooker. One way to save some oven space for Thanksgiving is to use the crockpot!

10 minutes prep, made completely in your CROCKPOT! {Slow Cooker} Sweet Potato Casserole #crockpot #sweetpotato #thanksgiving #sidedish #casseroleIt’s time for some Thanksgiving recipes!! The husband, well, he’s pretty excited that he’s basically getting Thanksgiving for a lot of the month of November. He has requested that I “recipe experiment” with making several hams before the actual holiday. Basically, I need to buy ham and prepare it more because he loves it. Got it!

Anyways, in kicking off these Thanksgiving recipes I’ve got for you all, I had to start with a personal favorite. SWEET POTATOES! I love sweet potatoes. I eat them year round, but Thanksgiving gives me even more of an excuse to eat them, well, pretty much every day. And in all honesty, out of all the delicious Thanksgiving recipes available, sweet potato casseroles have always been my favorite. I know, I’m crazy.

So here’s the good news though. You know how there is likely a bazillion and one things to cook in your ovens on Thanksgiving? Well this recipe is going to save you some of that limited oven space! It is all made in the slow cooker. That’s right! Mixed in the slow cooker and then cooked in the slow cooker. And if you are like me — eaten right out of the slow cooker. Since it wasn’t a formal dinner or anything (yet), it was totally acceptable.

PLUS, this sweet potato casserole can also be made the night before and then popped into your slow cooker the day of.  #win.

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eBook release: How I made $40k my first year of blogging

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Hey everyone! How was your weekend? Did you all have a great Halloween? This was my costume for a party earlier in the week: (a chef cooking my cute little lobster baby)

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The husband and I caught a pretty nasty cold Friday morning (the same one the babe had all week), so we stayed in for the weekend and made some finishing touches on this eBook which was released late Saturday night. (!!!) That and finishing the 3rd season of “Once Upon a Time” on Netflix. Which, I’ve got to ask, for those of you up-to-date with this show, is the fourth season good? We loved the third, but Frozen characters now? I haven’t quite wrapped my mind around that little twist :)

Anyways, today’s post is a little different, and for those of you just here for the food, a new recipe will be here tomorrow! Promise!

A lot of you may remember that this blog had it’s first birthday just a little bit ago and I announced the eBook I’ve been working on for pretty much the whole past year.

To me, starting a blog was a crazy amount of research, tons of trial and error, and fixing lots of mistakes I was making (read = crashing my site twice within the first week). Along the process, I got pretty lost and confused many times. Once I started figuring everything out, I immediately wanted to write a book in hopes of saving other people the frustration I experienced! I spent hours researching and learning about all the essentials to running a blog – I’m talking hosting, setting up ads, setting up social media, the whole shebang.

I started jotting down notes – and I mean lots of notes. And then I started to get the hang of blogging and started writing down notes on how I was growing my site and then making an income off it. I had no clue, not even in my wildest dreams, that one year later I would be making quite a substantial income off this little site. My first month I walked away with $44.47 after hours and hours of work. I was thrilled! I love my space on the web and I’m more passionate about blogging than ever. Fast forward 11 months later and just last month, I made over $7,000.

This whole past year I’ve detailed my journey through blogging - everything I’ve learned and how I’ve made $40,000 in 1 year. After a year of working my hardest, and several months of working even harder, I’m ready to release a book I’m very proud of. I believe it to be an extremely all-inclusive and helpful book. It covers absolutely everything I did and learned this past year. My whole goal of this book is to take out the guessing as well as the boring and hard parts of blogging.

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SO enough of my ramblings, if you want to check out the book (or at least the cute page I made for it), click here!

Thank you for all of your support and for following along with Chelsea’s Messy Apron. It means the world to me when I read your comments, see the recipes you’ve made from my site on Twitter or Instagram, and read your emails or Facebook messages. I am so grateful for you all, more than you even know :)

{Slow Cooker} Quinoa Chicken Parmesan Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Parm Quinoa Soup

A quinoa and chicken Parmesan soup that is simple, hearty, healthy and all made in the slow cooker (crockpot).

10 mins prep Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Parmesan Soup #dinner #soup #healthy #quinoa #crockpot #chicken

A while back I made a one dish chicken Parmesan quinoa dish and featured it on the blog. That meal quickly became the little guy’s favorite – he loves quinoa and he is OBSESSED with anything containing lots of tomatoes/red sauce.

While I was recipe testing the dish, I’m pretty certain I burned the husband out of it – we had it 4 (maybe 5) nights in a row? Okay, I was burned out too. The babe? He could have eaten every night I’m pretty sure. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen him eat as much at one time as he did with that dish! But once I was 100% happy with the recipe, I posted it, and haven’t made it since. How-ev-er… when the little guy came down with a cold this week, I knew I had to make him something with lots of quinoa, lots of red sauce, and something warm.

Naturally, soup instantly came to mind. Because isn’t that what everyone likes when they are sick? I like soup pretty much every time it’s cold outside, but especially when I’m sick! And for the record, the next time I’m sick, I’m definitely requesting this soup!! Warm, rich, chunky, and pure straight comfort food. But in a healthier way because: lots of tomatoes (they form the broth – so no heavy creams here), good protein source (chicken), and quinoa (healthy grain). Yes, this soup doesn’t have any heavy cream or milk! But it’s far from a brothy soup, it’s quite chunky and almost stew-like in texture.

10 mins prep Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Parmesan Soup #dinner #soup #healthy #quinoa #crockpot #chicken… 

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Sweet Potato Enchiladas

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A delicious meatless dish – sweet potato enchiladas chock full of delicious and good-for-you vegetables, brown rice, and tomato salsa. This meal is a quick dinner and family friendly!

Easy + Healthy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas #dinner #sweetpotato #enchilada

And the only thing to follow eating about 10 batches of hot fudge cookies is a healthy + meatless meal. This one is definitely the meal to fit the bill. Look at me rhyme :)

But seriously, this recipe is one of those “healthy” meals that is secretly healthy. Like you wouldn’t guess it was healthy because it tastes so flavorful and rich! Although, depending on the amount of cheese you are piling in these and on top of these, it becomes a little less healthy. The great thing is you can totally scale down (or up) the amount of cheese! I’ve even had these with no cheese and still LOVED them. I know, I bet you never guessed I would say that.

Obviously I usually pile on these cheese when I make these.

Easy + Healthy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas #dinner #sweetpotato #enchiladas… 

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