Loaded Beer Cheese Soup

By Holly Sosa

During the winter months, there’s nothing I love more than enjoying a piping hot bowl of soup. This January, I’ll be sharing five soup recipes, one every Tuesday, that are some of my favorites to make during the frigid months. With a move to Northern Michigan on the horizon, I’ve been brushing up on new soup and stew recipes, honing in on the perfect blend of flavors. This week, I pulled together an incredible Loaded Beer Cheese Soup that’s one for the record books. This thick, cheddar based soup is loaded with chicken, bacon, and a blend of spices that are crave-worthy.

To start, I diced up a whole package of bacon and cooked it until crispy in my French oven. I added about 3/4 a cup of water while it was still raw to ensure bacon bits that are the perfect crispy texture.

Using a slotted spoon, I removed the bacon from the pan and set it aside. I drained out about 3/4 of the leftover fat and then added about a pound of diced boneless skinless chicken breast to the pot.

Once the chicken was cooked through completely, I removed it and set it aside with the bacon.

I added several tablespoons of butter to the pot with the leftover fat and let it melt completely.

Then I added in some flour to make a quick rue. And I also added in some garlic powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, whisking the entire time to ensure the mixture didn’t clump or burn.

I added in about a cup of Belgian-style wheat beer and whisked it into the rue, letting it cook for a couple of minutes. This mixture gets very thick and gooey, but is the flavor base for the soup and so tasty!

Next I added some chicken stock and half-and-half, whisking to combine everything together.

From here, I reduced my heat to medium-low and let the mixture come to a slight boil. Then I stirred in some shredded cheddar cheese, a little at a time, letting it melt before adding in more.

Once the cheese was melted and my soup was nice and smooth, I added in some Worcestershire sauce and placed my bacon and chicken back into the pot.

I let everything simmer together for several minutes, allowing the flavors to marry together and the chicken and bacon to warm back up.

This delicious soup is filled with bold flavor and one of my favorite comfort foods. The gooey cheese marinates perfectly with the yeasty wheat beer. And the bacon just brings everything together for the perfect party in a bowl. My favorite toppings for this soup are crusty crunchy croutons, zesty green onion, and extra bacon. It’s also phenomenal for dipping soft pretzels into or all on it’s own.

Loaded Beer Cheese Soup


  • 1 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 pound chicken breast (boneless, skinless), diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (less if you prefer less spice)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup beer, Belgian-style wheat
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire


  1. In a large pot or Dutch/French oven, add bacon.
  2. Cover with 3/4 cup warm water and allow bacon to cook up until crispy. over medium-high heat.
  3. Remove bacon from pot using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Remove about 3/4 rendered fat from the pan, leaving the remaining 1/4 inside the pot.
  5. Add diced chicken to the pot and cook through completely.
  6. Remove chicken to set with bacon.
  7. Add butter to the pot with remaining bacon fat and allow to melt completely.
  8. Add in flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, whisking constantly to ensure mixture doesn’t clump or burn.
  9. Allow flour mixture to cook for a full minute.
  10. Add in beer, whisking constantly to ensure mixture doesn’t burn (mixture will thicken measurably).
  11. Allow beer to cook for about two to three minutes to burn off the alcohol.
  12. Add in chicken stock and half and half, whisking constantly.
  13. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow soup to come to a slight boil.
  14. Add in cheddar, a little at a time, allowing it to melt between each addition.
  15. Once cheese is completely melted, add Worcestershire and return the chicken and bacon to the pot.
  16. Allow soup to simmer together for several minutes, stirring occasionally.
  17. Serve with toppings like croutons, green onion, bacon pieces, or soft pretzels.


Original recipe slightly adapted from: http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2013/09/bacon-beer-cheese-soup-with-chicken-recipe.html

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Grinchy Peppermint Fudge

By Holly Sosa

This post is sponsored by Netflix.

Friends, Christmas is what I live for. With a name like Holly, it’s practically my life’s mission to spread holiday cheer. When it gets reasonably close enough to Christmas (read the stroke of midnight on November 1st), I’m ready to deck the halls and falala. Regular ol’ peppermint fudge just will not do, no it will not. The Grinch has a soft spot in my heart, I just love the character and I fondly remember watching the classic cartoon version during the summer months at my grandmother’s house. Of course it would be watched all over again in December when it was more appropriate, ha! A few years back, I created these Grinch Cookies that were featured on People.com and every year I dream up a new Grinch themed recipe, so let it be clear that the Grinch is welcome in these parts and we’ll start by whipping up some Grinchy Peppermint Fudge in his honor!

I start by creaming together some cream cheese and powdered sugar in my stand mixer and set it aside.

In a saucepan, I add some water and then place a glass bowl on top of it. Over medium heat, I melt some white chocolate until it’s completely melted through.

Then I add in some peppermint oil.

And a whole bottle of green food coloring.

Once the chocolate has melted, I immediately add it to the cream cheese mixture and beat it all together until well combined.

I transfer it to a lined baking dish and sprinkle some crushed peppermint sticks over the top.

I chill the fudge in the fridge for about four hours before cutting it into fun Grinchy-green squares for our viewing tradition.

Some of my favorite holiday memories revolve around watching a special movie or show with my family and I love that I get to experience it all over again with my own children. Thanks to Netflix, we get to enjoy classics like The Grinch and Frosty the Snowman along with new favorites like Trolls Holiday. As a family, we enjoy having a Grinchy movie night together where we enjoy our themed snacks like this Grinchy Peppermint Fudge as we watch our furry green friend’s heart grow three sizes. Friends, grab your remote, turn on Netflix, get those twinkle lights on, turn the house lights off, wear your coziest jammies, grab a knitted blanket, and view your family favorites with Netflix this holiday season.

Grinch Fudge


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 15 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • green food coloring
  • peppermint sticks, crushed


  1. Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar using hand or stand mixer and set aside.
  2. Fill a small saucepan about two inches high with water and place over medium heat.
  3. Use a glass bowl placed over the saucepan to melt the white chocolate.
  4. Add the food coloring to the chocolate and once melted through, transfer to cream cheese mixture.
  5. Beat together chocolate and cream cheese mixture until well combined.
  6. Transfer immediately to baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  7. Sprinkle peppermint over the top.
  8. Refrigerate for four hours before cutting into squares.
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Frosted Eggnog Cookies

By Holly Sosa

If December were a flavor, would it be eggnog or peppermint? I’m not sure I can decide. Instead of forcing myself to choose the ultimate holiday flavor, I’ve been making treats featuring both of the seasonal favorites. These Frosted Eggnog Cookies are a new addition to my annual baking frenzy and now that they’ve been added, there is no going back. These cookies will be making a regular appearance in my holiday baking for years to come.

I start by whisking together some flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. I set it aside while I mix together my wet ingredients.

In my stand mixer, I combine some butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together until it’s fluffy.

I add in a couple of egg yolks, one at a time.

Then I add in some vanilla extract, rum extract, and of course, some good ol’ fashioned eggnog.

Once all my wet ingredients are mixed together, I add in the bowl of dry ingredients that I whisked together earlier. I add it in a little at a time, allowing it to incorporate into the wet mixture slowly and evenly.

Once the dough has formed, I drop tablespoon sized spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. The cookies bake for about 10-12 minutes in a 350F oven before getting removed to cool.

Once the cookies have cooled completely, I whip up the frosting by creaming together some butter, eggnog, rum extract, and powdered sugar.

Each cookies gets a nice slather of the delicious frosting.

And as a final touch, I dust the cookies with some nutmeg just before serving a platter filled with the tasty treats to my friends and family.

These beautiful cookies are soft and chewy and topped with a frosting that’s filled with warm winter flavors. It’s like wrapping myself up in a warm Christmas blanket.

Frosted Eggnog Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened/room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened/room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons eggnog
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar.
  4. Drop in egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each one.
  5. Add vanilla extract, rum extract, and eggnog.
  6. Slowly add in dry ingredients until just combined.
  7. Scoop dough out by the tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes.
  9. Cool completely before frosting.
  10. Eggnog Frosting:
  11. In a stand mixer, combine butter, eggnog, rum extract, and powdered sugar.
  12. Add eggnog until frosting reaches desired consistency.
  13. Frost cookies and garnish with additional nutmeg.
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Oven Roasted Olive Bread

By Holly Sosa

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #GrabSomeCheer #CollectiveBias

Our family’s schedule has been insane lately. In a blended family, the holiday season is filled with to and from, multiple feasts, and tons of baking. While the kitchen is my favorite place to be, I can easily get burnt out from all the holiday fun so I like to keep a few tricks up my sleeve. Okay, maybe more than a few. My freezer is packed with Red Baron Pizza. No, friends this isn’t some silly play on words or an exaggeration. It’s literally filled with my kiddo’s favorite frozen pizza. Keeping these bad boys on hand saves me during the nights when I just have no energy left. I toss one or two into the oven and throw together a yummy side and everyone’s bellies are full and satisfied. My favorite side to make with our pizza is my Oven Roasted Olive Bread. My olive loving kids ensure that every last piece is enjoyed alongside their favorite pepperoni Red Baron pizza.

To make this tasty Oven Roasted Olive Bread, I start by slicing a loaf of French bread in half, long ways.

I add plenty of parmesan cheese.

And load up the bread with as many black olives as it will hold. If you prefer green add some of them too!

I add some more parmesan on top because you can never have enough cheese.

And then I pop it into the oven for about 15 minutes.

Once it’s done, I sprinkle on some garlic and parsley before cutting it into slices for us to enjoy.

This savory cheesy olive bread is so delicious and satisfying. It pairs perfectly with Red Baron pizzas and an ice cold Coca-Cola™. Since it’s the holiday season, I love to treat my family to a glass bottle for a special touch during dinnertime.

Because I purchased Red Baron and Coca-Cola together at my local Vons (find your closest Vons store here), I was able to take advantage of a Fandango movie reward and take my kiddos to see a movie. I earned $5 towards a movie ticket, with my $10 purchase of participating products in one transaction. Shoppers receive a code on the Catalina receipt and will be directed to the Fandango site to redeem the movie ticket reward. Offer ends 12/21/2017. Find out more about the Fandango offer and how you can get yours here.

Enjoy a Red Baron pizza and Coca-Cola this holiday season with your family. Your schedule will thank you and so will your family, I promise. Not only because of the delicious meal, but because of the rad Fandango offer.

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Pizza Salad

By Holly Sosa

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #WinCoPizzaNight #CollectiveBias

During the holiday season, you can usually find me baking up a storm in my kitchen. I love the holidays, the soft glow of Christmas lights, the steaming hot cocoa, and yes, I even love the cheesy holiday movies (anyone else have them on repeat all day?). While I love to be in the kitchen, the holidays are such a crazy busy time for our family that I like to keep a few quick meal solutions up my sleeve. One of my favorite ways to save some time during the holidays is to pick up WinCo’s ready to bake pizzas and some Coca-Cola® (because what is pizza without Coke?!) while I’m out doing my usual weekly grocery shopping. I can’t be the only mom who doesn’t like to cook on grocery shopping day, right?

My husband and kiddos love when I bring home a couple of WinCo’s take and bake pizzas because as far as they’re all concerned, pizza is life! Whenever I bring home their favorite pizza, I also like to create a quick pizza salad for the side to ensure they’re getting some greens. My Pizza Salad recipe is a zesty, flavor filled side dish that everyone loves. It’s filled with all of the best pizza toppings like black olives, pepperoni, parmesan, and even pepperoncinis..

I start by chopping up an entire head of lettuce.

I add in a generous amount of pepperonis.

And salami.

Then I add in black olives.

And pepperoncinis.

And finally plenty of parmesan.

I toss the salad up to ensure maximum topping spreadage (is that even a real word, if not it is now!).

My kiddos love to top theirs with ranch dressing, but my husband and I prefer italian dressing.

This Pizza Salad is a great side pairing for WinCo’s take and bake pizzas. And whenI add Coca-Cola to the mix, my taste buds do a little happy dance. This meal is the perfect formula to a simple and quick meal solution during the busy holiday season. Save $1 when you buy any WinCo Pizza and (2) 2-Liter Coca-Cola Beverages! (Offer Ends 2/28/18).

WinCo always offers low prices and I don’t need to clip coupons or worry about bringing in an ad to save money. They limit their advertising, saving them millions of dollars, that they then pass on as lower prices to customers like me. They’re an employee-owned company that always offers quality items at low prices.

Be sure to follow WinCo on Facebook where you can get all the latest updates on their amazing low prices, fresh food, and more. Make sure to visit a WinCo store near you to take advantage of their Coca-Cola and pizza offer. You can also follow WinCo on Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat (handle ilovewinco) and Instagram to get in on even more money saving fun!

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The Best Ever Snickerdoodles Recipe

By Holly Sosa

When it comes to holiday cookies, I don’t discriminate. I’ll take any and every cookie offered my way and while I have mad love for cookie season, I have to admit there can only be one ultimate holiday cookie: the Snickerdoodle. Soft, chewy, and filled with sugary cinnamon flavor it’s my holiday favorite. These classic cookies are simple to make and usually the ingredients needed to create them are always on hand in my pantry; so when Bob’s Red Mill asked if I would partner with them on my favorite holiday cookie to gift to my family and friends, the Snickerdoodle was a total no brainer.

I start by creaming butter, shortening, and sugar together in my stand mixer.

I add in some eggs and vanilla.

Then some flour (Bob’s Red Mill of course), cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.

Once combined, I pop the dough into the fridge for about an hour to firm up and make them easier to roll.

Meanwhile, I mix together some sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

After the dough has firmed up, I remove the dough from the fridge and begin rolling the dough into roughly two-inch balls.

I roll each ball of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture and transfer it to a baking sheet that I prepared with some nonstick cooking spray.

I bake the cookies in a 375F oven for roughly eight minutes before removing them to cool.

These Snickerdoodles are slightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The perfect cookie ratio of crispy and chewy with that familiar cinnamon sugar flavor that takes me right back to grandma’s kitchen during Christmas.

Food is my love language and by now, friends, most of you know this about me. And with this research to back it up, it’s no wonder I love cooking and baking for my loved ones! According to psychologists, baking for others promotes a sense of wellbeing and benefits the baker as much as, if not more, than the recipient. When I gift my creations to family and friends, it is truly a gift from my heart and these Snickerdoodles are no exception. Made with love, baked with Bob’s, and wrapped up with care, I know I’m gifting the highest quality treat I can deliver.

Best Ever Snickerdoodles Recipe


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic All Purpose Baking Flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar.
  2. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Add in flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar and mix until just combined.
  4. Transfer dough to fridge to firm for about an hour.
  5. Mix together sugar and cinnamon in small dish.
  6. Remove dough from fridge and form dough into two inch balls.
  7. Roll each ball in cinnamon mixture and transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake in a 375F oven for eight minutes and remove to cool completely.
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For even more holiday baking inspiration featuring my favorite baking brand be sure to visit the Bob’s Red Mill website. You can also click here to get a coupon for $1 off your next Bob’s Red Mill purchase to bake your own holiday goodies.

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10 Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

By Holly Sosa

Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without pie. Stuffing our bellies with the holiday feast just isn’t enough because we all look forward to the pie at the end of it all. Just when we think we can’t possibly eat another bite, we catch a glance of a perfect ooey gooey pecan pie out of the corner of our eye and we know that rolling home will be the only option. When I cook the feast for my family, I bake one each of the classic pumpkin and apple pies, but I also like to throw in a wildcard (this year it will be Butterbeer Pie, listed below). These Thanksgiving Pie recipes are meant to inspire your own wildcard pie for the annual dessert table.

Brown Sugar Peach Crumble Pie from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Butterbeer Pie from Delish

Pumpkin Meringue Pie from The Pioneer Woman

Cinnamon Pie from A Spicy Perspective

Pumpkin Spice Latte Tiramisu from Picture the Recipe

Easy Southern Sweet Potato Pie from Grits and Pinecones

Petite Brown Sugar Honeycrisp Galette from Wry Toast

Best Pecan Pie Recipe from Gimmie Some Oven

Salted Caramel Pecan Chocolate Pie from Crazy for Crust

Black Forest Pie from A Cookie Named Desire

This year, I’m all about that Butterbeer Pie, but I’m not sure I can resist trying my hand at the Black Forest Pie. Perhaps we should create a holiday dedicated to just eating pie? We could call it Piesgiving and there would be no guilt allowed; only eating and refilling your friends plates with more pie. Banks and businesses would close so we could focus solely on pie eating and making. What say you, friends? See you next year at Piesgiving?

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Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars

By Holly Sosa

Pumpkin is the official flavor of fall. And if it’s not official, I think it should be. Call me basic, but pumpkin season is here and I’m embracing every moment of it. These Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars are a pumpkin based recipe that even the haters will jump on board for (just long enough to devour their slice). With cookie crust, a pumpkin pie filling, and an oatmeal crumb topping, they’re delectable and satisfying.

I start making the the crust by whisking together some flour, oats, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Then I add in some white and brown sugar and mix it all together until there are no clumps.

I add in some melted butter and vanilla and stir everything together until coated.

I transfer half of the the mixture to a prepared square baking dish and press it all down firmly before baking it for about fifteen minutes in a 350F oven.

While the crust bakes, I wash out my mixing bowl, dry it and then add in white and brown sugar, some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. I mix this all together until combined.

I add one whole egg, one egg yolk, and vanilla and combine it with the sugar mixture.

Next I toss in some pumpkin puree and half and half and stir everything together until well combined.

The pumpkin filling gets poured over the cookie crust and baked for an additional fifteen minutes.

Once the bars have cooked for fifteen minutes, they get removed from the oven and I sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top, crumbling as I go.

The bars get popped back into the oven on the top rack and baked for about twenty minutes or until the bars have set (just a slight jiggle) have a nice golden color.

Once the Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars are cooked, they get removed from the oven and cool for about an hour. They can be served warm with a dollop of ice cream or refrigerated (my preference) to enjoy once they’ve cooled through completely. Regardless, both options are positively delicious and welcome the fall with warm and spicy flavors.

Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars


    Cookie Crust & Crumble Topping
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • whipped cream and cinnamon for serving, optional


    Cookie Crust & Crumble Topping
  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, oats, salt, and baking soda.
  2. Add white and brown sugar and combine.
  3. Combine melted butter and vanilla in a small bowl and add to mixture, stirring together until all ingredients are coated.
  4. Press half of the mixture into prepared 8×8 baking dish
  5. Bake in 350F degree oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Pumpkin Pie Filling
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.
  8. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until well combined.
  9. Stir in pumpkin and half and half.
  10. Pour mixture over baked cookie portion and return to oven to bake for fifteen minutes.
  11. Remove bars from oven and sprinkle remaining cookie crumb mixture over top, breaking into crumbs.
  12. Return to oven on top rack and bake twenty to twenty five minutes until golden.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool for one hour at room temperature before transferring to fridge.
  14. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream and cinnamon.
  15. Alternately, squares can be served warm with ice cream and cinnamon on top.
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The Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Ever

By Holly Sosa

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #TurkeyDayTips #CollectiveBias

I remember the first time I attempted to cook Thanksgiving dinner. My sister and I decided to create everything from scratch for my dad and our boyfriends when we were teenagers. Why we thought we could take on the task of cooking an entire holiday meal from scratch when our only culinary skills at the time were microwaving easy mac, I can’t fathom, but we had motivation and armed ourselves with printed recipes for every dish we planned for the feast. From scratch cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, and all the classics. We prepared our turkey with my boyfriend’s help and somehow managed to get it into the oven only to realize an hour later that we never pulled out the innards. We managed to rescue our turkey and mastered the let’s just wing it technique with everything else. In the end, our feast was special and memorable, despite our lack of know how. We didn’t burn a thing and nearly everything at the table was edible. Since those days, both my sister and I have grown in our culinary skills and have learned how to plan ahead and put together a Thanksgiving feast for our own families. Over the years I’ve learned that every Thanksgiving has three essential ingredients: good wine, a delicious turkey, and decadent pie. Everything else is secondary. As long as you have the Thanksgiving trifecta, you’re practically a professional. No from scratch cranberry sauce necessary (although welcome).

I’ve experimented with all kinds of ways to cook the best Thanksgiving turkey recipe ever. From deep fried to baked to barbecued, and the verdict is that a brined Butterball turkey makes for the best kind of turkey. All natural high quality turkey that, once immersed into brine becomes fully flavored down to the bone. Once it’s brine bath is over and it’s baked low and slow the skin becomes slightly crispy and the tender meat is full of flavorful juices. This best Thanksgiving turkey recipe ever fills my home with the aromatics only a perfect turkey can. To score savings on that Thanksgiving turkey and all your other holiday needs from brands like Butterball, Woodbridge and Marie Callender’s, download Shopkick.

I’ve also got a special place in my heart because only Butterball has a Turkey Talk-Line where a team of turkey experts is waiting to answer all of the important cooking questions and is accessible however works easier for me: text (844-877-3456), call (1-800-BUTTERBALL), or live chat. Even this mama with fourteen Thanksgivings under her belt needs a turkey hotline.

To create the brine, I grab a large stockpot and fill it with one gallon of vegetable stock, plenty of kosher salt, some brown sugar, whole peppercorns, some allspice berries, and some candied ginger. I bring it all to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve completely. Then I remove the pot from the heat to cool down to room temperature before popping it into the fridge.

The day before Thanksgiving, I grab a cooler (a bucket works too) and fill it with a gallon of ice water and the brine along with plenty of additional ice before adding in the turkey (innards removed this time), breast down. The turkey bathes in the brine overnight and I flip it once halfway through.

On Thanksgiving morning, I grab the bucket and pull out the turkey, wash him down in cold water, and place him on a large roasting rack. While the oven preheats, I pat down the turkey with paper towels, grab some softened butter, and give him a nice butter massage. I pull the skin away from the muscles and rub butter under there as well. It’s essential for the crispy skin part, which we fight over every Thanksgiving here in the Sosa house.

The turkey goes into a 325F oven for about fifteen minutes per pound until the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165F. I baste the turkey in the juices that fall into the pan every hour or so and I don’t cover it at all because crispy skin. But if the skin gets too brown for your liking, pull it out of the oven, cover it in tinfoil, and pop it back into the oven to finish cooking.

Once the turkey is finished, I cover it with tinfoil and let it rest for about fifteen minutes before carving. That fifteen minutes is the perfect time to pour myself a glass of wine, if I haven’t already. I usually pop open a bottle of Woodbridge as soon as Santa closes the big parade and I’ve finished my annual Thanksgiving-is-here-and-this-year-has-been-incredible-and-I’m-so-thankful-for-my-family-and-life-and-crispy-turkey-skin cry. The Woodbridge Red Blend wine, my choice for this year’s feast, offers warm and toasty aromas and flavor notes of blackberry, vanilla, and baking spices. It’s full and rich with a long, flavorful finish that pairs well with holiday favorites like the best Thanksgiving turkey recipe ever.

After we’ve enjoyed our turkey and feast, it’s pie time. No polite obligatory wait time with my kids. It’s turkey and pie day, lady! We use Marie Callender’s pies every year. It saves me time, allowing me to focus on my turkey and annual parade cry, while still offering that homemade from scratch taste (because they are!) that our Thanksgiving feast desires. Pumpkin and Dutch Apple are mandatory and finish off our meal on a high note.

Take advantage of these special offers on Shopkick when you purchase these Thanksgiving trifecta essentials!

The Thanksgiving trifecta has served me well over the years. Feeding people is my love language and I live for the holidays, but I think it’s important to not get too caught up trying to create a perfect meal. Keeping it simple, with a few essentials, means I have time to enjoy the holidays with my husband and children.

The Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Ever


  • one 14 to 16-pound frozen Butterball turkey
  • 4 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons candied ginger, chopped
  • 1 gallon water, iced
  • ice
  • butter (for roasting)


  1. In a large stock pot, combine broth, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice, and ginger and bring to a boil.
  2. Once sugar and salt has completely dissolved, remove from heat and allow brine to come to room temperature.
  3. Place into fridge until ready to use.
  4. The morning before Thanksgiving, add brine, iced water, and ice to cooler or bucket and place turkey in, breast down.
  5. Flip turkey halfway through overnight brining.
  6. Morning of Thanksgiving, remove turkey from brine and rinse with cold water before placing on baking rack and patting dry with paper towels.
  7. Rub turkey with butter all over skin and underneath skin over the muscles.
  8. Bake in a 325F oven for fifteen minutes per pound or until internal temperature of thickest part of breast reaches 165F, basting hourly.
  9. Once cooked, remove turkey from oven and cover with tinfoil to rest for fifteen minutes before carving.
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Chocolate Coffee Truffles

By Holly Sosa

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GrabHolidayHappiness #CollectiveBias

During the holiday season, I practically live in the kitchen. I love entertaining family and friends, feeding them my best and most festive concoctions, listening to jazzy Christmas music, and enjoying a strong cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee before they drive off into the wintry night. One of my favorite treats to feed my guests are these decadent Chocolate Coffee Truffles, which are filled with creamy chocolate and bold Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. They’re a perfect one bite dessert that melt in your mouth.

I start by melting down some chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a pot filled with water. Melting the chocolate gently like this helps to keep it from drying with white bubbles.

In a separate saucepan, I add some heavy cream, brewed (extra strong) Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend Ground Coffee, some instant coffee granules and melt it all together. Dunkin’ Donuts is the brand that keeps this baking babe going strong. As a mom, coffee is practically my life force and Dunkin’ Donuts delivers my morning (who am I kidding, all day) beverage faithfully to keep me going all day long, ensuring I make the most of my day. The flavor is so smooth, delicious, and high quality that it translates into my holiday baking effortlessly.

Once the chocolate chips have melted completely, I add the coffee mixture and stir it all together until well combined.

The mixture then gets transferred to a loaf pan that I prepared with some parchment paper and nonstick spray. I pop it into the fridge to set for about two to three hours.

Once the chocolate has set, I remove the loaf pan from the fridge and start forming the doughy chocolate into one inch balls with my hands.

Once the dough is all formed into balls, I pop them back into the fridge while I melt some more chocolate using the glass bowl over boiling water method.

Using a fork, I dunk the balls into the melted chocolate to coat them and then transfer them to a plate lined with parchment paper.

I garnish them with some coffee beans and then they go back into the fridge to set completely for about an hour.

These Chocolate Coffee Truffles are filled with sweet chocolate and the smooth flavor from Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, marrying to two into a perfect morsel of holiday love. Anytime I make these tasty treats, they’re devoured by my guests in minutes. They’re always the first dessert to disappear.

Chocolate Coffee Truffles


  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons strongly brewed Dunkin’ Donuts coffee
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules


  1. Fill a saucepan with water and place a glass bowl on top. Melt one cup of the chocolate chips in the glass bowl.
  2. In a separate saucepan, combine heavy cream, coffee, and granules until boiling.
  3. Combine coffee mixture with melted chocolate and transfer to prepared loaf pan.
  4. Refrigerate for three hours to set.
  5. Once chocolate has set to a dough-like consistency, remove from fridge and form into one inch balls with hands.
  6. Transfer balls back into fridge.
  7. Melt the other cup of chocolate chips in the same glass bowl.
  8. Remove balls from ridge and drop one at a time into melted chocolate to coat, using a form to remove and set on a prepared plate.
  9. Garnish with coffee beans, cocoa powder, or whatever you prefer.
  10. Refrigerate for an additional hour to set.
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Find Dunkin’ Donuts coffee varieties at your local Dollar General using their handy store finder to ensure your holiday guests leave your home with warm bellies and hearts.

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