Thanksgiving Side Dish Idea: Low-Gluten Farro pilaf w/ Carrots, Celery, Leeks and Chicken Sausage

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Happy Friday before Thanksgiving to all!! As everyone prepares for the upcoming holiday ahead, we usually have our main courses covered… turkey, chicken, roast beef or maybe lamb if you’re Greek like me and can’t pass up a holiday without lamb. It’s usually the SIDE dishes that have all of our panties in a twist, figuring out just WHAT the heck to make that’s yummy and thanksgiving-y. Well, since I will be cooking a few of the side dishes this upcoming Thanksgiving, I thought I would get started early “practicing” some ideas this week, This way I would have a plethora of fool proof ideas to choose from, and you, reader, will get some ideas on what to make come next Thursday as well! The question then became, “where do I start?”. After scouring the Food and Wine archives for some ideas, I came across a farro soup recipe that I thought looked great, but bookmarked for another meal, another day.  I continued to scour the web, but that farro recipe kept creeping back into my train of thought…until I couldn’t shake the farro fever. I then recalled one of my favorite dishes at Oddfellow’s here in Dallas: a farro salad with the freshest, most delicious veggies that holds such merit in my belly that I have even picked it over their buffalo mac and cheese come ordering time. Well, maybe once. Crazy, I know! Anyways, the wheels in my brain started turning, and I then came up with this Thanksgiving side dish idea that’s rustic, original, and so delicious you would never know it was “good for you”. I present to you my chicken sausage & veggie farro side dish.  It’s highly addictive…but who cares?? Edit: While farro is low in gluten, it is NOT glute free. Good for those watching their gluten, but not for the gluten- intolerant. That tricky little bastard. That is all. Enjoy the recipe. The end.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Remix: Chocolate Chip Cookie…Pie!!!

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I LOOOVE chocolate chip cookies, especially with a tall glass of milk when it’s chilly out. Is there anything better than a warm, goo-ey-full chocolate chip cookie waiting for you when you get home from work? Well, the only thing I can think of that could top a chocolate chip cookie would be one giant chocolate chip cookie, specifically, in the form of a pie. Yep, Chocolate. Chip. Cookie. Pie. This recipe is based on a decades-old Nestle Tollhouse classics recipe that I found when surfing the web for the perfect pie. The first time I ever tried a slice, I was sure I was teleported into a gooey, chocolate chip heaven. Make this alongside your pecan and pumpkin pies for something different this Thanksgiving, when you are trying to impress the in-laws or other side of the family, and you will be SURE to make an impression.

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Fluffy Oat Waffles w/ Blackberry Sauce

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Greetings!! After a very temporary culinary hiatus, I am back and ready to share more recipes just in time for the cold weather and upcoming holiday season ahead. I will be posting some of my favorite healthy and comfort classic foods to give everyone some ideas on what to cook for all of your holiday parties these next couple of months. That’s right, Culinary Jam is back (again), and this time with a silver tray, tall glass of OJ, and breakfast in bed!! Who doesn’t love a fluffy home-made stack of waffles dripping with maple syrup when it’s chilly out? In this recipe, I’ve made a healthy, gluten-free, sugar-free version of my beloved waffle, to satisfy my craving for these gut-bombs for breakfast but with out the gut-bombing-ness of all that gluten and sugar. And the best part is they taste soooo good, you would have no idea that they are good for you. Think of it as a “safety meal” you can enjoy without the guilt so that when you DO chow down on all of those holiday treats, you won’t feel quite so much like a tubby Santa.

(Serves 4/ Difficulty: Easy)

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