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Christmas homemade gingerbread cookies

Happy National Gingerbread Man Day! For years we have enjoyed these delicious holiday treats without ever wondering where they came from, or who first decided to shape a cookie into a man. But, today is the day that we uncover the mystery behind the elusive cookie and share this bite of history (and some yummy recipes) with all of you!

 

The Birth of the Gingerbread Man

While cooking with ginger can be traced back to ancient China, and gingerbread houses can be attributed to the German culture, gingerbread men were first introduced during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I during the 16th century. Queen Elizabeth was known for her lavish royal dinners, commonly including elaborately shaped food and desserts. So, it comes as no surprise that Queen Elizabeth had her very own royal gingerbread maker that specialized in creating gingerbread men to represent foreign dignitaries at her banquets.

These gingerbread men were later used by folk-medicine practitioners, commonly known as witches or magicians. The cookies were created as love tokens for young women to use on men- if the chosen man ate the gingerbread, he would fall in love with the young woman.

So how did these royal, magical gingerbread men end up as a common Christmas treat? Not only were spices believed to warm you up in the winter, but the people of old England used to give one another “fairings” or presents during the holidays that were usually gingerbread, purchased from local town fairs. Over the years, gingerbread has become a classic symbol of the holidays for many countries, especially the United States.

 

All of this talk about gingerbread cookies has made us hungry for some gingerbread desserts! Check out these delicious recipes that we found below:

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Classic Gingerbread Man Cookies

You can’t go wrong with the classic cookie itself! Try out this recipe for traditional gingerbread men cookies, complete with a royal icing recipe for decoration. Need some creative ideas when it comes time to decorate your cookies? Watch this video for inspiration!

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Gingerbread Ice Cream

For the same gingerbread flavors without the crunch of a cookie, try this recipe for Gingerbread Ice Cream. Creamy and smooth, this ice cream is a delicious change from tradition.
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Gingerbread 7-Layer Bars

This recipe for Gingerbread 7-Layer Bars is perfect for any upcoming holiday party. These bars include all of the best holiday flavors with decadent layers of soft gingerbread cookie, vanilla chips, pecans, dried cranberries and coconut flakes.

 

As you prepare for the holiday season, stop by your local Sparkle Market for all of the quality ingredients you’ll need to make any and all of your gingerbread recipes!

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Despite the Macy’s Day Parade, football games and pumpkin pie, we all know the real star of Thanksgiving- the turkey! This year, don’t stress about finding the best recipe, we’ve got it covered. Check out these recipes that we found to make the perfect turkey AND to take care of the seemingly endless leftovers.

 

 

THE BIG DAY:

World’s Simplest Turkey

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Perfect for picky eaters and anyone on a time crunch, this recipe for the World’s Simplest Turkey is extra easy to make, yet still delicious! Baste your bird with butter, stuff it with the usual aromatics, and you’re good to go.

 

Slow Cooker Turkey

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If you don’t have time to watch over your turkey all evening, try our recipe for Slow Cooker Turkey. Simply season your turkey and let it cook, low and slow, for 8 to 10 hours!
Maple-Roasted Turkey

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Everything is better with bacon, right? For a family full of bacon lovers, this recipe for Maple-Roasted Turkey is a great fit. Basted in a maple syrup glaze and topped with strips of bacon, this turkey doubles as a main course and dessert. If you’re looking for an extra side dish, this recipe also includes tips for cornbread stuffing.

 

Adobo Turkey with Red-Chile Gravy

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Try something a little out of the ordinary this year with this recipe for Adobo Turkey. Basted with a homemade spicy adobo sauce, this turkey definitely packs full-bodied flavor!

 

 

 

 

 

LEFTOVERS:

Turkey Panini

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Our recipe for Turkey Paninis is perfect for a work lunch or your kids’ lunches! Pile your sandwich high with leftover turkey, mustard, cheese and crisp apple slices.

 

Turkey Salad  

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Combine your leftover turkey with mayo and seasonings to make our recipe for Turkey Salad. This mix goes great with crackers or on a sandwich.

 

Leftover Turkey Ditalini Soup  

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For a great post-Thanksgiving dinner, try our recipe for Turkey Ditalini Soup. This recipe includes leftover turkey, pasta, green beans, sweet potatoes and chicken broth to create a hearty and delicious soup.

Turkey Pot Pie

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Another dinner recipe worth trying is this recipe for Turkey Pot Pie. Use up the rest of your leftover turkey in this delicious meal with plenty of veggies and an extra flaky crust.

 

Avoid the chaotic day-before-Thanksgiving rush to the grocery store and stop by your local Sparkle Market early! There will be plenty of quality turkeys and other ingredients that you’ll need to make your Thanksgiving feast a success.

Four young friends and a woman at Halloween eating treats and smiling

This Halloween, the decorations won’t be the only things spooking your guests! Check out some of these terrifyingly tasty recipes that we’ve brewed just for you.

 

Alarming Apps

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In any occasion, first impressions are always important, and in a meal, first impressions mean appetizers. For your upcoming Halloween festivities, try this recipe for Pumpkin Deviled Eggs. These deviled eggs look like they came straight from the pumpkin patch, packed with plenty of bright orange paprika and a small chive “stem.” If you’re looking for something a little more daring, try this recipe for Avocado “Brain Dip”- a hallowed out head of cauliflower decorated with red fruit leather and filled with delicious homemade guacamole.

 

 

Mini Main Dishes

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As you’re searching for the perfect main course, consider some of these recipes for filling food that can still be easily carried around during the party! Check out our recipe for Ham and Cheese Pumpkin Bites. Perfect for kids and adults, these small pie crust sandwiches are festive, easy to make and even easier to eat. Stick with the pumpkin theme and try this recipe for Jack o’ Lantern Quesadillas. Filled with delicious gooey cheese, these quesadillas can easily be transformed with whatever filling you desire (buffalo chicken, ground turkey, etc.).

Devilish Desserts

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A party isn’t a party without desserts! Try our recipe for Caramel Candy Popcorn. This treat is perfect for guests to munch on, or to take home as a party favor. Really make your guests cringe with this recipe for Dead Velvet Cake, oozing with red food coloring and topped with bright red “blood.” Another equally delicious dessert is this recipe for Spider Trifle. This trifle includes layers of chocolate cake, fluffy pudding and Oreos, topped with a plastic spider and his web of chocolate syrup.

 

Creepy Cocktails

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For the adult guests of the party, we found some extra creepy cocktail recipes that might look too cool to drink! Try this recipe for The Witch’s Heart, a dark purple shimmering cocktail complete with crushed dry ice that leaves a smoky, potion-like trail in its wake. For a stronger and spookier mix, try this recipe for a cocktail called Black Magic. This drink uses black vodka, lime juice and edible pearl dust to create a sparkling black cocktail that tastes similar to a lime daiquiri. If you’re looking for a drink that matches your dead velvet cake, you might want to try this recipe for the Walker Blood Sangria, filled with bright red wine and rimmed with red sugar.

 

 

As you head out to search for the best costume this Halloween, don’t forget to grab your groceries too. Stop by your local Sparkle Market where you’ll find all of the quality ingredients you need to make your Halloween feast a success!

Table with cakes, cookies, cupcakes, tarts and cakepops.

Whether salty, creamy, crunchy or just plain sweet, desserts hold a special place in most (if not all) people’s hearts and today, National Dessert Day, is the time to recognize some of these decadent wonders. The following recipes feature some of the BEST combinations of flavors and textures that the dessert world has ever tasted.

 

Sweet n’ Salty

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It should be a scientific fact that all things sweet must be paired with salt. But, regardless of science’s support, we found some great recipes that successfully balance this classic combination. Try our recipe for Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies. Filled with salty pretzel bits, sweet chunks of caramel and warm chocolate chips, these cookies won’t last long around a sweet tooth! If your taste buds just can’t get enough, then try this recipe for Maple Bacon Fudge, full of salty-sweet candied bacon crumbles.

 

 

Sweet n’ Creamy

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Have you ever experienced that “ooh ahh” moment when a dessert melts in your mouth? If not, we found some smooth and creamy dessert recipes that are sure to give you that moment. Try our recipe for Toffee Cheesecake Bars; with sugar cookie mix, pudding and cream cheese, these bars are soft, sweet and extra tasty. Or check out this recipe for French Silk Pie, the epitome of a melt-in-your-mouth dessert, complete with a flaky crust and fluffy filling. Even better yet, if you’re in the mood for a cool and creamy treat, try this simple recipe for homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream.

 

Sweet n’ Crunchy

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For those of you that like a bit of a workout when you enjoy your desserts, check out some of these sweet and crunchy recipes! Try our recipe for Chocolate Coconut Macaroons. With only four ingredients, these macaroons are filled with crispy coconut and semi sweet chocolate chips, resulting in a perfect crunchy texture. This recipe for Peanut Brittle Pops combines creamy and crunchy with layers of chopped nuts, vanilla ice cream, fudge, peanut butter and Reese cups, all frozen into one delicious ice cream pop.

 

Sweet n’ Sweet

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If you want to reach the brink of sugar overload, then these extra rich recipes are the ones for you! Try our recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, full of sweet fall flavors, these cinnamon rolls include plenty of pumpkin, nutmeg and cloves to make the perfect early morning dessert. If you’re in the mood for pie but not the hassle, try our recipe for Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes! These extra sweet cakes are filled with banana cream pudding and topped with whipped cream frosting, graham cracker crumbs and a vanilla wafer. Our recipe for Cookie Dough Oreo Brownies combines three extra sweet desserts into one irresistible sweet treat. This dessert is simple to make and will keep everyone coming back to the kitchen for more!

 

From one sweet tooth to another, we hope you found something to try on National Dessert Day. Stop by your local Sparkle Market where you’ll find all of the quality baking ingredients you need to make your desserts a success!

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Between bright squash, warm stews and hearty stuffing, fall is full of flavorful recipes to help you get through those chilly autumn days. Today we are here to show you that, despite what coffee shops and store shelves say, there is more to fall food than just pumpkin spice!

 

Fall-tastic Favorites

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Just as you have gathered up all of your sweaters for the fall season, we at Sparkle market have gathered together some of our favorite fall recipes, like our Chili Mac n Cheese. This recipe combines white chili with mac n cheese noodles to create an extra filling and extra yummy dish. And just because it’s not November yet doesn’t mean that we can’t dig out our stuffing recipes a little early! Our recipe for Stuffing and Chicken Casserole makes a simple, yet delicious, dinner for any busy school night. If you’re feeling festive this fall season, try our recipe for Ham and Cheese Pumpkin Bites! This recipe takes ham and cheese sandwiches to a new level, perfect for kids (and adults too!).

 

Sweet & Savory Soups

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When the weather turns cold, it’s time for warm soups! Our Apple French Onion Soup recipe features fresh apple cider (who doesn’t have that in their fridge in the fall?!) and plenty of delicious, savory flavors. Once you give our French onion soup recipe a try, check out this recipe for Bacon Butternut Squash Soup. This creamy and rich soup is sure to keep you warm throughout all of fall (and maybe part of winter too), complete with sweet butternut squash and salty, crisp bacon crumbles.

 

Treats, no Tricks

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Okay, we guess pumpkin spice isn’t that bad. If you just can’t stay away from the trend, then try out our recipe for Pumpkin Spice Treats. With plenty of pumpkin flavor and warm spices, this recipe takes a fall twist on the classic rice krispie® treat. If you’re looking for a dessert to take to an upcoming football watch party, this recipe for Pumpkin Butterscotch Gingerbread Trifle would be the perfect fit. This trifle tastes as amazing as it looks, with layers of gingerbread cake, whipped topping and butterscotch pudding. And if you have a hard time sharing when it comes to dessert, we have a solution for you! This recipe for Individual Apple Crisps packs all of the flavors of a traditional apple crisp into individual ramekin dishes, great for kids or dinner parties.

 

As you head to the store for more scarves and the latest knee-high boots, stop by your local Sparkle Market where you’ll find all of the quality ingredients you need to make your fall food a success!

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Foamy, strong or sweet, beer is an American staple at nearly every cook out or football watch party across the United States. But today, on National Beer Day, we’re here to show you that beer isn’t just for drinking- in fact, it can fit into each of the five main food groups (check out the recipes below if you don’t believe us)!

 

Bread, Pasta & Potatoes

Rich and filling, carbohydrates can be found in things like bread, rice and even oatmeal. And what better drink to pair with carbs, than beer? This recipe for Garlic Herb Beer Butter Roasted Potatoes dresses red potatoes with brown ale and a variety of fresh herbs to create a perfectly balanced combination of hearty and light. This pasta recipe from Deschutes Brewery makes a great entrée, complete with English peas and a creamy parmesan sauce infused with beer.

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Meat

When it comes to protein, Sparkle Markets is no stranger to adding flavorful beer to the recipe! Try our recipe for Pulled Chicken Tacos, with chicken slow-cooked in plenty of fresh flavors including orange juice, soy sauce, cilantro and (of course) beer. As the weather turns colder, you might want to try our recipe for Irish Beer Beef Stew, complete with an incredibly flavorful broth containing red wine, Guinness, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. For another hearty recipe, try our Beef Bean and Beer Chili. This chili is packed with sweet and savory flavors, perfect for the next football watch party.

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Milk, Cheese & Ice Cream

With ice cream AND cheese, what’s not to love about the milk and dairy food group? All lactose lovers are in luck with these recipes that we found, full of dairy and lots of beer. This recipe for Skillet Beer Cheese takes a unique twist on the classic pair of ingredients. Placed in a skillet and melted over a fire, this dip includes cheddar cheese, cream cheese, beer and a pinch of cayenne. If you’re feeling adventurous, this recipe for Beer Ice Cream can be made with a few simple ingredients, your favorite brew and an ice cream maker!

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Fruits and Veggies

Fruits, vegetables and…beer? It might sound crazy, but National Beer Day calls for all sorts of recipes. If you’re interested in creating your own beer flavors, try this recipe for Apricot Ale, a fruity light ale with lots of apricots and malt flavors. If sweet beers just aren’t your cup of tea, try this recipe for Beer Vegetable Soup, a hearty mix of carrots, potatoes, cabbage and dark beer.

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Butter, Soda and Cupcakes

Sweet and addicting, the fats and sugars food group is home to some of the most irresistible recipes. So, why not make it even healthier and add some beer to it? Guy Fieri’s recipe for Pretzel Beer Brittle takes the classic combination of pretzels and beer to the next level by transforming them into pieces of crunchy, sweet bark. If that doesn’t quite fulfill your need for sweets, try this recipe for Chocolate Guinness Beer Cake that combines chocolate, coffee and beer into one tantalizingly fluffy dessert.

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Before you head to the kitchen to make your beer inspired dish, visit your local Sparkle Market first where you’ll find all of the quality ingredients you need (including beer) to make your recipe a success!

Bacon lovers unite! Are you looking for the ultimate ways to celebrate the salty, crunchy, greasy food? Search no more! In honor of National Bacon Lover’s Day, we’ve compiled the best recipes where bacon is the shining star.

Greasy Hot Grilled Bacon

Bacon…Bacon…Bacon!

Did you know that bacon is one of the oldest processed meats in history? The Chinese began to salt pork bellies thousands of years ago, then the practice spread throughout the Roman Empire, into Europe, and onto your breakfast (and lunch and dinner) plate! Read on to see our most outrageous yet delicious bacon-inspired recipes.

 

 

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Crispy Potato and Bacon Bake– Potatoes + sour cream + chives + cheese + bacon = our deliciously easy, bacon filled one-pan wonder! Whether you make this as a side or the main event, our mouths are already watering.

 

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Goat Cheese & Bacon Filet Mignon– It sounds fancy, but our recipe is easier than you think. Sundried tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, and bacon (of course!) transform this choice cut of meat into something really special.

 

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Bacon Mashed Potato Waffles– Yes, you read that correctly. Potato waffles! Our recipe is as simple and tasty as it sounds. Add some bacon on top and you’ve got a winner for breakfast or dinner.

 

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Tomato Bacon Bites– Our recipe is tasty, creamy, any bacon-y! If you’re having a big get together, simply double the recipe for even more goodness.

 

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Bacon cheese Dip in a Bread Bowl– A crowd-pleaser and ready for a party, our easy recipe makes the cooking easy so you can enjoy!

 

 

 

Are you still looking for even more bacon goodness? The internet never disappoints! Take a look at some truly inventive recipes.

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Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastry Straws– These have everything that a proper appetizer should: salty, sweet, crunchy, and portable. Bacon and puff pastry are intertwined with cheesy goodness to make one tasty straw!

 

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Oven-Baked Bacon & Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers– No messy oil to speak of and you get a jolt of spice with the mellow flavor of bacon evening it out. These are a winner! Perfect for game day, a guy’s night, or a potluck.

 

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Mozzarella Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf– The name truly says it all. This spin on a classic will leave your family and friends in awe of how you managed to put so much bacon on a meatloaf!

 

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Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze– Fresh, juicy peaches are a fun complement to the crunch of bacon. Drizzle some balsamic glaze over the finished grilled product and voila!

 

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Bourbon Bacon Cookies– Bacon for dessert isn’t something that you hear every day, but hey- we’re always up for something new!

 

For all your bacon (and non-bacon) grocery needs, check out your local Sparkle Market! A happy National Bacon Lover’s Day to you and yours. Happy cooking!