Honey-Roasted Carrots

Sprinkle these bad boys with a tiny bit of fresh thyme.Hello! Greetings and such :) Before I get into this recipe, I wanted to share with you all some exciting news. I'll be on the Dr. Oz show January, 19th (today)! They're doing a little segment on food bloggers, weight management, and all that jazz..and I was honored to be a part of it. I had a blast, despite being nervous to the highest of hells lol. I've never done TV before, so it was pretty jarring for me. I didn't have much time to process it either. I received an email the day of my 34th birthday (Nov. 12, 2014) asking if I wanted to be on the show, and I thought it was a joke. Turns out it wasn't. They had me on my way to New York just a few days later and the preparation for it all was nuts! It went by so fast, I'm just now able to process what happened. Dr. Oz and his amazing staff were extremely kind and accommodating, I'd definitely do this all over again if asked. If you'd like to read a little more about my weight-loss journey, please click here!

Flaky Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits

*shouts*Merry Christmas! This is my gift to those of you who asked. I posted a picture of these biscuits on Instagram and everybody went nuts, so I decided to share my recipe. I like my biscuits many ways -- flaky, not flaky, sometimes cakey, fluffy, sometimes drop'like -- it all depends on my mood. However, it's always good to have a flaky buttermilk biscuit recipe in your arsenal. So, you're welcome in advance and I hope you nail it. I tried my best to be as detailed as possible. I realize biscuit-making can be intimidating, but the concept couldn't be simpler. As long as you remember one VERY important rule...KEEP EVERYTHING COLD AS F&#K. Seriously. Your warm balmy hands, and/or warm kitchen can destroy what we're trying to build here -- rising layers!

Holiday Mac-n-Cheese w/ Roasted Garlic, Caramelized Shallots, and Prosciutto

You've gotta taste this. It's nuts.So, I'm a firm believer that macaroni and cheese should never be diet food. The very thought of a low-cal/fat mac&cheese just pisses me off. First of all, this isn't something you should be eating every day. This is holiday, or special occasion food. I'm sure there are plenty of you out there who enjoy eating low-fat version, and more power to you -- but I'm not interested in it at all. Considering I only eat this kinda stuff MAYBE 3x a year at max, it's totally worth it to me. With that said, this is a very decadent and "made with love" version of mac&cheese the CarnalDish way -- can you say version 3? You get to caramelize your own shallots, roast your own garlic, and make your own breadcrumbs as well as make a deliciously cheesy mornay sauce. There are a lot of steps here, but they're easy steps. Lots and lots of photos to help you nail this recipe, and believe me -- when you nail it, you're going to love it.

Baked Brown-Sugar, Apple & Cranberry Oatmeal

This is so perfect.It's almost like eating a giant oatmeal cookie for breakfast -- almost. You guys are going to love this recipe. It's amazing, and sooo simple -- it comes together very quickly. Oatmeal is a great foundation to add damn near anything you want, so you will find that this recipe is very adaptable. You can do whatever you want to it, and I promise it'll be delicious. Add any combination of fruit you'd like, any nut you'd like (or not), use any kind of sweetener. The options are limitless, and the choice is yours.

Leek, Sausage & Chanterelle Puff Pastry Frittatas

Absolute adorableness.I really like cute food. I eat with my eyes first, so if it's cute, I'll provide it with a barrage of awww's while devouring it. This is one of those recipes you could totally make your own -- that's the whole idea, right? Due to the fact it's been a deliciously fatty holiday (as it should be), I had some frozen puff pastry leftover and decided to throw some delicious eggy goodness in there and bake it pretty. If you don't like mushrooms, you're a weirdo -- kidding! You can totally leave them out. You could swap out the expensive chanterelle's for a more affordable button, shiitake, or portobello variety. You could use bacon instead of sausage, ANY kind of cheese you want -- the possibilities are endless.

Garlic & Herb Duck Fat Baby Potatoes

Add the fresh herbs and we've got ourselves a party."Duck fat" just sounds sexy. Say it out loud, in your lowest bedroom voice -- I'll wait...see?? Doesn't it sound naughty :) It's a wonderful fat. Bacon fat and duck fat are the yin to the potatoes yang. You can't go wrong with either of them. I have to buy my duck fat because I don't cook down enough ducks on the regular to make my own. This deliciously sinful tub of bird fat cost me about $6 from Wegmans and a little goes a long way. You only need about 2 tablespoons of it for all of these potatoes. They soak up the duck fat and get amazingly crisp and super golden brown.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Thighs with White Wine Portobello Cream Sauce

Serve it up, big daddy!Chicken thighs are bae. Period. They are hands-down my favorite part of the bird. I love wings and boobies and legs too, but thighs are just...pure love! I ate them frequently during my weight loss journey -- fatty skin included, and I still lost the weight. It's all about moderation. I do not recommend this particular recipe for white meat because white meat isn't as naturally fatty and full of moisture like dark meat. A chicken breast cooked using this method will dry out and ruin the dish -- you would have to do some serious tweaking. With that said, this recipe is for THIGHS. Okay? Got it? Good.

White Wine Braised Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Cranberries

Heavens...these are SO good! *shakes fist*These are the brussel sprouts for those who hate brussel sprouts, or think they hate brussel sprouts. My dad absolutely hates brussel sprouts, and he destroyed these. My mom shook her head and raved, "I eat brussels all the time, but those are the best I've ever had. Makes no sense. They're even good cold". Well, neither party is lying here. These are just damn good brussel sprouts. Bacon and brussels go together like eggs and avocado. They're just a match made in mouth heaven. Throw in a few dried cranberries to soak up some of that white wine and we've got ourselves a party. The brussels cook up tender and caramelized, full of delicious flavor, sure to please any skeptic. They aren't the least bit bitter, and sure to be a great addition to your holiday table.

Quick Pan-seared Chicken Breasts

pansearedchickenbreast11The secret to a good sear is to remove as much surface moisture from the protein, and make sure the oil is damn near smoking. Also, leave the meat alone! It will let you know when it's ready to flip over. If you start poking at it, and it's sticking? It's not ready. If it moves around or releases with minimum effort, it's ready. Now that you know those basics, you shouldn't have trouble getting a wonderful color and crust on your fish, chicken, or steak.

Clean Eating: Quick & Easy Sauteed Tuscan Kale

tuscankale7Kale is another one of those "super amazing superfoods" that helped me shed the pounds this year. You can really customize this quick and easy recipe to your personal needs. Here is one of my favorite ways to cook this bitter green down to deliciousness. I'm cheating by using pre-washed kale in a bag, purchased from Wegmans. It's absolutely delicious. Although I'm not a fan of stems, and there are a few in here...it's still a great dish. You can pick them out if you want -- I usually do because I'm petty. Adding just a touch of honey at the end really mutes the bitterness associated with this vitamin-packed dark leafy green. You can use this recipe for any "tough" green vegetable, it works great with swiss or rainbow chard.