...based on my in-law family's passed down recipe, including cocoa and bourbon...
and then some more bourbon.

These bourbon balls are very simple and sooooooooo good. I don't usually type multiple letters in a row to emphasize a word, but that's how good these are.

I remember growing up, my church and whole ne
ighborhood (potato/potahto, hello small towns!) would have an annual Christmas party. Many many treats. Hot spiced wine. Cider. Two beautiful Christmas trees. Lots of laughter and plenty of singing, because it was hosted by our church's beloved music director, and because hello—Christmas music is the bomb. (Are we still saying the bomb these days?) 
Inevitably, there were always bourbon balls at this party.

Also inevitably, there was a toddler in the pastor's family.

I distinctly remember the intense combination of horror and thinly veiled amusement in this jolly bunch of Baptists when they realized the pastor's toddler had consumed four bourbon balls. It's hard to tell if his giggles were bourbon-induced or just from seeing a Christmas party from the eyes of a toddler, which has got to be one of the happiest times in any person's life, ever. (<-- a totally objective statement.)

Probably the latter. But that's probably because they didn't have these bourbon balls. They are strong, y'all. And they're not even baked, so the the-alcohol-gets-cooked-out excuse isn't even an option here. But as long as you're not a 2-year-old, you're golden!

There's a chance we always add a little extra bourbon to them when we make them, too, but I'll never ever tell...

 
 
...based on autumn's star flavors, plus healthy additions like spinach, kale, garlic, and ginger, and a little bit of spice.
I'm all for the sweet pumpkin treats during this time of the year. Pumpkin muffins, cookies, pancakes, pumpkin spice lattes, and of course, pumpkin pie. But savory pumpkin dishes are equally delicious, because—you know, it's a squash.

And if you can mix the pumpkin with savory and sweet, it is heaven. For real.

This is one of my favorite soups to make. It's full of so much healthy goodness, it all cooks in one lovely pot, and it makes your house smell amazing. Take that, Yankee Candle. I have pumpkin spice with a hint of cranberry on my stove.