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  1. This Stuffed Delicata Squash recipe is an elegant dinner party meal, but it's also easy enough to make on a weeknight. We're stuffing these with a mix of pancetta, goat cheese, rice, and mushrooms! Continue reading "Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese" » View the full article
  2. Busy decking the halls and singing carols? Let us help plan your dinners! This week, we've got a curried squash and pear soup, pepperoni pizza pasta, sloppy joes, and more. Continue reading "Simply Recipes 2018 Meal Plan: December Week 3" » View the full article
  3. Let Simply Recipes help you make gift-giving a breeze this year with our Gift Guide For The Cookbook Lover! Featuring ten standout books chosen by our editorial team, crossing people off your list has never been easier. Continue reading "Simply Recipes 2018 Gift Guide: The Cookbook Lover" » View the full article
  4. Here's a festive holiday punch that's fit for a crowd! We make it with cranberry juice, orange juice, bourbon, and hard cider, though we include a non-alcoholic version so kids to enjoy, too. Continue reading "Holiday Punch" » View the full article
  5. LAS VEGAS — Billy Eppler arrived at the winter meetings with a cough, and he left with a new first baseman, more information … and the same cough. The Angels’ general manager, who had trouble talking to his professional counterparts and the media throughout the four days in Las Vegas, said the team moved closer to adding more players. “We’re making progress on trying to understand what’s reality and what’s not reality,” Eppler said. “We tried to identify some targets that seem to be within striking distance. We’ll see what today and the rest of today and tomorrow and next week brings, and go from there.” Eppler also said some of the trades they had been working on “turned out to not be really realistic at this time.” Although he didn’t rule out trade talks, he indicated at the moment he’s looking more toward free agency. Many of the top free-agent starting pitchers have gone off the board. Dallas Keuchel is the best remaining free-agent starter, while pitchers like Yusei Kikuchi and Gio Gonzalez could also be possibilities for the Angels. Sonny Gray and Julio Teheran are obvious fits for the Angels as trade candidates. Aside from acquiring more pitching, starting and relief, the Angels also need a catcher. Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos and former Angel Martín Maldonado are the most notable free-agent catchers. Francisco Cervelli and Russell Martín are both available in trade. Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here. The one move the Angels did make – unofficially – at the winter meetings was agreeing Wednesday with first baseman Justin Bour on a one-year, $2.5 million deal. The agreement won’t be official until Bour’s physical. Bour goes into the mix with Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani, who are both coming back from surgery. Ohtani is not expected to be ready at the start of the season, leaving Pujols as the DH and Bour as the first baseman. Pujols also figures to need time off from playing first when Ohtani is the DH, so Bour can do that. Eppler said he isn’t looking at further moves with his outfield. “We are very complete in the outfield area,” he said. Related Articles Angels add Justin Bour to the Albert Pujols-Shohei Ohtani lineup conversation Angels planning to allow farm system to continue to grow Angels reportedly pursued Patrick Corbin, Nate Eovaldi before they signed elsewhere Angels planned to move Kaleb Cowart to the mound before he was claimed by Mariners Angels still looking for pitchers and a catcher as winter meetings begin Besides starters Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun, the Angels have Peter Bourjos and Michael Hermosillo as the primary competitors for the fourth outfield spot. ALSO The Angels did not make a selection or lose anyone in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. Reliever Jeremy Rhoades was perhaps the most vulnerable Angels prospect who was unprotected. A 25-year-old right-hander, he posted a 2.54 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A in 2018, and he has allowed two runs in 13 innings this winter in the Dominican Republic. First baseman Jared Walsh, whom the Angels left off the 40-man roster despite Eppler’s assertion he could be in the mix for major league playing time this year, also went unselected… In the minor league portion, the Angels took right-handed starter Matt Esparza from the Cleveland Indians. Esparza, a 2015 draft pick out of UC Irvine, missed almost all of last season rehabbing from injury. The Angels lost shortstop Julio Garcia to the Milwaukee Brewers, shortstop Alberto Triunfel to the St. Louis Cardinals, catcher Mitch Ghelfi to the New York Mets and shortstop Riley Unroe to the Atlanta Braves. View the full article
  6. Everything you love about Shepherd's Pie, but this quick and easy version is made in the pressure cooker! Pressure cook the potatoes on top of the filling, then mash, assemble the casserole and serve. So easy! Continue reading "Pressure Cooker Shepherd’s Pie" » View the full article
  7. These festive holiday Snowball Cookies are made with finely chopped walnuts, flour, and vanilla, then rolled into balls and dusted with powdered sugar. They freeze well and ship well, too! Continue reading "Walnut Snowball Cookies" » View the full article
  8. LAS VEGAS — With Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani both coming off surgery, the Angels added a player to their depth chart to help fill in the gaps at first base and designated hitter. The Angels on Wednesday agreed to terms with Justin Bour, pending a physical. The move gives them some coverage around the limitations of Pujols and Ohtani, who will be the main players in what will be a closely scrutinized issue for new Manager Brad Ausmus. The Angels would like for Pujols to play first as much as possible, but he’s coming off knee surgery and will need time at DH to keep his legs fresh. Ohtani doesn’t play a position, so he’s going to be unable to get into the lineup at any spot other than DH. Although Ohtani, who had Tommy John surgery, is not expected to be ready to hit when the season begins, he is likely to be available for the vast majority of the season. In his press conference at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday, Ausmus began to give hints at what will happen when both Pujols and Ohtani are available. Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here. “There’s going to be a balance,” Ausmus said. “We don’t expect Ohtani to be ready (on Opening Day). There will be DH at-bats earlier in the season more available to (Pujols). And hopefully, he gets off to a hot start. “But for me, the more delicate balance is how often can he go to first. That’s really the most important thing, based on the health of his knees.” Pujols had a cleanup surgery on his left knee in August. He is currently cleared for light lower body workouts, and will be brought along slowly in spring training, Ausmus said. Ausmus said he still holds Pujols in high regard as “one of the top five hitters ever in the game of baseball,” but indicated that history won’t play a role in determining playing time. “This guy is a phenomenal talent,” Ausmus said. “But going forward, it’s just going to be his health and performance. It’s a performance-based game.” Pujols, who will be 39 in January, played 70 games at first base in 2018, making room for Ohtani to DH. That was more than twice as many games as he’d played in the previous two seasons combined. The extra work at first might have contributed to Pujols’ knee problems. He went on the DL in July, before having surgery in August. Around those injuries, Pujols hit .245 with 19 homers and a .700 OPS, in 498 plate appearances. Ohtani hit .285 with 21 homers and a .925 OPS, in 367 plate appearances. Now, if the Angels want Ohtani to start at DH and Pujols is not healthy enough or not performing well enough to play first, they have an alternative in Bour. Bour, 30, hit .227 with 20 homers and a .341 on-base percentage last season, split between the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies. He was non-tendered two weeks ago by the Phillies. Bour has hit 20 homers in three of his four seasons in the majors. In 2017, he hit 25 homers with a .902 OPS. While Bour provides a safety net when Pujols or Ohtani are unavailable, the Angels will have limited flexibility when all three are on the roster. Ohtani doesn’t play a position, and Pujols and Bour can only play first. “It puts pressure on some of the other bench players to make sure they can really cover multiple spots,” said General Manager Billy Eppler, who would not address the Bour signing specifically because it’s not official. As of now, the Angels figure to have four outfielders, two catchers and Ohtani, which leaves, at most, six other infielders. Andrelton Simmons is the shortstop. Zack Cozart, David Fletcher and Luis Rengifo can all play second, third and shortstop. Tommy La Stella can play second and third, and he is expected to work out at first. Taylor Ward is a third baseman. Matt Thaiss and Jared Walsh are both first basemen, seemingly pushed down the depth chart by the addition of Bour. ALSO Ausmus said he is currently leaning toward having Mike Trout bat second, although it’s obviously subject to change when the entire lineup is assembled. Trout has alternated between second and third for most of his career, depending mostly on the performance of the players around him. … Related Articles Angels planning to allow farm system to continue to grow Angels reportedly pursued Patrick Corbin, Nate Eovaldi before they signed elsewhere Angels planned to move Kaleb Cowart to the mound before he was claimed by Mariners Angels still looking for pitchers and a catcher as winter meetings begin 4 arrested in former Angels infielder Luis Valbuena’s death, as baseball mourns Ausmus has high hopes for Tyler Skaggs, who was off to the best start of his career before a groin injury spoiled his second half. “I talked to Skaggsy about it. I told him I’m going to put a little heat on it. I think he should be one of the best lefties in the league. His stuff is there. If he can stay healthy, he should be one of the best lefties in the league.” … Finding a catcher remains one of the Angels’ top priorities, as Ausmus views the situation. Currently, the Angels have just José Briceño and Kevan Smith on the 40-man roster. “Billy’s looking into the catching very strongly. So hopefully something works out well where we have a guy that can do a little of everything but, yes, make our pitching staff better. That should be their priority because that’s where the impact is.” … In his role as a special assistant to Eppler last year, Ausmus got several looks at players throughout the Angels farm system. He was particularly impressed with Rengifo, who he said is “very close” to being ready to be an everyday major-league infielder. Ausmus also had high praise for top prospect Jo Adell. “I’m not going to say he has power like Ohtani or (Miguel) Cabrera. He’s not far off. Different sound when the ball comes off the bat.” View the full article
  9. The BEST Swedish meatballs recipe! Made from a mixture of beef and pork, flavored with nutmeg and cardamom and served with a tasty Swedish Meatball sauce. Continue reading "Swedish Meatballs" » View the full article
  10. This over-the-top rich chocolate ganache torte is made with two pounds of chocolate, a stick of butter, and a cup of cream. It earns being called Death-By-Chocolate! Continue reading "Chocolate Ganache Torte" » View the full article
  11. Get into the holiday spirit with Honey Mulled Wine! This red wine is sweetened with honey and spiced with cinnamon. It's an easy (and easy to love) winter warmer. Continue reading "Honey Mulled Wine" » View the full article
  12. LAS VEGAS — Billy Eppler has a very clear plan to get the Angels back to perennial contention. It’s about the farm system. On the second day of the Winter Meetings, the Angels general manager spelled out a plan that doesn’t seem to include blockbuster trades that would weaken their farm system. “We are clearly trying to build organizationally,” Eppler said. “I think anybody can figure that out now. We haven’t traded a lot of our players in our minor league system. Nobody impactful. Nobody in the top tier of the prospect tree has been traded. “We know that sustainable health is going to be achieved through our farm system, and then we do have the financial muscle if we want to go outside at the right time. We can achieve those things as well. That’s going to be our cookbook.” Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here. When Eppler was hired as the Angels GM in October 2015, the team had the worst farm system in baseball. Now, they’ve moved to the cusp of the top 10. “We hope to get that into the top five,” Eppler said. “If we get into the top five, and a lot of those players are in Triple-A or Double-A, and they are pushing their way in, now you have more cost control and cost certainty in things, and then you can flex some of that financial muscle when that opportunity comes.” Certainly, those comments can be interpreted to mean that the Angels aren’t ready to ship out the type of prospects that would be required to get someone the caliber of catcher J.T. Realmuto or pitchers like Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer or Noah Syndergaard. Certainly, there are trade targets who fit for the Angels who could be acquired without moving a top prospect, though. They could get a pitcher like Sonny Gray or Julio Teheran or a catcher like Francisco Cervelli. None of that is to say the Angels aren’t still trying to win now, Eppler pointed out a day earlier. They are trying to improve as much as possible in the short-term, without jeopardizing the long-term. “What you’re trying to do is give yourself an opportunity to win every year,” he said. “If everything falls right in a given year you might push yourself into the postseason. It’s within your bandwidth of outcomes. You are going to make some shorter-term decisions and are most likely not going to trade things that have multiple years of control. You are going to keep yourself in that competitive window to still have within your band of outcomes an 86-or-better-win team.” PUJOLS UPDATE Albert Pujols, who had knee surgery in August and elbow surgery in September, has been cleared for all upper body work and light impact lower body work, Eppler said. Eppler still is not ready to make any predictions about how much the Angels will be able to get from Pujols in 2019. With Shohei Ohtani expected to handle most of the designated hitter duties, Pujols is likely going to need to play as much first base as possible. Last season, the grind of playing 70 games at first no doubt contributed to him needing surgery. “We have to see how he feels going through January and February,” Eppler said. “We’ll have to see. We’ll take it organically.” MINOR LEAGUE DEALS The Angels reached agreements with three more players on minor league deals: Right-handed pitchers Forrest Snow and Matt Ramsey and outfielder Cesar Puello. They also officially announced three minor league deals that had already been reported, outfielders Peter Bourjos and Jarrett Parker and catcher Dustin Garneau. Puello, 27, returns to the Angels after appearing in one game with them in 2017. He also played 16 games with the Tampa Bay Rays. Snow, 29, has never pitched in the majors and has a 4.27 ERA in the minors. Eppler said the Angels see value in his “secondary stuff,” and both the scouting reports and analytics agreed there was some upside. Ramsey, 29, has a 2.69 ERA in six minor league seasons. He has also never pitched in the majors. Related Articles Angels reportedly pursued Patrick Corbin, Nate Eovaldi before they signed elsewhere Angels planned to move Kaleb Cowart to the mound before he was claimed by Mariners Angels still looking for pitchers and a catcher as winter meetings begin 4 arrested in former Angels infielder Luis Valbuena’s death, as baseball mourns Former Angels infielder Luis Valbuena killed in car accident in Venezuela View the full article
  13. Can't get enough salty-sweet Christmas Crack with its layers of chocolate, caramel, and saltines? Here are five fun ways to top your next batch, from pretzels to pecans! Continue reading "5 Ways to Top Your Christmas Crack!" » View the full article
  14. Biscuits and Gravy! Make this classic Southern recipe with homemade buttermilk biscuits and a rich, creamy sausage gravy. This is comfort food at its very best! Continue reading "Biscuits and Gravy" » View the full article
  15. LAS VEGAS — Although the Angels have been unable to land any significant pitching help this winter, they were reportedly chasing two of the winter’s biggest prizes before they went elsewhere. The Angels were one of four finalists for Nate Eovaldi before he re-signed with the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, according to NBC Sports Boston. The Angels also quietly pursued Patrick Corbin, who ended up signing with the Washington Nationals, according to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees were both public in their pursuit of Corbin, who is a native of upstate New York. Both of those players came off the board a week after the Angels came up just short in trying to bring back Garrett Richards, who signed with the San Diego Padres. General Manager Billy Eppler, who wouldn’t refer to any deals specifically, said he’s not upset with the way the offseason has gone so far. “I hold no frustrations at this time,” he said. Eppler added that the Angels assign a value to all potential acquisitions, and will make deals when the cost matches the value. “We’re comfortable with our positions on things,” he said. “If it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.” Corbin signed a six-year, $140-million deal, and Eovaldi for four years and $68 million. If the Angels were in the neighborhood on those deals, it would suggest they have the resources to make significant additions. The Angels are also involved with Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, according to a source. The level of their involvement is unknown, though. The Angels have presumably checked in on almost all the prominent starting pitchers available. While those close calls all involved free agents, Eppler said Monday that the first day of the winter meetings involved more trade discussions. Eppler, who likes using football analogies when describing the Angels’ process toward moves, said: “We could kick a field goal if we wanted to, but let’s go for a touchdown.” Related Articles Angels planned to move Kaleb Cowart to the mound before he was claimed by Mariners Angels still looking for pitchers and a catcher as winter meetings begin 4 arrested in former Angels infielder Luis Valbuena’s death, as baseball mourns Former Angels infielder Luis Valbuena killed in car accident in Venezuela Angels acquire hard-throwing reliever Luis Garcia in exchange for Jose Alvarez View the full article