How long do you generally leave your Christmas decorations up? Me, I usually take them down the first weekend of January. That means my house is now comparatively drab without the sparkly silver garland, the glow of Christmas lights around every window, my little decked-out artificial tree, and the pretty ceramic angel figurine my mom gave me that she’s had literally for decades. This is usually my least favorite … Continue reading salted milk chocolate chip cookies
Christmas is just a few days away! Are you ready?
There are some people who finish their holiday shopping by August. They’re the super planners, the people who make copious to-do lists, whose vocabulary doesn’t include the word “procrastinate”.
Then there’s another sort of person. One of those people who waits til Christmas Eve to finish their shopping. Someone who ends up rushing around at the eleventh hour in search of the perfect gift, only to be met with empty shelves at the store. Yep, I’m talking to you! What if you could quickly create the perfect gift that your friends and loved ones would absolutely adore? Good news! I’m here to save the day.
When I was a kid, my grandma lived right next door to us. Some memories of visiting my grandma include playing games of rummy at her kitchen table, watching The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, her two snorty little Pekingese dogs, classical music forever playing on the stereo, and leafing through her old copy of the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. When Christmas would come around, it meant sitting on her love seat next to the artificial Christmas tree while gazing at the Swiss Colony catalog that came in the mail every December.
Do you remember that catalog? It seems to magically appear in mailboxes every Christmas season, without fail. That catalog was seriously the best thing ever as an 8 year old. It was the closest thing to taking a tour of Willy Wonka’s factory that I’d ever have. The giant boxes filled with rows upon rows of chocolate truffles! All those cute petit fours! Super fancy cakes! Those almond-crusted cheese logs (for those weirdos without a sweet tooth)! There’s nothing like that catalog, man.
You may remember my undying love for Pita Jungle‘s roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce dish? I pretty much order it every time I’m there, and I even made my own version at home so I can have it any time I want!
Recently on a day off, I was craving soup. I was also craving that roasted cauliflower, so I thought I could try my hand at combining the collective awesomeness of a good soup with that roasted cauliflower. Boom, this fantastic soup was born. I now win at life.
Well, Thanksgiving is over! Time for ornaments, twinkly lights, Bing Crosby Christmas music, and piles of baked goods. Why not start with this one, perfect for wintry morning breakfasts?
I don’t remember the first time I had stollen, but I think it might have come from Trader Joe’s, of all places. I was hooked immediately! Traditionally made into larger loaf shapes, these little fruit-packed German stollen buns are like a more refined version of fruitcake. All the familiar flavors are there, but instead of a sugar soaked “cake”, the fruits are jammed into soft, lightly sweet buns, sharing space with a sweet center of almond marzipan. Doesn’t that sound good to you? It sure does to me.
Pie is the unanimously expected Thanksgiving dessert. The meal just doesn’t feel complete without a slice of pie at the end! I’m sure most people would argue that pumpkin is the best pie to serve at Thanksgiving, while others might think of pecan or maybe apple. In my eyes, my favorite Thanksgiving pie is mince — meat-free, please!
I have fond memories of waking up the day after Thanksgiving to grab a leftover slice of cold mince pie for breakfast. My mom never made it from scratch, it was always Sara Lee out of a box, but it was delicious to me!
Do you err on the side of safety (and your sanity) and go the frozen/store-bought pie route during the holidays? Do you consider your pie crust efforts to be a surefire recipe for disaster? If so, I’m here to help! Pull on your aprons and turn on those ovens because it’s time to make some delicious, gorgeous, impressive pies of your very own! I’ll show you how to make an ultra buttery and flaky pie crust, a sweetly spiced homemade mince pie filling, and three different finishing options — a full top crust, a lattice crust, and a pecan streusel crumb topping! Let’s get started, huh?
When I first saw the dish that inspired today’s recipe, I couldn’t wait to make it myself. Kenji over at Serious Eats sure has a way with food! I’ve always loved creamy polenta, and the skirt steak on top with those pretty tomatoes just looked killer.
Go ahead and check out that photo. See what I mean? Doesn’t it just look amazing? I wanted to create it myself, but thought I’d do a vegetarian spin on it by substituting baby portobello mushrooms for the skirt steak. It makes a super hearty, rich and creamy dish for colder weather! Gouda in the polenta lends a nice, smoky quality and the seared mushrooms are the perfect alternative to meat, still keeping that savory and satisfying component to the finished dish. The bright and fresh tomatoes have the perfect acidic twang to cut through all the richness of the cheesy polenta. Make it yourself, I dare you! I know you’ll love it as much as I did.
Happy belated Halloween! I hope you all had a fun, safe time filled with piles of candy!
The days after Halloween always usher in sort of a strange time. Now that trick-or-treating and ghosts are out of the way, it’s time for Christmas, right? Nope. There’s still a while yet. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here.
Holiday traditions are a huge deal for me. Growing up, Halloween always meant creating that perfect costume, trick-or-treating with my sisters and the neighbor kid across the street, and visiting the school’s Halloween carnival before going home and passing out in a sugar coma. In the days leading up to the holiday itself, it meant carving pumpkins and watching It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and the Garfield Halloween special (“I’ll have you know, Halloween is my middle name! Gar-Halloween-field….”) from the video tapes my mom had recorded many years before.
Every year when Halloween rolls around, I still look forward to watching those silly cartoon specials of my childhood, carving jack-o-lanterns and admiring their flickering candlelight in the dark outside my house, and my new tradition — making tasty things to eat. These adorable Fall flavor-packed pot pies are everything a Halloween meal should be, complete with festive orange sweet potato, autumn-appropriate sage and sausage, and the perfect jack-o-lantern face grinning up at you as you eat. Can your Halloween meal get any cuter? I submit that it cannot.
Are there some recipes you just can’t get out of your head once you’ve made them? Dishes that you crave and can’t wait to make again? For me, this soup is one such recipe.
I first made it this past Thanksgiving as a starter for the whole giant meal. I had been looking for a somewhat light soup that was also fall-weather appropriate. When I found this creamy cauliflower soup from Martha Stewart, I knew my search had ended! How could cauliflower combined with wine, cream, roasted garlic and parmesan cheese NOT be downright amazing?