salted milk chocolate chip cookies

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

last-minute christmas treats!

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.

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dark chocolate cordial cherries

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.

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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.

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cauliflower-tahini soup with paprika + lemon

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.

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marzipan stollen buns with crunchy sugar glaze

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?

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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.

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pumpkin-gingersnap s’mores

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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.

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crunchy little peppermint meringues

What do you think of when you think of Christmas time? I think of my mom’s homemade cranberry bread, twinkly little lights around the windows, Mickey’s Christmas Carol on TV, and Nat King Cole singing “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”.

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I also think of all things peppermint. There’s no better time of the year to break out the peppermint extract! Any other time of year, and you’ll just look like a weirdo. Since it’s December, you’re safe for the time being.

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minty chocolate puppy chow

I think it was during a classroom Christmas party in the 3rd grade, that I first ate puppy chow.

No, not that kind of puppy chow! I mean the kind usually made with Chex cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar!

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Its a really tasty snack that only seems to pop up around Christmas time, and when I first heard of it as a wee little kid, I was ultimately confused. I thought that this kid in my class had actually brought in dog food to share with the class. Silly me!

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