Category Archives: holidays

Irish Coffee

Today may be my only day off, and my to do list a mile long.

That doesn’t mean I can’t have fun.

With green sprinkles.

And whiskey. Irish Coffee recipe here.

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Foodie Gifts!

Our families spoil us, and we spoil each other. I wanted to share some of the food-related gifts I am really excited about. You may just want to spoil yourself or some other food geek with them, too.


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, but I really wanted a new ice cream cookbook. On a whim I added this to my wish list, after hearing a lot of buzz and reading great reviews. I almost always test out cookbooks from the library these days, so I don’t know what I was thinking. Now that I have the book it is blowing my mind, and I’m already trying to figure out how often we can make ice cream without it affecting our health. Once a month? Twice? It is hard to narrow down just a few recipes to mention: Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk. Baked Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt. Scarlet & Earl Grey. Bangkok Peanut. Ylang-Ylang with Clove & Honeycomb. Berry Crisp Ice Cream! I could keep going and going. This book is a revelation.


India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

Last year I started to dabble in cooking Indian at home, mostly from library books. I don’t even know where to begin with this gigantic book, but it is spectacular. The sections are different colors of lightweight newsprint, separated by gorgeous, glossy photo pages. Levi was just telling me how much he is craving Indian food. I do believe 2012 will be the year we eat a ton of it.


mason jar stamp

Can’t you just picture the adorable tags and labels I am going to make with this stamp?


Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss

Now this book I did test out from the library, and deemed it worthy of taking up valuable shelf space in our little house. I love that recipes include different instructions for just making a syrup to mix with seltzer OR actually brewing. Some recipe highlights: Coffee chocolate stout. Fermented honey soda. Original orange crush. Chamomile lavender kombucha. An entire section on shrubs and switchels! And herbal/healing waters! I’m think we’ll be trying the lavender grape migraine mitigator.


Silhouette Salt Mill from Crate & Barrel

Our pepper mill broke awhile back and we have searched to the ends of the internet for an affordable, aesthetically pleasing replacement. In the very long interim, we have been refilling Trader Joe’s mills (not intended to be re-usable) until they break (which is often). Finally, we found something cheap that will hopefully hold up. The salt and pepper mills look identical, but actually have a tiny “S” & “P” on the metal piece at the very top.


Schmidt Brothers 15-piece Downtown Block

I have hemmed and hawed about getting a couple really fancy knives that individually cost more than this entire set, and finally decided to try out a decent set of knives and a sharpener. These won’t actually be in our kitchen until February, so I’ll have to report back!


OXO Food Mill

I can’t wait to see what Jess makes with a food mill, something we found would come in really handy in 2011.

Did you get any great food-related gifts this year? Do tell!

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DIY holiday gift round-up

It’s that time of year. Time to bust out some of those precious canned goods for holiday gifts, or better yet, make some homemade goods especially for gift giving. As we prepare for a food swap next week and plan for the holidays, I have DIY gifts on the mind. Here are some of the links I’ve been looking at:

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Thanksgiving for busy people

I love nothing more than cooking an elaborate Thanksgiving meal with the works. That won’t be happening this year, though. The 911 center doesn’t close on holidays, so I will be working my usual 10 hour shift. It’s okay, I love holiday pay, and even though we won’t make it up north to visit the extended family, I will be home early enough to make a few dishes and join some friends for dinner.

Here’s what we’ll be making:

We’ll be the only vegetarians in attendance, so we’re bringing our own Tofurky. We like the simple roast, without the extras. It’s much better with homemade gravy.

Here’s an old picture of my homemade vegan gravy. This recipe has evolved over the years, and I might just have a few tricks up my sleeve. True story: the day Jess and I met I cooked my vegan biscuits and gravy. It’s on my list to write a recipe zine next year that includes this recipe.


Photo via Real Simple

Of course we will also need to bring meat-free stuffing. Last year we tried Real Simple’s Cheddar and Jalapeño Stuffing, and I suspect we’ll be making every year going forward. Italian bread, jalapeños, cheddar cheese, and lager beer – need I say more?


Photo via BHG

I’m dying to try this recipe for Creamy Green Beans with Crispy Shallots from Better Homes and Gardens. Due to time limitations, we’ll be going for the all-American green bean casserole from the recipe on the french fried onion can. I’m hoping we can try the crispy shallot recipe sometime over the holidays. I love a good green bean casserole. It has to be even better from scratch, right?


Photo via Epicurious

And of course I have to bring some pecan pie. I’ll probably be making three of these, one for work and two for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m going to try this recipe from Epicurious, although I’m omitting the orange zest. I already messed up one dessert with orange zest earlier this year.

A few Thanksgiving links

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving full of incredible food. Now I better get to the store before they sell out of pecans!

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