Author Archive

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Charred Mandarin Martini

7 | December 31, 2014

The warmth of the sun bursts through the winter clouds, past the curtains, and hits our faces as the kid and I share a moment at the breakfast table. We’re deep in discussion about how horrible the new songs on Just Dance 2015 are (excluding Let It Go, of course). You know, the important stuff. During these treasured moments that are so perfect my heart overflows and suddenly I feel like I’m in a ridiculous credit card commercial. This is when I tend to pop out the hard questions of life like… Mia, what would you do if you had 5 million dollars?

vanilla bean pear butter

Vanilla Bean Pear Butter

1 | December 29, 2014

In the summer, it’s all berries and watermelon but come fall, it’s time to break out the pears! A warm blanket, the yule log crackling on the tv (that’s what you do when you don’t have a fireplace), and a fresh flaky biscuit slathered contently with luscious pear butter is all this girl needs to enjoy a cold day. Comforting and delicious, this homemade pear butter is enhanced with the flavors of pure vanilla beans for a delightful treat on biscuits, bread, a cheese board, and more — it also makes for a great holiday gift. I created this recipe

pork tenderloin with bacon raisin chutney

Christmas dinner is in the planning stages this week, and although we’re planning for a very large crowd I thought we needed a small holiday dinner recipe for those nights we want to be festive with a more intimate sized group. You know, for when you want to have a holiday dinner for those people you actually like. Ha, I’m just kidding! I dearly love my family but there was this one time years ago when they served frozen store-bought lasagna for Christmas dinner — I never really forgave them for that. So, for times when you don’t want to

shortbread cookies

I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly behind on my holiday baking. By now I’d be knee deep in a heap of cookies and spiced pecans but sadly, I just started. I can’t believe how hast this holiday has flown by this year and it seems the older I get the shorter the Christmas season becomes. Is it just me getting lost in the mayhem of the day-to-day or is this just how it goes? Whatever the reason, I plan on diving straight into the season even if it means wearing a santa hat on a daily basis — at

pot roast pizza

Crisp pizza crust cradles a bright tomato sauce, tender roast beef, creamy ricotta, briny green olives and salty shaved parmesan for a unforgettably delicious slice of pizza! This is just one of those things you’re going to have to trust me on — A happy accident colliding with a desperate attempt to feed a family fast with what I had on hand. We’ve all been there, standing with open doors in front of the fridge letting all the cool air out while frantically trying to put together a meal. The other night,  it happened to me. Stuck with no plan

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Black Walnut Old Fashioned

0 | December 5, 2014

Slightly sweet and smooth with notes of caramel, orange, and roasted walnuts, this cocktail is the ultimate way to enjoy the fall. The phone is off, computer’s shut down, camera is stowed away, and everyone is coming home… the day is coming to an end. Just before I start cooking for the family, I’ll pull out a small cheese or charcuterie board, gather with everyone, poor a drink, and catch up with how the day went. It’s this time of day I love the most. Hearing the excitement of the resident six-year-old’s new discoveries and the husband’s intel on who

Havarti Crostini with Cider Caramelized Onions

The holidays are here, and for us that means constant entertaining. Having an array of supplies to throw together for appetizers this time of year is a must and I find cheese is always a pretty good option to stockpile. From cheddar to triple creams, cheese is a bite most people adore. That’s why there’s always a board out on the weekends. This year, I was delighted to add Castello’s Aged Havarti to our rotation. Castello Aged Havarti combines the rich buttery aroma and taste of a creamy havarti with a slightly crunchy texture. It’s this texture that makes this particular cheese

Best Classic Eggnog

The Ultimate Classic Eggnog

1 | November 26, 2014

Creamy, sweet, and absolutely divine, this eggnog is infused with holiday spices for the ultimate classic recipe. The other day I was walking with my floppy-eared dog, Jack, whom we affectionately call The Labradork. My hands hid in my pockets from the bitter cold while I was talking to my neighbor who was stringing up Christmas lights. We spoke of the upcoming holiday and how we could convince everyone on our street to hang a plethora of lights this year so we could win the tackiest holiday neighborhood award; not that that award exists, mind you, but it should. Life

delicata squash salad

Menu lists and table settings — we’re all stuck in the throws of Thanksgiving this week, aren’t we? With all that there is to do and family packing the houses, it’s inevitable that we’ll become stressed and tense at some point this week (like any of us need more grey hair). Surprisingly, this year I’m completely cool and relaxed (so far) and focusing on what this time is all about, amazing comfort food being thankful. If you just take a half a second from every moment to find the good, I’ve found life becomes pretty easy. For instance, as I’m writing

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Warm crackling fires, soft fuzzy blankets, and a dog at your feet, the best part of autumn is comfort. We just finished with our first cold front that left me grasping for hot soups, mugs of warm coffee, big blankets that swallow me whole and pot de créme — my winter dessert. Last year we were obsessed with pumpkin maple pot de créme. Indulging with every excuse we could might of left us with a few extra calories to burn off come spring, but it was well worth every bite. Now that the leaves are falling, I’m also getting the familiar tug at

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Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce

2 | November 20, 2014

Turkey day is near and for most of us that means our days are spent in the kitchen creating recipes of new and old. Thanksgiving has always been a fun holiday for me. Family and football… what’s not to love? I have a huge ginormous family (think My Big Fat Greek Wedding without the greek or the wedding) and each one of us usually brings a dish and the same story reminiscing how my grandfather would hide the chocolate pie when no one was looking. The ultimate Thanksgiving must-have recipe is my grandmothers sage cornbread stuffing — it’s what dreams are

dallas-beer-tour

Last weekend we partnered up with Expedia to revel in all that is amazing about the Dallas craft beer scene. I grabbed a few of my friends and family and set off in Big D for the best that the Dallas has to offer. Making our way through hops and barley is no new thing for this Dallas girl; although I have my sights set more towards the bourbon and wine side of things, I’m always surrounded by a horde of beer aficionados. From friends that are brewing experts, to my husband who is a certified beer specialist/sommelier, I believe