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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

chocolate_pot_de_creme_3_web

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

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Pumpkin Bread with Ginger Icing

4 | November 18, 2014

One of my absolute favorite quick bread recipes is pumpkin bread. I’ve had the same pumpkin bread recipe since I was in college and like the rest of you, become a pumpkin obsessed maniac when fall hits. We’ve given a little tweak to this original recipe by adding fresh ginger to the icing creating a delicious pairing to rival any holiday quick bread. I’ve made it before with whole wheat flour and it’s still just as good. Plus, it makes a fabulous holiday gift! You can find the recipe over at ImperialSugar.com:  Pumpkin Bread with Ginger Icing.

Roasted Turkey with Orange-Sage Glaze

A thought dawned on me the other day while walking through the market — I have never posted a roasted turkey recipe on ISMS. Sure, we’ve done Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy, Roasted Turkey Breast with Maple Bourbon Glaze, and Braised Turkey Thighs but never a full mac-daddy holiday roasted turkey. I’ve become somewhat of a turkey expert over the past few years and have yet to cook one to the glory of the Griswolds (there’s still time though). We make about six a summer for MBS Recipe Development when companies are trying to get their holiday recipes printed and ready for

15 dutch oven recipes

Cold days with that fresh nip in the air calls out for warm comfort food and that means dusting off those Dutch oven recipes! My Dutch oven (it’s really a French oven because of it’s enamel coating) is an essential part of my kitchen and probably my favorite tool. From flavorful soups to tender fall-off-the-bone braises my Le Creuset French Oven is in full use in the fall and winter months. Combined with the fact that it’s made with durable heavy duty cast iron for even cooking and has a lifetime guarantee, my French oven is practically priceless! giveaway Before

duck confit

I’ve never known a girl who loves duck confit as much as my 6-year-old. Of course, who doesn’t love a tender fall-off-the-bone duck confit recipe — it’s just the best thing in the world. For a long time, I’ve made duck confit the traditional way, with a vat of duck fat, but unless one of my amazing friends brings me duck fat (yes, I seriously have friends that do this) I’m out of luck. But thank the stars above, I ran into a this fabulous recipe from Bon Appétit with the best duck confit hack of all time. For this

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Pretzel Bites

It’s that certain smell in the air. That crisp breeze that tingles your nose and makes the hairs on your arm stand a little higher, fall is officially here. Weekends filled with picnics at the lake, strolls through the farmer’s market, caramel apples at the state fair, lazy sways in the hammock, and a crowded patio with a football game on TV. This time of the year is, by far, my favorite. I’ve had this recipe on my mind for months. A perfect blend of flavors to scream, “Hey people, FALL IS FLIPPING HERE!” For me, it’s officially autumn when