Articles Tagged Christmas


White Wine Braised Turkey Legs

1 | November 24, 2015

The smell of turkey roasting and pies cooling is the ultimate holiday aphrodisiac for me. I adore this time of year and always have. That’s why years ago when I was a kid, I had a meltdown of epic proportions when my family couldn’t pull it together for Thanksgiving and replaced the beloved turkey with a store-bought freezer lasagna — the horror. It left a permanent mark on my holiday-loving soul and my dislike was so rememberable that even my cousins still talk about it to this day. Yes, even at 10-years-old, I was a glorified food snob. This year,

roasted sweet potatoes

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always an exciting time for me. I have an intensely large and loud family and the theatrical spectacle that would ensue was always very entertaining. Plus, there was my grandmother’s stuffing and all sorts of goodies like chocolate meringue pie and handmade fried apricot pies to indulge in. Total comfort food is a holiday must but sometimes I like to throw a dish in with a lot of flavor that strays from our family’s traditional southern flare. This year, it’s Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate — a delicious combination of flavors that screams autumn and


Black Walnut Old Fashioned

2 | 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


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


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

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

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Pork Loin

Rosemary and garlic go together like Christmas and cookies — it’s hard to have one without the other. When I’m cooking a simple meal with no fuss I usually rely on these two flavors, mostly because I have a rosemary bush by my garden gate that’s about to overtake the neighborhood. In all seriousness, if you’re ever in need for a flavorful dinner but are stuck in a rut, rosemary and garlic are two flavors that can boost up practically anything from fish (try rosemary and garlic roasted salmon), to meats, and even vegetables. Here’s one of our favorite simple

sweet potato pie

Sweet potato pie always conjures fond memories of my grandmother. Not only was it her favorite pie but she also asked me to make it for her every Christmas. She would have her own pie as my grandfather was known for hiding the holiday pies and hording them for himself. Sweet potato pie is also my husband’s favorite so you can imagine how often I make this. Creamy, sweet, and full of holiday spices, Sweet Potato Pie with Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream is beyond a classic. I wrote this recipe for KitchenAid. Jump on over to their blog, KITCHENTHUSIAST, for

Rosemary Roasted New Potatoes

Rosemary Roasted New Potatoes

3 | November 27, 2013

It’s go time guys! I’ve just got back into town and have been trying to catch up on deadlines when I realized that Turkey Day is tomorrow! TOMORROW — and I have yet to cook one thing! From the second I get done typing it’s going to be crazier than a holiday at the Griswold house around here. So, if you find me passed out on the kitchen floor, you will know why. Just put a glass of wine in my hand and keep on walking. I realize there might be some of you last minute cooks – just like

cranberry sauce

Champagne Cranberry Sauce

11 | November 13, 2013

A holiday table without cranberry sauce is like Santa without cookies. It’s just all sorts of wrong. I used to think that canned cranberry sauce was just fine until I started making my own years ago. Just like making your own stocks and broths there’s no going back. I could be opening up a huge controversy here but I am going come out and say it, the canned stuff can not – in any way – compare to fresh cranberry sauce! What do you think? Am I in the wrong here? I grew up with the canned congealed block. I

Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy

Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy

1 | November 12, 2013

The smells of turkey and stuffing waft through the air, kids running at your feet, and your favorite uncle reliving the glory of his football days as he watches the Thanksgiving Day game — the holidays are here! I personally look forward to it as I’m a big sucker for any type of family gathering where I get to cook. I have an enormous family. I mean it verges on the cusp of ridiculousness. Ever seen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? It’s like that times ten which makes the holidays very entertaining. Speaking of holidays, it’s time to