With Thanksgiving Day a little over one month away, it’s time to start thinking about some of the details that make this special meal so memorable. First, figure out who you would like to spend the holiday with this year and extend an invitation before calendars begin to fill. In order to ensure you aren’t a stressed out host, be sure to take your guests up on their generous offers to contribute to the meal; after all, one can’t have to many pies on hand! You won’t regret it come Thanksgiving Day when you’re up early brining your bird (these bags and this brine will make your life easier). Next, order your turkey from your local butcher or fine foods market (or, better yet, look for a local farm that raises turkeys and order direct). If there is one thing that makes a big difference on Thanksgiving, it’s a good bird. And last, consider this cute way to package up leftover slices of pie for guests. You can find these in my etsy shop (yes, this is my side business!) throughout the year, but they are especially fun for Thanksgiving. Customize the boxes your own way with a Thanksgiving-themed stamp and some pretty twine or grosgrain ribbon. Just be sure to save a few slices of pumpkin pie for breakfast the next morning!
image via A La Modo
Last week I took advantage of a few local sales and stocked my pantry with my four Fall favorites (Hello October!). And while part of me wonders if I overdid it a little, the other part knows I will have no problem using them! Here are my four pantry staples for the season as well as links to my favorite ways to use them.
Continue reading “Pantry Staples: Four Fall Favorites” »
I have to tell you that this is my favorite apple crisp to date. It takes a little longer to make than some of the other crisps I’ve made over the years, but the end result is absolutely worth it. I indulged in this dessert after dinner one evening, and then again the next morning…and for a midday snack as well. It’s positively delicious.
Continue reading “Spiced Apple Crisp with Hazelnuts and Vanilla Bean Brown Butter” »
To taste dulce de leche (“candy of milk” in Spanish), is to love it. This thick sauce is truly a decadent treat and the perfect accent to dense, chocolate cake (here, I added coarse, gray sea salt to balance out the richness of the chocolate and dulce de leche). Called different things in different countries, dulce de leche is beloved in any language. If you haven’t had a chance to try it, definitely add it to your week’s to-do list. This is the kind that I prefer (and used on the chocolate cake above). You can also find it at Williams Sonoma or other fine food markets.
all images by Stephanie Brubaker / stephmodo
There are a lot of banana bread recipes out there…believe me, I know (I’ve tried may of them!). But, I’ve come to find out that my favorite versions are dense and just slightly nutty. The unsweetened coconut flakes (found in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods), add an extra element to this recipe that I love. My children deemed it their all time favorite!
Continue reading “Coconut Pecan Banana Bread” »
Several years ago, when I worked for Williams Sonoma’s corporate office, I purchased a mini bundt pan that I still have today; in fact, it looks practically brand new a decade later! I’ve always been a fan of mini anything and couldn’t resist something this precious. Mini bundt cakes made gift giving quite easy (who wouldn’t love a little cake on their doorstep?) and also helped me keep my sweet tooth in check (it’s all about portion control baby).
Since lemon cake is a something I crave during all seasons, I thought it would be interesting to pair it with some dried lavender recently gifted to me. It’s a lovely, appealing flavor when used sparingly.
Continue reading “Meyer Lemon Lavender Mini Bundt Cakes” »
My mother-in-law shared this easy dinner with me shortly after marrying her son almost 13 years ago. Needless to say, we’ve enjoyed this quick dinner more times than I can remember. It’s a keeper!
“Recipe” after the jump:
Continue reading “Dinner in 5: Easy Crockpot Chicken Tacos” »
Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt was a childhood favorite of mine, but something I left behind a long time ago. I loved dipping my spoon down to try and catch a little of the fruit on the bottom with every bite. On a recent trip abroad I discovered a more grown up version that I enjoy just as much. It’s easy to make at home and requires just two ingredients. Here’s how:
Continue reading “Make Your Own Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt” »
There are a handful of items I consistently stock in my pantry–good salts, good chocolate and good tuna! Once you taste tuna packed in pure olive oil, be forewarned that you may be less keen on Starkist. There is something about the flavor and tenderness that simply cannot be duplicated any other way. Even people who don’t typically enjoy tuna find they like tuna packed in olive oil. Sounds crazy, right?
Since I am a big fan of simple meals with good ingredients (especially with several mouths to feed every day during lunchtime), I want to share an easy way to jazz up your canned tuna. The addition of a couple solid ingredients will cause you to rethink how you feel about tuna sandwiches!
p.s. this type of tuna is easier to find abroad (Spain, France, Italy, etc.), as it is often canned over there; but don’t fret, Amazon carries several brands too.
Continue reading “Open Faced Tuna Melt with Herbes de Provence” »
This dessert was created on a day when I promised my children a fancy dessert after dinner, but didn’t have time to run to the store. Using leftover Trader Joe’s vanilla meringues from my daughter’s birthday party (they were a hit by the way), frozen berries, freezer jam and homemade whipped cream, an easy eton mess came together in a cinch!
Continue reading “Easy Red Berry Eton Mess” »