Monday, November 27, 2017

A Well Appointed Holiday Gift List

I've always appreciated the irony when, the day after giving thanks for what we have, we immediately go out and buy more.  Of course it's under the guise of gifting and giving to others, but if I'm honest there are always a few "...and one for me..."'s that find their way into my shopping baskets.

Tomorrow has been named "Giving Tuesday", and since we're well into the week AFTER Thanksgiving, I'm here to tell you, Shop til' you Drop! Below I've curated a selection of gifts for the individual who's most content when their kitchen is full of family and friends, and who's hearth is never cold. Entertaining always brings me joy, but especially during the holidays. I also appreciate the effort it takes to keep a functioning kitchen and pantry that's ready for guests at a moment's notice.

You may even find a few things for yourself in this list.What better time of the year to fill one's home with those you love, feed them good food, pour good wine.  

Nutmeg goes with everything, but especially during the holiday season.
Nutmeg Grater, in 24 carat gold
Downtime, the cookbook from Nadine Redzepi, wife of famed chef Renee Redzepi 
These are insane, and the large tin will survive the holiday season and beyond.
Italian Black Truffle Almonds
One can never have enough serverware.
Cheese Stones from Farmhouse Pottery

I have these, and they are dream.
Zalto Universal Wine Glasses 
Lyngby Vase 
anything monogrammed... i love these napkins from one of my new favorite etsy shops
The very best maraschino cherries, by Luxardo
Spice Crate from Penzies - We received this as a wedding gift , and I've been buying their spices ever since.
Morning Basket from Zabars - who doesn't love a pass on breakfast, especially during the holidays?
because we can all use a bit more inspiration, Mimi Thorisson's latest cookbook
the very best truffle oil there is on the consumer market, Regalis White Truffle Oil
one of my two favorite winter/holiday candles - smells better than a wood fire, and without the soot.

the other one...equally pleasing - smells like spice and all thats nice, without being noxious.
i came across these over at Town and Country and couldn't resist -
Mr.and Mrs. place card holders by Jonathan Adler
ok, i'm borrowing this from Habitually Chic's gift list
I've just ordered it for myself,  there's very little I enjoy more than good manners
Treating People Well, by Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard

Monday, November 20, 2017

Marie-Hélèn's Apple Cake, from "Around My French Table"

I am very fortunate to have found some very wonderful friends in my college years, and even more blessed that they have kept me around since. They are all strong women, wives, mothers, leaders in their churches and communities, and they are all kind. We don't live near each other anymore, but if I could choose my ideal dinner party, it would be at a table with these women.

We also share a passion for making and eating good food, so you can imagine the bevy of recipes that have been flying back and forth over the last week. From a vintage family recipe for cornbread dressing, and a winter greens gratin, to pumpkin bread pudding, and homemade 5 spice pumpkin ice cream.  

Today I'm sharing one of my favorite dessert recipes that always seems to find its way onto my menu. It has nothing to do Thanksgiving, but everything to do with fall. It is apple season after all. This was one of the first recipes I made from Dorie Greenspan's tome, Around My French Table.  
photo courtesy of Around My French Table - HMH
It is surprisingly simple to make, but the flavor of cooked apples spiked with a bit of rum,  evoke a sense of time, and love. I've added one small change to Mrs. Greenspan's recipe, and if she were to ever stumble across this note, I hope she and Marie-Hélène would forgive me.  Cardamom. That's it, just 1 tsp of cardamom* takes this cake from elegant simplicity to something a bit more rugged and sensual. Either way you make it, I promise, you will serve this cake to the people you love over, and over again.

-keep eating

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

curried shrimp on a bed of sweet potato and zucchini "noodles"

I made this fairly effortless shrimp dish for dinner last night in an effort to lighten up after a weekend of beef short ribs and pork shoulder.  Once the weather turns chilly, it's just hard to enjoy a salad. This recipe is warm, both in temperature and spice.  I served it over a bed of greens (to make it more filling and get some extra greens) and finished with a swish of sriracha and squeeze of fresh lime to taste. This way individuals can add as much or as little heat as desired.

Also, I hadn't planned on sharing this recipe on the blog, so please pardon the sparse nature of this post.  The recipe is simple enough, but I'll be more than happy to respond to questions/comments as quickly as possible

-keep eating