Decorating for the Holidays Requires a Plan and a Strategy…

Decorating your house for the holidays is something that many of us do. Those who it falls to can often feel like this is a massive undertaking and, well, it is. Year after year it goes up. Most likely we add to it and then it comes down. The following year it’s even more work to put up and that cycle just continues. Heck, there have even been years when I question wether it’s worth all the work. This was almost one of those years it didn’t go up at all but then I made myself do it and you should too.  Continue reading

A Week of Thanksgiving: A Mountain of Cranberries Where do They Belong?

The cranberry is my nemesis. It’s beautiful, it’s vibrant, and it’s quite possibly the only “winter” fruit here in the midwest. But what do you do with it? I have a confession. I have never understood cranberry sauce and in the few places I have tried to make it work in my mind, it never has on the Thanksgiving table. I get the theory, with all those rich, meaty, sweet, and savory flavors you need something to cut through it all so this tart fruit seems like a winner, and hey, if cranberry sauce on a slice of turkey is your thing than great but it just doesn’t work for me. So I have to admit when it found a home on my Thanksgiving table this year in more ways than one I was surprised and delighted.  Continue reading

As If Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Weren’t Indulgent Enough…

I could try to make arguments that there’s nutrition in mashed potatoes and even gravy for that matter but even I’ll admit that they aren’t necessarily the most nutritious thing to put on a plate. That said go the route of Pomme Purée and Giblet Gravy and it’s taking it to a level of indulgence that might cause embarrassing sounds of enjoyment around the dinner table.  Continue reading

Homemade Sourdough, a Labor of Love

Anyone who’s had truly great sourdough bread knows it’s a thing of beauty. The flavor is truly unique. So much so that the starter or levain that you’re going to make or use is maybe the most hyper terroir thing there is. This is due to the fact that no matter where you get your starter from it will adapt over time to your natural yeast where you are. This isn’t a bad thing though. This just means it’s going to be unique no matter where you make it.  Continue reading

A Week of Thanksgiving: Portion Control

Forget the stretchy pants, focus on portion control.

If you’re on social media at all during the holidays it’s inevitable that someone will joke “it’s time to break out the stretchy pants” do to all the over the top holiday food. This doesn’t have to be the case. Now, before you get all “but…” hear me out. It’s about portion control. This topic is something that is near and dear to my heart. I love good food. I love butter. I love whole milk and real fat. I love bacon and croissants. I love cake and cookies… and I eat everything I have mentioned and so much more. That said I maintain my weight and even have managed to loose weight. So, how do I do this? Portion control.  Continue reading

A Week of Thanksgiving

Today begins a Special Series I am doing not only on my Thanksgiving recipes but also my new approach to the holiday. As many of us home cooks know this is both the best and worst holiday. We spend hours planning and cooking to have it all gobbled up in minutes and then it’s over. Not only is it over but it’s a fast transition into Christmas. Putting this much work into it I decided I wanted to make this a holiday that lasts. If  I am going to put in so much work I want it to be savored as well as I would like a break from cook after I am done preparing all the food. So this year I broke the feast into a lunch and a dinner that lasts for an entire week. This also gave me the time to think about why and how does this meal show my thankfulness and gratitude. So join me on this series and learn not only what I made but why it captures my gratitude.  Continue reading

Learning to Love Vegetables All Over Again…

In an effort to eat healthier without “dieting” my husband and I have been talking a lot about vegetables. Now, anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t like vegetables. Well, here’s the funny thing, I have learned and I continue to learn it’s not that I don’t like them it’s that I don’t like how they are prepared most of the time. That’s actually true about most food. I love food. I love variety. I love marveling at the produce department imagining all the things I can make. That said I don’t cook many stand alone or vegetable focused main dishes. I don’t even make a ton of vegetable side dishes. There’s nothing I despise more than a pile of steamed veggies. This left me feeling frustrated and lost. Until now… Continue reading

Fool Proof Poached Eggs, but There’s a Catch… It’s All About Sous Vide.

So back in October when I started blogging I wrote a post: There’s more than one way to poach and egg. It was yet another hack and trick which used the microwave. This worked somewhat OK but was inconsistent at best and left a lot to be desired. At that point I was happy enough with it because after trying all the tricks on the stove it was the only one to get me solid whites and occasionally runny yolks. All the ones on the stover were a hot mess and I tried several top chefs “simple tricks” and none of them worked. However, today after the gym needing a big boost of protein I achieved a PERFECTLY poached egg and all the while I was showering, getting ready, and feeding the dogs. I wasn’t involved at all.  Continue reading