The winter holidays are here! Every one we know is decorating their houses, baking treats, and buying and wrapping gifts. The last two years, we went to Brent’s parents’ house to celebrate the season, so we didn’t decorate at all and it never really felt like holidays. But this year, we’re hosting both sets of parents. So, while we haven’t exactly finished our gift shopping or planned our Christmas dinner menu, we did put up our Christmas tree a couple weeks ago. As soon as we finished it, I got a little “warm fuzzy” in my heart.
Since that evening, I have been daydreaming of Christmas cookies from my childhood. I know, though, that most of them would leave us feeling sick. Most of them. One cookie (one out of the seemingly endless kinds of cookies we helped my grandma and mother make) is naturally gluten- and dairy-free. It’s called Basler Brunsli. Originally from 16th century Switzerland, it has long been part of the holiday tradition in Germany and Austria. The main ingredients are two of my favorite things—chocolate and almonds—and the complementing spices give it a warmth and complexity of flavor that I cannot resist. Brent said, “They taste like an Oreo and a gingerbread cookie had a baby.” Honestly, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to make these cookies before! We hope you enjoy them as much as do. Continue reading →
This week, I’m keeping things short and sweet, and tangy and bright. We experimented with this salad this past Thanksgiving because we wanted a light salad to balance the hearty, savory, and sweet components of the entire menu. Plus, we didn’t want to do a traditional romain or iceberg salad; we can do that any day, really. Holidays call for a little some special, right?
This refreshing citrus salad will brighten any meal. Serve it on the side or as a dessert. Or, use it as a palate cleanser between courses if you’re serving a more elaborate dinner menu. It’s versatile, and will taste great year-round. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Continue reading →
As the weather cools down for us here in the DC area, my mind have moved from barbecues and light refreshing salads to more substantial meals and stews. We are huge fans of chili and pulled pork, but I wanted to expand our repertoire. Especially because I am prone to colds or falling under the weather as the seasons change, I wanted something that could help keep my sinuses clear with the help of capsaicin. (Check out the medical uses in this Wikipedia article—warning: not AIP friendly.)
For me, this is an ideal winter stew, and is much heartier than our hot and sour soup, which was my go to meal when fighting a cold up to now. We hope you’ll give it a shot, and enjoy it in a variety of ways.
We’re right at the holiday season, and family are arriving at our house from as far as Chicago. During this time of year, we are all known to indulge with friends, family, and coworkers at various celebrations beginning this week, and ending sometime in January. We enjoy this time, but we know it is a stressful time with visitors, travel, and gifts. This along with the smorgasbord on an ongoing basis often comes with a loosening of the belt, too.
This banana cream pie is inspired partly by my father’s love for the pie growing up, along with an amazing recipe that already exists in our friend Russ Crandall‘s The Ancestral Table. Russ was kind enough to shoot the breeze with me while I made this pie a few times to get it right. You should pick up his book and run a taste test—let us know which pie comes out on top!
The story of this epic sweet potato mash goes back to July, when Heather and I ran the Spartan Super in Wintergreen, Virginia. Nearby in Nellysford, there is a cidery by the name of Bold Rock. They have some fantastic hard ciders, and we have admired their product for a long time. Made with apples grown right in Virginia, we were happy to support a local business with a great product.
Following the race, we took our bruised, muddied, and exhausted selves to the cidery for a tasting. During our visit, we found ourselves in a conversation with John “Johnny Apple Cider” Washburn, Bold Rock’s Chairman and CEO. John radiates positive energy and seems utterly in love with the venture and creating a great product locally with minimally processed ingredients.