Category Archives: Holiday

the Eve {and stollen}


Happy Christmas Eve! Hopefully at this point, none of you is working.   You’ve traveled to your families (or maybe they came to you!) or are getting there today, just in time.  We were lucky to travel to Dave’s parents’ in PA on Wednesday morning. Continue reading

pistachio sandies

Pistachio Sandies

Christmas is a mere 4 days away. (Seriously, how did that happen?) Even though I started listening to the Classical Christmas pandora station soon after Thanksgiving, the fact that it is already December 21st snuck up on me.   I’m sure there are some of you that are totally cookie-d out.  However, I hope that you have a little more room in your holiday baking schedule.  Continue reading

cranberry. orange. dates.

The Table

Is it really only 13 days until Thanksgiving? Somehow that just doesn’t seem possible. I don’t know if it is because we have had a bit of an Indian Summer week in Chicago which allowed me to commute without any outerwear (no! coat! on November 11th!) and run in shorts and a tee. This year, rather than visiting Dave’s family like in years past, we are heading to Florida to visit my Dad’s side of the family. It will be the first time for Dave to meet most of this part of my family and some cousins I haven’t seen since I was in elementary school. And there may be some beach walking and cute town visiting. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the holiday. I’m starting to compile a list of recipes that I want to make in Florida and the first one of my list is this Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Dates that I made last year. I got the recipe from one of my past Gourmet (sob!) magazines and it is a keeper. If you are in need of a little change to your cranberry sauce, give this recipe a try. Also really great on some greek yogurt for breakfast as leftover.

Cranberry Orange Date

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Dates
Recipe adapted from Gourmet: November 2008

•1 cup water
•1 1/4 cups sugar
•3 strips orange zest
•1 cup fresh orange juice
•3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
•1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
•1 cup coarsely chopped pitted dates* (6 ounces), divided
•2 (12-ounce) bags cranberries (thawed if frozen), divided

*Dates are a little tricky to chop because they get so sticky so this is how I do it: make a slice in the date lengthwise and pull out the pit. Then cut the date into long strips. Then gather a few strips together and slice again to make smaller bits. Wipe the knife down with hot water to get of the gunk if it gets too sticky.

Simmer water, sugar, zest, juice, vinegar, and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring, 3 minutes. Add half of dates and half of cranberries and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to burst, about 7 minutes. Stir in remaining dates and cranberries and simmer until remaining cranberries begin to burst, about 7 minutes more. Serve at room temperature

pretty and pink

Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Raspberry Buttercream

I think Valentine’s Day falls into the “holidays that are way better as a child” category. In elementary school, I used to love to go the store to buy the box of Valentines for the class gift exchange. I will admit that I was a little boy crazy from the womb. I had 3 “boyfriends” alone in 1st grade. I would dig through the box of assorted Valentines and choose the “best” one for whatever boy I had a crush on at the time. Continue reading

a new decade

2009 was a crazy year.  I graduated law school, studied for the Bar and then thankfully passed the Bar.  I traveled to Disney, Texas (twice), NYC, and West Chester.  I ran a 10 mile race and enjoyed the farmer’s market season.  I met many new wonderfully inspiring people both in person and through our blogs.  But really, I mainly just cooked and ate, a lot.


Continue reading

A Very Merry Flickr Friday

Flickr Friday: Merry Christmas

1. need a little christmas, 2. 336, 3. Our first Christmas tree, 4. christmas decorations, 5. twinkle lights, 6. Deck the Halls With Hand Sewn Balls…, 7. Untitled, 8. 340, 9. a little december magic, 10. Chickadee, 11. Untitled, 12. Sweet Little Watson, 13. 345, 14. christmassy!, 15. mirror, mirror, 16. ornaments

To all my readers,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  Thank you for stopping by throughout the year.  I hope that you have a wonderful end of 2009.

I can’t take the credit…

…for these beautiful tarts.

Chocolate Pecan Tarts

Rich (Dave’s Dad) and I divided and conquered the dinner portion of the Thanksgiving meal, while Dave, his sister and his mom were in charge of the desserts. Deb (mom) and Betsy (sister) made these absolutely wonderful tarts. I simply just stole them for a picture. Can you believe that this above picture is straight out of the camera, with only a little cropping? It’s amazing what some really nice natural light can do. I love my old town high-rise apartment, but I can’t say that we get good light in it. Continue reading


The Spread

I can’t wait to tell you about my weekend in Philly, especially about my mother’s recipe for Cornbread Stuffing and some wonderful Chocolate-Pecan Tarts but I was busy decorating the apartment for the holidays and restocking the fridge today. Be back this week.


Turkey Day Inspiration
1. sweet potato buttermilk pie, 2. Apple pie, ready for baking, 3. Untitled, 4. creamed spinach, 5. apple ginger upside-down cake, 6. cranberries, 7. Test Turkey!, 8. Bourbon Cranberries, 9. french pear tart

I am packing up for a 7AM flight to Philly tomorrow to spend Thanksgiving with Dave’s family.  This year I will be tackling half of the menu (Rich, Dave’s Dad, is tackling the other half, with Deb, Dave’s Mom picking up desserts).  I am pretty excited to give a few classics a new update and I have been enjoyed reading about everyone else’s preparations in the blog world.  I just wanted to share with you our planned menu, with links to online recipes when they exist.  Hopefully, I will get a chance to blog about the actual dishes later and I will update the links.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I know that I am very thankful to have Dave and his family in my life, that my parents are healthy and are spending their Thanksgiving in FL with my dad’s family.

{Philly Thanksgiving 2009}

Turkey Breast: Two Ways

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/ Balsamic & Bacon

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Sauce with Dates and Orange

Green Bean Casserole

Mom’s Cornbread Stuffing

Spinach Salad w/ Cranberries

Assorted Desserts: Classic Apple Pie, Key Lime Tarts, Chocolate Pecan Tarts

a halloween twist


I have been wanting to have a party. I thought about celebrating Lucy’s birthday (but some might think its weird to throw a party for a cat) or the fact that we all passed the Bar (but what if someone didn’t and I just didn’t know about it) but when I realized that Halloween was rollin’ around with no plans, I jumped on the opportunity to have a party. I have spent the past two days planning out an appetizer menu of sorts, shopping and starting the process of cooking everything but as soon as I saw these TKOs over at The Kitchn, I knew something that had to be on the list. Continue reading