Sugar Plum Martini

Dec 22, 2016

Sugar Plum Martini

It’s the Christmas season—what can I say?   Part of me wanted to create a whole suite of Nutcracker themed martinis!  But in the end, I went with just one, a  Sugar Plum Martini, sans fairy even.   All of this took me back to a very distant memory–of real, actual, sugar plums.  One long-ago Christmas, my father brought home an expensive … Continue reading

Sorbet & Champagne Cocktail

Dec 30, 2015

Sorbet and Champagne Cocktail

Don’t you love foods that can do double duty?  Buy it for one purpose… then get inspired!  Take sorbet for example.  You can feed it to a sick child (or a teen who just had their wisdom teeth out—ahem) or you can add it to Champagne or Prosecco for a festive New Year’s (or other special occasion) drink.  Or Mom … Continue reading

Pavlova Wreath decorated with sugared cranberries

Dec 20, 2015

Pavlova Wreath Meringue Dessert

I am seriously obsessed with meringue.  There is something special about a dessert that is sweet and crisp and light as air.  Who would have thought that beating egg whites and sugar could be so magical?  Pair it with fruit and/or whipped cream and it’s over the top.  When I saw a picture of this Pavlova Wreath at She Wears … Continue reading

Dec 16, 2015

Sugared Cranberries

Cranberries are a big part of the holiday season.  Besides being seriously critical to cranberry sauce, they are delicious (fresh or dried) in a variety of baked goods. And if that isn’t enough, they make a lovely decoration–from candle holder to well-styled food.  I am fussier about the presentation of my dishes at Christmas than any other time of the … Continue reading

Dec 13, 2015

Christmas Drinking Custard

I’ve been watching the photographs for years.  Thick liquid custard, dressed up and poured into a mug.  Can you look and not be tempted?  This special drink is known by many names: boiled custard, drinking custard, crème anglaise–and bears a strong resemblance to egg nog.  But in lieu of eggnog’s nutmeg and cinnamon, you get a heady dose of fragrant … Continue reading

Spiced Orange Curd on Gingerbread Scones

Dec 7, 2015

Holiday Spiced Orange Curd

Every December I get organic oranges from one of my CSAs.  For a Wisconsin CSA, it’s a surprising bounty–and this year I am going to preserve some of the freshness by making Spiced Orange Curd.  The holiday orange deliveries started years ago with the CSA’s beekeeper.  After pollinating summer crops in the north, the bees moved south to a Florida … Continue reading

Gingerbread scones, served

Nov 29, 2015

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Scones

I love mornings–especially during the holidays.  And waking up to a sparkling Christmas tree calls for a special breakfast.  Cocoa and coffee for warmth. Sizzling bacon or sausage.  A tray of sweets for flannel-clad kids (or flannel clad Moms…). Today it holds gingerbread scones.   I used to be terribly intimidated by scones.  And for no good reason.  They have a … Continue reading

Nov 23, 2015

Spiced Cider Syrup (Instant Hot Apple Cider)

Now that we’ve had a few cold days, I can feel winter in the air. I love the change of seasons (especially when it follows a long autumn) with winter’s promise of snowdrifts and sugarplums. Winter is especially nice if you serve it up with a warm drink like hot spiced cider. Made from freshly pressed apple juice, warmed with … Continue reading

Tips for Green Holiday Parties: Water Pitcher

Nov 6, 2015

10 Tips for Green Holiday Parties

Right now, as much as I love the holidays, it’s hard to think that far ahead. Autumn temperatures have been summer-warm–beyond any fall lover’s fantasy.  On these blissful, balmy afternoons, I am picking raspberries, cutting roses.  Yes, way up north in Wisconsin.  If things were more seasonal… frost tipping our still-green grasses… or dreary nights mixing rain with snow, I … Continue reading

Valentines Prosecco Cocktail

Feb 8, 2015

Ruby Prosecco Cocktail

When I first read about this Prosecco Cocktail (on the Comfort of Cooking Blog), I thought of Christmas. Flavored with cranberry and orange, the drink perfectly celebrates the flavors of the season.  But it was so pretty, with its rosy-red color and sparkling bubbles, I decided to make it for Valentine’s Day. I’d even serve it at a winter brunch–as … Continue reading