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    December 19, 2014
    Get into the Holiday Spirits

    The holiday season is the perfect time to break out the cocktail shaker. Here are a few holiday-inspired cocktail recipes to try out this season. Above, the Mint Merrymaker.

    Continuing with the mint theme, a Peppermint White Russian.

    When I was growing up, my parents had a friend who made his own Irish Cream. It was amazing. Here’s the how-to if you’re feeling DIY-inclined.

    On the fruitier side of holiday flavors, an Orange-Cranberry Gin and Tonic.

     

    For a twist on the New Year’s Eve toast, try this Sparkling Pear Sangria.

    Cheers to the holidays!

     


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    December 18, 2014
    Get Outta Here

    ‘Tis the season to indulge, and in that spirit I am adding this Fontina, Apricot & Dark Chocolate Grilled Cheese to my “must make” list. This sounds just crazy enough to be delicious.


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    December 16, 2014
    On the Naughty List

    A fun and delicious prank for all the bad kids on your list. Get the Popcorn Candy Coal recipe at 1 Fine Cookie.


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    November 21, 2014
    Best Thanksgiving Time-Savers

    We know we shouldn’t over-commit on our Thanksgiving menus, but we do it anyways. I find the best strategy for getting things done is to make anything I can ahead of time. Here are a few of my favorite make-ahead recipes and one cheat to help you through the holiday.

    1) Make and Freeze Pie Crusts The Weekend Before - If you just can’t do without homemade pie crust (I know I can’t), you can simply make them ahead of time and pop them in the freezer for the convenience of the store-bought stuff. Get Martha Stewart’s make-ahead pie crust recipe here.

    2) Make Mac & Cheese The Night Before and Keep it in the Fridge – I think mac & cheese is actually better when it sits over night before the final baking. It gives the flavors time to meld. I usually go with this recipe from Martha Stewart and add the crumb topping just before baking.

    3) Make Soups Ahead a Few Days Ahead – I find that soups, like mac & cheese, taste better after a night or two in the fridge.

    4) Replace Turkey with an Alternative Main – I have a deep dark secret: I’ve never cooked a turkey. A few years ago, my family discovered that none of us really likes turkey that much. Instead, we’ve begun replacing the traditional bird with other meats. I like to go for something that I can’t do at home – like a brisket from a local BBQ joint, or a smoked ham. But other time-saving options would be a roast chicken or duck – both of which take much less time to cook. Or, if you can’t do without turkey, go buy one. In my home town, most of the BBQ restaurants sell smoked turkeys – which, for turkey, are pretty amazing.


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    November 17, 2014
    Mushroom for More

    Super cute Amanita Second Helping Storage Jar, $28 at Mod Cloth.


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    November 12, 2014
    Double the Pick-Me-Up

    Sometimes a bad morning calls for more pick-me-up than plain old caffeine has to offer. These inspirational mugs would definitely fit the bill. Crown Leaf Mugs, $12 each at Anthropologie.


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    November 6, 2014
    Form and Function

    These Crest brass bottle openers from Unison are so pretty you’ll probably want to hang them on the wall. $60 each. Via the Curbly stocking stuffer guide (yes, we’re apparently skipping directly to Christmas this year).


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    November 3, 2014
    Yes Please: Croissant Bread

    I have wanted to try making my own croissants for years. If you’ve ever read a croissant recipe, you know why I’ve been putting it off. Complicated doesn’t begin to cover it. But seeing this breakfast loaf made from croissant dough scraps may change my mind. Get the recipe at Not Without Salt.


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    October 21, 2014
    Multifaceted

    Drink a Diamond glass set (includes 2), $34 at Urban Outfitters.

     


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    October 14, 2014
    Make it a Double

    This beechwood coffee scoop pulls double duty as a bag clip. Which comes in handy since I recently learned I’m not supposed to be keeping my coffee beans in the freezer. $12 each.


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