Mini Spicy Crust Bourbon Pecan Pies & homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream 3 mini bourbon pecan pies 40-001

I wanted to sneak in one more Thanksgiving recipe before all cooks hit the kitchen for the few days of preparation!  In our house the cooking goes on for at least two days and the turkey brining begins before that.  I always marvel at the disproportion of preparation time and meal consumption time.  I think last year I calculated most had cleaned their plate in about 20 minutes, leaving them catatonic in a tryptophan coma, waistbands undone, strewn on couches throughout the house. Though everyone loves dessert it seems to get a bit short changed.  We try to take a break in between the meal and dessert, often taking a stroll through our neighborhood or a light hike up into the foothills directly above our housing development.  A bit of fresh air does wonders. Everyone has a … {continue reading}

Green Chile Scalloped Potatoes: a Sassy Thanksgiving Side Dish!

Green Chile Scalloped Potatoes |

Some of my most memorable Thanksgivings stand out due to their lack of traditional nature.  Like most, I’m fairly wed to the Thanksgiving ‘Big 5’ of turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce.  I’m usually not ready to swap them out for something really different knowing this meal only happens once a year therefore leaving the departures notable. One such memorable Thanksgiving for me was when I was in college in California and my maternal uncle hosted my grandparents and I to a full Italian spin on the Thanksgiving faire.  As a child I really did not understand the cache of Thanksgiving; it presented itself as a gorging holiday with fairly uninteresting food to me coupled with weird things like ‘orange juice potatoes’ (sweet potatoes) and marshmallows.  I never … {continue reading}

Yankee Beware Soup & World Diabetes Day yankee beware soup 966

Today is World Diabetes Day and at the prompting of fellow writer/blogger Carolyn Ketchum, author of the blog All Day I Dream About Food, I am participating in an effort to raise awareness about Diabetes through sharing information and a recipe.  Carolyn herself is diabetic and I’ve marveled at her nimble ease with integrating alternative sweeteners into jaw dropping desserts, navigating gluten as well in the process. Though Diabetes has touched my life through friend’s parents and relatives, its potential is really what looms larger for me.  What many don’t realize is the relationship between Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes.  Though I am gluten intolerant I have a Celiac child causing me to keep my finger on the pulse of the interplay between Celiac and Diabetes. Celiac … {continue reading}

Pine Cone Firestarter Place Card Holders

Pine Cone Firestarter Place Card Holder |

Thanksgiving feels very rustic to me and I love to adorn the dining table with organic elements.   I’ve always loved repurposing things, DIY’ing and this has long been one of my favorite projects.  This organic place card holder will designate your guest’s spot and then play a second role as a firestarter for your fireplace, wood burning stove or outdoor fire pit. This project can be as detailed as you want to make it from taking a family outing to gather pine cones (easy in my area) to purchasing most of the supplies and printing out place card names.  The pine cones are lightly dipped in paraffin and set in a base of paraffin which allows them to stand easily and be placed on top of logs in lieu of kindling and paper to effortlessly start a fire.  The firestarters can be lit directly … {continue reading}

The Best Butternut Squash Curry butternut squash curry 907

A sure sign of a great dish for me is when I’m editing photos of it for a blog post I can’t wait to eat it again.  That is the case for this Butternut Squash Curry. Like mouth watering ‘excuse me for a second’ while I have a serving now kind of ‘can’t wait’. I have always loved curry.  When I was growing up my mom would periodically make it I’m sure with something like chicken, nothing as exotic as squash.  Probably my favorite part was the layering on of the condiments.  Surrounding the steamy bowl of curry would be small bowls of raisins, peanuts, coconut, fried canned chow mien noodles, chutneys and I’m sure something else I’ve forgotten.  I love the different flavors in every bite; tangy, vinegary, sweet, salty all against a backdrop of savory, spicy curry.  After living in Asia … {continue reading}

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins & Whipped Honey-Maple Cinnamon Butter pumpkin cornbread muffins in antique holder 929-001

With Thanksgiving on the horizon I’m on the hunt for new recipes to compliment our favorite annual staples.   It’s always tenuous to consider dropping a family favorite to try something new but being one who thrives on diversity, I have nothing against mountains of leftovers if it means more options on Thanksgiving. For a number of years now we have purchased our turkey through our CSA farm, Cure Organic Farm, loving the both the quality of the birds and the circumstances of its raising.  This year we’ve learned many turkey farms are not raising turkeys due to the increased price of feed as an impact of the drought.  One of those ‘connect the dots’ moments one does not think about being a consequence of sweltering summer temps and no rain. This year we’ll be having a heritage … {continue reading}