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Strawberry-Basil Martini

The Strawberry-Basil Martini is a beautiful and sophisticated cocktail that pairs two of our favorite summer flavors. While the combination might sound unusual, the sweet fruit and herbal notes are absolutely delicious together.

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Chicken Massaman Curry with Wheat Beer

This chicken massaman curry brings bold spices, flavors and colors to the table without bringing the heat. It warms without the burn!

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Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders with Garlic-Herb Yogurt Dip

Crispy, crunchy oven-fried chicken tenders might look like kid food, but these are packed with enough flavor to keep the grown ups just as happy. We serve them with a herb, garlic and lemon yogurt dip.

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The Holiday Flavors of Rioja: Rosemary & Garlic Crusted Beef

Roast Final Shot**Sponsored Post**

I know, I know. I can’t believe it either but the holiday season is officially in full swing. Before you know it your house will be filled with hungry friends and family, and if they’re anything like mine they’ll be banging their knives and forks on your dining table demanding sustenance. What? That never happens to you? Regardless, you don’t want to forget the drinks!

To pair with your favorite holiday fare, consider Rioja wines. Hailing from North-Central Spain, Rioja refers to the wine as well as the region it comes from. Made mainly from the Tempranillo grape, Rioja wines are one of only two D.O.C regions in Spain and all Rioja wines are always regulated so you can be sure you are buying a quality bottle every time. Why Rioja wine when there is Burgundy’s Pinot Noir or Piedmont’s Barbaresco? It’s simple. Rioja wines are versatile and affordable. You don’t have to break the bank on wine for your holiday dinner and no need to stress out about ten different bottles of wine to pair with each course. Choose from juicy rosado wines, crisp blancos, or elegant reds ranging from lighter to robust with spice.

Roast - Rioja Wines
Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Acorn Squash

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Acorn Squash

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Acorn SquashAcorn squash easy-baked with a brown sugar and mustard glaze. Simple, tasty and nutritious. This recipe just screams autumn! 

I fully admit that around this time of year I go a little squash crazy (examples: mashed with mascarpone, curried in soup, curried in another soup, in pasta with bacon, in farro salad). I tend to focus my obsession on the butternut variety (it’s just asking for it. I mean look at those curves!) but I have plenty of madness left for my other favorites like delicata, kabocha and the wonderful acorn.

Acorn squash

Acorn squash. The green is most common but new varieties, like this variegated golden are becoming popular.

What I love about acorn squash in particular is that it’s very mildly flavored and extremely easy to cook. You could basically whack it in half, rub the flesh with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and simply roast it and it would be delicious.

Thanksgiving Recipes Round-Up!

Thanksgiving Recipes Round-Up!

Thanksgiving recipes: Apple Tarts with Rosemary-Lime Sugar

Apple Tarts with Rosemary-Lime Sugar

Cooking for a big holiday is hard enough without having to search for and keep track of a million recipes. It’s hard to organize all that stuff! Believe me, I struggle with that too (which is why I have a “Thanksgiving Timing Spreadsheet” that has events on it like, ‘dog probably needs to pee’ and ‘remind Matt that he loves you even though you get extremely stressed out before dinner parties’).

So whether you’re hosting a a feast for 30 or just making a single dish to bring along, you need recipes for Thanksgiving that are simple, look fantastic and are most of all, delicious. That’s why we’ve listed our all time favorites below. Here you’ll find ideas for tasty appetizers, fantastic sides and what we think is the best turkey gravy in the world (seriously, you have to try it).

Thanksgiving recipes: Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)

And because you’re likely to have a house full of hungry people over the weekend, we’ve included a few next-day breakfast ideas and recipes that make the most of your Thanksgiving recipe leftovers.

Sweet and Spicy Candied Peanuts

Sweet and Spicy Candied Peanuts

Sweet and Spicy Candied Peanuts

Ah, nuts! These Sweet and Spicy Candied Peanuts strike the perfect balance of sweet and heat. They’re great for snacking or for adding a special touch to soups or salads. 

I initially made these candied peanuts because I wanted something extra fancy to top our Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup. While I love croutons, they didn’t seem quite right for this for some reason. So it needed to be crunchy and salty of course, but also with a little sweetness. And it needed to be savory too, something that wouldn’t get lost in the rich flavor of the soup.

I know, I know. So demanding. Nothing could deliver all those things at once, right? Wrong!

Spicy curry candied nuts do and they’re a cinch to make.

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

The sweet and spicy nuts are a perfect topping for the rich, smooth soup.

So … from these humble beginnings comes the greatest snack food in the history of pretty much everything. I’m not even kidding. Candied peanuts are unbelievably good.

The crunchy coating has that perfect balance of salty and sweet, and an almost toffee-like flavor from the mix of white and brown sugars that caramelize in the oven. The savory heat comes from a mix of spices, including Madras curry powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and cinnamon. These are not sear-your-tongue spicy, more like a warm heat but you should definitely put your own spin on it.

Spices for Candied Nuts

Clockwise from top: granulated garlic, cumin, coarse salt, cinnamon, cayenne and Madras curry powder.

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup kicked up with Thai curry flavor and served with sweet and spicy candied peanuts. Want a soup that’ll warm you up? This is it.

I was vegetarian for most of my twenties and though I eat (ethically-raised, organic) meat now, I wouldn’t have that much trouble giving it up. On the other hand, I was vegan for about 45 minutes and almost lost my mind craving cheese.

I admit that I’m slightly weird with dairy. The thought of drinking a glass of milk makes me shudder with horror, but cheesy pastas and creamy soups are my comfort foods of choice. It would take a lot for me to say goodbye to them forever.

This soup is absolutely comfort food in the best way but, surprise! It also happens to be vegan. Yes, vegan. The trick (if it could even be called that) is to combine silky puréed butternut squash with creamy, rich coconut milk. The texture becomes as smooth as bisque, without a drop of dairy.

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

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