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Creamy Mushroom Soup with Black Rice

Delectable, creamy winter soup created from a blend of mushrooms, herbs, and wild rice — this is our choice for an easy and healthy vegetarian or even vegan supper that highlights the variety and richness of the fungi kingdom.  

Ultimate English Toffee

It’s Christmas, so it’s time for toffee! English toffee, that is, made the proper, scientific way, and coated with either milk chocolate and almonds, or white chocolate and pistachios. Or both! A double-whammy of sweet holiday delight.

Real, Homemade Egg Nog

Rich, creamy, and unapologetically boozy, this is an egg nog whose virtues are sung by poets. Probably. Once they’ve had a few. 

Creamy Mushroom Soup with Black Rice

Delectable, creamy winter soup created from a blend of mushrooms, herbs, and wild rice — this is our choice for an easy and healthy vegetarian or even vegan supper that highlights the variety and richness of the fungi kingdom.  

Ultimate English Toffee

It’s Christmas, so it’s time for toffee! English toffee, that is, made the proper, scientific way, and coated with either milk chocolate and almonds, or white chocolate and pistachios. Or both! A double-whammy of sweet holiday delight.

Real, Homemade Egg Nog

Rich, creamy, and unapologetically boozy, this is an egg nog whose virtues are sung by poets. Probably. Once they’ve had a few. 

Creamy Mushroom Soup with Black Rice

Creamy Mushroom Soup with Black Rice

Mushroom Soup with Black Rice

Delectable, creamy winter soup created from a blend of mushrooms, herbs, and wild rice — this is our choice for an easy and healthy vegetarian or even vegan supper that highlights the variety and richness of the fungi kingdom.  

Happy new year, friends! I feel that we need to start this post with an apology for the irregular and infrequent nature of posts over the last few months of 2018. We have been trying to post a new recipe every week, but our time has been taken up by a secret project that we’re very excited to tell you about in the spring. In the meantime, we’re going to make a resolution to try to get back up to our regular posting schedule. And like all new year resolutions, it may crash and burn, but we are keeping optimistic heads on our shoulders.

For our first entry into the year’s culinary adventures, we’re showcasing mushrooms. The cold months can prove a challenge to someone looking for fresh, local, and healthy produce, and most varieties of mushroom are available all year round. They’re gorgeous, they’re really good for you, and we’d like to show you how we make them into a warm, creamy, incredibly silky soup that is as tasty as it is beautiful. For a soup this rich, there’s remarkably little dairy involved (and even that much is optional). And the only gluten is in the breadcrumb topping, so that’s easily avoidable as well, making this an easy vegan and gluten free meal.

Ultimate English Toffee

Ultimate English Toffee

It’s Christmas, so it’s time for toffee! English toffee, that is, made the proper, scientific way, and coated with either milk chocolate and almonds, or white chocolate and pistachios. Or both! A double-whammy of sweet holiday delight.

We couldn’t let Christmas come and go without reposting this: one of our earliest posts, but one of our very favorite recipes and something we make every single year for family parties. It just may be the toffee of your (my) dreams and while I may be indulging in a tiny bit of hyperbole, once you try it, you’ll know that I might be dramatic, but I am not a liar. In the past, I proclaimed this Salted Caramel Sauce the best thing ever and I stand by that. It’s just that there’s room on the pedestal for that sauce’s cousin from across the pond, real English toffee.  

FACT: This toffee is so good, it caused this face from Loki, this one from Arya, and best of all, this one from Matt. Okay, nerd business done.

While other toffee types are available, this toffee is hard and brittle, and thin enough that you won’t need a tiny hammer to break it up.

I’ve made a lot of toffee recipes over the years and this one is by far the tastiest and the easiest. It not only has a really nice balance of sweet and salty but the addition of a very small amount of corn syrup pretty much eliminates the danger of the sugar crystallizing, which happened to me once and was a real bummer. This is caused when the sugar crystals start a chain reaction of crystallization (the process of sugar particles clinging together) which makes the mixture grainy. Once it happens there’s not much you can do about it but there are a few things that will help prevent it from starting.

Real, Homemade Egg Nog

Real, Homemade Egg Nog

Real, Homemade Egg Nog

Rich, creamy, and unapologetically boozy, this is an egg nog whose virtues are sung by poets. Probably. Once they’ve had a few. 

LTRs (long-term readers) of this site may remember this recipe from a few years back, but we’ve updated the recipe and pictures so it’s like a whole new article! (It’s mostly the same old article.) Casual droppers-by (CDBs) won’t know any better, so for you, here’s our Christmas present to you: egg nog made proper.

If you’ve never had real, homemade egg nog, I can understand why you might be wrinkling your nose and shaking your head right now. Most mass-produced versions are pretty horrible. In fact, the only store-bought version that doesn’t make me gag is from Ronnybrook Farm, which while delicious, also costs a friggin’ fortune. You’d need to take out a bank loan if you wanted enough for a party.

Surprisingly, real egg nog is actually very easy to make and it’s a shame that so few people do it. Fortunately for me, my mom makes a killer egg nog so I know how good it can be. This version is unapologetically rich and boozy in the most wonderful way. In fact, Matt and I had a little tree-trimming party the other night and just about everyone who claimed not to like egg nog ended up slurping up several cups full. Needless to say, a lot of fun was had.

Spiced Rosemary Old-Fashioned

Spiced Rosemary Old-Fashioned

Spiced Rosemary old fashioned

As the weather turns chilly, we want a cocktail that will warm our cockles, and this Spiced Rosemary Old Fashioned is the perfect drink to take us straight through the holiday season. We took Heritage Distilling’s Elk Rider Rye and mixed it with a syrup flavored with maple, cinnamon, star anise, black pepper and rosemary. It makes you feel like you’re sitting next to a roaring Yuletide fire, even if it’s still October.

A Very Spirited Advent Calendar

Don’t want the same old miserly chocolate slabs in your advent calendar this year? Don’t worry, our pals at Heritage Distilling have you covered. If there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s drink – so we couldn’t be happier to try out their 2018 Spirits Advent Calendar, with enough mini bottles of bourbon (or other spirits) to make it through to Christmas Eve.

We used the spicy, peppery Elk Rider Rye in our cocktail, but it would be equally good with Elk Rider Bourbon. You also get to try our other favorite, the Brown Sugar Bourbon, which we love on the rocks (or in our version of a Whisky Sour). Look for that recipe, and other cocktail suggestions at the bottom of this post. 

Spiced Rosemary old fashioned

The spiced syrup: cinnamon, star anise, black pepper, rosemary and maple.

Our simple syrup is packed with the flavors of rosemary, cinnamon, star anise, pepper and maple. This sweet, herbal infusion pairs perfectly with a smooth bourbon or rye, and just a dash of citrus in the form of orange bitters. 

Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad

Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad

Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad

A simple, healthy Thai shrimp salad with an authentic sour-savory-spicy-sweet combination of fresh lime juice, fish sauce and chili paste, showered with fresh herbs and crunchy roasted peanuts.

Summer is almost done but we are officially in the middle of a heat wave. You know those shots in movies of a long, empty road, heat lines shimmering up from the pavement? Maybe a tumbleweed blows by, lazy and misshapen? That’s our living room right now. In this case the “tumbleweed” is Arya, our rescue dog who, for a pup who lived her first year on the streets of West Virginia, is hilariously particular about the range of temperatures she finds acceptable. 70º – 75ºF is fine, but a few degrees in either direction and get ready for dramatic sighs and woeful glances.

I hear you, puppy. I’m hot too.

Arya, hot and cranky

Arya, hot and cranky

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