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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. 

Roasted Delicata Squash with Miso-Maple Butter

Roasted Delicata Squash with Miso-Maple Butter

Delicata Squash with Miso-Maple Butter

Delicata squash (or your favorite winter variety) roasted until deeply caramelized and glazed with a delicious miso-maple butter. It’s sweet, salty and so satisfying.

I love butternut squash to bits but even I, an admitted squash fiend, sometimes just can’t deal with the work of prepping it. Those suckers are big and can be a pain in the butternut to peel, chop and seed.

That’s why, if you haven’t yet, you should expand your vegetal horizons to include the lovely and thin-skinned Delicata.

Delicata Squash

Savory Beef Stew with Mustard and Brandy

Savory Beef Stew with Mustard and Brandy

Savory Beef Stew with Mustard and BrandyI have to say that in general, beef stew is one of those dishes I had always been ‘meh’ about. I never disliked it, but I can’t say I ever craved it either.

I think I probably associate it with the gross canned stuff that everybody ate in college. You know, that brownish sludge with chunks of ‘beef’ and flecks of ‘carrot’. No thanks!

But a couple of weeks ago we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for dinner and they made a version of beef stew that was so good, I knew I wanted to make one at home. It reminded me that stew is basically just braised beef, off the bone. And if your braising liquid is really flavorful, chances are your beef will be too. That’s just science.

Savory Beef Stew with Mustard and Brandy

Shredded Brussels Sprout and Red Cabbage Salad with Walnuts and Pecorino

Shredded Brussels Sprout and Red Cabbage Salad with Walnuts and Pecorino

Shredded Brussels Sprout and Red Cabbage Salad with Walnuts and Pecorino

A beautiful, healthy salad that combines thinly shredded brussels sprouts and red cabbage with toasted walnuts and Pecorino cheese. Simple but so delicious. 

In the midst of all the joyous holiday feasting, it’s easy to forget the pleasures of a simple, really good salad. Don’t get me wrong, one glance at our Instagram feed tells you that we’re chock full of holiday spirit (in the form of toffee, cookies and homemade eggnog) but sometimes it all becomes just a bit too much, you know?

I was going to make this salad for Thanksgiving but feared there would be a riot if there was no Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pecans on the buffet, so I played it safe.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pecans

Our other winter warmer: Vanilla Old Fashioned

Our other winter warmer: Vanilla Old Fashioned

Vanilla Old Fashioned

Like our Maple Syrup version, this modern update on the classic Old Fashioned combines the warmth of vanilla bean with fresh orange peel and citrus bitters. The result is a little sweet, very smooth and dangerously drinkable.


I think my deep and long standing love of all things vanilla began in an unexpected place. A pharmacy, to be exact. Not just any pharmacy, though. I’m talking about the original Kiehl’s on 13th street in New York City, founded in 1851 and a fixture of my East Village life in the 1990’s.

The original Kiehl’s was a magical place where anyone, even a ragged little teenager with a green mohawk and a bad attitude, could wander in and leave with a bag stuffed with samples of amazing creams and lotions. The eclectic store had beautiful Indian motorcycles and an apothecary table straight out of Hogwarts, filled with vials of amazing scents. Dozens of different flowers, herbs like coriander and mint, varieties of citrus. And my favorite winter scent, vanilla.

Vanilla Bean Sugar

Vanilla Bean Sugar

Hasselback Potatoes with Easy Garlic Confit

Hasselback Potatoes with Easy Garlic Confit

Hasselback Potatoes with Easy Garlic Confit

Hasselback Potatoes with Easy Garlic Confit

This post is sponsored by US Potato Board. Thanks for supporting Nerds with Knives’ sponsors!

Get ready for a new holiday tradition: crispy-skinned Hasselback potatoes studded with soft, meltingly tender cloves of confit garlic (like roasted garlic, but even more delicious).

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One of the things I’ve come to realize is that I’m a bit of a curmudgeon about, well, a lot of things really but especially about food trends. That cronut thing that happened? Easily a 6.5 on the richter scale of Emily eye rolls. And while I like kale as much as the next faux hippie, I’d very much appreciate you keeping it out of my cupcake.

Hasselback Potatoes with Easy Garlic Confit

That’s why no one was more surprised than me when I recently became obsessed with the most Pinterest-y of all potato dishes, the hasselback. Honestly, this is the potato of my dreams. Crispy on top but also pillowy and luscious in the middle. And while it may look like a major project, it’s actually extremely easy to do (especially with our tips listed below) and takes no longer than a regular baked potato.

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