Tagged: holidays

Sweet & Spicy Reaper Smoked Turkey Breast gets its heat from dried Ed's Carolina Reaper chile peppers. It's a fantastic fiery treat for your holiday feasts. 0

Sweet & Spicy Reaper Smoked Turkey Breast

I got in trouble with my brother-in-law a couple months ago. The first time I made something delicious with my garden-grown Carolina Reaper chile peppers, I didn’t invite him. So, I needed to redeem myself. A smoked turkey breast at Thanksgiving might do the trick, I thought. I was correct. In my defense, I hesitated to share my first creation (chicken wings) due to the outrageous heat level of these chiles. Ed’s Carolina Reaper packs the hottest punch of all chiles in the world. We’ve grown ghost chiles, and these things can be lethal. I just didn’t know how the wings would turn out,...

Spiced Cider Brined & Roasted Turkey 0

Spiced Cider Brined & Roasted Turkey

I owe my Thanksgiving hosting good fortune to my Joy of Cooking cookbook. The first time I planned to host the holiday, I turned to the turkey section in my trusty cooking reference. The book gives a pretty hard sell on brined & roasted turkey. When you need advice for hosting your first Thanksgiving or roasting your first turkey, confident and straightforward advice is reassuring. And so I’d like to return the favor that I received from the authors of one of my favorite cookbooks. When in doubt, do a brined & roasted turkey. The first time I brined a turkey, I spent a good...

Arugula with Cranberry Vinaigrette is a green salad with a great mix of peppery and tart flavors, and makes a wonderful healthy side for winter meals. Also a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce from holiday gatherings. 0

Arugula with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Salads have become an expression of creativity on my dinner table. I love working with all kinds of greens, but arugula was one that wasn’t getting much of the spotlight in my kitchen. A little bit about Arugula Arugula is known widely for its peppery taste. Although baby arugula is less peppery than the mature counterpart, it’s still pretty peppery. It really needs a good combination of complementary flavors to go with it. This peppery-tasting arugula reminds me of my recipe for Goat Cheese with Cracked Peppercorn Cranberry Relish that I published for Thanksgiving in 2014. It was the combo of...

5 Fabulous Gifts for a Diva 0

5 Fabulous Gifts for a Diva

Sometimes it’s difficult to buy gifts for a diva. Divas are a little sassy and pretty bold. Maybe that’s not your style, and it’s hard to fake it. But if you’re here, chances are you’re actually a diva. How do I know this? Because divas are pretty dish-y, and we tend to hang in the same places. You probably don’t even need my advice finding great gifts for a diva—but I’m fairly sassy, so I’m gonna give it to you anyway. You’re welcome. 5 Fabulous Gifts for a Diva Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangster iPhone Case $40.95 from:...

Basic Bread Stuffing for Two 0

Basic Bread Stuffing for Two

The world needs a solid recipe for basic bread stuffing for two. I’ll tell you why. Cooking a grand traditional Thanksgiving feast for only a few people can be challenging, because most traditional recipes are written for times when you’re cooking for more than two people. I used to live over 4 hours away from my family, and I worked a job that required me to choose time off for only one holiday between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas always won that battle, and I was left a few times celebrating Thanksgiving with a friend or two who was in the...

How to get gift ideas without asking 0

How To Get Gift Ideas Without Asking

Gift-giving. It’s something that can bring so much joy to both the giver and the receiver. I really enjoy surprising people with gifts that they love. It’s such a rush of wonderful emotion. For some people, finding the perfect gift can also be stressful. Many of us end up asking for gift ideas, because we want to be sure that what we gift will be usable or desirable. Unfortunately, directly asking someone for gift ideas tends to eliminate the element of surprise. If you want to come up with great gift ideas without having to ask, here are a few...

Gift Ideas for the man in your life 1

Gift Ideas for the Man in Your Life

I admit, I’m sort of obsessed with gift-giving. I like the gifts I give to be at least one of three things: 1) incredibly meaningful, 2) brilliantly functional, or 3) uncommonly original. I also prefer that the gifts I give be surprising and create big emotion when possible. I know from personal experience that this can be tough to accomplish sometimes, especially for guys. That’s why I want to do my part to help think of great gift ideas for the man in your life. I got to enjoy Christmas four times and birthdays five times with Rob as my...

What I believe about Santa Claus 0

What I believe about Santa Claus

When I was a kid, I was fairly familiar with both Jesus and Santa Claus at Christmas time. Faith was a pretty standard part of our family life. We celebrated Christmas from a Christian perspective, and I can remember how much I loved all of the songs about the savior who was born on Christmas Day. I still do. But I also fully expected Santa Claus to show up every Christmas Eve bearing gifts at grandma’s house like he always did. Santa Claus and I had a bit of a rough start. I have no memory of this story, but...

Make your house smell like Christmas 0

Make Your House Smell Like Christmas

I generally like to wait for Thanksgiving to pass before getting into the Christmas spirit. Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday that it deserves its own glory before being crowded out or forgotten by the bustle of the Christmas season. But once Thanksgiving passes, I go into overdrive on soaking in as much of Christmas as I can. It always seems like the month of December goes by so quickly, and I love the way the Christmas season makes me feel. We’ll start decorating our house for Christmas today, and I kicked it off this morning by doing something really simple to make my...

Honey Pear Sangria a Good Wine for Thanksgiving 0

Honey Pear Sangria | A Good Wine for Thanksgiving

When I hosted my very first Thanksgiving, I was nervous. I had been cooking for years, but I had never cooked anything with turkey and really had no clue what I was doing. And I was even less confident about choosing a good wine for Thanksgiving dinner. I did a little research, and my first time hosting Thanksgiving ended up fairly well considering my inexperience. My Google research paid off; I cooked a perfectly brined turkey breast, and it turns out that a semi-sweet white is a good wine for Thanksgiving. That very first Thanksgiving, I ended up with a bottle...