a cocktail for your weekend

i said to matt yesterday, i either need a vacation or a blizzard. this in-between stuff is no good.


in the meantime, i guess a good drink will have to do.

this was my attempt to recreate a cocktail that i had on valentine's day at wit & wisdom. it has turned out to be a fast favorite, and from what i can tell, will span the seasons. it is fresh and bright, and the thyme garnish makes it just serious enough for the cooler months.




2 oz gin
3/4 oz honey syrup*
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
fresh thyme for garnish

pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice.

strain into glass / garnish with fresh thyme.

*do not be deterred by the honey syrup! simply combine equal parts honey and water into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. stir until well dissolved. remove from heat, let cool, and store in the fridge.

you guys. please give this a try and let me know what you think. i bet it'd brighten up your winter weekend!


baked eggs


happy january!

that can sometimes be a bit of an oxymoron for me, as i always have the post-christmas letdown and dread the long, dark months of winter. but i tend towards optimism and do enjoy a fresh start. we are working on a deep clean of the house, which means the fridge and pantry aren't safe either. the sweets and excessive (and expired) "stuff" are slowly being dumped, and more of the good stuff is coming in. real food and simple meals with few ingredients trump everything else.


ina garten's baked eggs can be served for virtually any meal, and adapted to your preferences. i omitted the heavy cream, added some roasted tomatoes, and topped with arugula.

because i'm curious-- what are you serving for simple meals these days?




this is the magical time of year when a small window opens and satsumas appear in the market. bold and bright in all their glory, maybe even stealing the show from the clementines for a few weeks. i picked some up last week and have been enjoying them as a simple snack by themselves, but they have room to shine in recipes as well. try a satsuma cocktail, use it as a glaze for sweet potatoes or salmon, or finish things off with an upside down cake.

giving thanks & pumpkin donuts

happy almost thanksgiving! i hope that you are not long to your destination, and that "home for the holiday" is in your future. it's fun to think of the many homes all over america, filled with the aromas of baking pies and sweet potato casseroles. doors opening and loved ones arriving, fires going and welcomes to be had.

on the chance that your thoughts have been focused on dinner tomorrow and nothing else, i have a breakfast idea to share with you. (and, i have to squeeze in the last of my pumpkiny recipes before things around here turn to christmas!)


i present, baked pumpkin donuts:
(adapted from here)

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

preheat oven to 375 degrees.

in a large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until well blended. add eggs, pumpkin, and milk.

in a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda.

add dry ingredients to wet, and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixed. spoon the mixture into a ziploc bag and snip the corner. pipe into greased donut pan (or make 3" circles onto a well-greased baking sheet).

bake for 12-15 minutes, or just until golden (and a cake tester comes out clean).

cool on a rack, and dust with powdered sugar. pair with a mug of coffee if you like. and then tie on your apron and get cooking… it's thanksgiving after all!


here's to a blessed day for you and your loved ones.
happy thanksgiving.

fig crostini


it's hard to believe we're just a week away from thanksgiving. the air has turned cold, it feels appropriate. my thoughts have turned a bit to christmas, but i am holding on to all things pumpkin and fallish.



the goat cheese and fig combination is one of my favorites, and feels just so seasonal when enjoyed in the fall. here, i sliced a baguette and made toasts, spread with creamy goat cheese, topped with fig slices, and drizzled with honey.

enjoy as you wish-- a fall picnic, pre-thanksgiving, during a football game. or really, for no reason at all.

roasted squash soup


in an effort to start the year on the right foot, we are making a conscious effort to incorporate more whole foods-- namely veggies-- and less of the "stuff". grains, sugars, and dairy are taking a backseat to winter fruits and vegetables around here. we are drinking more herbal tea and water, throwing handfuls of spinach and kale into our smoothies on a regular basis, and making simple, vegetable-based soups for dinner.



i had never cooked with delicata squash before, but after finding it in the store, was able to make a simple, butternut-like soup with it. i halved and seeded the squash, placed on a foil-lined tray, sprinkled with sea salt and ground black pepper, dotted each with a dab of coconut oil. roasted for 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven.



roasted squash soup

coconut oil
1/2 medium onion (yellow or red work fine), finely diced
4 cups chicken broth (organic, low-sodium is preferred)
fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic
almond milk

while the squash is roasting/cooling, melt coconut oil (1T or so) in a stock pot over medium-low heat. add the onion, rosemary, and garlic, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. add the stock and increase heat to medium-high.

scoop out the squash and add it to the soup. cook together for about 15 minutes, until the stock is slightly reduced and flavors come together. remove from heat. blend the soup mixture (in batches using a blender or hand blender) until smooth. add almond milk to taste-- 1/2 cup or so.  season with additional salt and pepper.

if you like, you can top the soup with a dab of cream (decadent), blue cheese or gorgonzola crumbles, or a drizzle of pumpkinseed oil and toasted pepitas.




hello, hello! and happy new year. here we are a couple weeks in already, i can hardly believe it. we had a lovely holiday filled with family and food and so many blessings... it really is my favorite time of the year. we spent new years' out in minnesota-- not the cold we experienced a couple of years ago, but still chilly enough for ice fishing snowy walks and all day fires.

and in a matter of days, the tree was down and the decorations are boxed up once again. the unwrapped gifts are put away and moved into rotation. the sense of new&exciting remains though, and the new year is full of possibility.


 a few notes on what january looks like so far:

roasted veggies for soup
ice cold water out of the faucet
clean eating
thank-yous on fresh stationery
loud creaks from the radiator
new socks and mocs
wishing for snow (but seeing rain instead)
football (playoffs!)
purging drawers and closets
fresh playlists*
hot fires
new books
filling calendars

one of our favorite gifts from christmas is the newest addition to our kitchen-- the vitamix! we've been giving it a workout with smoothies and soups-- and are looking forward to trying some juices and flours next.


here's a recipe for a simple, savory mango pineapple smoothie. the ingredients are casually thrown in-- so it's not specific in the amounts-- and the fruits may be fresh or frozen. (i recommend adding some ice if you are using fresh fruits).

1 cup almond milk
2 T. milled flax
1/2 tsp. cardamom
dash cinnamon

blend all ingredients in high-speed blender, adding more almond milk or water if necessary. season with additional cardamom and cinnamon to taste.

*what are your favorite artists/albums of late? my post-christmas self doesn't know what to do without the holiday tunes! ready for something new.

thanksgiving pie

so. i was going to leave you with a great recipe for butternut squash soup today. but it seems that the photos are stuck on my camera (which is dead, and the battery charger is missing)… and seeing that i have bread to bake and nails to paint and fried onions to sprinkle, this iphone shot of a pie will have to do.

apple cider cream pie

how is your prep going? at this point, i couldn't be more thankful to have no travel plans this thanksgiving. it has been raining nonstop on the east coast, and the roadways and airports are dreadful.

with time to spare, i made it to the spa this morning(!), and will meet my husband for lunch today to kick off our holiday weekend. no complaints here.

i made this pie to share with family and friends earlier in the week. ever since i saw the recipe in food & wine, i was dying to try it. and instead of bothering to type it all out, i will send you straight to the source. ladies & gentlemen (do i have any gentlemen?)… i present you with apple cider cream pie. please make and take and share this holiday. it strays just a bit from the traditional pies, but it is sure to be the shining star at your feast.

have the happiest thanksgiving.

spaghetti squash


remember how i mentioned that when it's just me for dinner, i tend to go without meat? well last night i did just that… but with spaghetti squash this time.

i cut the small squash in half, sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper, placed the halves face down on a baking sheet, and roasted at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. it needs a few minutes to cool when coming out of the oven, so now is a good time to start your toppings.

finely mince a small shallot, and saute in olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes or until soft. add pine nuts and cook for another couple of minutes, until lightly toasted. turn heat to low and add a few sliced baby heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil.

when the squash has cooled, scoop out and discard the seeds, and then gently scrape out the pulp with a fork. when the tomato/shallot mixture is warmed through, add to the squash, and top with crumbled feta, and a dash more sea salt/ground pepper.

a perfectly delicious and light fall meal // this pairs well with a hunk of crusty bread and mixed greens, but could also work well as a side dish to a heartier main.

ps. happy 11/11/11!

cedar plank salmon

hope you had a happy weekend! on friday, we made one of our favorites. grilling salmon on a cedar plank gives it a wonderful, rich flavoring.. not to mention the heavenly smells while it cooks.

cedar plank salmon

i marinate the fish in a simple mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and a bit of ground mustard. be sure to soak your plank for at least an hour, but preferably two, so it does not catch fire on the grill.

set plank in the center of the grill, over medium-high heat. cover and cook 20-30 minutes, until it flakes apart and internal temperature reads 135 degrees. serve over fresh greens, or with wild rice and asparagus.