i hope you all out there are savoring the season. we've been having subzero temps here in minnesota, and right now, i don't mind a bit. any excuse to stay inside by the christmas tree is fine with me. i can almost see the -20° windchill outside, sparkly grains of snow blowing around like dust.
i recently mixed up some "grown up" christmas cookies. i had erin's post from last year filed away, and it proved to be just right. i'd recommend choosing your favorite chocolate cookie recipe (this one has great reviews), omit any add-ins, dip in melted chocolate, and garnish. chocolate cookies are usually too rich for me, but i loved the brightened flavor with sea salt (always my favorite), rosemary, and orange zest. perfectly seasonal.
rest assured, plenty of batches of chocolate chip have been baked, and last night we made chocolate peanut butter. some traditions are just too good to mess with.
wishing you blankets and scarves and many cups of tea. until next time.
figs are suddenly everywhere to be found. i quartered some and added to a spinach salad with goat cheese and toasted walnuts. a homemade oil + balsamic dressing was all it needed, and a quick lunch was to be had.
on a side note - i've been playing around with processing lately, as i'm sure you can tell. trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, although the longer i stare, the longer i start to lose it!
i threw together nutella hand pies for a quick dessert this week. use your favorite pie crust recipe, and cut out circles about 4" in diameter. fill with a spoonful of nutella, fold and crimp the edges with a fork. brush with milk, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. so easy. and really-- you can justify them for breakfast, too!
a quick dessert for a late summer evening, when peaches are ripe and meals are enjoyed outdoors. halve peaches, remove pits, and brush lightly with oil. place face-down on a medium/high grill just long enough for marks to appear-- 3-4 minutes or so. fill with a spoonful of whipped mascarpone and local honey, sprinkle with turbinado. add fresh herbs if you like-- i would have preferred basil, but thyme worked well and i'm sure mint would be delicious. i tend to opt for the savory. serve with a crisp white wine that's (hopefully) already open.
the remainder of my florence photos… they really do give a better idea of the city and our time there than anything i could write. we managed to cram a lot into about 48 hours-- including an amazing rabbit gnocci, and some of the best cacio e pepe we'd find. of course, it didn't all revolve around food… (just most of it).
last month, matt and i, along with his family, took an amazing trip to italy. you may have seen if you follow along on instagram. we had 9 adventure-filled days, with lots of walking and sunshine, and of course gelato. our first stop was florence, which quickly topped my list of favorite cities. the bicycles and meandering streets and charming eateries won me over in no time. here, the first batch of photos.
a few photos from a trip to charleston with my mom and sister last month. with no plans to speak of, we spent our days wandering the streets, browsing the shops and market, and enjoying leisurely meals. dinner spots were chosen based on whether we could eat al fresco… it seemed as though we couldn't stay indoors. we shared bites of fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and some of the best summer cocktails. although three days was perfect for our trip, something tells me charleston is a place that will call me back again and again.