Seussian Gingerbread Houses

Seussian Gingerbread Houses

Being inspired by live-action version of The Grinch and the incredible setting of Whoville, I decided that the best thing to do would be to “embrace the imperfect”, intentionally making everything wonky and crooked. The process takes a fraction of the time. Hardly any measuring is required and there is no need for trimming to be sure everything fits perfectly. Read on to find out how to make these fun confections.

Read More

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

As promised, here is my favorite French Onion Soup recipe. Years ago, when we lived in South Africa, I found it in a magazine. The author of this deliciousness was Della Smith. Also, since I have not made it in a while, I decided to use the picture from the original publication. Unfortunately, I don’t know what that was. So that is as much disclosure as I can give.

Read More

Bootleg Instant Pot Beef Burgundy

Bootleg Instant Pot Beef Burgundy

I just made a bootleg version of Beef Burgundy in my Instant Pot and it tasted so good I just had to share it. The original recipe came from Pinterest. But I adjusted it a bunch to suit what I felt like doing and my ingredients on hand. Full disclosure; mine was very soupy. That could have been remedied by using more flour. But it didn’t really matter to me since the mashed potatoes absorbed the liquid. It was the perfect meal for a cold, rainy night. Bon Appétit!

Read More

The Best Punch Ever, Hands Down!

The Best Punch Ever, Hands Down!

Many years ago, my mom, Mama Gabe, did a reception for my cousin’s senior piano recital. (The man has mad skills.) Anyway, she made this punch. TO DIE FOR! I have never been a punch person because it all has soda and I am one of a tiny minority of people who cannot stand carbonation. But this recipe had so much fruit in it that I could eat the “mash” (non-soda part) by itself, like Italian ice. This is no three-ingredient wonder, not that there’s anything wrong with those kinds. But oh my goodness, is it worth the effort. It is now a staple of our Yuletide season and I will never make another.

Read More

Sides for a "Big Feed"

Sides for a "Big Feed"

When entertaining large groups, we have a favorite go-to comfort food: smoked pulled pork. To be honest, THAT is a secret recipe but I will tell you that it involves, brine, rub, and about 14 hours in the smoker.  However, I am happy to share two of our favorite side dishes which help make this meal a real feast.

Read More

Creating Community at the Table

Creating Community at the Table

When I was in high school, I had the privilege of being an exchange student in Munich for a month. My host family, the Pfeifer’s, introduced me to what became my favorite meal there, raclette. It was so simple that it was genius. It consisted of boiled potatoes, sliced cheeses, seasoned salt and the essential raclette maker. So, what is it, exactly? A raclette machine is a two-tiered electric appliance. The top has a griddle that can be used for cooking or just keeping things warm. The lower tier has a heating element and individual non-stick trays. You simply put slices of cheese on your tray, melt them in the machine, pour that over your potatoes, then sprinkle it all with seasoned salt. A certain someone in my life thinks you could just stand next to a microwave and get the same result. If your desired outcome is melted cheese, of course he is right. But I don’t get the same sense of community by waiting in line at the Radar Range. (Yeah, that dates me.)

Read More