Pear & Blackberry Galette with Honey Vanilla Crème Fraîche

COMMENTS: 5

food drink  Pear & Blackberry Galette with Honey Vanilla Crème Fraîche
food drink  Pear & Blackberry Galette with Honey Vanilla Crème Fraîche
food drink  Pear & Blackberry Galette with Honey Vanilla Crème Fraîche
food drink  Pear & Blackberry Galette with Honey Vanilla Crème Fraîche

Pear & Blackberry Galette with Honey Vanilla Crème Fraîche
by Jessica at SEE Salt

Ok, so what is all this talk about galettes? We wanted to find out, so we started to play! Galettes are simply a rustic (non-perfect) style tart or pastry. Which we love here at SEE Salt because we are unfortunately not skilled bakers. And by un-skilled I mean virtually inept. Hey, we all have our thing right? But this was so easy and fun and since we have been obsessed.

food drink  Pear & Blackberry Galette with Honey Vanilla Crème Fraîche

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Courtesan au Chocolat

COMMENTS: 11

food drink  Courtesan au Chocolat

Yesterday, while watching the Oscars, I realized that just about the only nominee I’d seen is director Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

food drink  Courtesan au Chocolat

food drink  Courtesan au Chocolat  food drink  Courtesan au Chocolat

I’d like to pretend that had I realized it in time, I would have shown up to the annual Oscar watching party with one of the movie’s iconic pastel pastries, beloved by Ralph Fiennes’ character, M. Gustave—a Courtesan au Chocolat.

If you’d like to try it, Wes Anderson filmed a short film featuring the recipe.

food drink  Courtesan au Chocolat

Did you watch the Oscars? Favorite dress or moment?

Flat design of Courtesan au Chocolat by Lorena G; Blu-Ray cover image; Mendls; Pastry with box by Sprinkle Bakes; Video still.

P.S. A way to replicate the Mendl’s box. And the inside of Mendl’s reminds me a bit of this experience in Paris.

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Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios

COMMENTS: 4

food drink  Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios

food drink  Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios

Jessica Helgeson and I started talking last February, after I shared one of her recipes here—and have been trying to work together since. So I’m thrilled finally introduce you! In addition to creating gorgeous recipe videos for her own site, SEE Salt, Jessica will be contributing recipes to Hither & Thither on a regular basis.

Today, she worked with photographer Melissa Jill to contribute a delicious salad to our winter citrus menu.

Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios
by Jessica at SEE Salt
We are so thrilled to share this AMAZING citrus salad with you! This salad doesn’t mean to be vain but it truly has it all. Beauty, simplicity and delicious-ness! We chose kale because of its nutrition packed profile and its gorgeous deep green color. It holds up excellent for parties and the late-comers to the dinner table! We dressed the greens with an outstanding dressing using fresh orange juice concentrate. This is a very fun ingredient to play with! … But, little goes a long way, so be careful—and probably stick to the the recipe for your first time around.

Salad Ingredients
Kale
Citrus: Blood Orange, Cara Cara Orange & Navel Orange
Radish
Farmer’s Cheese
Candied Pistachios: pistachios, butter & brown sugar

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp orange juice concentrate
1 tbsp white balsamic
1/2 tbsp honey
2 pinches fresh orange zest
pinch of red pepper flakes
sea salt and pepper to taste

food drink  Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios

We peeled and sliced our Blood Oranges, Cara Caras, and Navels. The blood oranges tend to be slightly drier and may not slice like this every time depending on the crop. Don’t be bummed. They are gorgeous however “the cookie crumbles” !

food drink  Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios

For our candied pistachios, we melted butter and brown sugar, and tossed them together in a skillet, before throwing them in the oven on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees and baking until crispy. When cooled, roughly chop  and add this candied goodness to the top of your salad alongside the Farmer’s Cheese.

Have you ever tried Farmer’s Cheese? It’s wonderful. Very mild, slightly salty and crumbles well. You should be able to find it at most of the nicer grocery stores.

food drink  Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios
Whisk your dressing ingredients together, drizzle, and toss!

food drink  Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios
We love this salad so much, we hope you do also!
food drink  Citrus Salad with Candied Pistachios

Thank you so much, Jessica!

SEE Salt is created by Jessica with her Mom Terri who has always taught her the confidence to create. Together they love to play in the kitchen and hug n’ kiss on Jessica‘s two little babes; Caroline and Benjamin. 

P.S. Candied Citrus inspiration.

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A Valentine dinner for friends (Winter-Citrus themed)

COMMENTS: 31

food drink  A Valentine dinner for friends (Winter Citrus themed)
food drink  A Valentine dinner for friends (Winter Citrus themed)
food drink  A Valentine dinner for friends (Winter Citrus themed)
I didn’t want Valentine’s day to pass this year without getting a chance to let some of the friends in my life know how special they are—the holiday is really just a good excuse to tell people you love them, romantically or otherwise. So when Camille Styles reached out to ask if I’d like to be featured in her “Entertaining With” series, I took it as the prompting I needed to start planning.

The feature ran on her site yesterday, and I loved seeing how Michelle Drewes captured the preparations for the Winter Citrus-themed dinner. Head over to Camille Styles to read the interview and to find the recipe for the main dish, a one-pot Meyer Lemon Roasted Chicken with Olives that my friend Emarie introduced to me.

Above are a few photos from the shoot that Michelle was kind enough to share.  And of course I couldn’t help but snap some more of my own while she was working, below…

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Food, a symbol of love (a Valentine’s Gift Guide)

COMMENTS: 3

food drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)

food drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)

I read somewhere that food tends to be the symbol of love when words are inadequate.

Perhaps that’s the reason why so many of us scramble for restaurant reservations come Valentine’s day. (Actually, studies reveal that our dopamine system kicks in when we look at someone we love or at a favorite food so our brains really do connect food to love and a sense of well-being.*)

A friend of mine recently shared that she and her husband have a tradition for the holiday: every year, for eight years now, they’ve spent the Valentine’s evening cooking together. They make the same thing every year. It was something that sounded delicious, involving avocado and perhaps crab, but they only make it on that night. It’s something special. It’s romantic, but also very smart! (The pressure is off! The planning is done!) I tried to think of what my one dish would be, should I have the chance to choose a single item. My first thought would be something involving truffles and pasta (see above)… or stinky cheese… but I wouldn’t want those items to be off the table, so to speak, for the rest of the year. Mario Batali’s Mint Love Letters could be appropriate, but it’s tricky, really, when you think about it, to come up with that single dish.

So here’s a take on the tradition I thought might be nice. For every Valentine’s day, a new cookbook. And a new dish to be made together. Here are the cookbooks from 2014 that I’d be most inspired to wrap up (or to find wrapped up). Bonus: many of these are affiliated with a restaurant, for another night.

food drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)

food drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)

Bar Tartine // Flour + Waterfood drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)  // The Fat Radish Kitchen Diariesfood drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)  // A Kitchen in Francefood drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)  // The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone // food drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)
Food52 Genius Recipes // Plenty More // The Slanted Door // Huckleberryfood drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)  // Sunday Suppers
& Not pictured: Date Night In: More than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationshipfood drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)

food drink  Food, a symbol of love (a Valentines Gift Guide)

And don’t forget: breakfast counts, too. This Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday after all. Pictured: The secret to perfect soft-cooked eggs and to the best buttermilk waffles.

Any traditions you keep for this holiday? 

P.S. If you do prefer to go another route, try one of these gift guides. More thoughts on Valentine’s Day.

*As pointed out by John Allen, and discussed on All Things Considered

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Game-Day Prep: Beer for Superbowl Sunday

COMMENTS: 4

food drink  Game Day Prep: Beer for Superbowl Sunday

food drink  Game Day Prep: Beer for Superbowl Sunday

Do you like beer? With Superbowl Sunday around the corner, it seems like an appropriate time to talk a bit about it. After all, Americans will consume something like 50 million cases of beer on Sunday (17 times more than average)—you’re likely to be offered one, whether you like it or not.

I felt like it wasn’t until I found myself in a beer garden in Germany with beers served in glasses (and not in plastic red Solo cups) that I started to see the appeal. Like so many things, I find it’s just a matter of trying lots of new things and figuring out what suits you best.

food drink  Game Day Prep: Beer for Superbowl Sunday

food drink  Game Day Prep: Beer for Superbowl Sunday

When we first moved to Davis, Aron’s parents had us over for lunch with UC Davis’s brewmaster, Charlie Bamforth—or as the professor of malting and brewing sciences is sometimes known, “The Pope of Foam.” (Davis’s is the top brewing program in the country.) The completely charming Brit brought over a sampling of beers (and a dry wit) and took us on a far-reaching tour of barley and rye and hops.

(I’ve mentioned before that I’m a complete sucker for taste tests and such, so this was such a pleasure. Recall our pseudo-scientific port-tasting party? And wine school?)

If you’re interested in hearing a bit about the science of brewing—some applicable inspiration to help you appreciate the stuff (or at least some trivia to share) before game day—there’s a wonderful mini-documentary featuring Dr. Bamforth called “The Art and Science of Beer.” The whole thing is only five minutes, but here’s a shorter clip just about foam:

I’ve collected some of my favorite Bamforth wisdom from these clips, and elsewhere:

Go for the Popular One. In a bar with a lot of choices on tap, there are likely a few that have sat for a long time—long enough for oxygen to sneak in and make the beer stale.

Don’t Overlook the Can. Light is the enemy of beer. Brown glass—or better yet, a can—will keep the light out. Green, clear, or blue glass tends to allow too much in.

But Serve Beer in a Glass. All the better for your nose to “dangle” in it, and your nose is what really determines taste.

Pour with vigor! Release the foam! Beside being a “hedonically fantastic vision of beauty,” beers with the better foam are always thought to taste better. Don’t dump the beer to the point you have a volcanic mess, but avoid the slow pour against the side of the glass that give you something akin to “cold tea.”

Beer goes with everything. In fact it can be a better match to cheese than wine, Bamforth has said: It doesn’t overpower it; it complements it. But the selection of foods that pair well is, “almost unlimited.” … “From white sausage and pretzel with hefeweissen for breakfast to chocolate cake and barley wine for dessert after supper … Think Singha with Thai Red Curry. Think Bass Ale with roast beef. Think Bock with hot wings.”

It’s a matter of taste. 1 in 3 people will actually choose the (technically improperly) skunky beer. All that matters is what you like.

But if you’re still hoping for more direct advice, Epicurious has produced a list of five easily sourced beers that pair well with typical game day fare.

P.S. Expecting, driving, or just abstaining? My picks for the best non-alcoholic beers.

[Photos from top: a beer garden in Germany; screenshot of Charlie Bamforth via YouTube; Davis’s annual Bike & Brew Fest, held each August with local breweries like Davis’s Sudwerk and West Sacramento’s Bike Dog in attendance.]

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Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula

COMMENTS: 11

food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula

food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula

Pizza really is one of life’s perfect foods. It can be anything you want it to be.

I spent quite a while trying to perfect the at-home version of a Naples-style Margherita Pizza—which is still my absolute favorite. But I have to admit that, while it is incredibly easy to do (and here’s the dough recipe to prove it), I rarely have the advance foresight to make my own dough. More likely I pick up a pre-risen dough at Trader Joe’s or our local grocer. If you’re in the same boat and your store has an in-house baker, ask if they prep pizza dough. Because once you have the dough, you’re really just minutes away from great pizza.

food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula

Here’s my go-to of late…

Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula pizza

Start by preheating your oven to 500 degrees. Make sure that whatever baking sheet or stone (we have a pizza steel) is preheated as well.

Sweat 2 or so cups of mushrooms over the stove: Place all of your mushrooms into a sauté pan with a dash of water and a liberal sprinkling of salt. Also add any thyme or seasonings you like. Leave them on the stove until they release most of their liquid.

food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula

food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula

Gather the rest of your ingredients. Once you start the baking process, things happen quickly.

You’ll also need: At least 3-4 eggs (the exact number is up to you), whole milk ricotta, salt, pepper, arugula, and olive oil.

Stretch your dough until it’s as thin throughout as it can be without getting any holes. I hold it by its edges and let gravity help, quickly moving my hands along the perimeter. If it’s springing back too quickly, let it rest a bit.

Place directly onto the baking sheet or pizza stone and pre-cook until they dough bubbles up and the bottom starts to color.

Pull out your baking rack a bit to help you access the top of the pizza. Carefully reach in and tamp down any bubbles with a fork. Add your drained mushrooms.

Next, crack your eggs directly on top. Bake until the whites are opaque and are beginning to set. This isn’t an exact science (for me), but I’d estimate about five minutes should do it. You have to decide how runny (or not) you like your yolk.

Just before they look done, I open the oven once more to add some dollops of ricotta.

food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula

Remove and finish with arugula, salt & pepper, and a liberal drizzling of olive oil. Serve immediately!

food drink  Pizza at Home: Mushroom, Egg, Ricotta & Arugula

What do you like best on your pizza? 

P.S. Perfect soft-cooked eggs. (Every time.)

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Happy Six Years, Hither & Thither!

COMMENTS: 43

travel style new york food drink family design california  Happy Six Years, Hither & Thither! travel style new york food drink family design california  Happy Six Years, Hither & Thither! travel style new york food drink family design california  Happy Six Years, Hither & Thither! travel style new york food drink family design california  Happy Six Years, Hither & Thither!

travel style new york food drink family design california  Happy Six Years, Hither & Thither!

Funny thing. I wished Hither & Thither a happy sixth birthday last year, but I got ahead of myself somehow—a few years back, in fact! Someone finally corrected me. This year marks six years. The first post was a picture-less entry written by Aron, on January 19, 2009.

What I didn’t get wrong is that every year on here is worth celebrating. And it never ceases to surprise me—even as its demands ebb and flow—how much of a role Hither & Thither plays in my life now. I’m so grateful for all of the readers whom it engages—those who have come along since the start (when Aron and I were writing it together in New York) and those who just recently started reading. For me, it’s so rewarding to have such a supportive space in which to grow as a writer and a photographer, and to build a career of my own vision. But of course it’s often the conversations, the friendships made, the back & forth, that’s best of all.

Thank you, as ever, for reading. With a trademark lack of brevity, I’ve compiled a look back at this year’s highlights. I so enjoyed looking back through some of my favorite posts again; I hope you will enjoy this, too:

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Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

COMMENTS: 12

food drink  Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

food drink  Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

It’s surprisingly easy to make your own marshmallows. I had conjured up images of sugary, sticky fingers that leave their mark for days. But the mess was actually minimal.

We had decided to invite some friends over after dinner one Monday night to roast S’mores and—inspired by the homemade raspberry ones we had in Tahoe last year—wanted to include some fresh peppermint ones. While I think Hudson preferred the standard Jet-Puffed, I definitely thought the homemade ones were the best. Most recipes call for corn syrup, but Aron found us a recipe that uses evaporated milk instead. We then added peppermint extract and swirled in just a touch of red dye (which you could skip—or do more heavily).

Here’s how to make your own…

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Building the perfect cheese board

COMMENTS: 22

food drink  Building the perfect cheese board

food drink  Building the perfect cheese board

food drink  Building the perfect cheese board

Holiday party-season is upon us. And as creative and inventive as one might want to be—eggnog-flavored donuts, let’s say—a good cheese board is always a safe bet.

A few tips for making a good one:

1. Get suggestions. Visit a cheesemonger in a cheese shop or a grocery store that stocks a dedicated cheese counter (Whole Foods, for example) and have some fun sampling. Don’t be shy. Just spell out the plan. For example, you might try:  “I’m hosting a party with twenty friends. It’s a casual, but festive get together with beer and wine. Hoping to get three or four cheeses and keep the cost under $25. Any recommendations?”  Most are eager to help—and will offer tastes. If they’re at all snooty, they’re no good at customer service; it’s not you, it’s them.

2. Mix it up. Whether you get help or make selections from the cold bin at Trader Joe’s (fine, too!), aim for a mix of textures and, possibly, milk sources. Goat’s, sheep’s, or cow’s milk cheeses (or blends) are usually described as hard/aged, soft, firm, or blue. (If you aren’t having a large gathering, less is more: two good cheeses, one hard and one soft, is enough. Three ounces per person is a good rule of thumb.)

3. Take it out. Unwrap your cheese and bring it to room temperature before serving. You can arrange everything on one large, pretty board—or, for a bigger group, you might spread it out to prevent a back-up. I was eager to use this large piece of olive wood we brought home from a trip.

4. Pre-cut or slice it. (At least some.) Bon Appétit magazine cautions again cubing the cheese (too “after-school snack”) or slicing too-thin strips (which can “‘sweat’ and become translucent-looking,” a sign that the cheese is losing flavor). Don’t worry if you don’t have the exact right selection of cheese knives. Cheese planes and wires and spoons (for a wonderfully runny Époisses) are lovely to use, but just be sure to at least offer a distinct knife for each cheese if you don’t have those things.

food drink  Building the perfect cheese board

5. Pair it. Consider some options beyond the baguette (water crackers, crostinis, flatbreads, for example). And set the cheese beside things like jam-style fruit spreads, olives, nuts, cornichons, apples, honey or even chocolate for additional flavor. (But, in general, avoid flavored cheese. Truffles and specially prepared rinds—ash, pine, and like—being the major exception.)

food drink  Building the perfect cheese board

Finally, have some fun.  Disregard everything I said and try the peppermint-rind cheddar or the caramel-like goat cheese, or use your family’s recipe for brie baked in crescent-roll dough from the pop-tin.  Your friends will appreciate that, too.

Pictured cheeses: Drunken Goat, Cinco Lanzas, Saint Agur (bleu), Old Amsterdam (aged Gouda), and Marin French. The bottom two are Gjetost from Norway, and a peppermint-rind BellaVitano by the Sartori Company of Wisconsin.

P.S. Baked vegetable chips, my favorite Blood-Orange salad, and recipes for Kumquats (and new-year prosperity).

Update: Our cheese board is Olive Wood from Tuscany. Here are some similar products

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Happy Thanksgiving!

COMMENTS: 5

food drink family  Happy Thanksgiving!
food drink family  Happy Thanksgiving!
food drink family  Happy Thanksgiving!
Hope your holiday is filled with things that make you happy—perhaps some good friends, good food, and some good downtime. We have so much to be thankful for, and I’m grateful for a holiday to celebrate it. And it’s a pleasure sharing so many of those things with such kind readers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

food drink family  Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Next week is a full one! Looking forward to sharing some gift guides in the afternoons.

In the meantime, some favorite Thanksgiving posts:
The best cooking resources for making Thanksgiving dinner
5 Ways to keep your food safe this holiday
Thanksgiving for Two
Reimagining Holiday Leftovers

[Photos from an autumn trip to the Catskills]

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How to Have a Food-Safe Thanksgiving (5 Common Kitchen Mistakes)

COMMENTS: 11

food drink  How to Have a Food Safe Thanksgiving (5 Common Kitchen Mistakes)

When it comes to entertaining family and friends for Thanksgiving, there are plenty of things you might worry about: everything from seating and music to feuding family and unruly kids. But the worst thing I could imagine is discovering the food has made a loved one sick. After all, if Aron or I get sick, the punishment is ours, but if the people you invite to Thanksgiving—grandmothers, nephews, parents—get sick, it’s a whole different level of shame.

My mother-in-law, Dr. Christine Bruhn, who recently retired from the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis, is an expert in food safety (and people’s attitudes toward it, more specifically), so I decided to go to her for five ways to keep your family healthy (and free of food-borne illness) at Thanksgiving. It may not be as sexy as how to make a bourbon-maple pecan pie, but neither is wondering if you have the “flu” over the holiday.

Here are five common mistakes people make at Thanksgiving:

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Latte Art at Home (the cheat-sheet)

COMMENTS: 12

food drink  Latte Art at Home (the cheat sheet)
food drink  Latte Art at Home (the cheat sheet)
A couple of years ago, Aron got us a Nespresso machine and Aeroccino milk frother for Christmas—the Citiz model. We’ve loved it so much that last year,* I bought him one (the smaller Pixie) for his office, too. It’s just so simple and convenient—and it makes a really consistent cup. Aron often just has an espresso or an Americano, but I tend to prefer lattes or cappuccinos—so the frother is actually one of my favorite parts.

I used to have a machine with a hand-held steamer, but I never used it. Pressing the single button on the Nespresso one works for me.

food drink  Latte Art at Home (the cheat sheet)

Still, I’ve always wondered if—had I the skill—the crema on the espresso and the frothed milk made by the Nespresso could be joined to look like those fancy, artful cups the barista pours.

Nespresso asked if I’d like to try their newest machine, the Nespresso Vertuoline (which makes both brewed coffee and espresso with the same button), and since I knew already that I love the product, I thought it would be a fun chance to see if I could have a friend who works at a cafe downtown come and show me how to make a fancy latte when I’m entertaining for the holidays. After all, latte art is said to be a marker of quality—espresso paired with properly textured milk at an appropriate temperature.

Some takeaway notes: If you don’t have an automatic frother, you’ll want to steam your milk to within 140-145 degrees. Agitation is key, but you want micro bubbles in both your espresso crema and your milk to be about the same density, so use the smaller wand on the frother and angle the cup when you pour. And then…

Truth? It takes a lot of practice and true skill even with a machine that makes the right quality ingredients. He showed me a slight cheat.

food drink  Latte Art at Home (the cheat sheet)
food drink  Latte Art at Home (the cheat sheet)

We found that the Aeroccino frother’s large wand was perfect for a really thick head of foam (like I get at the European pastry shop in town) and its smaller wand was best for this pursuit. Pour in a single spot and then lift up at the end of the pour to create a single streak, just breaking the surface of the espresso crema. He used the fine tip of his thermometer to make fine lines, moving back and forth, before pulling it back through.

Okay. That, I can do.

*We’ve bought our machines at this time of year because they have really good holiday promotions. Through Monday (11/24) you can get 25% off of all machines (except the Inissia). They also have a year-end promotion that starts 11/28. Read more here. I think the milk frother makes a great gift.

food drink  Latte Art at Home (the cheat sheet)

Thanks to Nespresso USA for sponsoring this post (and my latte art education).

P.S. Delicious, decadent Sticky Buns to eat with your coffee.

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Reimagining Holiday Leftovers for the Ride Home

COMMENTS: 13

food drink family  Reimagining Holiday Leftovers for the Ride Home
food drink family  Reimagining Holiday Leftovers for the Ride Home

I am such a sucker for studies about kids’ behaviors. The footage of a little girl trying to avoid eating a marshmallow? Empathy tests involving a room of toddlers? Aw, such charming little subjects. One such study that has stuck with me for years was watching preschoolers choose a sticker-festooned rock over a cupcake. (Say what?!)

What researchers set out to prove was that kids prefer foods bearing the likeness of characters, particularly familiar ones. I didn’t have children at the time, but I remember filing it away: “Stickers on carrots! Stickers on broccoli!”

With Thanksgiving approaching, I was thinking about how to get the visual-appeal-voodoo working on all of us for that post-holiday car ride home. After all, snacking in the back seat is the most sure-fire solution to keeping little ones entertained.

food drink family  Reimagining Holiday Leftovers for the Ride Home
food drink family  Reimagining Holiday Leftovers for the Ride Home

First step: sticker-festooning something. I went with lunchbox lids and got Hudson involved.

food drink family  Reimagining Holiday Leftovers for the Ride Home

Next: work with what you have. I think we all love leftovers. (Turkey sandwiches with apples, cranberries, and cheese, anyone? Pumpkin pie for breakfast?) But there comes a time when you want to make some healthier choices—at least until the December holidays hit.

The raw ingredients for most Thanksgiving feasts are thankfully quite healthy, (think celery, apples, baked root vegetables, brussels sprouts, nuts… and turkey!), and you’re likely to have some yams left that didn’t get a marshmallow treatment. Hudson isn’t so sure about brussels sprouts, but the celery is a big hit because it’s so loud! (He thinks we can hear it crunching as loudly as he does in his ears, which amounts to lots of laughs when we make a game of pretending we can’t hear the radio.)

food drink family  Reimagining Holiday Leftovers for the Ride Home

And finally: Make it pretty! Sure the stickers work on the preschooler in the back, but I’m also about ten times more excited about a snack tray that’s colorful and neatly arranged.

food drink family  Reimagining Holiday Leftovers for the Ride Home

What healthy snacks do you like to bring along on road trips? What do you reach for after the Thanksgiving feast?

food drink family  Reimagining Holiday Leftovers for the Ride Home

This content was created in partnership with Ford to help make creativity a part of every drive this holiday season.

P.S. Find the entire series of backseat activities created in partnership with Ford.

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Baked Vegetable Chips

COMMENTS: 20

food drink  Baked Vegetable Chips

food drink  Baked Vegetable Chips

Carrots, parsnips, celery root, sweet potatoes, taro, and beets are starting to edge their way into the cold bin. Roasted with herbs, browned in butter with a little brown sugar… slicing into them smells like fall—and like Thanksgiving, really.

And I’ve discovered that baking them into chips is one of the simplest (and prettiest) ways to snack on these root vegetables while they’re in season. They can taste as decadent as a potato chip, but they feel like a much less sinful choice.

Here’s how to make them… 

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Pumpkin Pie Alternative (& Friday Links)

COMMENTS: 9

food drink  Pumpkin Pie Alternative (& Friday Links)

It finally rained here this week, and I wore a sweater for the first time in ages. I may take it as an excuse to start using the oven a bit more. Maybe some pumpkin-pie-alternative pumpkin delight? (Follow link for recipe.)

We have some fun plans this weekend—a birthday party and perhaps a day trip to the city. We’re also gearing up for Halloween, because we are away on another trip the week before. I still need to pull together a family costume

What are you going to be for halloween? I’ve been pinning some inspiration.

Some items for your weekend reading… 

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