What are the holidays without wheat, dairy, eggs, and refined sugar? Pretty dreary, I imagined — until I came up with this moist, richly flavored gingerbread cake that I will be happily baking for months, if not years, to come.
Do you have a friend or loved one on active duty overseas? If you'd like to send them a holiday food package this season, go right ahead! But here are a few rules to keep in mind when shipping edible goodies to troops overseas:
Way back in college, green bean casserole was my signature dish, canned cream of mushroom and all. (And to think, I actually considered myself quite the gourmet.) Even though my culinary repertoire has moved beyond recipes that include processed soup, that classic American casserole—with extra cheddar cheese and a heap of "fried" onions—is still my favorite part of Thanksgiving.
On one of my very first forays into journalism, I was tasked with interviewing some local Atlanta lifestyle celebrities about comfort foods and one interview in particular has stuck with me. This week it once again popped into my mind giving me the ideal drink idea for our 10- Minute Happy Hour.
I was a vegetarian for years and years and truthfully, even today, turkey isn't at all my favorite part of Thanksgiving. And ham doesn't do much for me at Christmas. Instead, I tend to geek out over new vegetable side dishes and flavor-filled herby stuffing. But I remember the days where it did feel like vegetarian options were slim at the holiday table. They don't have to be.
Everyone has a favorite chili recipe. Mine will always be my mother's, complete with ground beef and a packet of taco seasoning. It may not be gourmet, but it's pure comfort food to me. It's also never quite tasted the same when I've tried to make it—there's something about eating it at my parents' home, wrapped up in a blanket while sitting around the fire that just makes it that much better.
When the temperature takes a permanent nosedive and fall is starting to look a lot more like winter, shepherd's pie is one of the first things that I crave. One enormous square of this casserole, with its blanket of mashed potatoes and that savory meat-and-vegetable filling, sends a sigh of contentment through my whole body. One casserole makes more than enough for my household of two, so I can look forward to comfort meals all week long.
Do you love collards? If not, get out there and acquaint yourself with this amazing green! Collards are very nutritious (high in vitamins K, A, and C, as well as calcium, iron and fiber) and have been linked to lowered cholesterol. They are a hearty green that can grow well into early winter in colder climates and year round in more temperate ones. But more than anything, collards are delicious!
This is the time of year when Dutch ovens come into their own. Even if you use your big, heavy Dutch oven year-round, as I do, it still seems to come down off its shelf a little more often in the fall. Today I want to show you my favorite Dutch oven — and a soup to cook in it. This soup is one of those magical recipes with just a few ingredients, and all the usual suspects — carrot, onion, beans, chicken broth — that nevertheless turns out to have such a deep, wonderful flavor you don't mind that it makes enough to feed you for a week. And a Dutch oven is really the best vessel for it, because this soup is cooked just a little differently.
Now that Halloween is behind us (how the heck did that happen!?), I immediately have to brace myself for the rushing tidal wave that brings in the holiday season. My to-do list immediately grows longer as I begin planning family gatherings, testing new Thanksgiving recipes, and pondering edible gift ideas. It's a chaotic time for sure, but I look forward to every single minute of it.