Christmas in January (Fancy Green Beans Recipe)

holiday green beans

Last week we brought Christmas back for round 2. Our good friends spent the Christmas to New Years season making us jealous vacationing in Florida, so we agreed to celebrate together a few weeks late rather than trying to squeeze it all in at the last minute. Although I was more than happy to see the backside of the holiday season this year, I must admit that it was nice to get together for a little belated holiday cheer. We shared copious amounts of delicious beer that our friends had brought back from the many breweries they had visited down south, snacked on olives and cheese, and exchanged gifts. It was a lovely evening spent with wonderful friends, and it served as a nice reminder that we really needn’t wait for the holidays to get together with friends and family, or even to give a thoughtful gift.

Thinking along these same lines, I’ve realized that gift-giving and merry-making aren’t the only things that only seem to make an appearance during the holidays. There are also several dishes that I only seem to cook during the holidays. Now, some of these only come out once a year or so for good reason. For instance, if I didn’t limit my chocolate bourbon pecan pie to Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s probably all I would eat for the rest of my life. However, there are also some dishes that, while certainly more than deserving of their place on the holiday table, would be more than welcome as part of a regular old dinner. One such dish is my Fancy Green Beans. (more…)

Winter Warmer (Roasted Red Pepper Soup Recipe)

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I may have mentioned this before, but I’m not exactly what you would call a winter person. From about as soon as I was old enough to no longer reap the benefits of snow days, I have dreaded the imminent arrival of the cold, the wind, and the snow. I dreaded it so much in fact, that upon finishing grad school in Boston I packed up and moved myself across the country, away from my family and friends, to sunny Sacramento, CA. Alas, I now find myself once again in the Great White North(east) but this time a little older, a little wiser, and with a slightly more positive outlook on the winter season. I still don’t care for winter sports, but I’ve adapted my preferred activities to the blustery weather (snow running, anyone?). I’m still annoyed to be stuck inside while the snow piles up outside my door, but I now appreciate the opportunity to slow life down just a bit after a non-stop summer and fall. And I definitely still lament the lack of fresh, juicy produce, but I love not worrying about heating up the house when I turn on the oven. But my favorite part about winter? The part that makes it all worthwhile?

Soup. (more…)

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