Almond-Cranberry Cake

I hear it’s supposed to snow tomorrow. You probably want to bake this, so that it fills your house with warm smells and reminds you that the Holiday season truly is here.

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Gingerbread and Eggnog Whoopie Pies

New York is a hard place to live. It’s full of people, but can be lonely. It’s artsy, but often too ┬ápretentious. It’s cutting edge, but too expensive for most of us normal folk. I commute on the subway every day and those are the times that I think to myself “I can’t do this anymore.” And then I have a day like I did yesterday, that reminds me of all the reasons I love it here and all the reasons I put up with the crowds and the attitudes and the too-cool-for-school mentality.

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Peppermint Meringues

It was 65 degrees yesterday, as it was the day before that, and the day before that. Forgive my confusion, but is it, or is it not December in New York? I mean, there are less than 3 weeks left ’til Christmas! I have fuzzy yellow gloves to bust out! My wool coat is feeling neglected! Winter, where are you!? To make matters worse, I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to soak in the Christmas spirit that I love so much. I managed to decorate my apartment a few weeks ago, but that’s as far as I got. So, when I got back from a business trip to Miami this past weekend (oh poor me, I was lovely, but NOT Christmas!!), I was determined to get the season started.

Like itty bitty snowmen, running up and down my spine…

Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots

Here’s the deal: I love brussels sprouts. Love, love, lovelovelovelurveeeee. I have always been such a devoted follower of them that one year the mere threat of a brussels-sprout-less Thanksgiving table sent 12 year-old me into full-on panic-tantrum mode. I’ll eat them pretty much however they’re prepared and generally, the more simply, the better. I first tried this recipe several years ago for Thankgiving (or maybe Christmas?) and haven’t looked back since.

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Cherry, Chestnut and Pancetta Stuffing

This year I spent Thanksgiving at a friend’s house. I’d been traveling all month, it seemed, and just couldn’t stomach yet another trip to the airport. So I stayed in NYC, which, if you aren’t from here, is an awesome place to be on any Holiday weekend. The city literally empties as people leave town for more restful locales. For this year’s feast, I was on stuffing duty.

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Upside-down Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake

Name the foods that remind you of the holidays. Pumpkin, peppermint, gingerbread, squash, split peas, apples and cranberries. Those are mine. Cranberries are undeniably festive with their pungent tartness and their gorgeous jewel tones that, sadly, only appear for a short time each year. But perhaps their fleeting presence is what makes them so special. Would we really love them like we do if they imposed themselves upon us twelve months a year? We would take them for granted. We would forget what a perfect foil they are for everything from warm spices to braised meats. We would resent them for their flashy coats masking their pucker-inducing, almost inedible sourness. Instead, every year when cranberry season comes around we get to look forward to everything they bring to a holiday table. I think that’s for the best.

Ooh! What’s in this drink?