Labneh for dipping & gifting

recipe.labneh.img_7120

For much of December I found myself being entertained rather than entertaining. It was a nice, relaxing way to spend two weeks but I find myself - even now that we're well into the New Year - looking for a way to make someone else feel special and cared for.  After some recipe rummaging, I had my answer: Labneh. Soup might comfort, jelly might wibble-wobble, but Labneh delights. This Middle Eastern thickened yogurt appetizer seems oh so fancy but is really a set-it-and-forget-it kind of … [Read more...]

Maltese Bone Cookies with Marzipan Marrow

Maltese November Bone Cookies Recipe

This month we're celebrating the most anatomically correct cookie there ever was - one whose astounding details should make it a favorite with medical students everywhere, and one who would be well placed at every white coat graduation buffet. The origins of this beautiful cookie are far humbler than you might think - November Bones hail from the small island nation of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea. Why November Bones? Forget dress up and trick-or-treating; most people in the island … [Read more...]

Celebrating the Ethiopian New Year with Doro Wat

Happy Ethiopian New Year Greetings

There's been a movement to make Enkutatash - a.k.a. Ethiopian New Year - as popular as St. Patrick's Day or Cinco de Mayo.  But instead of wearing green or dancing to a mariachi band you're invited for a much simpler, down to earth sort of celebration. Wear white. Pick yellow daisies. And enjoy traditional Ethiopian food. Waaaay back when "Enkutatash" literally stands for "gift of jewels." As the story goes, several thousand years ago the Queen of Sheba delivered more than 4.5 … [Read more...]

Around the world in corn ~ 20 recipes to celebrate the harvest

corn around the world

I can get behind a holiday in which corn on the cob is the star. The Green Corn Ceremony (a.k.a. The Busk) is just that - a Native American celebration marking the first corn harvest of the season... which usually occurs in August or September. Not only is The Busk a time to feast on corn in a variety of forms, it is a time to right old wrongs, clean the home, and purify the mind. Mind. Belly. Spirit. In honor of the harvest, I've gathered the dozens of corn recipes we tried when we cooked … [Read more...]

Entertaining the Italian way with homemade Balsamic Figs + $50 GIVEAWAY

pickled-figs

A daydream worth dreaming Cobblestone alleys flanked by weathered walls. Hilltop churches. Sunlight warm on fig trees and grapevines.  This is the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Deep in the cellars there's Parmesan, balsamic, and prosciutto aging. They slumber in the dim recesses, the nuttiness and salt growing bolder, rounder. Waiting for the perfect moment to shine. Waiting to become the perfect bite. And by perfect I don't mean fancy. I mean perfectly un-fussed. The Art … [Read more...]

Celebrate Earth Day with a DIY “Local Cheese Platter” & Wine

cheese-platter

Can you hear that sound? It's the Earth Day Bell, ringing, ringing, ringing. Ringing for peace. Ringing for love. Ringing for this world of ours. Imagine a world without the scent of gasoline, where people don't use 5 paper towels after washing their hands, where we put as many resources back into our earth as we take out of it. And then imagine no one bickering, arguing, yelling, shoving - not when one a guy lets his girl down, not when she lets him down; not when we're scared, … [Read more...]

Plan a “Kuku” picnic with tips & recipes from the Persian holiday Nowruz

Newroz celebration in Istanbul. Photo by Bertil Videt.

The first picnic of the year is a thing of beauty: tender daffodils and hyacinths poking through last season's dusty, yellowed grass. Herbs getting bushy and fragrant. The air is cool, but the sun is warm. If you're looking for an excuse to get outside and celebrate, you're in luck: the Persian New Year, known as Nowruz, is the time to do it. But before you scope out a sunny patch of grass, there are a few things you should know. Why Nowruz? Sure, you could just plunk down a blanket and … [Read more...]

Make Saint Patrick’s Day even better: pour a mug of Guinness…cake!

guinness-cake-in-mug-square

Your friends are about to come over for your annual Saint Patty's Day bash. They're expecting the corned beef and cabbage, the glittery green shamrocks on walls and hats alike. They're even expecting frosty mugs of beer. But they might not be expecting a cake they can "drink." We've been down this road before: ultra moist Guinness Chocolate Cake with Bailey's Buttercream. But this year I gave the recipe a festive spin by serving it in a frosty beer mug. Not to worry -- this isn't about … [Read more...]