From the category archives:

Raleigh-Elizabeth

Cooking Class

May 10, 2013

12 secrets to planning a menu

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Image by Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

Falling in love with cooking is easy. Learning to cook is not.

Yesterday, Lindsey shared incredibly helpful cooking shortcuts, but what if you don’t know how to cook at all? It was years before I knew how to make pasta correctly. Even longer before I learned not to be afraid of risotto. And it’s only in the last few years that I learned what combination cooking is — and how it’s the absolute best way to make mouth-watering short-ribs, which I also learned I love.

And that’s all thanks to Rouxbe, our online cooking school.

As you know, I read cookbooks at bedtime and consider food memoirs the best fairytales out there. But no matter how delicious the story or salivating the food porn, none of these things taught me to cook. That’s a hands-on skill… one you’ll only perfect by watching someone else do it. For many people, that’s watching mom or dad. For others, it’s fond memories of a flour-dusted grandmother who executed baking prowess in the kitchen the likes of which the rest of us can only dream about.

For me, it’s paying a video-based cooking program out of Vancouver to school me in knife skills, frying, mastering homemade baguettes, and — life-changingly — how to poach an egg. Without the little poaching pods. (I’ll admit: Bill is the official egg poacher in our house. I make the hollandaise. Left to my own devices, I actually make ruffled eggs, which are the poor man’s saran-wrapped version of poaching pod eggs. It turns out that we all have skills, and poaching eggs is not one of mine. Eating them, yes.)

Keep reading — lots of good stuff ahead.

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Brussels Sprouts

May 2, 2013

DM_Brussels Sprouts

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Gorgeous brussels sprouts on the stalk from PKNewby

Do you have a favorite vegetable? An antioxidant-rich green you’re near-evangelical about? A vitamin-packed food you cannot feed your family enough? One maybe they’re half sick of, but they know better than to mention it because of the inevitable lecture on the awesomeness of this vegetable and your belief that clearly you’ve failed them as wife, mother, friend, and companion simply because they don’t understand the glory that is this versatile, vaulted vegetable?

I have one of those: the brussels sprout.

If you have eaten even one meal in our house, chances are I’ve served it to you. If we’ve just met and are still exchanging pleasantries and clarifying how to pronounce each other’s names, chances are I’ve already mentioned it. If we’re old friends (and by now, we are, right?), it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ve already told you at least eighty times that the brussels sprout is the single most awesome vegetable in existence.

With little exaggeration.

More brussels sprout passion ahead!

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Hungry Monkey

April 25, 2013

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Image via Mila’s Daydreams.

Because I am a writer and I work from home, I’m afforded some great luxuries. Chief among these is that I get to define my hours to a certain extent, and lately, because I’m 32 weeks pregnant with our first child and have no reason not to, I’ve taken to eating breakfast in a warm bath with Morning Edition in the background, a cup of tea, and a good book at my side.

If you want to really hate me, I’ll elaborate that I’ve been eating fresh berries with croissants made by my mother, and I have two every morning — chocolate and almond. I figure this is going to be the last time in my life where I have some peace of mind in the morning, and I’m going to make the most of it.

(Since we’re friends, I’ll admit: my work schedule does make un-luxurious demands in other, cruel ways. I just don’t like to think about them when things are still peachy-keen in the morning.)

But for the last few days, this sleepy little ritual has been interrupted by the high-pitched sound of snorting. A very unladylike, ungracious snort, and one or two times there has even been some tea coming out of my nose while I erupt in hyena-like laughter. I can’t help it. I’m reading Hungry Monkey.

Given to me by my stepmother (my sole inspiration and role-model when it comes to all things food and whose great wedding present of a curated cookbook collection you read about here) this past weekend at my baby shower, Hungry Monkey is sub-titled “A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater.” I accepted the present greedily, like a recovering addict would take to their formerly beloved drug, because all through this pregnancy, I’ve eaten like a stereotypical four year old. I like things that are white and yellow. I want nothing to do with green. Chicken fingers and plain white cupcakes with plain white frosting (or Funfetti, if we’re feeling really adventurous) have constituted their own food groups.

As someone who has lived her whole adult life on spicy curry soups, brussels sprouts tossed with mustard and capers, and Ethiopian injera, this has been moderately terrifying on a good day and depression-making on the worst. Is this kid so picky I can’t even tolerate any decent food pregnant? Are we going to be resigned to dinners of plain cheese pizza and pasta-with-butter-no-sauce for the next 18 years and eight weeks?

Is it okay to start crying now?

More Hungry Monkey, straight ahead!

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Steel Cut Oats

April 18, 2013

The most delicious oatmeal recipes

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Oatmeal from Serious Eats.

I’m a newcomer to the whole breakfast thing. Even in childhood, I resisted it like the plague. Your nutella toast held no charm for me. That painfully bad for you but still delicious-looking pop tart? Eww. Some leftover pizza? What about a brownie with some ice cream? Anything? Nothing. I wanted nothing to do with breakfast.

All of this ended the day I got married and my husband included in our foodies’ pre-nup* that I would, in fact, eat a morning meal. I would not call “drinking orange juice and coffee” a meal. I would not pretend to have eaten a meal. I would not take a bite of his meal and call it done. I would actually eat a meal.

Our agreement worked mostly successfully until we moved someplace where there weren’t a dozen bagel shops between my home and office and he, head breakfast maker, deployed to Afghanistan. And while there’s not much of a silver lining there, there is one when it comes to breakfast: I finally discovered what you’ve known all along:

Breakfast is delicious.

Which brings me to my latest obsession…

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Seasonal Cooking

April 11, 2013

Do you eat seasonally?

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Images by Christian Hammar for Lux Stockholm.

Let me tell you how serious I am about seasonal cooking: at Christmas, I make gingermen. To welcome Spring, I recently made a chilled cucumber and dill soup. (With yogurt and goat cheese, it was perfectly delicious.) All summer long, our zoku maker lives in the freezer. During the fall, the kitchen invariably smells like squash. And that, augmented by whatever my local farmer’s market sells, is my idea of seasonal fare.

We can all understand why I don’t own a fancy restaurant in Sweden.

Luckily, there’s Lux Stockholm. Reputedly one of Stockholm’s most luxurious food stops, Lux is also committed to serving fresh food made only with local ingredients at their seasonal peak. And when it comes to seasons, they count sixteen. Not four.

Sixteen seasons? Keep reading…

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Grocery Stores

April 4, 2013

How do you go grocery shopping?

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Image by Ave Bonar.

Once upon a time, in a land not far away, a very normal cook named Raleigh-Elizabeth went grocery shopping. It wasn’t for anything special, or any day special, or any feast special. No no, she just needed regular groceries for a regular week. A regular week in a regular family.

Nothing too hard here, she thought intrepidly. No big bad wolves or evil witches, just a girl and a grocery list. Four grocery stores later (and two trips to the same store), our food-loving heroine looked at her list and sighed. How could there still be outstanding items? Do you think Harris Teeter has that semolina flour I need? she texted her husband, desperate for him to offer to pick it up on his way home from work. Why are short ribs so hard to find today? And why doesn’t anyone carry heavy cream anymore?

At some point, sitting in traffic on the way to the grocery store, I realized that real life stories of grocery shopping sound better in fairytale form. In real life, I manage to delete my grocery list on my phone with my thumb, lose the scribbled preliminary list in the bottom of my pocket book, buy eight things I don’t need, and come home without eight things I do.

In fairytales, a magical foodie godmother can wave a grocery store wand and ta-da!, a one-stop shopping world would appear before me.

That’s the fairytale. Keep reading for real life.

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Freezer Food

March 21, 2013

Do you stock your freezer with meals ready to eat?

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. 1957 GE advertisement found on Etsy.

I have a friend who makes Martha look like an amateur. She’s one of those intimidatingly organized domestic goddesses who makes an art of holiday decorating, keeps an immaculate home, looks like a million dollars even with a newborn in the house, and makes gorgeous clothes for her equally gorgeous children. She even smocks.

So it should come as no surprise that she also has feeding her family down to a routine so polished that even Henry Ford take note. Her secret? Freezer meals. One Sunday every month, she devotes herself to a day of cooking. Pre-cooking, really. Followed by ziploc bagging, labeling, and freezing. All to get the freezer stocked with breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for the family so they can eat well without blinking for the foreseeable future.

She’s Once A Month Mom‘s most prodigious protege.

While I might spend most Sundays reveling in after-church sweatpants with the New York Times instead, every so often, I go on a freezer food binge. I love having a couple of great recipes in my back pocket for delicious freezer meals that I can take to friends who’ve just had babies or neighbors in need. I take comfort in knowing that if I really don’t want to cook, there’s bound to be something in the freezer we can pop into the oven and know counts as a meal. And mostly, I like knowing that if I come home totally exhausted, my family will have more than popcorn and baby carrots for dinner. (Why no, that’s never happened to me before.)

My favorite freezer recipes ahead!

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Nigellissima

March 14, 2013

Real, everyday cooking for real, everyday cooks

By Raleigh-Elizabeth.

When you write about food, it’s a bit scary to admit you don’t actually watch the Food Network. (Well I do, sometimes. But mostly around Turkey-time when I find that the only thing that keeps me happily on my feet and stuffing birds is the sight of other people on their feet, stuffing birds as well.)

It’s especially scary to admit you don’t really know half of the Food Network celebs from a hole in the wall. Paula Deen, sure. (I’m Southern.) Alton Brown? Giada? Bobby Flay? Is it really so bad to confess I only know half of these personalities from the branded kitchen gear I see at Target and Macy’s?

One might even go so far as to say I had become a little bit of a food celeb snob. I relished all this not-knowing. I’m a real cook, I’d say. I cook in a real kitchen! I don’t need to watch the Kardashians of the food world do it in immaculate kitchens with million-dollar frying pans and perfect ingredients! That’s not real cooking!

And then there comes that moment in all of our lives where we realize we’re complete idiots.

My idiot moment described in full detail ahead…

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The Perfect Dishcloth

March 7, 2013

How to choose dishcloths that last!

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Image for Libeco Home at Didriks

Little is written of the humble dishcloth, that trusty kitchen servant. Constantly at the ready to help you with everything from too-hot pans to random sticky spots on the counter, the dishcloth is your partner-in-arms. It’s steadfast, always there. Ready to wipe, dry, soak, and shine. Its service is constant. Its devotion total. And its sacrifice… well. What’s with dishcloths constant falling apart? What actually is that smell? And what on earth to do about it all?

Recently, a friend texted me a picture of one of her dishcloths. Both dishcloth and owner were in great despair. The dishcloth, worn with what looked like an anciently long lifespan, was crumpled, hem unstitched, fraying and frazzled. Its general aroma could almost be smelled through the phone. And it was maybe two months old.

But dishcloths don’t have to die such regular, untimely, and smelly deaths. Not at all! They can be things of everyday use and beauty that, like a really cute apron, make you happy every time you see them in your kitchen.

Find out how to keep your dishtowels in tip top shape — click here!

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Starting An Edible Garden

February 28, 2013

Get your garden ready for summer! Tips on how to start your seeds while it's still winter.

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Images by Steve Albert via Home DIY.  

It’s hard not to feel like you’re behind when you look at Martha Stewart’s monthly calendar in the first few pages of Living. No, Martha, I haven’t cleaned my gutters, defrosted my fridge (have I ever?), or chilled with my ponies this month. I don’t even have ponies. But I also haven’t started getting seedlings ready for my garden, either. Every time I think about it, my brain shuts down. Garden? What garden! It’s freezing out! But freezing or not, Martha’s right: it is time to start planning.

As a cook, there’s nothing more empowering than having control over your ingredients. And there’s no better way to ensure their greatness than having grown them yourself. From broccoli to squash blossoms, growing an edible garden is not only a great way to connect with your food, it’s also a fun way to reduce your monthly produce bill.

Creating an edible garden is something you can do anywhere. For years, I grew herbs, fruits, and vegetables in the two windowsills of my postage-stamp sized New York City apartment. Now, we go whole hog on a half acre of loamy land and a shady front porch. From April until November, we have fresh veggies on hand. There’s something about a plant you grew yourself that just tastes better on a plate.

To get started, take a little time to know before you grow. What grows well in your region? How do you get started? Marta Teecan is a trained chef turned kitchen gardener, and her book, Homegrown, can help you get your garden plans off the ground. (It’s also just a really nice read!) I like to have a regional planting guide on hand, too, just so that I avoid any rookie farmer pitfalls. Ask your local nursery if they can recommend a good one — they usually know the best guide for the area.

Now what? No worries…it’s easier than you think!

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Where Chefs Eat

February 21, 2013

Where Chefs Eat - A Guide to the Best Restaurants Around the World

By Raleigh-Elizabeth.

I spend the better part of any trip looking for places to eat. I pour through Zagat’s, Fodor’s, Chow Hound, Eater, and a disturbingly large number of food sites looking for the perfect place to experience local cuisine while also begging everyone for tips. And sometimes, I still come up empty handed.

Or worse, I start a trip thinking I have a perfect recommendation only to discover a mediocre food experience I could have done without. When this happens, I immediately start questioning exactly who tour book companies employ to rate local restaurants and just what commenter foodie321 actually knows about eating. And it’s at those moments that I throw my hands up in the air and bemoan all food listings in general, because all I want is for someone who really knows about food to tell me, really and truly, this is the one place where you need to go.

Joe Warwick must have felt the exact same way, because he spent the last 12 months compiling the 600+ page ultimate guide for where to eat: Where Chefs Eat.  Unlike the recommendations from foodie321 or a nebulous tourist book review board, Where Chefs Eat not only tells us who recommended the restaurant (the recommending chef is listed by name), it also guarantees us one thing better: a person who really knows and loves food vouches for this place.

Keep reading to find out how the book was put together.

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Consider the Oyster

February 12, 2013

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Image by Todd Coleman.

We have a little fishmonger whose ramshackle shop, just down the street from our house, is situated in one of the Intracoastal Waterway inlets that creep through our village. It’s called Grant’s Oyster House, and although I hear Grant hasn’t been around for a few generations, it’s as authentic a coastal establishment as you’ll ever find.

The distinctly fishy smell greets you the minute you turn into the drive, which is always full of fishermen and their trucks. Grant’s is the place to find local celebrities, crabs, clams, profound amounts of shrimp, a small population of cats on the prowl, and a sign that warns you not to feed the alligators. But mostly, Grant’s has oysters.

Romantic recipe ahead. Keep reading!

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By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Image by Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got more spices than you know what to do with. At last count, we had 117 spices on hand in our kitchen. It was probably more like 130, if you count all the rubs we had hidden in the back corners of the spice cabinet and the eight different kinds of salts I maintain are necessary for our attempted cooking genius. On the day of the Great Spice Count, our kitchen was chock full of vanilla beans, saffron threads that were so expensive I’m actually afraid to use them, eight different kinds of curry powder, cardamom pods, ground cardamom seeds, you name it.

Spices are my culinary passport. They let me cross East and West in one sitting. With a few flicks of the wrist, I can travel from Thailand at lunch to the Greek Isles for dinner, all from the comforts of my own kitchen. They add depth, complexity, aroma, color, and flavor to everything I make. They make me feel adventurous, even when I’m only making a simple pasta sauce. And some of them are even rumored to increase brain health.

So clearly, keeping all these spices around was the smart thing to do, I told my husband when we packed up the house for our last big move. He laughed, and continued to help me pack the spices. But when they took up over two boxes and more cabinet space than we had to give them in our new kitchen, we realized we might have a problem. And maybe not enough shelving.

So how many spices do you really need?

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Kitted Out

January 31, 2013

Fondant cake kits (for beginners, too!) help you make beautiful cakes at home!

by Raleigh-Elizabeth.

I am terrible with cake. I’m fine with the batter, and fine with the cake part itself, but once it comes to the layers and the frostings and — even scarier — the fondant, I’m over, done with, someone call a bakery and order one instead.

I once read that you could make fondant at home with marshmallows, and I decided to give it a shot. I made a delicious blackberry and meyer lemon cake for a friend’s baby shower, and after reading what seemed like easy-enough instructions, I was superbly confident that I could copy Martha’s Baby Block Cake with aplomb. I’d be feted with praise, hailed as the most glorious baker, and my satisfied, cake-stuffed friends would call for Food Network to give me my own show immediately through crumb-filled glee.

Guess how it turned out…

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Plated

January 23, 2013

Get your whole family to eat up with colorfully plated dinners!

By Raleigh-Elizabeth.

How do you plate your dinner? Does everyone sit down to a family-style meal, or do you customize each plate individually?

At our house, there’s no easy answer. Every meal is different. While I’m the one focusing on the healthy eating plate and making sure we have an adequate portion of vegetables and whole grains, my husband is in it for the design. After a few years of carefully arranged plates with artistically swooshed sauces, I’ve started thinking about presentation, too.

And not in a “plate like a pro” sense. (Let’s be realistic. It’s dinner on a Thursday night. Getting dinner on the table is its own success.) But in a “we all might be more tempted to eat these brussel sprouts if they look super appetizing” way.

It turns out, that’s exactly what the science supports. Kids are apparently a lot more likely to eat what’s in front of them if it’s colorful and artfully arranged. And who can blame them? Adults like a nicely plated meal, too! With some helpful nutrition tips, a laundry list of colorful foods, and a plating guide for the rest of us, we can all enjoy a better dinner. And that’s everyday art we can all eat up.

Tell me: How do you get everyone to eat at dinnertime? Do you tempt your children with sandwiches cut in the shapes of dinosaurs or peas rolled into a heart? Or does everyone just eat up?

P.S. — Delicious mexican haystack from Whole & Free. It’s nutritious and colorful! No wonder I’m drooling.

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The Geometry of Pasta

January 17, 2013

By Raleigh-Elizabeth

Some part of us just knows it to be true: certain pastas work better with certain sauces. Macaroni elbows are just waiting for cheese. Farfalle can hardly be made more perfect than when mixed with sage, sausage, and white beans. And spaghetti spends its boxed days yearning to be slurped from the perfect tomato sauce.

Lacking any Italian heritage at all, I have to guess that this kind of knowledge comes from more than just a bloodline that would engender the trust of Strega Nona. So it’s no surprise that the authors of The Geometry of Pasta have discovered the secret: matching pasta with sauce is all about the math.

Keep reading — recipe links ahead!

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Cheese Making

January 10, 2013

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Photo by Lindsey Johnson.

I love cheese. It might be because I think of cheese as smelly, curdy nectar of the gods, or maybe because I was born in the midwest and am therefore entitled to wear cheese on my head in nationalistic celebration. Truly, there is little in this world that I love like I love cheese.

I love it so much that I read Saveur’s description of a pizza with stracciatella di burrata and immediately found myself wanting to weep (that such a beautiful thing exists) and visibly salivating (because it should exist in my mouth right away). If you’ve ever had burrata, which they describe as “silky-soft sacks of mozzarella filled with straciatella, strands of mozzarella bathed extravagantly in cream,” you understand where I’m coming from. Cutting into a ball of freshly made burrata causes you to write about cheese like it’s high poetry. And maybe join a gym.

I love cheese so much I can’t live without it. And because our local Food Lion in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina doesn’t sell a ricotta that resembles anything close to actual cheese, I find myself making it at home on a regular basis.

Because I love lasagna. And I love pizza. And I love forkfulls of fresh ricotta between meals when no one’s watching. And all of these things require ricotta. I love eating it when it’s still hot and slathering it on some fresh bread with olive oil and a little salt. I make it in the morning for dinner and then realize around five p.m. that I’ve eaten half of what I meant to cook with later. I can’t help it. This is what happens when you start making cheese.

Cheese making inspires you in all sorts of ways.You find yourself adding it to fruit in ways you never thought possible (I make a ricotta, peach, and pistachio trifle that I drizzle with honey and a dash of maldon salt). You bring it to friends in present-form, causing them to either love you forever or maybe wonder if you’re becoming Amish. You become the happy sort of cheese person who sniffs the offerings at Whole Foods with great intent before asking the cheesemonger 30 detailed questions about the cheese’s provenance. And then you decide you’re going to have a go at making your own version, after all.

Ricotta can be made with a little milk, cream, salt, and lemon juice, but there are dozens of kits so simple that you can start your cheese making process at home right away and have a gourmet, finished product in no time. I like this mozzerella and ricotta kit — it’s beginner friendly and comes with fool-proof instructions. You can also be brave and make your own cheddargoat cheese, and even burrata.

But if you find yourself making the burrata, don’t forget to let me know. I’ll be over in five minutes flat, and I promise to compliment your efforts with a web of words that would border on high poetry — if my mouth weren’t so full of cheese.

Have you ever tried making cheese? Or any other foods from a DIY kit? My husband loves beer-making kits, although I think the process might be more enjoyable than the product!

P.S. — You’ve made your cheese and invited us all over for a nibble. Here are a few tips for setting up a genius cheese board before we arrive!

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Cookies for Santa

December 20, 2012

By Raleigh-Elizabeth

What are your Christmas Eve traditions? After a children’s service at church full of little angels, shepherds, and moments of awe, we like to hunker down for the evening in our coziest pajamas with a copy of the Best Christmas Pageant Ever. And before NORAD says that Santa is anywhere nearby, we’ll end the evening setting out a plate for Santa and his reindeer.

My husband’s father once told them that reindeer ate the lichen in the back yard, so their Christmas Eve wasn’t complete until some was brought in the house for the reindeer. When I was growing up, my mother urged me to leave out cheese and crackers for Santa. (“All the other children left out cookies, might he not want something savory?” she asked. I always pointed out that she liked cheese and crackers. Not Santa.)

In the end, we usually settled on cookies, carrots, and cheese and crackers, just to make sure that we’re giving the reindeer something nutritious and satisfying Santa, whatever his preference. We carry the same tradition forward today, along with bringing out a few old items scrounged from around the house for Santa to take back to his workshop and “make new” for someone else’s Christmas next year.

But when it comes to those cookies, we don’t kid around. I might come from a grocery-store-cookies family, but I always insisted the nicest ones go to Saint Nick. Today, we make a special batch of biscotti just for him. The perk: it goes awfully well with the coffee that we’ve discovered Santa also really likes. The biscotti are just a tiny bit chewy, so not only do they taste great out of the oven, but they’re just as delicious eaten by themselves as they are when dunked in a late-night cappuccino. Everybody loves them.

I love the idea of preparing a special gift for Santa — albeit in cookie form — before he brings any to you. And we all know that for children, at least half the fun of making cookies is decorating them, which makes this recipe for Pie Crust Cookies absolutely brilliant. They’re made from ready-made pie dough (like the Pillsbury kind you roll out), and in the end, they’re less work, less mess, and much less sugar for any tiny elves who decide to indulge in a few cookies along the way.

Do you leave out anything for Santa? Is it something special that you’ve always done or a new tradition you’ve invented?

P.S. — The festive plates are from last year’s West Elm Holiday Collection and alas, are no longer available. I wonder if I could copy the look with some hand-painting?

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Christmas Dinner

December 13, 2012

By Raleigh-Elizabeth.

Have you thought about what you’ll be dining on for your Christmas feast? Will it be a repeat of Thanksgiving? Or maybe roast beast?

I’ll confess: We don’t do a big Christmas day dinner. We do invite friends over for a nice meal on Christmas Eve, but we try to keep it relatively simple. Because even I – Santa’s merriest, most devoted helper – have to admit that by Christmas Eve, I’m exhausted. Between the holiday festivities, the wrapping of presents, the sending of cards, and the activities at church, I’m zapped! All I want is a good, comforting dinner that warms my belly and my heart. And doesn’t create eighty dishes along the way.

So we stick to a festive but easy menu. We always start with a soup, because there’s nothing like Christmas to make you want something hot and hearty in your belly. I like to make a classic pasta e fagioli, but some years, I’ve settled for tomato soup with a dollop of creme fraiche on top. (It’s very merry looking!) We usually make cornish game hens, which are easy enough to do and make us feel like we’re eating something fancy, even if the effort wasn’t much at all. And to round it all out, we serve brussel sprouts tossed with a mustard and caper butter and a nice, healthy salad. That’s it, and it’s always delicious.

Keep reading. There’s a birthday cake involved. And fast food too!

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By Raleigh-Elizabeth.

There are few things in this world I need as much as I need my arms and legs. Air, of course. Butter. Sunshine, a good book, and my best friend. My best friend, the stand mixer.

You might think it strange to proclaim an inanimate object a best friend. In fact, my actual best friend might agree with you, but I have a feeling she could be swayed into understanding by the love and absolute devotion she feels for her own stand mixer. And if you have one too, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Maybe it’s a slight exaggeration, but when it comes to arms and legs in my actual kitchen, my stand mixer is doing at least half the work all the time. And that’s because your stand mixer isn’t just another kitchen appliance. It’s your other half. You rely on it for all manner of household miracles, kitchen spectaculars, and dull daily chores that you quite honestly don’t have the time (or inclination) to do without it.

Things I honestly cannot do without my stand mixer, straight ahead!

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