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This time of year always brings out the party bug in me and the holiday season and entertaining go hand in hand. Swinging their joyously clasped palms in unison as they skip along and infest everyone they see with a big dose of cheer.
Parties. Entertaining. Friends and family. When the party bug in me invites the cooking bug to the festivities, that’s when I get busy in the kitchen.
I’ve always been a holiday cook. As a kid I would bake for days, striving to create the best lemon bars on the planet while snacking on my Mom’s Best Homemade Fudge. As an adult, I’m now the hostess hoping to be the mostess for Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas brunches where without fail, we make this every single year.
But it wasn’t always that way.
As a kid, our family almost always did the same celebratory traipsing when it came to holiday time together. Christmas brunch was always at my mom and dad’s house and Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve were always at Grandma Mary Jane’s. It’s so funny to me that we all referred to it as “Grandma’s house” even though Grandpa was always there too. Maybe because she was the heartbeat of the family, adored by her husband, children and their children that the label just stuck.
Grandma was one of those women who just had the “it” factor. Call me biased, but it’s true. The woman possessed poise in the most genuine and accessible way possible, making everyone around her feel instantly part of the fun.
Who doesn’t love pie? I mean, Thanksgiving is right around the proverbial corner and that sends nearly every pie lover on earth into pie fantasy orbit complete with little pilgrim space helmets. But Pumpkin Tiramisu? In the shape of a pie? We’re talking Mayflower to Mars.
While I’m a fan of pies, particularly pumpkin pie which has ALWAYS been my favorite, sometimes I go stark raving off the typical Turkey-day-desires charts and crave something more. Well, maybe not more, just different. Like a pumpkin tiramisu shaped like a pie.
When the husband and I were carousing Costco in Las Vegas, doing a little boozey-perusing (Utah’s liquor laws don’t allow hard alcohol or wine to be sold in grocery stores—I know, don’t get me started), my little eye spied a pumpkin liqueur.
It looked creamy, it looked dreamy and I immediately knew I had to cook with it. Funny that I didn’t even think about drinking it. But now I have, and trust me, it’s good for that too.
Hey guys, this week I’m trying something new and focusing exclusively on a my favorite things from the week. Do you miss having one of my recipe links to start things off? Let me know in the comments below.
This week’s Friday Faves list started early, so how about we start things off with what I was crushing on this week via my Instagram.
Insta-Craving: In need of produce that was photo shoot ready, I headed to our first local Winter Farmer’s Market. I went a little nuts, inspired by the most gorgeous watermelon radishes, beauty queen looking beets and carrots in every hue of the rainbow, which inspired an amazing recipe coming your way.
Insta-Crushing: Did you know that October is Adopt a Dog Month? I’ve been involved with animal rescue for nearly 15 years, volunteering, fostering and adopting three furry babies. Say “hi” to Chewy and Gigi, 12 years young. Adopt and give a dog a home and you’ve just given them a second chance at life.
Insta-Fun: The new version of Clue. I was obsessed with this game as a kid and it’s still a blast to play with my Smudge, but my, how things have changed. The conservatory has become a spa, Professor Plum is now a self-made video game dot.com billionaire and the lead pipe has morphed into a trophy. I guess everything from the 80’s is in need of a nip and tuck here and there.
Insta-Savoring: The last days of scuffling through fall leaves. Oh this glorious weather! But I’m bracing myself as snow is in the forecast for the weekend, making way for fluffy, white Instagrams.
You know that thing about Thanksgiving? That thing that everyone’s talking about? No, not that the 5th Avenue slick thinkers have yet to figure out how to turn T-day into a money making marketing machine like Halloween and Christmas.
No, I’m talking about how everybody is talking about how Thanksgiving conjures up cravings for family favorite recipes. It’s like clockwork. As soon as the jack-o-lantern’s candles are blown out, memories start flooding the salivary glands.
My husband has certainly fallen victim to this pilgrim-inspired condition. But wait, he’s part American-Indian. Either way, whichever side of the table he’s sitting on, as along as this 5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Creamed Corn is on it, he’s going to be one happy harvest feaster.
But only if his favorite Creamed Corn doesn’t turn into Creamed Corn Flambé.
With the release of their cookbook, Bountiful, Recipes Inspired by Our Garden, foodies Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White On Rice Couple invite us to share their insanely delicious seasonal recipes, including a condiment I can never get enough of, Homemade Sriracha Sauce. And you have the chance to win a copy of their cookbook for yourself.
Todd and Diane are often referred to as one and the same, White On Rice/Todd and Diane/Diane and Todd, most likely due to the fact they are equally talented and share duties both in the kitchen and behind the camera.
They take turns clicking the camera for print and video, they both cook, create and style their photos and recipes (Todd is often found as the author of most of their baking posts while Diane has a penchant for spring rolls) and they share a passion for gathering people around food they love.
But before there was a cookbook, Todd and Diane created a following of faithful food blogging novices, eager to listen and learn about food photography and styling at food blogging conferences across the country.