Cool Stuff – Home & Family

Holiday Punch

But do you really need a holiday as an excuse to make a good punch? My brother has been making this for years. It’s quite good. He makes it strong but you can make a mild version. In addition to white wine and rum (not the expensive kind), you’ll need citrus. Which you let macerate in the rum and wine. Now frozen lemonade. And frozen limeade. A little ginger ale… […]

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Moroccan Lamb and Beef Stew

This is one of my favorite stews. It is perfect for the really cold months and for large gatherings when you have a lot of people to feed. In isn’t your everyday beef stew. For one, it has equal parts lamb in it and then it also has a middle eastern flair…a little dried fruit, a little ginger…it’s a good thing. I recently made it for our Christmas party and […]

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Gingerbread Castle Bundt Cake

I have a mold. I don’t know where it came from. It just appeared one day. It’s always in the way, it doesn’t fit anywhere nicely. It was suggested at one point that we throw it out, but it wouldn’t go. So today I finally used it, in honor of our Christmas party this evening. I decided to do a gingerbread flavor, though any flavoring would work. Even Grandma P.’s […]

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Fun Holiday Gift Idea

I’m going to take a pause from my deer hunting adventures to share with you what showed up on my doorstep yesterday. I think my non-hunting oriented readers might need a rest. Plus I want to talk about chocolate. This chocolate. It comes from a charming chocolate factory called Charles Chocolates in Emeryville, California. His things are really a work of art and the flavors he uses are quite unique. […]

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No Sugar, No 7-Up, Just Plain Water: A Quest for the Perfect Christmas Tree

We have a place that we go to every year on the highway. It is a place where burly Canadians come and display their Christmas trees. I look forward to finding that perfect tree… it’s a bit of a treasure hunt. Everyone has their own style. I look for nice balance and proportions, a little bushiness, and good height. But my mom is completely different. She likes those really sparse […]

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Strange Birds

Because it’s Monday. And because we’re all strange birds at heart. This was Loretta hanging out in the kitchen the other day. She lives inside… it’s one saga of a story, but she enjoys herself. And cracks me up.

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A Norman Rockwell Evening

I just had a very Norman Rockwell evening. Warm food and Christmas carol singing and advent wreath making… it began with a church potluck down the road. The same church that every member of my family seems to have gone through…in birth, marriage, or death. It’s a place where everybody knows my name… like on the TV show Cheers but more wholesome. Grandma Pellegrini and I worked all afternoon on […]

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The Fruits of Our Labor

There are few things more gratifying than cooking a meal entirely from things you have grown. This Thanksgiving we spent as much time outdoors collecting ingredients as we did indoors cooking them. First, we cut these baby brussels sprouts from the garden. They were strange things this year. We waited and waited for them to get large and plump but they never did. So because it was Thanksgiving, we just […]

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Going Home

I am about to step outside into the biggest travel day of the year. I’m a little scared. I’ve never done this before. I’m usually a hop, skip and a jump away from where I need to be on the holidays. So this is new territory for me. It also means I don’t get to cook as much as I would normally want to on a day that revolves around […]

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Grandma’s Spinach Dip

I recently received an email from Grandma Pellegrini. Yes, she does email now, she has a gmail account, and most recently a Facebook account, and is quite good at it. She is also good at ordering interesting things on amazon. Mostly cooking equipment. Just the other day I walked into her kitchen and a new ice cream maker was buzzing, churning some terra cotta colored apricot ice cream which had […]

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