a little bit of real life, a few links from around the internet, and some meandering thoughts
as if we really were huddled together around the fire.
January favorites. Snowy hikes and frozen streams. Post-holiday decluttering. Nibbling on stocking treats to try to make them last as long as possible! Making lists: to do, dreams, plans. Consciously trying to do good in the world. Feeling driven, forceful, full of purpose, intentional.
Best of 2017! Drumroll please… here are your top 10 most-loved recipes of 2017! I have to say, you guys have good taste. 😉
- Oatmeal Bourbon Raisin Cookies. For Mondays, because you deserve the best chewy bourbony cookie.
- Hot Italian Giardiniera. A fridge staple in our house! For dressing up pretty much every delicious sandwich.
- Schweinshaxe (Roasted Pork Knuckle). The main course for throwing your very own Oktoberfest feast! This was such a fun series and I’m so glad you guys loved it – more to come!
- Healthy Ice Cream Breakfast Bowl. For when you’re trying to keep those resolutions, buuuuut you also want to eat ice cream for breakfast. Real life.
- Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips. All the best things about everyone’s favorite takeout appetizer, minus the frying!
- Frosty Flurry Cocktail. For a simply gorgeous, icy-blue punch that’ll become your go-to party-pleaser year round.
- Mistletoe Kiss Cocktail. See above, but ruby-red! This drink made me fall in love with cranberry rosemary simple syrup.
- Colorado Pork Green Chile. One of my all-time favorites – rich, spicy, and always delicious whether it’s in a bowl or smothering a burrito!
- Basil Goat Cheese Tomato Bites. For the easiest 4-ingredient cute, healthy appetizer that’s bursting with freshness!
- Traditional Oyster Stuffing. This was an update to one of the very first recipes I posted on this blog and it blew up around Thanksgiving and Christmas! It makes me so happy to play a little part in your holiday celebrations.
Honorable mention: Orange Liqueur Brownie Bites! No one can resist these little fudgy bites of heaven, especially not me. I’ve made amaretto, peppermint, and sea salt porter variations and this recipe is a winner every time.
Cookbooks. My new favorite finds & upcoming releases:
The latest super-important addition to my cookbook shelf comes from my girl Joy the Baker, who did it again with Over Easy: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Leisurely Days. Like, if I could have brunch with my top three food-bloggers-who-I-wanna-pretend-are-my-BFFs? Joy is at that table every time. (I’m also waaay obsessed with her gorgeous Bakehouse kitchen design!)
After lugging it home from the library once a month for nearly a year, I finally have my very own copy of J. Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science! If that name looks familiar, it’s because Kenji is the brilliant editor behind Serious Eats, my go-to resource for food questions. This is 100% the modern nerdtastic cooking bible and I’m so glad it has a (long overdue) place on my cookbook shelf.
I’ve waxed poetic about my love for sous vide over the past year, so I can’t wait to check out The Effortless Sous Vide Cookbook that was just released this week! Carey had zero cooking experience until he began experimenting with his Anova sous vide – seriously awesome example for anyone learning to cook.
Check out my full list of Cookbook Favorites for more recommendations!
Renovating our 118-year-old cabin! The day before Christmas Eve, Kirk & I both finished our must-get-it-done work for the year – so naturally we decided it was a good time to start the kitchen renovation!
The original cabin footprint built in 1900 is today’s living room and kitchen, with two later additions for the master bedroom and guest bedroom. We knocked out a half wall that separated the kitchen from the living room, recreating the full space of the original cabin, and our home feels so much bigger! Next up: determining if a post is load-bearing or not (fingers crossed!) and uncovering ancient linoleum (that might actually win an award for the ugliest pattern ever created). It’s going to be a long, slow road to our dream kitchen design, but I can already see it taking shape and I absolutely love it.
In real-life behind-the-scenes truths, we have a folding plastic table where the new kitchen island will someday be, and it’s going to live there for a few months. Not exactly a glamorous setup for a food blog – but it’ll definitely be worth it!
So when I’m not dreaming up new recipes or hiking with Scout this winter, we’ll be building a new pantry, island, and cabinets. 2018 goal: share our amazing new kitchen by the end of the year!