Category: Inspirations

12 Days of Christmas: Cooking Inspiration

When I’m planning a big holiday meal I love to sit at my dining room table with a steaming mug of coffee and a stack of cookbooks.  This is where I often find my inspiration for holiday menus.  I imagine the flavor of each ingredient and how different combinations will work with each other.  And

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12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Sweets

Whenever I fantasize about becoming the next Top Chef, (“Heather has no classical training or real kitchen experience aside from four semesters in the university dining hall, but by watching a lifetime’s worth of cooking shows she’s managed to become one of the most foremost experts on cooking for her niece,) I’m grounded by the

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12 Days of Christmas: Christmas Sugar Cookies

I could never understand why my mom DREADED making sugar cookies.  We were just decorating them, right?  I never realized how long it took just to get the cookies to the table.  And because my mom was a former cake decorator, we couldn’t just spread frosting on the cookies and call it good.  Nooooo, we

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12 Days of Christmas: Christmas Tea

I’m a sucker for a traditional English tea.  Maybe it’s all of those classic novels I was forced, (yet now read by choice) to analyze in high school.  Maybe it’s the fact that my mom – although born in California – exhibits oddly English behavior.  (Although to be fair, she’s read the same novels I

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12 Days of Christmas: Cookies

One of my favorite holiday activities is making cookies.  Not just sugar cookies (which I’ll be devoting an entire post to later this week,) but cookies that evoke my favorite flavors of the season – citrus, berry and molasses. One of the earliest memories I have of being in the kitchen, (besides pouring a bowl

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The 12 Days of Christmas

The 12 days of Christmas is one of my FAVORITE Christmas carols of ALL TIME.  I love the repetition, imagery, and gift giving references.  Plus, I can belt it out as loud as I want and I actually sound good!  We even have an old Irish linen tapestry with a box for each “day” that

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Sometimes It’s Nice to Go to Someone’s House and Eat Their Food

Let’s face it – no one can cook for everyone all of the time.  Sometimes cooks just need a break.  I was lucky enough to spend last weekend at my friend Jeane’s house where I visited not just with her, but with some very old friends.  (Well, the friends aren’t old, just the friendships, ha!)

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I Probably Watch Too Much Top Chef

I first saw this recipe on season 4 of Top Chef.  One of the Best.  Shows.  Ever.  I’ve been a die-hard fan since season 3 when Trey was sent home for restaurant wars.  This past Christmas I received the Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook and immediately read it cover to cover.  (I don’t usually do

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Buttercream FAIL: Timing is Everything

Last weekend I attempted buttercream frosting (my nemesis!) again.  The result: not so good. This was brought on by a “Barefoot Contessa” marathon which appears on my TV every Sunday morning courtesy of my DVR.  Oh, Ina.  You made it looks so easy.  With your cheery demeanor and grace in the kitchen.  How could I

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The Butter Sisters

This is not a fat-free blog.  Let’s get that one thing straight.  I (mostly) blame that on the two lovely ladies pictures below: I have dubbed them The Butter Sisters. The one on the left is my mom Susan, the other is my “Auntie” Roxann.  Both used liberal amounts of butter in just about every

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