2016 is quickly coming to a close. Three cheers for that, am I right?! I had hoped for a peaceful and relaxing Christmas break, but that has just not happened, and there is no one to blame for this but me. I do this to myself. Not being in school on holiday break, I have more time to focus on blog work and getting the site ready for 2017. Which leads me to my big announcement: TermiNatetor Kitchen is moving! That’s right, this is my LAST BLOG POST on this site. I am moving the site over to Wix where I will be able to host the blog, my portfolio, and my soon-to-be TK store. I can’t wait for you all to see it. With all the craziness, the ups-and-downs that the year had, I think it’s appropriate to have one last perfect cocktail to say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017. This version of a peach Bellini, with a little help from the good folks over at Powell & Mahoney, is that ideal cocktail
“O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.”
‘O Holy Night’ is arguably my favorite Christmas carol. There is something about the combination of the words, music, and the emotion weaved throughout that song that makes me teary-eyed every time I hear it. Much like music, baking possesses those same blending of flavors and notes that create this symphony of deliciousness. I think that’s why music and food go hand in hand so well. It just makes sense. So, Christmas is two days away. WAT. Where has, the time gone?! And more importantly, how on earth did I get three blog posts out in one week?! It’s a Christmas miracle, people! With last minute holiday prep, I don’t have much time to write so I will make this post brief. Key points you should know: learning to pipe royal icing is tough and Hodgson Mill’s Buckwheat Flour makes for incredible gingerbread cookies. The flavor of the buckwheat is subtle, but you can notice it. It really makes for a perfectly warm, spiced-filled cookie.
So, it’s less than five days away until Christmas. With all the hustle and bustle the season brings, it’s nice to take a few moments to slow down, kick back, and have a freaking glass of wine! Being that I just turned twenty-one this year, this will be my first Christmas where I can be the bringer of wine to the Christmas dinner. A few years back, my cousin brought one of her foreign exchange student friends who was from somewhere in east Europe (truthfully, I can’t remember for sure) over for the feast. In the midst of open gifts and taking extra slices of pie, my cousin’s friend made the entire family her families recipe for mulled wine. I was speechless. One word: AMAZING. It was indescribably fruity, and herbal, and aromatic from all the mulled spices intermingling with the wine. It was a marriage of pure flavor bliss. Ever since then I wanted to make my own recipe for mulled wine. Thankfully, the good people over at Powell & Mahoney were all for some mulled wine and hooked a guy up with a killer mixer that aided in me making an easy and incredibly tasty batch of slow cooker mulled wine.
Can we just talk about chai tea for a second? It’s amazing! Don’t you agree? If you haven’t tried chai yet, get yourself a cup right now! There is something so addictive about the taste of that sweet, warm, herbal drink as it trickles down your throat. The chilly December air seems to melt away like snow leaving you in a state of pure latté bliss as you take each longing sip. And then their is hot cocoa. Truth be told here, I’m not a fan of that store-bought chocolate powdered stuff. It reminds me of all those bone-chilling marching band competitions in high school. Huddles of students would sit on the metal bleachers, wrapped under layers upon layers of blankets, sipping from Styrofoam cups filled with hot cocoa in hopes of regaining feelings in their toes. Maybe it’s those cold memories that put me at arm’s length when it comes to hot cocoa. Now hot chocolate, on the other hand, is a completely different story! Real deal hot chocolate is where it is at! When you mix it with homemade chai tea, though, you get a combo that is purely magical.
Good news: final exams are officially over! I turned my final project in yesterday and I am now back home staying with my parents’ house for the holiday break. I’m ready to relax, spend time with friends and family, work on some business stuff, and bake, bake, BAKE! Growing up, a yearly tradition in my family every Christmas Eve was to make homemade gingerbread and sugar cookies. We would sit down at the kitchen table with a variety of different cookie cutters lay scattered across the dark wooden surface. Flour covered every surface as if it was the fall of the season’s first snow. Momma and I would cut cute little candy cane gingerbread and snowman shaped sugar cookies out, while Father and Jon made anatomically correct gingerbread men and grandma-got-run-over-by-a-reindeer sugar cookies. We were a family divided on creative expression, but it was always a time of laughs, jokes, and memories. That’s why when Eggland’s Best challenged me to test/bake up twelve delicious Christmas cookie recipes, submitted by their fans, worthy of any great egg-change, I was ready for the undertaking!
Tis’ the Season for Baking (and Looking) Good | Whiskey Brown Sugar Glazed Ham + French Country Rye Bread with Slow Cooker Brandy Apple Butter
So, Christmas is now dangerously close. Unfortunately, final exams are even closer which seriously bums me out. I’m tired of being a student of higher education. I just want to bake and sleep through my responsibilities. Ugh! Why is being an adult so hard?! Okay, rant over. That’s right, today marks the start of final exam week for me. Luckily, I don’t have any tests until later in the week which gives me ample time to study as well as procrastinate by baking. During final exam week, I enjoy gathering together with friends, getting in the kitchen and making some delicious food, and sitting down together to eat, converse (and study). For the holidays or a weekend night study session, one of the great lessons of hosting I’ve learned from Momma Crawford is to make it simple. You want a dish that tastes delicious but doesn’t take an arm and a leg to make, especially during this stressful time of the year. Luckily, I’ve teamed up with JORD Wood Watches to share with you some of my culinary tips for hosting and/or attending a holiday gathering this season (and how to look good while doing it!)
P.s. Be sure to the read to the end of this post for an exclusive $25 e-giftcard you can use to get either my watch or any other style of watch from JORD.
This Vegan Pecan Pie tastes just like the traditional pie momma-used-to-make, except this pie has a secret ingredient: cold brew coffee! The cold brew is added to the crust to provide a subtle richness and coffeehouse aroma that can’t be found in a traditional crust. The sweet pecan filling is warm, flavorful, and rich. A cup of coffee and a slice of pie and you have yourself a winning combination that will satisfy any guest at your holiday table.
When I think of the holidays back home, I think of my families old-as-dirt Christmas tree that Father had when he was a kid, its flimsy branches holding up the lights and various handmade ornaments. The wonky treestand at the base holding all of it together. I think of the whole family coming together, lounging in the living room to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas, attending candlelight church service on Christmas Eve, and opening gifts on Christmas morning. The holidays to me are a time where I can get back in the kitchen with Momma Crawford and bake whatever my little food blogging heart desires. Her at the stove and me rolling out crust on the counter. We talk, laugh, sing along to Christmas music, and simply enjoy each other’s company. For this post, I’m inspired by family tradition once again. In my family, we always had a pecan pie for dessert after the Christmas dinner. So I’m back at it again this week with both a vegan AND cold brew coffee inspired recipe, and this time things are about to get nuts (get it…nuts…pecans…never mind). I’ve done one other vegan recipe on the blog and I really enjoyed it. That’s why I’m working with Califia Farms again to develop this recipe that you wouldn’t even know was vegan.
With Thanksgiving over, all the turkey consumed, and just a few measly crumbs of stuffing left in the pan, I can officially say that I am 100% in the Christmas spirit right now. The holiday season is definitely my favorite time of year. Not the actual day of Christmas per say, but rather the time leading up to the holiday itself. I feel that the day of is hectic and kind of a blur. In an instant, it’s over before you feel like it truly began. The season leading up to Christmas is different, though. It’s festive, fun, and exciting. The days leading up to it gives you more time to embrace the season fully. I love being able to decorate my apartment in twinkling lights and garland, baking holiday cookies in the kitchen with Momma Crawford, and watching endless holiday television specials under a warm blanket drinking hot chocolate. It’s this time of year, where the days are chilly and the nights are long, that I crave something warm and comforting to eat. In the winter, I love turning on the oven and roasting seasonal vegetables, filling the apartment with warm, aromatic scents. Squash is such an easy ingredient to work with and tastes delicious in a variety of dishes, especially in soup. To say goodbye to the autumn season and hello to the long winter months ahead, I have teamed with Hodgson Mill once again to bring you a great “grain” recipe that will get you through the coldest of days.
Thanksgiving is just a few days away. In my last post I talked all about what to make for the perfect holiday feast, everything from the sides, to the entrée, and even the dessert. Though I forgot one VERY important part of any great gathering: the cocktail! But fear not, I have swooped in to save the day with another cocktail + dessert pairing using another mixer from Powell & Mahoney. With autumn slowly coming to an end I wanted to highlight the seasonality of one of its great fruits, the Bosc pear. I also wanting to snag the chance at baking with/drink some brandy (because it’s my favorite of any hard liquor. So good!). The holidays are a hectic, crazy, stressful, but ultimately fun time of year me. Plus, with final exams in the next couple of weeks, I think I'm in need of a cake and cocktail break. Who here is up for that??
For Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or any other holiday gathering you might be hosting, don’t fret because this dinner party master post has got you covered. I’ve teamed up with Eggland’s Best to bring you a simple, easy, and delicious holiday spread. I’m not egg-aggerating here, these recipes are tasty! Included are savory sides such as ‘rosemary biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter’, ‘deviled eggs with honeyed jalapenos’, and ‘herb butter stuffing’. The main event is a ‘lemon thyme hay-roasted chicken’, and for dessert is a ‘pumpkin & brown butter cheesecake with candied bourbon pecans’. The holidays never tasted so good!
Warning: This post contains an exuberant amount of egg puns. Enjoy :)
It’s less than a week until Thanksgiving. Are you ready?! When you’re reading this, I will have already left my apartment and will be at my parent's home for the holiday break. I’m pretty excited for this time off. I am in need of a break from higher education. Senior year has been a rigorous semester so far, but I’m making it through. With final exams just around the corner, I’m looking forward to this period of rejuvenation before hitting the books for the final home stretch. For me, thanksgiving break always means two very important things: No classes and a whole lot of baking! Weeks before the holiday gathering, Momma Crawford and I will sit down and brainstorm recipe ideas for the festive dinner. We think of ways to reimagine traditional side dishes or create healthy dessert alternatives that will still taste delicious. It’s always so much fun planning and prepping the Thanksgiving dinner menu with her. Lots of laughs and cups of coffee are shared. But this year, Eggland’s Best reached out to me and challenged me to create a thanksgiving/Friendsgiving dinner all by myself. You can say I was pretty egg-cited to accept this challenge.
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