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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Vin Chaud (Hot Mulled Wine)


One might think that vin chaud, pronounced "van show" and also known as hot mulled wine, is an unusual thing to find in France, where it's taken so seriously. The French pay careful attention to the region where it's produced, the foods with which it's paired, and the temperature at which it's served. So I was surprised in a very good way when I first found vin chaud at a Marché de Noël (Christmas market) in Toulouse, years ago. Warming and slightly spicy, it's still one of my favorite cold-weather drinks.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pan Roasted Mushrooms with Herbs, Lemon, and Garlic


These roasted mushrooms make a great accompaniment to almost anything: vegetarian main courses, fish and seafood, or slow-cooked meats.

I used cremini mushrooms, also known as baby portobellos, but you could substitute white button mushrooms, shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, or even chanterelles.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dark Chocolate Holiday Bark


Simple yet stunning, this chocolate bark makes a great DIY holiday gift or hostess gift. Best of all, you can personalize it or use what you have on hand. Along with coconut flakes and orange zest, I used dried cranberries and macadamia nuts, but you could substitute cherries and hazelnuts, or golden raisins and cashews, or apricots and almonds, or figs and pistachios. If you're using figs or apricots, roughly chop them first.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar


Each summer my dad picks wild strawberries when they're abundant and perfectly ripe. He preserves a portion for the winter using his dehydrator and shares them with me. I used some to make this fruit vinegar, which tastes like summer in a bottle.