I love gingerbread. I love ginger snaps. I love ginger anything, really, including redheads.
I especially like them if they have a little oomph.
It was nearly a decade ago that I discovered my spicy gingerbread recipe, and I’ve made it every year since. It’s not for everyone; it has a kick, by which I mean it kicks you in the back of the throat. It lingers on the palate. It goes really well with ice cold milk or a glass of eggnog.
I wouldn’t waste this recipe on a gingerbread house. I would try this mix of spices in other ginger recipes–molasses cookies, maybe, or a classic gingerbread loaf.
When naming this burger, we took a family vote. It had to be something punny, being that we’re all huge Bob’s Burgers fans (yes, even my four-year-old loves it because she loves Louise, which is probably a problem…) but I was the only one coming up with any puns so we only had two options. “The Jive Turkey Burger” and “The Tur-Keyed Up Burger”.
Tur-Keyed Up won by a landslide, whether my kids understood it or not.
I once read that the average Thanksgiving table boasts seven side dishes. SEVEN! At first I thought that number must be inaccurate but then I counted up my family’s favorites:
Green Bean Casserole
That’s eight. Plus turkey and a number of pies.
When we gather in large numbers, we have to have them all. Each one is somebody’s favorite except maybe the green beans, but if they go then another green vegetable replaces them, if only on principle.
When we’re a smaller group, I’m always looking for dishes to nix. Rolls and yams are usually first on my chopping block, but my family always wrestles them back onto the table.
So I thought I’d try a different tactic: I’d combine them.
I have to admit something: I’m not great about eating my veggies. I make my kids eat them, sure, but too often I don’t eat my own. It’s easier than it sounds–I don’t eat breakfast until my kids are at school, and they’re usually away for lunch, too. At dinner, I’ll eat a kid-size serving of whatever veggie I’m serving but it isn’t nearly enough.
Tomorrow is my twelfth wedding anniversary. It doesn’t seem possible, but I’ve done the math. Twelve years of marriage. Holy cow.
Originally, I was going to call this “Apology Cherry Pie,” because when I saw the cherries at the grocery store, I thought a pie would be a good way to tell my husband I was sorry for the fight I started last night.
We are entering party season, people. Maybe we’re already in it–it’s football season, after all, and there were plenty of Halloween parties just a few days ago, and then there will be Friendsgivings and, of course, Thanksgiving itself. Maybe you’re throwing these parties, maybe attending them. Maybe you’ve been asked to bring something–an appetizer? You could just pick up a bag of Doritos. People like those. But if you want to take it another step further, here are three sure-to-please recipes, none of them requiring any culinary skill or know-how. Read on but beware: you might drool. That’s okay. It’s a normal, human response.
These are all my twists on some party classics. For example, the classic “queso” recipe (the one on the back of the Velveeta box) calls for two ingredients. Mine calls for four:
8 ounces Velveeta
8 ounces pepper jack cheese
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 2.25 ounce can sliced black olives
Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, stirring every minute or two, until melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
When I was first learning to cook, I took a lot of pride in preparing even the simplest recipes. I was of the persuasion that cooking was magic, so even if all I had to do was boil something in water (I was so proud of my first St. Patrick’s Day corned beef, for which you do exactly that) I felt like I was on Emeril Live!. You see, prior to discovering Food Network, I didn’t know you could make your own pudding (except for rice pudding, which my parents loved but struck me as distinctly different from pudding pudding), or what tiramisu was, or how on earth to cut any vegetable into uniform pieces. I had followed a few recipes in my time and created edible food but mostly under duress–like that time my mom had to work Thanksgiving so Dad did the turkey and I made the sides. I don’t know if it was any good, either, because that was before I learned to like Thanksgiving food, so I didn’t eat much of it except pumpkin pie, which was overcooked and soggy-bottomed, but I loved it because I’d never had it any other way. (Sorry, Mom.)
In my dining room, I have a chalkboard in a pretty frame. It’s the one chalkboard in the house (we have several) that the kids are not allowed to draw on; it’s just for me. Sometimes I draw pictures (a Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas tree, the Easter bunny), but most of the time it’s the specials board for my imaginary bakery. Every so often, usually as the seasons change, I dream up a new list of goodies, draw little flowers and coffee cups and swirls, and pretend I’m actually going to bake these things and sell them in a quaint bakery/coffee shop, situated in an old mansion in some sweet-but-accessible neighborhood, where I also rent the upstairs rooms and host poetry readings and live music in the others. Also there’s a huge play room for the kids and a patio with fairy lights.