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December 2012

Black bean butternut squash soup

Black bean butternut squash soup

I didn't want to make another sweet butternut squash (or pumpkin) soup, so I was in a search of a recipe where I could combine butternut squash with a second major ingredient that would neutralize the sweetness of butternut squash, without suppressing its flavor, something similar to what I did with carrot soup by adding […] Read More


Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies

Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies, Christmas cookies

This is my fourth and the last cookie recipe in December. I always loved hazelnuts in chocolates but, surprisingly, I never used ground hazelnuts in a cookie until this recipe. The flavor and the texture of these cookies are really nice: cookies taste like chocolates with hazelnuts and at the same time crunchy. I love […] Read More


Mulled red wine

Mulled wine

Cold winter night + hot spiced wine has been an inseparable combination for me as of late, since I discovered mulled wine (or, Gluhwein, as it is called in German) several years ago. Mulled wine is a traditional winter drink popular in Europe around the holidays. It is also a very popular cocktail at Hanukkah […] Read More

Balsamic braised caramelized shallots with pomegranate

As I am looking to incorporate pomegranate seeds into various dishes I found this recipe for balsamic-braised, caramelized shallots with pomegranate that can serve as a wonderful side dish to fish and many meats, such as steak, prime rib, pork loin. The original recipe calls for cipolline onions or small boiling onions. I used shallots, […] Read More


Almond crescent Christmas cookies

Almond crescent cookies, shortbread, Christmas cookies

Almond crescent shaped cookies .... I've been waiting to make them a whole year. One of my most favorite Christmas cookies, even their name - CRESCENT - opens your imagination to something whimsical and winterish, evoking images of Nordic mythology, Lord of the Rings, or simply crescent moon suspended over winter land. I adore crescent […] Read More


Creamy mushroom soup with Shiitake

Creamy wild mushroom soup without all that heavy cream

In between the Christmas cookie recipes, I have to fit in this cream of Shiitake mushroom soup I made last week from scratch without using any heavy cream, and using only 1.5 cups of half-and-half. And, by the way, you can use any type of wild mushrooms in place of Shiitake. I've made this soup […] Read More


Cranberry noels

Cranberry noels, Christmas cookies

I crave no fancy cookies for Christmas - just give me a simple shortbread cookie and I'll be happy. It's all about simple cookies that taste good and bring back the childhood memories. I started last week with simple almond shortbread cookies, and these Christmas cranberry noels from Martha Stewart are also simple to make […] Read More


Almond shortbread cookies with Amaretto

Almond shortbread cookies with Amaretto

I am very much in a holiday mood, and this is my first recipe in the holiday cookie series that I will be posting over the course of the next 2 weeks. This is a classic Christmas almond shortbread cookie that everybody should try at least once in their lifetime. Because, first, the recipe is […] Read More

Chopped salad with fruit, pomegranates, nuts, and Gorgonzola cheese

I love pomegranate seeds and eat them pretty much as is, as a mid-day snack, but I also started looking for good recipes that call for actual pomegranate seeds. I just found and tested this one from Epicurious.com, and it is a keeper! Everybody who tried this salad so far has been in awe. And […] Read More

Carrot and lentils soup

I made this carrot and lentil soup first time 2 years ago for Christmas, and it was an immediate hit with the family. Even those family members who did not like the idea of a "carrot soup" fell in love with it, finished their bowls and asked for seconds. The special thing about this recipe […] Read More