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Cheddar popcorn and beef jerky, 6:20 am, New Jersey Turnpike, en route to D.C.


My mom always made beans to celebrate the new year. Most say that black-eyed peas with ham hocks is the traditional dish, but usually for us it was something like black beans and bacon. I blame the California influence. Whichever bean you choose, they are the perfect way to recover from the excesses of the holidays and start the year ahead fresh with humble optimism.

New Year's Day may have been last week, and I may have spent it eating take-out, but it never feels like the year is really starting until I have a good plate of beans. Things are starting to get crazy around here with all the packing and planning, so the beans were a double blessing. I simply tossed everything I could think of into our slow-cooker and let it go: in went our left-over broth and gravy from the holidays, a can of tomatoes, chopped carrots, garlic, and a cup or two each of black-eyed peas and rice. And in the time that it took for me to sort my travel toiletries and pack our fancy china, out came a hearty, simple dish, a balm for stress and a restorative for tired paletes.

Happy New Year!


I don't know what they put in Meyenberg Goat Milk Butter to make it so delicious — maybe it's the "natural flavors," maybe it is just the goats' milk, cream and salt, and maybe I don't care, because I cannot stop eating it! It is light and delicately goaty, perfectly salty, with an absolutely creamy and tender bite. I want to eat it like cheese, but am mostly managing to restrain myself.

P.S. I am not in any way affiliated with Meyenberg, but I am starting to wish I were.


Over Thanksgiving, I became acquainted with this lovely device. I know, I know, I'm late to the party. But, ok, it IS awesome— it slices, it dices, and all of that. This baby churned out apples for two overstuffed pies in just a couple minutes. The best thing of all? The little lever-operated suction cup that affixes it to the counter. More things should have lever-operated suction cups!


A friend of ours throws a delightful cookie party every December: guests bring cookies or dough to swap and decorate, and after a few hours of leisurely baking and frosting, everyone goes home with a giant box of cookies. And I mean giant. These pictures do not even begin to convey the spectacular variety or overwhelming number of cookies at this party. On top of the gingerbread, molasses cookies, truffles, sugar cookies, coconut clusters and pizzelles below, there were biscotti, mint-chocolate chip, three kinds of oatmeal, toffee bars, spoon cookies, wine twists, crumbly crescent cookies and mini black and whites.


I've got a paper due this week, so you've got this beautiful persimmon and granola post-Thanksgiving breakfast pic!


Expect a mondo Thanksgiving post soon!

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