Tag Archives: Holiday

Raising a glass to the New Year

So here we are.  The last week of 2011.  Seven days until January.

It’s the end of Dare to Eat a Peach’s first year.  If this blog were a person, it would already be toddling and talking and pulling boxes off grocery store shelves when the grown-ups aren’t looking.  I’m oddly fond of this little internet creature I’ve birthed–through it, I’ve managed to be more creative, in a different way, than I’d been in a long time.  For a first-year adventure, it’s been a good one.

It hasn’t been the easiest year.  My family has gone through some unexpected challenges, and I’ve lost a fair amount of ground in taking care of my own health.  But I’m also on much more solid ground than I was this time last year; after many years of self-image struggles, I’m finally feeling at home in my own skin. So my efforts to buckle down on my health are actually going to stick this year.  It’s not a question of wobbly resolutions, but quiet jaw-set determination.  2012 is looking up already.

So this week is going to be my time to recharge and gear up.  I’m letting my creative muscles relax a little bit, and returning to some comfy kitchen favorites.  Last night I made a batch of these for my friends; later in this week, I’ll probably make a couple of these for dinner, and maybe try a new spin on this for lunch one day.  And then, on New Year’s Eve, I’ll whip up one of my grandmother’s favorite cocktails–champagne, Grand Marnier, a lime wedge, an ice cube–and toast to a sweeter and more sparkling 2012.

See you on the other side!

French Connection (makes one drink)

Courtesy of my grandmother Marilyn

Grab a champagne flute, and drop in an ice cube and a lime wedge.  Pour in an ounce of Grand Marnier, then top off the flute with champagne.  This was the first cocktail I ever tasted, and it’s still my favorite way to ring in the New Year.

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Saffron-marzipan buns

One of the things I love most about keeping this blog is the conversations it sparks with people I’ve never met. There are so many people out in the wooly wilds of the internet who are just as passionate about food as I am, and swapping ideas with them is nothing short of intoxicating.

Veronika was the first person to comment on my blog who wasn’t already a friend of mine (and therefore obligated to be nice to me). We started commenting back and forth on each other’s blogs, and now I feel like I know her a bit. I so enjoy reading her blog, Eat The Roses, because she pulls no punches–body image, indiscriminate “liking” of blog posts, brussels sprouts, pizza, are all treated with the same honesty and straightforwardness. Plus, she’s constantly tickling my creative-cooking nerve with recipes for beautiful foods I’ve never seen before.

Like lusekatter, or St. Lucia buns. I’d never heard of them before, but I knew I had to try them–and holy mackerel are they tasty.

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Shortbread cookies

Disclaimer: I have been on an epic sweets-making bender for the past week. The next few posts here are going to be devoted to cookies and candies. I hope you don’t mind too much.

I’ll start with something on the savory side of sweet: rosemary shortbread cookies. I got a packet of them as a party favor from my office’s holiday shindig last week, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

I don’t celebrate Christmas, but these seem like the perfect Christmas cookie: salty-sweet and tinted with honey, fragrant in a way that reminds me of evergreen trees. They’re sturdy enough to be packaged as gifts, but sophisticated enough that you’re bound to really impress someone. I love these little guys.

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Persimmon bread, and a Thanksgiving thought

It’s Dare to Eat a Peach’s first Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday. As my sister pointed out, it’s one of the few times in a year when we can be reasonably sure everyone else is doing the same thing we are. It’s a quintessentially American holiday, without the jingoism and the omnipresent hot dogs of, say, July 4th. It’s a pause for breath before the arrival of the juggernaut Christmas–a welcome moment of inclusiveness for heathens like me. It’s a celebration of food, family, and the remarkable bounty of the planet we live on. It’s a holiday transported far from its murky and oppressive historical roots–a welcome shift, I think–and, so far, the only major one that has stubbornly resisted commercialization. There are no Thanksgiving jingles in stores, and for that alone it is a glorious day.

But as a food blogger, I have to acknowledge something: Thanksgiving is driving us crazy.

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