Cranberry Walnut Bread with Pumpkin Cream Cheese (Gluten-free & Vegan!)

From Martine Holston — Blog by
November 19, 2012

{for complete post, recipe, and pictures, click here}
I love the transition between seasons: watching, feeling, and smelling the weather change around me and anticipating the particular experiences and traditions tied to each season.

Wearing short dresses and getting an ice cream cone to cool down in summer. The 4th of July. Tomatoes. Watermelon. Making jam and pickles with the end-of-summer crops.

Drinking hot apple cider wrapped in a sweater and planning for the holidays in fall. THANKSGIVING. Pumpkin-flavored everything.

Seeing my breath as I walk down the street looking at lit-up houses in winter. Seeing smoke coming out of a chimney and reading a book by the fire. Baking cookies. Wrapping presents while watching horrible Lifetime holiday movies.

Continue reading Cranberry Walnut Bread with Pumpkin Cream Cheese (Gluten-free & Vegan!) »

{THANKSgiving} Plan for a (relatively) stress-free T-day

From Martine Holston — Blog by
November 9, 2012

{For full blog post including pictures and access to the planning pdf, click here}

Thanksgiving is in a three-way tie for my favorite holiday, with the 4th of July and the Christmas season. I start thinking about it in July, but only allow myself to begin talking about Thanksgiving at the end of October.

I didn’t always love Thanksgiving, though. I actually kind of dreaded it.

Sometime in the early ’90s, my parents were fed up with rotating between families and locations. They told everyone that they were having Thanksgiving at home – anyone would come, but they didn’t want to go anywhere. Expecting a quiet Thanksgiving at home, we were all quite surprised when almost everyone both sides of the family joined them – probably around 30 people. My parents hosted Thanksgiving for the next 15 years.

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{How to Handle an Epic Fail} Basil and Brie Flatbread

From Martine Holston — Blog by
October 22, 2012

{For full blog post, pictures, and recipe, click here}

When you have an epic fail, you have three options:

Give up
Try doing it the same way again and hope for a different result (Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity).
Try something different
I had this concept for a blog post in my head. Store or Scratch – a recipe that could either be made completely from scratch or with store-bought ingredients. Brilliant, right?

I came up with the idea for a flatbread appetizer while I was picking up supplies for a family BBQ at Trader Joe’s. Since I knew I wasn’t dealing with any food allergies, I was able to buy all the pre-made ingredients there: pizza dough, white bean basil hummus, and brie cheese. I already had these pickled onions on hand and was cooking multiple dishes for a crowd, so I was all about cutting corners.

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Peppered Balsamic Fig Jam

From Martine Holston — Blog by
October 5, 2012

{For full blog post, pictures, and recipe, click here}

This is the jam that started my love affair with canning. And, full disclosure, my desire to make jam stemmed from daydreaming about my Thanksgiving cheese plate. In August. Because I secretly think about and plan holidays months in advance. Now you know my deep, dark secret. Hanging my head in shame.

My dad has a fig tree, and as you know, figs are one of my favorite things in life. I thought blue cheese. I thought fig jam. Done.

I scoured cookbooks for recipes, and ended up combining a couple of recipes to get the flavor I was after – not too sweet, with the full flavor of fig but a little extra depth from balsamic vinegar. It’s pretty close to the recipe in Put ‘em Up, with the addition of the peppercorn sachet that gives it a nice peppery finish.

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