Christmas Eve Sipping Chocolate, and Luxuriating in the Light of Anticipation

There’s a reverent hush that seems to fall over Christmas Eve the way a soft blanket gently drapes across a body in need of soothing comfort and warmth. As the twilight of this special evening comes upon us, it creates a space for the glimmering, shimmering lights to sparkle and reveal themselves, and makes way for the twinkling stars in the cold, clear sky to blink and wink at us as if to express their own joy at this precious and wonder-filled time of year. In our home, Christmas Eve is that special time when our little family comes together in warm reflection and in gratitude for the myriad blessings we have so richly received throughout the year, and also for the lessons we have had the opportunity to learn ....more

Winter Snow Flurry Cake, and Not Allowing the Season’s Dreams to Melt Away

The winter season holds a particularly soft spot in my heart. When I was a little girl growing up in Michigan, where the winters are bitterly icy-cold and heavy with powdery white snow, and made shimmery with clear, glass-hard icicles that hang off of rooftops and tree branches, my favorite thing to do was to go outside, open up my little mouth, and stick out my tongue to taste the soft snow flurries and allow them to dissolve on my tongue. Though they had no real flavor, I remember them tasting a bit like what fresh, clean air smelled like, all crisp and light and ethereal ....more

Crispy Caprese Meatballs Stuffed With Mozzarella, A Colorful Little Taste of the Holidays

What would you say that the holidays taste like to you? Are they sweet and cool, with a minty flair? Are they spicy-sweet, or rich and creamy? ...more

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Puffs, The Perfect Little Golden Morsels For The Holidays

The weeks before Christmas are all awash in shimmering celebrations and gatherings. It’s a big and joyful part of this chilly and cozy holiday season, one that creates warmth in our hearts and gets us into that beautiful mindset of giving and sharing. Many of us enjoy small office parties, small neighborhood get-togethers, or festive school gatherings that implore us to get creative and offer up one another something delicious to nibble on that’s both special and a little unique, and to warm our bellies and melt some of the ice crystals ....more

“Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls”, and the Soft Twinkle of the Season

These soft and twinkling weeks between the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas are by far my favorite in the grand scheme of a year. In these weeks, we seem to relax a little and allow a bit more childlike merriment and light into our daily lives as we anticipate the holidays, and all of the fragrance, crispness and coziness that it so beautifully offers us to enjoy. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I’ve been noticing my own feelings towards this particular little block of time for the past several years now, and the comfort and warmth that it brings my heart; and all that I long to do is hold on to this glistening silver-y time, make it last, and be present and awake to experience every moment of its shining preciousness ....more

Buttery French Green Beans with Garlic-Sauteed Mushrooms, a Simple & Crisp Take On Things

Ah, the beloved Thanksgiving table! It can look like a never-ending line of saucy-ness, richness, sweetness and savory-ness, which frankly, is perfectly fine with me. That’s exactly as it should be! ...more

Cranberry & Vanilla Bean “Cheesecake” Parfaits, and the Glistening Jewels That Shimmer

The other night, I drifted off to sleep thinking about an amazingly sweet exchange between my husband and teenage son that I had overheard just moments before, without them even knowing. I had gone to bed a little while before they had, and as I laid there in quiet prayer with my Creator, reminiscing with Him about my day and expressing gratitude for the multitude of tiny little gifts that I had found in it, I heard my precious boys pass each other in the hallway and give one another a particularly touching, warm and genuinely loving “good night, I love you, and sleep well”. I cannot describe how full and tender that made my heart, and it became yet one more thing to immediately add to my mental gratitude list for that day ....more

Golden Autumn Corn Dressing, and a Soft Place to Rest One’s Soul

Often times at the tail-end of a very long day, I find myself struggling to keep my eyes open. Perhaps you can relate? It doesn’t matter whether I’m watching a really good movie or watching a truly fascinating show on a topic that any other time would have my full attention, I just can’t seem to stop my eyes from fluttering and then finally closing, and my head from bobbing and nodding and then suddenly jerking up in fake awake-ness ....more

Garlic and Rosemary Pull-Apart Rolls with Asiago Cheese, and Indulging with Joy and Abandon

When I think of all of the fabulous food that is so much a central part of the Thanksgiving Day celebration, I get a sort of warm feeling in my belly, and a child-like excitement that we can partake in all of those wonderful goodies so whole-heartedly and with such sheer glee! Thanksgiving is a time to get together in the spirit of gratitude, love and remembrance for the gifts that we have in our lives; it’s a time to ease the mind and dive freely into whatever the eyes find that would be of comfort and culinary pleasure, and sample with joy and abandon alongside the people that we care about the most. And that’s amazing, isn’t it? ...more

Warm Roasted Sweet Potato Salad, and Remembering all the Things to be Thankful For

With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, my soul begins to sense a wonderful opportunity to reflect and become filled with gratitude over all of those precious and amazing gifts that I have in my life. When we’re in the midst of challenges, or when we’re simply running on what seems like fumes as we navigate through all of the must-do’s in our daily lives, it can be all too easy to place focus on what is uncomfortable, or what makes us stressed or overwhelmed. There never seems to be a shortage of problems in life, or of things that need our attention that only seem to deplete our mental, physical and spiritual reserves; those, somehow, always seem to be there in abundance ....more