Chocolate Pixie Cookies | Garlic, My Soul

This time of year is synonymous in my life with cookies of all kinds. When we were little, we’d help my mom make a bunch of cookies for teachers, neighbors, family, etc. The ones above MIGHT be my fave (Chocolate Pixies) but here’s what else we made on the regular:

Anginettes Cookies | Garlic, My Soul

These were what I wanted to bring to the Cultural Fair in grade school – Anginette Cookies. They have an orange frosting that’s to die for, and there’s something soothing about frosting a million cookies and then shaking sprinkles on them. I love this spot in the assembly line.

Gingerbread Cookies | Garlic, My Soul

Gingerbread men (or stars, or ninjas, whatever) are up their on my list of favorites. I love the heavily spiced ones, with a piping hot cup of tea. And, speaking of heavily spiced cookies, I will admit these Italian Spice Cookies really grew on me over the years.


As a kid, I just couldn’t understand why anyone would pick these over something more chocolatey – hello, Hershey’s kisses?! But as an adult I think these are my favorite ones. There’s something about a spicy, rich, chewy cookie that is just perfect.

Cranberry Walnut Cookies | Garlic, My Soul

And, of course, my mom also always made chocolate chip cookies. Over the years, I’ve adapted her recipe to use a few other throw-ins, such as these Cranberry Walnut Cookies but the base is the same. There’s something about this memorized cookie recipe that really makes me feel calm – it’s something I always know will end well for me. (Except the time I used salt instead of sugar, but that’s a story for another day…)

Hopefully these cookies will make your holiday parties that much better – I am starting to figure out which few I will make for my party this weekend, and I am wondering if maybe I just make all 5? That’s reasonable, right? (Right?)

Happy December, everyone! We’re glad this final month of the year is here, though we can’t quite believe it’s come so quickly. We’re ready for peppermints hung on trees, wintry nights with cocoa, decking the halls, and some quality family time. We hope you’ll enjoy this calendar as much as we do as we wind down 2016.

December Produce | Garlic, My Soul

December! Time for cookies and soups and stews and all the roasted vegetables your household can handle. I love this time of the year – Christmas lights, cozy evenings with apple cider, parties with great cheese plates & bubbly punch, trips home to squeeze nieces and nephews…it really is a lovely time of the year, don’t you think?

There are so many hardy foods available right now it’s hard to choose the best ones. So much citrus starts popping up in grocery stores that it feels like you can hardly believe your luck – there’s something about sunny produce that really brightens up the dark evenings.

So here’s a small dose of what’s in season:

Blood Oranges
Butternut Squash
Sweet Potatoes

And here is a round up of what dishes are featuring these awesome fruits & veggies:

Blood Orange Bars | Garlic, My Soul

First, if you have an office party or cookie exchange or family party coming up, these Blood Orange Bars are a great alternative to a chocolate item – and you guys know how much I love chocolate. These are a riff on Lemon Bars, and they are just as good and more impressive in color!

Roasted Vegetable & Arugula Salad | Garlic, My Soul

This Roasted Vegetable and Arugula Salad has sweet potatoes AND butternut squash and also beets (use golden if you’re worried about staining) and can be served warm or cold depending on your feeling. Adding a layer of greens technically makes it a salad, but you can even wilt the arugula if you’re feeling feisty.

Cranberry Walnut Cookies | Garlic, My Soul

Again, back to the sweets. I’m sorry you guys, but cold weather makes me want to spend every weekend baking. These Walnut Cranberry Cookies have the same base as a chocolate chip, but you can choose what to add – and cranberries feel so wintery! You probably even have some leftover from Thanksgiving that you were wondering what to do with (no, just me?!)

Chicken Pot Pie | Garlic, My Soul

We are absolutely into hot dinners that we can serve a couple of nights in a row, and this Chicken Pot Pie is the perfect thing to feed an army & feel full and happy. What’s with having to try so hard to feel full these days? I’m guessing it’s the weather but something about a warm dinner with a glass of red wine really warms the heart. This has leeks, and you can add peas, carrots, celery…whatever other veggies you have lying around! Go crazy with those roots lying in your fridge. (Bonus if you have extra herbs from T-gives for this one, too. Again, just me!?)

Vegetarian Chili | Garlic, My Soul

This Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili is another great hearty dish to make on your weekend and have for lunch all week long. Add meat if you feel like it. But the sweet potatoes fill you up without a need for meat, and balance your spices with a sweet undertone. Serve with avo for something really special.

These are just a few of my fave recipes for the beginning of winter – feel free to browse around and tell me which are your favorites for the season. I always love hearing what everyone is cooking this time of year! 02

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese | Garlic, My Soul

My latest post for Joie de Vivre Hotels is a basic breakfast that’ll keep you going on the slopes or out in about in Lake Tahoe. One of JDV’s new hotels is the Hotel Becket, chocked full of rustic alpine charm with an eco-friendly dedication that makes it the most exciting new hotel in the area.

The rooms are decorated with the touch of someone dedicated to nature and the environment, the grounds are built for optimal relaxation from the hot tub to the sauna to the spa, and the location can’t be beat – only a few minutes walk from wherever you want to be.

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese | Garlic, My Soul Bacon, Egg, & Cheese | Garlic, My Soul Bacon, Egg, & Cheese | Garlic, My Soul

To go with this rustic feel, I chose a recipe for a simple, yet filling breakfast that’s a classic for anyone looking for a hot meal on a chilly morning: the Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit Sandwich. I recommend you use applewood smoked bacon, farm fresh eggs, and the sharpest cheddar cheese you can find.

The sandwich is a homage to the hotels natural rooms that effuse luxury yet calm. Paired with home fries that’ll make you feel nostalgic for your favorite diner and a fruit salad with fruits you actually want to eat (sorry, melon!) this breakfast-in-bed will warm you up and get you ready to layer up and head to play in the snow. For the full recipe, check it out on Joie de Vivre’s blog, here!

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese | Garlic, My Soul

Thanksgiving is THIS WEEK!!! Can you believe it? I sure cannot. I’m here to help you get ready for the day with ease. First of all, there is a menu below you can print & fill out for your tables so everyone knows JUST what they are getting into (and how to fill their plates accordingly.) Over the past eight years, I’ve cooked a lot in preparation for and actually on Thanksgiving, and I’d have to say it’s my favorite holiday. I am filled with gratitude every November when I think of how much I have in my life and how much I am thankful for. Plus, let’s be real, I love a holiday all about eating. So without further ado, here’s the dishes I suggest you have at your meal:

Turkey & Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
2-3 vegetables sides, including Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes
Cranberry sauce
Macaroni and Cheese – this may sound weird and out of place, but we somehow got in the habit of having it, and I must say it’s always a crowd pleaser – use a slow cooker to free up your oven and stove tops
Rolls or bread (we have garlic bread and it’s always bomb)
Pies – pumpkin, apple, pecan…you get the idea
Cider and Wine for drinking (not together…or together in delicious Sangria!)

But now, for the nitty gritty – the actual recipes. Here is what I think I am using this year:

Thanksgiving Turkey | Garlic, My Soul

Turkey – this is our turkey from last year – the first thing I cooked in my brand new oven (which was thrilling but also terrifying!) This year, I ordered my turkey a couple weeks out and picked it up last night and then dry-brined it. On Thursday, I will  stuff it with onions, lemon, and some thyme, sage, and rosemary, then line the roasting pan with the neck (gross, I know, but it makes for delicious gravy!) I will rub the bird with butter before she goes in, and I will cook it on 425 the whole time because I am a rebel. Here’s a handy chart for how long you should roast your turkey depending on how big it is.

Mashed Potatoes – these are usually so easy we don’t even make a recipe, but it occurred to me that means we don’t even have one on the site for you, so this year I will remedy that. I plan on making these Garlicky Mashed Potatoes from Real Simple.

Garlic My Soul | Pear Fennel Stuffing

For stuffing, we tested two recipes last year – a Cornbread Sausage Stuffing and a Pear and Fennel Stuffing. We used cornbread for both, since we have a few gluten-free people at our table, but the cornbread is delicious and soaks up gravy like you wouldn’t believe.

Garlic My Soul | Spice Roasted Brussels Sprouts

For veggies sides, I have a lot of feelings. First of all, you definitely need Brussels sprouts somewhere. And, preferably, pomegranate. Then, I like other hearty veggies – root veggies, a mash of parsnips or sweet potatoes, you get the idea. Here is a handful of our fave recipes:

Brussels with Bacon Hash
Spiced Roasted Brussels 
Rosemary Roasted Veggies
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Sauce
Paleo Parsnip Mash
Roasted Broccoli with Lemon
Herb Crusted Veggie Mash

I have to confess, I never really liked Cranberry Sauce but my mother-in-law made some simple cranberry sauce this year at our Thanksgiving (I know, be jealous, we get to celebrate twice this year) and it was really, really good. Luckily this year a friend is bringing her world-famous Cranberry Sauce so I don’t need to make it – but this recipe looks amazing.


I know it seems weird…but Macaroni and Cheese is a great addition to Thanksgiving. I promise. Just trust us. And for rolls? We recommend these Parker House Rolls or this Baked Herb Garlic Bread.

Pear Crisp | Garlic, My Soul

Now, for dessert – I love pies but other people bring them to us on the holiday. So I recommend this Pear Crisp as a crowd pleaser. Ice cream or mascarpone cheese with it is a must.  Other faves include PW’s Flat Apple Pie or of course, a Classic Pumpkin Pie.

We hope this helps you plan your menu for Thanksgiving, and we hope you’re as excited as we are for this week! Happy Most Wonderful Time of the Year, y’all!