Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

T’was the Night Before Febgiving Alpha…

February 1, 2009

And I’m making candied pecans, to go with the doubledecker apple/bourbon pecan pie, two loaves of pumpkin bread and pound cake that we’ve got banked up in anticipation of tomorrow’s event.

Here’s the recipe for Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans, via Epicurious. They are, in fact, delicious. Pecan flavor leads, sweetness follows, and a peppery/spicy bite brings up the rear. Really pleasant, and they’ll go great with our pre-feast cheese and cordial hour.

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces


Preheat oven to 325;°F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine corn syrup and next 4 ingredients in large bowl. Stir to blend. Add pecans; stir gently to coat. Transfer to baking sheet.

Place large piece of foil on work surface. Bake pecans 5 minutes. Using fork, stir pecans to coat with melted spice mixture. Continue baking until pecans are golden and coating bubbles, about 10 minutes. Transfer to foil. Working quickly, separate nuts with fork. Cool. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)


Febgiving Alpha: A Drinks Preview

January 29, 2009

Working shoulder-to-shoulder with Febgiving co-founder and Chino Latino chef Noah Barton, Becca and I have come up with a few special Febgiving drinks that celebrate the holiday and — coincidentally — allow us to utilize the various random flavored vodkas we have sitting around the house.


4:2:1 Espresso Vodka: Disaronno : half & half + ice


3: 2 Berry Vodka : Vernor’s Ginger Ale + a splash each of cassis and mango balsamic vinegars + ice


1:1 Root Beer Vodka : Vernor’s Ginger Ale + ice

All of these have been flight-tested and approved for human consumption. We hope you’ll enjoy one or all of them sometime soon.

A Classic Febgiving Side

November 18, 2008

One of the undisputed hits of Febgiving II (along with Missy’s pumpkin roll) was Becca Dilley’s creamy, flavor-rich version of Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts tend to go wrong when they’re overcooked at a lowish temperature, leading to a slimy texture and a funky, sometimes overwhelming odor that is, for some diners, a little too close to “rotten.” This dish works with relatively high temperatures and fast cook times to keep the fresh, garden-y aspect of the Brussels sprouts at the fore, while bringing cream and bacon in as critical supporting players.

“I Know You Think You Don’t Like Brussels Sprouts But You Really Do”

Serves 4 as a side

About 25 (1.5 pounds) Brussels sprouts, ends removed and cut into quarters
4 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces (1/2″x1/2″ or smaller)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup shredded parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

2. Heat 1 tsp vegetable oil in oven-ready skillet on stovetop

3. Add bacon and saute until light brown and crispy

4. Add Brussels sprouts to hot skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown, about 5-6 minutes

5. Season with salt and peper

6. Add cream to skillet

7. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup parmesan onto the brussels sprouts and stir

8. Put skillet into oven and cook for about 10 minutes, until cheese and brussels sprouts are browned and cream is bubbly and slightly yellow

9. Optional: sprinkle a little more parm on each serving before it hits the table