Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms: Your Fail-Proof Holiday App

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Looking for a last minute appetizer to serve at your New Year’s Eve bash or New Year’s Day dinner? (If you’re thinking, wow, this girl just uses the new year as an excuse for one last chance to pig out, YES, you are right, what’s your point?)

These stuffed mushrooms are IT. Everyone loves a stuffed mush at a party, and these ones are especially luxurious thanks to the fact that they’re stuffed with crab! Despite their fanciness, they take about 10 minutes to put together and are almost impossible to mess up.

Festive Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

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brioche stuffing for Thanksgiving

Brioche Stuffing: A Taste of Thanksgiving Luxury

brioche stuffing for Thanksgiving

I’ve been waiting a YEAR to write this post! I made this brioche stuffing for Thanksgiving 2014… and I waited until now to thrust it upon the world. And oh yes, I will be making this stuffing again this year! Right after I finish this post, to be exact.

So I love Thanksgiving stuffing. Who doesn’t? I’ve got nothing against Stovetop, but I like to take my stuffing game up a notch. That’s where this brioche stuffing comes in. Why brioche? It has a high egg and butter content (mmm… butter…) which means it’s super rich, soft, and slightly sweet.

I stud my stuffing with caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, and a good dose of greens. Oh, and a lot of fresh aromatic herbs to make sure your kitchen/house smells amazing for all your Thanksgiving guests. I can’t wait to make and EAT it again this year!

Brioche Stuffing with Wild Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions

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Top 10 Foodie Gifts

Ah yes, Christmastime is here. Christmas music is playing at every department store in the nation, fathers and husbands are crankily rushing around to strings of lights, Christmas trees, and other gadgets that are used for one month out of the year, and yes- – we are all searching for gifts to please those special people in our lives. There are so many things to choose from. But what about for those of us who love food the most? What are you going to get them? A fruit of the month club? Another cookbook that will sit on the shelve to collect dust? NO! How about something that is different/unique but also enjoyable? Well, we’re here to help. Here are our 2014 suggestions:

First Nibs: Chocolate Subscription

10. Raaka Chocolate Subscription

Raaka now offers a subscription service that offers two limited edition bars and one of their “classics” sent directly to your doorstep. The limited edition bars are only available through subscription. We were in Bryant Park and got a chance to sample their Pinot Noir Salt and Pink Peppercorn bar which was very tasty. A neat idea for any chocolate lovers out there who also appreciate a twist on some original flavors.

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9. The Original Bacon Kit

If you don’t like bacon, you most likely hate America as well. This kit would be fun for ANYONE to try out themselves and pride themselves on serving their own bacon on Sunday morning.

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8. Handpresso Auto

You already know how I feel about this product. If you have an espresso lover in your life, I guarantee they will enjoy this. Fresh espresso in your car – what else is there to say? I mean, other than the fact that it also ensures your car will always be smelling like Starbucks!

7. Spiegelau Craft Beer Tasting Kit

Spiegelau is known for their high quality glass and practical designs, enhancing the flavors of the beverage poured into the glass. We’ve already tried the IPA, Stein, and Stout glass, but this kit gives the beer lover a glass to drink each beer they have in their fridge. I’ve been doing some in depth testing of the kit that Spiegelau sent us and I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the way each glass enhances the aroma, flavor, and sometimes carbonation of the beer. If you know someone who loves beer, invest in two of these kits as a gift – they need to have enough glasses to share with you!

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Cocktail O’Clock: Autumn Old Fashioned

Autumn Spiced Old Fashioned

This way you can be Don Draper and have your holiday spices, too. This Autumn Old Fashioned includes a homemade syrup of orange, cloves, and all-spice, mixed up with bitter and — for an extra warming kick — a little tequila.

First, make the Spiced Orange Syrup:

Zest of 1 Orange
10 to 12 Whole Cloves
1 heaping tablespoon Whole Allspice
3/4 cup Water
1 1/2 cup Cane Sugar

Place all ingredients in saucepan over medium heat. Heat until sugar is completely dissolved (approximately 5 minutes). Strain. Discard zest and spices. Refrigerate syrup.

Now for the cocktail.

Autumn Old Fashioned

2 ounces Camarena Reposado Tequila
1/4 ounce Spiced Orange Syrup *
2 dashes Classic Bitters

Combine liquids in rocks glass over fresh ice. Stir. Garnish with orange twist.

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Peanut Butter Sea Salt Truffles

As much as I love holiday cookies and confections, I’m just not much of a baker. I’m impatient and imprecise, two things that are not beneficial for a cook who wants to excel in the world of baked goods. Luckily for me, there are a whole lot of treats out there that look and taste fancy, but don’t even require pre-heating an oven.

Peanut butter balls were always a favorite of mine as a kid, and these no-bake truffles are a fancy version, thanks to the addition of one of my all-time favorite dessert ingredients, fleur de sel. It’s an amazing compliment to almost any sweet flavor, plus it adds a satisfying crunch. Combine this sophisticated ingredient with the no-brainer combo of chocolate and peanut butter, and you have a guaranteed winner for your next holiday party! Not to mention that the rainbow nonpareils I added are just so festive and cute. Yeah yeah, I’m one of those people who thinks rainbow sprinkles make everything infinitely better. I can’t help myself.

Peanut Butter Sea Salt Truffles

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A New Tradition: Mock Holiday Borscht

The great thing about being an adult is that you’re free to either continue the traditions of your past, or to create totally new ones of your own design. I’ve started one that I call the “Mock Holiday.” It’s usually held the week after an actual holiday because it’s cheaper to rent costumes and they’re more available. Costumes, you say? Well of course! Holidays should be festive, and besides, it’s always better to overindulge and possibly have the contents of your just-eaten dinner magically reappear, while wearing someone else’s clothing. Our mock holidays are always planned around a lavish dinner prepared and contributed to by each member of the family. And when I say family, I mean a twisted group of like-minded acquaintances that meet on an annual basis to dine, drink and celebrate each others’ company, always at the expense of the poor bastard who has to host it at their place. Some of our past Mock Holidays have included a ‘Zombie Thanksgiving’ where each participate had to dress up in full pilgrim attire while sporting their best white-faced, brain craving makeup; ‘Super Hero Trans-Gender Christmas’ where everyone arrives dressed as their favorite opposite-sex comic book crusader, (you should have seen my She-Hulk); and our ‘Easter Playboy All-Nighter’ where all of the guys dressed in pajamas and smoking jackets, and the girls dress up as….bunnies!

Our one rule about following a traditional holiday with a mock holiday is that we can’t have traditional food like turkey for Thanksgiving or ham for Easter. Our Mock Holidays are just an excuse to get together and eat copiously, so it’s up to the current host to decide the menu. ‘Zombie Thanksgiving’ featured deep-dish pizzas while ‘Easter Playboy All-Nighter’ had lobster thermidor. Our only tradition is to be untraditional!

This weekend is no exception. To celebrate ‘Slave Labor Day’ (which is the buzz-kill of all holidays as it marks the end of summer), forget about brats and burgers and say hello to a traditional Russian feast featuring ice cold vodka, borscht and beef stroganoff! Why Russian? Hell, why not? Actually it’s where my finger landed when I closed my eyes and picked a volume from my cookbook library. And that’s the reason why I’m including my borscht recipe. It’s a little untraditional as I like to sear my beef cubes prior to boiling my stock, but then that seems to be the central theme here. So go forth and celebrate ‘Slave Labor Day’ in style! And help me make a decision here; should I go as a Chinese railroad laborer or an Egyptian pyramid builder?

Katt’s Borscht

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