The Magic of ‘The Nutcracker’

If the show can go on, a flicker of hope will too When I was a little girl, there were few outings more magical than a trip to see the Nutcracker ballet. My sisters and I dressed in our Sunday best and climbed the narrow staircases of the posh theater. We held our breath whenContinue reading “The Magic of ‘The Nutcracker’”

Every Year, It Changes

Every year, there are many holiday traditions at my house. We take a long, cold hike on December 23rd. On Christmas Eve, we cook and open one gift and crowd into overfilled church pews. Christmas Day, we wake early and gobble steamy cinnamon rolls and welcome a visit from my Dad and his wife. OnContinue reading “Every Year, It Changes”

Treasure Hunt

We found Christmas in the unlikeliest of places My youngest was strapped in a Baby Bjorn the first year our family cut our Christmas tree at Roll Out Farm in Pilot, Va. It wasn’t the first time we’d trekked to a Christmas tree farm. We had visited other places that were closer, and flashier, withContinue reading “Treasure Hunt”

Maps Make the Perfect Gift

I have two nieces graduating from high school this month so I’m in the market for a couple of memorable, meaningful gifts. Something to decorate the new dorm rooms, perhaps. Maybe a reminder of home for when they’re far away. As I begin to search for inspiration, one concept keeps popping up at every turn: maps. AsContinue reading “Maps Make the Perfect Gift”

Not Your Mother’s Green Bean Casserole

  Our garden gives us green beans. We blanch and freeze them. Then, come Thanksgiving, we’ve got what we need for that holiday staple, Green Bean Casserole. But it seems a shame to slather our garden bounty with a can of condensed mushroom soup. So here’s what I make instead. It’s so flavorful, you’ll beContinue reading “Not Your Mother’s Green Bean Casserole”

Celebrating the Season

For my family, this week began with Halloween, continued with two kid birthdays and will end with back-to-back parties on Friday and Saturday. And, as we all know, it only gets crazier from here. I have, pretty much every year, dreaded these busy months of travel and connections, of events and hosting, of anticipation and tears andContinue reading “Celebrating the Season”

Celebratory Cinnamon Rolls

  Christmas mornings. Birthday breakfasts. Snow day feasts. These sweet and sticky, warm and gooey treats are what we whip up for special occasion breakfasts no matter the time of year. Yes, they are more work than unrolling a can of Pillsbury. But they are oh-so worth it. Recipe from King Arthur Flour Makes 12Continue reading “Celebratory Cinnamon Rolls”

Meatballs

Meatballs are a staple in our kitchen. Whether served as a complement to roasted vegetables, atop spaghetti and mixed with marinara or stirred together with a sweet and sour sauce, they are a versatile and easy dinner, loved by all. We have, over the years, tried many recipes: Swedish meatballs, slow cooker meatballs, Asian meatballs. ButContinue reading “Meatballs”

Celebrations

  Thursday is Thanksgiving — a time to gather with family and friends, a day to indulge and relax. It’s an occasion to count our blessings and to spend time romping in the chilly sunshine and lounging in front of televised parades.      It’s also the only holiday I can think of that isContinue reading “Celebrations”