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Recipes and Stories

21 December 2021: Intimate Christmas Dinner—Chicken Rolls with Mushrooms and Ham

Chicken Rolls with Mushroom and Ham Dressing


As new variants of the Covid virus sharply remind us that the pandemic is far from over, some are choosing to once again forego large family gatherings and keep the holidays in a more intimate way with only their immediate household.


Never mind that this provides many of us with a convenient excuse to avoid some of our more tedious relatives, most of us have had just enough freedom for it to still be disappointing, especially those whose households are just two or even one person.


It also makes the large roast that's the centerpiece of the traditional feast impractical. But there doesn't actually have to be a honking big turkey, goose, standing rib, or crown roast in the middle of the table for the meal to be sumptuous and festive.  Read More 

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18 December 2021: Christmas Potato Gratin

A Classic French Potato Gratin

Last night, we ventured out to a neighborhood holiday pot-luck. It was the first time we'd done anything like it since our move, and I'm a little out of practice with cooking for crowds, so my contribution was a standard that I could do without thinking about it, an extravagant but very easy potato gratin.


And as it always does, my gratin dish came home scraped clean.


It's a simple concoction of thinly-sliced potatoes, cream, and good cheese for which I can't take any credit, since the recipe is a timeless classic French one, Read More 

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14 December 2021: Christmas Cheese Stars

Christmas Cheese Stars: Old-Fashioned Southern Cheese Straws with a Holiday attitude


Thanks to a move across three states, all the usual upheaval that goes with it, and a few unexpected wrenches thrown in along the way, we're still adjusting to our new home and life in Virginia. The consequence is, that my holiday baking has gotten a very late start. While that's probably not a bad thing for my waistline, it hasn't helped my spirit.


Yesterday, however, at long last I finally tied on an apron, got out the mixer and processor, and began my baking ritual with a batch of Christmas Cheese Stars.


That's just cheese straws with a little bit of a holiday spin that happened completely by accident. Read More 

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