Tag Archives: holiday

Grandma Dean’s Oyster Stew

Oyster stew is one of the few things that I normally refused to eat growing up—until I was in college, I was confident that oysters were the last thing I should ever eat. Thankfully I’ve lost that perspective, and Heather and I go out for raw oysters fairly regularly at a local raw bar happy hour. This recipe is based off of my late Grandma Dean’s, who I remember for infamously “teaching me my first word: mine.”

Oyster stew is a big tradition in many households, and has roots in the Americas going back to the late 19th Century. Dishes like this one are especially popular for those who celebrate a meatless dinner on Christmas Eve—you may know Italian families that celebrate the Festa dei sette pesci, or Feast of the Seven Fishes. This is an amazing fresh first dish for a meatless dinner, a special occasion, or a light yet savory treat.
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Family Resolution Revolution Bundle

Tis the season for cookies and hot cocoa with marshmallows and presents galore! It is also the season of resolutions, including many promises to eat and live more healthfully. These resolutions are notoriously hard to keep.

However, having the right resources and having others to help you stay accountable will help you increase your chances of success. I first really paid attention to this after hearing an NPR story back in 2012. Clinical psychologist John Norcross said, “The buddy system works” and “publicly declare your resolution as a family. […] Families can do it all together much more effectively than one alone.” (Check it out here: Making Resolutions That Stick.) This is one of the many reasons Brent and I have been successful in living more healthfully over the past few years; we support each other and surround ourselves with resources and great friends who support us, too.

So, I was thrilled to see that Stacy and Matt of the Paleo Parents pulled together an amazing collection resources to help you, your family, and your friends find renewed health and wellness in 2015 and for many years to come: The Family Resolution Revolution Bundle.

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Basler Brunsli (Chocolate-Almond Spice Cookies)

The winter holidays are here! Every one we know is decorating their houses, baking treats, and buying and wrapping gifts. The last two years, we went to Brent’s parents’ house to celebrate the season, so we didn’t decorate at all and it never really felt like holidays. But this year, we’re hosting both sets of parents. So, while we haven’t exactly finished our gift shopping or planned our Christmas dinner menu, we did put up our Christmas tree a couple weeks ago. As soon as we finished it, I got a little “warm fuzzy” in my heart.

Since that evening, I have been daydreaming of Christmas cookies from my childhood. I know, though, that most of them would leave us feeling sick. Most of them. One cookie (one out of the seemingly endless kinds of cookies we helped my grandma and mother make) is naturally gluten- and dairy-free. It’s called Basler Brunsli. Originally from 16th century Switzerland, it has long been part of the holiday tradition in Germany and Austria. The main ingredients are two of my favorite things—chocolate and almonds—and the complementing spices give it a warmth and complexity of flavor that I cannot resist. Brent said, “They taste like an Oreo and a gingerbread cookie had a baby.” Honestly, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to make these cookies before! We hope you enjoy them as much as do.
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Pumpkin Coconut Pie

We’ve got a snowy day here in the DC area, and I figured it was a perfect day to share a sweet recipe that is a collaboration (well 20% us) with my mom.  We made this pie for Thanksgiving, and I have to say that it was a blast.  In all honesty, I found this better than your standard pumpkin pie that you can pick up from the store.

This pie we let sit for almost 2 days before finally serving, and it was still fantastic.  I was shocked at how the crust pulled away from the pan like a traditional pie, and the crust is really delicious.  Not too sweet, a little crumbly, and not too dry (which sometimes happens with these gluten free crust/bread/sweets recipes).  We hope you’ll try it and let us know how it comes out!
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The Best Stuffing

Last Thanksgiving, we were brave and hosted both of our families in our little house.  It was a fabulous time, albeit pretty cramped.  We made everything within our food choices, and even brewed some homemade cider for the occasion.  You can read a little more about it here.

One of the creations from that holiday was this stuffing.  It’s made with my corn-less corn bread, and US Wellness Meats sugar free pork breakfast sausage.  I’m sure you could buy some ground pork and season it and come up with a decent stuffing, but I’m fairly confident that this is the secret ingredient.  I was a bit baffled by the response to this stuffing (it’s good, but I totally made it up), but after returning to the recipe a year later, it still holds up.  Sometimes you just get lucky.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.
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