When it came time to taste our 12-Month Aged Eggnog, we invited a group of friends over for the event. It ended up being a small gathering of about a dozen folks, including our friend Ralph's parents who were in town.
But we couldn't just serve something as boozy as the eggnog without also having some food on hand, so we used it as an excuse to make three recipes that we had tagged in recent issues.
The first was Ginger-Miso Sweet Pea Spread (pictured above) from the December Food & Wine.
The two of us have a lot in common when it comes to food. We have similar tastes, we're both willing to eat just about anything, and we have a penchant for selecting the exact same dishes on a restaurant menu (if only that was a game show, we'd be shoe-ins!).
In fact, the places where our palates differ are few, and mostly center around dill (Clay doesn't hate it but isn't a huge fan) and mushrooms (Zach's still trying to get on board).
But the one thing we agree on more strongly than anything else?
It's an undying, passionate love for the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Chocolate and peanut butter together is our weakness, our craving, our happy place we'd visit over and over and over again.
We've made plenty of dishes featuring this combo here on the blog. At the bottom of this post, you can see a list of our four favorite PB-and-chocolate recipes.
So when we got on a little cookie-making kick last week, starting with Snow-Capped Macaroons, Southern Living had our number with their recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Every December, you can count on the holiday issues of all the food magazines to be overflowing with cookie recipes.
Maybe it's us, but this year's issues seem to have even more cookies than usual, dazzling arrays of snickerdoodles, shortbreads, thumbprints, haystacks, gingerbreads, iceboxes, meringues, Linzers and on and on and on.
We're not complaining.
After all, if you're ever gonna make a cookie, now's a good time to do it!
Also, call us crafty, but "making holiday cookies" sounds a little fun, and we start to imagine a day spent making all kinds of beautiful creations that get wrapped up in little boxes and given to friends.
Well, that's not going to happen, but we thought we'd do our part with these Snow-Capped Macaroons from Food Network magazine. We love coconut, and the notion of a classic macaroon dipped in chocolate and topped with sugar sounded too good to pass up.
We're thinking big beef tenderloins, glorious fresh-baked breads and towering cakes: the kinds of dishes that are brought out to the dining room "with quiet pride," as Nigella would say, to be met with oohs and ahhs.
What we're not thinking when we think about show-stoppers?
You may or may not be aware, but in his day job, Clay works for Share Our Strength, a non-profit focused on ending childhood hunger in America. He started there this last summer and loves the job and the mission of the organization. At Share Our Strength, Clay is the Online Community Director, and as part of that role, he's helped organize a holiday blogger fundraiser called Share Our Holiday Table.
Sure, they're often filled with roasted goodness or sometimes great citrus, but on the whole we seldom ooh and ahh over any winter salad. They just don't hold the same promise as a spring and summer salad, tossed together with fresh veggies and the season's best greens. Staring into the bottom of our crisper in early December, those lovely greens from our CSA seem so, so far away.
We are, however, beet fanatics. And as soon as we saw this recipe in Bon Appétit, we knew it would make an appearance on our table this month. Though we seldom make one at home, we often order beet and citrus salads in restaurants and love the combination.