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November 21st, 2014 · Ingredients, Local stores

Now that you’re hopefully gorging yourselves on Kringle, here’s another holiday treat worth going out on a hunt for – Panforte. I noticed that there were a stack of these when I stopped by Formaggio Kitchen this morning, but these are photos are from the one I ate last year (before I learned how to focus my lens, apparently,) and I’ll be picking up a new one in the next few days. The Panforte is similar to a fruitcake – a dense round of candied fruit and nuts that is heavily aromatic with warming spices.

I have a history of hiding food that is just too good to share – my mom and I famously rationed a jar of crunchy Biscoff spread  for months by hiding it in the lid of our couscoussière and eating it by the single spoonful – and this is one of those foods that you consider hoarding to yourself and not sharing with anyone. It’s worth sharing however, because even selfishly, you’ll make friends with this treat.

The Panforte di Siena from Formaggio comes with it’s own little powdered sugar packet. If you can’t find a round of this, you can make your own: I’ve had this recipe from David Lebovitz bookmarked for the past two years.

I’d say that this is too rich to eat more than a little slice at a time, but I’d be lying – it’s rich, certainly, but left to my own devices I could polish this thing off over the course of a long afternoon.

Other similar seasonal treats I’d like to try making:

Melissa Clark’s Moist and Boozy Fruit Cake

Laurie Colwin’s West Indian Black Cake

Do you have any favorite holiday spiced cakes?

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From Thursday Evening

November 20th, 2014 · Tea

Trader Joes Harvest Blend Tea

Another cup of this tea tonight – grab it if you see it at Trader Joe’s! (It’s caffeine free, and herbal, and the ingredients listed are: Cinnamon, Ginger, Hibiscus, Natural Cinnamon and Apple Flavors with Other Natural Flavors, Chamomile, Roasted Chicory, Orange Peel.) My usual herbal tea drink is verbena leaves, but I got this box from my friend Alexann, and now I need to stock up on more.

Now I’m off to forage the fridge. Tonight’s dinner consisted of a killer cranberry upside down cake, cannoli, slices of cheese, and some sort of iced custard cake with Wellesley folks, but I haven’t yet eaten a meal, and it’s nearing 11 pm.

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Walden Local Meat November Meat Share

November 19th, 2014 · Meat

Table of November Walden Local Meat Share

For the past few months I’ve been looking forward to meat share day – my delivery of my Walden Local Meat CSA. Here’s a look at today’s haul. I get the 10-12 pound share, and supplement it with a few extra pounds of ground beef,  two dozen pastured eggs, and occasionally a few extra goodies. This month I got a couple of pounds of beef bones for bone broth.

Walden Local Meat Share November

Walden Local Lamb

Walden Local Ground Beef

Walden Local Beef Stew Meat

Meat Bones for Stock

This month’s share had: a large Boston Butt (pork), ground pork, ground beef, breakfast sausage, beef stew meat, bratwurst, Lamb round chops, and a boneless strip steak. (Each share is different, and you mark your preferences in a monthly survey they send out. You can customize, add on, and cut out things you don’t like. They also provided some of their home made beef sticks to try out.

So many great meals to look forward to!

Walden Local Meat Co.

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Thoughts from Tuesday

November 18th, 2014 · Uncategorized

Anne Was Here Frenchie Mug

Last night I waved a coworker off wishing her a great weekend. On a Monday. It’s safe to say that this week is already feeling long. The temperature has dipped to almost freezing, and every time I come back to the house, I’m reluctant to leave again. Life would be better in some form of hibernation over the winter, and while I’m not a bear, I’m doing my best to replicate the cozy cave thing here on my couch. Tonight I’ve been curled up, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, drinking the Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend Herbal Tea (thank you, Alexann!) in the brand new mug that Devon gave me.

Can we speak about this mug for a moment? When I came home from my race, it was waiting for me – not only is it one of my favorite colors, but the Frenchie looks suspiciously like our RunKeeper office dog @frenchiedijon. Yes, we’ve become those people. Totally lusting after the dogs of coworkers and friends. Dijon’s mom already knows that if he goes missing she should probably call me.

The mug was part of a two part wonderfully thoughtful gift – the second box was filled with two special bags of coffee from Blue Bottle, which means that my mornings for the next week or two are going to be stellar.

Blue Bottle Coffee

So about this gift giving business. I’m notoriously bad at it. But because I’ve resigned myself to the holiday season being here, I’ve been putting together a Pinterest board of food gifts so I don’t forget about all the things that I’d like to acquire. (Mostly for myself.) I’ll be adding to it over the next few weeks. Take a look!

Follow Sam’s board Foodie Gift Guide on Pinterest.

What’s on your wish list? 

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A Weekend in Texas

November 17th, 2014 · Travel

Heather West Caroline Hendryx Sam Tackeff

Happy Monday to you! After blogging non stop in Savannah on vacation last week, I realized how much I love organizing my travel photos (and how rarely I actually do this.) So I spent this weekend flipping through my pictures from my Labor Day Trip to Texas, celebrating my best friend Caroline’s birthday. Here are some of my favorites!

Some of the highlights of the trip:

Central Market. Hatch chile season. Fresh lime juice in a bottle, no, really fresh!
Grocery shopping with Gail – Brunch for 10, Dinner for 12.
Lunch at Ouisie’s – a Texas Crab Cobb Salad. They have a great bread basket!
Sonoma Wine Bar (drinking: Idlewild Rosé, eating: the charcuterie plate)
Meeting: Cory! Brad, Jill, Andie. Justin. Austin! (Finally!)
Teacher errands. Beyoncé Chicken at Mo Ranch. Caroline’s Classroom.
Barnaby’s for the Chile burger on a salad.
Getting to hang with Sadie and Priscilla. Having two cute dogs underfoot is bliss.
Dower reunion: Caroline, Heather, Sam and Jean.
Second lunch at Taco Cabana. Just because. Queso! Tacos! Fresh tortillas!
Topwater. We were going to take the boat, but it was bad weather. Shrimp. Sinkers. Bobbers.
Caroline’s birthday brunch. Cantaloupe soup. Sausage on sticks. Breakfast tacos. Amazing large tiffin.
Coffee from Starbucks. (Did you know that you need to order the carafes in advance?)
Tempesta, our worthy ship. Weather. Dolphins. DOLPHINS, YOU GUYS.
Gail + Mike’s Guestbook in Kemah
Spending time with Erin + Thomas, Julia + Hector in the flesh.
NASA! Mission control. Orion in 2030 – seems so far away.
Plasma rockets exist? But they can’t get them to stop yet.
*TCYC,  remembering Tom Hutcheson, neighbors and friends here for decades.
Mike’s Birthday Dinner Party (the stories…). Salmon tartar. Avocado soup with citrus, red pepper and shrimp. Salad with watermelon, basil, cucumber and tomato, ricotta salata and a balsamic vinaigrette. Fish. Crab sauce with cream and mushrooms. Cake. Amarula and Limoncello shots.
Spending as much time on the boat as humanly possible.
Breakfast at Classics. Eggs Benedict on a biscuit. With grits.
Driving the boat! Navigating between red and green poles.
More swimming.
Dinner at WiFi-less Cedar Creek. (Minus Hector, who had to select his draft picks.)
Farmers market chocolate and cheese samples, cheerful bands.
Kolaches with Jean: ham egg and cheese, and poppyseed.
Cold brew coffee tasting (Chameleon and Cafin, didn’t really love either?)
Tortillas. I took home two dozen in my suitcase.

Flying into Houston Texas

Ousies Crab Louis Salad

Science Notebooks in Carolines Classroom

Carolines Classroom Turtle

A Texan Beyonce Chicken

Texas Chickens

We dont dial 911

Dear Sadie Hendryx

Chile Burger Salad at Barnabys

The Water in Kemah Texas

Birthday Party at Topwater

TCYC Boardwalk Kemah Texas

Brunch on Kemah Bay

Cory on the Tempesta Kemah Texas

Fishing boats in Kemah Texas

The TCYC Rum Gum in Kemah Texas

TCYC Taps in Kemah Texas

TCYC Dogs in a Golf Cart Kemah Texas

Sam Tackeff in Kemah

Sam Tackeff in Kemah Texas

Caroline Hendryx in Kemah Texas

Caroline Hendryx and Deborah Hendryx

Sunset in Kemah Texas

Sam Tackeff and Sadie Hendryx

Priscilla Hendryx

Nasa Astronaut

Space Center Longhorns

Mission Control Center Nasa Houston


Astronauts on the Moon

The Birthday Boy

Mikes Birthday Spread

Classics Eggs Benedict and Grits

Boats at TCYC in Kemah Texas


KolachesSam Caroline and Heather at Cedar Creek

Dear Texas, I hope to come back soon.

–– Sam

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