family · Nostalgia · Recipes · Stories

Week 7: Cook Up Some Comfort Food | Everyday Nostalgia

cook-up-comfort-food-nostalgia

The other day as I was having a conversation with someone I  had just met, and as all first conversations go, we were sharing pleasantries and asking questions of one another. And then the inevitable Colorado question was asked: Are you a native? 

These days it seems not many people in Colorado are natives, and alas, I am not one of them. But I also wasn’t one of the people that spent their whole life in one place and then wanted to venture out and see the world. Due to the nature of my father’s job, I spent my childhood moving from place to place, from Indiana to South Carolina to Tennessee to Ohio. A few years here and a few years there made for some challenging transitions and constant change.

But in spite of all the moving we did, I could count on one constant, no matter what state we ended up in: our old antique kitchen table would always come with us and every night, my mom would cook up and place on that table the delicious, comforting recipes that defined my childhood. And even if it was our first night in a new house, the appearance of those familiar foods helped us feel like we were home.

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family · Nostalgia · Recipes · Stories

Week 2: In With the Old | Everyday Nostalgia

restore-key-nostalgia-diaries

Last Spring was a bit of a blur for me, but today, if I close my eyes and think about that time, I am transported back to a cold April day. It was a day the promise of many things—including snow—hung delicately in the air. And it was the promise of a beginning that manifested itself in the shape of a key—a key that would open the door to a hopeful, happy future.

I remember the sound as the key slid into the lock and my footsteps’ hollow echo as I walked across the floor.  I remember the way the space felt and smelled, so fresh and new. I remember wandering around as if in a trance, pulling open the blinds and seeing a hint of dust dance in the flood of sunlight and—although I was on a tight schedule and needed to get back to work—sitting down on the floor and taking in the moment.

I pressed the key firmly into my palm now and it moved ever so slightly against the pulse it had found—a pulse now slower, calmer, than it had been in months and possibly years.

And as I sat there in the emptiness of my new place, so full of promise and potential, I remember thinking, “Now what?” Continue reading “Week 2: In With the Old | Everyday Nostalgia”

Holiday · Nostalgia · Recipes

12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 5 Classic Christmas Cookies {Day 5}

twelve-days-christmas-day-five-nostalgia

I’ve never met a Christmas cookie I didn’t like.

Well, that’s not true.  Christmas cookies with coconut I can do without. And candied fruit cookies.  Not a huge fan.  

But all other Christmas cookies. I. Love. Them.

My grandmother (we always called her Grandma Bear) loved to bake Christmas cookies.  I swear she must have started in mid-November to make all the dozens of cookies for the family. The anticipation waiting for her cookies to be delivered was almost unbearable. Every day starting early December we would watch out the window, waiting for the mail truck.

Then finally, when the box arrived we would cheer and run around like lunatics until we settled down.  We’d carefully unpack the tins and shoe boxes of cookies from the delivery box, mouths watering and tummies rumbling at the prospect of putting away 3 or 4 scrumptious cookies right then and there.

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Nostalgia · Recipes

Saturday Sweets: Decadent Dark Chocolate Brownies {Recipe}

foil-lined-brownies

As if Christmas wasn’t a big enough holiday to send your system into sugar shock, December also holds two other sweet celebrations: National Cookie Day and National Brownie Day. Since we made some Healthy Oatmeal Cranberry Breakfast Cookies on National Cookie Day, we decided to whip something up for National Brownie Day. Celebrated this past Thursday on December 8, National Brownie Day pays homage to the dense, chocolate-laden, cake-like dessert that has been winning over the hearts (and stomachs) of people since the late 1800s. We hope these delicious Decadent Dark Chocolate Brownies will win you over, too.
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Holiday · Modern Nostalgia · Nostalgia · Recipes

#nationalcookieday: Healthy Oatmeal Cranberry Breakfast Cookies

cranberry-tea

In honor of National Cookie Day, and as a way to counteract all the butter and sugar we consumed yesterday with our Spritz Butter Cookies, I decided to whip up something a wee bit healthier today. And since I started baking these at 8 in the morning (and wanted to eat them shortly thereafter), what better kind of cookie than one we could eat for breakfast? There’s no refined sugar or flour in these Healthy Oatmeal Cranberry Breakfast Cookies, so it’s practically like eating oatmeal, right?

The flavor of these cookies is a little reminiscent of a traditional, nostalgic oatmeal raisin cookie—which I love—but with an updated flavor profile that includes the sweetness from bananas and the tartness of dried cranberries. As an added twist, I dusted the tops of these with just a small pinch of salt, which gave them the perfect balance of sweet and salty and crunchy and YUM.

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