Wednesday, December 19, 2018

THM Picks: Modern Holiday Classics

Some friends noted that, while my list of classic holiday films was all well and good, I was overlooking quite a few modern classics from my roundup! So to pick up where I left off, here are some modern holiday favorites that need to be on your viewing list this season:

Die Hard (1988) - How awkward could your estranged wife's office holiday party be?!?!?!?!?!

A Christmas Story (1983) - This quirky and endearing look at childhood in the 1940s initially bombed in theaters, but has become a cult classic ever since. Subtle and engaging performances make this film a timeless favorite.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) - Clark has worked hard all year, and just wants to give the entire Griswold family the Christmas they deserve! This is Chevy Chase at his best, with the kind of supporting cast you won't find anywhere else.

The Holiday (2006) - A gentle wink and nod to the craft of filmmaking, with an absolutely charming supporting performance by Eli Wallach, this movie shows us that sometimes we need to take a holiday from our comfort zones...and that it's definitely worth the trip!

Love Actually (2003) - An outstanding ensemble cast portrays a delightful array of characters with interconnected story lines, all leading up to the local school's Christmas Eve pageant. Love is found, love is lost, hearts are broken and mended again, and one thing remains clear through it all: love (not to mention Christmas) actually is all around!

love actually dvd cover

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fall in Love: Three Pumpkin Recipes Perfect for Fall

The changing of the seasons is nothing short of magical, and the foods we eat help us mark those transitions. Of course, pumpkin is the name of the game this time of year! As we move into Fall, you'll want to try these recipes in your own home, for the pleasure of making them as well as to share with friends and family. So gather your tribe, set the table, and enjoy the warmth of good food and great company!

Thai pumpkin soup

Thai Pumpkin Soup: Easy, delicious, and a fantastic canvas for a variety of additions, it can be made vegan to accommodate guests of any food persuasion. It also freezes well, so definitely keep some on hand for a quick option at the end of a chilly day.

individual pumpkin custards

Individual Pumpkin Custards: Simple yet luscious, these are a gluten-free/grain-free treat, one that works equally well for breakfast as well as dessert! They're also fantastically easy to transport, and a welcome addition to any dessert table.

pumpkin butter bars

Pumpkin Butter Bars: Is it a bar cookie? A slab pie? Does it matter??? All you need to know is that these are out of this world, and deserve to be made as soon as possible. But be warned, they are just as easy to eat as they are to make!

What's your favorite pumpkin recipe? What do you look forward to making when the weather turns chilly and the leaves start to fall?


Friday, August 24, 2018

Georgia on My Mind: Peach "Pie" Bars with Pecan Streusel

A few weeks ago, I was fairly obsessed with these oatmeal cookie bars - I couldn't stop thinking about them! I finally convinced myself it was okay to make them if I shared them with friends, but that didn't stop me from eating quite a few myself. Just before making them, I couldn't remember if there were nuts in the recipe or not. And when I thought about it some more, I wondered, "Why aren't there nuts in the recipe??? That would taste great!!!" So then it was August, and August reminds me of peaches, and peaches remind me of Georgia, and don't they just happen to specialize in pecans there, too? I'm sure you see where this is going!

Peach Pie Bars with Pecan Streusel

Peach "Pie" Bars with Pecan Streusel

1 cup very soft butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
13 oz. peach preserves (homemade would be fabulous!)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and salt together, then add flour and stir to combine as much as you can. At that point, scrunch the mixture between your fingertips to ensure the butter is evenly distributed and there are no dry pockets of flour left. Remove 1 cup of the crumbs to a smaller bowl, and mix together with the pecans, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Set this aside, then spread the remainder of the plain crumbs evenly into your prepared pan and press firmly to form the base. Bake for 15 minutes to set, then remove and (carefully) spread the preserves over the base, and finally sprinkle with the pecan-cinnamon crumbs. Return to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until just slightly golden and the edges of the filling start to bubble. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Cover and store any unused portion in the fridge, but let the bars come to room temperature before trying to cut them again.

Peach Pie Bars with Pecan Streusel

Notes: These bars are very sweet, but certainly cut back (or omit) the brown sugar in the streusel topping, if desired. As well, feel free to use any jam/preserves you enjoy, or any nuts you like! As is the case with many of my desserts, these travel well and can remain at room temperature until you're ready to put them away. Oh, and I don't need to tell you how great these would be with vanilla ice cream, right? :-)