December 2017 archive

2017 favorites

As 2017 comes to an end and we look forward to 2018, I enjoy looking back at some memories from the year. My word for the year was growth. As I reflect on the year’s events, I fell like I accomplished this goal in both my personal and professional life. 2017 was full of travel, professional development and improvement of skills with conferences and workshops, and new ideas. Along the way, I am proud of the many goals I accomplished that led me to grow little by little throughout the year. Below are some of my 2017 favorites, and some reader favorites from this year.

Homemade Croissants |

We started out the year with a snow day and homemade croissants – both adventures in their own ways. I was (and still am) so proud that these croissants came out as fluffy, flaky and buttery as I could have imagined. This was definitely a new challenge for me, but one that I loved!

Chocolate Cake with Whiskey Caramel Frosting and Dark Chocolate Ganache aka one of the best cakes I have ever made |

Chocolate cake with whiskey caramel buttercream and dark chocolate ganache frosting was the most popular blog posts this year – and for good reason. I made this cake for multiple occasions and loved seeing friends and readers recreate it!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Oatmeal Cookies |

My most requested post was the recipe for the classic dark chocolate pecan oatmeal cookies that I shared earlier this year. These are my go-to cookies – I can make them with my eyes closed and always have frozen dough balls in the fridge for unexpected company (or late night cravings).

Carrot Cake Scones with Cream Cheese Glaze |

Perfect for spring, carrot cake scones with cream cheese glaze were one of the top recipes and photos on Instagram this year. I’m already looking forward to making them again next year.

Weekend in Philadelphia |

With Will’s crazy clinical schedule we often didn’t know what our weekends would look like. A last minute weekend in Philadelphia was so fun and too quick of a turn-around.

One of my favorite recipes this spring was the delicious cinnamon swirl scone bread. Fluffy, cinnamony scone heaven in every bite!

Los Angeles |

The next big trip I took was a girls trip with childhood friends to Los Angeles (parts 1 and 2) I had never been to LA, and it was so great to spend time with longtime friends and interesting to compare it to some of the other big cities I visited this year.

Flourless peanut butter cookie ice cream sandwiches were one of the easiest, yet tastiest recipes this year, and fulfilled all of my gluten free friends’ dreams! They are seriously the simplest to make and are one of my new favorites to make for guests (everyone likes them!).

Slow Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Maple Pecans and Maple Bourbon Butter | Pass The Cookies |

Another of the most popular recipes this year was slow roasted sweet potatoes with spiced maple pecans and maple bourbon butter Their instagram popularity (and the number of times I made them again for lunches and dinners) proved that they deserved the spotlight.

While I am certainly not a DIY blogger, I couldn’t resist showing you my DIY cane bed. I’m still so proud of my IKEA bed hack – it makes the whole room feel more put-together and fancy.

Pumpkin Bread with Chai Crumble | Pass the Cookies |

As you know, I’m a sucker for all things pumpkin. pumpkin bread with chai crumble was an amazing addition to my pumpkin supply this year and I’m itching to make it again. It’s never a bad time for pumpkin bread – especially one this tasty!

I covered food and drinks in a totally different way this fall when we participated in coffeeneuring – biking to coffee shops. This is one area where I grew this year in confidence and adventure. Before starting our first ride I didn’t think I could bike a few miles to a coffee shop across town, but I proved to myself that I could do it and quickly became addicted to the fun coffee-seeking cycling adventures.

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cake with Bourbon Molasses Frosting | Pass the Cookies |

With Thanksgiving on the brain, there were some great pies in November. But, the brown butter sweet potato cake with chocolate ganache and molasses buttercream took the cake – literally. Not only was it beautiful, it was also a delicious combination of flavors and textures and unique enough to stand out amidst all of the pies.

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

Lastly, brown butter ginger cookies from just last week were some of my favorite cookies of the year. Even though I have gobbled up more than my fair share of cookies this Christmas season, I am still tempted to make more of these delicious little treats.

Thank you for following along this year! I’m excited for what 2018 has in store!

how to build your own hot chocolate bar

With people rotating in and out of our homes this time of year, I love to have hot chocolate and a few treats on hand to make everyone feel comfortable and special. A hot chocolate bar is one of my favorite ways to do this.

Hot Chocolate Bar | Pass the Cookies |

Stocked with an apothecary jar full of hot cocoa powder, homemade marshmallows, candy canes, and Christmas cookies, everyone can build their perfect cup of hot cocoa with little hands-on time from the host or hostess. Last year, I created a hot chocolate bar for a baby shower I hosted for two friends and ended up leaving it out for the rest of the season, replenishing the toppings after visits with family and friends. It made the perfect welcoming touch and was so fun to have on hand!

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Peppermint | Pass the Cookies |

Hot Chocolate Bar | Pass the Cookies |

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Peppermint | Pass the Cookies |

I usually place my electric kettle and some fun holiday mugs around the spread so everything is ready whenever guests decide to partake. A 1-tablespoon measuring spoon and a small whisk with it’s own plate to catch drips are two easily forgotten, but helpful items for measuring the right amount of cocoa and getting rid of those pesky clumps. One trick my mom taught me on snow days when I was younger is to pour the hot chocolate mix into the mug, add a little bit of hot water, and whisk to create a thick, almost syrup-like mixture. Then add the rest of the water for your perfect mug of cocoa. This process makes sure there are no lumps of unmixed cocoa powder floating at the top of your otherwise beautiful mug.

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Peppermint | Pass the Cookies |

Hot Chocolate Bar | Pass the Cookies |

Homemade marshmallows aren’t necessary, but they make a huge statement for the small amount of extra effort it takes to make them. I went with plain marshmallows this year (just substitute vanilla for the peppermint in these peppermint ones), with some dipped in chocolate and crushed peppermint, but in the past have made peppermint, gingerbread, eggnog, whiskey, and amaretto flavored marshmallows for a fun treat! While the bar transforms into a hot chocolate station, don’t worry about moving all of the alcohol. I like to leave the liqueurs that make for tasty spiked hot chocolates, like Irish cream, hazelnut liqueur, coffee-flavored liqueur, and peppermint schnapps.

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Peppermint | Pass the Cookies |

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Peppermint | Pass the Cookies |

To create your own hot chocolate bar like this one you will need:

  • Hot chocolate mix (powder, homemade, or piles of chocolate shavings, like this)
  • Hot water or milk in an electric kettle or air pot
  • Marshmallows
  • Candy canes
  • Cookies (I included my favorites from this year – brown butter ginger cookies)
  • 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop the hot chocolate powder
  • Small whisk and a plate or bowl for it to rest on after people use it
  • Mugs
  • Fairy lights
  • Flavored liqueurs

While you may not think designing a bar cart is much like decorating a room, it takes more zhushing than I sometimes think it will. It is a fun way to start small and work your style into your holiday decor, or just your rooms in general after the holidays. Sometimes it is hard to move past the small pieces of decorating and see the big picture, or tackle a whole room. I have heard so many people talking about affordable online interior designs, like Havenly, recently, which seems like a great mid-way point between designing your own bar cart and designing your own room.

I can’t wait to settle down this weekend and fix my perfect cup of hot chocolate – who said it was only for guests? ;) What are your favorite hot chocolate toppings? Anything I should add to my rotation?

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Peppermint | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.comThis post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Pass the Cookies.


brown butter ginger cookies

If you make one type of cookie this holiday season, let it be brown butter ginger cookies. Out of all of the cookies I have made all year, these are my favorites and the ones I have made the most often, which is crazy, since I just started making them in November. The name aptly describes them – you can clearly taste both the brown butter and the ginger, but neither overpowers the other. Ah-mazing.

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

Brown butter makes your whole kitchen smell glorious, and the deep, nutty flavor penetrates each bite. The dusting of sugar that coats each dough ball bakes into a sparkly pillow. All of that combined with ginger and cardamom, these cookies are soft, warm, and so flavorful. They are so delicious that I can never stop at just one.

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

In the past few weeks I have brought these to family gatherings and work potlucks and have heard raves each time. While they look like gingersnaps, they are so much better!

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

Since they require brown butter, which adds a step to the cookie making process, I make the process easier by browning the butter one night, letting the brown butter cool throughout the evening, and making the dough the next night. Don’t let brown butter stop you from trying these! You can definitely make these in the span of a few hours (especially if you speed up the cooling in the fridge), and I have done that a few times, but sometimes it is easier to only devote a little bit of time in two chunks, instead of a longer amount of time once, with dead time in the middle. If you have a day when you do all (or most) of your holiday baking, brown the butter at the beginning, continue with the other recipes, and come back to it when you are done with the other things on your list. The extra time is worth it!

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies |

Drop the rest of your holiday baking pans and whip up a batch of these for everyone you know.

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies
¾ cups butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar, for rolling

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it is medium-brown. You will notice the bubbling will stop and it will smell nutty. This should take between 5-10 minutes. Remove the butter from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. To speed up this process, pour the browned butter into a shallow bowl and refrigerate for a bit. It is okay to use if the outside is firm and the inside is liquid.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl after 2 minutes. Add in the molasses and egg and mix to incorporate.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar and butter mixture. Mix until the ingredients are combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the sugar into a bowl. Scoop or roll chilled cookie dough into 2 teaspoon to 1 ½ tablespoon-sized balls and roll them in sugar. I like the 2 teaspoon size (I use the small cookie scoop), but the 1 ½ tablespoon gives you even more of that chewy center. Place the dough balls 2-inches apart on the baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes for the small cookie dough balls, or 12-15 minutes for the larger dough balls. They will still look like they are not quite done when you take them out. Don’t bake them until they look done, otherwise the edges and the base will get harder.

Barely adapted from Bake from Scratch Holiday Cookies magazine.

local gift guide for the triangle

As much as I love the gift guides for all categories that can easily be shopped from the couch, there is something great about supporting local businesses this time of year. Many readers are local to the Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill), but even if you aren’t I hope this gives you some ideas for how you can find local gifts in your area too. This last week before Christmas, run out to these stores and pick up your last minute gifts, while still supporting local businesses. If you don’t have time to get to the store, some of these are on Amazon Prime (Write the Word Journal, Counter Culture Coffee, and Greenwich Bay Trading Company soaps and lotions, to name a few).

Triangle Local Gift Guide | Pass The Cookies |

North Carolina felt pennant from The Zen Succulent in Durham. This mother-daughter store has a Durham pennant and other great home items and pretty terrariums, too. They even offer local delivery of some of their potted plants around the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. If you are looking for flowers to gift in Raleigh, hop downtown to Wylde. They have beautiful arrangements, wreaths, and small gifts for the flower lover.

High Cotton ties and bow ties. This Raleigh company has the cutest ties and bowties for all of the stylish men (or those you want to force a little style on ;)) in your life. Their holiday line is so good that I’m having trouble picking a favorite!

Cultivate What Matters Write the Word Journals and gift cards (these would make a great stocking stuffer!). I have the “Cultivate Renewal” Write the Word Journal and have loved using it throughout the year.

Greenwich Bay Trading Company holiday soaps and lotions. Greenwich Bay Trading Company is a family-owned business in Raleigh. Their holiday collection of soaps and lotions always smells so good, and is wrapped in paper so pretty, all you need to do is add a bow. They don’t sell their soaps from their own website, but you can find them on , on this website, and at many local stores in Raleigh (I usually see them at Zest and now at The Local Squirrel).

Shops for various, unique, local gifts:
DECO, The Local Squirrel, Steven Shell Living, Form & Function, Union Camp Collective in Raleigh
Chet Miller, Parker & Otis, and The Makery at Mercury Studio in Durham

Raleigh bakery tour - croissants, morning buns, hot chocolate, and more.

Raleigh bakery tour - croissants, morning buns, hot chocolate, and more.

Food gifts:
Pretty pastries and fresh bread from Boulted Bread, Yellow Dog Bread Company, and Lucettegrace in Raleigh, or a pie from East Durham Pie Co. or Scratch in Durham. If you haven’t tried a loaf of bread from Boulted or Yellow Dog, or the hot chocolate at Lucettegrace, you don’t know what you are missing. In our opinion, the best bread in the Triangle is from Boulted and Yellow Dog, so get it while it’s hot! Pick up a freshly made loaf of bread made from just-milled grains and tie a bow around it for a nice hostess gift, or grab a box of amazingly flaky and delicious pastries for your holiday guests. You can’t go wrong at any of these places! In case you missed it, I did a bakery tour of Raleigh last year with my family and featured all three shops in this post.

Raleigh bakery tour - croissants, morning buns, hot chocolate, and more.

Chocolate from Videri Chocolate Factory or Escazu Artisan Chocolates in Raleigh. The bars from both of these small factories are delicious, but for a beautiful gift, put together a box of truffles (this makes a great hostess gift or treat for your guest room). If you want a more unique way to gift Videri, grab a bag of their hot chocolate (it is amazing!), or a chocolate box subscription! Both of these local chocolate shops have brick and mortar and online stores, but Escazu bars can also be found in Whole Foods around the Triangle as well as local co-ops, markets and grocery stores in the Triangle and around the country (find the list of retailers here). I have to say though, if you have a chance to stop by their downtown Raleigh locations, it is worth seeing the beautiful confectionaries at Escazu and the behind-the-scenes of a chocolate factory at Videri while you pick up some delicious local gifts.

2017 September Goals |

Coffee from Counter Culture Coffee in Durham (they have a limited edition winter blend, “Iridescent”). Counter Culture Coffee can be found at lots of local grocery stores and coffee shops in the area. Find it in Whole Foods stores across the Triangle (I have seen it in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill stores), at Jubala Coffee, and Sola Coffee Cafe in Raleigh. In Durham you can find it at their headquarters, and at Durham Coop. In Chapel Hill, stop by Perennial Coffee to buy some. I have also seen it at several Harris Teeter stores throughout the area. For those not local to the Triangle, Counter Culture is all over coffee shops in the US now and can be ordered online!

Big Spoon Roasters nut butters. I love their almond ginger, chai spice for this time of the year, but you can’t go wrong! I have seen their nut butters in Whole Foods, at the Durham Farmers’ Market, Bean Traders in Durham, Johnny’s Gone Fishing in Carrboro, NOFO in Raleigh, and tons of other locations. Don’t live in the Triangle, but want to try the magic of these nut butters? Lucky for you, they are sold online and at hundreds of local shops around the country too!

Brewery Bhavana

Beer from a number of local breweries, including, but not limited to Lonerider Brewery (Sweet Josie is one of our favorites), Trophy Brewing Company, Crank Arm Brewing, Big Boss Brewing Company, Fullsteam Brewery, Ponysaurus Brewing, Carolina Brewery, Steel String Brewery, YesterYears Brewery, Top of the Hill, and Brewery Bhavana. If your gift recipient is local to the Triangle as well, grab a pack of beer or a growler from a specific brewery and pair it with a brewery tour for a fun experience you can have together. While not a brewery, a gift card to Raleigh Beer Garden is a great experiential gift for the beer lover. The atmosphere at RBG is great, and with three floors of beer on tap and the largest draft beer selection in the world, there is something new for every beer aficionado!

A few of these links are affiliate links, but all of these companies are those that I love and support.

Last photo from Brewery Bhavana

link love

Throughout November and December I have been trying to plan ahead and spread out my tasks and to-do list items so I can enjoy the season and reduce stress leading up to Christmas. I have done a good job of that in some areas – all of my Christmas shopping was done on December 10, all but one of my gift guides have been posted – but with last minute additions to our calendar (all wonderful additions, but lots of them) and unexpected changes at work, I have hit a point where I’m just exhausted. I am looking forward to seeing friends and family this weekend and focusing on filling up my tank, rather than just going from one gathering to another in exhaustion.

link love 12.15.2017 | Pass the Cookies |

via Pinterest

If you are looking to slow down this weekend too, here is some great link love to enjoy as you relax:

I have been reading Cup of Jo for a long time. It is so honest, down-to-earth, and relatable. This interview with Joanna Goddard from Cup of Jo is a wonderful one. While you’re at it, check out this guide to surviving holiday travel from the perspective of her seven-year-old. My favorite part is his advice for dealing with tired siblings: “If your brother is crying at the end, you can carry his luggage. You can do that to help. But don’t go close to him in case he hits you. Take a step back.” I’d say that advice is still applicable when dealing with tired grown-up siblings ;)

We just started watching the second season of The Crown. I loved the first season and
I can’t wait to see the second season has in store. I have also heard great things about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and I’m wondering if we should watch it next. Have you seen it?

A few weeks ago I shared the New York Times’ dialect quiz with Will’s family who was visiting from another state. We all took the quiz and it came up with the city we grew up in more often than not! I think differences between states and regions are so interesting to study – we are so close, but so different! This article discusses the regional differences in personalities in the US, finding three major trends in how we act. And yes, it confirms that Midwesterners and Southerners are the friendliest.

Maybe the best link for this week is this video of someone who uses Amazon Prime Now to help homeless people. Get ready to get emotional. Amazon didn’t sponsor him, but if they’re watching, they should.

Happy weekend, friends – the last one until Christmas Eve! Refill your cup well!

gift guide for stocking stuffers under $25

Opening stockings on Christmas morning has always been one of my favorite traditions. I love sitting by the fire, looking around at all of the pajama-clad family members in the room, and watching them pull out all of fun gifts. It is amazing how many surprise goodies can fit in such a small space! The first Christmas we were married, Will and I decided our only gifts to each other would be whatever we could fit into our stockings for $20. We got really creative with what we gifted that year (and Will got a lot of stroopwafels ;)). With a similar budget in mind, this gift guide gives ideas for stocking stuffers under $25, with most under $15.

Gift Guide for Stocking Stuffers Under $25 | Pass the Cookies |

| Gloves | Scarf | Ultimate Strength Hand Salve | Art Print | Portable Phone Charger |
| Nail Polish | Socks | Velvet Bows | Clay Mask | Ball EarringsJournals |
| Lavender Candle | Cotton Cocktail Napkin Roll | Stay All Day Lipstick |

Warm weather accessories:
Gloves (especially classy tech gloves), socks, and scarves make great stocking stuffers that can be used immediately in the cold winter weather. These are great to pick up throughout the season and are versatile enough to gift to so many people. (more…)

gift guide for the active adventurer

You may be wondering why “the active adventurer” is a category. As I was putting together this gift guide, I found that a lot of gifts for the athletic friend overlapped with gifts that a travel-lover would use as well. Whether she is trying to look cute coming from the gym or the plane, the items on this gift guide for the active adventurer are for any kind of on-the-go girl on your list.

Gift Guide for the Active Adventurer | Pass the Cookies |

| Pullover | Dry Shampoo | Teleties | Sports Bra | S’well Water Bottle | Scarf | Sleep Mask |
| Duffel Bag | Lavender Essential Oil Roll-On | NY Times 36 Hours Book | Reflective Gloves |
| Gripper Socks | Holiday Athletic Socks | Athleisure Leggings | Reflective Leggings |

Reflective Gear
I always keep reflective gear in my gym bag now that it is dark out whenever I have time to run. With reflective strips circling each leg, these reflective leggings would be perfect for running on these cold, dark winter days. As a runner, I look all over the place for reflective tights every year (they don’t seem to improve as much as I would like from year to year), and these are the most reflective I have seen on the market. For a smaller price and amount of reflectivity, these gloves would be great! (more…)

sparkling pomegranate punch cocktails

We are almost halfway through December – are you holiday partied out yet?

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Cocktails | Pass the Cookies |

I have been to a few parties and gatherings, and have a few more on the docket before Christmas, but I’m feeling good about the pace so far. Some years my introverted self gets overwhelmed with all of the holiday get-togethers. I have found that, while it can be more work to host a party, I sometimes prefer being the host to being a guest. When I host a party, I’m guaranteed to know everyone I invite, which takes away the stress of making small talk with strangers, and even if I have to go back and forth to the kitchen, I often feel more relaxed in my own home than I do somewhere else. (more…)

link love

This week has been, and will continue to be crazy. I’m starting to feel more and more exhausted as it goes on, and almost put off writing this post, but there are some great links that I want to make sure are shared this week.

link love 12.8.2017photo via Pickles and Honey

First, Time Magazine’s person of the year: the silence breakers. These are the women who shared their sexual harassment and sexual assault stories, despite the taboo the world put on these conversations, and the danger they felt threatened by for multiple reasons. These stories need to be read, heard, shared, and spread.

Are you sprucing up your home for Christmas? This is a great post on how to hang greenery, spruce or not ;) I haven’t done much decorating at all (see above: crazy week), but I’m excited to start soon. I already have wreaths to hang on our bookshelves, which was one of my favorite touches from last year.

Have you tried a reverse bucket list? I love the idea! I agree that bucket lists can make me feel like I haven’t done enough, but I imagine a reverse bucket list would make me proud of all that I have already accomplished.

Whole Foods has the best cheese selection in our area, but at a cheaper price point and still a good selection, Trader Joe’s is often where we pick up nicer cheeses. This article on the best cheeses at Trader Joe’s will be so useful over the holidays, when cheeseboards are on the mind of every entertainer. We have had many of the cheeses on the list (the goat milk brie is the one I used in the baked brie appetizer earlier this week!), and they are great options for nice, tasty cheeses that don’t break the bank.

These look amazing. I would be way too ambitious to say I will make these this weekend. Next weekend, though? There may be eggnog cinnamon rolls on next Saturday’s menu.

Have a happy weekend!

2017 gift guide for the baker

I truly love making these gift guides each year. They are filled with wish list items, fun ideas that I sometimes end up using in my own Christmas gifting, and items that I am passionate about that I want other people to have the chance to use too. This list is filled with some of all of those, but mostly with things I am extremely passionate about and want to share with the world! I have (and love) some version of almost every item on this list, and have received most of them as gifts. As a recipient, I can tell you that they all make great presents, and as a (mostly) food blogger, I can tell you they make great tools. Below, you’ll find my thoughts on some, which I would recommend for novice bakers and casual chefs vs. those who are more experienced in the kitchen, and where you’ve seen some of these items on the blog before :)

Gift Guide for the Baker | Pass the Cookies |

| Bake From Scratch Magazine Subscription | Medium Cookie Scoop |
| Goldtouch Nonstick Baking Pans | KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Oven Mitts (1, 2) |
| Peppermint Extract | Gold or Copper Measuring Spoons | Gold Whisk | Walnut Turner |
| Marble Board | Farmhouse Batter Bowl | Tartan Silicone Spatula |
| Christmas Cookie Cutter | Odd-Sized Measuring Cups |

Bake from Scratch Magazine Subscription – I’m sharing the best cookies I have made all year (that is not an exaggeration) so soon, and the recipe was based on a cookie in the Bake from Scratch Holiday Cookies edition. The photos in these magazines are beautiful and I always add tons of recipes to my “to try” list when I flip through them (you can tell it’s good when the pages are covered in flour and vanilla stains). I just got the Holiday Cookie edition this year, but loved it so much that a subscription to this magazine is on my gift list this year (hint, hint). Another great option in this category is a new cookbook. There are so many great ones that have come out this year, and you can match this to their personality. (more…)

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