Sichuan Party Mix

We started yesterday with sweet, and move on to spicy today with this savory and tongue-tingling Sichuan Party Mix. Check out Darcie's post for a little backstory involving her days in Shanghai, which provided the inspiration for this terrific recipe! For a roundup of all of our Advent Calendar … Continue reading

Day 11, Homemade Vanilla Extract

As promised, homemade vanilla extract! Once you try this yourself, you may wonder what took you so long to get with the program. The principles are simple — choose a liquor for the base that's about 40% alcohol, add vanilla beans and wait — but the results are extraordinary. I keep dark … Continue reading

Day 10, Flavored Salts

Flavored salts are so easy to make and they're such a great way to punch up dishes at home. Cook with them or use them as finishing salts — either way, they'll impart loads of flavor. I made three versions for you today. Doesn't this just look like Christmas with the red chiles … Continue reading

Diffuser? I hardly know her!

Despite the prevalence of Advent posts here, Hanukkah Harry's a generous soul and has been known to visit me on occasion. In addition to a great cookbook from the Official MI Mother-in-Law (more on which later), he brought me something completely unexpected last week -- a Gary Fong Flash Diffuser … Continue reading