Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

Valentine’s Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift

Outside, the sloppy mix of rain and ice falls at an intense angle, and the distant hillside has lost its detail, now appearing as a giant, sleepy, gray elephant. Inside, the sunset painted hyacinths fill the room with their intoxicating perfume. The scent transports my mind to lavish gardens and flowering trees in California and that narrow window in the spring, when the campus lilac bushes bloomed and lightened an otherwise stressful commute. We give flowers to lift spirits, a power I am appreciating more and more.

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

These hyacinths are fragrant remnants of a Valentine’s Day well celebrated, of brunching, of sappiness and of lazing away a Sunday as Sundays should be. I know there are commercial ties to this holiday, but I love it anyways. I love the extra incentive to show a caring gesture, like a card that reads “You’re Perfect (even if you cut your sandwiches like an idiot).” I love champagne toasts, pajama dress codes and puns on top of puns. I love my beekeeper, and I love to show it.

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

As the Urban Farmer pointed out, Saint Valentine was the patron saint of lovers and beekeepers, appropriate, since I was inspired to celebrate my favorite beekeeper this February 14th.

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

In my ode to my favorite beekeeper, I wrote:

Here’s to history (a beekeeping poster), here’s to sweetness (honeycomb chocolate & Honey Lavender ice cream), here’s to health (fresh bee pollen), and even to a little buzz too (wine)! 

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

And because beekeepers need to eat, there were Multigrain Chocolate Chip Raspberry Pancakes with Raw Cacao Whipped Cream spiked with Snap and a ruby red champagne toast!

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

Multigrain Chocolate Chip Raspberry Pancakes with Raw Cacao Whipped Cream spiked with Snap Liquor, topped with a Dark Cherry

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & A Honey Themed Gift // www.WithTheGrains.com

It was a Valentine’s Day well spent with gifts that will keep giving. I hope your Valentine’s Day was just as sweet! Did you give any edible or themed gifts of your own?

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Chocolate Chip & Raspberry Multigrain Pancakes with Spiked Cacao Whipped Cream

About This Recipe: You will never see me recommend a box cake mix (sacrilege!), but when it comes to pancakes, I do like to use Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake Mix. The blend combines corn flour, whole grain wheat flour and brown rice flour, packing a lot of grains into one mix without over burdening your pantry. Alternately, you can use my Whole Wheat Pancake Recipe (skip the bananas).

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Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee

“My purpose here [in My Life on the Road] is to tempt you to explore this country. American travel seems to need an advocate. If I’m going to Australia or Zambia, people tell me how exciting it is, yet if I am traveling anywhere in these United States, they sympathize and tell me how tiring it must be. In fact there are many unique satisfactions here.” –Gloria Steinem

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

Not even a chapter into Gloria Steinem’s book, and I could already feel that familiar feeling- the desire for the new, the different, the attempt to define at least the corner pieces in the puzzle of a new place. Wander lust. Though my odometer would read far less than hers, I too have logged many a mile traveling, both near and far, and her advocacy for American travel struck a chord.

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

This past fall, the Urban Farmer, Julep and I were Westward bound, en route to see my parents in a small, snowy, Iowa town. Along the way, we made Milwaukee our destination. Our choice may have inspired some jokes and some raised, questioning eyebrows, but we wanted to see Milwaukee, albeit as a brief stop along the way. “American travel seems to need an advocate.”

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

Food and architecture, aimless walking and reviving coffee. These tend to be my main goals when exploring new cities, and luckily, the Urban Farmer is cut of the same cloth. These loose agendas led us to the Milwaukee Public Market, where we ate breakfast sausage poutine with Wisconsin cheese curds and a brick-oven pizza (just in case we hadn’t consumed enough cheese). The Public Market was also the source of these adorable gifts and provisions for dinner, so we could enjoy our AirBnB retreat all the more.

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

With more time, more days, we would have explored the many rooms and collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum, but on these first-taste, dip-your-toes-in trips, there is only time for the shell. What a shell it was! Designed by Santiago Calatrava, whose skeletal forms I admired in Argentina, the many hand-poured concrete forms of this building were purely Milwaukian.

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

“I had clients who truly wanted from me the best architecture that I could do. Their ambition was to create something exceptional for their community…. Thanks to them, this project responds to the culture of the lake: the sailboats, the weather, the sense of motion and change.” -Santiago Calatrava

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: Eats & Architecture in Milwaukee // www.WithTheGrains.com

Taking in that view of Lake Michigan, in that cool wintry light, caused me to pause and enjoy feeling far from home. There was still a farm to see! Stay tuned.

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Wisconsin AirBnB by With The Grains 05

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet

In the Venn diagram of my life, there would be one circle for my family, one circle for my romantic relationship, and the only sliver of overlap would be me. Perhaps as a way to protect the weirdness and charms of both parties, I’ve always preferred to keep these circles rather distinct. Then I met the Urban Farmer.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Why must I hem and haw to remember the most minute detail of a story, even when it’s boring and tangential? Why are donuts so sacred? Why am I so competitive? Having fallen head over heels for that farmer fella, it was time for the ultimate vulnerability, time to explain so much about me- it was time for him to meet the Kogels. It was time for the Venn diagram to become one big, muddled pie chart.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

This past Thanksgiving, the Urban Farmer, Julep and I hit the road. We were westward bound, en route to my parents’ new place in a tiny town in Iowa! Having a dog as a copilot can make for a few challenges (you mean I can’t take her to appreciate fine art museums?), but the challenge forced us to exercise at rest stops, and it led us to a dog-friendly, dream retreat in Wisconsin.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Our first destination on our Westward Wander was Milwaukee. “Milwaukee?” you might ask with a judgmental, squished face, but it was a convenient midpoint and the home of Growing Power Urban Farm (more on that later). Seeking a dog friendly place to lay our heads landed us in Helenville, a country town conveniently centered between Milwaukee and Madison. Thanks to AirBnB, we found the most gracious hosts in Ashley and Jordan, and Julep found her new happy spot.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

The loft was simultaneously spacious and cozy, with so many personal details like this wall of instruments, which made the Urban Farmer’s eyes go all big and googly like a cartoon character.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Beyond the cozy loft with its bright skylights and tall windows, was this idyllic, snowy countryside. We had arrived late at night, but the morning revealed the type of peaceful property that makes me question whether I do in fact belong in a city.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

After hours in the car, Julep burst onto that snowy property with a constant smile. We had all found our happy place.

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Westward Wanderings: A Wisconsin Chalet // www.WithTheGrains.com

Two nights at this dreamy retreat made me rethink the entire trip- should we just spend a whole week here? But alas, we were westward bound! Stay tuned for more recaps from our Westward wander (including food and farms), and if you’re ever in the Milwaukee/Madison area, do your soul a favor and stay at this gorgeous place!

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Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails // www.WithTheGrains.com

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails

It PAINS me to admit I have a Starbucks drink because it pains me to wait in line at Starbucks and listen to “half caff” and “macchiato” and “frappuccino,”- syrupy abominations I could stomach if the coffee weren’t so over roasted and unpalatable. Admittedly, I am what you call a coffee/coffeeshop snob. (Before you condemn me completely, I’m not alone in thinking their drinks are obnoxious.) I have principles and rules, and no matter how much I like it, I just can’t bring myself to revel in Starbuck’s stronghold on Tazo Chai unless I am:

  1. At an airport
  2. At a rest stop

I am neither of those right now.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails // www.WithTheGrains.com

But I am resourceful! My final nudge to satisfy my chai cravings with a homemade solution came after styling the “Big Batch” article for TABLE Magazine. The article, by Jessica Server, also featured recipes for making a big batch of soup and a pancake mix. High yield recipes not only simplify weeknight menu planning, but these consolidated efforts lend themselves to my passion- entertaining.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails // www.WithTheGrains.com

Stretching out these more intensive kitchen efforts yields more gatherings with less stress. Without having to start from scratch for each party, there’s more time to focus on other obsessive details without devolving into Mr. Hyde before guests arrive.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails // www.WithTheGrains.com

Homemade chai concentrate not only saves me from Starbucks, but this recipe offers more opportunities to welcome friends into my home. If a big batch of chai doesn’t inspire you to host a variety of gatherings, keep reading. I’ve thought about this for you.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails // www.WithTheGrains.com

Invite a friend over for some quality one-on-one time. Serve a pot of chai and delicacies from your favorite French bakery, or bake this apricot breakfast pastry. Make an even bigger pot of chai and warm a whole table of brunch guests with all the comforting spices. After dark, offer guests a chance to concoct their own gingerbread inspired cocktail with my favorite Snap liquor. For an even fuller bar, offer spiced rum and whiskey options too.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails // www.WithTheGrains.com

If I seem a tad obsessive about these “Big Batch” ideas, it’s partially because I am obsessive and partially because I spoke about them in front of a live audience! For a few more of my ideas on Big Batch entertaining and styling, check out this video from my spot on Pittsburgh Today Live with TABLE Magazine:

Happy Sipping!

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Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails
Recipe adapted from the graphic food memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley 

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How To Use Leftover Ganache: Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Brownies (gluten free) // www.WithTheGrains.com

How To Use Leftover Ganache: Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Brownies (gluten free)

David lifted Didi into the air, and her satiny blue skirt’s ruffles erupted like a firework beneath his grip. They were now husband and wife, and this dance floor embrace was the moment I wanted to preserve in my memory- nothing but satin, lace and love! In the same weekend, a mere bridge away, I watched Chris and Dana embrace their 10-lb bundle of puppy joy, feeling the slipper like warmth of her fur brush against their ridiculously happy, tired faces.

How To Use Leftover Ganache: Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Brownies (gluten free) // www.WithTheGrains.com

These satin, lace, and puppy joys emerged from times of illnesses, deaths and heartaches, which only heightened these highs. In its ebbs and flows, this life can feel like one big sine curve- an alternating act of “all” or “nothing.” My kitchen corroborates these intense swings- the oven will warm, churning out fancy cake after fancy cake, for back-to-back birthdays, dinner parties and holiday gatherings, followed by the cold oven periods and slim pickings.

How To Use Leftover Ganache: Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Brownies (gluten free) // www.WithTheGrains.com

During the “all” times, we swim in desserts. The refrigerator bursts with an odd assortment of frostings, fillings and cake scraps, and even my intense sweet tooth feels overwhelmed. I give desserts away right and left, but shamefully, I’ve yet to hit the sweet spot of zero waste, and of all the morsels to hit the compost bin, dark chocolate pains my sensibilities the most.

How To Use Leftover Ganache: Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Brownies (gluten free) // www.WithTheGrains.com

In fear of a half-frosted cake, I always seem to make too much chocolate ganache- a good problem in the chocolate sense, a bad problem when it ends up as compost. As I whipped up a mid-week dessert-craving cure- my trusty nut butter blondies– I eyed the leftover ganache in the refrigerator. Sure, it could be frozen and maybe be enough for the next cake, but in the end, I’d probably end up stuck in a leftover cycle. Wanting an immediate solution, I broke off chunks of the pliable chocolate and stirred it directly into the batter. Out came an even better blondie- a brownie.

I’m still figuring out how to extend the grin-until-your-jaw-hurts moments through the sadder/stressful swings, but in the meantime, at least I am finding more ways to stretch dessert abundances more and waste less. What are your tricks?

Quelcy Signature

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Brownies (Gluten Free)
yield: 9×13 pan

About this Recipe: If you have leftover ganache after baking a cake, save it for these brownies. If you don’t have ganache to add, simply omit it and follow the rest of this recipe to make my go-to blondies. I used approximately 1 cup of soft ganache (not liquid), but as a chocolate lover, I imagine the more, the better, so experiment! Continue reading

Recipe Roundup for a Chestnut Menu

When it comes to menu planning, I like to weave an ingredient through each course. In this way, I explore its nuances as well as challenge myself to use that food in unsuspecting ways lest my guests feel like they are eating gruel. For this wintry meal, I dove into chestnuts, and I even incorporated them into the loose, wintry pine garland on the dinner table.

Chestnut Recipe Roundup by With The Grains 01

A Chestnut Themed Menu

Creamy Chestnut Mushroom Soup (Vegetarian)
Roasted Chestnut & Herb Stuffing (Vegetarian)
Whole Wheat Chocolate Layer Cake with Chestnut Cream & Dark Chocolate Ganache

Bon Appétit!Quelcy Signature

Whole Wheat Chocolate Layer Cake with Chestnut Cream & Dark Chocolate Ganache // www.WithTheGrains.com

Whole Wheat Chocolate Layer Cake with Chestnut Cream & Dark Chocolate Ganache

While waiting with unreasonable anticipation for Fuller House to hit our streaming channels, the Urban Farmer and I have nestled into Mozart in the Jungle. It’s over-the-top in its portrayal of a free spirit, the “chemistry” feels forced, and if I hear Lola Kirke giggle impishly one more time, I might be forced to call it quits on this binge effort. Yet somehow watching Gael García Bernal with hippy hair is enough to merit the lost winter hours, and critiques aside, the show did leave me with one golden nugget.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Layer Cake with Chestnut Cream & Dark Chocolate Ganache // www.WithTheGrains.com

The prodigy conductor, Rodrigo (Bernal) encourages the symphony director (Bernadette Peters) to sing publicly. After she dismisses her vocal talents as “amateur,” he admonishes, “You say that as if it was a dirty word or something, but ‘amateur’ comes from the Latin word amare, which means love- to do things for the love of it.” In a show about an orchestra, this, my friends, provided the most music to my ears!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Layer Cake with Chestnut Cream & Dark Chocolate Ganache // www.WithTheGrains.com

Most of my early to mid-twenties were filled with a crippling doubt as I tried to pinpoint my passion, my purpose, my place on this massive spinning globe, etc- that typical cocktail of honor roll meets intense university collides with real world. I felt an immense pressure to find and stick to something with the devoutness of a nun. As the rocks gradually diluted that stress cocktail, I began to embrace this fact about myself- I don’t want to be an expert.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Layer Cake with Chestnut Cream & Dark Chocolate Ganache // www.WithTheGrains.com

I don’t want to be an expert. I don’t have one single passion. I do not seek precision. I want to bake, but I don’t want to understand every single chemical reaction and perfect every process. I don’t want to repeat recipes. I want to be a photographer, but I don’t want to invest in lighting and elaborate setups. I want to draw and silkscreen and play with flowers, and restoring the passion within the word “amateur” frees so much pressure from these activities.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Layer Cake with Chestnut Cream & Dark Chocolate Ganache // www.WithTheGrains.com

So be an amateur cook and make horrible mistakes. Buy a camera, take pictures, take ugly pictures and keep taking pictures! Be an amateur baker, and share your layers of cake with those around you. Some of the best recipes come from amateurs- the grandmothers, mothers and dads who vaguely followed instructions, heaped spoonfuls, threw ingredients together and made it work because their hearts were in it.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Layer Cake with Chestnut Cream & Dark Chocolate Ganache // www.WithTheGrains.com

Fittingly, this recipe was adapted from my new favorite read, Sift Magazine, which I can’t stop raving about (no, they are not sponsoring my fanaticism- I wish!). Its beautiful pages are all about celebrating the love of baking, in other words, they celebrate the amateurs!

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p.s: If juggling multiple passions and curiosities rings a bell, I recommend this TED Talk for more inspiration- “Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling

Whole Wheat Chocolate Layer Cake with Chestnut Filling & Dark Chocolate Ganache
Recipe adapted from Sift Magazine (Holiday 2015)/King Arthur Flour

About This Recipe: You’ll need a large sheet pan (18”x13”) to bake this spongey, chocolate cake, which is then simply cut into fourths and stacked with layers of delicious chestnut cream as a filler. I found chestnut cream at Whole Foods, as well as my local grocery chain, but if you can’t find it, you can substitute Nutella for the filling. 

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Roasted Chestnut Stuffing (Vegetarian) // www.WithTheGrains.com

Roasted Chestnut Stuffing (Vegetarian)

“How do you feel about chestnuts?” I asked Jill, who was coming for dinner in a few days.

“Like…I like them roasting over an open fire? I actually have no idea!”

Though we sing about chestnuts roasting every year, and the lyrics help put us in that holiday spirit, how many of us actually eat these hearty nuts?

Roasted Chestnut Stuffing (Vegetarian) // www.WithTheGrains.com

If my friend Jill, who samples an array of precise recipes daily at America’s Test Kitchen, cooks constantly, travels extensively and meets world class chefs as part of her job…if she had never eaten a chestnut, it’s safe to say very few people are eating these nuts. This begs the question, why do we sing nostalgically about this nut but not eat it?

Roasted Chestnut Stuffing (Vegetarian) // www.WithTheGrains.com

The short answer is blight. Once upon a time, chestnut trees blanketed the east coast of the United States, covering some 200 million acres. Frost resistant and reliable, the tree was a major source of income for many a rural community, both as a source of food for livestock and as a timber source. However, in the first half of the twentieth century, blight, imported through Asian Chestnut Trees, devastated the eastern woodlands. If this feels like a dismal tale from the annals of food history, it is, BUT there’s a glimmer of hope too!

Roasted Chestnut Stuffing (Vegetarian) // www.WithTheGrains.com

Fortunately, there are organizations and people working to restore the chestnut’s mighty presence. These history lessons are also valuable as more and more of us seek to improve the local food economy. If we spend more time examining our food and its sources, we can better mediate our local agricultural systems. For now, chestnuts cost a pretty penny in grocery stores, and their availability is limited (I hope you can still acquire some as I am sharing this in January!), but hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, every east coast grocery store will offer a regular bin of local chestnuts. Maybe I’ll even be gathering them at Hazelwood Urban Farms!

Here’s to chestnuts roasting on lots of open fires!

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Roasted Chestnut Stuffing/Dressing
Recipe adapted from Sift magazine
Yield: 10 servings

About This Recipe: Vegetarians and carnivores can unite on this classic side dish thanks to chestnuts’ meaty flavor! For a more nutrient rich approach, I used a combination of Whole Wheat Sourdough and Mt. Athos Fire Bread (a local favorite- sub any dense, grainy bread). This recipe calls for baking the bread cubes to dry them, but you can also cube and save bread as it starts to harden to avoid wasting a loaf. To simplify the recipe, you can use pre-cooked chestnuts (like these), but roasting draws a lot of flavor. If you have more than 1 1/2 cups chestnuts after roasting and shelling, add them to the stuffing. That quantity is flexible. 

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Chestnut Soup by With The Grains 01

Creamy Chestnut & Mushroom Soup (Vegetarian)

With the phrases “winter weather watch” and “storm advisory” hanging heavy in the air, the grocery stores teeter on the brink of milk, egg and bread depletion. Though I’d advocate for a fair fight for the last crusty loaf, I have this creamy, vegetarian, snowstorm survival idea to offer you: Chestnut Mushroom Soup!

Creamy Chestnut & Mushroom Soup (Vegetarian) // www.WithTheGrains.com

In a world of titles and categories, I lump myself with the “conscientious omnivores,” but chestnuts could nearly sway me to the vegetarian crowd. Spoonful after warm spoonful, the roasted chestnuts could easily fool you into believing meat lurked in this creamy soup.

Creamy Chestnut & Mushroom Soup (Vegetarian) // www.WithTheGrains.com

So hit the grocery store, fight for the last crusty loaf of bread, and while the milk and eggs create a diversion, scrounge that lingering holiday offering of chestnuts. Then, cozy into the weekend with a big batch of hearty, vegetarian soup.

Creamy Chestnut & Mushroom Soup (Vegetarian) // www.WithTheGrains.com

Bon Appétit!

Quelcy Signature

Chestnut Mushroom Soup (Vegetarian)
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 12 servings

About This Recipe: The process of roasting and shelling chestnuts can be a bit tedious, but the end result is worth the experience! Hearty and meaty, this vegetarian soup pairs well with buttery brie on dense, whole grain bread. For a vegan option, use coconut oil for the sautéing, and garnish with a whipped coconut cream. 

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Chestnut Dinner by With The Grains 01

A Winter Meal & A Chestnut Menu

Long, dramatic tapers have a way of gauging the gatherings they illuminate.

A Winter Meal & A Chestnut Menu // www.WithTheGrains.com

Fresh from the box, they stand tall, almost precariously so, but if the conversation flows, the laughs bellow and the wine bottles empty, they diminish into waxy dribbles and safer, stubbier forms. The candles, far more subtle than a ticking clock, have a gentle way of saying, “you’ve conversed long into the evening. Your eyes are tired, but your hearts and stomaches are full!” Whereas the clock may say, “it’s too late,” the candles say, “it’s still bright enough for dessert!”

A Winter Meal & A Chestnut Menu // www.WithTheGrains.com

These elegant black tapers illuminated a Chestnut Themed Menu for a wintry meal with The Urban Farmer and my friend Jill. They burned long into the night, from Chestnut & Mushroom soup with crusty bread, to Chestnut Stuffing and finally, to a layered Chestnut Chocolate Cake. Stay tuned for the recipes & menu recap, and in the meantime, I hope your tapers burn low.

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