2014 Cookbook Gift Guide

2014 Cookbook Gift Guide / www.loveandlemons.com

Green Kitchen Travels Vibrant Foot The Forest Feast The Oh She Glows Cookbool At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen Plenty More Shake The Art of Vintage Cocktails The Bar Book Sunday Suppers The Yellow Table Camille Styles Entertaining

It’s that time of year again! I think cookbooks make the best gifts so I’ve rounded up tons of my favorites in a variety of different categories. Hopefully there’s something here for everyone on your list (and then maybe a little something for yourself too). If I’ve missed any of your favorites, leave me your recommendations in the comments!

pictured above:

Green Kitchen Travels  /  Vibrant Food  /  The Forest Feast

The Oh She Glows Cookbook  /  At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen  /  Plenty More

Shake  /  The Art of Vintage Cocktails  /  The Bar Book

Sunday Suppers  /  The Yellow Table  /  Camille Styles Entertaining

2014 Cookbook Gift Guide / www.loveandlemons.com

A New Turn in the South A Boat A Whale and A Walrus The Fat Radish Keepers Leon Family and Friends Dinner The Playbook Edible French Paris Pastry Club A Kitchen in France Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Yummy Supper The Blender Girl Seriously Delish Top with Cinnamon Easy Gourmet

pictured above:

A New Turn in the South  /  A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus  /  The Fat Radish

Keepers  /  Leon Family & Friends  /  Dinner: The Playbook

Edible French  /  Paris Pastry Club  /  A Kitchen in France

Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day / Yummy Supper / The Blender Girl

Seriously Delish  /  Top with Cinnamon  /  Easy Gourmet

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Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas / @loveandlemons

I feel like I missed the boat on the Thanksgiving leftover trend – sorry no mashed potato sandwiches happened here. (and um, eww). Instead, I turned a bunch of random veggie scraps and a chunk of red onion into fancy little veggie packed pizzas. In other words – it’s pretty much a non-recipe made on mini naan breads.

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas / @loveandlemons

You can customize these with whatever veggies you have on hand. Red onion and brussels sprouts are a tried & true combo (this recipe is still one of our favorites), and the sweet potatoes add a nice hearty bite. I slathered ricotta cheese as my base and topped mine with pecorino. (Although feel free to sub tomato sauce and daiya cheese for a vegan option).

The key here is to slice the sweet potato into pretty thin ribbons so they don’t take longer to cook than the rest of the toppings. I used just a regular vegetable peeler.

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas / @loveandlemons-2

Holiday Cocktail & Cookie Swap

Holiday Cookie Swap / Love & Lemons + Crate & Barrel Cookies & Cocktails w/ Holiday Drinkware

For as long as I can remember, my family’s Christmas season officially started with cookies. Before we were even tall enough to reach the countertop, my mom would pull over kitchen chairs so my sister and I could “help” out and get our hands in the flour. She would get out the baking sheets, the ingredients, and the flour-dusted recipes that were reserved only for the holiday season. We’d bake batch after batch after batch, eating more cookie dough than actual cookies.

This year, to kick off our holiday season, I created a little cookie & cocktail party taking inspiration from my family cookie memories. And we’ve partnered with Crate and Barrel to share a few cocktail and cookie recipe ideas and tips to create a sweet gathering of your own.

pictured above: Hatch Rocks & Shot Glasses, Snowflake Coasters

Holiday Cookie Swap / www.loveandlemons.com

Create your Cookie Swap: 

After a quick google search, I’ve learned that some people have some pretty serious Cookie Swap rules. I personally don’t think rules and parties go together so here are just some of my tips to help get you started:

- Invite some friends who have a big sweet tooth. There’s no calorie counting at this party! The more people you invite, the more cookie varieties you’ll have.

- Ask each person to bring one batch (about 2 dozen) homemade cookies and a tin or storage container to take cookies home in.

 - Make a fun & festive cocktail but I like to keep it simple. I made a Blood Orange and Bourbon Cocktail with a sprig of rosemary.

- Set up platters for guests to place their cookies so everyone can share cookies and swap recipes.

pictured above: Nesting Mixing Bowl, Stainless Steel Measuring Cup, Mini Silicone Spatula-Spoon Set

Holiday Cookie Swap / www.loveandlemons.com

The Cookies:

My mom and I spent an afternoon baking some of our family favorites: this Spritz cookie is my family’s signature cookie. It’s a light buttery cookie flavored with sweet almond extract. Create fun shapes using a Cookie Press – the poinsettia flower shape was always our favorite. We also made vegan sugar cookies, pistachio truffles (which are also vegan), and pecan turtle bars.

pictured above & below: Round Storage Bowl SetBoxed 6” Appetizer Plates, Lumi Batik Cocktail NapkinsJingle Cookies for Santa Platter

Cookie Swap Holiday Decor / Love & Lemons + Crate & Barrel

And don’t forget some cookies for the dogs – ours are always looking for handouts!

Peppermint Bark Dog Treats / loveandlemons.com
 Peppermint Bark Dog Treats

Healthy Winter Squash Recipes

Healthy Winter Squash Recipes / www.loveandlemons.com

Are you feeling as stuffed as I am? This year we actually celebrated Thanksgiving a week early with Jack’s family – yet I’m still full from his mom’s amazing apple pie and the leftovers we’ve been snacking on all week.

This weekend, I’m craving food that’s a little bit healthier but still comforting and delicious so I thought I’d share just a few ideas:

Butternut Squash & Leek Risotto (pictured)

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas & Kale (pictured)

Butternut Squash & Tart Cherry Quinoa

Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad

Roasted Acorn Squash with Pears and Miso Dressing from Edible Perspective

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Kale Pesto from The First Mess

Butternut Squash Lasagna from My New Roots

Stuffed Za’atar Roasted Acorn Squash from Dolly and Oatmeal

Kale and Roasted Red Kuri Squash Salad from A House in the Hills

Northern Spy’s Kale Salad from Food 52

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad from 101 Cookbooks

Butternut Squash Soup & Sage Crostini

butternut squash soup & sage crostini / @loveandlemons

This soup recipe is a version of an old favorite. It’s not from my childhood or anything, but it was one of the first soup recipes I posted and it’s become one of our most searched, pinned, and most often made recipes. It’s based on a spicy combination of coconut milk, red curry and pumpkin.

As I was making it again a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but tweak a few things to make the recipe easier and more straight forward. I swapped butternut squash for the pumpkin and reduced the number of ingredients. In three years if I’ve learned anything – it’s that less is more and simple is always better. Especially when you’re using really good seasonal ingredients.

butternut squash soup & sage crostini / @loveandlemons

Speaking of really great ingredients, it’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Whole Foods – it’s five minutes from my house and I shop there all the time. I was excited to hear from American Express that they were working in partnership with them on a new, amazing offer for the Blue Cash Card. To create excitement for the offer they asked me to make two dishes with seasonal ingredients available at Whole Foods, aka #2Ways2Percent. What does that mean? Right now when you use your enrolled Blue Cash Card from American Express when shopping at Whole Foods, you’ll get an extra 2% cash back.

butternut squash soup & sage crostini / @loveandlemons

The project: show 2 ways to use butternut squash. I knew I wanted to share my simplified soup recipe and then I figured – what goes better with soup than crostini? These little crostini are topped with ricotta, roasted butternut squash and crispy sage. Both of these recipes would make perfect starters for your Thanksgiving meal.

butternut squash soup & sage crostini / @loveandlemons

What do you like to make with butternut squash? Share your ideas with me on social media using the hashtag #2Ways2Percent. For more information, terms, and where to enroll, click here.