Winter Wines (& Food Pairings)

winter wines & food pairings / @loveandlemons

Happy almost new year! I hope you all have some really fun plans tonight. Jack and I are going to have a pretty quiet night at home (because, omg, it’s freezing out!), but the wine will be flowing, nonetheless. Here are some bottles we’ve been enjoying recently. All are under $16(!), and are available at wine-carrying Whole Foods Stores.

Pinning: Fun & Festive Cocktails

fun & festive cocktail roundup

I got a twitter notification the other day that said “congratulations, exactly 3 years ago you started with Twitter.” I’m not really one for remembering anniversaries, much less blog-o-versaries, but holy crap, 3 years and around 300 recipes later, here we are. I just have two words at the moment: THANKS & cheers!

I’ve been narrowing down some new years eve cocktail ideas – here are a few that caught my eye, check out these and more on my holiday cocktail pinboard. And if you have any ideas, of course leave them below.

Image credits:
Edible Perspective  /  Wedding Chicks  /  Cookie and Kate

our apple spice cocktails  /  Design Love Fest  /  Saveur

Shannon Kirsten  /  Stir and Strain  /  Bakers Royale

Flourishing Foodie  /  Martha Stewart  /  Style Me Pretty

Minty Millet & Pomegranate Salad

Minty Millet & Pomegranate Salad / @loveandlemons

I’m calling this my “Merry Christmas Millet Salad”… because why wait until January to eat a little lighter and brighter? This salad is full of everything I love – pretty pomegranates, pistachios, fennel, & mint… and it’s tossed in a light but tangy tahini dressing that’s sweetened with big squeezes of orange.

Minty Millet & Pomegranate Salad / @loveandlemons

If you don’t have millet, you could just as easily sub quinoa. I use the two pretty interchangeably (especially when I forget to label my bulk bin bags). What I love about millet is that it almost tastes like semolina couscous, but it’s entirely gluten free and a healthy whole grain. It works really well here with the sweet nutty flavors of the pistachio & tahini.

Minty Millet & Pomegranate Salad / @loveandlemons

I hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy holiday!

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

I had this buttercup squash (perhaps the funkiest looking squash of them all), sitting on my countertop for the longest time. It likely would have become soup had it not been for the name itself –  “buttercup” which spoke to me and said: let’s make a crumbly & buttery dessert! I won’t go as far to say this is healthy, but hey, it’s the holidays and we’re making dessert so let’s live a little. These bars are made with good quality organic ingredients (and remember: squash).

This recipe is loosely based on my recipe for raspberry crumble bars. I switched out the jam filling for a wintery buttery squash puree using Organic Valley Butter, plus a good amount of chocolate chips and snowy shredded coconut.

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

If you can’t get your hands on a buttercup squash – not to worry – this recipe works just the same with butternut squash, pumpkin and even mashed sweet potato. (I’ve made this one a lot lately if you couldn’t tell).

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

These bars are made with a walnut crust. The squash is smoothly mashed with butter, maple syrup and pumpkin pie-like spices… They’re sweet but not too sweet and I find them to be quite filling – although after we snapped the photo I turned around and Jack had inhaled 5.

Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars / @loveandlemons

And wait, there’s more! Check out this awesome video of the recipe in motion:

video by: dschwen

Healthier Holiday Party Recipes

Healthier Holiday Party Recipes / @loveandlemons

Minty Pomegranate Spritzers Butternut Squash & Sage Crostini Avocado Pomegranate Crostini Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Is it just me or has every day this week felt like Friday? Since holiday party season is in full swing I thought I’d round up a few fun & festive recipes that are healthy-ish, and (mostly), finger food friendly.

Click on the images to go to each recipe (or see links below)…

Healthier Holiday Party Recipes / @loveandlemons

Parmesan & Fig Grilled Cheese Homemade Soft Pretzels Butternut Squash Croquettes Vegan Stuffed Shells Cookies! Almond Butter Cups  

Minty Pomegranate Spritzers / Butternut Squash & Sage Crostini / Avocado Pomegranate Crostini / Quinoa Stuffed Peppers / Parmesan & Fig Grilled Cheese / Vegan Soft Pretzels / Butternut Squash Croquettes  /  Vegan Stuffed ShellsCookies!  /  White Chocolate Almond Butter Cups