Texas Macarons w:Pecan Caramel

Texas Macarons with Spicy Pecan & Whiskey Caramel

I have always considered it as the clearest evidence of Mark’s love for me that when I warble along with the car radio, he somehow refrains from pulling over and pushing me out the passenger door. I fare no better on musical instruments – at least that is the conclusion I reached from the sudden disappearance of my Smurf drum set shortly after Christmas 1987.

Thus my ode to my beloved Texas will not be of the musical variety (though YOU might find yourself singing after a bite of these).

Texas Macarons with Pecan Caramel

With their grace, beauty, and air of mythos, there is no better confection to capture the spirit of the Lone Star State than the macaron – at least once we scuffed up the edges a bit.

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Yuletide Fireside Prep

The Yuletide Fireside Cocktail

We have lived in this little, old house for 5 months.

Mark has been on call for the last approximately 600 days. (give or take.)

My in-laws will be here in 3 weeks for Christmas.

We have roughly 15 pictures to hang, 4 sets of blinds to put up, 3 articles of damaged furniture awaiting appraisal, all of the Christmas decorations still up in the attic, and a camper shell that is STILL affixed to my truck.

This holiday countdown calls for a little more than figgy pudding, wouldn’t you say?

It is equal parts of fortune, then, that my husband’s family is so marvelously understanding and that I have this doozy of a cocktail up my sleeve.

Yuletide Fireside

The Yuletide Fireside is a smoked cocktail much like the Tinderbox we served up last spring. However, it starts with rum as opposed to whiskey, because despite its recent heyday, not everyone likes bourbon. This drink is perfect for entertaining with its high gasp-factor and wide-appeal. It is a sweeter cocktail, but has enough complexity and layers, such as spicy Clement’s and Old Fashioned Bitters, to stand its ground. And there are few things that go together like smoke and sugar. Think campfires and marshmallows. Yeah. You get it.

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Sweet Clove and Bacon Kettle Corn

Sweet Clove & Bacon Kettle Corn

Want to know the wrong way to make an impression at the dinner party your husband’s boss is hosting?


Several years ago I was diagnosed with Neurocardiogenic Syncope, which sounds a lot more impressive than it is. Basically it means from time to time, if certain factors like a soaring heart rate, prolonged acute pain, or oppressive heat are in play, I crumple to the ground like a losing lottery ticket.

It’s not an enormously life-changing medical condition – for which I am grateful. But it is inconvenient unless you happen to be a character in a Jane Austen novel where swooning was quite the thing to do. Its effects on my life are fairly limited – forcing me to give up fencing, keeping me out of saunas, and, apparently, occasionally leading to spectacles in front of the hub’s colleagues.

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