Pola Pola Kolačiči (Croatian “Half + Half Cookies”)

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Each year I hold on to our family tradition of exploring the foods of a different culture during the holidays, and Pola Pola Kolačiči is a new recipe on its way to becoming an old classic.

These Croatian cookies (kolačiči) take jammy thumbprints to the next level: One half (pola) studded with poppy seeds, the other half (pola) bathed in espresso + glistening with cinnamon sugar. Where the two meet, a dot of pear cardamom butter — a favorite wintry flavor pair — adds a little something extra. Plus, of course, all the crumbly, buttery goodness you expect of a Christmas cookie.

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Mole Marrón

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Mexican mole is a sauce with a big, complicated personality.

With an elaborate combination of toasting, grinding + slow-simmering upwards of 40 ingredients, the flavors of mole are unsurprisingly deep + complex. Made with dried chiles, aromatic veg, spices + herbs, often bittersweet chocolate or cocoa, and ground nuts or seeds to thicken (but also sometimes stale bread, plantain or tomatoes), it is an extraordinary blend of earthy, smoky, sweet and spicy.

Some believe mole comes from the Spanish word moler, meaning “to grind.” Others believe it’s derived from the Nahuatl, or Aztec, word molli, meaning “mixture” or simply, “sauce.” Seven classic variations of the sauce reign in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, where mole is said to be the culinary symbol.

For us, it’s come to say Thanksgiving.

Mole sauce

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Pickled Cranberries with Rosemary + Orange

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

I’m probably among a small, strange group of folks who have “visit a cranberry bog” on their bucket lists.

Possibly some kind of territorial predisposition having grown up in Wisconsin, I dream of an early autumn road trip to experience the sights, sounds, smells, tastes + feels (read: wade into) the picturesque seas of floating crimson red berries scattered across the state’s central and northern landscape offer during harvest.

Until that day, we’ll continue to amass a small freezer cache each November, happily snacking on, cooking + baking with, and creating new recipes to spread love about this traditionally winter-holidays-only fruit until the next season.

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Three Salads for Your Holiday Table

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Just one short week stands between us and the string of winter holidays beginning with Thanksgiving. As the planning commences, why not consider adding a salad to your menus?

This time of the year, when the days darken and the chill creeps in, I find the striking colors and flavors of the season to be an even more important part of the mealtime ritual — a kind of physical and mental reinvigoration. Beginning with good quality fresh, seasonal ingredients, these recipes offer balance and lightness to otherwise heavy meals. Not only that, each on its own is a balance of flavors, colors and textures, and could stand as a light lunch as well.

Show your festive tables and your guests a little extra love these holidays with something beautiful and healthy!

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A Simple Basic Tomato Sauce

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

In an ideal world, my kitchen counters would overflow in late summer with vine-ripened tomatoes of all shapes and sizes and colors, picked that morning and still warm from the sun.

Though my thumb is arguably quite green, I am, at present, keeper of a garden routinely ravaged by an impressive array of creatures and forces of nature. Each season my tomato plants are the most spectacular failures. Plans to preserve the tastes of long-faded summer sunshine with jars stacked upon jars of whole tomatoes, tomato chutneys, fiery salsa and a killer homemade tomato sauce are shelved for ‘someday.’

For tomato sauce there is, thankfully, another way. Maybe even a better way.

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