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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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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Sri Lankan Cod Curry + Charred Green Beans

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Earlier this week dark clouds nipped swiftly across the state — a soggy cold front that left the ground strewn with fallen leaves. How superbly autumn, I found myself thinking.

The days since are warm and bright, but I seize every opportunity, no matter how brief, to savor seasonal, Wisconsin-like temperatures. That includes loading up a menu with cold-weather meals. Welcome back (for now), comfort food.

For you today I have flaky, buttery cod in a creamy, warmly spiced curry sauce + deeply charred green beans dry-fried with lots of onion, ginger and more spices.

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Maple Fig Shortbread Bars

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

There is a definite seasonal urgency to cooking, especially this time of year. One minute you’re on top of the game, the next Mother Nature snatches away your favorite ingredients without warning. Removing her wrench from my plans is where you will currently find me.

Originally conceived to capture the final harvest of fresh figs, our tree took an early holiday, and has since been put to bed. But I’m a sucker for fig cookies, and darned if this setback was going to impede my weekly baking therapy — dried, it is!

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