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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Mondo Butter

Eat Well Edibles

Why commit to a single nut or seed for butter when you can have six in one?

Sweet cashews offset the mildly tannic walnuts. Macadamias are a rich splurge in all senses of the word, but they are so smooth and buttery, perfect for blending. Sesame adds its distinctive (and ironic) “nuttiness,” flax offers that hippie-earthy vibe, and because sunflower seeds can come off as bitter to some, a small amount adds to the creaminess and nutrition.

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Spicy 4-Seed Gingerbread Bites

Eat Well

Among the flavors that, for me, evoke nostalgia for the holidays, cinnamon and ginger dominate. The cozy-spicy duo is hard to beat — any time of the year — and even more so when the two merge in gooey, intense gingerbread bites with other warming spices, sticky dates, a hint of orange, plus four types of seeds.

I’m sharing these today not just to prolong my love of the winter season, but also because the ingredients show some serious love to your heart for American Heart Month.

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