A flatbread made with a sheet of frozen puff pastry is a simple way to pull off something impressive for your guests this holiday season. And this flavor combination has always been one of my favorites: pear and walnut, dotted with some goat cheese.
Every so often, I invent or read about or discover a food thing that I then become obsessed with. This week, friends, that thing is simple syrup.
Simple syrup is a fancy term for sugar water, and it’s typically used to flavor cocktails or other drinks like soda and coffee.
My simple syrup kick started around Thanksgiving, when I had a bunch of sage in my fridge that needed to get used up. I decided to steep it in a standard simple syrup mixture, which is typically 1 part water to 1 part sugar.
This week, I’m sharing another dish from my German heritage: goulash.
Goulash originated in Hungary, but it’s a popular dish in my ancestral homeland, too, and elsewhere throughout Europe. I’m sure they valued its hearty, warm qualities on cold nights.
And I do, too.
Goulash is basically beef stew, flavored predominantly with a certain spice: paprika. It is also tomato-based, and loaded with vegetables.
My grandma on my dad’s side was known for a couple Christmas cookies, and this was one of them — “wreath cookies,” as we called them. It’s one of my dad’s favorites, so we made it in our house growing up, too. I vividly remember eating the soft, pale green sweets out of an old cookie tin my grandma always seemed to have on hand this time of year.
This is one of my go-to dinners, especially when the weather dips below 70 degrees here in the Sunshine State. It makes me feel all cozy to have a large pot of chili bubbling on the stove. Light a three-wick candle, slip on some fuzzy slippers, and get into the festive spirit of Florida winter with me.