12 Days of Christmas stamps

12 Days of Christmas

Sometimes the discovery of a new favorite food doesn’t come at the table of a restaurant or from your kitchen. Sometimes, it’s serendipity.

I was about 5 when my mom and I had lots of sittings for a portrait Abbe Rose Cox was doing for a surprise Christmas gift. Her Allendale, NJ studio was magical – all those paints, pastel chalks and works of art in various stages. But the discover of butter and honey sandwiches on thin white bread, wrapped in wax paper, held magic of its own.

With a nod to nostalgia, breakfast this morning of toasted bread, butter and local mesquite honey, in the living room no less since that’s where the portrait hangs, honored Miss Abbe, my mom and the joy of surprise Christmas gifts. What’s one of your serendipity food joys?

Starting Christmas Day, the Flying Aprons version of the 12 days of Christmas begins. I’ll select names at random to be gifted a free Zoom class and email you if it’s your lucky day.

We close out 2020 on Dec. 29 with a fun and gluten free New Year’s Eve appetizers class with the Gourmet Girls – Chef Mary Steiger and Susan Fulton – of Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery & Bistro. Aren’t you ready for 2021? Our chefs are busy planning their menus and a handful of classes are set with more to come.

Exploring foods deriving health benefits are in the works and we’ll welcome January with an anti-inflammatory foods class taught by Chef Kyle Nottingham. We know and love him from the creativity at Prep & Pastry, Commoner & Co., August Rhodes Bakery and soon Flora’s Market Run but did you know he cooked at renowned spas Miraval and Canyon Ranch? On Jan. 20, Chef and Jan Johnson, owner of Mill River Farm in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, are teaming up for a winter soups cook along class.

Emilie Thomson, the second generation to run Tucson favorite Plaza Liquors & Fine Wine, will begin a monthly spirits class. First We Eat Pastry Chef Gina Skelton will make you a French macaron master. King of the Tucson morning airwaves who has cooked professionally and remains a dedicated local business foodie, Wake Up, Tucson’s Chris DeSimone, shares a favorite Italian meal.

Wishing you joy in the kitchen,

Chocolate Chili Truffles

⅔ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon chili powder
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
⅔ cup cocoa powder
⅔ cup pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped

1. In a medium saucepot, heat the cream, cinnamon, chili powder and cayenne pepper over medium-low heat until it comes to a simmer. Add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until firm, 1½-2 hours.
2. Place cocoa powder and pistachio nuts on separate plates.
3. Remove the chocolate from the refrigerator and let sit about 30 minutes (more or less depending on your kitchen’s temperature) to soften.
4. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop out the chocolate into the toppings and roll them around to completely coat.
5. Plate and serve or place in an airtight container and store in refrigerator up to 2 days.

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