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Showing posts from November, 2015

On Being Thankful & Handmade Basket Giveaway

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Some years it�s easy to find reasons to be thankful and positive. This is not one of those years for me, and for many people I know. But I want to share something that really moved me. It�s a video of a basket maker in Rwanda (and it�s just 2 minutes long). Take a look!


Being thankful for chairs, for electricity, for being able to support her family in a country that suffered the most terrible genocide not that long ago is truly a wonderful thing. As you may recall, in three months in 1994 an estimated 800,000 to a milion Rwandans were brutally murdered and a country destroyed. Today Rwanda has made the most incredible strides toward reconciliation. And if it�s possible in Rwanda, why not in the rest of the world? 
The day after Thanksgiving is the traditional start to holiday shopping. If you are heading to the Macy�s near you or just shopping online, I hope you will check out the baskets from Macy�s Rwanda Path to Peace initiative. Because the program is celebrating 10 years, there ar…

Thanksgiving Punch Recipe

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The past few years I�ve been making a welcoming cocktail for Thanksgiving. This year I was offered a bottle of Templeton rye and a stipend for ingredients to create a punch for the holiday. It sounded like a slam dunk, but I am not terribly gifted when it comes to developing cocktails. I can follow a recipe, I can swap out a few ingredients but creating new cocktails is not really my strong suit. So I cheated. Meet my secret weapon, one of my favorite bartenders, Jen Ackrill. She was a fixture at Rye in San Francisco before moving to live the dream in Hawaii. Today she is the Director of Mixology at Top of Waikiki and SKY Waikiki. I got a chance to try her revamped cocktails when I visited Oahu last year. Jen makes really, really good drinks. She crafts sophisticated cocktails, even her fruity tropical ones and she is particularly skilled with brown spirits. Her cocktails are always balanced and inviting. Next time you are in Waikiki, stop by and say hello! Seeing the sunset at Top of …

The Nordic Cookbook

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The Nordic Cookbook covers the cuisines of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, each of which reflects diverse cultures, histories and populations. One of the most celebrated contemporary chefs from Sweden, Magnus Nilsson, the chef of F�viken was tasked with compiling this impressive book. He started with a poll, then embarked on a series of culinary adventures for three years through the region to gather recipes and more. The result is a book with a staggering 700 recipes.You might be wondering, does it even make sense to try and include all the Nordic countries in one book? That was the very question the author struggled with answering, but eventually he approached the project with gusto. I asked Nilsson what surprised him most in writing the book and this is what he told me, "I thought I knew the food culture of the Nordics rather well and it turned out I didn't. There was just so much more diversity than I ever expected."

Indeed,…

I heart Instacart!

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Since August I have ordered groceries from the online delivery service Instacart more than 10 times. Crazy, right? Not at all. I am absolutely thrilled with their service and here�s why:
Choice I can choose from among several stores. Not just big box stores like Costco and Target and supermarkets like Safeway and Whole Foods, but also smaller local stores like Rainbow Grocery that offer lots of bulk ingredients. 
Price For most of the stores, the prices are exactly the same as they are in the store! 
Service The service is amazing. You can not only track your order, but chat in real time with the shopper who is shopping for you. If they can�t find the item you want, they get in touch immediately with suggestions for replacements that you can approve. Also if you decide you want more or less of something or if you forgot an item or can�t find it in the database you can communicate that too. 
Accuracy They get my orders right, which not something I experienced when I tried ordering directly fro…

Bison Black Bean Chili Recipe

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