It was just about a year ago that we first fell in love with the Soma water filter via their Kickstarter campaign. This holiday season the gorgeously designed filtration system is the darling of Christmas Gift guides, popping up everywhere from foodie magazines to T Magazine. Now you can buy Soma for $49 from Birchbox, who reminds us to use filtered water for our ice cubes, too. For that price you get the pitcher and one filter, which needs to be replaced every two months (replacements are $13 each). Sign your gift recipient up for a subscription service, and they will arrive in the mail just in time to change them.
When you show up at that holiday party next weekend, don’t just bring a bottle of libations to spread good cheer, bring a display-worthy bottle to put it in. We love this one from West Elm, which is cheeky and has a Boardwalk Empire kind of vibe. We recommend arriving with that in one hand, and a bottle of Apple Jack in the other–though it works great for homemade microbrews, too!
Did you look the calendar today? Thanksgiving is next week! If you’re schedule is like ours this baby is creeping up on you fast. Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving posts from years past that may be of use this holiday season.
Above, the most yummy Brussels sprouts, ever.
More Thansgsiving help from Shelterrific:
Even though I consider myself a pretty good cook, sometimes the simplest of tasks seem quarrelsome for me. Take for example, making toast — I either scorch it, don’t notice that it’s popped, or am so timid with temperature that it takes me several “pops” before reaching my desired golden brownness. I think I preferred the way we did back when I lived in England in the early ’90s — which is basically broiling the pieces of bread one side at a time. Oh the joys of one sided toast! Well, all those bad experiences could be toast if I had one of these beauties: A Magimix see-through toaster. Its viewing window lets you watch the toasting in action. Press the pop up button when your toast is just browned enough. (Of course you can make it pop of automatically if you like.). $200 at Williams-Sonoma.
On Halloween we hosted a small handful of sugar-loaded kids and their exhausted parents. I wanted to serve something simple, that we could dish out in bowls and eat on the porch while doling out candy to trick-or-treaters. This recipe from Shutterbean fit the bill nicely. After all, mac and cheese is kinda like candy for grown ups. Despite its recent legal troubles in California, Siracha is a hot, of-the-moment, ingredient (pun intended). This Thai hot sauces makes just about everything taste better, from scrambled eggs to roasted sweet potatoes. After trying this recipe I can add one more thing to its plate — spicing up mac and cheese. Plus the bright red drizzle on top seemed to fit the theme of the night — creepy! Below is my take on the recipe from Shutterbean, which was originally adapted from the Mac + Cheese cookbook.
Siracha Mac and Cheese
What You Need:
For the sauce
3 cups milk — I used 1%
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the pasta:
3/4 pound dried elbow pasta
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups grated Havarti
2-3 tablespoons Sriracha sauce, plus more for drizzling
1 bunch chopped green onions (both green and white parts)
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
How To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a large caserole dish. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until a little less than al dente.
2. Heat the milk in a pot over medium heat until it just starts to bubble, but is not boiling, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. . Heat the butter over medium heat in a separate, heavy bottomed pot. When the butter has just melted, add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. . Slowly pour the warm milk, about 1 cup at a time, into the butter-flour mixture, whisking constantly until it gets thick.
5. Once all the milk has been added, set the pot back over medium-high heat, and continue to whisk constantly. Once the sauce is thick enough to stick to the spoon it’s done. Add the salt and stir. Shut off heat.
6. Mash together the ginger and butter in a small bowl until fully combined.
7. Add the cheese and ginger butter to the sauce and cook over medium heat. Stir until the cheese is barely melted, about 3 minutes. Add the siracha and pasta and cook another 5 minutes. Add the green onions and stir to fully combine.
8. Pour the mac into a 14-inch casserole pan and sprinkle with panko. Bake until hot and bubbly and the topping is golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with more sriracha. Spoon into bowls and serve.