Christmas Memories

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  The first Christmas service I remember, I was very small. I was wearing a dark green velvet dress, and I’m pretty sure we were in Florida. The church was huge, white on the inside, and very brightly lit. It was packed, and each person held a slim white candle with a cardboard hand guard. A few years later, we were at a different Christmas service in Florida. This one was at a megachurch, and they had an extremely impressive Nativity. There was an entire Bethlehem set up, including several donkeys and at least one camel. Its name was Coco, and it slobbered all over my grandmother. The house I grew up in was across someone's back yard from a Methodist church, and even though we were Episcopal, we went to that Methodist church...

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11/07: Drawl for the Holidays, Pt. 1...

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 Be sure to check out the first half of our holiday double issue, available here on November 7th!

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Sweet & Savory Apple-Sausage Tarts...

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This unexpected combination of complimentary flavors is incredibly versatile. The tarts can be easily put together early in the day and refrigerated, then baked off as hors d’oeuvres for an evening gathering or simply a fun weeknight dinner alongside a green salad. The flavors improve overnight and the tarts reheat well in a low oven, though they made a mighty fine cold brunch for the test kitchen staff after a hard night of recipe investigation, and they weren’t too fussy for the football-watching men in the house. This recipe will be wonderful to have in the files for Halloween parties, sports gatherings, and Thanksgiving weekend brunches. Do not fear the pie crust; this dough is easy to handle. If you do fear the crust or don’t have the time, you could try storebought, though...

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Apple & Brie Melts

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If you caramelize the onions in advance, this sandwich can be put together in minutes for a hearty weeknight dinner or as a quick brunch on a lazy weekend morning. These sandwiches are also an unexpected gourmet option for any vegetarian tailgaters joining you for a chilly, late-season game; just skip halving the sandwiches and wrap them securely in wax paper or deli wrap. This simple recipe, inspired by Raleigh coffee shop Third Place, halves and doubles with ease. Apple & Brie Melts Serves 4 Ingredients 1 tablespoon butter 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar salt to taste 2 large, firm, tart-sweet apples, thinly sliced (Gala and Fujis work great) ¼ lb. wedge brie 8 slices hearty whole wheat bread baby spinach, cleaned, dried, and de-stemmed Procedure Melt butter in...

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Apple-Stuffed Bread Pudding

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  Our Apple-Stuffed Bread Pudding is made with croissants, so it isn't necessarily for the weight-conscious or the faint of heart.   We'll be damned if it's not delicious, though. Apple-Stuffed Bread Pudding Serves 8 Ingredients 6 medium croissants (recommended: slightly stale) 3 eggs 2 c. milk 3 oz. dried cranberries 1 c. chopped pecans 1/3 c. granulated sugar 1/2 c. brown sugar 1/2 c. melted butter 3-4 medium Granny Smith apples 1 tbsp. cinnamon 1/2 tbsp. nutmeg 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 pinch salt Vanilla ice cream (optional) Procedure Preheat oven to 325℉. In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, milk, granulated sugar, 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, vanilla extract, and salt. Tear croissants into bite-sized pieces and add to milk and egg mixture. Stir until well bread is well coated, then...

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