Migraineur’s Faux Mulled Wine

I fell in love with hot drinks as a child. Their warm sweetness welcomed me after an afternoon of playing in the snow. A fixture in our house on the weekends was the old Betty Crocker Crock Pot filled with apple cider (nonalcoholic) and left to stew with spices and lemons. The smell wafted through the house. So deep is this memory the smell of apples and spice warms me from the inside.

moms crock pot

Thanks mom for sending through this photo of your vintage crock pot which was primarily used for spiced cider and chili. Though not at the same time.

One December I found myself in Sweden where friends convinced me to try the traditional glögg, a warm spiced wine, at the local Julmarknad in Skansen instead of my beloved spiced cider-which was also on offer. It was a wonderful grown up version of my childhood spiced cider that made it the perfect drink on that evening. A light snow was falling as we wandered the stalls in total darkness at 5 pm, munching on reindeer that had been cooked over an open fire while admiring all the handcrafted goods. The setting was the definition of Christmas, everyone should get to spend a bit of Christmas in a Nordic city.

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Bomboloni aka Ricotta Doughnuts

I’ve always struggled with birthday cake. I’m not that great a fan of cake in general, so the idea that I can have a special cake to mark the day of my birth doesn’t really appeal. As a child I was able to convince my mother that a birthday pie was appropriate. My birthday is around Halloween, so it wasn’t that hard to convince her that an apple pie would be just fine.

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Marble Chiffon Cake: A Spectacular Surprisingly Easy to Make Birthday Cake

This weekend we are celebrating #1 step-son’s 21st birthday. 21st’s are a very big deal here in Australia. They are a cross between a wedding, graduation celebration and a bucks/hens night. The party provides an opportunity for those who helped you reach adulthood to be acknowledged and celebrate the young person’s achievements. It then devolves into the young folks drinking far too much. It’s the way this culture celebrates. Keep on reading!






Easy Gnocchi

The kitchen of my grandmother was filled with contradictions. She was Italian but my grandfather was Ukrainian. She would effortlessly blend these two culinary cultures so that most meals consisted of comforting foods from each. This achievement went under recognized by most of us as the reality of the situation was my grandmother wasn’t the best cook. She didn’t really feel comfortable in the kitchen. Keep on reading!


Chocolate Three Ways: Migraineur’s Hot Fudge, Blondies and Chocolate Mousse

I’m a bit late getting posts out this weekend. It’s been one of those weeks. Actually a couple of weeks. We’ve been suffering through a series of migraines. It’s exhausting for Stuart to have them every other day. As for me, it’s a struggle to figure out what is causing them so we can stop the migraines. It took a while, but we finally determined the offending food item and have stopped consuming it. Ta da! The migraine beast is back on its leash.

The migraines were caused by food that had been grown in contaminated soil. Food security is a complicated component of the migraine puzzle. I’ll discuss the science in future blog posts. For now let’s get back to something more enjoyable, chocolate.

One of the challenges I faced as a step-parent was creating a unique birthday tradition for the boys. It needed to be different from the bio-parent’s celebration, but familiar enough to be fun. I went for cake, chocolate of course. Keep on reading!