Experts, Newsletters

From the Chef #2

Holidays Squashed

Happy Holidays! I know this time of year can be hectic; balancing cooking, entertaining, relationships with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and all the other responsibilities that the holidays bring. There are many beautiful things that remind us it is all worth it, and one is…the food.

Food is emotional. It brings us back to specific moments in time – begrudgingly putting on a button-down to go see Aunt Susie and the cousins just to wait for the warm snickerdoodle cookies after dinner.  Or waking up to the smell of bacon on Christmas morning because your dad insisted on breakfast before gift-opening.

If you think about the food you eat today (maybe something that is a favorite) I bet it relates to a memory every time you take a first bite.

There is something different about the smell of the kitchen this time of year. Some ovens turn on for the first time in 11 months, others get a sweeter smell of pies and cookies, but all kitchens seem to have a cozier feel to them now. Personally, my kitchen has been producing scents of casseroles, roasts, apple pies, and cookies!

A dish that I have been playing around with this season that wraps up all the holiday feels in one bite is a twist on sweet potato casserole. No marshmallows here! The recipe has a mix of sliced purple sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. The dish is basted with a brown sugar miso butter and roasted for an amazing balance of sweet & savory (check out the full recipe on our social media).


As the year comes to an end, it is a great time to reflect on all the dishes that have been cooked in your kitchen the past 12 months. What was a dish you cooked for the first time? What were your favorite dishes? How have they evolved? Who cooked with you? Who did you cook for? What dish did you cook the most?

It’s likely that many of us cooked in the kitchen more this year than in years past, and now that you may be more comfortable behind the stove, aim your sights forward to 2021 and all the opportunities of exploring in the kitchen using fresh local ingredients (combining them with bold and global flavors).

Be on the lookout for our “New Year” NewsBites edition that will be posted in January! It will include some great healthy recipes to keep everyone on track with their resolutions and kick start a year of fresh, healthy eating.

-Chef Wil

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