minted here: shaved roots


This doesn’t even qualify as a recipe, and I got the idea from Sunset magazine, but it’s too smart not to share. Thanksgiving might be over but we are still smack in the middle of party season, and this one will come in handy. Shaved roots! That’s it. It’s so easy, but they are a perfect addition to your appetizer menu. I used watermelon radishes (gorgeous!), turnips and kohlrabi. Use a mandoline or thinly slice them and you’re done. The turnips and radishes have a little natural spice, the kohlrabi is earthy sweet, but all three are light and flavorful; just the thing to clear the palate between cheeses or creamy dips.

The photo above is courtesy of my talented brother in law, Dylan Chorneau…below are a couple more he snapped last week during the thanksgiving prep.

thanksgiving3 thanksgiving2 thanksgiving4

–Melissa P.

thankful tree


Last year we started a new Thanksgiving tradition – the Thankful Tree. Going around the table and announcing the things you’re grateful for doesn’t always work well at a crowded table, but you can still help your guests pause and remember the gifts in their lives. If you’ve got kids coming to your turkey day, a Thankful Tree is also a wonderful activity to help them participate in the preparations and keep them busy. Have the kids collect sticks from the yard, cut out “leaves” from scrap paper (I used leftover Hello Tenfold envelope liners), and set-up a station for people to record their blessings. Depending on your family, the kids may also enjoy forcing the adults to participate!


“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”  – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

–Melissa P.

double take: green beans


Green bean casserole may be a Thanksgiving staple, but it isn’t one of my favorites. On a day filled with butter and cream, I like my green beans to lighten things up.  Honest Fare and Sprouted Kitchen offer two bright and chic takes on this classic American vegetable. Didn’t know green beans could be chic, huh? When paired with lavash and dried figs or black quinoa and hazelnuts, these legumes will chic your pants off.

–Melissa P.

this week’s recipe: spiced peach pancakes


Summer in the south = peaches. Fruit pancakes = my favorite way to breakfast. These Spiced Peach Pancakes from une-deux senses sound heavenly, and make enough to feed a crowd. Brunch. Brinner. Bring it on.

–Melissa P.


For the Love of Home & Parties – Pinwheel Cupcake Toppers

pinwheel toppers

I’ve used these mini-pinwheel picks for cupcake toppers on numerous occasions. I found them at the dollar store – score!

The kids in my son’s class were so excited about the cupcakes to begin with. Then they realized they were all getting mini pinwheels and their brains just about exploded with joy. So fast, easy, and fun!