Category: holidays

christmas star


I found this four foot wooden star at the Raleigh flea market this weekend. Its made of old tobacco sticks, which were used to hang-dry tobacco in barns all over North Carolina. I’m a sucker for old wood, and I love the dramatic scale of it, so I couldn’t resist. Strung with chunky Christmas lights, its merry and bright!


–Melissa P.

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.

this week’s recipe: cranberry margaritas


Leftover cranberries? Leftover house guests? Keep things merry with Cranberry Margaritas, courtesy of Sweet Life.  Happy thanksgiving!

–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.