Homemade Thai Chili Sauce


My little sister and fellow Cooking Spot contributor Nathalia of Creatively Conscious was married this fall in the loveliest wedding ceremony up in the pine-dotted Sierra.  She and her husband Loren then took off for an epic honeymoon of honeymoons – to travel the world together for 7 months hand-in-hand. It really doesn’t get any more lovely or romantic than that.

It has been like a dream to be able to follow their adventures through their Instagram “Lov3_is_Key” and their Blog, LoveIsKey.net.  But, better than that, Loren and Nathalia invited family members to join them along the way.  I poured over their itinerary with my husband’s large atlas spread on the floor in front of me, my calendar to the right and my computer to my left, tracing what would be their epic journey, trying to decide where in the world would we fly off to see them, fantasizing about all the wonderful places, the amazing food, the cultures, and the people one would meet.  I knew a few things for certain, I wanted to be with my sister for a holiday, traveling can be hard and so can being so far away from your family so this was a priority. If I could make at least one holiday feel a little bit like home, I would have achieved my goal.  Also I wanted to go somewhere new, somewhere I thought I would never get a chance in my lifetime to visit, an adventure to top all adventures.

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Quick Pickled Vegetables


Thank goodness for my friends. Really and truly, I get so much inspiration for my blog Marcella Rose’s from the fantastic meals and moments I spend with my girlfriends. It’s been hard for me since I moved away from New York and the strong group of fabulous women that I was lucky enough to call my friends.

The older I get the harder, it is to find true friends. I am a bit of a quirky girl so for me that instant shock of connection when I meet, as Anne of Green Gables would say a, “Bosom Buddy” or a “Kindred Spirit”, is a rare thing. I have been on the search since I arrived in Southern Oregon and then it happened. I found her, a girl with style, class, and she can cook too! It’s like magic to find someone who is not only hilarious, but also has similar interests.

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Red & Green Tortellini Soup  


Now is the time for family and guests; for a full house, for friends, parties and caroling. It’s time for wrapping up work, prepping the house, hanging decorations and spending time with family. Now if you can balance it all out do please send me your secret. If you are like me though, you are feeling more than a little behind and more than a little exhausted. Trying to fill the days with cheer and merriment can certainly wear a girl out! Feeding all of those guests and family members certainly can do you in as well. The key of course is managing expectations, giving your self a little grace and some help in the kitchen. Now the first two items I can’t help with but the third, readers, I have you covered.

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The Perfect Roast Turkey


The Turkey. It’s the prize of the table, no need for a centerpiece with this bird, for if it’s cooked right its glory is more than regal enough to make your table glow. This year we are getting our own bird and I couldn’t be more excited to try a wild Oregon bird. Normally I pour over the local stores and their turkey providers, weighing the pros and cons of heritage birds, organic birds, and trying my hardest to find a free range bird that lived a healthy life before it lands on my table. This year my husband will be hunting for a perfect wild bird to grace our table and I am over the moon!

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