Mime’s Sand Tart Recipe: My Family’s Christmas Tradition

Decorated Sand Tarts in Christmas Tins

Decorated Sand Tarts in Christmas Tins

Part of what makes the holidays special are the family traditions, things you look forward to all year long. Many families enjoy making Christmas cookies and have a cherished cookie recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation. Every year, my family makes sand tarts—thin and crispy butter cookies decorated with colored sugar or cinnamon-sugar. These festive cookies are always a hit and never last long.

My great-great grandmother, who everyone called Mime, would begin making sand tarts right after Thanksgiving. Making sand tarts is a labor of love, especially when making a large batch of cookies to share with family and friends. You have to roll out very thin sheets of dough to cut the cookies. You need the dough just soft enough to roll it, but still hard enough to get it to the necessary thinness. This takes time and is quite the arm workout after a while, but the results are worth the effort. read more

Flavorful Journeys Popular Blog Posts of 2015

Every year I like to look and see which blog posts on Flavorful Journeys were most popular with readers. It’s a fun way to reflect and reminisce on my culinary adventures and travel experiences. Without further ado, here are Flavorful Journeys top 10 posts of 2015!

1. Sashimi Seaweed Cucumber Salad

Flavorful Journeys Popular Blog Posts of 2015

This sashimi seaweed cucumber salad is one of my weeknight favorites. Since everything is served raw, preparation is a breeze. The fresh fish, roe, and seaweed transport you to the sea, while the citrusy ponzu enlivens the salad by adding acidity to the dish. read more

Halloween Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies + Bleeding Candle

Halloween Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies with Bleeding Candle and Spiders

Halloween Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies with Bleeding Candle and Spiders

I love Halloween—it’s my favorite holiday! I’m always excited when October comes around and I can start making scary Halloween treats, like my blood-splattered cookies or these jagged glass cupcakes.

Halloween Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies

This Halloween on Flavorful Journeys I wanted to feature a dessert that isn’t as macabre as in years past (don’t worry if you like the dark side of Halloween as much as I do—I’ve also included instructions for making the bleeding candle pictured above). So I made Halloween chocolate sprinkle cookies with dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses. read more

2015 Dragon Con Masquerade Costume Contest

Female Jedi Cosplayer at Dragon Con 2015 with Lightsabers

Female Jedi Cosplayer at Dragon Con 2015 with Lightsabers

Every Labor Day weekend, Atlanta hosts Dragon Con—one of the largest fantasy and science fiction conventions drawing over 60,000 attendees. One of the coolest things about Dragon Con are the cosplayers, people who dress up in costumes and represent characters, often inspired from tv shows, movies, video games, manga, comic books, or their own imagination.

Some of the most spectacular and elaborate costumes can be seen at the Dragon Con Masquerade Costume Contest. There’s a children division, as well as an adult competition, and a master’s category (for contestants who have previously won “Best in Show”). The costumes featured often take months to make and show true craftsmanship, dedication, and passion. In addition, to the awe-inspiring costumes, the contestants are also judged for their performance on stage. This is a fun show and a true highlight of Dragon Con! read more

A Danish Christmas Eve

Roast Pork with Crackling and Brown Potatoes

Roast Pork with Crackling (Flæskesteg) and Brown Potatoes (Brunede Kartofler)

This year Corey and I experienced a traditional Danish Christmas Eve. It was a special occasion, full of merriment and cheer, and we enjoyed hearing about Danish myths and traditions and participating in the festivities.

Nisse Folklore

Nisse in Barn with Animals and Gifts

Nisse in Barn with Animals and Gifts

One noticeable decorative difference was the numerous Nisse—gnome-like spirits who dwell in barns, helping the farm on which they live. But they can be mischievous too: if they feel mistreated or don’t get what they want, they may cause trouble. read more