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Kale Recipes So You Don’t Die

Frosted gingerbread cookies. Thick eggnog spiked with booze. Meaty drumsticks. Gravy. Butter. Carbs. More butter. Ah, the holidays.

We love winter feasting, but we also love not passing out face-first into a dish of cheese. What is life without balance? It’s tired and bloated and none of its clothes fit. Hanukkah Harry brought me an extra chin? No bueno. So, to make it through the new year — without having to buy larger pants or get a vitamin B injection — allow us to make a one-word suggestion: kale.

You heard us. Kale. Because in the dead of winter, it seems like the only vegetables we see are starchy tubers buried at the bottom of a casserole dish under a sticky mound of marshmallows. Oy vey. But even though the trees outside are bare, it’s easy to get some greenery in the produce section if you make a beeline for Kaleville. Hear us out.

A member of the cabbage family, kale is hearty as hell, which is why it’s the last one standing when relegated to a garnish on platters. (For shame!) But kale grows late into the winter and was even encouraged as a wartime crop because it was so damn healthy and easy to grow. It’s high in calcium and potassium, plus vitamins K, A and C — and unless you want to sneeze your way through the season, these are all great vitamins to ward off the winter bugs. Also, kale has anticancer properties and can lower cholesterol — something another serving of canned ham probably cannot do. Low in calories and high in fiber, it’ll detox your system. Translation: Your pants won’t feel as tight.

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Alie & Georgia’s New Year’s Day Brunch

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, than some people (like, us) would argue that brunch is the most important meal of the weekend. And if that’s true (it is), then New Year’s Day brunch is the most important meal of the year.

While everyone else is putting their effort into making New Year’s Eve the most memorable night of the year (it won’t be), you’ll be voted “Smartest Person Alive” when you instead plan for the best brunch to ring in the first day of the new year. Invite your closest (and least hungover) friends — the ones you’d love to see more of this coming year — and plate up our perfect bite-sized brunch snacks. You’ll be the toast of 2014.

Mini Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches with Spicy Frittata (pictured above)

This two-bite breakfast of protein and carbs is the perfect mouthful to fuel your day of lounging and resolution-making.

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Alie & Georgia’s Homemade Canned Gift Ideas

As frugal gals at heart, wholly without use for fancy or expensive trinkets, our favorite gifts are those that encompass the following characteristics:

1. Useful
2. Unexpected
3. Homemade

It is with that in mind that we present our choice gift to give this year: jarred condiments. Yes, we said condiments. Also known as “stuff to put on things,” homemade condiments are a great way to add creative, interesting flair to any staples on the table.

Then, just put the “stuff to put on things” into a “thing that holds stuff,” also known as a Mason jar. As two vintage-inclined chicks, we’ve been extolling the virtues of the inexpensive yet kitschy vessel that is the Mason jar for years. They’re readily available at most grocery, kitchen and hardware stores and they’re cheap and adorable.

Below are some recipes for homemade condiments you can present in cute jars to turn your gift giving into something uniquely awesome. Attach a little label with serving suggestions, or make a gift basket with a few different jars of tasty things plus some recipes. Look! You just made someone’s whole year. Fine, that’s an overstatement, but they’ll be stoked.

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Alie & Georgia’s Holiday Cocktails and Treats

Winter has just started to peek its adorably mild head around town here in Los Angeles, and that means it’s the time of the year when everyone drives terribly and stays inside as much as possible to avoid the 60 degree light rain. And what goes better with weather-induced agoraphobia than a nice, strong cocktail or plate of comfort food in the form of dessert?

Since there’s nothing we love better than a seasonal cocktail and something sweet to accompany it, we’ve created quite a few holiday-time treats that’ll make winter hibernation not just tolerable, but delicious as well.

The Chosen Wine

With one of us being Jewish, and the other wishing she was (we’ll let you guess which is which), we’re always annoyed with how few Hanukkah-specific cocktails there are this time of year, especially when compared to the overabundance of Christmas libations and treats. The Chosen Wine cocktail solves that problem, and tastes great to boot! L’chaim!

Bourbon Cider Sipper

This deceptively simple recipe is bursting with warming winter flavors like brown sugar, clove simple syrup, hard apple cider and everyone’s favorite cold-weather warmer, bourbon.

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Alie & Georgia’s Guide to Sending an Angry Stranger a Drink

With holiday travel now in full swing — and perilous shopping frenzies forecast through the month of December — people are going insane. Like, actually clinically insane. Case in point: the live tweeting between Elan Gale and Diane of seat 7A on a Thanksgiving Day US Airways flight. Did you happen to miss that? Because it broke the Internet last week.

Elan, the producer of the esteemed programs The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad, was irked that a fellow passenger — a middle-aged woman who identified herself as Diane — was complaining about a flight delay on Thanksgiving. Elan was so angered at Diane’s anger that he sent her a glass of wine to chill out, accompanied by a scathingly condescending note. Diane didn’t appreciate this, and she sent a nasty note back. Elan then walked two bottles of vodka over to her seat, and more notes followed, including some from Elan that were graphic and incredibly insulting. He tweeted that Diane slapped him upon de-planing, and, to be honest, we hardly blame her. Elan sounds like a human pile of antagonistic, non-compassionate garbage. (See: Georgia’s thoughts on Elan vs. Diane on her Tumblr.)

So we’ve decided to write up some tips on how to send a drink to a stressed-out stranger. Study up, because we’re sure you’ll encounter at least one person in an airport who is totally losing his or her mind.

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All Hail the Sweet Potato

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.


Watch out. Sweet potatoes are having a moment. Like a band that suddenly blew up or an ingenue nominated for an Oscar, these rooty tubers have glided into the limelight and, it’s safe to say, the year belongs to them.

What the hell are we talking about? We’re talking about sweet potato soups and snacks and desserts and cocktails, people. We’re talking about the role of side dish, the duty of being a vehicle for marshmallows being over. Everywhere we look, we see sweet potatoes in new weird iterations. Then we eat them.

But the first rule of sweet potatoes is: Don’t get it twisted. Do not call Ipomoea batatas a yam. Here in North America, we fling around the term “yam” like some people say “nucular.” But a yam is actually a larger, lighter-colored, totally different Asian and African root vegetable. In fact, we’re so accustomed to wrongly saying “yams” that here in America, any sweet potato product labeled “yam” must also say “sweet potato.” So, yeah. They’re called sweet potatoes. Unless they’re yams. That’s lesson No. 1.

But that’s enough talk; let’s chow. Here are a few ways you can get hip to sweet potatoes and use these starchy suckers as more than a sad, neglected potluck casserole. Because a yam — er, sweet potato — by any other name would taste as sweet.

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5 Awesome Halloween Cocktails

It’s a spooktacular time of year — around a shadowy corner, in a moonlit orchard or down a leaf-littered path in the dark, a spirit might overtake you! Or you could just sit at home and have a spirit overtake you via a boozy beverage. Might we suggest one of these five creepy libations? They’re eerie and mysterious and sure to send icy chills to your bones, particularly if you spill them down your pants. Don’t do that. But drink up and happy, happy Halloween.

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Go Ahead, Dress Like Food, or Five Easy DIY Food-Themed Halloween Costumes

Are we just getting curmudgeonly in our old age or are Halloween costumes not the creative, fun, homemade awesomeness that they used to be? Gone are the easy costumes from our childhood that were cobbled together from what we already had in our home; instead, costumes have become trendy, expensive, mundane getups that make up for what they lack in creativity with an overabundance of bared skin. Put it away, autumn exhibitionists.

So in the name of DIY Halloween costumes everywhere, we’ve compiled a list of five of our favorite Halloween costumes that are both cheap and easy to put together, and that will announce to the world (and the Halloween party that you’re at) that you’re a foodie.

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Alie & Georgia’s Favorite Fall Beers

What comes to mind when you think of fall beverages? A libation that’s comforting and complex with spices and toasty notes, that’s refreshing but also wholesome and deep? Well, while you’re picturing warm ciders and mulled wines, we’ve got a suggestion for you. How about a drink that’s one of the oldest recorded in human history — one that’s said to be partly responsible for the development of civilization. That complex enough for you?

While some may consider beer something watery that tastes faintly like a penny — something Dad used to down in great quantities in front of the game — we’re intrigued by the craft beer movement that’s taken over the industry, and the many small breweries that are making something wholly different from your daddy’s beer, some of which is just perfect for autumn. We recently visited our neighborhood storefront and tasting room that specializes in all things craft beer, Sunset Beer Co. in trendy Echo Park, Calif., to find the perfect beers to sip as the leaves turn orange and the weather gets chilly. OK, fine; we’re not judging — you can also down them in front of the game. We’re looking at you, Dad.

Here are some of our favorites:

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5 Reasons to Love Fall

Alie’s favorite season is autumn. Georgia’s least favorite word is autumnal. (“It just sounds so douc … um, pretentious.”) But one thing we both agree on: Fall is the best. We can’t think of a single reason not to like fall, but here are our top-five things about autumn that earns it the Best Damn Season Ever award. Which is not a real award. But it really should be.

Big sweaters

Who doesn’t enjoy wearing a blanket? If you just said, “Me. I don’t enjoy wearing a blanket,” take a quick moment to ask yourself what’s wrong with you. Fall affords that perfect crisp chill that necessitates you pulling a big woven snuggle-rug over your head, but it’s not cold enough to have to lug around a bulky jacket. Bonus: You rarely see middle-aged men in Speedos during autumn. We’re lookin’ at you, summer.

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