Westervin Wishlist

30 Gift Ideas for the Classy, Barbecuing Boozehound (or things you can get Brian for Christmas)

Westervin Wishlist: 30 Gift Ideas for the Classy Guy

While for the Westervins, Christmastime is mostly about taking some time off to spend with family and watching our favorite Christmas movies (or at least my favorite Christmas movie), we somehow also find time for presents. So just like Sarah did yesterday, I’ve rounded up some nifty items and wrapped them up in a handy gift guide for you. Don’t feel the need to get me everything on this list — I don’t need #allthepresents. But some of this stuff is really cool, and you may know someone who still needs a gift. Heck, maybe you need a gift. Fair warning though, many of these items are limited in quantity or handmade, so get them while they’re hot!

Image above, clockwise from top left: Tyvek Billfold $24,  Snuggle Penguin Card $4.50, Y’all Sweatshirt $50, THICK Paraben- and Sulfate-Free Shampoo $25, Anonymous Ism Socks $28, Coconut Oil Soft Shaving Cream £16.00, Fireplace Sculpture by Layet Johnson $1,800, Natural Avocado Soap $6.50, Wood Handle Umbrella $108, Beard Oil Trio $36

Westervin Wishlist: 30 Gift Ideas for the Classy Boozehound

Image above, clockwise from top left: Skillshare Premium Membership $96 (so I can take this logo design class and more), Set of Moscow Mule Mugs $14.95/ea., 12 Tables 2015 Calendar $20, Americana Postcard Set $30 for 46, Set of Julep Cups $26.95/ea., North Carolina Sourwood Honey $22, Dinosaur Drink Stirrers $16.95, Chicken Gourd Ornaments Set $36 for 3, Mint Julep Candle $28, Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold

Westervin Wishlist: 30 Gift Ideas for the Classy Barbecuer

Image above, clockwise from top left: Copper Pig Cookie Cutter $16.95, Chorizo Rioja Dry Cured Salami $10.95, Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey by John Currence, Stand Mixer Flex Edge Beater $22.49, Slap Sauce $6.99, Smoke by Tim Byers, Ginger Canvas Apron $80, Custom Coffee Subscription, Deep Tea Diver Infuser $9.99, Diner Cookie Jar $49.00

Out & About

Out & About: The Spice House

The Spice House, Geneva, Illinois

I’ve been relying on The Spice House even before moving to Chicago. So when I needed to get a whole lot of allspice, I knew exactly where to go.
Continue reading

Fine Fixin's

Fine Fixin’s: Carrot Tangerine Bread

Sometimes I just feel like making bread, and I have a sweet tooth all of the time. So whenever I want to bake bread it is generally best if it is sweet. Here’s a recipe that you can pretend is good for you since it has two cups of grated carrots.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp tangerine juice
Grated zest of 1 tangerine
2 cups finely grated raw carrots

makes two 9″ x 5″ loaves

from The Bread Bible { Photo Credit: bread bag by Martha of Chickadee’s Nest }

Continue reading

Fine Fixin's

Fine Fixin’s: Sex Pot

Nothing says “sexy food” like crock pot cookin’.

For Christmas, I got Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever, and while I’m not yet sure it is the best cookbook ever, it certainly has been fun to “set it and forget it.” And if you’ve got a lazy fiancée, who can’t be bothered to cook ANYTHING, some of the recipes are so simple you might even be able to convince her to help!

{ Photo from Betty Crocker }

Why not start with this Creamy Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe that got a five-star rating from a certain picky eater.

4 TBSP unsalted butter
2 medium leeks, finely chopped, using the white and some of the tender green parts
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
2 cups finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
6 green onions, finely chopped, using the white and some of the tender green parts
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp, drained, and crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream for garnish

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and sauté until softened, 2-3 min. Transfer the leeks to the insert of a 5-7 quart slow cooker and add the potatoes and broth. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours, until the potatoes are tender. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup, or cool the soup and purée it in a blender.

Reduce the heat to low and add the milk, cheese, green onions, and bacon. Cover the slow cooker and cook for an additional 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup garnished with a dollop of sour cream. Serves 8-10.

Tagged , , |
Fine Fixin's

Fine Fixin’s: A Reuben for You

For the longest time I made my Reubens by warming up the sauerkraut and corned beef separately, then putting them on some rye with all the fixin’s. Yesterday, I realized that was stupid. You just pile everything on some bread and brown it on a skillet. It takes a little while to cook through so you have to watch your heat, but overall it’s a bit less intensive. Follow this recipe from Saveur if you’re still confused.


That sandwich is so big it could eat YOU!

{ photo by Karen Hamilton }

Leave a comment
Tagged , , , |