three, two, one…

by Kristina Sloggett

in holiday

Happy New Year


Today I am sharing with you my unabashedly subjective gift guide. Nothing here is sponsored, they are simply my favorite local companies. My favorites from Oregon. My favorite food gifts from Oregon. I wish I could send every one of you a big gift basket of all the things! 



Podnah's Pit

Podnah’s Pit.

Podnah’s Pit is an extremely popular barbecue joint here in Portland, and by virtue of all that is barbecue, [click to continue…]


minty banana dog treats

For those of you who polish up your DIY skills to make handmade gifts during the holidays, I have one for all the four legged friends in your life. Even if you have zero DIY skills – these are easy easy easy to make. A doggie cookie, if you will, with only five ingredients. Mint and banana – fresh breath and my dogs favorite snack? The dachshunds in this house are crazy for these.


Please come visit me at Attune today, where I share this easy recipe!

…there is also the cutest photo of Basil and Rosemary over there…

Minty Banana Dog Treats

mint dog treats



The holidays are upon us, and Thanksgiving is next week, eak!

I am looking forward to spending the Wednesday before at my moms, cooking all day! Thanksgiving day, I’ll be back over early in the morning, for a day with the family: cooking, eating, drinking, playing cards, telling the fun stories of Grandpa Z, Uncle Dudley, Dad…   remembering those who are not with us and being grateful for those who are.

I have some fun new recipes I am making this year, to accompany the traditional favorites we always have (and will always have, that dressing can never be replaced, mom!). I’ll share our day later – today I have a collection of plant based holiday recipes – basically another view of my perfect dinner!

If you cannot see the slideshow, click here to see the whole collection.




quinoa-chia cauliflower steaks

I know I say this every year, but the holidays truly begin for me when I smell the beginnings of my mom’s dressing. Our own mirepoix of onions, celery and vermouth is the lovely scent I am after – and the holidays are here.

Yesterday, mom and I started planning Thanksgiving.

I always make dessert and way too many daytime snacks and appetizers (those are my two areas of expertise, if I have any). Jason always makes the mashed potatoes.

Since my kitchen is still in full on renovation mode, I am excited to spend the day before Thanksgiving over at moms, cooking all day!

cauliflower steaks with shiitake gravy

With my plant based diet and both Jason and mom being gluten free, there are always an abundance of choices for just about everyone.

This year my entree will be steak.

Cauliflower steak.

Smothered in this shiitake gravy atop Jason’s perfect mashed taters, with some of my ginger cranberry sauce and my mom’s awesome dressing and a bunch of garlicy greens, I will be in holiday bliss.

plant based steaks with mushroom gravy

Please visit me at Attune to see both recipes – Quinoa-Chia Cauliflower Steaks




chile relleno tamale

Happy. New. Year.


What a year that last one was. Much of mine was painful, difficult, exhausting, scary.
To those parts I say goodbye, I close the door on them.

As always, there were bright and happy points – and those I am very thankful for. I will cherish those memories and bring them with me into the new year.

chile relleno tamale

Even though it was a rough road much of the time, and I now have more knowledge of Portland hospitals than I care to, spending time with my dad this year has been priceless and I am incredibly thankful I was able to. Not only was I reminded of my own strength, but my relationship with dad grew even closer. We had some great laughs and I will always admire my dad’s positive attitude and great sense of humor!

Springtime saw Jason and I buy our new house – which was and is thrilling! We hosted our first holidays last month, and look forward to more entertaining. I look forward to more decorating – I have some fun ideas planned. We are making this house a home, and filling it with people (and dachshunds) we love.

I feel incredibly lucky to have spent my June in a vegan chef immersion program. Even better, I have made wonderful lasting friendships from that class that have already brought me such joy!

Friends. This year I reconnected with a good friend from school, and it is as if no time went by! This is one of those friendships where we can be silly together and we laugh until we snort, and on the other side be serious, support each other, and have great conversations and connections. This has once again become a friendship I truly value, and one that is so very good for me!

This year saw me assist in teaching a cooking demo – something I have wanted to do for a long time and that I look forward to doing more of this year. Exciting plans in the works.

Rosemary. She is a new happiness in our house, and we love her so! Basil is getting used to her… they are usually found side by side.

New Years black eyed peas tamales

The last year of running this site brought much happiness as well. I have had generous opportunities come my way, and have had good fun here – more than I ever dreamed possible! I have created good recipes and had (more than?) my share of those not so good recipes. I was offered and I accepted a new opportunity that begins this month – one I am thrilled about and will share soon.

Most of all, I have all of you. I still marvel at this amazing community of fellow bloggers who support each other, and the readers who we do it all for!

Each and every one of you means so much to me – and when I say your comments Make Me Smile Big, I mean it!

The friends I have made here – you got me through this year. The tough times when I was baking at midnight, the happy times you helped celebrate. I am so very grateful.

So very grateful.

back eyed peas tamale

As is our tradition, Jason and I made New Years Eve tamales.

We made new flavors this year – a chile relleno tamale, a black eyed pea jalapeno tamale, and a fig tamale with havarti sauce. All of them so good – the chile relleno is my new favorite! I also made a new chipotle sauce that is rich and spicy – I cannot wait to share with you!

To see our masa recipe, other tamale flavors and assembly methods, see our tamales from last year.

havarti fig tamale

Happy. New. Year.

Here’s to more than we could ever dream possible!



Basil and Rosemary

Meet Rosemary.

Basil finally got a sister, just in time for the holidays. 

We have been spending time bonding over the last few days, and today we are having the whole family over - with two more dachshunds, Jake and Elwood! Tomorrow is little Rosie’s fifth birthday – we adopted her from the local rescue over the weekend.


happy holidays from all four of us.



pumpkin cheesecake spread

I am so very excited to be hosting Christmas this year, and have a lengthy list of snacks and appetizers and entrees and desserts and snacks…

Some are things I am making for the first time, so I have to give them a test run.

This is my second attempt at a pumpkin cheesecake spread (first was too sweet!), and we had a little Happy Hour at Home to give it a go. A couple of friends, a bottle of wine, a faux holiday roast (thank you, Theresa!), and some appetizers.

pumpkin cheesecake dip

Second time was most definitely a charm, here, and I will be making a third time (probably doubling!) next week. This one is a holiday flavored keeper. I am undecided if this will be served as a spread, or piped onto sweet crackers as bite size snacks.

This time I served it with light crispy cinnamon cookies (recipe soon!), and Grammy Crisp crackers. The first time I tried these new Crunchmaster crisps was dunked into my roasted plum ice cream, where they held up perfectly – crunchy and slightly sweet.

They say they’re for kids. I say they’re a perfect vehicle for a pumpkin cheesecake spread.

They may not arrive in time for your holiday appetizer table, but I am giving some Crunchmaster yums away after the jump…

pumpkin cheesecake spread

pumpkin cheesecake spread

dairy, egg, and gluten free, vegan

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
1/4 cup maple syrup
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
ounces cream cheese (dairy free like Tofutti)
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

In food processor, pulse cashews until crumbly. Add maple syrup and lemon juice, continue processing until smooth. Add pumpkin, cream cheese, vanilla paste, cinnamon and nutmeg, continue processing until smooth and creamy. 

pumpkin cheesecake dip

One of my favorite cracker brands, Crunchmaster, is offering one (U.S. based) spabettie reader a variety of flavors, including the new product.

To enter, leave a comment for each:

1) What is your favorite sweet dip?

2) Are you cooking for the holidays? What is on your menu?

3) Tweet it!  –>     enter to win a Crunchmaster giveaway from @spabettie ! –>

4) Follow Crunchmaster via twitter.

5) Like Crunchmaster on facebook.

Enter through midnight Sunday December 23. Winner selected via random number generator and notified via email soon after.