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Author Archive | Meredith Steele

A Sweet Tradition for Mia and Mom

Recipe and Photography by Meredith Steele

My family didn’t have many holiday traditions, other than the hilarious white elephant gift exchange on Christmas night—an event the children couldn’t participate in. Maybe that’s why I finagled my way into our neighbors’ kitchen every year for their holiday cookie bake.…

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Holiday Shortbread Cookies

Photography by Meredith Steele

This classic soft-textured cookie is sweet and buttery. Have fun with it and make thumbprint or sandwich cookies with your favorite local preserves.

Makes 28 cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Jam or preserves (see note)

Preheat oven to 350°F.…

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Bee’s Knees Cocktail with Thyme Honey

From Effortless Entertaining Cookbook by Meredith Steele, Steelehousekitchen.com

Back in the days of flapper dresses and bathtub gin, a cocktail called The Bee’s Knees was secretly sipped on during the grand parties of the Prohibition Era.

Serves 8

¼ cup honey
¼ cup boiling hot water
4 sprigs thyme
2 cups gin
¾ cup fresh lemon juice

In a heatproof container, combine honey, water and thyme and stir until the honey has dissolved.…

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One Big Pot

comfort food to feed a crowd


Recipes and Photography by Meredith Steele

When I think of winter, I immediately envision a warm house full of family and friends telling stories while a big pot of something delicious simmers away in the kitchen.…

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Hard Cider Braised Turkey Thighs and Apples


Tender turkey and tartly sweet Granny Smith apples are braised in a delicious combination of cider and Chinese five-spice powder. An epic comfort meal for chilly holiday nights.

Serves 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
3 turkey thighs
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 Granny Smith apples, cored and thickly sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
12 ounces (1½ cups) hard apple cider*
1 cup chicken stock
6 fresh sage leaves
2 bay fresh leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F.…

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Beans and Greens Stew


A savory vegetarian stew of creamy, slow-cooked white beans simmered in a soothing vegetable broth made of onions, garlic and herbs and fi nished off with tender, wilted winter greens, a splash of bright lemon and crumbled feta cheese.

Serves 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

3 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
10 cups vegetable stock
1 pound dried white beans (such as cannelloni), soaked over night and drained
1 bunch spinach, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup crumbled feta*

Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.…

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Beef and Sausage Braciole


Beef and Sausage Braciole, thinly sliced sirloin wrapped around Italian sausage, is one of our go-to favorites when we have a snow day. When there’s a possibility of being iced in, we head straight to Jimmy’s Italian Food Store before the roads get bad.…

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Recipes For a Weekend Fall Fête

Recipes and Photography by Meredith Steele As far back as I can remember, I’ve associated the State Fair of Texas with the coming of fall. Maybe it’s the slight chill in the air as restaurant patios return to overflowing and waiting in line for brunch is once again the norm.…

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Fried Chicken with Maple Paprika Butter


With its cooler temperatures, fall is the best season for picnicking in Texas. Pack your basket with some indulgent fried chicken. This recipe offers deliciously crisp crust and enticingly tender meat. A guaranteed hit!

Serves 6


3 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 rosemary sprigs
1 bay leaf


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Peanut oil for deep-frying
2 ½ pounds chicken thighs, drumsticks, wings or breasts


¼ cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon smoked paprika

In a large food-grade plastic bag, combine the ingredients for the brine.…

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