appetizers, desserts, feast magazine article, salads, sauces, sides, snacks

recipe collections: a holiday feast and a swanky tailgate.

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Sometimes I wonder what I get myself into. 

The Feast mothership has worked really hard to launch a national section which appears quarterly (I call it “quarterly plus” because there are actually 5 installments this year that I know about) in newspapers across the country. Also, there’s a dedicated website – – devoted to food and drink recipes, cookbook reviews, and the like. You guys would like it, because it’s really home cooking-driven, and I know you’re into that.

Somehow, I was chosen to be in charge of the food for this.

PSSST: I think they drink a lot in the office, friends. All that Missouri wine can really go to your head, and there’s almost no other way to explain it. That’s my theory.

No matter how it came to be, here I am. And here these recipe collections are. And I am extremely proud of them, not only because combined with the magazine features, I’ve worked nonstop since August, but also because they’ve come to life so well. Most importantly, they’ve been a blast to do; challenging, but really fun to work through in my head and with my hands.

They didn’t tell me part of this ongoing assignment was video. As in “actual film footage of Shannon, cooking and talking at the same time.” I have a feeling you know how initially opposed I was to this, and by “oppposed” I mean “mortified.” I was so amped up on nerves and adrenaline before the first shoot that my hands were shaking.

But I did it. And it was hard. But also, not as terrifying as I thought. Turns out 2 to 3 really kind and encouraging videographers + 1 Feast staff + 1 Catherine Neville making me feel completely at ease = I don’t pass out while someone is filming me. No one is more surprised than me. 

I’ve done two shoots so far – one for a collection of tailgating recipes, and the other a collection of elegant winter holiday feast recipes: the latter was infinitely easier than the former, if only because I knew what to expect. The next installment shoots in a few weeks, and I can say honestly that I’m looking forward to it. Mostly.

I’m sorry it took me so long to tell you about these in detail. I wanted to, and I missed this space so badly when I was working on all of this, which makes it all the more lovely to be back and sharing this with you. Thank you for being here.

Here they are! My recipe collections for Feast. Our inaugural collection was built around tailgating, and I’m in both the behind the scenes video and a short little segment on my thought process behind the recipes. And speaking of those recipes, they are:

Dip Duo With Grilled Breads and Seasonal Vegetables

Prosciutto-Grape-Manchego Bites

Cherry-Pecan-Kale Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Fresh Corn and Sage Muffins

Simple Grilled Chicken Thighs with Blackberry-Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

Cumin-Adobo Marinated Steak Tacos with Pickled Vegetables

Andouille-Shrimp Burgers with Remoulade Sauce

Chocolate-Caraway “Pretzels”

One-Bowl Spiced Pear and Walnut Crumble

If you’ve always wondered about quick pickling, wonder no more: Cat does a pretty awesome video which breaks it down for you using my recipe for Quick Pickled Carrots and Onions.

The second collection is the polar opposite of the tailgate: it’s inside, elegant, and it’s basically my winter entertaining dream of a menu come to life. Literally, in fact, because this time there were dinner guests and elegant lighting and it wasn’t 95 degrees outside – that last fact important because it means I’m not sweating for 6 hours straight in a hot kitchen, temperature compounded by the heat from the outdoors.

I’ve been told I’m in all 3 videos this time. Depending on how fast you click on these links, you may actually see them before I do, because I’m always apprehensive about watching myself in action. The first is a behind the scenes from the shoot: I plan to expand on this in a future post, but you’ll note activity in two areas: kitchen and dining room. They’re right next to each other. I basically never saw the action in the dining area because I was so busy stressing out in the kitchen. The shoot may look glamorous and relaxed, and at times it totally is that way, but so much of it is really hard work done by all parties involved, and it gives me a whole new level of respect for people who shoot actual cooking shows regularly…it’s tough stuff. In addition to the behind the scenes video, there are two short segments on how to roast a duck and how to conquer my sky-high Root Vegetable Galette. It’s a true beauty and I hope at least one of you tries it this fall or winter.

All the recipes are beauties, in my opinion: fancy but not difficult to accomplish, even when made all-together. I think the print edition has a sidebar about how to work out from your party time and do things in advance so you, the host, has a good time as well.

You want the recipes, right? Because holidays:

Sweet and Sour Winter Relish Tray with Fresh Herb Dip

Wild Mushroom-Goat Cheese-Herb Flatbreads

Torched Cara Cara Orange Salad with Champagne-Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Slow-Roasted Duck with Orange-Rosemary Pan Sauce

Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Winter Chimichurri

Deep-Dish Root Vegetable Galette

Pan-Roasted Fennel, Carrots and Pearl Onions with Dill-Almond Pesto

Pickled Cherry Panzanella

Raspberry-Pomegranate Granita

Chocolate-Chestnut-Espresso Bundinos

I hope you enjoy all this: I did, and I love that I can share it with you. I’m working on another collection at present, and it’s the most relaxed one yet and it echoes that post-holiday (and perhaps post-cleansing) time of year that invitees a little comfort food back in to your body. It’s bright and fun, and it’s coming. For now, I get to blog! I have some outtakes from the collections to share with you – outtakes only because I went in a different direction, not because they’re not awesome (because they are.) I’ll be sharing those over the coming weeks; after I figure out my Thanksgiving menu. I’d say it’s 95% there, but needs some streamlining. What are you guys doing? Sticking with the classics? Branching out and being adventurous aka angering your relatives? I’m doing a little of both, and I’m hoping to sneak a few pictures of our meal this week.

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  • Reply Mellissa @ I Breathe I'm Hungry November 23, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    YOU’RE TOTALLY FAMOUS NOW! This was so fun to watch – thanks for sharing and you were awesome! Congrats!!!!!

    • Reply shannon January 19, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      HAHAHAHAHA not famous! I can’t tell if I love it that you watched it or if it just made me more nervous, but i guess i should get used to it, right? I’m getting used to filming; still not my best thing, but thank you for your kind words, Mellissa. I hope to be less of an idiot on camera in a year or so. 🙂

  • Reply Wendy November 29, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    It never fails to excite me when I open a Feast magazine, or this week when I opened the newspaper supplement , to see your byline! Your recipes boggle my mind, as in, “WOW! How in the world did she come up with that and figure it out?!” Your talents for cooking and writing shine in your Feast work. Congrats! Our Thanksgiving is way less gourmet and heavy on the individual traditional foods that each family member special requests. The only twist this year (and one I will repeat) is I made a boneless turkey breast roulade which was perfect for our small gathering. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

    • Reply shannon January 19, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Wendy, thank you so much! You’re awfully sweet to say all those super nice things, and I feel like i’m not at all deserving of your praise. I try my best with Feast: I feel like I give it my all (which should be evident given my lack of attention to this blog), and I’m always learning, thanks to them. I think that’s the thing i’m most grateful for, actually: this year, i’m grateful for them feeling so confident in me that I’m able to get back to this space and balance my focus a little bit. It’s a credit to how encouraging those ladies at Feast are that i’m able to say that, for sure.

      I’m ALL FOR traditional thanksgiving, and I can only imagine yours was brilliant this year. Our own thanksgiving is made better thanks to those special requests you talk about: it makes your celebration unique to your family, and I think that’s just the coolest thing ever. I love the turkey roulade idea for a small feast! WAY better than having your oven occupied by a huge bird, to be sure.

  • Reply movita beaucoup December 2, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I feel like you’re too legit for us to be friends now.

    • Reply shannon January 19, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      I really hope that my incredibly tardy response to you here didn’t reinforce your feelings on this. i am in no way, shape or form too legit for us to be friends. in fact, i’m still the same total moron (especially with *ahem* blogging) that i’ve always been. and i love you, so there’s that.

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