Bourbon isn’t just for cocktails — the barrel-aged spirit lends smoky complexity to apple tarts, chocolate cake and pecan pie. Morgan Murphy’s book “Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South’s Favorite Food Groups” (Oxmoor House 2014) contains a dozen recipes for decadent, bourbon-infused desserts that are perfect for the holidays.
Jan Buerge of Kansas City and her sister Judy Hartzler carry on the family tradition of making peppernuts for the holidays. Peppernuts are tiny spice cookies popular throughout Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Russia.
Missouri Town 1855 staged an old-fashioned Christmas celebration. No jockeying for a parking space at the mall. No hyped-up “Jingle Bells” blaring from loudspeakers. Just the sweet sounds of a hammered dulcimer, a Percheron snorting in the misty air and Belsnickel quietly asking children to answer questions.
It is the time of the year when fuss and obligations, whether festive or not, can feel overwhelming. Anonymous 4 offered an antidote to these stressors with a performance that encouraged quiet contemplation for the appreciative capacity audience in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Tens of thousands of local kids go without enough food on weekends. The Star is partnering with Harvesters to raise money for the area’s hungriest children. All money goes to Harvesters’ BackSnack program, which provides low-income children weekend meals. Just $25 provides a child BackSnacks for a month; $250 provides BackSnacks for a year.
Leftover limbs from live Christmas trees smell wonderful, are stunningly elegant in their simplicity and, best of all, are free at a lot of tree lots. The key is to trim the fresh green sprigs from the woody parts of the stems, leaving an assortment of shapes and sizes of greenery.
The Christmas season is one of New York City’s busiest times of year. Tickets for Broadway shows and hotel rooms go for premium prices, and lines for top attractions are long. But some of the best and most beautiful things to see and do around the city during the holidays are free. Here are five of them.
Options have expanded dramatically, from realistic fake trees pre-lit with softly glowing LED lights to environmentally friendly, abstract “trees” made from reclaimed shipping pallets. Three interior designers help sort out options.
Each year brings more inventive versions of wreaths. Regional variations have become common, often in unexpected materials: driftwood wreaths with shells and starfish, for example, or fiery circles of Southeastern chili peppers.
There are dozens of companies in Missouri and Kansas, from the mom and pop operations to the major corporations, that make items that would be ideal Christmas gifts for the outdoorsman (or woman) on your list.
Christmas has Elf on the Shelf. Now Hanukkah has Mensch on a Bench — not to mention Maccabee on the Mantel. Christmas has gingerbread houses; Manischewitz sells Chanukah House kits, using cookie dough with blue-and-white icing. These are just a few of the Hanukkah-themed products inspired by Christmas traditions and toys.
For the first time in the Lyceum Theatre’s 54-year history, visitors by the hundreds are traveling the two-lane blacktops that lead to Arrow Rock for a Yuletide production. This holiday season, the Lyceum is launching what townspeople hope will be an annual tradition, staging Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
Barb Kovacs’ culinary traditions run deep. Perhaps one of the most treasured is cooking with her mother, Joan Mindlin, and 22-year-old daughter, Emily Kovacs of Overland Park, for holidays such as Hanukkah, the annual eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, which this year begins at sundown Dec. 16. Foods that stir up Kovacs’ memories of generations of cooks long departed aren’t fussy.
About 150 kids won roles in the current production of “The Nutcracker,” including a youngster from Harrisonville. It takes countless hours of practice, but their parents gush over what performing means to the kids.
Sarah Shaw, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Overland Park, enjoys celebrating Hanukkah by hosting an open-house “LatkeFest.” “Holidays are a time to come together, and we have fun with it,” her mother, Amy Shaw, says. “So many Jewish traditions are tied to the foods that are served, and Sarah likes to make sure there’s a variety of dishes at our gatherings, so no one goes home hungry.”
The Kansas City Ballet opened its 42nd run of “The Nutcracker” to a pleased audience in Kauffman Theatre on Saturday. It must be a humbling responsibility to be a familiar holiday tradition and often a first introduction to ballet. This beloved and vibrant work is a tradition that partly dates back to Imperial Russia.
The Wallace R. Bostwick Foundation's sixth annual Christmas Gifts for Soldiers were packed by volunteers on Saturday, December 6, 2014, on the Plaza. The boxes were filled with necessities and gifts for U.S. soldiers serving in Iran, Kuwait, Afghanistan and South Africa.
The Star's Robert Trussell found that theaters in and around the tourist mecca in southwest Missouri still offer plenty of country music, but some shows are looking for broader audiences as the city continues to evolve.