Flashless & Photoless No More

December 16, 2008


So.  This salad.  Well, hmmm, let’s see.  I’m not sure what to say about it.  For one thing, it’s not the gingerbread cake I made on Sunday and hoped to tell you about today, because that cratered while it baked and then refused to dislodge itself from its pan (still producing delicious crumbs, though, I assure you).  And it’s also not the newest soup to grace my Dutch oven twice in the last month, because while that soup is incredibly comforting and bright and hearty, it’s also incredibly un-photogenic.


And, while we’re at it, it wasn’t the Chicago-style deep dish we made the weekend before last,  either, because we ate that long after sundown and we hungrily ate it, flashless and thus photoless.   (Don’t worry, it will have an encore very soon.) Which, I suppose, brings me back to the salad.

Read the rest of this entry »

One Decision Down

December 14, 2008


If your December is anything like mine is right now, you’re drowning in decisions. Should we drive or fly? Does he want a sweater or a necktie (or, more likely, neither)? Can we make it to all three of these holiday parties on the exact same Saturday night? Should I or should I not eat that thirteenth cookie of the day? Sometimes it makes me want to curl up under the boughs of a big Christmas tree and hide from it all.


Alas, I’m a little allergic to Christmas trees and I’m sure it would be terribly uncomfortable under there, what with all the prickly needles. Kind of like spooning with a porcupine, no? So, instead, I’m trying to stay calm, not take on too much and check off one decision at a time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Homespun Edge

December 11, 2008


Okay, people, let’s hear it: how are you holding up?  Is cookie fatigue setting in?  I mean in your own kitchens, though I suppose you could catch a slight case of cookie fatigue just from hanging around here this week.  First it was pistachio-dried cherry cookies and then it was chocolate-espresso snowcaps.  And now it’s these peanut butter pinwheels, which—let me tell you—nearly gave me cookie fatigue and them some.  In fact, it had me ready to throw in the spatula.



Thankfully, I recovered and the confections will continue to emerge from the oven.  But for a short time on Sunday, when I made these stripey cookies, it was dicey.   You see, I committed the cardinal sin of cooking/baking: I didn’t read the recipe through before baking the cookies.  There, I said it.

Read the rest of this entry »


December 9, 2008


These cookies are a little bit magic, I think. They bring out your inner-child, if nothing else. For one thing, you get to arm yourself with a cool tool, the spring-loaded ice cream scoop:


And with that scoop, you get to sweep through a bowl of chocolate cookie dough, gathering up a perfect tablespoon of dough and leaving wavy streaks in your wake:


Read the rest of this entry »

And So it Begins

December 7, 2008


For the last three years—2005, 2006 and 2007—December has meant one thing to me.  Law School Finals.  Not decking the halls.  No holly jolly.  Not a trace of yuletide cheer.  And absolutely no cookie baking.   Nope, just flashcards, anxiety, and exhaustion. So, when December crept up this year, I decided to make up for lost time, especially in the cookie department.


I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, surrounded by a cloud of sugar and flour, apron  cinched around my waist, spatula firmly in my palm.  I’ve also been making room in the freezer (no easy task) as the batches mount.  But, perhaps best of all, I’ve been poring over recipes.

Read the rest of this entry »