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Archive for December, 2008

A few of my favorite things…

The holiday season is upon us. And with the celebration of holidays, I ask myself, do I celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah? How about both? Gifts are gifts and cookies are cookies. I’ve never been one to turn down either.
 
When I was a child, my family would celebrate Hanukkah as a four-person unit. Christmas was reserved for the outside world. In school, the mall, the homes of most everyone we knew. My grandmother, who was supposedly Jewish, liked the look of a Christmas tree so much, she insisted on having one every year. As I imagine many people do, I don’t immediately associate Jesus or church with the celebration of Christmas. Instead, my eyes light up at the sight of red and green M&Ms, candy canes, and plates piled high with assorted cookies.

For our holiday party, Roxie and I made Christmas Wreath cookies. For Hanukkah, you could dye them blue and shape them into menorahs or candles. Or make them pink hearts for Valentine’s day. Or make them in the middle of summer at the cabin like my aunt used to. 

Christmas Wreath Cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes.com

bad photo, good cookies

bad photo, good cookies

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Cooking without recipes

I am not adventurous. People have to force me into situations and give me no choice but to take the risk I am too chicken to decide to take for myself. A prime example of this when I saw my first real concert. It was Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters at the Target Center and I was fourteen. My friends wanted to lose our nice, comfortable, safe plastic seats for the scary, smelly mosh pit down on the floor. What was I to do?? After watching them effortlessly hop down to the floor, I gingerly stepped-crawled-slid-fell down the wall onto my ass. The concert was just starting, and everyone was too distracted to see the dorky middle school girl who just fell, and if anyone was watching, I was too enthralled with the music to care.

I sometimes cook with that same attitude. Afraid to make mistakes, embarrass myself, poison my friends. Sometimes, when I make new dishes, I only share it with only my dearest friends, because I know they will be honest with me (Rox) or tell me it’s delicious no matter what (Jake). This past weekend, I put that shy girl on time-out and decided to make a chili. I couldn’t find a recipe I liked, so I made one up, remembering tasty chilies from my past. I like corn, so I added corn. Sure, it’s not technically “white,” but if I called it murky, yellow, cream-colored chili, I doubt you’d be interested in making it. (more…)

Two big ass turkey legs in one week!

Lately, I’ve been too busy eating to update the blog. In the past two weeks or so, I was lucky enough to have two Thanksgivings with friends, and a restaurant-worthy beef tenderloin dinner with my family, and various junk food and cheese-and-cracker binges here and there. I love the holidays.
 
For the first Thanksgiving, or Thankskegger as we say, I made the usual hummus, and had a bowl of candied almonds out for munching. My main job was kitchen manager, or yeller-at-everyone, and I made sure every dish was properly reheated and everyone was fed.

A view of the buffet table, photo courtesy of Sarah

A view of the buffet table, photo courtesy of Sarah

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