I know I shared this recipe with you last year, but it bears repeating... these are the best Christmas cookies you will ever have. Yes, this is quite a bold statement - but you must know, I do not take this subject lightly. My Aunt Sweetie (isn't that the cutest nickname?) has been making these for at least as long as I can remember, and they are one of those foods that as soon as I take a bite... it feels like Christmas.
I am far from alone in my excitement for the recently released Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Deb Perelman's blog was the very first food blog I started reading, and I still go back to her site time and time again to search for tried-and-true recipes when I need something foolproof. Her book has been everything I expected and more, from her short and witty anecdotes to her beautiful photos and flawless recipes. If you are in need of a gift for any foodie friends (or others you are trying to convert), look no further than this amazing book.
Yes, this name is quite the mouthful for a cookie. But let me tell you, they are very much worth remembering. My mom has always been famous for her chocolate chip cookies, and our favorite times as kids were when she would skip the traditional "cookie" shape (although these are never a bad idea) and bake all of the cookie dough in one big pan. There's something about the gooey, soft, not-quite-cooked-all-the-way-through texture of "pan cookie" as she calls it.
Have you gotten into the Christmas spirit yet? I have yet to start decorating my house, which always makes it feel real to me. I am even getting my very own (real) Christmas tree this year, and I couldn't be more excited. There is something so magical about this time of year, especially when the weather is cold and snowy and you can curl up around the Christmas tree (and fireplace if you have one) with your loved ones and soak it all in.
I am in complete agreement that Thanksgiving is a day for a bit of indulgence - the turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, some vegetables here and there - essentially all of the things that don't make it onto my kitchen table throughout the rest of the year. While I get more enjoyment out of experimenting in the kitchen most days, I am completely fine with leaving this holiday to its own traditional devices. The days before and after Thanksgiving, however, are a different story.
Does your mom have a dish that she's "known for"? As in, any time there is a party, holiday, or family gathering, its presence is requested? My mom does, and I am so excited to share the recipe for her famous bruschetta with you today.
I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be one of those people who "doesn't like cake." Rather, I find myself making excuses to make cake more than one probably should, which isn't so much a bad thing unless no one is around to help you eat said cake. I find myself wrapping up pieces of my creations and bringing them to work, sending them home for Ryan and his roommates, maybe even freezing some of them if I get desperate. If you need to come up with a reason to bake a cake let me know - I will give you one.
When it comes to food inspiration, I feel myself becoming more overwhelmed as the days pass. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but for someone who has a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, it can be quite dangerous. Between restaurant menus, food magazines, blogs, twitter, facebook, instagram, etc. etc.... an average of 20 recipe ideas enter and leave my brain before I have time to make it into the kitchen to cook. Like I said - overwhelming.
I have tried really hard not to become a crazy dog lady ever since we got Percy earlier this year. In some ways I have succeeded, and in many more I have failed (he is allowed on every piece of furniture, is showcased quite often in my instagram feed, and even wore a Halloween costume this year - against his will). And now this, homemade pumpkin-flax-seed dog treats.
Cooking Indian food at home has always been a daunting task for me. The long list of spices (some of which I'd never heard of) can be a bit overwhelming, and I've wondered whether or not it's worth it in a city where you can order all the Indian takeout you want. This past Sunday, I faced my fears and became a believer. It may not have been the most complicated dish, but it gave me the confidence I need to try my hand at others I've had my eye on. And who best to lead me down this path than Deb from Smitten Kitchen.