We thought 2020 could use a little extra Christmas, so on November 1st, Halloween came down and Christmas went up! We loaded Alexa with a fabulous Christmas playlist, and started watching all our favorite shows. With about a week to go, it was time to make cookies. We have traditional ones for sure, but I love doing family requests. They asked for pecan dreams, gingersnaps, and 7 layer bars. I have favorites for pecan dreams and 7 layer bars, but I didn’t have go-to gingersnap cookies. I decided to consult my very favorite cookie book, Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies. Sure enough, there was a gingersnap recipe in there and it had a triple-threat of ginger in it: fresh, crystalized, and powdered. Ooooo! Best gingersnap ever. Gobs of flavor and that perfect crispness.
She gives a dough chilling range of 2 hours to overnight, and a baking range from 14-19 minutes, depending on where you want to be on the scale from chewy to crisp. I made them once, chilling for 2 hours and once, chilling overnight, and the full spectrum of baking times. If you prefer them to really spread and get crisp, 2 hours chilling and 18 minutes baking hit that. If you prefer a little less spreading and a chewy crisp balance, chilling overnight and 17 minutes baking produced that.
I was craving a garlicky stir fry tonight. I found a pound of shrimp in the freezer, and broccoli, carrots, peppers, and snap peas in the veggie drawer. Perfect! And it’s great for the 800 gram a day produce challenge! There’s 443 grams of produce on that plate. WooHoo! Hope you love it, too!
*If you are visiting right now, I’m trying to adding search and printing functionality. I apologize for any weirdness my tinkering is causing.*
Fresh juice! I love to make it once a week! Turmeric is supposed to be lovely for joints, pineapple for inflammation, and celery for skin. Are they, though?! Since we’re not eating them in a vacuum, and have lots of other things going on in our lives, who knows?! I’m sure your mileage may vary, but when someone complains about an elbow or knee, they ask me to make turmeric juice and it stops. Either way, getting lots of extra produce in our diets is always a great idea.
I make a lot of juice hoping for three day’s worth. With two teenagers who want lovely skin in the house, it rarely makes it past two days.
Nik grew up in India, then lived in the Midwestern and Northeastern U.S., and finally settled in California with his husband from the Southern U.S. All of those influences are very present in his food, and it makes for the most delightful fusion. I was thumbing through Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, oohing and aahing, flagging recipes to try. His spiced, roasted potato salad called for paneer and chourico as ingredients, but listed page numbers for their recipes. I’d never made cheese before and was delighted that he thought it was simple enough to be just a lead-in recipe. I hopped right in the car to go grab a gallon of milk to get started, and I’m so glad I did! It really was that easy. I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve passed by in Indian cookbooks if I wasn’t going to have time to pop by a specialty market. That wont happen again! But that’s just background preparation. His dishes have wonderfully complex, deep flavors, and are creatively inspirational. This book was a joy to explore.
Twenty-something years ago, when we were still newlyweds, I asked my husband if there were any favorite foods he had that I wasn’t making. He thought for a minute and said, “Yeah. Peanut soup. When I was in basic training, we had it once when we were out on leave, and it was one of the best things I’d ever eaten.” Huh. I’d never heard of peanut soup before.
It’s a West African dish, filled with all kinds of nutritious stuff. I had to make it. It was amazing! I kept it constantly in the rotation, tweaking it to my heart’s content, because it’s just as delicious as it is good for you. Perfect.