Since last we spoke, I dropped out of blogging society in order to host my Christmas party on Monday night, and generally play a bit of catch up. How nice and relaxing! There have been a constant stream of things that need to be done, but it has been pleasant and happily busy, which is one of the perks of this time of year, I suppose. Here are a few pictures of the food situation at the soiree:
Directly above are some improvised tiny, baked spinach/cheese tartlets with sliced cherry tomatoes. I made them with one of Nigella's amazing, buttery crusts from How to be a Domestic Goddess that I simply divied up and pressed into muffin tins. To the right, on the pink plate, are the most amazing, chewy, perfect ginger cookies. These cookies are amazing. They make me feel like all other roundy, sweet things so commonly referred to as "cookies" aren't really deserving of the title. These are cookies, my darlings. The real thing. They bake up perfectly round and with these photogenic little crevices...
Anyway, you must make some. That is, if you are still in holiday baking mode. You could obviously make them anytime, maybe in January to take some of the edge off of the Holiday jet-lag.
Bake time: 12 minutes per batch
4 1/2 c all purpose flour 4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves 1 1/2 shortening
2 c granulated sugar 2 eggs
1/2 c molasses 1/2 c coarse sugar or regular ol' granulated
1.) Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and a pinch of salt.
2.) In a large bowl beat shortening for 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups granulated sugar, and beat til' combined. Beat in the eggs and molasses until combined. beat in half of flour mixture. Stir in remaining flour mixture. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, measure out lumps of dough and then roll them into balls between your palms. You can then roll your dough liberally in the leftover sugar. Place the balls at least 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3.) Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until the cookies are puffy and light brown. Make sure not to overbake! These should settle down to be soft and chewy. Cool briefly on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to wire racks or paper towels.
These can be frozen, or kept for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Another thing, (besides amazing cookies) that I'm loving is my beautiful 1930's portable typewriter, recently Ebay'd:
Last, just a bit of eye candy, this beautiful British fashion magazine Lula. I snapped it up at Borders the other day, and its the closest thing to an Emily-perfect fashion magazine that contemporary publishers could hope to provide...very vintage and feminine and quirky. Here are some examples of their offerings, beautiful scrap-book style pages of inspiration, fashion spreads with the likes of the ridiculously lovely Zooey Deschanel, a tribute to saddle shoes, and mini-interviews with cute, creative girls that I would like to meet:
You guys would love this magazine. Really.
Well, tomorrow begins my string of mini-Christmases. Sarah is flying in from NY and I'm going to Atlanta to have Christmas with her and celebrate her sister/my buddy Jenny's birthday. Then it's back here, and then living it up, Christmas-style, as much as possible til' Tuesday. I'll be back before then, thuogh, at least to wish you a happy day. Enjoy it all...all these holiday days, but don't beat yourself up in the process. Thank you for being the way you are. And thank you for reading.