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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

gruyere black pepper cookies

Gruyere Black Pepper Cookies

It kills me how early the sun sets this time of year. I’m particularly sensitive to daylight and the lack of it renders me almost comatose. I can’t wake up early and by ten pm I’m practically asleep.

Meanwhile the days seem to be asking a lot more of me. Slow down, I keep thinking, there are only so many hours in the day; I’m doing the best I can. But the best-I-can doesn’t seem to be cutting it these days, unfortunately. There’s packing and moving logistics: forwarding your mail, alerting friends and service providers of your address change, ordering new services; there’s work to be done, deadlines to be met, recipes to be tested and written up (not to mention the rest of writing concerning a book); there are seemingly endless edits of things; there’s a matter of getting some exercise (lest you start losing your mind); and so on, and so forth.

Slowly, our apartment is turning into a storage unit. Boxes are beginning to pile up. Things I’d normally put away are strewn about – I’ve all but given up on the place. I get that way before I move. My normal inability to digest clutter forces me to be constantly cleaning, tidying-up, curating so to speak, so the apartment doesn’t become a pig stye. But right before I move, I lose the ability to stay on top of it. Laundry, if it’s not easy to put away, starts to pile up in a messy lump. Right now, in our bedroom, a fold-out chair is groaning under the weight of unfolded sheets. Does it bother me to look at it? Oh, yes. Do I do anything about it? Most certainly, no.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

fig hamantaschen

fig hamantaschen

I wanted to title this post “Here are the !@#$%^ hamantaschen – Happy Purim!” but that seemed kind of rude, and not really my style. So instead, I’m going to apologize for giving these to you in the eleventh hour. I have a good excuse: I seem to have caught Andrew’s horrible cold and I’ve been feeling lackluster for the last few days. Not so terrible that I’m spending my day in bed, but terrible enough that I am constantly dreaming of a nap, which never happens to me under normal circumstances.

Fully intending to test these hamantaschen on Thursday, I was derailed when I woke up feeling off. At first I thought it was a matter of having coffee and letting caffeine return me to human form, but when the funny feeling didn’t go away, and in fact proceeded to grow, I figured that maybe I was coming down with something. I still decided to make the filling, which consisted mainly of just monitoring the simmering figs and making sure the pan didn’t go dry. I felt like I could handle it – and it went okay. The filling turned out great and in the fridge it went.

That was the end of my culinary effort for the day. Earlier in the morning, I had the foresight to pick up a rotisserie chicken, some sweet potatoes and red onions. So all I had to do was make one side dish (that requires minimal effort) and dinner was ready. I wish I had the foresight to do these things more often.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

pear and cheddar scones

roasted pear and cheddar scones

See above there? Those are some delicious pear and cheddar scones. And what I’m about to talk to you about – has nothing to do with baking, scones, rushed breakfasts, or leisurely brunches. Nothing at all – except this is what has recently been plaguing my brain. So bear with me here…

What has been on my mind lately is how people living in small apartments work at home without having a designated space. There’s a blogger I follow who documents her life in a tiny apartment that she shares with her husband. The apartment, a studio in our neighborhood, is tiny, and she manages to make it look airy and large. Meanwhile, I trip over my own stuff, and our place is about three times the size, and to be perfectly honest here, it feels like a tight squeeze.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

orange poppyseed scones

orange poppy scones

It’s been quite a busy week and with all the time I’ve been putting in the kitchen, I’m going to keep this post short. No long stories to regale you with, just a quick reminder that Mother’s Day is upon us – and I, for one, wish that Andrew’s and my moms were close by this weekend so we could make them a lovely brunch in celebration of the most important job they’ve ever had – taking care of their kids.

But we’re here in Brooklyn and our moms are in Boston. So it’s kind of an IOU to both of them. Moms – we love you and miss you and just want to say thanks on the interwebs!

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

coconut macaroons

coconut macaroons

My first ever macaroon was an utter disappointment. Our first Passover in the United States brought to our table a lot of surprises. We could just walk into the supermarket and buy our matzo there. Imagine that! Just like people buy bread and eggs and milk – there it was, in a special isle (its own isle!) with a big bright sign that said “Passover Foods”. We were in shock, amazed that this kind of blatant display was in full view of everyone to see.

Back in St. Petersburg, my family would go to this one particular spot in the city where you could get matzo. We would then transport it back where it would reside in our kitchen, among all the regular food items. No one in Russia cleaned out their kitchen free of “chametz” for the holiday – it just wasn’t a practice back then. Plus, on your way back from the matzo pick-up, you kind of had to be discreet with it. Being Jewish in Russia wasn’t particularly hip and if you were too vocal about it, it was downright dangerous.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

salt & pepper cookies

bitten

It doesn’t cease to amaze me that while I am never late for dinner, an appointment, or even a party (fashionably late, what?), I can’t for the life of me meet my own deadlines. There’s a lemon tart that I’ve got for you in the next few weeks that was made nearly a year ago, but because I had missed the citrus season was tucked away for the year, leaving me with pangs of guilt. It’s coming, I promise, sometime mid-January. And while I also promise to throw some less waist-challenging fare your way, I firmly believe in indulging, if only a little, around the calendar. I will also try not to be tardy on my own blog. That, perhaps, might be my only New Year’s resolution.

i love using a microwave for this

While offering cookies after Christmas is a little bit like responding to a party invite a day after the party took place and promising to make something for it, I’m going to stick my neck out and tell you about these cookies after all. They’re good, very good indeed, and if you are looking for something festive-looking to usher in the New Year, look no further. They’re as sophisticated as cookies get, dressed up in black and white, toothsome, laced with white pepper. They are an adult, black-tie version of the Oreo, an Oreo that at the same time, kind of wants to be a whoopie pie. It’s made for a decadent feast, but then again, who’s ever wanted to have a humble New Year’s party?

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