Monday, December 28, 2009

Post-Holiday Salad Days

I am proud to say that I'm still eating local fruit that I picked myself at the end of December! Two kinds of persimmons and kiwis--if only I had an orange tree too.

I've been visiting my family for the past week, and resolved to eat salad every day to counteract my all-cookie meal plan of the past month or so. It's been great! If you haven't had salad with spicy greens, grapefruit, and avocado for a while, you should make it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cozy Chocolate

Who here knows agrees with the statement "Chocolate chip cookies DON'T COUNT. They are NOT holiday cookies!"?

It has only come to my attention over the past month that I, in fact, do not understand holiday cookies. But I'd better learn fast, because I'm going to a holiday cookie party this Saturday and I'm expected to bring NINE DOZEN cookies.

Some of my friends Ann and Alyssa's cookie recommendations:

Triple Layer Chocolate Mint Fudge
Andes Mints cookies
Dyed-green cornflake and marshmallow wreaths with red-hot decorations
Russian Tea Cakes
Chocolate-dipped mini pretzels

None of the cookies I was thinking of making got the Midwest thumbs-up (I wanted to make those powdered sugar covered chocolate cookies or biscotti, which are at least actually cookies, unlike SOME holiday "cookies" I could mention) so I thought I might make peppermint marshmallows, using this recipe that Theresa was really into a few years ago. That was back when we all thought that Emes Kosher-Jel gelatin was vegetarian. Turned out, it wasn't, but we still have a jar from the good old days, so I made a test batch. If you do make this recipe, please note that it will make about eighty 1-inch-square marshmallows. And don't try to double it or it won't fit in your stand mixer!

Oh, lovely homemade marshmallows! I want to eat all of them myself in twenty cups of hot chocolate.

Speaking of which, I have a new hot chocolate recipe. My girlfriend always complains that what I drink is not hot chocolate, it's DRINKING chocolate, because I like it to be noticeably thicker than milk and really chocolaty. My new method is to throw a small handful of bittersweet chocolate chips into a cup of milk, microwave for 1 minute, stir really well, microwave 30 seconds more, stir, then 20 seconds more (watching like a hawk so it doesn't boil over), and stir like crazy until it's perfectly smooth and a little bit thickened. It's not too sweet, it has a great texture and plenty of chocolate, plus it's easier and less messy than cocoa powder! I put my marshmallows on top for the final 20 seconds, because homemade marshmallows don't melt as easily as your supermarket varieties do.