Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Question: What would Xmas be without a pine tree and snow?

Answer: Just another day in Florida

In Florida, where every day is pretty much like the day before, I lose my bearings. I become ungrounded when Sunday and Wednesday are interchangeable. Tennis and relaxation only go so far. I miss Colorado where it is 32 degrees and snowy today. So I make the best of it. I make sugar cookie snowmen because today is Tuesday and Grandma's sugar cookies is this week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe. The dough spends a lot of time in the frig because the outside temperature is about 82 degrees. Only crazy people bake after 10 am. My cookies are patiently waiting to be decorated & hope that they don't end up looking like a chicken with buttons, like their buddy in the photo above. Not to worry fellas !

Notes: Some of the cookies are sugar cookies & some are linzer cookies - last week's recipe. They are more or less anatomically correct for tonight's ladies' only party. Did I mention that I used gel colors straight from the tube for the trim? See how our hostess has green teeth to match her outfit? Very chic.


Monday, December 8, 2008



Having a full cheese drawer comforts me. Parmesan of course, but versatile goat cheese (omelets, salads, appetizers) plus some stilton with apricots (great contrast against the bite of arugula), maybe a little queso (quesadillas & dip) and let's not forget figs and prosciutto on the side. My favorite goat cheese: Haystack Mtn. Peak, from a Boulder County (Colorado) dairy.

Having a Costco or Whole Foods nearby helps feed my habit. I just stocked up on a bid wedge of gorgonzola, some Rosy Goat cheese from Spain with a rosemary rind plus fresh mozzarella. I'm spending less on wine given the economy but I haven't given up my cheese habit. What about you? Show me your frig !

AND NOW THE MORAL PART: We spent over 4 hours today at a hearing protesting a tax bill. Incredibly, we reached a compromise that will save us $. Was it worth our time today plus all the prep time, the $15 protest fee, the parking tab, the 2 Starbucks we had while waiting and the sweater I bought while we had coffee? No. But it was a moral victory.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


What do Linzer Sables and squash have in common you might ask. Squash makes a perfectly good substitute for a rolling pin. I am all about making substitutions while I am in Florida. Substitutions may not be allowed when ordering the early bird special, but they are allowed by the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers. One of the fun things about this group is sharing ideas and comments about the weekly recipe without straying too far. I have strayed across the country from Colorado to Florida and cooking down here is very different, nothwithstanding my lack of cooking equipment.

This week's recipe is Linzer Sables and I have baked my cookies on time. I've substituted pecans for almonds (having failed at last week's pie, I've got lots of pecans to use)and my food processor does not know the meaning of the word "fine." The cookies are not quite Linzers and not quite pecan sandies. But they are good.

My dough needs to be kept really cold in order to roll it successfully. Even so it is kind of sticky. A glass makes a fine cookie cutter and that squash comes in handy. My finger makes a hole in the middle of every other cookie so my rasberry jam can poke through. I only bake my cookies for 8 minutes. Maybe my new stove is off - things seem to cook faster than I expect. My turkey was done in a record 3 hours.
Next week's recipe is sugar cookies and Rick will finally be happy that I joined this group. Besides ice cream, sugar cookies are his favorite dessert. I guess I will need a rolling pin since the squash is on tonight's menu.

List of things to buy: rolling pin, oven thermometer, shaker for powdered sugar, almonds. Plus wine. In Florida, they whine alot.