Saturday, December 04, 2010

Baking Day


Nutcracker Holiday Cookies, from Eleni's Cookies

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • How is your supply of hot cocoa doing? Tea? Coffee? Apple cider (both fresh squeezed and the alcoholic kind if you stock that?) Have a bottle or two of Sparkling Apple or Sparkling Pomegranate in case an unexpected dinner party crops up?

  • Need to vacuum, sweep or mop any rooms?

  • Need to return any pie pans, dishes, or serving pieces you might have been sent home with after Thanksgiving or a dinner party?

  • Any Thanksgiving leftovers (or food you'd bought for the holiday and not prepared) that need to be thrown out?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Baking and Provisioning


Wilton Large Treat Boxes, at Sur la Table

I'm staying in tonight - I'm recovering from a cold, so I think it's best to nap, rest and save up energy for next week. I'm looking forward to just simply spending some time in the kitchen by myself, goofing around, making messes, experimenting, and hopefully baking some yummy treats to deliver tomorrow to friends and family in the area.

I hope to give them something other than cookies, which are nice but seem sort of cliched. Maybe some gingerbread or a lemon loaf, scones or muffins, or a home-baked loaf of bread.

I'll put on Christmas music (I listen to Comcast Seattle channel 933 on cable, which has a nice selection of classic holiday songs), and make hot cocoa. I won't be able to put my usual tiny splash of whiskey or rum into my hot cocoa since I have a cold and I'm using Nyquil.

Later after I'm tired from all the standing, I bet I will collapse onto the couch in front of a nostalgic old Rankin-Bass animated movie (probably "The Year Without a Santa Claus" - I can sympathize with Santa's cold!)

I predict tomorrow I'll be doing some extra kitchen mopping and cleanup. I'll put the things I used for baking away in the dishwasher overnight, and wipe down the counters, but I probably will be tired and I'll go to bed before the floor is mopped.

LOVELY ART: Csaba Markus


My current favorite contemporary art to lust after (I can't afford his serigraphs!) is the enchanting paintings of Hungarian artist Csaba Markus. It's so surprising that someone who looks like a less-scruffy Willie Nelson can turn out such ethereal, fragile, floaty paintings. His work (try a Google Image Search) reminds me of Dante Gabriel Rossetti crossed with Sulamith Wulfing. So gorgeous!

http://parkwest-markus.com/

http://www.csabamarkus.com/

Csaba Markus, at Wikipedia

LOVELY BLOGS: Lindaraxa's Garden

I really enjoy this blog that's all about "cooking, eating and entertaining with style." There are a few step-by-step photos as well as her finished products to drool over. Check out her cranberry almond streusel cake, yum!

http://lindaraxa.blogspot.com/

LOVELY WEBSITES: Swapbot


Swapbot is a site used to organize swaps between crafters, people who write snail mail letters, postcard traders, and people who want to swap small gifts such as packages of tea or assorted coffees. Sign up (free) to participate in upcoming swaps. This is a great service for people who love getting fun things in the mail. Hopefully if you sign up you'll complete your end of the deal by the given deadline though! Even just browsing through the current projects here is fun and a bit inspiring.

http://www.swap-bot.com/

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Holiday Baking Fundamentals (Cooking Light)

Holiday Tables With Pizazz (Seattle Times)

How to Use Colorful, Flavorful Turmeric (Seattle Times)

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