Cutting for Cookies

DECEMBER 24, 2008

Current category: Food [return to main]
Well, our flight to Vancouver never came to be and we ended up rebooking another flight for this upcoming Saturday night. If that one is canceled? Then I guess we're not supposed to go to Saint Lucia this year. ;) But in finding out that we'll be here for Christmas after all, we're scrambling a bit to get a little into the festive holiday spirit. On Monday a small turkey was bought, a little Christmas Eve party had been planned with a couple of friends (weather isn't permitting, darnit), and last night the Christmas cookies were baked.

Sim made his favourite- the gingerbread men. The house smelled loverly. And me? I made raspberry jam-filled thumbprint cookies. And they are so yummy! So of course, what better blog fodder can there be but a recipe?

Thumbprints- prior to baking

This gem is one of Ina Garten's. Due to sheer amount of cookies in one batch, I halved this recipe and it turned out just fine.

Jam Thumbprints, by Ina Garten
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
  • Raspberry and/or apricot jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until just combined, and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale, they should each weigh 1-ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.

My thumbprints, cooling on the rack And all set up nicely in the tin

filed in Food | by Christine at 10:59 AM on 2008-12-24 | permalink | comment

Comfort yum.

DECEMBER 16, 2006
Tonight we were at a loss of what to have for dinner. I didn't really feel like cooking and our usual restaurants we eat at were not overly appealing at the moment, so we opted to expand ourselves and walked down the hill to try out burgoo, which just recently opened in North Van.

What a lovely little place. For one, it's bitingly cold outside (2 degrees C) and upon stepping into the restaurant, I was welcome to a cozy spot with a fireplace and plenty of woodwork. Very welcoming, very home'y. We sat down on comfortably soft leather seats and looked around at the bistro's framed travel art. Finally we ordered. The iced tea is bottomless for one. That's always an important feature for us... heh, we like our iced tea. I ordered the open-faced "El Diablo" sandwich. Roasted chicken, chorizo, onion, lettuce, tomato, white cheddar & chipotle mayonnaise, all served on toasted multigrain bread and melted to a lovely dreamy perfection. I savored each bite, especially as I got a harvest green salad on the side. I tell you this much, I'm starting to fall in love with the beet. At least how they served it with hazelnuts, mixed greens, chèvre cheese & a warm balsamic dressing.

Sim ordered the french classic beef bourguignon that I was able to sample. So good, so good. And then as if that wasn't enough, we split cherry clafouti and ice cream for dessert. That was incredible. Oh my. Really, given the quality of the food, one would expect the price to be much higher. But it's very comparable to the normal "meh" restaurants that we find ourselves returning to way too many times..

Two Four thumbs up. And I was totally not paid to say that. (Although anytime they want to offer up another one of those sandwiches, I'm always happy to oblige.)

filed in Food | by Christine at 10:11 PM on 2006-12-16 | permalink | 1 comment


MAY 1, 2006
I tried the goat last night. And as was apparently said about it, goat meat either tastes like veal or venison, based on age. Mine tasted like venison. I only had a bit, though, as that wasn't my main dish. I had a spicy beef stew (yeserba watt) and the vegetarian stew (tikel gomen) which was served with chickpeas, taboulleh, and served on this spongey ethiopian bread called injera. It was tasty. Very tasty. And we ate with our hand using this bread to pick up the foods, which was very reminiscent of India.

The day at the bird sanctuary was good times. I mean, I was slightly disappointed that I didn't ever spot the baby geese. But dude, I had a chickadee perch on my finger for a bit of birdseed. And I fed a couple ducks as well. And I had a day of exercise (walking anywhere for a few hours with a pile of camera gear on back, squatting and crouching to get a better shot, yeah that's definite exercise). We stayed after it was closed, and for a while I was worrying that the gates would be closed, shutting us in. The whole walk back was void of any people anywhere. But thankfully there was no such problem. And there were even others in the parking lot still. So Christine freaks out a bit for nothing. Ho hum. I have some photos I'll likely upload to Flickr later.

Catch y'all later!

filed in Food | by Christine at 10:56 AM on 2006-05-01 | permalink | 1 comment

The UN of Mmmmm

OCTOBER 24, 2005
Hmmmm. So I'm a little restless.

Those of you who have been reading for a while (note: two years) might have read awhile back about my desire to start an international cooking blog. I can't believe I've sat on this idea for two bloody years and done nothing about it! Anyway, I still want to do it. I don't know what it is about community cooking blogs, but I absolutely adore the kinship between fellow cooks who love what they do. And well one week inside my home, you'd understand why it must be an international cooking blog. I may be in Canada but I love foods from around the world. Maybe it's the living in multi-cultural Vancouver. Maybe it's having friends in so many culturally enriched places. I  just love international food.

Anyway, in my previous post (from two bloody years ago !!), a few fabulous gals from here and there and way over there responded with interest to my idea. And I will be emailing them in the next day or two to see if they still feel any interest (it has been two [bloody] years, shame on me). In the meantime, I'm casting it all out for you as well.

I need people to post on the blog from anywhere. Doesn't matter where you're from.... who love food. Who love to cook. Not even necessarily well. Honestly, the point of the blog isn't just about recipes. It's about food. Ingredients. Dishes. Spices. Stores. Cooking utensils. Etc. So whatever you cook, whatever you eat, I'm interested in it. No politics. That stays here on halfgeek. This is just about food. Food from around the world and how food can bring people together into a common understanding. Because, really, that's what it's all about, isn't it? That and expanding waistbands (why oh why does food have to taste so good, anyway?)

I plan to have a recipe section and a posting section to post about food health news, or that great spice you recently bought/tried, or this saucepan that changed your life, etc. Of course, I want preferably to delve into the exotic foods a bit. I  know , I know. Sushi is a pretty exotic eating experience for me, but for someone in Japan? Not so much. And that's okay. I'd love to get people contributing from all major corners of the world, doing what they know or what they'd like to try. The point is to celebrate food, without borders.

Might actually push me to find some of that elusive argan oil, also.

I'm going to register the domain this week sometime (hopefully) and I'll get to it on the design of the blog and all that jazz. There's not going to be any requirements on the regularity of blog posting. We all go through dry periods of not having anything to say. Just post when you find some interesting food-blog fodder. Mm'kay? And did I mention no politics? ;)

Anyway is there anybody out there interested to join the community international cooking blog? If so, comment away or send me a note... Thanks!

filed in Food | by Christine at 11:35 AM on 2005-10-24 | permalink | 1 comment

Barbequeing with Zeus

JULY 31, 2005
It is so hot today. Aye.

Yeah I thought I'd be all fearless this summer because I was strong enough to brave three weeks of India. But still. It's bloody hot! And as expected, I'm bitching and moaning about it every ten minutes. I feel like going for a dip in the Ocean, but all of the beaches are so busy and I'm not one who likes busy beaches. My only wish is that I were back in Michigan now soaking in Lake Superior. I've got my mind on a sandy virtually empty beach about three minute's drive from my parent's camp. Oh bliss.

I'm making greek souvlaki tonight. 85% of it will be done by grill, so that will leave me using the oven only minimally. Works for me!

And on a related note, can I just tell you how damn much I love tzatziki? I just made that recipe, except I used dill in place of mint. Nicely seasoned pita chips dipped into my homemade tzatziki. Mmmmmm I could marry the stuff. Literally. Long live the greeks for that yogurt dip alone.

Er anyway, before the heat makes me completely looney, I'll go attend that yummy dinner of mine.

filed in Food | by Christine at 6:22 PM on 2005-07-31 | permalink | comment

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