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Showing posts from December, 2012

Happy New Year

  This past year on the blog has been a lot of fun for me, because I have shared, created and explored so many of my favorite Good Things.  The feedback I've received from readers across the world has been wonderful to say the least.  In all sincerity, I appreciate every single one of you who has taken the time to read & learn from my posts.   Some of you, whom I've gotten to know a bit more through correspondence, have in turn shared and taught me a thing or two (or more!) and have inspired me in more ways than one.  Thank You!    It has always been my intention to present good content that is informative, delicious for the eyes & palate, and perhaps a bit inspirational for everyone tuning in.  Let's make 2013 a year filled with even more Good Things for all of us. ✵ Happy New Year! Best Wishes, David

On Vacation!

I've just arrived safely at my destination and am looking forward to spending some quality time with my extended family in the coming days.  I will be taking a short break from blogging this week, but don't worry it won't be too long!  While in Southern California I do plan on visiting some exciting places that I will share with all of you, so expect to see more good things shortly.  In the meantime I hope every one of you had a safe & Merry Christmas.   ~David   

Eggnog from The Joy of Cooking

With its rich consistency and sweet flavor, so many people enjoy a glass of eggnog during Christmas.  Yes, it is a rich drink made with cream, milk and eggs, but it is only a once-a-year treat after all.  There should be no reason why one should avoid a sip or two on Christmas day, at least in my opinion.  The Joy of Cooking which graces so many of our homes (it was one of the first cookbooks I ever purchased) has wonderful recipes that are go-tos, traditional and downright delicious.  I still cook from it and probably always will.  Their recipe for cooked eggnog is a nice alternative for those of you who fear consuming uncooked eggs.  The technique is very simple and it takes no time to make it.  The base is essentially a creme anglaise, which is nothing more than eggs that have been tempered with scalding milk and then cooked over medium-low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.  Creme anglaise can be served as a dessert sauce to accompany many sweet cakes, but it ca

Martha by Mail ~ Victorian Ornament Cookie Cutters

Do you decorate your Christmas tree with glass ornaments every single year?  There is nothing quite like these vintage style ornaments to spruce up one's tree with their colorful sparkle and their spherical shapes.  You can mimic a set of ornaments in cookie form if you happen to own the ones that were produced for the Martha by Mail catalog several years ago.  The Victorian Glass Ornament Cutters were introduced after the catalog had transitioned into The Catalog for Living and were produced by the Boston Mountain Copper Company.  Made of solid copper with two rivets that hold each cutter together, these heirloom quality cutters will last you a lifetime.  I've seen them come up for auction every now and then, so it's still possible to purchase a set from a seller. Pull out these cutters out of storage if you own them and cut out your favorite cookie dough for the holidays.   Ice them according to the decorating card & suggestions below or use your own designs and

My Favorite Cookies for Christmas

Cookies and the holidays go hand in hand.  Everyone awaits their favorites, everyone expects them and when they're made at home with the best ingredients possible and a lot of love, everyone wants to eat them right up.  The weeks leading up to Christmas at my home begin with a list of cookies I want to bake and an inventory of what I have and don't have in my pantry.  A few batches are always made early in December & handed out to the people who live nearby.  I then put together my treat boxes that go out to certain family members who aren't nearby and send them on their way ahead of time.  The last of the baking is done the weekend before I take my trip to visit the extended family on the west coast.  These cookies either get mailed out or are carried by me on the airplane (never check them in with your baggage or they will arrive in pieces--trust me!).  After I've baked hundreds of cookies (no exaggeration) and the kitchen has calmed down, I begin to think about

Sweet Surprises

Over the weekend I was pleasantly surprised by a few sweet and unexpected deliveries via mail.  The first came from my dear brother Erik & his family whom I plan to visit this Christmas.  An assortment of French wines along with a few ready-to-eat appetizers arrived at my doorstep on Friday afternoon!  That evening I made a porcini-stuffed roast chicken (a recipe inspired by one of my Jacques Pepin cookbooks) and chose a white Pinot Gris from Alsace.  The dinner was superb, I can assure you, and I  have my brother, in part, to thank for.  I can't wait to see him and his family soon! On Saturday afternoon as I was beginning my baking extravaganza of breads, cakes and cookies for the Christmas treat boxes that I send out to a few family members, I noticed the mailman coming down the driveway.  In his hand was a box from my friend Janet in North Carolina!  Yes, the same  Janet  I introduced you to in the last post who bakes such wonderful cookies for her friends, family a

Cookies by Janet

It was several months ago that I was contacted by a reader of the blog who had several questions regarding a few collectible items, and after exchanging a few emails with her I quickly realized that we had several things in common.  I found her to be a serious collector of Martha by Mail cookie cutters, along with other kitchen wares from the former catalog (as you know I am!), but little did I know that she was also a fellow blogger.  I wasted no time in visiting her site when she told me about it.  From the moment I looked at her photography, ideas and cookies, I knew I was onto a 'good thing'.  I came to understand that Janet had been blogging for quite some time and that her following was an established one; her ideas continue to inspire many.   Over the course of the past few months I've gotten to know Janet a bit more and I think we've come to an unspoken agreement that we love the little things that make our lives good.  For Janet, the cookies she creates f

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

For those of you who adore the mouthwatering duo of cherries and chocolate found in Black Forest cakes, you're going to love my cookie version of this combination.  Superb for the moments when one has to have a chocolate cookie, the decadent treats below are certainly going to hit the spot.  Don't you feel as if cookies and milk are a natural pairing that many of us never outgrow?  But whether you are a dunker or not (I'm not!), a cold glass of milk (skim, soy, rice, almond or whatever you like) is just the thing to have with a giant chocolate cherry cookie.   Chocolate Cherry Cookies & Milk The dough itself is enriched with the finest cocoa powder from Valrhona, which gives each cookie its dark color and deep chocolate flavor.  If you can find this French cocoa powder wherever you happen to shop, use it.  However, any good-quality, dutch-process cocoa powder will work wonderfully in my recipe.  A generous helping of plump dried cherries gets added to the d