Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Very Vegan Thyme Christmas! (Vegan Christmas Cookies Galore, A Party to Attend, Dog Treats, Apple Butter, Dexter and More!)

"It was the week before Chirstmas and all through the house, all I could do was creep around with flour on my blouse. I fell in the snow, scraped up my hand, then turned on the oven, parchment paper in hand. Grandma's recipes were scattered about, my hands were covered in dough, food coloring and sprinkles while Dr. Thyme sat back (reading without Nook) all of the fine books one library could hold. Suddenly I noticed a cookie I craved. . .then another and another, till all we had were cookies, a cake, dog treats and the first season of Dexter to keep us entertained."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ginger, Fig, Black Pepper Spice Loaf with Lemon Glaze (Snow Day Pictures or "How Not to Make Snow Angels with The Kids")

By now most of you have heard of the "Snow My God!" storm that left the Midwest in a lovely shade of white. I love snow more than chocolate and this girl was not about to stay inside. There were snow angels to make and dogs to entertain! All week long the weather heads were saying a "storm" was wandering across the Plains packing a powerful punch, but all we could expect from it would be a light dusting. Well dang it, I thought. Then Friday rolled around and that dusting changed to "minor" accumulation. Then Saturday. . . "an inch to maybe three inches". Now we're talking! I could hardly sleep!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vegan Banana Bread (from Marathon Runner and "Flour" Bakery Owner Joanne Chang)

I probably have over a dozen banana bread recipes in my cookbooks and over two dozen banana bread recipes in my newspaper and magazine clippings I've saved. I had no intention of adding such a basic, well-worn recipe to my December holiday posts. Until last night.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vegan Gingersnap Cookies (Knitting HIM A Chirstmas Sweater and More Jim Lahey Bread: The Baguette)

I made a promise to my husband that the next, NEXT batch of cookies baked would be gingersnaps (his favorite). I baked, I promised, and I baked and I promised. Until finally after baking an incredibly good holiday ginger and fig loaf cake Saturday night (recipe coming shortly), I said, Doesn't the house smell amazing? To which his reply was, Are those my gingersnaps you promised me you'd bake? Um, no. . . it's a cake. . . but your gingersnaps are NEXT! And I got busy parsing through recipes finally settling on my own version combining Fannie Farmer, an old Amish Gingersnap recipe and Martha Stewart one for inspiration. I proudly say and with every confidence: there is not a better gingersnap around. These were and are everything a gingersnap lover would want: chewy in the center, crisp on the edges, very gingery, very cinnamony, and overall, a good jump into my holiday cookie-baking-palooza!
Welcome Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chili N' Garlic Mashers with Skillet Cornbread (Jim Lahey Olive Bread Experiment. . . And Love!)


I had a desperate but brilliant cooking moment last night about six. I really didn't know what we were having for dinner yet. I've been struggling to get my cooking mojo back. (The post-holiday-my sister-is-gone blahs.) For comfort and nourishment, bread baking has sort of taken over. I have bread lust. Serious bread lust. I could live on bread alone--through the entire month of December. More on bread in a sec. So last night in my dire need of inspiration, this eureka moment happened. I had a craving for chili. I also had a craving for garlic mashed potatoes. Viola: enter the "chili-n'-garlic-mashed-potato-and-skillet-cornbread bonanza"! And this all came together in about forty-five minutes. I dare say it was genius. Dr. Thyme proclaimed it so. Well, I am going to second that. And I had seconds, too! And if you say, Oh, that's just inverted Shephard's Pie. Well, okay. You can call it that. But I usually don't season my shephard's pie with chili powder and cumin and cilantro and a TON of garlic. This hit the spot and then some.

I really wanted my first post of December to be cookies. Today, I am baking cookies. Posting on said cookies shortly. The danger in the cookie making is the mass consumption of the cookie dough that yours truly has a problem with. So I will need to pound out a few good miles of a run before setting out my flour and what-have-you for all things cookies and sweet. And for sharing my cookies, yesterday I snagged some really adorable cookie tins at Wal Mart--a buck a piece. Can't beat that with a stick now can you? Say what you will about Wal Mart (and I used to have a snooty friend who did say they were the evil incarnate), but I used to say back, Well, for those of us on a home budget and a single income household and not cashing a ridiculous salary--I'll take Wal Mart, Thank You Very Much!  

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