Cookies and Milk

The Oreo cookie turns 100 today. Oreos were originally created to be served as a dessert, maybe two or three cookies fanned out on a plate. That must have been in our country’s thin days. I know plenty of adults and children who think nothing of polishing off a stack of 6 or more as a snack.  Historians are unclear where the notion came of dunking them in milk. If you eat a pile of oreos with a glass of skim milk, is that a healthy snack??

Milk and ....

I have come across several recipes for homemade oreos and I am dying to try them. Of course, my honey and I would be the only ones in the house eating them since my children seem to be partial to the packaged version of cookies. If I have a bag of cookies, really, any kind, from the store, they plow  through them in no time. If I make a tin of oatmeal raisin cookies, they could sit around for a week and there would still be some left. I suppose that is a good thing since it saves me from doing much baking, lord knows the adults in my house do not need any cookies in their lives.

I like Oreos as much as the next girl but my true love is brownies, the denser the better. When I was first working for a food writer, I met a lovely older woman from the south who had a fabulous recipe for brownies she called Foggies. They were essentially flour less brownies, rich and divine. For my first foray as an entrepreneur, I replaced the little bit of flour in the recipe with ground walnuts and began selling them as Red Barn Brownies. Alas, I have lost the recipe and can’t seem to reproduce it but I still dream about those brownies. I am off to the kitchen to make a batch. They won’t be exactly the same but they will still be buttery, darkly chocolate and delicious. My plan is to make some espresso  and enjoy a brownie while sifting through gardening catalogs. It is bitterly cold outside, one of the truly cold days this winter.  I am going to enjoy my treat and look out at my fire pit and garden while fantasizing about Spring.

Happy Milk and Cookies!


Baking and Baking…

Off to my first trade show next week, NE Grows in Boston at the Convention Center. Stop by if you are in the neighborhood! As I think I have established by now, what I really know is food so I will be baking about a million little butter cookies to give out at the show. I have red, yellow and orange sugar to make them flame colored. I am not sure what this has to do with making and selling Fire Pits but my 18 year old foodie son has told me that I have to give out food, it will bring people into the booth. Here’s hoping he is right. I imagine he is but, really, no one loves food like a 6′ tall young man, they are always hungry! I wanted to give out s’mores but that was a little complicated, what with fire and all. How popular would my booth be if I could give out those yummy s’moretinis?!

Oh, right, trade show, work day, better move on.

If you feel like baking this weekend too, try these delicious butter cookies that I came across in Gourmet (sob, sigh) years ago.

Basic Butter Cookies

4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

  1. In large bowl of a standing electric mixer beat together butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. 
  2. Beat in yolks, 1 at a time, and vanilla and beat until smooth. 
  3. Beat in flour gradually, beating dough until just combined well.

Add LIght to your Life, Joy

New Year, New Plans

The New Year is a big time for resolutions, mainly diet related, and often, or in my case always, broken. As of two years ago, I gave up the “lose 5 pounds” resolution. Truth be told, it is more like 10 pounds now but it is too depressing to think about so I guess I will have another glass of wine.

I digress. A resolution that is fun and doable is home improvement projects. If you live in the Northeast, like I do, or really anywhere north of zone 6, the winter is a great time to curl up inside with a plant or seed catalog and an assortment of outdoor furniture catalogs. You can then spend the winter dreaming of spring and the fabulous changes you are going to make in your garden. The view from my window is neither as lovely or as snowy as the photo but allow me to imagine that there is a Fancy Fire Pit living under the snow in front of those chairs. At the moment my garden is a study in browns but one can wish for white!

In the meantime, while I wait for snow, I can think about the perennials I will plant and the vegetables I can grow. And I can start thinking summer garden parties around my fire pit.

Add Light to Your Life, Joy