Sunday, November 26, 2023

Next Level Cookies

Every once in a while, I like to bake. I used to cook & bake a lot - I was once even in the paper with my Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe before it was a staple at most pizza places - but some where along the way, I lost confidence in my abilities and stopped. I couldn't point to one thing and say, Ah yes, that's why, but nonetheless, I always feel like I've accomplished a miracle when I make something in the kitchen and it's good.

Today, I decided to make these Dark Chocolate Pistachio Tahini Cookies. We had all the ingredients in the house, except the pistachios, which we picked up when we last got groceries. We had come close to having none of some of the ingredients, because THANKSGIVING happened after the last time I checked, and the vanilla, chocolate, and brown sugar were almost out or completely out, but we had some other substitutes ready to go: I used about 7/8 teaspoon vanilla + 1/8 teaspoon almond + 1 teaspoon rum extract to make up the 2 teaspoons of vanilla, the brown sugar was *just* enough, and there are three different kinds of chocolate in these: the bigger dark chocolate chips, mini-semisweet chips, and a bunch of 80% cacao chocolate bars rough-chopped. Also, I could not find plain pistachios, only roasted and salted, so I left out the sea salt.

UH MUH GUH! They are soooooo good! The tahini and browned butter add an incredible depth of flavor, and combined with the dark chocolate and pistachios take your basic chocolate chip cookies to the next level! I highly recommend trying them out for yourself!

Sunday, November 05, 2023

Putting the Garden to Bed

Yesterday was a yardwork day. I wish I had stayed home from work the day before to get it done when the sun was shining and the day was a wee bit warmer, but I did the dutiful thing, went to work on Friday, and did my yardwork in the cold, grey rain.

First up was the pond. With freezing weather coming, it was time to empty it of bricks and water and frogs, before it froze solid. I used the pump to siphon the water out, down the last few inches, removed the brick steps, then brought the pond into the woods, close to the stone wall, and slowly dumped the rest of the water, leaves, and my frog friend out. I was sorry to have to wake them on such a chilly day, but if we wait much longer, they won't be waking up!

Then it was time to move the paw paw seedlings to a more sheltered place in the yard (just under the south-facing side of the back porch), dig up the elephant ear for overwintering inside, and plant the dappled willow in the ground. (Many thanks to Jacqueline & Snow for digging the hole!) Erm, and play some Pokémon GO too of course...

There's not much left to do outside now. The green tomatoes were harvested a week or so ago and made into fried green tomatoes, and before everything is buried in snow, I will want to cut all the potted annual plants down and move the pots to a sheltered place. I also still need to cut the geraniums back, and move them to a cold dark place, so they can go dormant too. I never did move the daffodils from one side of the steps to the other, but there won't be a porch built over them yet. So maybe next summer.