Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

I'd like to wish everyone a very happy Valentine's day full of love, happiness and promise. Things can change in the blink of an eye and I hope that for you, they always change for the better.

In honor of this holiday, and because it's a wonderful excuse to bake, I made lots and lots of cookies. One of my coworkers ordered some for her bf and family and I made many many more to share with everyone I know too. I wanted to make something cute and since I have two crazy crazy friends that don't like chocolate, I settled on sugar cookies...and because they are the minority, I also made chocolate chip cookies. I've never before bothered to decorate my sugar cookies thinking that the icing is unnecessary and too sweet, but I couldn't resist putting a few touches on these before packing them into little cellophane bags to share with friends and ship to my sister down in Champaign. She's been feeling a bit down, so I thought a pack of roasted tomato soup, a package of cookies and a mix of tango club music is my recipe for a hot, sweet and sultry Valentine's day for her.

And now that the warm and fuzzies are out of the way, I want to take a moment for self pity. No, I'm not sad because I don't have a date because I made plans to meet a bunch of new people at a pot luck a few minutes away, so there will be no pint of Ben and Jerrys and a sappy movie for me tonight. I have, however, realized that my priorities are completely off kilter. When making the chocolate chip cookies I was rushing a bit too much and when switching out cookie sheets I sent the fresh out of the hot oven one flipping through the air. It landed right on my arm before landing, face down, on the open oven door. Instead of scrapping the whole project and running to take care of the burn, I cleaned the door, set the timer for the next batch of cookies and then went to get the burn cream (a staple in my kitchen arsenal). In the next 10 minutes while the last batch was baking, I learned that I don't own any band-aids larger than the ones that fit on your pinky and I don't have an ice pack. After a quick visit to google ("how to treat burns") I ran cool water over my arm, pulled out a sheet of cheesecloth (it's just like gauze, right?) and a pack of frozen corn on the cob, and ran to take the last batch out of the oven. Now, as my arm is bandaged up I ask myself, just who thinks to save the cookies instead of their own skin first?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A day of red

This post is a few days late, seeing how the pictures are actually from last Thursday, but I'm sure that I'll be forgiven :) I hosted a small girl's night at my house and as usual, I took the original plan of "just a few appetizers and dessert" and morphed it into a full dinner for 8, despite the fact that there would only be 4 people there. My two favorite things though were both red. The roasted red peppers with caramelized onions and a touch of olive oil on top of a fresh baguette were yummy as were the red velvet cupcakes that I made for dessert. I loved the way the red peppers looked under the broiler and I had to tear myself away from the oven to finish the rest of the dinner and stop snapping pictures. The cupcakes I mostly made to take to work the next day for our "desk swapping party". They were definitely better the next day and seeing as this was my first time making the infamous red-velvet, I was very happy with the results and with the fact that I didn't stain a single item with the red dye, something I was sure I'd do. I also made two loaves of chocolate bread, but I think I'll work on this recipe more before I post it on here and I'll probably include the recipe this time too :)