From Eating Alone by Marcella Hazan

October 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

“I have thought about the apparent contradiction that someone who has dedicated most of her working life to cooking should be so reluctant, when she eats alone, to cook for herself. The explanation is that I consider cooking to be an act of love. I do enjoy the craft of cooking, of course, otherwise I would not have done so much of it, but that is a very small part of the pleasure it brings me. What I love is to cook for someone. To put a freshly made meal on the table, even if it is something very plain and simple, as long as it tastes good and is not a ready-to-heat something bought at the store, is a sincere expression of affection, it is an act of binding intimacy directed at whoever has a welcome place in your heart. And while other passions in your life may, at some point, begin to bank their fires, the shared happiness of good homemade food can last as long as we do.”

Fall Update

October 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

October is just clipping on by and has kept my days pretty full. I celebrated more birthdays with friends and made Double Peanut Butter Paisley Brownies (find yourself some Reese’s peanut butter chips because the excellent recipe is on the back) and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies for them. My mom’s birthday came just this past Sunday, and she requested a recipe we’d had in our files for quite some time: Ginger Cakes with White Peaches and Blackberry Coulis.  Not a seasonal recipe by any stretch, but birthday requests get a pass. I was even pleasantly surprised by the quality of the regular peach I found at the store to go with it. These little cakes were delicate and spicy, and everyone, dad and brother included, liked them. They were a nice counterpoint to the red velvet bundt cake my brother brought home, which has barely lasted 4 days in our family’s presence. I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures of all these culinary creations, which is unfortunate for my archives but speaks to how quickly they were gobbled up.

In the midst of all the merriment, my job search continues and to that end, I actually had an interview for a proofreader position at a ad/marketing/branding firm, but it ended up going to someone else. I felt disappointed, mainly because I’d let myself just start to get excited about the prospect. It was not my ideal job, though, and I was still somewhat conflicted about my desire to accept it should they offer it, so when the email came that it wasn’t being offered, my decision suddenly became simpler. It’s still hard to go through the roller coaster though, but I believe it was good practice, as I haven’t interviewed anywhere in ages and my nervousness, I’m sure, was obvious. I do have a freelance article I’m working on for a local publication and that has bolstered my spirits a good bit.

Before October is out, I’m headed to California for a dear friend’s wedding, and I am excited to be there. I’ll be more at ease once we’re on our 6:30 a.m. flight of course. The promise of unique and exotic food opportunities has me doubly looking forward to the trip.

Now, that we’re all caught up, I’m reminded again of just how full this month has been. Just the way I like ’em.

Birthday Brownie Cookies

October 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

My friend Joy and I have known each other since 6th grade and been close ever since. As the oldest of our high school group, she recently turned the much-lauded 3 0 and celebrated the right way, by inviting as many of her friends as could come to a local Mexican joint. I think there might have been almost 30 of us! Friends from high school, like me, from college, from church, and from OT school, where Joy is finishing up her degree. Surprisingly, all the groups meshed well, which I think is a testament to Joy’s warm and friendly nature that people just gravitate to. She’s always been an encourager to me, and I am blessed by my longest-lasting friend on a regular basis.

I wanted to give her a little something celebratory, and what spells a good time better than chocolate? Better yet, brownies. Even more interesting, brownie cookies bearing a monogram of sorts. Thanks to Joy the Baker (not the same person), I found a quick recipe that was just what I hoped it would be–a brownie in cookie form. Her sunflower seed decoration inspired me to garnish these with mini m&ms I had on hand. Can you tell what they spell?
Multiple hints have been given. Spelling with candies is trickier than you might think, though.

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