The task on baking cookies is daunting and extremely frustrating to me. The thought of it makes me flustered. Chilling the dough, forming shapes, then freezing before baking. Flouring surface but not too much, working the dough but not over working, glazing, piping with all those tips and apply pressure while piping but just so. Such finicky little cookies that they are! For years now just before Christmas time when the rest of the world around me prepares for Christmas, one Christmas tradition I was taken with, and romanticized about over my years in the States, is the holiday cookie baking. I never wished for a Christmas tree, though I must confess, every year I brush my hands against the miniature rosemary bush shaped as a pine tree, as I pass by and love the lingering rosemary scent on my palm. If not for fear of killing it over the winter indoors I would have gotten the rosemary bush, but what I really wished for were the holiday cookies.
My apologies in advance I absolutely love photographing raw ingredients. Narrowing down shots to be published is a tough decision. Take for example this intriguing and statuesque subject matter, the Romanesco. Every snap shot, and I took many, came out perfect. I have not altered and photoshopped the snapshots at all. My initial photos a couple of months ago, came out terrible, hence the delayed post with a new batch. I know some won't be able to relate but think of it like a baby or a pet in which whatever angle you shoot, you go aww, and are so very proud. I did write in the past how I connect with these inanimate subject matters, for me they come alive! Even if snapshots seem repetitive it has some degree of movement and changes in angle ever so slightly. It was important to me to showcase it and at least I didn't subject you to dozens of these two degree movements
I just came back from the grocery store and realized I have not picked up basic staples like sugar, we completely ran out, unless you count confectioner's sugar. I also forgot to buy baguette, not just to have at home in case of emergency sandwich dinner, but also for this dish of stuffed artichoke bottoms. I wet some of the baguette, squeeze it dry and cut into tiny little pieces to give these meatballs stuffed into artichoke bottoms some fluffiness and lightness. Plan B was set into motion, my friend Shoshi just mentioned she had a dinner party, and she made a similar dish, but she grates potato instead of adding bread to the mix to achieve the desired lightness to the meatballs. I have made these stuffed artichoke bottoms for many years now, some like to add cinnamon and nutmeg but the flavors come out incredibly pure without it as well. As you can see I do not even add the optional cumin in the ingredient list. If you wish to add these flavors they certainly do not detract from the dish. The result will be just as delicious but different!
Last, but not least, of the blogiversary cookbook giveaways is SOS! The Six O'Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb. Aviva is another nationally successful local Washingtonian cookbook author. Her book is for the super efficient moms and dads and families on the run! For a quick, delicious, and nutritious homemade meal with seasonal ingredients. I who act mostly on impulse and not much planning need to learn a thing or two from her brilliant menu planning, so that, Jonathan and I won't have those mid week uh-oh moments when all my energies I focus on making Sufganiyot-Israeli Jelly Doughnuts for Chanukah and shooting it from every angle. It is a helpful guide to mainstream a family to run an efficient plan ahead menu, grocery shopping so you can get your kids after a busy day at the office, to soccer practice, a piano lesson, and still manage to gather around the kitchen table for a meal together. The Six O'Clock Scramble is cleverly planned cookbook with a chapter on the well stocked kitchen: the scramble staples list and another one with a seasonal guide to fruits and vegetables.
Speaking of the Chanukah's miracle of oil, which lasted for eight days, this doughnut is a Chanukah miracle all on its own. As throughout the last few weeks I pulled many doughnut recipes, familiar and new. I collected many to embark on a doughnut extravaganza this Chanukah! Cider doughnuts I've seen a year ago @DeliciousDish I was planning on making, some other versions of Israeli doughnuts, which the secret is in the dough, strawberry jam and dusting of confectioner's sugar. We had it every morning for breakfast, with a bag of shoko from the little grocer in the neighborhood, as we were running late for school. Bite the tip off and squirt with a bite of doughnut for childhood memories. My favorite shoko is to the right from Kibbutz Yotvata in the Arava Dessert a last rest stop as you drive down to Eilat on the Red Sea.I wished to embark on American doughnut making as well with the hole in the middle, glazed and coconut are my favorite. I've made in the past Moroccan sfinge (svinge) that are tricky but as you get the hang of the forming technique it becomes a