Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookies for Breakfast

Yes. What better time of year? Noels, if you must know (chewy bar cookies with lots of brown sugar and lots of mixed nuts), and a peanut butter kiss cookie for balance.
Lots of protein, right? And dairy.

We did get whacked with the snow. I'm glad I was wrong (yes). Hey, if I have to miss a party, a snowstorm is an acceptable substitute.

I shovelled when I got home—it was really coming down at that point—and I came in looking like the Abominable Snow Woman. No pictures to prove it, though.

This was a very domestic weekend; I made the peanut butter kisses and the Noels, and a batch of beef stew. Mulled wine, too (recipe at the end of the post).

And finally we got the ornaments on the tree. It's been weeks since it was put up. Poor thing. Nekkid and moving about, it must have been blushing in shame, though it still looks green to me.

I also can reccomend an excellent televised prodction of The Nutcracker. Normally I don't care for ballet on TV; the people behind the camera miss too much (including feet!) and the make-up and costumes don't take kindly to close-ups...but the San Francisco Ballet triumphs over all of that. And yes, they've produced a DVD. I'll be looking for it soon. This is one production I'll be happy to watch over and over again.

Mulled Wine

(1) bottle of red table wine
whole cloves
stick cinnamon
(1) lemon
(1) orange
Cointreau [optional]

Prep: Peel the citrus fruits and cut off the pith (the bitter white portion). Put the sections of peel into the pan with the wine. Slice the rest of the pith off the fruits and slice them; add the slices to the pan.

Put in 1 - 3 sticks of cinnamon and 8 - 12 whole cloves.

Add 3 to 5 tbl. of honey; stir. Add Cointreau, if you're using it (about 1/4 cup).

Cook on low heat till it starts to bubble 'round the edges. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Strain and re-bottle if making ahead. It's convenient to do this anyway, so no one swallows a clove or a hunk of fruit.

Can be kept in the fridge and re-heated a mug at a time, or put back into a pan. It's fine to keep on a low simmer for an extended period of time, but don't let it boil.

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