Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Last night found me hustling around the kitchen making and baking biscotti. I posted the recipes for chocolate chip biscotti and honey almond biscotti in a previous post, https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/biscotti-for-valentines-day/, but these are special biscotti, the Black Forest biscotti that contain both tart cherries and dark chocolate chips, as well as cocoa powder.  Like other biscotti, these make great gifts.  I imagine you could gild the biscotti lily by dipping these in chocolate, either on one end or on one side, but they’re just fine the way they are.  Enjoy!

                                                                Black Forest Biscotti

Preheat oven to 350. Bring water just to boiling, add cherries and set aside.

1/2 c. dried tart cherries (2 1/4 oz.)
1 c. water

Cream:

1/4 c. butter, room temp.
3/4 c. sugar

Blend into butter/sugar combination:

2 eggs
1 t. each vanilla extract and almond extract

Fold in:

1/2 c. chocolate chips (I like to use Ghiradelli double chocolate for that dark chocolate taste.)

Drain cherries, pat dry and stir in.

Sift together in another bowl:

2 c. + 2 T unbleached flour
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder.

Fold wet ingredients into dry until dough holds together when pressed with lightly floured hands.

Place on an oiled/sprayed baking sheet. Shape into a 14 X 4 X 1″ long. Bake 25-30 minutes or until just firm and slightly brown. When cool enough to handle (about 10 minutes), cut into 3/4″ pieces. Bake for 5 more minutes per side.

Optional: Add 1/2 c. sliced, toasted almonds.

(about 20)
from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics

Ready to bake for the first time.  If you don’t have a pan long enough, just make two shorter logs.

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After a 10-minute cooling period, slice.  An electric knife works wonderfully for this.  Return to the pan, but the little piece at each end is the baker’s prize!

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Ready for the second baking of 5 minutes per side.

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Cooling.  Be sure to wait until the chocolate chips (melted now) have cooled before eating!

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My parents bought me this coat rack in Cody, Wyoming many years ago as a surprise and I’ve treasured its beauty in my everyday life, as well as the love it represents, each day since.

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I know you thought from the title that you were going to read and see pictures about me, but sorry to say, it ain’t so.  Alas.  But weep not.  I think you’ll enjoy what follows almost as much. 🙂 (more…)

I previously posted one of my favorite breakfast recipes (Whole Grain Pancake Mix by Julie Hasson, https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/peter-please-its-pancakes/) ) but since there are seven days in week, you need some other breakfast choices, so I thought another favorite might be welcome.

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Monday at 1:30 pm, CST, my husband emerged from his three days of isolation following the ingestion of several  I-131 pills which started the iodine radiation treatment for thyroid cancer; no longer a glow-in-the-dark guy.   An “I-131 Therapeutic Regime” it said at the top of the page of “Instructions for Releasable Patient”, instructions about how not to get radioactivity on anyone else when said patient is released into the world.  Sounds pretty innocuous, doesn’t it, but au contraire, especially when right after taking the pills, the Geiger counter picked up radiation from 6’ away.

The radioactivity leaves the body mainly through the kidneys (i.e. waste products), but a small amount  (how small an amount of radioactivity is OK???) leaves via sweat, spit and so forth.  Unfortunately, those sneaky little pieces of potential badness don’t really obligingly glow in the dark or anywhere else, so it’s tough to see them when trying to clean up any that remain behind, lurking, looking for bodies to glom onto.  Hence, thorough cleaning must be done, but only after the three days of isolation.  Today that time was over; more than over, really, since it was Tuesday at almost noon and his isolation had ended almost 24 hours ago.

I called Nuclear Medicine in the morning and found out how to clean the room, etc. and now it’s all done.  And I do mean all!  I wore gloves and a mask (went through two sets of each so I could reassure my husband that I took all precautions), cleaned every surface and object in the bathroom with the Clorox wipes:  the floor, inside the tub, the shower walls, the toilet, the scale….every single thing. Or as in current parlance ….Every. Single. Thing.

I did the same for the bedroom:  every cord, every magazine, every PlayStation game box, every piece of paper, wastebaskets….well, you get the idea.  The rest of the bedding and the pillow went in garbage bags in the garage, along with the shower curtain.  At the end of a week, we’ll wash what we want washed and pitch the rest.  I wiped the top and sides of the bed (it’s a pad, so we can also toss it if desired) and when I was done vacuuming, I wiped the vacuum, wiped the inside of it and the roller, removed all the fuzz and got rid of the vacuum bag, the gloves and the mask in another garbage bag.  Believe me when I tell you that room is clean.  It’s also aired out because I had the window open and the door shut the entire time. Take THAT, nasty radioactive particles!!

The clothes he’s worn since Monday at 1:30 pm can be washed regularly and today’s load is done, although I washed them twice and the washer once empty afterwards.  The clothes, sheets, towels, etc. that were used during the three days reside for a week in garbage bags in the garage until they can be washed (the twice-washed routine, followed by a washing for the washer with detergent and hot water but no load.)

So we’re all set for being in that room again, as free of radioactivity as it can possibly be without a haz-mat team coming in.  That was Valentine’s Day.  What valentine or gift could be more precious?  Happy Valentine’s Day, dear.  I love you.

In case you need a little something for today…

Since the fledgling biscotti recipes I made were fortuitously found while I was folding newspaper for recycling, paper that arrived providing padding for some since-forgotten gifts, I can share the recipes, since I don’t believe there was any attribution made or if so, I didn’t write it down.  Hopefully the biscotti recipe police won’t hunt me down and charge me with copyright infringement!  I guess I’ll chance it.

Biscotti are simple to make, great for gift-giving and for the price you pay for about six at a store or coffee shop, you can make at least 2-3 dozen.  I like to cut mine using an electric knife and I have an oven-size insulated cookie sheet that I pretty much only use for biscotti because I can get the entire recipe on that single pan. You can add dried fruit and please, feel free to dip an end or side in chocolate, (I recommend dark), for an even fancier look and all those lovely antioxidants (as if you needed a reason to eat another biscotti!)

Let me know how you like these and feel free to share any recipes you might have.  And once you’re done, the next time you’re shopping for groceries or having a cuppa (tea or coffee), at your local coffee shop, take a look at the price of the biscotti they’re selling.  But try not to laugh out loud or look too smug!!

 

Honey Almond Biscotti

 

2 c. flour

¾ c. sugar

¾ c. whole/slivered unblanched almonds

¾ c. finely ground unblanched almonds

½ t. baking soda

½ t. baking powder

½ t. salt

½ t. cinnamon

Mix in a medium bowl.  In another bowl, mix

1/3 c. honey

1/3 c. water

¼ t. almond extract.

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well-blended.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide in half and make two 12” x 2” x ¾” logs.

Place logs on a sprayed baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.  Remove and cool 10 minutes.  (I remove the logs from the baking sheet.)  Slice into ½” diagonal slices, using a serrated knife.  Place slices on their sides on the baking sheet and bake 15 minutes more.  Cool on a rack.  Makes about  4 dozen.

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

2 c. flour

2/3 c. sugar

1 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

½ c. semisweet, miniature chocolate chips

Mix in a bowl.  In another bowl, mix

3 large eggs, beaten

1 t. vanilla extract

Add wet to dry and mix until blended.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 8 –10 times.  Caution—the dough will be sticky!  Form in a log 2” x 16” x ¾” (or two smaller logs.)  Place on a sprayed baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.  Remove and cool 10 minutes (off baking sheet.)

Put on a cutting board and cut diagonally into ½” slices, using a serrated knife.  Reduce heat to 325.  Lay slices on their sides on the baking sheet and bake 10 minutes.  Turn slices over and bake 10-12 more minutes or until slices are golden brown.  Cool on a rack.