Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What’s cooking? Pasta with Collards and Sweet Italian Sausage

When we made our reservations for Christmas in New Jersey, we told ourselves, “It hardly ever snows before January.” At least, that was what I said. My husband was less sanguine. But our recently married son is working crazy hours as a first year law firm associate, and our med school student had time off and was looking forward to seeing his NJ friends. So up we came.

And then the Blizzard of 2010 hit. It was already snowing Sunday morning when I convinced my husband – as a time-saving measure only, as I’m sure if we ever decide to get a divorce it’ll be in the produce aisle – to go with me to the grocery store. What madness. Although New Jersey regularly gets its share of snowstorms, the people never seem prepared. They react to the forecast as if they’d be stuck inside for a couple of weeks, clearing the grocery shelves of everything but a few jars of anchovy paste and some cleaning fluids.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Party On!
What’s cooking? Champagne Cosmopolitans

The first holiday party was Sunday, and already I’m exhausted.

It was our neighborhood party, and in addition to being on the Social Committee (but of course), I volunteered to make my roll-out cookies. And as long as I was making one batch, it seemed like no big deal to make two and send one to two kids who are sons of families in my church and are stationed in Afghanistan.

As usual, no good deed goes unpunished. It took me TWO full days to decorate them all – two full days in which I blissfully immersed myself in a world of tiny gold and silver balls, squiggles of icing, and a full color palette of sanding sugars and edible glitter. And I’ve recently discovered a new line of edible metallic glitter – red and gold and copper and brass, so fine that you apply them by dipping an eye shadow brush into the powder and oh so delicately tapping on the brush. It’s a mind-numbing process, but the effect is so beautiful I spent waaay more time than I should have finding extra places where I could dab a little metallic glitter.