Sugar Buns

About 20 years ago I jumped from a moving train. It was just pulling out of the station, and going quite slowly, or so I thought. Five minutes earlier I had made the terrible realization that I had boarded the wrong train, and I panicked.  I ran to the open doorway, and quickly stepped off of the ledge. I was wrong about the train’s speed. It was going faster than I anticipated, and I fell hard. Then I proceeded to roll down the pavement, passing other commuters waiting to board their own trains. No one came to my rescue. They all just watched me roll on by like tumbleweed in the desert. When I finally came to a stop I got myself up, and headed for the bathroom, as if that were my plan all along. I tried to hide the pain I felt in my right hip by appearing to walk normally. I then boarded the correct train, and pretended to read my book all the way home.

I’ve told this story to a lot of people since then. I love telling this story. I love that I can say, “I jumped from a moving train once!”. I love that I rolled past people’s feet. I even love that no one helped me. It’s funnier that way.  

And that’s my New Year’s resolution. To live a little more outside of my comfort zone. I don’t intend to put myself in danger, and I don’t suggest you do either, but I do want to do the things I don’t normally do. After all, that’s where you’ll find the good stories. Let’s make sugar buns. 

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Galette Des Rois (King Cake)

Galette des Rois (King Cake) is a famous pastry that is enjoyed on the Ephiphany. It celebrates the day the three wise men visited the baby Jesus (January 6th). This one also celebrates my Dad’s birthday (yesterday!), and my brother-in-law’s birthday (today!).

And baby Jesus too (I don’t want to make him fussy). 

Galette des Rois is made up of flaky puff pastry that is filled with luscious, almond cream. A dried bean is usually hidden within the filling, and whoever has the piece that contains the dried bean is pronounced King or Queen for the day. I did not include a dried bean in my Galette des Rois for two reasons. One, I had a horrible fear of one of my family members choking on it, and two, I just plum forgot to put a dried bean in. Let’s make some Galette des Rois! Continue reading →


Thumbprint Cookies

This December has been wacky. So many things went wrong. Here, I’ll list them:

  1. My oven broke on Thanksgiving day, and we couldn’t get a new one delivered until December 18th. Mr. Handsome (new oven) was delivered (yay!), but didn’t fit in the oven space (boo!). We couldn’t get a handyman out to put Mr. Handsome in it’s place for a few days, but we could still plug him in, so I’ve been baking cookies in the middle of the kitchen.
  2. I wanted to give the mailman our Christmas card with a tip, so when I saw him walk past our house I ran out very enthusiastically and handed it to him. Unfortunately, he wasn’t our usual mailman, so I had to ask for the card back. I’m not proud of myself.
  3. When I was online at the Starbucks drive-thru I decided to be a phantom do-gooder, and pay for the car in back of me. Unfortunately, the car in back of me was making an office coffee run. The total came to $50.  
  4. And finally, I decided to show my kids the end of the movie Titanic, when the ship sinks, because I… well, I don’t know what the heck I was thinking. In my defense, I didn’t remember it being so horrible. Well, it was so horrible. And my boys never want to go on a boat. Not even a canoe. 

Anyway, these thumbprint cookies are super good. They’re exactly what I wanted to bake in our new oven (hooray I can bake again!). Thumbprint cookies are usually made with all butter, but I found an old recipe by Diana Rattray that uses butter and shortening, so what is produced is a buttery, tender, almost delicate cookie that melts in your mouth. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to get going before something else happens.  Continue reading →


How To Make Hot Chocolate

My oven broke. My oven broke on Thanksgiving Day. It broke right after I took the turkey out, and right before I could heat up the rest of the food. So I drank. I drank one two many cranberry Champagne cocktails (coming soon to my cocktail blog), and then accidentally sent out a silly video text to a group of people.

I blame the oven.

Our new stove will be delivered on December 18th, which means that Christmas in my house might not be happening this year.

What’s a Christmas without Christmas cookies?

The good news is that the stove top works, and so today I made myself hot chocolate. The real deal hot chocolate. Not hot cocoa, which is thin and sweet, but hot chocolate, which is thick, rich, and chocolatey. It’s David Lebovitz’s Parisian Hot Chocolate recipe and it’s divine.

I drank that delicious hot chocolate while I thought. I stared right at my Christmas tree, drank my hot chocolate, and thought long and hard. And that’s when it hit me. There will be Christmas this year at my house, by golly! I poured myself another mugful, took out a pen and a piece of paper, and made a list of all of the no-bake Christmas cookies I could think of. 

It was a Christmas Miracle. Let’s make some hot chocolate.

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