20€ banknote – hold it up to the light and a face appears
Our faces have been doing a lot of that lately (like in the past 3 weeks!) as it’s too cold to venture out for a proper walk in the woods. This might drive anyone crazy being stuck inside all the time, but look at these two – do they seem bored out of their little minds or just plain lazy?
If you thought bored, that would be the Westie, because cold is nothing to her Scottish roots. She’s been a little out of sorts though with some bladder issues, suffering from incontinence on occasion and the frequent need to pee. Thank goodness for absorbent pet mats. A visit to the vet for an ultrasound shows a growth (benign) in her bladder that is getting bigger, but slowly. The vet had to shave “little windows”, as she called it, on both sides of Maddie’s body to do the screening. It should grow out in a couple of months!
Rockin’ the ‘window look’ my dog butt
Despite the icy weather, there’s no lack of things to do around the house and definitely extra time to whip up something in the kitchen. What do I do? I think the photo below gives a general idea but you’d be surprised at how a simple frozen treat transforms into a special dessert with a few extra elements.
All done! I almost wish that there was another week to go before Christmas so that I could keep up the holiday bakefest, but nope, enough of the sweets until next month. I worked on 2 more Ottolenghi recipes this week (one is an adapted version on Food52), and despite the scary amounts of sugar, I have to say that Yotam’s ideas are amazingly delicious and spot on!
Clockwise from left: Halvah and Nutella Babka from Food52; recipe adapted from Ottolenghi’s Chocolate krantz cakes. I used nocciolata, a chocolate-hazelnut paste, in the place of Nutella. The babka is a treat at breakfast. Next, Christmas Eve Tourtière from Dish in the Kitchen. It has a savory pork, mushroom, and potato filling seasoned with sage. And lastly, coffee and hazelnut cakes. The recipe is Yotam’s Coffee and walnut financiers but I like the marriage of coffee and hazelnuts better. The batter needs chilling so this was a great recipe to put together the night before. At first I thought the mixture overly sweet, but after baking it mellows out and is just fine without the added icing that’s called for.
Hope your kitchen smells just as good. The dachshund hung around the kitchen all day long!
In the news they’re calling it Black Ice Monday because of dangerous road conditions, but today it’s just more cookie baking after a break over the past 3-day holiday weekend. So far I’ve made 24 dozen in an assortment of abbracci, thumbprint cookies (from the same abbracci dough), and nucatoli. Right now a batch of gingerbread cookies are cooling on the counter, ready to be turned into gingerbread mendiants, and because I’m ahead of the baking game, I changed my tune about not making a lot of different cookies and tried a couple of interesting recipes by chef Yotam Ottolenghi. More on that tomorrow.