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Archive for November, 2010

My Word Gift Guide #12: California Christmas Cards

November 30th, 2010 Comments off
Categories: Special Tags:

Holiday Cookie Baking Day #3: Nothing Quik-er

November 30th, 2010 Comments off

Today is a slow day for cookie baking. I forgot to pull my supply of butter out of the refrigerator, so I was only able to make one batch. I think it is a really neat one, though.

Strawberry Chipsters (recipe)

I came across this new recipe on the Picky Palate blog. Their pink color, caused by the inclusion of Strawberry Quik in the recipe intrigued me immediately. I love to make things that cause me recall my childhood and this seemed perfect.

I added a bit of red food coloring to the batter to increase the “pinkness” although it is a bit difficult to see it in the photo. You can add more or leave it out entirely depending on your own personal preference. The inclusion of white chocolate morsels gives a strawberries and cream vibe and I love the way they came out.

Strawberry Chipstera

Categories: Event, Food, Special Tags:

Holiday Cookie Baking Day #2: M&M Good!

November 29th, 2010 Comments off

I was home all day with a sick boy but I didn’t get any baking done. Other duties held my attention until after dinner, but even then I made up 2 batches of cookies — 5 dozen of each.

The first cookie was a traditional Oatmeal-raisin. I am not a big fan (I prefer chocolate chips in my oatmeal cookies) but we have lots of friends and family who like them, including my wife.

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies Edit

I use the recipe from ‘Joy of Cooking” as my base recipe but make a few small additions. To give them a little extra flavor I add these to the flour mixture:

  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp cloves

I think it gives them an extra special taste.

The second cookie tonight was a traditional M&M cookie. Since the introduction of the M&M Mini’s most recipes have called for their use. While the size is better suited to cookies, Minis don’t have the same taste as regular M&M’s. This is exactly why I use the big M&M’s when I make these cookies. They taste pretty close to what I remember growing up.

Red’s Ultimate M&M Cookies Recipe

M&M Cookies Edit

Previous Holiday Cookie Baking Entries:

Categories: Food, Special Tags:

Holiday Cookie Baking Day #1: Oh, Fudge!

November 28th, 2010 Comments off

#alttext#Today I started baking for our annual cookie party, where I make 80-100 dozen cookies and treats for an all-day Open House. After a quick trip to the grocery to pick up final supplies and a short detour of time dedicated to putting up the outside Christmas Lights, it was time to begin.

In the past, I really only made one fudge each year. My Baker’s Chocolate-Walnut fudge comes from the inside of the Baker’s Chocolate box available in most markets. I know, I know, I am giving away all my non-secrets, but it is a decent fudge that everyone seems to like.

A few years ago I added another easy, microwave fudge from Alton Brown’s Good Eats series. Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge couldn’t be easier and it also tastes very close to the fudge I remember when I was growing up.

Finally, this year, I have added another fudge to the mix, Microwave Raspberry Fudge. This is a chocolate fudge base, very similar to the Baker’s recipe but then a second layer of fudge made from white chocolate, cream and raspberry jam is added on top. This one is so good I can easily see making it every year…and maybe at other times of the year, just for fun!

You can find complete recipes for all these fudges by clicking on their names above.

Throughout the year I have been reading many food blogs and using Google Reader to highlight and share my favorites both on Google Reader and via my Twitter and Facebook feeds. If you would like to monitor my interesting recipes, use this link — Douglas E. Welch’s Shared Recipes. If you would like to follow all my shared items, including recipes, gardening, new media, technology and more, you can use this link — Douglas E. Welch’s Shared Items.

Categories: Event, Food Tags:

Photo: Thanksgiving Table

November 25th, 2010 Comments off
Categories: Photos-Photography Tags:

I Like This – November 24, 2010

November 24th, 2010 Comments off

A collection of interesting items I found in my daily reading.

Categories: Shared Items Tags:

My Word Gift Guide #11: The Not So Big House

November 23rd, 2010 Comments off

#11 The Not So Big House

As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am a geek in all things. One of my “other” geekdoms is architecture. I tend to read a lot about it and also seek out great examples such as the Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra homes we have right here in LA. Sarah Susanka’s series of books are about new thoughts in architecture. Instead of building everything bigger, like the numerous “McMansions” also here in LA, she consuls you to build smarter. Instead of building huge homes were rooms regularly go unused, Susanka calls for smaller homes designed for the way we actually live. The savings generated by small square foot houses are turned back into amazing design details that make the home more livable and flexible.

Other books by Sarah Susanka

All Gift Guide Recommendations:

Categories: Announcement, Books, Special Tags:

My Word Gift Guide #10: Ceramic Coffee Tumbler

November 20th, 2010 Comments off


#10 Ceramic Coffee Tumbler

Here is an inexpensive gift for the commuters in your life. We recently picked up 3 tumblers like this at a local store. I drink a lot of coffee and now this mug can be filled at home or at the local coffee shop. No more paper cups. It also keeps coffee warmer than paper. Get one for yourself and one for your friend!

Search for more Silpat Baking Mats of all sizes

All Gift Guide Recommendations:

Categories: Announcement, Special Tags:

My Word Gift Guide # 9: Silpat non-stick baking mats

November 18th, 2010 Comments off

# 9 Silpat non-stick baking mats

I received some of these as a gift many years ago and they are used throughout the year, but especially in the run-up to my annual Cookie Party. Each year I make between 80 and 100 dozen cookies and candies to serve at this all-day open house.

These pads stand up to frequent use and prevent anything from sticking. They also add a bit of protection from burning your cookies, if you are bit inattentive. They give you a few extra minutes in the oven for each batch before things turn bad (or into charcoal, as sometimes happens). (LAUGH)

There are all size for these pads, depending on your needs.

Search for more Silpat Baking Mats of all sizes

All Gift Guide Recommendations:

Categories: Announcement, Food, Special Tags:

“Shut up and be scanned” – The LA Times raises a red flag

November 17th, 2010 Comments off

Today’s LA Times Editorial page carries this article, “Shut up and be scanned“.

When someone in power, such as the editors of a major metropolitan paper, respond to the current TSA policy outrage with “Shut up and be scanned”, it is a clear indication that we should, and need, to do exactly the opposite. It is a red flag of the highest level.

“Shut up and sit down” is the answer used by those in power when they can offer no defense for their actions. They only want the problem to disappear instead of addressing the issue.

I expect better from the LA Times than being told to “Shut up and be scanned”. I expect considered discussion about an issue, not paternalistic claptrap.

Categories: Opinion Tags: