Truth be told, these cookies are not as delicious as I had hoped. I had hoped they would have been a bit more gooey and pliable, instead of crunchy. They have good flavor, and they look beautiful (and isn’t that really what’s important?) but they just didn’t quite please me. They pleased everyone else though, as they gobbled them right up, way ahead of the store bought variety (although jon points out: “they were homemade by somebody!”).  so perhaps it was my innate uneasiness that was not placated by chocolate chip cookies.

Perhaps it was the strange uneasiness I felt due to my upcoming life changes; or perhaps it is because I am a bit of a cookie snob, having matured around the undeniably delicious cookies from levains bakery? And yes, you’re right, these would make perfect cookies for an ice cream sandwich, but for me, they just weren’t right. 

I think that goes with the territory though: they’re called “newlywed chocolate chip cookies”. new couples, old couples, all couples, face situations and overcome disputes and challenges that were unexpected, and not quite perfect. For example: my father bought a child size shirt for his own wedding: an unexpected obstacle indeed! some disputes actually make for a great ending: like the chocolate and salt in this cookie. Perhaps they weren’t right because im not a newlywed? I had hoped it wouldn’t matter that I am a singleton, but perhaps they only make sense when you have someone to share them with? perhaps I should have made them for my boyfriend? Maybe then I would soon be a newlywed instead of a not-likely-to-soon-wed? would it be too creepy to anonymously mail him a box of cookies? (don’t answer that).

There are lots of reasons why these cookies may have not been as comforting as I had wanted them to be, but looking back, their memory will be perfect, as they were shared amongst the best of friends:   I will always have fond memories of these cookies as the crumbs that flew out of my mouth when I giggled uncontrollably at the ridiculous clues we were given when playing the 20 (or infinity) questions car game for ru paul (a woman known for her hotness who is thirty five years old-ish); the cookies we ate around the bonfire after gorging on hotdogs; the cookies wy ate in the back of the minivan while making cookie monster noises; and the cookies we ate while playing ping pong in greg’s garage, like old times.  great times.

I will make these cookies again as nostalgia for these great times with friends; I will make them for ice cream sandwiches; and I will likely make them one day for a boy. and maybe, one day as a newlywed. and maybe, hopefully, then, they will be perfect.

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marscapone is like the kobe beef of the cheese world.

four years ago i was asked to prepare a small treat for a friends potluck.  knowing a frenemy of mine would be in attendance, i toiled to find the perfect recipe. something that would be sure to impress in it’s a) cuteness & visual appeal b) taste and c) approachability. they were, a hit. cute as a button, tasty and moist.

i  know, i know, jimmy fallon has his opinions on the word moist: “worst word in the english language”. for the record, i agree (i dislike the word “moist” almost as much as i dislike the word “frenemy”) – but there is no other word that fits! “wet-ish” and “balmy” don’t sound so good when discussing an edible treat!

but i digress: several years later i had to issue an apology to an ex, and chose to make him these as well. i believe he forgave me 😉

and again, last week, after messing up my go-to mushroom turnovers, and having rain ruin a “birthday picnic” (which later turned into “birthday fort”) i decided the only remedy would be my go to banana cupcakes with marscapone cream cheese frosting. they were, again, perfect.

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for those of you who dont know about the experimental cuisine collective, its a pretty cool organization i belong to. i like to call it a “club” and pretend like theres a secret handshake, but people there look at me funny when i grab their hands and twirl them before tapping them on the bum. a few weeks ago (i know, so neglectful!) the ecc hosted their annual day long symposium, hosted by jeffery steingarten.  click here to see the program for the day.

now, on to the audience, which may have been even more eclectic than the speakers:

in front of me sat a larger lady who sat perched on the front of her seat (and the one next to hers), and leaning forward as to rest her forearms on the seat in front of her. she was jovial and loud, and should probably host a cooking show one day on pbs. perhaps that was her mission as she handed out business cards to any one who would make eye contact as she spoke at a decibel just too loud. at one point she told a story about having to sign a contract agreeing to never sue for sexual harassment… although i doubt that would have been a problem for her.

in front of her sat a small precocious young girl, just out of college, who boasted of supporting herself by making vegan-sprinkles, and hosted her last dinner party by serving “bloody-mary-ravioli”. she yearned to return to the kitchen, but will likely not return soon, as she is busy applying to a masters in architecture-theory at columbia university.

beside me sat a middle-aged suburban lady, without any discernible connection to food, science, or publishing, who would alternate between talking energetically and (lucky for me) dozing, as did our emcee for the day: jeffery steingarten.

now, we all love jeffery steingarten, don’t get me wrong: the way he talks as if he has marbles in his mouth, and the way his rudeness and self-involved-ness is charming and comical rather than frustrating and off-putting. however, was i the only one in the audience who did not understand some of his jokes? such as his opening phrase: “i didn’t prepare anything to say, and i have never been to an ECC event before”? the rest of the audience giggled. Read the rest of this entry »

i have been neglecting my readers (hello you 3!)! i will update with recipes and some not-so-amazing photos in the near future. promise.

but in the meanwhile, please enjoy the video below in honor of my favorite grandpa simon. Read the rest of this entry »

truth be told, im not a huge fan of macaroni & cheese. it wasn’t a staple in my house growing up, which i think led to my lack of fascination with cheesy noodles.  the first time i can recall having macaroni & cheese that made an impression was at my friend greg’s family house in connecticut.  surrounded by my closest friends who feel like family, macaroni & cheese finally became associated with comfort!

this isn’t ordinary macaroni & cheese. its cheesy, yes; and noodley, yes; but its also savory, spicy, and full of umami.

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when i was a kid i used to beg my dad to drive me to the local pizzeria/italian spot in town, gino’s pizza, and buy “giant rice balls”.  thankfully giada de laurentis educated me that the proper name (and pronunciation) of giant rice balls is actually arancini!

one day recently after getting slightly too involved with the real housewives of new york, and allowing my quinoa to overcook ever so slightly, it occurred to me that these arancini can be made slightly more healthy and interesting by making them out of quinoa!

quinoa arancini can be stuffed with anything from cheese, to sauteed mushrooms, to butternut squash!  the recipe below are for quinoa arancini filled with a sauteed mushroom & shallot mixture and goat cheese. mmm. my mouth is full, so its easier to just call them “goat balls”.

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my mommy loves popcorn. its her second favorite food after ice cream.  unfortunately i am not a fan of popcorn (unless it is mailed in one of those unhealthily large and festive popcorn tubs) – so when i have a movie date with my mommy, i have always struggled with a good and healthy alternative.  until now!  roast edamame!

the thought of roast edamame may not sound appealing to some people, but it works surprisingly well!  after roasting, edamame become nutty, and crunchy on the outside, and chewy on the inside, and completely addictive.

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i’ve made several versions of candied nuts in my day: dorie greenspan, thomas keller, and now, my new favorite: elizabeth karmel.  good in salads, chopped and sprinkled over banana-date oatmeal, or straight out of the jar, these sugar-and-spice candied nuts are versatile, easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious.

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for ice cream!

i always feel like the black sheep of the family when asked of my favorite food.  unlike the rest of my family (and curly), my favorite food is not ice cream.

but on a recent sunday afternoon, when the ladies of my family came over for an early dinner, no one seemed to care what was for dinner, because all anyone talked about was ice cream!  so i was happy to surprise my lady-guests with some miniature ice cream sandwiches.

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