I've had TONS of things to write about rattling around in my head for the past few weeks, but since daylight savings time can't possibly be to blame for ALL of my poor planning and over-scheduling the past week or so, I'll concede thatI just haven't been able to get anything down on paper. So I'm gonna hold on to a few of them, the ones that aren't quite so time sensitive, since I know all three of you out there that actually read this blog will thoroughly enjoy those phantom posts sometime in the hopefully not too distance future ...
What I CAN do before it's too late is wish you all a very Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's been beautiful weather here this week and I'll admit that raising a few pints of Guinness with friends to toast the old country this evening doesn't sound like such a bad idea, even if it is a 'school night.' Lucky for me - despite my lack of Irish ancestry - I did manage to deliver some cookies today - so that's one thing I happened to do on time. I'll confess that the Irish 'theme' was a bit of a stretch - but I took liberties in certifying that anything, that in anyway, can be associated with the Irish flag would fit the bill. I hope they did not disappoint, since my plan was to make up in flavor what they may have lacked in theme or appearance. Meaning despite the fact that they weren't shaped like shamrocks or leprechauns or pots of gold, they still tasted delicious... and minty... and green?
Yes, I am hedging a bit on these cookies. I attended a Happy Hour at Gilda's Club for their volunteers this past Friday (which was much appreciated and I enjoyed finally being in the company of the staff long enough to allow me to remember some names - but don't quiz me on that just yet!), and I'll confess that flattery will get you anywhere, or at the very least will get you a St. Patty's Day themed cookie. It was nice to hear that some of the folks seem to look forward to the weekly cookie delivery and even enjoy being surprised by the variety of what I make (although, I'll reiterate: I'm more than happy to take requests! :). Apparently there was some speculation as to what I would do for today's holiday. I'm sure Shamrocks were on the top of the list. But, if anyone has been reading here they may have caught onto the fact that I had reached my 'Shamrock limit' for awhile after the Cure Me I'm Irish event (which, by the way, raised over $35,000! Amazing! Awesome! Hurray!).
So I'll admit to feeling the pressure, but all in good fun, to make good on an appropriate St Patty's day cookie. Y'all will be happy to know that I very quickly dispelled the idea of diverting from cookies, just this once, to accommodate the theme and make Irish Soda Bread instead. With apologies to the Irish, well it might be edible soaked in tea or even 'ok' if you wash it down with a pint of Guinness (duh!) or even downright 'delicious' if it were slathered in jam and butter or, more appropriately, clotted cream - after all, what isn't delicious after it's loaded up with butter and jam? Mercifully though, I decided that swapping a cookie for a slice of cardboard (or even 'cardboard with raisins') would be WAY too cruel.
So instead, I give you Mint Frosted Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle - believe me, the Girl Scouts got nothing on this one!
It's my 'Ace in the hole,' the most loved and requested cookie of the dozens of varieties I make for friends and family every Christmas and the only cookie who's recipe cannot be revealed. It's the one thing that, absent love and lineage, assures me gifts under the tree or a rescue mission when my car breaks down or a ride to the hospital in an emergency. I know my value and usefulness will diminish greatly if people knew they could make this themselves... Ok, Ok, my friends and family aren't that shallow, and I'm not quite that insecure, but yer still not getting the recipe - let's just call it 'insurance.' :)
Oh, and speaking of insurance, I tossed in a batch of Orange Pistachio Biscotti for anyone who may not care for the most delicious chocolate mint cookie ever (do those people really exist?! :) ... anyway, that 'orange pistachio' thing? Totally Irish - orange and green after all!
(my apologies for the over use of 'beer' and 'Guinness' references in this post - all this Irish & Ireland talk has transported me back to the pubs & music & merriment from 'me trip' this past October - or is it this 'coming' October? :)
Here goes, a very blatant rip off of the Julie/Julia project - but without the daily study and committment and hopefully far less butter and cream!
For the 52 weeks of 2010 I'm going to bake a batch (or two) of cookies each week and provide them to various local charities and residential non-profits. It's a bit self serving - I get to do what I love - baking - and then get to avoid what I love a bit too much - eating! It's a near ideal scenario for me. Hopefully along the way I'll get to meet some great people, test out some new recipes and broaden my baking and presentation techniques. I'll continue to tweak recipes to improve the nutritional value and then I'll give them away, to who, exactly, I'm not so sure just yet but I'm working on it.
Life gets busy, but to spend an hour or two week to throw together a batch of homemade cookies to give to folks that might be going through a hard time seems like a pretty small contribution to society but maybe, just maybe, it'll change the world, one batch at a time ... to be continued ...