Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fridays are for Cooking

   I have visited two wonderful grocery stores in two days and have finished all of my truly important household chores for the week. I have scoured our calendar and my recipe collections for fabulous ideas and excuses to enjoy them. And tomorrow I have exactly ZERO reasons to leave the farm. To paint the picture a little better, let me say that I have a pantry and refrigerator packed with delicious ingredients and a Friday, in a clean house, all to myself.

   It's almost like Christmas.

   Wait...



   Okay. So, there are at last count nine incredibly tasty dishes on the Lazy W horizon this weekend. 

   Tomorrow Handsome is taking the ole stand-by apple tart to an office food day. The fine ladies up there organize nearly a month of festivity every December, including Dirty Santa games and "Days of Christmas" food days. YUM and FUN. Everyone up there works so hard; no one deserves an extended party more!
  The apple tart is from Edie's Life in Grace blog, which is a beautiful place to land for a thousand reasons.  The only thing I do differently is skip the glaze. We like it on the crispier side of life, and the glaze makes it less crisp. I can make this in my sleep now, Handsome requests it so often. 5 apples, 4 cups flour, 3 sticks butter, 2 cups sugar, spices. Bam.

   Then for a Christmas party we're attending Saturday night I'll make our fave chocolate fudge cake and a big batch of roasted olive dip. Maybe I'll try to nail down that olive dip recipe and a few photos in case anyone's interested. It is purely addictive. Salty, creamy, tangy, garlic-ish, olive-ish, and mouthwatering whether warm or cold. Addictive.

   For dinner Friday night I'm trying a toned-down Lazy W version of Giada's minestrone soup. Naturally this calls for crusty bread and green salad. Please, if we are truly friends, do NOT warn my husband of this menu plan. Let him be surprised. I promise to tone it down. Way, way down. And I promise to have a back up plan like Fettuccine Alfredo. I have a feeling if he balks at the soup, it will be divine enough for me to finish all by myself. I'm a good sport like that.

 Also a batch each of these browned butter cookies and some chocolate-chip walnut biscotti. It seems we are a week away from Christmas and I have lots of shopping still to do, so having cookie dough ready in the freezer will be nice.

   Three quickly deteriorating bananas tell me we'll also have banana bread in the oven tomorrow. And a special young man at church keeps reminding me to bring peanut butter cookies. 
 
   My Grandpa Stubbs once told me over the phone how to make the world's easiest and most delicious peanut butter cookies! You can do this in a snap anytime, and I have the sneaking suspicion that being flour free will tickle some fancies. Here ya go:

Mix together with a wooden spoon 
1 cup of PB, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 egg. 
Scoop up the shiny, grainy dough by about a tablespoon at a time
 and roll each ball in a bowl of sugar. 
Dip a fork in the sugar and criss-cross each ball of dough. 
Bake for about 20 minutes at around 350 degrees. 
Cool on pan for a minute
then on a wire rack completely.
Dunk in milk.

   I will not even need Scentsy tomorrow, you guys. It's gonna smell so good in here. I plan to finish the outdoor chores super early, take a shower, and put on some good music. By lunchtime this place should be aromaticizing. Lilting with fragrance and warmth. 

   If and when you do need Scentsy, though, my gorgeous and dry-witted cousin Jen just started peddling the heavenly stuff! You can order online here and I think if you order by December 19th you can count on Christmas delivery!

   Is it healthy to be this excited about a cooking day? If I finish when I expect to, there will just enough Friday left for me to finish a really special sewing project for an old friend. Then the frivolous, calorie-laden weekend will begin!

Three Cheers for P-90x!
xoxoxo
 

pinnable

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