The Ingredients – cookies
- 3/4 cup (6 oz/185 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (6 oz/185 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) light (unsulfured) molasses
- 2 egg yolks
- 2-1/3 cup (12 oz/375 g) unbleached all-purpose (plain) flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
The Ingredients – white icing
- 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (essence)
- 4-5 teaspoons milk
Directions – cookies
Note: This is a very heavy, thick dough. You will need a strong mixer. I use a Kitchen Aid, having killed more than my share of hand mixers on this recipe.
- In a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and molasses until fluffy, about three minutes.
- Beat in the egg yokes. In a sifter, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda, cloves, and salt. Sift the flour mixture directly onto the butter mixture. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat until well combined.
- Gather the dough into a ball; it will be soft. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Position racks in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Butter two large, heavy baking sheets.
- Remove one-third of the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll it out to 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick.
- Using a figure-shaped cookie cutter, cut out your gingerbread people, trees, ornaments, etc. Carefully transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, placing them about an inch (2.5 cm) apart.
- Gather up the scraps into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill. Repeat rolling and cutting the cookies with the remaining dough, in two batches. Then reroll the scraps and cut more cookies.
- Bake until the cookies begin to turn golden brown on the edges, about ten minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool (if you don’t, the icing will run away when you try to ice them).
- Decorate the cookies with the white icing as desired.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Makes about 20 cookies, depending on the shape and size of cutter
Directions – white icing
In a small bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough of the milk to thin the icing to the desired consistency.
Makes about 1/2 cup.
As part of the Italian dinner at the Ristorante Italiano I served last night, we had a lovely Scampi. And for those that liked it, and want to make it themselves, here is the recipe.
4 cloves of garlic, 2 grated, 2 thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Warm crusty bread (for serving)
- Whisk grated garlic, salt, and one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium bowl. Add shrimp, toss to coat, and chill, uncovered, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Heat remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the shrimp mixture, being careful not to let shrimp or garlic brown, until shrimp is pink but slightly underdone, about one minute per side. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible. Add sliced garlic and red pepper to the skillet and cook, tossing, until fragrant, about one minute. Add wine and lemon juice and cook occasionally stirring, until reduced by half, about two minutes. Add butter and cook, stirring and swirling the pan occasionally, until butter is melted and sauce is thickened about five minutes.
- Scrape shrimp along with any accumulated juices into skillet. Toss to coat and cook until shrimp are fully cooked through, about two minutes. Transfer to a platter, top with parsley, and serve with bread for dipping alongside.
Industry wary of alternatives tries to protect a word: meat | WTOP
Nebraska lawmakers will consider a bill this year defining meat as “any edible portion of any livestock or poultry, carcass, or part thereof” and excluding “lab-grown or insect or plant-based food products.” It would make it a crime to advertise or sell something “as meat that is not derived from poultry or livestock.”
As more and more marketing people try to get the general public to fall for their new and improved usually faux healthy product, like nut water, or margarine, instead of milk, or butter, the blurring of the lines between what we know it is and what the marketing doublespeak wants us to believe it is will only get broader.
Even foods that should be clearly delineated, like bacon, seem to now come with qualifiers, and the qualifiers are rather odd. I have yet to encounter the full shift I have seen with coffee (you now have to explicitly say you want your coffee hot), but I do not think we are far away. When I order pastrami, being asked to define whether I want beef or turkey probably makes several in the smoked meat business cringe. Bacon now comes as pork (the so far default), turkey, or tofu (when you are eating something called tofu, bacon is the last thing that comes to mind).
Many people have decided to cut meat out of their diet. That is just fine. However, please, do not confuse your need to follow rabid diet models with the public’s need to be able to identify their food. Meat only comes from animals, milk from cows or goats, and keep your ground up nuts out of my water. I need them for my Chex Mix.