Winter Tulips 2012, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches
I’m listening to KGNU radio and watching the snow fall on this last day of 2018. I wish you all a bountiful, delicious new year, full of art, love and good food.
In the past weeks I’ve baked and cooked many dishes, sweet and savory.
Looking for a new festive cookie, I made Chocolate Chunk Shortbread from a recipe in the NY Times by Alison Roman. They are a keeper. Buttery, not too sweet, chocolatey, with a touch of Maldon salt.
Bud’s favorite in the holiday canon are Cuccidati, Italian fig bars ─ packed with dried fruit and nuts, seasoned with cinnamon and orange zest.
Every year I make panettone for dear friends. These loaves take all day to put together, let rise multiple times and bake, but the feel of the smooth dough, the aroma of baking and my anticipation of the pleasure I hope James and Noriko, Roseanne, or Ana will experience, make it worth the effort.
Hungry for something made with cranberries, I unearthed a recipe in my recipe notebook clipped years ago from somewhere, perhaps Gourmet magazine, but never attempted. These Cranberry Pecan Muffins are now permanently on my baking rotation. (email me if you want any of these recipes)
I first made mini-muffins for visitors from the Lyons Arts and Humanities Council and they were a hit.
Most of the sweets have disappeared and we are ready for less indulgent meals. Here is a wonderful grain salad from Yotam Ottolenghi, in Plenty. Barley and celery salad with pomegranate seeds and herbs, is just right for a winter lunch.
Cook 1 cup of barley until tender, then drain and pour into a bowl with 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 crushed and chopped cloves of garlic, salt and pepper. While the barley is hot, add 6 stalks of celery, chopped small.
When the barley has cooled, fold in a handful of chopped dill, chopped celery leaves and the seeds from half a pomegranate. The recipe calls for parsley but I had none so added more dill.
Served on a bed of arugula, our winter lunch is ready.