After the holidays

winter tulips

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.

shortbread

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.

forming cuccidati

Bud’s favorite in the holiday canon are Cuccidati,  Italian fig bars ─ packed with dried fruit and nuts, seasoned with cinnamon and orange zest.

cuccidati

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.

baking panetonne

panetonne

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)

cranberry pecan muffins

I first made mini-muffins for visitors from the Lyons Arts and Humanities Council and they were a hit.

muffins

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.

barley salad ingred

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.

barley salad 2

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.

barley salad 3

Served on a bed of arugula, our winter lunch is ready.

barley salad4

 

5 thoughts on “After the holidays

  1. Also … finally made it to a sweet new cheese shop in town, one of several little spots in a shipping container, and discovered they carry Rancho Gordo beans! Weird thing for a cheese shop but I don’t care 🙂

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  2. Happy New Year Barb,

    Loved this post! Would really like the recipe for both the Cuccidati and the Choc Chunk Shortbread. Lisa made these amazing pecan shortbreads for me this Christmas that had no gluten and no butter and were still amazingly good! I am hoping to adjust your recipes to that I can eat them! 🙂

    Thanks for your beautiful work in the world!

    Holadia

    On Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 12:54 PM How I Learned to Cook, an Artist’s Life ─ Barbara Shark paintshark posted: ” 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 cooke” >

    Like

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