HOT Chocolate Cookies (+ BIG Announcement!)

Yesterday morning, I had an entirely different post planned for you today. It wasn't about cookies, it wasn't about Nashville, it wasn't about the person who likes these cookies most. But plans change. You might remember over a month ago, when I brought you these thin chocolate cookies and ice cream sandwiches, how I mentioned being on the hunt for a crisp chocolate cookie, the kind that was like a cocoa gingersnap, spiced and crisp, sharp and crunchy. What I didn't tell you then was that it was really Tim who wanted this cookie, Tim who had mentioned it and sent my mind to work. And so it was, last week in Chicago, that I first tried this new recipe, an adaptation of Mexican chocolate cookies I'd found online, while Tim sat in my parents' dining room working on his computer and I worked in a light-filled kitchen, hoping for crisp, spiced bites of chocolate. That first experiment was such a hit, I made the recipe again Monday, so I could bring them over to Tim's house … [Read more...]

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been waiting a long time to tell you about these cookies. They first came to me last spring, in one of the earliest emails exchanged between here and Nashville. Then came summer, fall, winter and a move to Tennessee. Before long, here we were in the heart of spring again, evidenced all around us by green grass and blooming flowers, powerful thunderstorms and days of rain (and I mean that whether I'm at home in the South or at home visiting Chicago---which I've already done twice this month, and, I know, I know, but for good reasons, I promise). Anyway, every year I remember again how much I love this time of year and the way buds poke out of branches, the way life comes out of the ground again. It's the kind of thing that makes me want to pull out my camera, except for a small problem I've also been meaning to tell you about: somewhere in the midst of the move, I lost my camera's battery charger, and when I ordered a replacement, it practically caught on fire … [Read more...]

coconut macaroons

The thing nobody tells you ahead of time when you say you're going to move to a new place is that doing so---packing up most of your belongings and driving eight hours to a new city with the help of two men who must really love you to put themselves through a drive of snow and ice and, Indiana on the whole of their Saturday and Sunday---will, at many times, feel much less like Adventure and much more like Terrifying. Which, I guess, is another way of saying, I'm here, for those of you who've been wanting an update. I've gone and moved to Nashville. I'm sleeping on a mattress on the floor and realized yesterday I didn't bring my snow clothes (it snows in the South? what?), but on the whole, things are good. In fact, there has been a lot of Adventure in getting to know new streets, meeting lots of new people, visiting three libraries before finding a place to work on Monday afternoon. And while I do already have some basic groceries, this post is actually about a dessert … [Read more...]

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

I've been spending a lot of time lately planning a move. It's not a tragedy, I know. It's just one of those things that requires work, much like finding a job or learning a new skill---you have to deal with some discomfort, things aren't exactly easy, there are costs and, in the end, you hope you emerge a little different, a little wiser, having gone through it. Last week, my brother and I were talking about logistics---you know, the obvious things of furniture, moving trucks, long drives across several states---and I kept trying to find a way to solve things better. He'd say, Why don't you buy a bed when you get there? And I'd say, I don't want to spend the money! He'd say, It's not that much money. And I'd say, I am going to be broke! It was kind of funny, actually. Or at least it is now. From a removed standpoint, I see the problem. What I want is not just to relocate. I want to relocate without spending any money, losing any sleep, causing anyone any difficulty. I … [Read more...]

Anise Biscotti

I realized this morning that I was starting to forget what it felt like to post a blog entry. And that that was probably not a good sign. I don't really know what to say about it. I mean, it's the strangest thing. Over the last few weeks, I've made homemade chicken stock, chicken and rice soup, homemade puff pastry (adapted from this great version at Not Without Salt), goat cheese tarts, pistachio biscotti, roasted vegetables, pizza. In almost all cases, I've taken no photos, I've planned no blog posts, I've just made and eaten and moved on. Who am I? Maybe it was finishing Project 365: marathon runners get to rest for a while, right? Maybe it was starting a new year. Maybe it was being busy and feeling like simplifying my to-do list meant cutting time here. Whatever the case, hello again. I've missed you. So let's catch up a little. I spent the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 out of town, in Nashville---a place that just may become my new home if I can work … [Read more...]

what does not last, what does (chocolate spelt cookies)

When you really get down to it, almost everything in life is temporary. Your car, your clothes, your schedule, your location, your age, your experiences, the conversation you'll have on the phone tonight, the meal you'll eat for dinner, the way you'll put your gym shoes on and take them off again. These moments keep coming, quickly, passing through our fingers like shifting sand, and then are gone, replaced by something else, something which will also end. Mentally, I know this. I know this. So I hate when I catch myself pushing, striving, demanding whatever temporary something seems very important in its moment, sacrificing faith, hope and love for the getting and grasping of that something Right Now. I hate that. Because while of course we need temporary places to live and temporary things to eat and temporary activities to pursue---that is not all we need. That is not most what we need. That is not what should govern my Everything Else. And I need to be reminded of … [Read more...]

for days like these (nutty chocolate coconut cookies)

Blame it on the beautiful weather outside, the weekend I took away from the computer, the fact that a headache dominated most of Tuesday---whatever the case, this has been a week where I’ve felt a lot more like reading blogs than writing them. Do you ever get that way? I mean, it makes sense. If blogging’s a form of communication, why shouldn’t there be days where we feel more like listening than talking, reading than writing? Like in real life, sometimes I’m most happy to let someone else tell me stories, without needing to respond, without needing to join in. Sometimes I just like to sit back and observe, without interjecting. Sometimes I’m doing enough thinking and processing in my own head, the kind that hasn’t reached any real conclusion, that I just want to keep it in there until it’s ready to make some sense. And that’s fine. Or at least, it would be fine, if it weren’t for these cookies. … [Read more...]