Roughly 95% of the time I make cookies, I go for chocolate chip. They’re sure to please, I pretty much have the recipe memorized and I just drop scoops of dough onto a cookie sheet before—ta-da!—gooey chocolatey deliciousness. But for a Christmas cookie exchange party, I wanted to up my cookie game a bit. So I got all inspired and created these tasty, festive and pretty Christmas cookies: chocolate candy cane pinwheels!
Dark chocolate, sugar cookie dough and candy cane chunks come together in something that tastes just right at the holidays. Read more →
Warm muffins, melt-in-your-mouth rolls and all the pumpkin spice you could wish for: hello fall! Now that autumn days are cooler and crisper, I’m ready to take my oven out of its summer retirement. It’s no wonder that Peeper has been wanting to help me in the kitchen, too: She asks to help me make muffins at least once a week.
Of course a preschooler’s “help” in anything, especially an activity that involves dumping large quantities of messy flour, requires a certain amount of air quotes. But she loves it—and inviting a child to participate in choosing, preparing and serving food can encourage her to make healthier food choices in the future, according to research. (Um, do chocolate chip cookies count as a healthy food choice?)
Through plenty of experience, I have come across tips on how to bake with kids—without them losing a finger on a hot oven (or you losing your mind).
A few times a year when I was growing up, my mom would break out the cookie cutters and we’d decorate sugar cookies.
It always seemed like a big event. We’d sort through the mountain of semi-misshapen airplanes, giraffes, gingerbread men and stars, picking out the ones for my mom to use. (There was never any question whether we’d select the Mystery Cookie Cutter, which looked kind of like California and kind of like a stretched-out stocking, of course.) She would lay out the raw dough on cookie sheets, and we kids would go at ’em.
Fluorescent sprinkles, those silver balls that I’m pretty sure were supposed to be inedible, and red hots—which everyone liked to use but no one except my older sister liked to actually eat—were all fair game.
We’d sweep up silver balls and wipe up sprinkles for weeks to come, but the mess was always worth the fun. (Isn’t it always?) Read more →
When you have a baby, all your attention hones in on feeding the newest member of your family. Moms keep track of feeding times and lengths, visit the lactation clinic, figure out latches or bottle flows, and worry if Baby is getting enough to eat.
Brand-new moms spend a lot less time working on feeding themselves, and that’s no good: Parents have enough on their plates without being hangry on top of everything.
So when two friends had babies a few weeks ago, I took the first opportunity to bring them each a meal. Since I’m not terrific at feeding myself, either, I chose recipes that would feed all three of our families!
I also made these coconut-pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies. Yes, it’s important for dinner to meet all your nutritional needs, but in those early weeks of raising a newborn, sometimes a bite of something sweet can get you through that moment when your munchkin poops all over you the second you’re showered and wearing clean clothes for the first time in a week. I added a salad, threw in some tortilla chips and called it a meal. Read more →
We joined friends for brunch and an egg hunt, though Peeper was wary of all the people and the frenetic action at first. She seemed much more into the whole thing once she discovered her eggs contained puffs.
You know when a recipe includes the instruction “stir like the devil” that it’s going to be good.
My grandma (on my mom’s side, Edith’s daughter) baked and sent my family two tea rings every Christmas since I had memories of carols and presents under a tree. We all knew what treat was inside the box addressed with carefully printed letters that arrived on our doorstep every December.
We never dug into the homemade pastry until Christmas morning. We each ate a slice—or several—as we unpacked stockings. I carefully licked my fingers before pulling out a toothbrush, lotto cards and an orange so I wouldn’t smudge my stocking with sticky cinnamon filling.
For me, the soft bread made gooey by butter and baked brown sugar is the taste of the holidays. So when I learned that Grandma wasn’t planning on baking tea ring this year, I knew I had to step up. (Recipe below.)