Cutting out ginger snowflakes

Adding some detail...

Brown snowflakes--just like in NYC!

Ready to be iced

Gingerbread Cookies

(from Simply Recipes)

For cookies:

  • 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsulfered molasses
  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and spices. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. Divide dough into thirds, form discs, and wrap each in plastic. Chill one hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temp 5-10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. On lightly floured parchment paper, roll a dough disc to 1/8″ thick. Cut out cookie shapes. Decorate with raisins or candy pieces if desired (and you don’t plan to ice them).
  4. Transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until just crisp, but not browned, 8-10 minutes. Let cool on pan a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 16 5-inch cookies.

Royal Icing

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. Mix the egg white and lemon juice with a third of the sugar. Heat in microwave until the mixture’s temperature is 160.
  2. Beat in the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. If icing is runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency. Fill a piping bag (or ziptop sandwich bag with tip cut off) and use to decorate shapes.

A Frozen Fillet a Day…

December 10, 2009

Catch of the Freezer

Growing up in lovely land-locked Oklahoma, fish “previously frozen” was par for the course at the local grocery and ultimately what ended up on our dinner plates. Mom mostly avoided the fish sticks and opted for “nice Orange Roughy filets” (only recently did I discover this fish is incredibly unsustainable and we probably contributed a tiny bit to wiping out a species–they didn’t tell you ANYTHING in the 80’s).

Choosing healthy, sustainable seafood with low carbon footprints and few contaminants can be one of the most daunting endeavors at today’s market.  The link above is to a piece in the NY Times about a responsible approach to eating fish. It involves a little defrost, but not much compromise on taste or cost. Also, when shopping look for the Marine Stewardship Council’s label (above), which means the fish has been certified sustainable. Definitely forgo the Orange Roughy and try some of these sustainable seafood options, low in mercury and PCBs, and safe to eat at least once a week*:

  • Wild Alaskan salmon (NOT farmed Atlantic salmon)
  • Rainbow trout (farmed)
  • U.S and Canadian Albacore tuna
  • Black Seabass
  • Clams
  • Anchovies
  • Dungeness, King (U.S), and snow crab
  • Crawfish
  • U.S and Canadian Herring
  • Farmed oysters
  • Alaskan pollock
  • Canned salmon
  • Canned light tuna
  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • U.S and Canadian shrimp
  • U.S and Latin American tilapia

*For adults 18-75 years old. Children are advised to eat these less often, 2-4 times a month depending on the species. For more information on the above, click on: Environmental Defense Fund