Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let the baking begin...

I don't host any major holiday events. I'd kind of like to, but since I'm the junior (or lower) ranking mama in both my and Tom's families, that honor goes to other people (I've lately been realizing that I'm a control freak, and apparently it runs in my family). I've heard of families whose older generations hand over the entertaining duties, but it doesn't seem to work that way in mine.

I still get the urge to cook and bake, but since I don't have to make turkey and stuffing, I get to be as creative as I want. I like to try new things all the time, but I also have consistent requests. This means that I have a set list of things to make for Thanksgiving. I'm on tap for pumpkin rolls (times two - one for the in-laws and one for my grandparents' house), pumpkin pies (times two, both for the in-laws), and fresh cranberry sauce/relish/whatever it is. I thought about canning some ahead of time, but really it's so easy, there's no need.

I think for this year's round of parties, I'm going to try a spinach and artichoke dip like this one from Alton Brown. I've never made it before and Tom asked for it, so it sounds like a fun one.

In addition to what I take to confirmed parties, I love, love, love to bake cookies, make candy and otherwise fatten up myself and those around me. I baked my first batch of chocolate chip cookies today (got back on the treadmill today too). I tend to stick to classics. After many years of searching for the right sugar cookie recipe that didn't need frosting (sorry to the majority of America, but I think frosted cookies are gross) and were nice with just colored sugars. Mrs. Field's Sugar Cookie is my go-to recipe after many flops.

I might branch out and try some caramels again this year. The last time I made them, they didnt' harden as much as I wanted them too. I'm definitely making peppermint bark, per Tom's request. His diet is pretty much out the window with mine for the next two months, I guess.

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