Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cookie Time

Submitted by Michelle

The kitchen has always been a magical place for me. From a young age I enjoyed cooking, particularly when I was able to do it with an adult that I loved. Both of my grandmothers were excellent cooks. My Polish grandmother was strict in the kitchen and taught me important details like "don't lick the butter knife!" whilst my Italian grandmother taught me the art of making an oil and vinegar salad dressing (aka Jiampietro sauce, as my family called it) by carefully slicing garlic over the bowl of lettuce, eyeballing the amounts of olive oil and red wine vinegar, and then tossing everything together with her hands.

As an adult, one of my desires has been to inspire the love of cooking in children, just as my grandmothers did for me. Since I don't have any children of my own, I find the next best thing: children of my friends!
These cutie pies belong to my friends Duane and Cheryl. Duane and I have known each other since childhood and when I travel to the Central Coast he and Cheryl always welcome me into their home.

The last time I visited I introduced the kids to the domestic art of baking Snickerdoodle cookies. The lesson was a hit and when I arrived at their house this past Thursday, cookie baking was all Graham, the youngest, could talk about. Not wanting to disappoint my fans, I pulled out my recipe for Snickerdoodles and we headed to the kitchen. The boys got right to work with the measuring and mixing.
And Regan was a big help with the rolling of the dough balls in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
I was in town for a few days so I decided to try out Chocolate and Cinnamon Rugelach with the kids too. Regan was with me every step of the way.
Graham enjoyed spreading the mini-chocolate chips out almost as much as he enjoyed snacking on them.
And Tyler? Well, he got a little distracted by his new baseball bat and went outside to practice with his dad.
Regan and Graham could hardly wait to try out the cookies!
Along with the cookie baking there was a bit of rough housing with dad.

And I got some very high praise from the kids. Graham told me he wanted me to stay with them forever and Regan assured me we would be best friends for a long time.
Yesterday was a holiday and since I wasn't teaching, I decided a little more cookie baking was the order of the day. I rounded up one of my favorite cooking apprentices and set out to try a new recipe for oatmeal, raisin and pecan cookies from Ina Garten's latest cookbook, Back to Basics.
As usual, Ina did not disappoint. The cookies were simple enough to mix together and Ina's tip of roasting the pecans before adding them to the batter was genius.
The dough baked into gorgeous cookies that had the perfect blend of crispiness and chewiness.
Part of the Stampin' Up motto is to "love what we do and share what we love" and I have to say when I am in the kitchen with friends, whether big or small, I am the perfect embodiment of this ideal.

1 comment:

carolyn said...

Loved your blog Michelle. Sounds like you are loved here in the Central Coast!