Holiday Odds and Ends

In a flurry of powdered sugar and a blink of the eye, this holiday season sure seems to have gone by. Fine, I'll stop rhyming. I've put my kitchen to the max these last few days and let me tell you, nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit quite like baking for hours on end in an apartment with continuous uncontrolled heat when it's sixty three degrees out. Yeah, global warming sucks. 

I digress. I decided to make some holiday plates for people and places that take extra special care of me. The kind of people that are awesome even when the rest of the universe isn't. A favorite restaurant. The mechanic. You know. I narrowed it down to three family recipes: loaded brownies, candy cane cookies, and anise almond biscotti.

Now, while all of these recipes have been adapted from one source or another over time, they are still family secrets. The one I am comfortable divulging is that of the loaded brownies. My Auntie Mary made these and sent them to college for me and in a matter of minutes the whole floor was in my dorm room. These are crowd pleasing brownies and can be made with any brownie recipe. I prefer the dense, fudgy brownie from Food Network (number 11). Once I make that base I add more chocolate chips, chopped walnuts and top the whole thing off with toffee. And the crowd goes wild.

I had also planned to include shots of my DIY Christmas gifts of homemade marshmallows. You can fill in the gaps, I'm not going to elaborate any further. Let's just say my stand mixer wasn't up to the job.

Despite the setbacks I'm continuing to test the limits of my kitchen (and my sanity).  With only a handful of wake ups before winter break I hope to have a few more ideas on here this month. Until the next dish, ciao!