Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Poetry Tuesday: Sweet Revenge

Fun Dip

I, whom you lick,
I am burning on your tongue I am your lost youth
I am a trip I am a trick I am the true truth
I powdered out along the hillsides of your tongue's scoop.

I am your: fun dip,
Your brain's in: deep slip,
You cannot: come nor quit
And there's: no use.
I am a flash, I am a sneeze, I am a screw loose.
I'm sugared trash, I ride the breeze, I take abuse.

I, whom you dip,
I am cooling in your cheek I am your white knight
I am an eagle soaring peering through your skylight
I crunch like aspirin in your teeth I put up no fight.

I am your: lik-m-stik,
I taste: so opposite,
You think you have: a grip
And then: you flip.
You are alone, you are undone, you've come to care.
You're lying prone, you taste the fun, you dip you dare.

Poetry Tuesday: They're only words.

DUMBO wall

(I made this pretend-it's-a-poem by linking together search terms people typed in before landing on Snackreligious.)

All We Want To Know About

Chex Mix with toffee, pie crust snack,
Where does Cheese it, it's the cops come from?
Tongue hurts from candy (7th recipe) Stauffer
chocolatey star, Stauffer chocolatey star.

Drunking and drifing,
My five senses,
Poems about the seafood - Asian hotdog,
Ready salted chipsticks. Sarah Vaughan.

Sara Moulton poetry, soundtrack snack,
How to pronounce spoon in Bulgarian.
Can parrots eat vanilla pudding? Chocolate covered graham,
Minion of Gozer,

Adjective essay my favorite chocolate Kit Kat
-- Snack religious.
-- Snackreligious.
Cheez Its poems, Jenny snack blog,
Snackreligious. Snackreligious.

[...to be continued]

p.s. Kids! Please do not drunk and drife!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A sign of things to come

New burger place in the neighborhood! What, no turkey burger?

I was told Mother's was being opened by the owners of Harefield Road (great brunch spot), but it is actually being opened by the owners of Daddy's (decent local bar). It replaces Mighty Diamond (a vegan Jamaican place I only ate at once; turns out I don't like fake cheese), which was also owned by the Daddy's people.

p.s. According to the article linked above, Action Burger has reopened as Comic Burger!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Unwrap and Serve

Food and Beverage Gifts

Potable and Comestible Christmas Presents Received, 2008

1. Alaskan Kelp Pickles
2. Pike Place Market Chai
3. Farmer's Popcorn Cob (pops on the cob!)
4. Caramel Apple Chocolates
5. Spirited Cherries
6. Pickled Baby Corn
7. Gettysburg Cherry Balsamic Grilling Sauce
8. Lemon Gibralters
9. Cutler Cyrus' Original Ammo-Pak Cartridge Candy, Musket Ball Candy, and Black Powder Candy
10. Assorted chocolates, candies, trail mix and candy bars (in stocking)
11. Blueberry Green Tea
12. Raspberry Fruit Infusion tisane

Thank y0us to: A, M, R, Mom, and Dad

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Eat No Evil.

Hear No

While in Pennsylvania, we had the pleasure of an afternoon at Zerns.


Zerns is an auction-house-meets-farmers'-market-meets-food-court-meets-junk-shop-meets-craft-fair-meets-strip-mall-meets-99-cent-store-meets-army-navy-surplus-store-meets-profitable-lost-and-found-meets-arcade.

There is a lot of stuff there of varying quality. But I don't want to say anything bad about my Zerns experience. Those monkeys have the right idea. I just want to mention what I ate there.

Special Eggs

Mustard eggs (50 cents each) taste sweet, like mustardy potato salad melted into hard boiled eggs. I would definitely eat more of these. Find them at the Weidner's Deli stand.

Home of the mustard egg

Mustard Egg
(photo by Dan)

Mmmmmmustard egg!


Pepper Turkey Jerky had a honey-sweetness and was neither too hard to chew nor too soft to be considered true jerky. This was also sold by the Weidner's Deli people.

Funnel Cake

Funnel Cake is a family favorite, and we all shared a plateful. There was so much powdered sugar on this that I had to knock some of it off into the trash. If you've never aspirated powdered sugar, you probably haven't had funnel cake.

Pickles (#2)

At Dietz & Watson, I chose a big, spicy dill pickle. Though each bite was only moderately spicy, the sensation built throughout my eating the pickle into a surprisingly strong, heated finish. I do enjoy a good dill pickle. Nothing evil in my mouth today! Thank you, Zerns.

Speak no

p.s. We had dinner at Funky Lil' Kitchen in Pottstown. The name? Not my favorite. The food? Quite good! I especially liked the buttery, nutty orzo that came with my crab cakes and the dessert of pot de creme.


Philly's Best Soft Pretzels 2008

Dad and Dan picked up some Pretzel Depot pretzels yesterday morning.

These aren't just any pretzels. They're prize-winners -- declared this year's Best Traditional Soft Pretzels in the Philadelphia Independence Visitor Center's annual pretzel month contest (October is National Pretzel Month).

According to my mom, this is what a Philly pretzel is supposed to taste like. They're terrific, says me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

No ham or turkey for us!

Quick, eat!
(phone photo by Dan)

For this pastor's (and pastors') kid, Christmas was never really about the food. Or, rather, part of our Advent and Christmas celebration each year was certainly about cookies, bread, sparkling non-alcoholic beverages, and cinnamon rolls, but we don't really do a big Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner along the lines of the Thanksgiving-style feasts in which many other families indulge.

This year, with two services to go to and just 30 minutes or so in between, Christmas Eve Dinner was a hastily grabbed and eaten assortment of pizza, cheesesteak, and french fries from Palermo's (4 locations in the Philadelphia suburbs). I didn't try the cheesesteak, but the fries were fresh, crispy, hot, and great. I'm told they're the best. The pizza was also excellent - thin, hot and not at all greasy. The owner was at the Pottstown location when we picked it all up, and he's a friendly, decent guy. I wish it were my local pizza joint.

Another treat from Tia


One of the items in Tia's Goodie Box was this roll of Necco Wafers. Necco are (is?) made in Revere, MA by the New England Confectionary Co. I've been aware of Necco rolls, of course, but I have no solid memory of eating them as a child. I vaguely imagined I found them chalky and dissatisfying, but I was game to try them as an adult to see what I thought.

Upon inspecting the packaging, I was horrified to discover that one serving = one roll. No way would I be eating the whole thing in one sitting. In fact, I ended up sharing the remainder of these with my coworkers, some of whom are bigger Necco fans than I.

I was pleased to discover that each color was a different flavor. They're not tasteless at all, though I still found them a little dry, hard, chalky, and dull. They taste like old Valentine's Day candy hearts. I suppose that could be comforting if you startle easily. They'd be a good candy for the brittle (not unlike the Necco, actually) elderly or infirm - you know, people who need to be kept calm.

My Necco rainbow breakdown:

Red - very little flavor, like a candle's scent - or the scent of flame? Peppermint, then.
Orange - faintly, fairly orange.
Yellow - mild, mild, mild with an almost-citrus whisper at the end.
Green - clear-tasting, like some kind of nontoxic pine cleaner. Lime.
Violet - Sort of soothing, like cinnamon if it weren't at all spicy.
White - blank + vanilla, like a page from a book rendered as candy; again there is a sense of almost-spice, and finally - cinnamon?

They grew on me. I have no contempt for the Necco. I even had a few extra, beyond what my taste-testing required. But I didn't finish the roll. I left that to the more diehard, true fans. It seemed only fair.

The final word on Necco? Jane said it well when she commented, "Sure do taste old-fashioned...Candy's come a long way."

Perky, popping pick-me-up.

Pop Rocks in waiting

When you're sleepy enough that your average, workaday sugar isn't going to cut it, try a peck of Pop Rocks. Sweet and snappy with audible and textural zizzow, a slug of these potent poppers just might keep keep you on your toes and awake longer than some silent sugar would. So the Strawberry isn't strictly Strawberry? It's still a pinch of pick-me-up you can trust to put the vig back in vigor for a time.

You're gonna come down, though. Watch out for that crash.

(Thanks, Tia!)

Photo Essay: What is Enyo?

Enyo 1

Enyo 2

Enyo 3

Enyo 4

Enyo 5

  • tasted like: pear and coconut; a Goya fruit nectar
  • faintly fermented ?
  • sweet
  • thin, but tastes thick
  • Paul says v. popular in Korea; I can't argue!

You can kiss your Elbow.

Elbow chocolates

Mike introduced us (generously, I might add) to Christopher Elbow Chocolates. If you're in Kansas City, San Francisco, Washington D.C., or Chicago, you're in a good spot to get yourself some of these artisanal treats. They'll deliver, too, if you'd like to place an order online.

Pictured above are a pair of Citrus Caramels (with orange, grapefruit and tangerine) and a pair of Caramel with Fleur de Sel chocolates. These are smooth, deep, and creamy confections. They stay with you in the sweetest way.

Most of the flavors look worth adding to my life list some day.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Recipe Box

Dry Sink

I believe I offered to share links and sources for Cookie Party recipes. Here you go!

Artichoke dip - recipe from Angela. I added extra red pepper flakes this year. Guests seemed to appreciate the heat.

Boy Scout Bars - I found this recipe online (not on the Food Network site) years ago. I change what kind of chips I use in it each year. A couple of people mentioned to me that these are their favorites.

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cookies - from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion (I used their Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie for this recipe). I made these at the party so they'd be warm from the oven. They spread out quite a bit - more than I personally like - but were popular.

Cheese Puffs - source unknown (hand-copied into a spiral notebook). These are winners. I adore them. I used black sesame seeds.

Butter Cookies

Chocolate Butter Cookies with Mint Glaze - recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated Magazine. I put mint extract in the glaze instead of in the cookie. I like the espresso powder in these. It is such a nice flavor.

On the fourth day of Christmas,

Chocolate Wakeups - from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. Cayenne pepper is a surprising, terrific addition.

First, cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, a pinch of black pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Add 1 egg and stir to combine. Stir in 3/4 cup cocoa, then 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Stir again. I did all this in my stand mixer, but I'm sure you could do it by hand.

Roll into balls and flatten with the bottom of a juice glass dipped in sugar. Bake for 10-11 minutes at 375 F (on an ungreased cookie sheet), remove from oven, and cool cookies on a rack.

On the sixth day of Christmas,

Citrus Sizzlers - from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. Another cookie with cayenne, these build in heat the more you eat!

On the fifth day of Christmas,

Cocoa Snowflakes - from chef Gina DePalma of Babbo, via SeriousEats. This was my favorite cookie of the year. I'll make them again soon. Chocolate, orange, and pistachio are such a treat together.

Coconut Joe Froggers

Coconut Joe Froggers - from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion (no crystallized ginger or dates in mine). I liked these with the addition of the coconut. The rum makes them unlike other molasses cookies.

On the 9th day of Christmas,

Cornflake Cookies - Tia sent me a link to this MySpace cookie exchange, which included Sue's Cornflake Cookie recipe (below). I enjoyed them, and they were one of Rory's surprise favorites, but I think they could use something.

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1tsp cream of tartar
1tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup flour
1tsp vanilla
2 cups cornflakes (do not crush!)
optional-1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add cream of tartar, baking soda, and vanilla. Add flour, mix well. Add cornflakes, folding in by hand, be careful to not crush them too much. Roll into walnut sized balls, press with fork. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cranberry Walnut Bars - recipe from Mom. Usually I make these with pecans. They're moist and great either way.

Crispix Mix - Dan adapted a Chex Mix recipe found online through a Google search (actual site unknown). It's his specialty! I like Crispix better than Chex in a snack mix - cheaper ingredients and bigger pieces to crunch.

On the third day of Christmas,

Deluxe Sugar Cookies - old Betty Crocker recipe, copied down by Mom. This is a classic, buttery cookie that can be soft and thick or thin and delicate.

Double Decker Peanut Butter Chocolate Marbled Meltaway Fudge - recipe from Mom. I want to go to there.

English Toffee

English Toffee - source unknown (hand-copied into a spiral notebook). So easy! So tasty! Makes a ton!

Hot Buttered Rum - from Allrecipes. I always play around with which spices to add (and how much sugar I put in). This is a decadent hit.

Hot Cranberry Tea - adapted from a recipe in 365 Foods Kids Love to Eat. This is like a tangy cranberry-orange cider or punch. I've played around with spices here, too. It's good plain (as I prefer it) or spiked with rum or Maker's Mark. Kevin T. liked it best cold.

Karen's Pecan Shortbread - recipe from Mom. It's flaky, mild, and lovely.

Currant and Lingonberry Jam Daisies

Lingonberry and Currant Jam Daisies - from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. I hadn't made these before. They stored surprisingly well between layers of waxed paper. I'm glad I used good jam, for the cookies are very simple.

On the 11th day of Christmas

Magnolia Peanut Butterscotch - adapted from this peanut butter recipe on Smitten Kitchen (I added butterscotch chips, which was my sister Cali's idea). It's a comforting, soft cookie.

Margarita Cookies

Margarita Cookies - another recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I wish these had a "jucier," bright citrus flavor, but the flaky texture and the salt and sugar around the edges are perfect.

Midnight Rum Balls - recipe found in a discussion thread on Chowhound (scroll down to the comment byAnneInMpls on Dec. 02, 2005). They're like falling into a tasty black hole of Oreo and rum. Very few people could identify the ingredients (beyond rum). Bonus: vegan! Double bonus: no bake!

On the 8th day of Christmas,

Monster Cookies - adapted from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion (I used their soft oatmeal cookie recipe and added peanut butter, M&Ms, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips to it). This isn't the perfect recipe, but it's getting there.

On the 12th day of Christmas,

Nutella Kisses - source unknown (hand-copied into a spiral notebook). I wish these were softer, but they have a great finish, so if you like a crispier cookie I recommend them.

Combine 1 3/4 cups flour + 1 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp salt.

In mixer, cream 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/2 c. butter, softened.
Add: 1/2 c. Nutella Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread and mix.
Add: 1 egg + 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix.

Stir dry ingredients into wet, just to combine. Roll cookie dough into walnut-sized balls. Soll in sprinkles or sanding sugar (I used sugar).

Bake 8 minutes on silpat or greased cookie sheet. Place a chocolate kiss (I used miniature ones because I made my cookies slightly smaller) in the center of each cookie. Bake an additional 3 minutes. Cool on a wire rack!

On the 10th day of Christmas,

Pignoli - from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. This is an expensive cookie to make (marzipan and pine nuts are not cheap). If you can't find lemon oil, like I couldn't, either don't substitute limoncello - which is what I tried - or do use it as a substitute but be prepared to add a lot more almond flour (I made my own almond flour) to make up for the added wetness). They came out well despite my missteps.

Salty Oatmeal Cookies

Salty Oatmeal Cookies - from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. These look boring, but taste great.

Savory Meatballs - recipe from Mom. I use ground turkey instead of ground beef. I can't overstate how much people love these.

On the first day of Christmas,

Snickerdoodles - recipe from Mom. This is one of my all-time favorite cookies. Store them with a piece of bread (at room temp) in an air-tight container and they'll stay soft.

Spritz 2

Spritz Cookies - recipe from Mom. These cookies are mostly butter, and they're also one of Nauser's favorites. I make them every year in a couple of shapes and one or two colors with an antique aluminum cookie press.

Triple Ginger Spice

Triple Ginger Spice Cookies - adapted from an Epicurious.com recipe. Last year, I used applesauce instead of egg and a mixture of vegetable shortening and vegan "butter." This year, I used all vegan "butter," but slipped up and used an egg instead of making them vegan again. Last year they were softer, but the flavor has been tops both years. I always add freshly grated ginger to this recipe.


So, is anyone wondering about the final cookie count? My number will be inexact because I baked cookies during the party without counting them, but I got several hundred cookies past 1700! And that's just adding up the 21 kinds of cookies (including bar cookies) I made this year, not counting the other sweet and savory treats I prepared. Whew!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

The tree wasn't as big as in years past, but there were still plenty of Christmas traditions to enjoy this morning. To name a few:

A tradition.

Hot chocolate in Christmas mugs (we added a spoon of fair trade Moroccan Mint cocoa to each Swiss Miss instant packet's contents).

Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast

Warm, Mom-made cinnamon rolls.



If today was a holiday for you, I hope it was a happy and delicious one!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Poetry Tuesday - A Cookie Party Pet.

Beaver-tailed cat

The beaver-tailed cat
Has stars for toes
And on its butt, a kiss.
Who made this cat? I say,
Cat, who made you?
Beaver-tail, whiskers,
Red fur, paddle tail came into my heart
-- Blink, mew, sniff: stardust! --
On those little cat feet.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Morning After

Who brought the baby Jesus this pie?

My 12th Annual Holiday Cookie Party was last night. I woke up this morning, an hour and a half after my alarm started going off, feeling as jittery on sugar as if I'd had several cups of coffee before bed. My stomach growled savagely over the half an orange I then ate, as if my body were suggesting I didn't eat sensibly yesterday.

But the menu seemed sensible to me...

Featured Cookies
1. Butternut Chocolate Chip Cookies (contain pecans) - new recipe!
2. Chocolate Butter Cookies with Mint Glaze
3. Chocolate Wakeups - new recipe!
4. Citrus Sizzlers
5. Cocoa Snowflakes (contain pistachios) - new recipe!
6. Coconut Joe Froggers (vegan) - new recipe!
7. Cornflake Cookies (contain pecans) - new recipe!
8. Deluxe Sugar Cookies to decorate
9. Karen's Pecan Shortbread - new recipe!
10. Lingonberry and Currant Jam Daisies - new recipe!
11. Magnolia Peanut Butterscotch - new recipe!
12. Margarita Cookies - new recipe!
13. Monster Cookies (contain peanuts) - new recipe!
14. Nutella Kisses (contain Hazelnut) - new recipe!
15. Pignoli (contain almonds) - new recipe!
16. Salty Oatmeal Cookies - new recipe!
17. Snickerdoodles
18. Spritz Cookies (contain almond extract)
19. Triple Ginger Spice Cookies

Savory Bites
Artichoke Dip and crackers
Baby Carrots and Hummus
Cheese Puffs
Crispix Mix (vegan)
Dried Wasabi Peas

Bars and Other Sweets
Boy Scout Bars
Cranberry Walnut Bars
Double Decker Marbled Meltaway Fudge (contain peanut butter)
English Toffee (contain almonds)
Midnight Rum Balls (vegan) - new recipe!

Hot Cocoa
Hot Cranberry Tea
Hot Buttered Rum
Milk, Water, Assorted teas

A lot of people have been asking for recipes, so when I have time I will post links for the recipes that can be found on the internet. I'll also talk more specifically about what worked and what didn't work. Right now, though, I've got to get some of these leftovers to work.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

USA Up! All Night

On the 10th day of Christmas,

Last night I was up until 2:30 am, mostly doing dishes in between batches of cookies (and before cookies and after cookies). I am completely out of tupperware-type containers (and room in my freezer) in which to stash cookies. I just put a bunch of cookies inside a Fluffernutter bucket with tinfoil on top (because I accidentally threw away the lid).

On the 11th day of Christmas

Going on right now in our home: Margarita Cookie creating, Little Big Planet playing, paper chain making.

Cookie Count: 1564

On the 12th day of Christmas,

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