So, in case anyone was wondering when I started this blog (officially) it was on Dec 1, 2011. Yes, my blog is one year old! This is a rather exciting milestone, as so much has been accomplished this year. What started out as a way to reclaim a part of my past that I thought (resentfully) that I could never have again has transformed into an amazing journey. It is my past intertwined with my present, it is acknowledgement that many skills I have earned through hard work, and even tears, are not wasted. This blog has truly become my world of food through the lens and the keyboard. I truly believe G-d gives us many skills, and we are told not to squander them. Knowing that I am using my G-d given talents again in a completely kosher way adds a depth and richness to my life that was sorely lacking.
It’s been an exciting year- anyone who has been following along can see that. It has had it’s lows, sure, but the highs- they have truly outweighed any negative. The meeting of new people, making new friends, learning new things, refining old skills-it has made it all worth while.
So to celebrate, we do it my way. Nothing too fancy, nothing too flash. My recipe for a celebration calls for some family, something good to eat, and a lot of laughter. Add in anything else you like (music, presents, games). DH and I celebrated Motzei Shabbat Chanukah with something really amazing called affogato. Affogato means “drowned” in Italian, and when I saw the recipe in the December issue of Bon Apetite, I knew I was making it.
Affogato is basically a coffee drink (usually hot espresso) poured over gelato or ice cream (the most basic type being vanilla). The recipe in BA called for more of a hot chocolate with added espresso, and they used peppermint ice cream in honor of the season. I like to think I am something of a purist. I made mine with 40 oz vanilla almond milk, a half-pound of semi sweet chocolate, a splash each of vanilla extract and rum, and 6 oz of instant coffee with triple the amount of granules used normally. Bring to a boil, then let sit for a little bit. I had parve vanilla ice cream I made ages ago in my freezer, so that was the ice cream component. I filled the cups with the chocolate mixture, added chunks of the ice cream- and served.
However, if you have a delicious drink like this, you must have a bit of something to go with it! I decided that cookies would be perfect. These cookies are made with gluten-free flour using Michael Ruhlman’s 1-2-3 cookie dough recipe (see previous post). I doubled the recipe, added cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and chopped walnuts. It is not a terribly sweet cookie, but that was alright because it was meant to go with, not compete with the affogato, which was sweet enough as is.
So, you might wonder what is next for the blog. Confession time: I’m not 100% certain myself. There will definitely be more Kosher Connection Challenges, more Holiday Blog Parties, and hopefully more experiments. There is at least one cookbook review on the horizon, and I feel like taking a Cuisine Trip ( that’s when I study and cook from a particular area – I did that in the summer with my posts on Middle Eastern cuisine) back to the style I was trained in -France! I also want to Cuisine Trip through Italy and the UK as well.
In the end, we all know it is man that proposes and G-d that disposes, and I am looking forward to whatever happens- both in my personal and my culinary life- with a great deal of enthusiasm.