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I've been busy with work and haven't had time to do sit down and read a book of food writing or to relax with a new cookbook. I have, however, been cooking and drinking.
Wine: We've been having fun trying new wines. Our strategy is to go to the liquor store and buy what's on sale, taking our chances. Two new-to-us wines that we enjoyed are Stemmari Nero D'Avola Sicilia 2010 and Parker Station Pino Noir 2009. The Stemmari had mild tannins and nice fruit flavor. But I need to warn you that this seems to be an inconsistent vintage, because the second bottle wasn't as good as the first. The Parker Station had spicy notes and maybe cherry. We found it light and tasty.
Fruit and vegetables: It's full-on apple season here and I've made several pints of applesauce to stock the freezer. I plan to make apple crisp this weekend and dried apples next weekend (I have a dehydrator). In sad news, I've picked up my last CSA basket of the year. We got plenty of root vegetables and squash to last a few weeks, but I always hate having to return to the grocery store.
Cookbooks, Food Writing: I have a small stack of foodie books I'm looking forward to reviewing. Three on the very top of the list are Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever, Bitter Brew by William Knoedelseder, and Risotta with Nettles by Anna Del Conte. The first is a cookbook that concentrates on (duh) vanilla. I'm learning a lot and will share in a few weeks. Bitter Brew is about the rise and fall of Anheuser-Busch and Risotto with Nettles is a memoir by a well-known British cookbook author. Both look really good and I can't wait to dig in.
Baking: Recently we had a craving for something sweet, but I was feeling a bit lazy. Then I remembered this easy treat that is tasty and quick to put together (if you ignore the time for cooling). I found this years ago when a friend of mine discovered that she was gluten sensitive. You'll see that it calls for peanut butter, which I can no longer eat (drat late-life allergies). I make it with Sunbutter, a peanut butter substitute. I bet it's even better with the real thing. Unfortunately, I didn't save the source for this recipe. And I think I must have had an extra glass of wine that night because all my photos were blurry or otherwise unusable. Ooops!
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup melted butter
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter together and mix well. Spread on the cooled cookie base and chill in refrigerator until the topping hardens. Cut into whatever size squares you'd like.
These freeze well.