light and summery cookies: lemon butter biscuits with lemon thyme glaze

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I guess there’s something about shortbread paired with citrus that gets me insane. I must have had at least 6 of these tonight while I was testing the recipe. Needless to say, I skipped dinner, though that was calling for me, too. I just knew that if I had eaten the spaghetti, I would have needed to clean my palate with more cookies—not a good idea.

The whole time I kept thinking about Jerry Seinfeld’s new bit about cookies, which was on David Letterman a couple months ago. I looked everywhere for a clip of it on YouTube, but couldn’t find it. Sorry. If anyone finds it out there, post it in the comments, and then we can all have a good laugh.

So, I decided to make these cookies with thyme because the package of thyme I found at the grocery store had these pretty little flowers in them, and I thought they would look nice in a photograph. If you aren’t brave enough to put an herb you may associate with savory foods into a cookie, then just leave it out. I won’t be offended, and I won’t even say you’re not a foodie.

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What is a foodie exactly anyway? I don’t even know if I am one, much less qualified to determine if others are.

baked eggs in phyllo florets

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Here’s just a quick recipe I thought might be fun.  I thought about making it for ages, and had very high hopes about it.  When the moment arrived, though, I burnt a ton of them trying to get the eggs to cook through.  In the end, I decided to pull them out of the oven when the phyllo was golden brown and microwave them to cook the egg enough to be presentable.  If you’re some sort of purist that refuses to use a microwave, or you just don’t have one, feel free to experiment with the recipe and post your cooking times and temperatures in the comments.  I’d love to know how to get them to work without the microwave.

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fish & chips, or as we yanks might call it: homemade fish sticks and oven fries

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Lately, more than usual, I find myself strapped for time. Keeping up this blog is definitely one of the reasons. Not wanting to cut back on posts, nor have my kids need to go out and join Big Brothers Big Sisters, I’ve decided they’re just gonna have to help in the kitchen. Now we can spend more time together, they can learn how to cook, and the best reason of all: they’ll look cute in the pictures.

I used halibut in this recipe. It’s firm, white, tender, and cuts clean to make perfect fish sticks. The major drawback is price. These fish sticks were not cheap. So, use another firm white fish, such as cod, if you can’t find halibut on sale.

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oh yeah. you’ll be wanting s’more of these.

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I asked my 9-year-old what he thought of these. With his mouth full of icing, he said two words: “Life changing.”

Well, now that you know how I feel about foil dinners, I suppose I should continue in my camping cuisine vein, and tell you how I feel about s’mores. Just like with the foil dinners, I am always giddy with anticipation.

I go and find the perfect stick in the woods, whittle down the end, then gather to the fire circle. I patiently wait for the fire to burn down long enough to produce those mesmerizing, delicately glowing embers. Carefully, I tuck my marshmallow stick between a tangle of logs and kindling to nestle my fluffy white pillow of sugar at the perfect distance from the coals. I carefully turn the stick, ever so gently, with such hyper focus that my toddler could wander too close to the fire and I would literally think twice before ditching the stick and running to his rescue. But, luckily that doesn’t happen, and I keep turning, and turning, until I finally achieve the perfect, golden brown marshmallow, filled with a river of warm flowing confection.

Then it falls off the stick.

So I do it all over again.

When the moment of truth finally arrives, and I have my perfectly cooked marshmallow, I race to the chocolate and graham crackers, shove them together. I sink my teeth in, hoping for the magical transcendence that is surely to result from such a tried and true tradition of Americana. And then . . . nothing. Absolutely nothing. The chocolate never melts enough, the marshmallow somehow instantly cools on contact, and my river of warm flowing confection halts mid bite. I think, Are graham crackers always this dry? And why do we have to use Hershey’s? It’s so chalky.

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So I think, what it boils down to is, I like the idea of s’mores much more than the actual thing.

I hope with these cupcakes, to bring all the s’morey flavors together without disappointing in that moment of truth. The best thing of all is you get to pull out the kitchen torch. I can’t promise it will be as mesmerizing as those red glowing embers, but it will come close.

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