Yes, I've recently become obsessed with cleaning the kitchen, which perhaps proves that I am my father's daughter after all. My dad is a typical virgo and maintains a pretty spotless environment. Despite being born on the same day as my dad, I've always been the messy child. My sister loves to insist that I would hoard egg shells and onion skins in my room as a child but since I don't remember doing this (or um, selectively blocked those memories out), in Sophie-land this never happened. I'm told that when my uncle house sat for our family once, he was convinced we had been robbed because obviously my room had been looted. Slightly embarrassing.
It's not that I like being messy. I really prefer when things are clean, I just can't be bothered to keep them that way. If I had my way, I would move into a new room every week or so, leaving the old one torn apart and then moving on to a nice, fresh one. Either that or hire a live in house cleaner, that may actually be cheaper.
But since I spend a lot, a LOT, of time in the kitchen, I find that it just makes me less anxious if it's clean all the time since I can't actually conjure up a nice new kitchen whenever I want. Brian is actually quite the clean freak but he won't step near the kitchen, as it's usually so dirty that it gives him panic attacks. With Joe gone all the time at Sweeney Todd rehearsals (the show is now over though, hoorah!), I've been left with the disaster zone that is the kitchen. And I was sick of it. So I've just started cleaning it whenever I have a spare moment and lo and behold it's not disgusting 24-7 anymore. Ah, relief.
However, the cookies are still moving fast (BJ can't resist my cookies, bwa hahaha) and here's what's on my to make list:
- maple meringues from my one true love The Sweet Life
- shortbread from the cookie magazine
- apple galette
- pumpkin muffins. or pumpkin something, hmm.
- apple pie
- banana biscotti
- cornmeal biscotti
- candy cane biscotti. I'm craving biscotti lately.
- My very first Daring Baker's challenge! Each month, a recipe is given to the Daring Bakers community, usually some sort of semi-difficult baking recipe. Everybody posts what they've made on the last day of the month, so it's top secret until then! It's going to be delicious though, stay tuned.
And although I'm not baking something today, I did stew something. The local market I so adored shut down for the winter and I had to get produce at Whole Foods so I got a big bag of local apples for a good price last time I was there, only to discover that 95% of them were bruised and inedible when I got home. *shakes fist at Whole Foods* I didn't want to waste them though, so I made cinnamon applesauce tonight since that kind of hides all apple sins.
This isn't really a recipe since you just throw a bunch of apples in a pot and add what you think needs to be added but none the less:
INGREDIENTS:- a couple lbs apples (I used about seven small)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Pinch salt
- Brown sugar/granulated sugar, optional (I added a little less than a Tbsp this time, it depends how sweet the apples are)
DIRECTIONS:Core the apples, throw them in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the cinnamon stick, lemon, salt and sugar, if using. Cover and let stew, stirring occasionally, until the apples break down, about 25 minutes. Remove the skins, if you want (I left them on this time, it makes the applesauce a pretty color and, if you blend it enough, doesn't change the texture) and then whiz up the apples either with a hand blender or a food processor. I also added a dash ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Chill.
Pretty ridiculously easy. And tasty. I'd do it more often if I happened to have tons of extra lbs of apples sitting around but I usually just eat them as is. I need an apple tree.
The fig cookies continue to be tasty, I sent my mom some as a surprise as she approved of them too, see the comments for details. I baked more of the remaining log yesterday, baking them for the full 15 minutes this time because Joe liked them better crispy. So good both ways, depending on your cookie preference. Yum!