Thursday, November 20, 2008

Accidental Joy and Ginger

Caught up in traffic and dwelling on the difficulties of my book, I arrived home last night in a dispirited mood. The emotional wreckage I found when I walked in the door didn’t help. My daughter started crying because she hadn’t been awarded a certificate or a badge or something at school for being a “super, terrific student.” My son’s teacher had sent notification that DS’s smart-alecky answers on his science homework were unacceptable. So we redid the homework, this time pulling the answers from the reading rather than from our you-know-what. And we made a “you’re a super terrific student” award for DD, complete with curlicues, hearts, and flowers. Temporary peace achieved.

In the interim, I checked in on my blog, out of habit more than expectation. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? A sweet tag from CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta. A random act of kindness to buoy my spirits! A random act that calls for random information from me. And then I tag six bloggers, and so on, and so on. Random ripples across the blog-o-sphere.

So here are The golden rules of tagging:
*Link to the person who tagged you
* Post the rules on the blog posted
*Write six random things about yourself
*Tag six people at the end of your post
*Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
* Let the tagger know when your entry is published

Here are some random facts about NCFoodie:

1) I went to a Star Trek convention when I was 12 (in a year I won’t mention b/c it will date me).

2) I once modeled nude for an art class. (I don’t recommend it.)

3) I love See’s Candy. Nothing’s better than a custom-made box (extra caramel, extra nuts, all dark chocolate) arriving on your doorstep. And I like including a friendly gift-note to my self. Seriously. Something like, "Dear Future Self: You are so going to appreciate me for sending you this candy. Love, Current Self."

4) My high school boyfriend is now a fairly well-known actor on a cultishly popular tv show.

5) I was Tina Fey as Sarah Palin for Halloween. You betcha!

6) I adore frozen margaritas. (Preferably on a beach in the Caribbean but will take them anytime, anywhere.)

I’m happy to tag the following bloggers. Come out and play . . .
/: Beautiful pictures and incredibly delicious sounding recipes. Visit her blog today! Jennifer Adams is a terrific writer who knows her wine and food. Her blog is always eloquent and always informative. Wonderful personal story, great philosophy, and some very yummy recipes. If you like your food writer to have a scientific background, balance is the place to visit. Smart entries, great recipes, and a little education along the way. Nazarina A is a food artist. You will be in awe. A relative newcomer who’s hitting homeruns with her recipes. Everything looks tasty!

Thanks, Rachel for making me an "it" girl. Your comments made my day!!

To keep with our theme of haphazardness and its pleasures, I also offer a random cookie recipe, accompanied by six relatively random statements:

1) Don’t use spray oil on the cookie sheets. It gives these delicate cookies an odd aftertaste.
2) The recipe underestimates the amount of crystallized ginger you’ll need. Chop about twice as much.
3) These cookies go well with tea.
4) Add more lemon zest for more lemon flavor. Duh.
5) I had to bake them longer than the recommended time.
6) In the words of Lolcat: “I can has cookeez?”

Ginger & Lemon Cookies
from The Best of Fine Cooking: Cookies

1 Cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest.
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/1 Cups flour
2 Tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1 lightly beaten egg white

Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three large cookie sheets with parchment. In a large bowl combine butter, 3/4 Cup sugar, grated ginger, lemon zest, and salt. Using an electric mixer on medium, beat the mixture until well blended and light, 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl; add egg yolks and vanilla; continue mixing until blended. Add flour and mix on a low speed until dough is blended and just comes together. Shape balls of dough into 1-inch balls, set them 1 1/2 inches apart on cookie sheets. In shallow dish, mix remaining 2 Tbs. granulated sugar until blended. Press the dough balls flat with the palm of your hand, brush the tops with egg white, sprinkle on the ginger-sugar mixture. Press with bottom of metal measuring cup to ensure that the topping adheres. Bake one sheet at a time for 11-13 minutes. Let cool and store in airtight container.


CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta said...

I'm so glad a little tagging brightened up your day a bit. :) And you noticed the pun! That brightened my day. I really love reading your stuff. When I was a bright-eyed undergrad and even prior to that, all I wanted to be was a writer. Some major trials and tribulations followed after getting my undergrad and then my master's so I've found myself in a tech job as a project manager. Its semi-fulfilling work because we make serious video games for learning and training, but the whole point to this rant is meeting people like you with a career, family, and a food addiction whom still write is truly, absolutely inspiring.

ncfoodie said...

You *are* a writer. That's the beauty of blogging. Plus you're so young (I was only beginning grad school at your age). Who knows what unexpected turns your work life will take in the future?

My son would think he'd died and gone to heaven if he could make video games:)

Nazarina A said...

Thank you so much for labeling me a food artist! I am indeed flattered.

Do you know how much I love ginger ?
I could just sink my eager teeth into your cookies and still maintain a ladylike appearance in doing so LOL!
I love this tag thing ha! ha!
I make a ginger and lime soap!
You are indeed a fascinating writer! Will you let me know about your book? !!

Jennifer said...

Yum! What a delicious combination, ginger and lemon. I'm looking around for cookie recipes for the holidays and I will definitely try this one out!

Thanks for tagging me and the compliments on my blog!

Joie de vivre said...

Thank you so much for tagging me! It is an honor. :)

Anonymous said...

I am so honored by your comments and thanks for the tag!

;) amy

ncfoodie said...

Nazarina, Jennifer, Joie de Vivre, and Amy,
It was my pleasure to tag you all. Thank you for stopping by:)

Jenious said...

Thanks for the tag and kind words! I just posted my response at:


chou said...

Thank you for the tag! What a pleasant surprise when I returned home from Thanksgiving break. :) My thinking cap is on.