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End of 2012 Photos, Part 2: Fargo, ND

Fargo, North Dakota

What better way to end 2012 than by posting photos from our Thanksgiving trip to Fargo, North Dakota. My mom recently moved back there (where she’s from) after 40 some-odd years of living in Chicago. I remember going to Fargo somewhat regularly while growing up, but I had not been back there for probably 20 years. It was an adventure.

We stayed at the Hotel Donaldson (from now on, referred to as the HoDo), which if you are going to Fargo, is where you need to stay. You will look at the prices and you will think to yourself, “Really?”

But my advice to you is to move past that and just do it (especially if you can swing the non-refundable, advanced purchase rate). There are tall ceilings, fluffy beds, exposed brick walls and a lot of art in the walls. A very modern vibe with an historic building charm. And here’s one of my most favorite things — the bathroom towels were super plush and steel grey in color. Non-white hotel towels. That is so unexpectedly awesome. Towel win!

The hotel also has North Dakota’s only AAA 4 diamond restaurant and a pretty nice lounge-bar-type eatery. . . . → Read More: End of 2012 Photos, Part 2: Fargo, ND

End of 2012 Photos: Seattle

Seattle

I am taking these last few, precious days of 2012 to post things that I should have posted much, much earlier. This trip to Seattle for instance, happened way back in September but unfortunately, time got away from me. Hopefully, I can do a much better job in 2013. That’s the goal anyway.

But back to September — we headed up to Seattle to see the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center (hey! the exhibit is there until 1/6/13! But you can no longer take photos), we ate a lovely dinner at Lecosho and we stayed at Hotel Andra. It was just a quick overnight trip but it was a lot of fun. Here are the pictures.

Seattle King Tut Exhibit
I wish I remembered to take photos of all the informational notes for each item. Fail.

Seattle King Tut Exhibit Akhenaten
This however, I know is Akhenaten. While in college, I took a whole class on his reign. Monotheism!

Seattle King Tut Exhibit Akhenaten
A really huge Akhenaten statue. Sun god. Amarna style.

Seattle King Tut Exhibit Tutankhamen
A gold funerary mask. And . . . → Read More: End of 2012 Photos: Seattle

FFwD: Go-with-everything Celery Root Puree

Go-with-everything Celery Root Puree

Okay, so this will be a fairly quick French Fridays with Dorie, as I’m currently traveling and in the wilds of northern California (Ferndale, to be exact). Back home in pdx tomorrow, hooray!

Celery Root Puree. So. Yeah. I actually kind of liked this but I wasn’t a huge fan. As in, I’m glad I tried it but I’m not sure I’ll be making it again. We had this with our pre-Christmas dinner before a week of traveling.

Okay, a link to everyone’s posts and photos. And happy New Year!

Go-with-everything Celery Root Puree
Celery Root is kind of ugly, non?

Go-with-everything Celery Root Puree
After peeling. A little better but still kind of aesthetically-challenged.

Go-with-everything Celery Root Puree
Simmering in the milk and what-not. I think I added garlic too.

Go-with-everything Celery Root Puree
Pureed and ready to go! I actually made it the day before and then reheated.

Go-with-everything Celery Root Puree
Our pre-Christmas dinner: roasted game hens stuffed with millet, rosemary & lemon zest, roasted root vegetables (acorn squash, carrots, parsnips, fennel & garlic), celery root puree, and salad. And wine.

. . . → Read More: FFwD: Go-with-everything Celery Root Puree

FFwD: Cheez-it-ish Crackers

Cheez-it-ish Crackers

When I think of Cheez-its, I don’t immediately think of France, but in the spirit of French Fridays with Dorie, I’m willing to go with it. Perhaps French people just looooove Cheez-its? Kind of like Jerry Lewis?

There’s also probably an intro to the recipe or something that explains this connection but the book is downstairs and I am up here and it’s 7:00 AM and I don’t plan on going downstairs again until leaving for work. So there’s that.

Okay, notes and stuff:

1. I have been making a lot of crackers lately. That is a lot of butter. I have been trying this new thing where I replace about 1/3 – 1/2 of the butter called for in cracker recipes with olive oil. That worked here!

2. For cheese, I used mostly cheddar with just a little manchego added in.

3. Speaking of all of my cracker-making of late, I have started using a shortcut where I roll the dough out on parchment, then use a pastry cutter (like a small pizza cutter with a decorative edge), to slice the dough into crackers, and then just bake them like that (not separating them out). That technique was moderately . . . → Read More: FFwD: Cheez-it-ish Crackers

Holiday Cookies: Festive Fireplaces

Chocolate Fireplace Cookies

Over the weekend, I had a plan to make holiday cookies, the kind with frosting and everything. And at the end of the day (and a fairly cramped right hand later), I’m proud to say that I ended up with these cute little fireplace cookies.

They’re especially nice because you can make them as Christmas-y as you want or even adapt the decorations to whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year. You could also just make and eat them because it is winter and you are sitting in front of a warm, toasty fire (meta). They are very versatile cookies.

Chocolate Fireplace Cookies

I also made these using one of my new favorite ingredients — black cocoa powder.

Black Cocoa Cookies
Original recipe origin unknown
1 1/2 cups butter, softened (I have also used 1 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter in this recipe and it works just as well)
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups AP flour
1 /2 Dutch process cocoa
1/2 cup black cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, combining well. Add . . . → Read More: Holiday Cookies: Festive Fireplaces