It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving came and went in a blink of an eye. ‘What comes next?”, asked J. who can only tell time by the order in which holidays are approaching. I really wanted to tell him to enjoy the moment, to savor every second he has because time will fly soon enough. But again, I remember my own anxiety with time when I was a child. Soon was never soon enough.
We cooked, we ate and we enjoyed each others company this weekend. Thanksgiving morning we took the kids to the park. It was a beautiful morning and the streets were deserted. We had the park all to ourselves. “Let’s really enjoy dinner” I told C.
It is easy for me to feel rushed at the dinner table with small children, especially when is just us. Just us might make it seem less important sometimes, but I was determined to sit down, enjoy and have a long conversation with my family, just like we used to do growing up. And so we did and it is the special moment I took away with me this weekend.
I spent Saturday morning baking cupcakes and more holiday cookies. C. asked to make his favorite pistachio sandies. Crumbly and soft, covered in melting powdered sugar. One of my all time favorites as well. I took some cupcakes to my friend Lena’s house in exchange of some fresh greens from her garden.
Lunch was simple. I craved simple after all the heavy cooking and eating of the previous days. Thinly sliced apples, forelle pears and fennel with a simple apple cider vinaigrette inspired by Donna Hay’s towering salads.
And so let the holiday baking continue…
Pear, Apple and Fennel Salad
makes 4 servings
2 honeycrisp apples, thinly sliced
4 forelle pears, thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh watercress
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
In a large bowl, combine water and the juice of 1 lemon. Thinly slice the apples, per and fennel and place the slices in the water immediately after to avoid oxidation. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Stack the sliced vegetables and garnish with watercress leaves. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle the vinaigrette on top.
makes 2 dozen 1″ ball cookies
4 oz (115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (45 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup (110 grams) superfine brown rice flour
2 Tbs (20 grams) tapioca starch
1/4 cup (40 grams) pistachios, chopped
pinch of salt
powdered sugar, for rolling
Cream the butter and powdered sugar together for a minute or so. Add the vanilla extract. Add the flour, tapioca starch, salt and chopped pistachios. Mix until the dough comes together.
using a 1″ ice cream scoop, scopp out the dough forming little balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1″ apart.
Bake at 350F for about 15-18 minutes until bottom lightly golden and when touched, they don’t fall apart. Let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Roll them in powdered sugar while still warm.