chocolate sables with sea salt

Friday, December 30, 2011

I once had a friend tell me that when you have a song stuck in your head the antidote is to give it a big finish. That got me thinking about eating during the Holidays. The "song" in my scenario-metaphor being the constant stream of food intake that we've all been participating in since those little bite-size Snickers came on the scene pre-Halloween. 

Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about.

So I say: these cookies are perfect for New Year's Eve! I can't think of anything better to finish off the gluttony of The Season. Let's end it on a high note, people! Let's really seal the deal.

This sable recipe comes straight from a famous chocolatier in Paris. That's right, I said Paris.That means they're good. Those Frenchies know what they're doing.  

These cookies have no egg in them so they're particularly buttery and crumbly in a melt-in-your-mouth kinda way. Also? The double chocolate situation is de la chaîne.*

*off the chain

Chocolate Sables with Sea Salt
recipe ("Korova Cookies") from Dorie Greenspan & Pierre Hermé, Paris

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Scharffen-Berger)
1/2 t baking soda
1 stick plus 3 T unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 t fleur de sel or 1/4 t fine sea salt
1t vanilla extract
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits (I used Scharffen Berger)

Sift or whisk the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together until well mixed and set aside. Cream the butter until light and fluffy in an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle) and then add the sugars, salt and vanilla and beat for another two minutes. Add the dry ingredients bit by bit (on low speed). Take care not to over mix. The dough will be very crumbly. This is good. Add the chocolate bits and mix just until incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and squish it so it sticks together. This part is a bit tricky (because it's so crumbly) but divide the dough in half and shape each half into a log that is about 1 1/2" in diameter. Dorie says: "Cookie-dough logs have a way of ending up with hollow centers, so as you're shaping each log, flatten it once or twice and roll it up from one long side to the other, just to make certain you haven't gotten an air channel." I couldn't agree more. Who wants an air channel?

Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. You can also freeze those suckers for up to a month.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325. With a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut the logs into rounds that are 1/2" thick. If they break, no worries--just squeeze them together. Place the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets 1" apart and bake (one sheet at a time) for 12-14 minutes. They won't look or feel done but this is what you want. They'll cool to perfection.

And I promise: I'm working on a kale soup for next week when we're all contrite and chaste.

Bonne année!

P.S. I looked this up because I've been wondering about it all season...

let your heart be light

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas morning from San Diego...



scenes from the kinda gross bathroom at my pilates place

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Because nothing says *squeaky clean* like lathering up with some sugar cookies.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Remember that short film I told you about shooting ages ago?  Well, it's finally share-able!  "Blind" has been making the rounds at short-film festivals this fall and getting a great response!  Here is the link for you to check it out.....

Hope you enjoy:)

Hope you're having the best weekend...

gingerbread biscotti, tangerine marmalade and how eBay is making me cuckoo

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Holidays!

It's cuckoo over here. So cuckoo lately that I'm multi-tasking right now and literally holding a beer in one hand and typing with the other hunt-and-peck style so I can make my blog-time become me-time. [Does anyone say "me-time" anymore? I've never said it in my entire life until two sentences ago.]

On top of all my everyday stuff, work, auditions, Holiday shopping, shipping and preparations, for some awesome* reason I decided that now would be the perfect time to learn eBay and basically rifle through my entire home for things to auction off. I'm obsessed. And what better time than late December to turn your dining room into an eBay distribution center?** Maybe not the best choice.*** Luckily these pics are close up because what's just out of frame is cuckoo. Cuckoo!

**more sarcasm
***severe understatement

I did miraculously manage to make some cookie and jam gifts.  Sadly, I made the marmalade on the dreariest, rainiest day and the pictures turned out poopy.  Also sadly, I figured I've already tortured you enough with logs of biscotti that looked actually poopy.  So that's why there are no pictures of this gingerbread biscotti in progress.

I fear the marmalade is super bitter. I think I thought I loved marmalade--in theory I do--but the recipe I used didn't specify slicing the suckers wafer-thin, therefore there are large chunks of peel in there. Do people like that? Is the peel supposed to be wafer-thin? These are not rhetorical questions. Shout out, people. I need to know.

It does look pretty though, right? Here is the recipe if you're so inclined.

So guess what? I just begrudgingly set my beer down to walk into the kitchen to find my notes on this biscotti recipe for you and in the six steps in took me to get to the kitchen, I:
  • Totally forgot why I walked in there
  • Started folding a load of laundry that was sitting on the kitchen counter
  • Looked in the fridge to see what I could forage for dinner
  • Ate a piece of cheese
  • Stared out the window
  • Checked my eBay stats
I then wandered back in here (only because the beer brought me back), sat down to grab the computer and...doh! My mind is mush, people. Mush.

So I'm just gonna give it to you this way and keep drinking my beer. FYI, I made it sans dried apricots only because we didn't have any on hand. I probably eBay-ed them.

Big Holiday Smooches,

cool stuff, vol. 7

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hello Lovely People!

Can you believe it's already December 8th? Are you getting in the Holiday spirit? We put up our tree a few days ago and I've been listening to Christmas music over here ad nauseum--it's making me feel awfully Holiday-ish. And I'm planning on making some marmalade and baking some cookies for gift-giving soon. That always puts me in a festive mood. Hopefully I'll get my act together and post some of those shenanigans here. In the meantime, here are some funny/cool links for you to enjoy...

Did you know that WD-40 has over 2000 uses!?

How to prevent your iphone from being stolen.

Is Mercury in retrograde?

The treadmill would be so much less monotonous if we could all do this!

Gingerbread house ideas.

Ah-nold gives good commentary, yes?

This Back To The Future photographer's project is so cool!

This shopping prank cracked me up.

Gorgeous NYC Holiday windows!

Wait until you hear this mullet wet his whistle.

Happy Thursday:)

you are loved

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I went to see Jason Mraz in concert this past week! It blew my mind. I can still hardly talk about it without my heart jumping into my throat. I've been a fan of his for years and have even seen him live before but something about this show and the timing of it touched me deeply.

If you don't know Jason Mraz, his message is so profound and poetic--he is so spiritually awake and it's reflected so beautifully in his songs. And then to have that message coming through a musician who is so talented and technically proficient? Heaven.

But even beyond the music, I was struck by how moved I was just to experience him doing his thing. He's such a shining example of affecting people by fully expressing all that he is, no holding back but no pushing either (kinda like that sweet tree on my street:)). He just lets Something Bigger move through him. To be in his presence and witness that wide-open-ness was the biggest blessing and like a lightning bolt of grace to my heart.

We all have that Big-ness available to us. We are so much more than the circumstances that we think define us. It's nice to be reminded, isn't it?

Here are some of my favorite Jason Mraz songs for you......:)

Jason Mraz by Jolie Jenkins on Grooveshark


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