A Christmas Wish (a few), a happy pantry, kolachke and dining experiences to come

24 Dec

Dear Santa,

Please bring my coworker (and others like her) the ability to marry her wife. I know, this sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense. It is her wife in name only because in Arizona we don’t allow for gay marriage. So my coworker worries if she or her wife should get sick, will the hospital allow visits? Some won’t. It’s really a question of humanity. Please Santa bring gay marriage to AZ. I know it’s a stretch. We’re pretty conservative here. But then, we passed medical marijuana and that worked out, right? Oops!

I know a lot of people aren’t going to agree with my letter. So we can agree to disagree, that’s cool.

One thing that all of us have in common (how do you like that as a theme changer haha) is that we all have to eat. And for the kitchen wench, a happy pantry = a happy kitchen wench.

Last night Mike and I went to Fresh & Easy and Safeway to pick up a few goodies. I was able to stock up on Constant Comment (my favorite tea), Plum Sweets (this is dried plums covered with dark chocolate) and pistachios, so now my pantry is ready for late night holiday snacking. I do enjoy a cup of Constant Comment when I watch the Rachel Maddow show.  Oops! I was going to change the theme. Sorry folks. I guess I feel passionate about this issue.

Also I’d like to ask Santa for the end of religious and racial persecution (Israel especially). Oops! I digressed.

Today I’m making kolachke (how’s that for a theme changer…again) for our Christmas meal tomorrow. Use your food processor – or borrow one if you can since your dough will come together much better than if you use a pastry blender by hand.

Here’s the recipe:

2 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1 8 oz package cream cheese (softened)

1 c butter (softened)

1 tbsp milk and white vinegar (each)

Combine cream cheese, butter and milk. Add dry ingredients and mix to a cornmeal consistency. Form into 4 balls and refrigerate 2 hours minimum (I usually cheat and put the balls in the freezer for 20 mins). Roll out 1/8″ thick and cut into 2 1/2″ squares.

Fill with dried apricots or prunes mixed with a little sugar – you can do this in your food processor (or magic bullet?).

Pinch 2 corners together to form an “envelope.”

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 15 minutes (400 degrees).

When cooled, dust with powdered sugar (I didn’t have any but here’s the finished product).

I made two batches and yielded about 4 dozen cookies. These cookies are highly addictive and we have been making them in my family since I was a little girl. I recommend you make a batch. Buy enough ingredients to make extra batches because you will want lots.

I was talking to my cpa yesterday about dining experiences…she hasn’t been to The Parlor yet.  That reminded me that I hadn’t been to the new location of North yet (40th St./Camelback). The last time I ate at their Kierland location I had a hangar steak with potatoes and a delicious salad with grapefruit and shrimp. I hope both are still on the menu. I just checked, and the steak is still there but not the salad. I will have to request it, or, I could have a beet salad (mmm). Anyways, if you are thinking of going (you should) here’s the menu: http://foxrc.com/downloads/menus/North_40th_Menu-DINNER_Web.pdf

The other place I want to go and try is Kitchen 56. It’s on Indian School and 56th St. The New Times Chow Bella blog gave it a good review (Amy Silverman rocks!), and those guys are pretty food- savvy. I’m thinking I want to try their homemade pasta with slow roasted pork sauce. Here’s their menu if you are similar-minded: http://kitchen56.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/K56-Dinner-Menu-Oct.-2011.pdf

I digress…my cpa also mentioned that her sister is also looking for editorial work at a newspaper (she was laid off at her job) so if anyone out there knows of an editor-type job that is open at a local newspaper please let me know and I will pass on the info.  Thank you Santa in advance for bringing Nancy’s sister a new job.

Merry Christmas!

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