I know everyone talks about the weather, but seriously, it was 18 degrees when I woke up yesterday. Sometimes I forget how bipolar Kansas/Missouri can be. A few days ago it was in the 40s and a light jacket was enough. Yesterday I was forced to tear apart my apartment to find my winter hat(s) that had been stashed away in some dark corner after I moved in summer...in temperatures in the 90s. Sigh. I guess having no seasons would be boring, right? And cold temperatures mean holiday activities, too! I saw the Messiah for the first time ever this weekend and it was fantastic. Next up? The Nutcracker ballet. I LOVE it. You know what else is good about the cold?
Husky puppies. They like the cold, right? Meet Lois, my friends Joe and Brianne's new puppy. Isn't she SO DAMN CUTE?! Yeah, I got to look at that cute little face last weekend. I felt lucky.
I think we've probably established how much I HATE coconut. Can't really explain it, just don't like the stuff. So the only time it appears on this blog is when it's for someone besides me who will be eating it (see Kelly's birthday or special requests). These basic coconut macaroons were neither. You see, my computer at work almost crashed last week. As in, left for a few more days, I think it would have been totally gone rather than freezing every couple of hours. And my friend, Brad, happens to be the guy who sets up the computers at work. And my new computer happened to take a really, really long time to set up. And he happens to like coconut. And I happened to have a lot of coconut in my cabinet. So I made coconut macaroons. I did not sample them, so I cannot tell you if they were good or bad. They look pretty though!
Currently playing on my TV is a DVRed episode of "Good Eats." I can honestly say I'd never really watched it before seeing Alton Brown in person recently, but I'm pretty fascinated by what he's already taught me (i.e. don't put avocados you're wanting to ripen in the fridge because it will stop the process). Part of seeing him live was getting his latest cookbook, "Good Eats 3: The Later Years."Aunt Betty loves ginger, so we decided to make his candied ginger recipe (which will definitely clear out your sinuses) and then put some in these ginger snaps. The candied ginger came out perfectly. These cookies, not so much. Lesson learned: when weights are given, use an accurate kitchen scale to get the right amount. I'm putting one on my Christmas list. This picture is the edited recipe. Our first batch was....rather flat and thin. But the edited versions were incredibly good and packed a triple ginger punch: ground, candied and fresh.
And really, these cupcakes have no holiday theme whatsoever. I just had an itch to make cherry cola cupcakes again after making them in May. It's a recipe from Cupcake Project and is kind of baffling because it's super runny. It also takes cola extract, which isn't around at regular grocery stores (I got mine at Sweet! Baking and Candy-Making Supply). They're cola-flavored cakes with maraschino cherries in them, a cola-flavored cream cheese icing and the nice little cherry on top. They were a hit at work. I just love recipes that go well! (Posting these to Hoosier Homemade's Cupcake Tuesday.)