Lemon, Rosemary and Olive Oil Shortbread

Lemon, rosemary and olive oil shortbread

My grandmother Mimi was known for her homemade shortbread. Unfortunately, I can’t remember ever tasting her shortbread. She was 70 years old when I was born and, naturally, her cooking aspirations declined with age. By the time I was old enough to help in the kitchen, she wasn’t doing much cooking. We made old-fashioned fudge together, I remember that. She always served me bacon and Welch’s grape fruit for breakfast because it was just what I wanted.

I pick up on little tidbits about Mimi’s cooking from my dad, like that she fried her grilled cheese sandwiches with some shredded cheese on the outside like I do. And last winter, the scent of my friend’s pot roast almost brought me to my knees—not because I love the smell of beef, but because it took me back in time to Mimi’s kitchen.

olive oil shortbread ingredients

Mimi was born in 1915, the last of five children. My great grandmother’s family came from Scotland so maybe shortbread runs in the blood. Rumor has it that in high school, Mimi decided to add an “e” to the end of her middle name because she liked the extra flourish it provided. Mildred Kathryne looks nice, I think. She had two sons, seventeen years apart, with my grandfather. The love of her life. When I was little, their exceptional fondness for one another was as real and warm as Mimi’s soft cashmere sweaters.

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Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried cauliflower soup

Did you survive Thanksgiving? Good. Me too, barely. While in Oklahoma, I ate German chocolate cake for breakfast (more than once), overdosed on queso (entirely necessary) and cheered on the karaoke singers at a smoky Oklahoma City dive bar. Now it’s Monday, which means it’s time to get back into the swing of things. I’m going to need another cup of coffee for this.

cauliflower and onions

Which reminds me: I’m out of half and half for my coffee. I’m also out of fresh greens and produce, so my lunch options are looking bleak. I really wish I had more of this Thai-spiced, roasted cauliflower and coconut milk soup. It’s creamy, yet dairy free, and loaded with good-for-you vegetables and spices. It’s exactly what my body needs after all that chocolate and cheese.

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Fresh Cranberry Margaritas

Fresh cranberry margaritas

Cookie and I zoomed five hours down I-35 to Oklahoma on Monday. When I left, I was still feeling a little sour about being the only single person at last weekend’s Friendsgiving. Sharing that dark drive through Kansas with just my loyal co-pilot and Jad and Rob from Radiolab was pretty nice, though.

This margarita has been on my mind ever since I saw it in Bon Appetit’s November issue, but I didn’t get around to making it until right before I left town. I couldn’t part with such an irresistible cocktail, so I poured it from its gold-rimmed glasses into a decidedly less glamorous pickle jar and stored it in my trunk. It glows at me like pink kryptonite every time I open my parents’ refrigerator.

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Roasted Delicata Squash, Pomegranate and Arugula Salad

Roasted delicata squash, pomegranate and arugula salad

November is slipping through my fingers. I have been working hard and playing hard, with little down time in between. I won’t bore you with the details of small business ownership, but I promise it’s not all puppies and pomegranate salads here at Cookie and Kate HQ. I grumble while I’m dealing with the technicalities, but deep down, I love it all. This little blog/business is all mine.

I’ve also been setting some pretty lofty goals, sketching out a site redesign, contemplating a move and trying to figure out how to make it all happen at once. Where’s my fairy godmother and her magic wand?

Pomegranate

I can’t go on like this forever. Poor Cookie has been cooped up inside since the temperature dropped below 50 and no amount of yoga has been able to counteract my constant laptop hunch. I need some warmer leggings and a better office situation.

Actually, I need a better living situation altogether. My dining table is stuck in my now-frigid sunroom, my grandmother’s patio chairs are resting against the wall of my bedroom, and my portable dishwasher is killing the feng shui in my dining-turned-desk room. All for the sake of food photography. My ideal home might be a distant dream but I’m definitely due for an upgrade.

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Cranberry Crostini

Cranberry crostini

This weekend, Cookie and I hitched a ride down to Tulsa for Friendsgiving. Four hours later, we stretched our limbs outside the car as our dear old friends came outside to greet us. Hugs all around. The rest of the day was one long, happy blur full of good food and good company.

As always, Michael cooked the turkey. Emily made a giant green salad. Jordan’s pecan pie survived a trunk mishap. I brought the cranberry cornbread and eagerly stole little bits of crispy onions off the green bean casserole as I stood in line (sorry, Jes).

cranberry-orange sauce

Nate brought homemade cranberry sauce, which was leaps and bounds better than the gelatinous, ridged glob of canned cranberry sauce that I remembered from college Friendsgivings. Those were the days when Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys littered the table. This year, I still didn’t eat the turkey, but I went back for seconds of the cranberry sauce. Bright and bursting with sweet-tart cranberry flavor, it made a great jelly for my roll and livened up the mashed sweet potatoes.

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Huevos Rancheros with Avocado Salsa Verde

Huevos rancheros with avocado salsa verde

Would you look at that? I’m eating fried eggs now. That only took 27 years. In other inconsequential personal news, I’ve coaxed my African violet into blooming again. Apparently it likes to be watered every seven days. Go figure!

Maybe it’s silly or childish, but I often catch myself craving recognition for these tiny everyday accomplishments. Living and working by myself is totally awesome, most of the time. An occasional “good job,” or pat on the back goes a long way, though.

fresh ingredients

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have someone around. Like the other day, when I lifted up a heavy vintage desk and dragged a thick wool rug underneath all by myself, no one was around to see it. If they had been, I would have flexed my arm muscles and paraded around the apartment like a champion. Actually, no, I would have just asked for help.

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