Winter is coming!
Never such a simple sentence became so popular and cool. It’s threatening, it works as a warning, and at the end of the day, it’s a fact, an axiom.
I’m more a mid-season person, passionate for Spring and Fall, but even though I’m living in Barcelona, where climate is milder than inland and we don’t experience rough super low temperatures nor snow on regular basis, it’s true we share this same extreme change of season which always catches you by surprise no matter how insistently you’ve been warned about. You just can’t believe temperature is dropping 10ºC overnight, when two day ago you were melting and sweating the shit out of you due to humidity and warm weather. But it happens, and now I’m in front of my computer wearing a ragged jumper, and wrapped in one of these couch blankets, because the house is actually cold, and temperature on the street is finally lower.
Weather changes and the time Daylight saving time is over. Two key factors for rearranging habits only exclusive for Summer. Outdoors activities remain minimum and now I have to focus on what I want to do for these next 7 months.
And this is the perfect moment for giving my last passion carte blanche. Yeah, friends! The season of cooking and experimenting has officially started with me putting on my Swedish apron.
On one hand I’ve started perfectioning all these soup spoon dishes, including different soups and creams, and also, and quite important in my veggie diet, all these legume based dishes. Warm and tasty meals to balance the fresh salads. Cold weather requires solid meals to strengthen and improve our body defenses.
Thus I started with this veggie bean stew which I like to name as Eugenio’s beans, because I’ve never been a die hard fan of this legume, till he prepared this wonderful stew last winter, concerned of my veggie condition.
It is really easy to prepare, even though, as with most stews, it’s a fact that the slower and longer it takes to cook, the better it tastes. Red and green pepper, carrots and garlic, parsley, cayenne and other spices, vegetable soup, olive oil and the beans are required.
As Halloween is getting closer and unfortunately I won’t have my planned disguise ready (I’ll keep the project on hold till Carnival time probably), I was also thinking of skeleton shaped cookies or similar stuff. But there was a consideration I forgot, as simple as the fact I can’t bake cookies yet. Serious, I’ve tried carrot cake and brownies, but bakery is not my specialty yet, probably because I have this idea in mind that you need a large working space for mixing and needing the necessary dough, and the kitchens I’ve been dealing with, are quite narrow and uncomfortable for such procedures.
Once I thought of this, my Halloween plans were reduced to none, well to attend a gig, and perhaps do this Trick or Treat candy exchange thing. Shit! I used to have a beautiful with bag for candies, my cool hat, the perfect tees with skulls for the event, and once I had this bat wing hairband which looked super cool. I hate to realize about how many stuff I was thrown away in the name of “space and order”… MY ASS!
Anyway, let’s forget about crap and let’s focus on me being a super strong headed girl who is determined to learn how to prepare and bake cookies.
First thing I did is one of the typical things I always do, I love anticipating and many times I do it wrong, but as soon as I saw this human cookie cutter at a Tiger Store, I had to have it. I’ve seen moulds and cutters of Star Wars, but I add them to my wishlist, for the future and if I finally enjoying baking cookies.
My friend Arantza is the specialist in bakery, she’s completely devoted to muffins, the so-called cupcakes, cookies, cakes, plumcakes, and bread. Man, her Guinness bread and cupcakes are RAD! She’s also a top Internet tracker, as me, and is able to find all kind of recipes and kitchen utensils and gadgets. Of course you can imagine I thought of her immediately to have one of these quick approach on the subject, so she could send me a cookie recipe for dummies like me. I reconsidered about the flat shape cookies and said to myself I had to start in the humblest and easiest way. There’s plenty of time to improve and be cool.
Thus I had this baking session, having fun with the making of the dough, mixing flour, different kinds of sugar, chocolate pears, eggs, butter…to get this hard to handle stuff, which would turn into a cookie after 20 minutes. For some time I had my doubts, thinking I was doing something wrong, but I wasn’t, everything was under control. Sometimes I feel marveled at such simple things, a disgusting looking piece of dough becoming nice chocolate chip cookies. Love it!
And here’s the result of my first homemade cookies.
Before I forget, I feel the need to comment that the preparation of these treats was done under the influence of the King’s Elvis Live In Las Vegas, thus I’d like to call them Elvis in Vegas cookies. I know, I’m a freak, but I’m pretty sure I’ve made some of you smile, huh?
I tried a couple of them last night but they were still a bit warm and too soft, but I’ve had a couple of them for breakfast and they tasted great. I’m not joking, I know the shape is not perfect, and I’ll work on that, but the most important things, the taste and texture, are outstanding, and I’m very proud of myself, of course.
I really don’t know whether passion for cooking comes together with age, or it’s also my veggie condition which has inspired me in being more creative regarding meals, the truth is that I don’t feel lazy about cooking any longer, and I enjoy being so focused on something which requires my attention in such a way, because I’m usually messy doing 5 things at the same time, but with cooking I’m quite disciplined, and I like it.
What about you, any special recipes for this season you might like to share? I’m all ears and eyes.