Cookies for Breakfast

January 6th, 2012 · 48 Comments · Baking and Sweets

I’m already over Andy’s goals for me and onto better things — namely, Bon Appetit‘s list of  25 Things to Eat, Drink, and Cook in 2012. In particular, please check out #24, a quinoa breakfast cookie I developed for them a few months back. I wouldn’t exactly call one of these lo-cal, but I can at least call it the healthiest possible cookie you can get away with still calling a cookie. I’m certain that if I added one more flax seed, the kids would sniff out something suspicious. (And btw: No need to tell anyone about the quinoa — you can’t see it once the cookies are baked.)

P.S. A cool little fact that I’m proud of: This is the 400th post on Dinner: A Love Story. Four hundred! Crazy right? OK, that’s it. I said it. In lieu of flowers and congratulations, you can just tell me what your favorite DALS recipe is — or even better, you can just follow me on Twitter! (Four hundred posts ago, I wouldn’t have ever believed those words would shoot so effortlessly out of my fingertips.)

Thanks to everyone out there for keeping this blog alive. I really mean that — we are so lucky to have such nice, thoughtful, well-read readers.

And now back to the cookies… (more…)

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My Life as a Man

June 3rd, 2011 · 37 Comments · Baking and Sweets, Domestic Affairs, Posts by Andy

It was late Saturday morning, Memorial Day weekend, and we were at all home, puttering. The kids were upstairs doing their thing, and Jenny was at the kitchen table, her face buried in her MacBook. I opened the refrigerator, and then the freezer.

“We have any butter?” I asked.

Jenny looked up. “Why?”

“I think I’m gonna make some snickerdoodles with the girls,” I said.

“No, you’re not,” she said.

“Why?”

“You can’t make snickerdoodles,” she said. She actually looked serious about this. ”And you definitely can’t write about it.”

“What are you talking about?” I said.

“Snickerdoodles?” God, just the way she pronounced the word: chilling. “I just can’t let you do that. Too emasculating.”

I’m not going to get too deep into the subtext here, or any latent impressions Jenny may or may not have about men who bake — let alone bake snickerdoodles – but let’s just say it felt a little like the person I love very much and with whom I have had two children, was calling my sh#t out. Like, seriously? A guy wants to do something fun with the kids on a sleepy Saturday morning, and he gets hazed by his wife? The thing is, there’s a lot you do as a parent — or, okay, as a father of two daughters — that carries an unmistakable whiff of the surrender-monkey to it. Printing out and memorizing the lyrics to Lady Gaga’s new single: that would definitely be one of those things. Enduring Ryan Seacrest in silence: yup. Nursing a lifelong grudge against musical theater and yet pretending, without complaint, to be Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music when it is called for*. Getting a (small, cute) dog and naming it Iris. Applying toenail polish (no smudges!) in rainbow colors on one tiny foot, and then doing the other tiny foot in the opposite color progression. Over the past several years, I’ve done all those things and so, so much worse and — apologies in advance to all the bros out there who may be reading this — the truth is, I never really gave any of it a second thought. Don’t you kind of check your manly bona fides at the door when you have kids? I mean, isn’t that part of the point?

Given all this, was making a batch of cookies so bad?

“Yeah, I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t think I can be married to a guy who makes snickerdoodles.”

She is now married to a guy who makes snickerdoodles. (more…)

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Working Mom Redemption (aka, The Cookie Playdate)

May 5th, 2010 · 10 Comments · Baking and Sweets, Rituals

When I was an editor at Real Simple a few years ago, and then later at Cookie, I won the lottery. The working mom’s lottery. After years of fist-pounding and squeaky-wheeling, I was granted a four-day work week. Not four days in the office, then one working from home. That fifth day — Wednesday, then later Friday — was off. Mine. I could drop off and pick up the girls from school. I could go to the dry-cleaner. I could go to Trader Joe’s during off hours!

But best of all, I could host playdates.

I could’ve invited kids over on Saturdays or Sundays, of course, but since the family was together so rarely during the week, we generally tried our hardest to place a moratorium on structured weekend plans. As a result, I met their classmates at drop-off and I saw them at birthday parties, but I was rarely able to witness how my daughters interacted, one-on-one, with their pals. And it killed me. I would say on my personal working mom’s guilt-o-meter* it was one of the things that registered the highest. And so on those Fridays off, I tried to schedule playdates as often as I could. And as often as I could on those playdates, I tried my hardest to be Fun Mom. Which of course, meant homemade cookies. (Sorry, Mme. Secretary of State.)

The level of kid involvement evolved as they got older, but as early as two, the girls were mesmerized by the simple act of pushing a few M&Ms into spooned cookie dough rounds. And since the recipe for Tollhouse Cookies has been tattooed on my brain from so many years of making them with my mom, that’s usually the cookie dough of choice.

*I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…?

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