How was your Christmas? Did you get everything you wanted? Santa was very good to me. I got a load of kitchen goodness, the best of which is a Le Creuset. I’ve already used it. And several new cookbooks… I fear I’ve become predictable.
But that was yesterday. Now we are in No Man’s Land. That week between Christmas and the new year. What do you do during this week? Do you take down the tree or do you wait until January (or February) for that? Do you look back at what you’ve done (or haven’t done) this year? Look ahead to the next year and make your list of resolutions and goals? Make a plan? Or do you sit on the couch with a cat resting her head in the crook of your elbow while you type out a bazillion questions while avoiding what really needs to be done? That’s what I do. Obviously.
Today, the day after all of the presents and glitzy bows, I am feeling contemplative. Reminiscing about the year that is almost over. Preparing for the year that is about to begin. I’ve learned a great deal this year about blogging, taking photos, cooking, life, and myself. And now I’m looking forward to 2010 and all of the knowledge and adventures it promises to hold. Expect more changes on the blog: like some healthier food (No, really. I mean it) and a few tweaks to the navigation. There will be more baked treats, of course.
I’ve been working on my resolutions and goals for 2010. I have a problem making concrete goals… they feel so restrictive, and I like to keep my options open. I’m also a tiny bit of a contrarian by nature, so if someone says you can’t lose weight while still baking cupcakes and cookies, I am likely to say “Oh yeah? I’ll show you.” Sometimes this means I sign up for really dumb things.
Anyway, what about you? What are you doing this week before New Year’s? And how does 2010 look for you?
P.S. I love gingerbread. To me, it tastes like Christmas. This year, I had it a day late, but now with a belly full of rich, dark gingerbread and whipped cream, it feels like Christmas is truly complete.
P.P.S Remember that hat that I thought might be too purply to be boy-appropriate? Well, neither of the boys said it looked girly so I guess it’s cool. Whew. Although the black and blue one, I should have made a little bit longer I think (it barely covers the ears… oops), but it’s stretchy so it works.
(adapted from Good Housekeeping Baking)
This isn’t a cake I make more than once (maybe twice) a year, but it doesn’t feel like Christmas to me until I have had a piece or three of this gingerbread… with fresh whipped cream please. The candied ginger pieces give it an extra kick.
Makes 9 servings.
2 cups flour (all-purpose or white whole wheat. I used white whole wheat this year and it was just as good as all-purpose if not better)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup molasses (mild, not blackstrap)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup boiling water
1 large egg
Optional: candied ginger, chopped into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×9-inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, combine molasses and butter. Add boiling water and stir until the butter melts completely.
- Add molasses mixture and egg to the flour mixture. Whisk until blended. [For a more cake-like texture, whisk vigorously for a few minutes or beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes].
- Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the candied ginger pieces on top (if using). Bake 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.