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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Holiday Cookies!

Despite the million things to do during the chaos of the holidays, I thought it was important to make cookies with my 2 year old son. So we got out the cookie cutters and I looked for a sugar cookie recipe. I absolutely never make sugar cookies, so I looked in The Joy of Cooking for a recipe and I found a drop cookie recipe that looked like it might work. We made the cookie dough and then laid it out on the cookie sheet and tried to roll it. It was too sticky and wouldn't roll at all. So I tried to stretch it out and "stamp" it with the cookie cutters. The dough just stuck to the cookie cutters. I could tell this wasn't going to work. So I scooped up all the dough and tried again, on a new cookie sheet. This time I set the cookie cutter down and stuffed the cookie dough into it. They looked great!
Then I carefully decorated them with chocolate chips and baked them for about 12 minutes. Now I know that "drop cookies" are more like chocolate chip cookies and less like sugar cookies in that they expand quite a bit when they bake:
So, they don't look very festive. But they tasted just fine.
And I still don't know how to make sugar cookies.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween Ideas

Every year for Halloween, we hand out candy from the Asian grocery store. Because it's fun. And can you imagine what the parents say when the kids bring home candy with no English, or even recognizable letters on it? Plus, it's fun to try it! This year's candy was Japanese, called "Happy Turn Day". That led to the discovery of this blog on Japanese candy.
Also, about 1/3 of the trick-or-treaters demand to know what we just put in their bags! I tell them to just try it- venture out from your Reese's and Hershey's and M&M's for once!
Another cute idea I might steal from someone else- I saw tootsie pops (still with the wrapping on them) with a kleenex draped over the top, tied with an orange string at the "neck" and a scary face over the candy part, making a ghostly looking treat. Much more fun than just handing out the tootsies on their own!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Clinton Street Social Club

18 1/2 S. Clinton St., Downtown Iowa City

I was told to go to this place without the kid and to order the cheese curd appetizer. I did just that. As a bonus, I took the husband too. I got there on a Friday night at about 6:00 and although it's already upstairs, we were seated up up stairs! (3rd floor)

The atmosphere is great: brick walls, just the right lighting, a view of the Clinton/Washington intersection. We ordered a bottle of wine for $32- a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Having lived in the Willamette Valley, my opinion of the wine was "eh" but you pay for the atmosphere.

The cheese curds were fantastic. Other items I recommend are the root vegetables and the salmon cakes. We tried the poutine because I had never had it. My opinion of it was "eh".

The waitress wrongly estimated the wait time for the salmon cakes to be "about 15 minutes because they are really busy in the kitchen". This was getting close to 7:00. The wait time was well over 30 minutes, and because we needed to be somewhere, we had to take them to go.

The bill came to $68 plus tip. We did get a little more food than we needed, so I'd say expect to pay around $60 for two.

Next time I think I'll try something other than wine too, they have a good selection of alcoholic beverages.

In conclusion, the atmosphere is great, some of the food is pretty good and as long as you're throwing down the cash, plan to stay there awhile, especially if it's 7:00 on a Friday night.