It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Almond-Chocolate Macaroons

I don’t know where I got this recipe. It calls for toasted almonds, but I never toast them, and they turn out just fine.


2 cups whole almonds
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup finely chopping semisweet or bittersweet chocolate


1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Grease and flour cookie sheets.
3. Grind almonds with sugar and cinnamon in food processor till reasonably fine. (This is a matter of taste. I usually go until it’s 3/4 powder with the rest small chunks.)
4. Add egg, egg white, and almond extract. Process till mixture holds together.
5. Tip into bowl — it’ll be fairly stiff. Dough, not batter. Fold in the chocolate.
6. Roll into 2 cm balls and flatten each slightly.

Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes. They’ll be crumbly when hot, and will firm up as they cool on a rack. Keep in sealed container.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | food | , , , , , | 2 Comments

There’s sad and there’s sad

newt1I am baking brownies for dessert. Which, if you knew our family at all, would tell you we’re having guests over to dinner. Tell my children we’re having company, and the response is not “Who’s coming?” but “Yay! Dessert!”

Timmy and Anna are playing quietly at my feet. They have woken up a little earlier than the other children, and are thus allowed to play in the kitchen (the furthest end of the house from the stairs), and QUIETLY. If they don’t play quietly, they must go lie down again until the others wake.

Thus, they are playing quietly. Which is little short of a miracle, since they are my two loudest children. Though, come to that, Tyler is emerging as a considerable auditory force. Once he gets some actual vocabulary, the windows, they will be a-rattling. (And my eardrums, oh, mercy me, my poor eardrums.)

They are playing quietly, and I am making brownies. And, because these are brownies for guests, and, because our oven is stuck at 400 degrees (as it has been for the last four years), I am diligently cutting off the slightly-too-dry edges. (The hostess double-standard: For my own family? They can crunch their way into the centre. For company? Perfectly soft’n’chewy brownies, from edge to edge.)

Apart from crunchiness, there is nothing wrong with the centimetre-wide strips of brownie I’m left with…

Lucky Timmy and Anna.

“Here guys. You want some brownies?”
(That, boys and girls, is what is called a “rhetorical” question.)
“Now, be careful. Chocolate is bad for dogs. You mustn’t give any to Indie. It could make her sick.”
“And maybe even DIIIIEEE!” Which could have been said with far less exuberant relish, perhaps, but the content is accurate enough.
“Yes, Anna. Enough chocolate could even make her die. That would be very sad.”
“That would be very sad.” Timmy is showing a more appropriate level of concern, perhaps because he’s had some personal experience in pet-bereavement. Or, as it turns out, second-hand experience. “My mummy’s newt died, and she was very sad.”
“Your mummy had a newt?”
“Yes, and it died. And she was very sad.”
“Not as sad as for a dog, I think.”
He doesn’t lose a beat.
“No. Prolly not.”

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Anna, food, health and safety, the dog, Timmy | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments