Smells Like TEAM Spirit

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Are you ready for some football (food)? NFL Teams across the country are making their march to The Super Bowl, including our Seattle Seahawks! Mary and Shawn get you ready for a weekend full of sofa surfing, high fiving, and belly bumping without adding too much girth to your, er, defensive end.

Score Extra Points With Your Team With These High Flying Creations!

Here’s Shawn’s Football Cookie Recipe, that links to The Superbowl Cake, too.

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The 12 Cookies Of Christmas

The 2012 Cookies Boxes!

The 2012 Cookies Boxes!

From the spreadsheet to the baking sheet, my annual experiment in small batch gift giving is over for another year. While I didn’t have as much time to labor over every single sprinkle and glaze this year, and I was down 4 hands as Kevin was under the weather and Amy didn’t come home from L.A. until just yesterday, I think the 2012 Cookie Boxes turned out pretty darned tasty!

Mary's Sugar Cookies

Mary’s Sugar Cookies

Cookie Boxes were bursting with: Big Buttery Snowflakes. Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps. Lemon Wreaths…

Not A Sesame Bagel, Promise.

Not A Sesame Bagel, Promise.

Lime Glazed Shortbread. Jumbo Fancy Candy Canes. Gingerbread Reindeer…

Prancer!

Prancer!

Chocolate Chip Meringues. Walnut Fudge. Bittersweet Hazelnut Bites. Almond Diamonds…

New This Year!

New This Year!

Peppermint Bark. And Santa’s Sleigh…

Made This One In Decorating Class!

Made This One In Decorating Class!

I made 30 boxes total. Large ones for groups like Kevin’s team at KEXP and smaller ones for individuals like Charlie’s Godmom, Carol. The process started before Thanksgiving and I still have one box to deliver to Super G. There were first time recipients like my coworkers at Jet City Stream, and folks who’ve been there since the start like Jodi’s husband David, who might just be my biggest baking fan. Sadly, there are some folks who won’t be getting cookies this year who might have gotten them in the past, my Chicago family, for instance, because I haven’t cracked the nut of sending them in the mail. Maybe that will be a goal for next year.

Super Size My Cheer!

Super Size My Cheer!

Honestly, I wish I could bake a small batch of cookies for everyone I know. I love the whole, long, turbulent, fattening, fun, painstaking process. My friends always seem grateful when I deliver their box, but I get the biggest gift of all because my noisy, meandering mind focus. That is a win win. So here’s to the 12 Cookies Of Christmas and to spreading and receiving joy this year. Because sometimes one act can do both. And who couldn’t use more joy?

An Assembly Line Of Love

An Assembly Line Of Love

So that’s a wrap on Christmas 2012. May yours be merry and filled to the brim with sweetness. Love, Shawn

Joy!

Joy!

 

 

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The Kid Is Alright

Set The Time Machine To 2011!

 

A year ago this time, I had just lost my job at 103.7 The Mountain here in Seattle. The country was in the throes of recession and my industry was constricting faster than Alec Baldwin’s waistline. And as a woman who is, shall we say, older than Brittany but younger than Madonna, I worried that I might never work again.

Yet within a few days of my sacking, I started baking and writing The Shawnologue. I baked through Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and New Year’s, and The Superbowl, and by the time early February arrived, I was deep in talks with the fine folks at Jet City Stream. I started working there full-time in April. In July, I was invited to do fill in work at the monster talk radio station, KIRO FM, and just a few weeks ago, I sat in for a week, doing news on The Bob River Show.

Along the way, I went to The Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene and Doe Bay Fest on Orcas Island. I sang karaoke with Vikings in Iceland. I hiked all over The Cascades with The World’s Greatest Dog. And, I started a weekly podcast about eating, drinking, and laughing called The Pantry Raid Live.

I also flew down to Atlanta to spend Thanksgiving with my sister Robin, her family, and my mom. It was a great time to reflect on the last year and all that I am thankful for (see above!!) and, added bonus, I got to do my reflecting in everyone’s favorite time machine, The DeLorean. Even if I had seen a photograph of my career at The Mountain fading, I wouldn’t have changed a thing to get to this point. I’m happy.

Adding to my happiness? I’ve become a much better baker this past year. For my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner, I dared to make a recipe from Bon Appetit I’d never tried before, and ad lib on the decorating. Click the link below for the recipe.

Yarnall Family’s Fyrstekake (Norwegian Cardamom-Almond Tart)

Jordan: Crushing It

My niece Jordan (future Ivy Leaguer!!), literally, lent a hand. Both hands: toasting, peeling, and crushing the cardomon. Someone’s getting a spice grinder for Christmas, just sayin’.

This Is Jordan. Making A Traditional Pie Crust.

The crust for this tart was anything but traditional. You don’t roll it out at all; you just press it into the tart pan.

Love This Handsy Method

We found these fun themed cutouts at Williams/Sonoma. If you are going to use delicate cuters like these, I recommend freezing the dough before cutting. And after, too. Just a few minutes will do.

The Great Pumpkin

I rimmed the tart with the cutouts to create the tart’s edge and placed a few cutouts in the center of the tart, too.

Gobble Gobble Indeed!

The tart tasted amazing.

I have no idea what’s ahead for me in 2013 (although…I have some great news I can’t quite share yet) but I do know I’ll be making this tart for next Thanksgiving and on into the future. Cheers!

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Legalized It

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Enthusiasm for Washington State’s legalization of marijuana was only dampened by the fact that Federal Law still prohibits possession, and every supporter was too stoned to rally. I kid. Pot enthusiasts across the state are celebrating by donning their sweatpants, ordering pizza, and hosting Halo marathons. In other words, business as usual. Or is it? This week’s Pantry Raid Live takes on the topic of cooking with weed:

The Pantry Raid Live is heard every Friday at 11am PST on Jet City Stream. To subscribe to The Pantry Raid Live Podcast click here.

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How To Make Gravy

That’s an actual song title, people! (hear the Paul Kelly tear-jerker here) But it’s also the subject of the second episode of The Pantry Paid Live on Jet City Stream.

My co-host Mary White shares her tips for staying sane on Thanksgiving with foolproof gravy, cost-effective wine conservation, and elastic-waist pants. Ok, I threw in that last one because honestly, it’s my only holiday tip. I did get Mary to help me access the real estate of the oven though, because unlike my fat pants, that’s not ever-expanding.

Pantry Raid Live – November 16th, 2012 by Jet City Stream

If you liked The Pantry Raid Live and you don’t want to miss an episode, you can subscribe to the podcast by clicking HERE

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Are You Ready?

I saw a post on facebook from a friend complaining about holiday TV ads being aired on the first day of November. And while I sympathize when I see Halloween decorations being taken down and replaced with Christmas trees, I love the winter holidays so much, I welcome all the extra days we get to see sparkly lights and fake snow! It’s my favorite time of the year because not only does my baking obsession go into overdrive, but it requires my deadline averse personality to suck it up and get organized.

Being unemployed last year really helped me strategize my Holiday Cookie Box Plan…which is great because this year I’m gainfully employed and won’t have the luxury of baking whenever I want. If you’d like to do some holiday baking this year, it’s not too early to plan, to ensure spectacular results. Here are some tips I’ve found helpful:

 

Last Year’s Cookie Boxes Still Look Tasty

 

1. Determine your goals. I like to make batches of a lot of different cookies. You might prefer to make one type of cookie to give to lots of people, or just one batch total for one special recipient.

Don’t Toss Those Holiday Mags!

2.  Review your recipes. I like to keep actual physical copies of all the November and December cooking mags I subscribe to. I usually buy the special editions filled with cookie recipes and keep those to. I’ve tried a few different apps for saving recipes, but I haven’t found one I like. So I keep it analog, with post it notes marking the recipes I use year after year.

Look At All Those Days For Baking!

3.  Look at your calendar. When can you bake? When can you decorate? When do you want to deliver you gifts? Are you out-of-town at all? Filling it all in will help you figure out what’s reasonable so you don’t end up twisting candy cane cookies at 2am (Sorry about that, Kevin).

The Goods

4. Start buying ingredients on sale. Butter, sugar, flour, it all adds up. Plus, close to the holidays, there can be runs on sparkling sugars and vanilla beans, so better safe than sorry. Butter can be frozen till you need it, too, which brings us to…

Moving On Out…

5. Clean out the freezer! You’re gonna need that real estate for all the goodies you make in advance because you’re so organized.

6. Start baking! Let the fun begin.

Honesty, all the organization and focus required to go from zero to cookie boxes helps me be more organized and focused in every area of my life. I hope these little tips help you feel that way, too. Any tips for me?

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C’mon In My Kitchen

Mary White Samples Icelandic Fare (Not Puffin!)

Dream come true! On Friday at my*real job*we launched a new feature that will shortly be transformed into a podcast for you to subscribe to and enjoy at your leisure. The Pantry Raid founder Mary White, who comes right into your home to teach you cooking skills, and I hosted our first episode of The Pantry Raid Live, where we’ll talk about food, cooking, and eating in Seattle every week on Fridays at 11am.

If you missed today’s installment, you missed Mary and I devising a new slogan for Iceland Airlines, discussing the pitfalls of penguin eating, and how to save money on your Thanksgiving booze. Plus a little tease from Mary about a 50 Shades Of Grey Cooking Class. Grrrr. Listen:

Pantry Raid Live – November 9th, 2012 by Jet City Stream

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