Monday, December 23, 2013

Cakes and puppies

This is the week that everybody takes "off" from blogging, but since blogging isn't my job, I don't really think about taking time off from it.  I'll be the one refreshing feedly all week, saying "WHERE ARE ALL THE BLOGGERS?"

I've planned an ambitious baking schedule this year: homemade challah bread to eat with our clam chowder on Christmas Eve, plus a second loaf for French toast on Christmas morning, six kinds of cookies and Martha Stewart's six-layer chocolate-salted caramel cake for dessert on Christmas night. It's fun to mock Martha, and her recipes can be ridiculously over-the-top, but they do usually taste good.  So far I've made the salted caramel sauce which includes two sticks of butter and two cups of cream which is OUTRAGEOUS.  The French toast (from Bon Appetit) also calls for two cups of cream and is 700 calories per serving.  Zoikes.  I'm also doing Lucindaville's pumpkin mousse cheesecake because it looked so delicious on her blog, and one must always be prepared for a tragic dessert shortage.

Phoebe update:  she is now twelve weeks old and has lived with us for five weeks.  Having a puppy is almost like having a real baby in the house.  I love lifting her out of her crate in the morning, all warm and limp and sleepy. In general, she's a pretty easy puppy and so far hasn't destroyed any of our possessions, although she does like to sneak into Grace's room and steal her socks.  We've taught her not to bite, but she seems to think that our bare feet are fair game.  Yesterday she bit my foot hard enough to break the skin and Sancho kissed my foot and then placed himself firmly between Phoebe and me--not sure if that was for my protection or hers.

Phoebe has doubled her weight and has lost that blunt-headed infant look that baby animals have, as if they haven't fully differentiated into the correct species and can almost pass for a bunny or a squirrel.

For perspective, this is a picture of her during her first week with us.  She used to like to drape herself around Jon's neck, but she's too big for that now.

And here she is now, with her BFF Sancho.

This is what Paddington Bear would have called a "hard stare."

So that's all I've got.  I hope all my dear readers have a lovely holiday.


  1. I have no holiday menu planned beyond our usual Christmas morning cinnamon buns. I've ordered sausage & a ham from our friends at Open Gate Farm and am hoping to have it for the big day, but it's not a biggie. I'm going to head to the grocery store today and just grab what looks good and then figure it out as we go. It worked for Thanksgiving, it's worked in the past for Christmas, I'm going to stick with what works.
    I'm not taking the week off, I'm just trying to get Christmas done. I'm sure I'll have something for you later in the week.
    Martha's recipes are over the top, but oh so good. That cake sounds divine.

  2. Bloggers take the week off, TV series take a break, and I'm stuck with Pinterest for most of my entertainment.

    Christmas baking will be very low-key. Cut-out cookies (your recipe!) are it. That sounds grim, but things get stale fast and only one person has a sweet tooth in this house. Salty carbs win!

  3. I love those dogs - they are charming. Also, anything that calls for 2 cups of cream is a win in my book. My grandmother, who lived to be a happy 99 and three quarters never cooked with anything but cream. It's probably what killed her ;)

  4. PUPPY.

    I will be refreshing the blog list along with you. The week between Christmas and NYE is like one perpetual Friday afternoon (the other time when no one blogs ever). Thank God for Facebook. I'll be counting on that to feed my new content need.

  5. Oh, you are SO brave to adopt a puppy. All the WORK!
    I want to join you for Christmas dinner. That sounds like the best meal--homemade challah! And that CAKE!