vanilla bean thumbprints

As the holiday season winds into New Year’s Eve, I know more of you are thinking of starting diets than starting a batch of cookies, but I have a few new recipes from the holidays that are too good not to share!  This first one was inspired by two lovely food gifts from the year – a large jar of demerara sugar packed with vanilla beans, making a wonderfully fragrant raw vanilla sugar, and several jars of homemade jams from my auntie.    I knew I wanted to use the jam to make Jam Thumbprint cookies, a childhood favorite, but I needed just the right cookie recipe.  After a few false starts, I came up with this dough that has the perfect crisp outside-soft inside texture and adds a fragrant vanilla creaminess as a counterpoint to the sweet-tart jam.   Fast, easy, and really delicious, this one is a cookie all-star!

A Fine Kettle of Ish's Vanilla Bean Thumbprint

See those little flecks of vanilla cookie goodness?

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devilishly good

Folks, autumn is upon us and Halloween will be here in less than two weeks.  Why not take a leisurly stroll over to The Year of Halloween and check out my guest post, 5 Spooky Treats for Halloween?  From Living Lucurto’s sweet brains in a jar to Martha Stewart’s shattered glass cupcakes, these are some of the spookiest, ooiest, devilishly decadent Halloween treats around.

Image & Recipe via Living Locurto


get on your eating pants, people

Hope you all enjoyed a relaxing Memorial Day weekend, because the season for food & drink events in San Diego is upon us!  The next six months are already chock full of fun things to do, from the San Diego Spirits FestivalInternational Beer Festival, and San Diego Festival of Beer, to CityFest, San Diego Restaurant Week, and the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, with more great events on the way. 

“But Ish!” (I hear you ask)  “Where can I go to find out more about fabulous San Diego food events?”   “What if I’m planning a trip and lack Googling ch’i?” Fear not, readers – just go to our Food Events page for regular event roundups plus calendars of major events in San Diego and beyond! 

the weekly ish

recipes

  • Jason Wilson, WAPO Spirits columnist, takes on the Singapore Sling and reinvents it.  And by reinventing it, I mean brings it back to its original composition – a light drink of gin, cherry brandy, and lemon juice.  I haven’t really developed a taste for gin yet, but I’ll keep practicing.  
  • The Seattle Weekly tackles making Girl Scout cookies at home.   Since only an estimated 10-20% of the cost of a box of cookies goes to the scout’s troop (approx. 50% stays with the regional council and the rest goes to the manufacturer), why not make a batch or two from scratch this year and donate the whole $4 (or more) to your local troop
  • Fascinating article on the art of Chinese noodles.  Oh, and anyone who would like to FedEx me a bowl of you po che mian?  I’ll be sitting here waiting patiently.  Waiting.  Yep.  Patiently.  Annnnytime.
  • In case you hadn’t heard, the Superbowl is this weekend.  In case you hadn’t settled on a dish, Pioneer Woman and the NY Times have helpfully collected their best recipes for you.  In case you haven’t picked a team, Go Tiger Cubs!

restaurant news

  • Another food trend hits San DiegoChef Dan Moody, former sous chef for Chef Ludovic Lefebvre (seen on this season of Top Chef’s Restaurant Wars), will be opening his own pop up restaurant, Relate, in San Diego February 3 through 26.  Set menu will be $55 plus drinks (via the UT).
  • Speaking of food trends, San Diego Copper Chimney closed their food truck last month so that Chef Allen could move to a fixed kitchen location in Spice Court Grocery & Restaurant at 9474 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126.  Its slated opening day was February 1 – hopefully I will be able to make it this weekend for some of Copper Chimney’s awesome Hyderabadi dishes.
  • Eclipse Chocolates has released their Valentine’s Day Chocolate tasting menu.  If you must insist on eating at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, this one might actually be worthwhile. 

around the web

  • This week’s episode of Top Chef All Stars is up, for all my cable-deprived friends.
  • A big “Happy Birthday” to Kirk over at mmm-yoso.  His blog is an amazing source for all things delici-yoso in San Diego and beyond. 
  • The government releases the kind of dietary advice that you’d expect from, well, the government.
  • 2011 is heating up for recipe contests, including upcoming deadlines for POM Wonderful Valentine Cupcake Contest, King Arthur Flour and Fleischmann’s Yeast’s  National Festival of Breads contest, the Ritz Recipe Challenge, and the 45th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off.  Check out Contest Cook for a full listing of contests. 
  • Why not practice for those contests by signing up as a baker for Bake for Hope?  Held each year throughout the US in the week leading up to Mothers Day (May 1-8 2011), volunteers coordinate community bake sales to raise money for their local Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliate to support breast cancer treatments for women with breast cancer within their local community.  Several San Diego groups are already beginning to form up for this year’s sale!
  • Does your cake look a bit…naked?  Perhaps you need to get a set of these edible Angry Bird cake toppers from artisan cake company‘s etsy site. (via My Food Looks Funny)

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