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A day out with Cheese Pennies and Pecan Tassies

I will be the first to tell you that domesticity is NOT my strong suite. This has played out over the years through a series of adjustments and compromises.

For example: house cleaning. I know how to do it. My mother taught me well. But after a long work week when I am exhausted, my procrastination and justification genes kick in pretty easy.

Thus, I have learned to budget for a cleaning lady. I will sacrifice other things in order to have a clean home - and clean enough so I can be comfortable inviting someone over spur of the moment.

For example: Ironing. I don't mind it that much - especially if I have a good movie to watch at the same time. But I go in spurts - and occasionally I'll realize that I'm down half-a-closet worth of outfits because they all need to be ironed. As these things work out - I'm better off getting dry-clean only clothes (we're talking WORK clothes of course) so that someone else will do them for me. (Notice a trend.)

(I should probably mention here - so you don't think I'm the laziest woman on the planet - I do have thyroid issues which have resulted in a struggle with fatigue and low energy over the years... I never blog about this because it just sort of "is" and isn't very news worthy... but it ... "is".)

Cooking - I *like* to cook. I enjoy puttering around the kitchen. I like making new things. I enjoy exotic recipes. I get a lot of satisfaction out of successfully making yeast breads i.e. something which takes hours of kneading, rising, kneading, rising ,etc.

Because of my low energy I don't cook as often as I'd like beyond throwing something easy together for dinner. "Real" cooking tends to happen on weekends, and only if it's a quiet weekend. ..and around the holidays.

Thus - it is Christmas.

I've got four cooking projects going which I believe are going to be a success, a success, a possible total fail and a success. Only the 4th one have I made before...

1.) Cheese Pennies - Well, really more like Cheese Silver Dollars. These are, essentially, home made crackers. They have sharp cheddar in them and just a hint of cayenne for spice. I made them silver dollar size (cut out with a wine glass!!) and they've turned out fabulously. I'll take them with to my folks this weekend and serve with "a spread" of some sort.

Presented.. in a plastic container. Elegant as always!

2.) Pecan Tassies - Earlier today I made the "crust" and chilled it - just a little bit ago I made the pecan filling. The first round is in the oven and seem to be turning out just right. They are in mini muffin pans and look/taste like mini pecan pies!They still need to be lightly dusted with powdered sugar but you get the idea..

3.) Palace Bread - This is my "fail". Not epic.. fortunately.. but not quite what I was envisioning. This "bread" began as a loaf of French bread that was cooked in a "sauce" of honey and [simmering] sugar water. The honey/sugar mixture also included rose water and fresh lemon juice. The idea is that you "cook" this honey soaked bread - which is then so sweet it will send you into sugar shock - and top it with marscapone cheese and pistachios. I tried the entire thing last night - freshly made - and it was tasty... But my presentation isn't quite right and the flavors, while good, I don't think will go down w/nieces and nephews ... at all.

 I just sent to see if I could put some together on a plate to take a pic for the blog - and the honeyed bread had turned to ROCKS in the fridge. So it's officially a full on fail now and getting tossed. Once I soak the rocks in hot water so they'll come off the dish.

4.) Red Pepper Sauce - Actually, that's not the official name - I forget the official name - but this is a sauce which begins as 4 red bell peppers which are cooked down with vinegar and various/sundry other ingredients. It ultimately has a bit of a sweet & sour tang to it and you pour it (chilled) over cream cheese. It then becomes one of those cream cheese & "sauce" bits that people bring to parties and each with crackers. Ok, I haven't actually made this one yet.. but I've done it before and don't anticipate any problems.

Anyway - the point of all this is that I've enjoyed cooking today AND it looks like I'm going to be set on a few things to bring for Christmas snacking.