Monday, April 18, 2011

Palm Sunday

It is hard to believe that Lent is almost over! It seems to have gone by much quicker this year, especially considering last year I was going through my first cycle with infertility drugs. What a difference a year makes!
We had very nice weather this weekend. On Saturday I went on the Kitchen Revival Tour with Mrs. F and the weather was mostly clear and dry which was very nice for getting in and out of the car repeatedly. Mr. W was out late with his fraternity buddies, but decided that he'd get up to join us at Mass for Palm Sunday. Mass started in the field and then a procession to the church with music and everyone waving palm fronds and branches. It was very cold out, but very sunny.
Once we were home Mr. W made us blueberry pancakes with assistance from Our Little Helper and then took the boys for a walk to the playground. I used that time to work on the baby photo albums. I also made hazelnut biscotti cookies since time is running out for this Lenten season. The recipe for Quaresimali comes from Italian Holiday Cooking. In it they are described as being a Lenten cookie because they are "so hard they are a penance to eat." I made them once before for an Altar Society bake sale. At that time I didn't have the cinnamon oil, but they still tasted good. Hard, but good. I searched high and low for the oil; I was eventually able to find cinnamon extract at Sur la Table and hoped that was close enough. When I added the extract to the eggs I was overwhelmed by the aroma of cinnamon and feared for the worst. But once the beaten eggs were incorporated into the dry ingredients the smell was no longer over powering. I think it baked off too because there is a mild flavor of cinnamon in the cookies.
This was the most successful I've been at roasting and skinning filberts. 20 minutes at 350 degrees seems to do the trick. I haven't looked back at my other recipes with filberts but I assume those must either recommend a lower temperature or a shorter time baking because I never end up with all the skins easily coming completely free of the nut.
So even though biscotti is more often paired with coffee, it makes a lovely, crunchy accompaniment to tea.

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