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Got this recipe from my dad last week:



Aunt Vada's Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

"Makes a LOT"


Combine the following ingredients:

1 C butter

1 C molasses (no sulfur)

2 C sugar

½ C hot water

3 egg yolks

1 t cinnamon (my cousin the chef apparently insists on Vietnamese cinnamon)

1 t cloves

1 t baking soda

4 squares chocolate, melted (or substitute 3 T cocoa + ½ T shortening per square)


Add enough flour to that you can pat the dough without it sticking, about 5½ C


Roll dough. Chill. Cut into thin slices or roll into balls.


Cook at 350°F for 10-13 minutes.


Variations: Ice cooled cookies with maple frosting, or roll dried fruit into each little ball before baking (dried cherries seem to work well).


I'm planning to try this for the holiday this weekend.

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French toast this morning.  Dave's Power Seed...almost the only bread I use as it's lower in net carbs than most, and it's good.  Egg, half and half, pumpkin spice.  Special secret ingredient...4 drops of orange oil.  Lordy I love this stuff.


No syrup per se.  Got some blueberries at a very nice price, got some strawberries.  Those went into the blender;  most berries simply keep better that way.  So, about 4 oz. of that got zapped with some stevia, cinnamon, a bit of 5 spice, and a bit of water...high blueberry content gels even w/o cooking.  


Tomorrow's gonna be, the blueberry/strawberry mix turned into a smoothie, along with a frittata using my typical bacon, onion, and mushroom filling...said filling also gonna be added to the red enchilada "casserole", with beef, a diced tomato, and a buncha cheese.  Not entirely out of line as a Christmas dinner for this area, and I've got a NY striploin roast for tonight where the leftovers will be serving as the beef source.  (

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Mmm...reminds me.  Julia Child's potato-leek soup.  The classic...I found numerous "modern taste" versions that, for example, substitute chicken stock...and thereby wreck the core notion of the soup, which is to celebrate the flavor of the leek.


1 lb potatoes

1 lb leeks, whites and tender parts of the green

2 quarts water



Dice the potatoes;  wash (THOROUGHLY, leeks are notorious for trapping sand in the green) and chop the leeks.  Add to the salted, hot water, simmer until tender.


Optional:  puree, using a blender or stick blender.  To reduce to chunky, or all the way to smooth, as desired.  I puree to pretty smooth.

Option 2:  add 2-3 ounces of half and half, light cream, or even butter, to make it more smooth and a bit richer.  Julia preferred NOT to do this...there was a classic episode when she was on Emeril Live, and said this.


This is really a wonderful summer soup.  Very light, VERY easy, the prep time is short.  Wants a bit of cook time to soften everything but you don't need to pay much attention to it.    

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