A Christmas baking recap.

I love the holidays. But at the same time they can be challenging. Last week I set off for home with a twinkle in my eye about the four days of rest, relaxation, cocktail parties, presents and time with family I was going to enjoy. In truth, I didn’t sit down for four days.

My Christmas vacation was full of said parties, gifts and family but also a blur of errands, baking and post-Christmas shopping. (Have to stock up on wrapping paper and bows for next year! Even if it’s snowing!) Weirdly enough, it did snow … at Hilton Head Island of all places. That’s especially rare since most years I’m wearing short sleeves on Christmas Day in 70s-degree weather while grumbling about how it needs to be colder. I got my wish this year.

Anyhoo, about the baking. I crossed off a few culinary challenges from my list and added some new items to my repertoire, including: Keep reading »

Sherlock and shortbread.

I finally watched “Sherlock Holmes” this weekend on HBO — the Guy Ritchie version, not to be confused with PBS’s recent “Sherlock” series. (I loved the PBS series, which cleverly updates the characters to modern times.)

I’m a huge fan of Guy Ritchie’s, ever since I saw “Snatch” at the movie theatre by mistake. I like his cheeky take on things, and I find his camera angles and direction to be really interesting, dare I say genius. Ok, I’m easily impressed. I don’t usually care much about Robert Downey, Jr., or even Jude Law, but I thought the movie was entertaining, and definitely watchable. More importantly, it inspired me to bake.

Something about the cold, somber shots of industrial, 19th century London made me crave a spot of hot tea … with shortbread. So in my usual, rash display of weekend binge cooking (or baking, as it may be), I made homemade shortbread at 10 pm. Keep reading »