So, I spend one night a month at Book Club.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  We’ve discussed advancing to a recipe exchange, knitting group, etc.  We had our last get together about two weeks ago.  It is only polite to bring some sort of edible to the hostess.  I decided on Bruschetta.  Honestly, I worked a ton that week and time for baking came only in short supply. 

This was a super success.  I remade a second batch for Nate and myself.  I choose to blame my subsequent massive canker sore on too much tomato and vinegar in one week.

In our last get together, we read The Hours by Michael Cunningham.  This book is based on Virginia’s Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway.  Cunningham focuses on three females struggling through similar challenges the original Mrs. Dalloway faced.  I read these books in high school and liked them at the time. 

I host our January meeting.  It proved surprisingly more difficult to choose a book.  I nearly picked American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  I considered my favorite nonfiction book, It’s Not about the Bike by Lance Armstrong.  In the end, I picked a more time relevant book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Hopefully, this weekend Nate and I will go see the movie.  We watched the European version with subtitiles.  Lisbeth is one of the few strong, female characters that exist in today’s books.  I realized recently that most female characters typically need some type of saving or only romantically inclined. 

The group picked The Hunger Games as well with that film coming in the spring.  It was better than I expected!  I will give a run down later.  I’m in the process of deciding what to make for the next book club!

Double Tomato Bruschetta


  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 French baguette  (I prefer a batard for larger slices)
  • 1-2 cups fresh diced Mozzarella


  1. Preheat the oven on broiler setting.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.
  4. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese.
  5. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.



Sugar cookies. . . Tis almost the season!

Is it me or does fall always go away faster than the other seasons?  I think I could have a year of nine months of fall and one month for each other season.  I love the weather, leaves, cider, cozy clothes, comfort food, football season, and so much more.  And now, the weather is turning.  A storm is brewing outside.  Winter will sneak into Ohio any morning now. 

Though, I love the holidays.  I do look forward to Christmas.  I even made this batch of practice sugar cookies.  Last year, I tried to make my Mom’s recipe.  She warned me that they were a little complicated.  Being the avid baker, I dismissed her advice and yielded disasterous cookies.  Sorry, Mom.  Alton Brown makes a pretty great sugar cookie that is both delicious and easy. 

Another picture of our kitten for good measure!  She is sleeping on my monitor cables.


Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookies


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough


Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Frost with royal icing, and …

A new commitment and Tandoori Chicken in Chicken Makhani

After my sister finished the Columbus Half Marathon, we picked our next event.  This event is in my home town on my Mom’s birthday.  We’ll only be doing the 5k.  The best part is that I’ll be running it with my family.  That’s right!  Sarah (my sister), her husband, Ryan (my brother), Nate, and me.  

There are some other really fun 5ks as well.

In this 5k, you run from Zombies!!!

This is an event in Indiana and Ohio.  You run through awesome mud obstacles.

It is also very likely that Nate and I are gearing up for the Flying Pig Half Marathon again next year.  But, enough about that. 


And…. more about food.  Yummy food!  Here the chicken to go with the cumin rice as promised.

Tandoori Chicken

2 pieces bone in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks

For marinade:

  • 1 tbspn lemon juice
  • 1tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste

For the basting sauce:

  • 1/5 tbspn strained, thick yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbspn methi (fenugreek) leaves, rub between your fingers to release the oils before adding
  • salt to taste
  • food color (3 drops red and 2 drops yellow)

Combine the marinade ingredients and apply to chicken.  Allow to marinate for at least two hours (overnight would be better). 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine all the basting sauce ingredients to a smooth mixture. Baste the chicken well with the sauce.  Place in oven and allow to cook for 10 to 12 minutes.  Turn, brush with a little oil, and brown on the other side.  If you prefer your meat a little crispy, then place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.

Chicken Makhani (Grilled chicken simmered in a mildly flavored tomato sauce)

  • 1 piece of tandoori chicken
  • 1 tbspn butter
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 green chili minced (optional for heat)
  • 1 medium tomato pureed
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp crushed fenugreek leaves

Shred the tandoori chicken into large pieces.  Heat the butter and add the ginger and garlic paste.  Add all the dry spices and heat for one minute.  Add the pureed tomato along with the fenu greek leaves.  Simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes until brown.   Add the honey and continue to simmer for 30 seconds.  Add the shredded chicken and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add some water if necessary.  Simmer with cream for one minute before serving.