September 6, 2011

“My baby don’t mess around/because she loves me so/and this I know fo shooooooo…”

Things I’ve learned recently: having the song “Hey Ya!” stuck in your head for two weeks straight won’t actually do you physical harm, even though you may become convinced that you’re going to lose your mind. Eventually you will just let go and make peace with its presence, even embracing it on a few enthusiastic occasions which may or may not involved serenading the dog while dancing around the kitchen with her in your arms. (Usually we stick to Lady Gaga while dancing around the kitchen, but sometimes you have to make concessions.)

I’ve also found that a person can get really, really, REALLY excited about spending her Labor Day weekend…painting her bathroom. For serious. I am now bffs with the folks behind the paint counter at my neighborhood Home Depot. Today we laughed over the more ludicrous paint name colors (“Hallowed Hush,” “Frosted Wine,” “Chilled Lemonade”) and wondered how one goes about getting the job of naming them while my second gallon of “Swan Sea” was mixing. My bathroom-painting project is three-quarters complete, and I must say, I never before appreciated just how many DAMN CORNERS there are in that bathroom. Guarantee I will never look at them the same way again.

Also, Friday nights? Turns out the Jewish people have been right all along, they are totally for resting. Jill and I have begun to observe our own Sabbath of sorts: no company, no plans, and no TV. We decline all invitations for Friday events and instead cook dinner, read, take baths, and are usually in bed by 10:00. We are so, so boring and it is so, so wonderful.

What have been your revelations of late? I’d love to hear them.

very slightly adapted from Bon Appétit, July 2011

Another thing I seemingly need to learn–basil is just not going to grow in my yard. Rosemary? Tons of it. Sage? Oh yes. Mint? Like a weed. But that elusive basil, despite the efforts of greenest-of-all-thumbs-Jill, just won’t seem to thrive. So I have decided to let go. I have wonderful friends who bring me giant bunches of their enormous, thriving basil plants, with which I make batches of pesto, toss the rest into salads, dressings, pastas and…these cookies.

Not too sweet, with a nice tang of citrus and just the slightest, herby hint of basil, it’s all-too-easy to down a handful of these with a cup of tea. I think they’d also be lovely rolled out and cut into shapes.


1 cup flour
½ cup powdered sugar, plus a bit more for shaping the cookies
½ cup cold, unsalted butter cut into cubes
a big handful of fresh basil leaves, sliced
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lime
1 T fresh lemon juice
pinch salt

sanding sugar (optional)—you could substitute Turbinado, Demerara, or any other large-crystal sugar, or just use plain ole table sugar

oven: 375°
pan: parchment-lined baking sheets

Place all ingredients but the sanding sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until large clumps form and the dough starts to come together. (You could do this by hand with a pastry cutter or your hands, it will just take more time and elbow grease!)

Roll heaping tablespoons of dough between your palms to make balls. Place about 2” apart on the baking sheets, then use the bottom of a glass rubbed in powdered sugar to flatten each ball of dough. If you’re using sanding or decorative sugar, sprinkle it over the tops of the cookies.

Bake until the edges turn light brown, about 15-20 minutes. Cool on racks. These keep well in an airtight container for a few days.



  1. Hi! Howdy! Hello!

    Frosted wine? Seriously? What color is that? My kitchen is painted heavy cream…. i kinda laughed and said “of course!”

    I have came to the “ah ha” conclusion that I like home cooking way better than going out. If I get in the consistent routine of having ideas for meals that I love, the temptations of spending tons of hard earned money dissipates.

    Comment by Michelle — September 7, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  2. Those look fantastic. Would adding some nuts mar the recipe? I’d like to try a batch and was considering adding pine nuts.

    Comment by Cory — September 7, 2011 @ 10:41 am

  3. speaking of paint – we were looking for a paint color to match the undercarriage of our RV so we could paint the deck & steps… all i kept thinking was “dark chocolate” … apparently, I associate all colors to food.

    found the right color too! 🙂

    I’m on this paleo diet but I would gladly be naughty & eat one of these cookies!! they look YUM!

    Comment by mel — September 7, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  4. Michelle–hello! I love that your kitchen is painted “heavy cream.” Sounds delicious. And I’m with you about cooking at home…we have been doing less and less eating out, and when we do, I try to be really deliberate about where we are going/what we’re spending money on. usually it’s a vehicle to spend time with friends, which I never regret doing.

    Cory–I don’t think the addition of pine nuts would mess these up at all. In fact, if you pressed some into the tops of the cookies before baking, I think they’d turn out really well, like a hybrid shortbread/pignoli cookie. Thank you for the comment & the delicious idea!

    mel–you and the color-naming-people both, apparently 🙂 I’ve been hearing a lot about the Paleo diet recently. how’s it treating you?

    Comment by Blue Jean Gourmet — September 7, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

  5. Hi! I’m so glad we can keep each other in basil and rosemary. Start thinking of recipes b/c there is more basil coming your way.

    Comment by Sharon — September 8, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  6. These are beautiful! Citrus and basil is such a wonderful combination–I bet they tasted great!

    Comment by Tanvi @ The Hathi Cooks — September 9, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

  7. These look divine. I love the flavor combination, too!

    Comment by rachelsdigestif — September 20, 2011 @ 11:25 pm

  8. Have to laugh about a song being stuck in your head because of my Monster lately. She’s just discovering that this can happen and walks around getting mad at her brain because he (yes, her brain is a boy) won’t listen to her and play a different song. Oh, and the girls would LOVE these cookies.

    Comment by Cheryl Arkison — October 1, 2011 @ 10:19 pm


    Pingback by GINGER MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES — October 11, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

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