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Sunday Salon: Cookies, Grading, and a Giveaway!

December 13, 2009

The Sunday Salon.comI’ve been kind of absentee this past week, and it’s only going to continue for the next week or so. After that, though, the semester will be over, and I can spend the rest of the year worrying about nothing other than my dissertation research. :)

This week has been an almost continuous stream of student meetings, grading, and Christmas cookie making, with little enough time for reading. I’ve gotten through some of my audiobook while I baked, but other than that, it’s been pretty sparse. So far, I’ve made Baklava, Brigadeiro, White Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Marshmallow Logs (known in my family as Stained-Glass Cookies), Peppermint Bark, Cornflake Wreaths, Sour-Cream Sugar Cookies, Gingerbread, and a new recipe for me which I am henceforth dubbing Chocolate Crackle Cookies. (The name in the cookbook is Kris Kringle’s Chocolate Krinkles, which is way too twee to be able to say out loud.) I have ingredients and recipes for several more types I would have liked to try, but even with giving them away at every opportunity, I am still surrounded by a sea of cookies that I don’t really want to eat (I much prefer baking to eating), as well as being shy on free time to make more.

I posted the recipe for Brigadeiro last year, but I’ll let you guys vote on which recipe you want this year, and I’ll post it next week.


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Now that I’ve got everyone good and hungry, it seems like a perfect time to announce my latest giveaway: Tomato Rhapsody: A Fable of Love, Lust, & Forbidden Fruit by Adam Schell. I read and reviewed this book earlier this fall, and really enjoyed it! (Read my full review.) Adam was kind enough to send me a lovely signed copy of the book, so I am spreading the love and giving away my ARC.

It’s historical fiction set in rural Tuscany at the time when the tomato was just reaching Europe’s shores. It’s a love story between Davido, a Jewish tomato farmer (so, it’s marginally seasonally appropriate… Happy Hanukkah!), and Mari, a Catholic girl whose cruel and greedy stepfather has seized control of her family’s olive groves. To quote from my own review: “The prose perfectly matches the story it’s telling: earthy and bawdy and joyous and full of the flavors of the Tuscan countryside. It manages to be simultaneously operatic in prose and Shakespearean (and rhyming!) in dialogue, while never taking itself entirely seriously, and the result is lyrical and lovely and so charmed by its own cleverness that I couldn’t help but smile almost constantly as I was reading – at the words as well as the story.”

It’s a good fit for anyone who liked Joanne Harris’s Chocolat, historical fiction fans, foodie fiction fans, or anyone for whom the winter is making them feel the kind of blah that can only be remedied by a good dose of Tuscan sunshine and tomatoes fresh off the vine.

To enter, just mention in a comment below that you’d like me to put your name in the drawing, and tell me your favorite way to eat tomatoes. Open worldwide; I’ll draw the winner next Sunday.

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2009 3:02 pm

    Well, I’ve had your site on Google Reader for a while but no time to peruse. Now that I have, and I notice you are thinking of making baklava, let me issue this friendly warning/challenge that my family makes the world’s best baklava. I’m interested in seeing your recipe to compare. :)

    On a more serious note, I’d just like to keep in touch. I am also a voracious reader (and a writer) and blog about many different artistic and cultural things on an irregular basis.

    You may find more at http://www.jasonmakansi.com, http://www.jmakansi.wordpress.com, or my facebook page.

  2. mindy permalink
    December 13, 2009 3:40 pm

    i would love to be entered thanks i like my tomatoes room temperature and loaded down with salt

  3. SueP permalink
    December 13, 2009 3:47 pm

    i am an avid reader especially Historical Fiction i would love to add this book to my shelves enter me please ty Happy Holidays
    i like the name The Sunday Salon-i picture curled up in a sunny spot reading a good book

  4. brenda helgeson permalink
    December 13, 2009 3:53 pm

    fresh with salt

  5. December 13, 2009 4:27 pm

    My favorite way to eat tomatoes is right off of the vine! Please enter me.

  6. December 13, 2009 4:41 pm

    Two things. First: Oooh! Cornflake wreaths, I’d forgotten about those! Maybe I’ll make some of those for my cookie exchange in addition to my fudge and sugar cookies.

    Second: I definitely want to be entered, I’ve been intereste din this book ever since reading your review. My favorite way to eat tomatoes is either in some delicious fresh salsa, or roasted with asparagus.

  7. December 13, 2009 5:16 pm

    Ginger Bread Cookies, Please. I’m an ardent supporter of great, delicious ,and scrumptious…Ginger Bread Cookie. Better yet, post all of the recipes.

    Sigh, I won’t enter the contest. My favorite way to eat tomatoes is in soup though.

  8. Mary Ward permalink
    December 13, 2009 5:24 pm

    I’d love to be entered in your drawing! Looks like a great read. My very favorite way to eat tomatoes is to either plop the cherry tomatoes in my mouth with a little salt, straight off the vine, or fry green tomatoes.

  9. December 13, 2009 5:53 pm

    I would love to be entered in the contest. My favorite way to eat tomatoes is in Italian Bruchetta.

  10. December 13, 2009 8:38 pm

    Wow! That is a lot of cookies, I’ve gotten my baking down to two kinds, Shortbread and Tea Cakes. Yum!

    No need to enter me in the drawing. Have a good week!

    • December 15, 2009 9:07 am

      Gavin – Every year I swear I’m not going to go nearly as crazy on the cookies as I did the previous year… and then every year I’m like “ooooh, that looks like a fun new recipe to try!” :-D

  11. December 13, 2009 9:09 pm

    I’m with Bermudaonion on the right off the vine, not that I have a vine, but if I had one, that is how I would like to eat my tomatoes!

    Please enter me!

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  12. December 13, 2009 9:18 pm

    Please enter me! :)
    I love eating them raw, with a dash of salt.

  13. Cheryl W permalink
    December 13, 2009 10:01 pm

    Please enter my name!

    My favorite way to eat tomatoes is to dice them up with some pepperjack cheese cubes, chopped black olives, chopped red onions and a little olive oil/vinegar dressing.

  14. ikkinlala permalink
    December 14, 2009 1:03 am

    I’d love to add my name to your draw, please. My favourite way to eat tomatoes is in panzanella.

  15. Alexandrea M permalink
    December 14, 2009 1:57 am

    MMM, Ok the boring but best way I like to eat tomatoes is whole and fresh off the vine on a warm summers day. Sadly my 9 YES 9 tomato plants did poorly this year despite having all new dirt in all new raised beds so I did not really get the chance to do so because I was being stingy with my crop!

  16. December 14, 2009 2:59 am

    As they come and straight from the vine! In second place (and worth an honorable mention) is thickly sliced, dusted with salt and alternated with fresh basil and mozzarella strips then covered in a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Yummy!

  17. Jennifer M permalink
    December 14, 2009 11:34 am

    Please enter me! I love Sicilian (no onion, no oregano, just basil & garlic & parsley) tomato sauce on rotini.

  18. December 14, 2009 11:48 am

    Please enter me in this drawing! I love tomatoes all ways, but probably my favorite is to roast them with some seasoning and toss them (with all their juices) with pasta and fresh basil. Tastes just like summer should.

  19. Sue permalink
    December 14, 2009 4:13 pm

    I love tomatoes in every which way. Salsa, sliced on top of pizza, chopped up with pasta…
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

  20. December 14, 2009 6:16 pm

    Hmmm…my fave way to eat tomatoes is either in a bruschetta or cooked in some fantastic Italian yumminess…

  21. December 15, 2009 12:01 am

    I’d love to be entered–thanks so much! And I love to eat my tomatoes fresh off the vine, sliced thin with a liberal dash of salt. Exactly as my grandpa used to eat them:)

  22. Nycole permalink
    December 15, 2009 2:04 pm

    my favorite way to eat tomatoes is in bruscetta with fresh basil

  23. December 16, 2009 2:27 am

    Please put my name in the drawing — my favorite way to eat tomatoes is on bruschetta :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  24. December 18, 2009 12:27 pm

    It’s hard to decide which is my favorite. I love grape tomatoes in a salad, but a close second would be fresh tomatoes from the garden chopped up and tossed in with some noodles, oil and garlic.

  25. Sharon A permalink
    December 19, 2009 8:11 pm

    Please enter me in the drawing. I like to take heirloom tomatoes straight from the garden, slice them and put a little olive oil, salt and a good vinegar and eat away.

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