Uh, nesting.

I can’t stop baking and cooking.

It all started at Thanksgiving dinner. Where I made the meal. Including a pumpkin mousse cheesecake.

Pumpkin mousse cheesecake cross-section.  And done. *collapse*

Then I saw this recipe for baci di dama cookies over at David Lebovitz’s blog. I mean, I had to make it. I had to! Even though I was 8 and a half months pregnant. And I’m so glad I did. They’re my favorite cookies these days.

Baci di Dama cookies

I think my mistake was buying and reading cookbooks. Because I picked up an old copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook, and started thumbing through it. And looked at the bowl of leftover cranberry-pineapple chutney from Thanksgiving. And saw the sour cream coffee cake recipe…and decided to combine the two. And then: great success! Coffee cake with sour undertones from the sour cream and from the topping. Ahyes.

Cranberry sour cream coffee cake cooling. Next time I'm making this in a bundt pan. I had to overcook the edges in order to cook the middle.

The Silver Palate cookbook’s trademark recipe is chicken marbella. How could I NOT make this? So I did. And it was totally worth it.

Though I will warn you if you are sensitive to salt like I am, you will be a little puffy the next day. Still, totally worth it. Good stuff.

Okay, more than good. It was excellent. Like, going into my main repertoire, excellent.

Chicken marbella

Then I got obsessed with soft boiled eggs. Okay, I’ve always been obsessed with them. But I got obsessed with making them at home after reading a blog post on them over at Whitney Wright’s blog. I totally bought the egg cups, too.

soft boiled egg and toast fingers

Oh, and then I ran low on kimchi. And then I ran out of kimchi. And then I decided there was no way I was going to be without kimchi in my first few postpartum weeks. And so I made some kimchi. Woo!

Kimchi done. Now fermenting.

And because I’m pregnant, of course I’m going to make myself a big pot of miyuk gook, the recipe of which I’ve posted on my food blog Muffin Top:

Miyuk gook/seaweed soup!

So you’d think I’d be set, right?


Then there’s literary rejection season. You know what I do to cope? You got it: I bake. I bake to offset my anxiety. To distract myself from staring at my words while filled with self doubt.

I bake Ottolenghi spice cookies out of his cookbook with Tamimi called Jerusalem (fabulous cookbook–with an amazing narrative–though for everyday and comprehensive Middle Eastern cooking, I am still heavily reliant on Claudia Roden’s cookbooks–I love both her Book of Jewish Food and New Book of Middle Eastern Food. Her recipes are bulletproof and authentic).

But back to those spice cookies!

Ottolenghi spice cookies

And I baked Francois Payard’s flourless chocolate cookies. Except I discovered I don’t have walnuts, but I do have hazelnuts, so I substituted hazelnuts for walnuts and it turned out just fine. It turned out more than fine.

Flour less chocolate cookie adapted from Francois Payard's recipe

Now who will eat my cookies? My friend stopped by and the first thing I asked her was, “You eat cookies, right?” And as she nodded, I walked her to the kitchen where I loaded up an airtight container full of cookies. (Yes, I’m a freak who likes to bake, but is overwhelmed and doesn’t like to eat too many cookies at once).

And have I told you? My freezer is packed with food. I’ve been squirreling away leftovers in there for the first postpartum weeks. There’s so much food in there, we have to start eating it now. Ohlawd.

And in other news…I did pretty well with following through/up on my “2012 To Do List” this year. I think 2013 will be about “survive the first few months of motherhood and get back to my writing”–should look into a list for that.

Also, yes. In between all this, I’ve been resting. Maybe a bit too much. After walking a minimum of 5 miles a day (and more like 7 miles/day) for most of gestation, I stopped moving about three weeks ago (I now walk around 3 miles/day–bleah). My last week of regular yoga was at around week 32. My last week of long walks was around week 34. I’m at 37 weeks today, and giving myself permission to poop out.


Filed under Pregnancy, Writing

5 responses to “Uh, nesting.

  1. Nate

    Three miles = fifteen in extra person miles. You are actually being pretty reasonable here; rest and (ok, some) food you will need. Still, this is the funniest nesting I’ve seen since my sister was trying to talk my BIL into painting every room in their house red (so that “the rooms would all match!”)

    Keep your list short, this year someone else is going to have one for you 😉

    • ohlawd–you haven’t even seen the nesting my husband’s been doing! (more “normal stuff” that has to do with getting the house ready). he’s traveled for 90% of my pregnancy, so he’s now at home, squishing all of it into a span of a few weeks. (though he did start a few big projects before leaving for travel so i got to be “the lucky one” who managed them–like painting the house). thank goodness the nursery’s ready and we got all the gear.

      • Nate

        That instinct’s a powerful one, gotta get the projects done before the BIG project.

        The right gear is tough to sort out. Don’t be afraid to borrow or swap out w/ friends until you find what works. I remember early on we borrowed this swing from my wife’s cuz and P actually SLEPT in it (i.e. we didn’t have to hold her!), so I immediately ran to the store and bought the eighty pack of C batteries. She then, of course, refused to have anything to do with it. I still have those batteries.

        Okay, one more thing and then I promise to stop with the advice forever:

        My mother taught Natural Childbirth for many years (she was even the head of our state association at one point.) She had a checklist for the labor day “go bag”: a deck of cards, snacks, snuggly pjs, phone #s, stuff like that. Well, she was always insistent about everyone having an old tube sock knotted shut with three tennis balls inside “to massage out the cramps.” It looks like a homemade dog toy, and my mom thought canning wild grape juice was a good idea, so I was highly skeptical of this advice for ~30 years. But the day of, when after 24 hours these hands could massage cramps no more, I shoved that “sock & balls” under my wife’s leg cramp and then actually got to hold her hand and coach her properly. Gotta love mom. Trust me on this: get your husband a “sock and balls.” Eh, then keep baking.

        • I’m all ears on what to pack in the bag! (I’m getting it together these next few days). And all about advice/learning about the gear! (Gotta go buy some tennis balls).

  2. O YUM G. I need to be your neighbor so we can make paper airplanes out of rejection letters while all these cookies bake. These all look so crazy good. How do you manage to get cookbook recipes right the first time? Mine usually turn out a mess…though that may have to do with my habit of altering recipes. Speaking of recipes–are you willing to share your kimchi making method? We love it but it’s so pricey to buy in the store.

    (And finally–congratulations on your soon-to-be-momness! That is wonderful news.)

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