Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Is In Lockdown. Carrot Cake, Anyone?

So Boston/Cambridge/Watertown/Surrounding areas are on lockdown.  I'm sure you know that.  

I was woken up shortly after 6am this morning with simultaneous texts from my roommate, who was stuck at Logan Airport, and from the Cambridge Police.  The police text said:

"This is the city of Cambridge. Do [sic] to the police investigation in Water Town [sic] and the surrounding area, MBTA."  

TOTALLY unhelpful, but by then I was wide awake, so I turned on my computer to learn more.  Good lord, things are CRAZY in this city right now.  From my kitchen window I saw MBTA buses full of police being transported while I was eating breakfast.  Otherwise there's been very little vehicular traffic and few people out along the river, which is usually packed with walkers, runners, and bikers.  With the exception of occasional sirens, my neighborhood is very quiet, much like the whole city.  After what seemed like a lot of activity this morning, mostly from various media outlets catching up on the night's activity, there's been little fresh news since late morning.  It's kind of crazy to think that a city can literally shut down, and people more or less respect the command to stay inside, but so far it's working.

One friend wrote on Facebook that it feels like "a scary, weird snow day in spring."  Which is true.  Can't go outside, no where to go, and nothing to do.  So clearly, that called for snow day amusement tactics, namely baking.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Morning Pecan-Toffee Oatmeal Cookies

So Harvard is maybe moving me three times this year.  Once in June, then again in July, for sure.  And then maybe once in November.  Yipeeeeee.... 

(For the record, I hate moving.  Well, packing/unpacking.  Luckily Harvard is doing all the actual heavy lifting.)

So what is a baker with an overly full pantry to do in advance of all these moves?  Start depleting the pantry!  Clearly Wednesday morning cookies were in order. 

These cookies in particular happened because the recipe is a recent addition to the folder (and therefore in need of testing, see Recipe Folder Project, January 2013).  Also, as luck would have it, I had almost exactly the right amounts of oats, pecans, and Heath Bars (don't ask).  So really, Fate was telling me to give them a whirl. 

Oats, both ground and whole, make up half the base, giving these cookies a hearty crunch.  Lots of butter and a mix of white and brown sugars makes these cookies crisp on the outside but chewy in the center.  A generous amount of Heath Bar pieces amplify the brown sugar's deep toffee flavor.  Toasty pecans round out the flavor profile and make everything delicious, no?  These aren't fancy or beautiful cookies by any means, but are a great picnic treat or a deeply satisfying afternoon pick-me-up.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thin Crust Caramelized Onion, Sausage, and Spinach Pizza

The photography department here at Macy Bakes has been on an extended vacation, but they're back with (mediocre) pictures of (awesome!) pizza.  They kind of forgot to take a picture of the masterpiece before it was mostly-devoured, but here's a little slice (groan) of what was going on in the kitchen:

Please excuse the terrible cell phone picture. 
Last night I revisited the awesome thin crust pizza dough that I posted about in January, with real toppings that were only partially pilfered from the dining hall!  I wanted to make pizza, but didn't want to shop, so I poked around my pantry and freezer and came up with Caramelized Onion, Spicy Sausage, and Spinach Pizza with Pecorino-Romano and Mozzarella.