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Food and Drink

How Alaska eats: Cookie dreams and oatmeal realness #adultfoods

Molasses cookies with crystallized ginger have chewy edges and soft centers. (Maya Wilson / Alaska from Scratch)

Newsletter #30: Bake my day

Sorry, where am I? I’m not sure how long I was just lost in the magical wonderland that is Maya Wilson’s cookie recipe collection. Time melted away like a hot chocolate chip. (Mmmmm, kinda like the chips in these tahini chocolate-chip cookies. Oh, I also want to make these cranberry-orange oatmeal cookies, and those chewy molasses ones pictured above. Also: Did someone say blondies?)

But, being real, I’m trying not to eat so many cookies, because it’s so cold I haven’t been going on very many long walks. I have been eating a lot of warm, spiced oatmeal. Specifically, I have been eating steel-cut oatmeal simmered with whole chai spices and dried cherries. I cook it Sunday and then keep it in the fridge, and it makes breakfast super fast. It gets so firm that you can slice it. I have been known to eat it cold.

Chai spice steel cut oatmeal. (Julia O'Malley / ADN)

When not eating cold oatmeal slices, I’ve been scouting around the Costco produce section looking for inspiration. One of my fave no-recipe treats: Slice and roast multi-colored cherry tomatoes on a sheet pan, dry, in a 425-degree oven for 45 minutes. Spread ricotta cheese on fresh baguette slices, spoon on some roasted tomatoes and drizzle with honey. (Or, better yet, Mike’s Hot Honey. A worthy multi-purpose purchase. Try Natural Pantry, Fred’s or online.) Meanwhile, Kim Sunée is detoxing from rich holiday meals with some simple braised Savoy cabbage. Maybe a nice weeknight dish?

Braised savoy cabbage. (Kim Sunee)

I still can’t stop with the vintage books about cooking, especially the Alaska ones. Click here to see a table-setting diagram from the ”Gracious living without servants” section of Amy Vanderbilt’s “Complete Book of Etiquette,” published in 1952. I actually found the copy, once property of the Navy, in Adak.

I know I say this every week, but it’s still true. If you’re a fan of local writing and local cooking, get yourself a digital subscription?

Here’s hoping you make it to the gym as many times as you hoped you would this week.

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