Saturday, December 05, 2009

Let the Baking Begin...

Tomorrow will be the big Holiday baking day here at the Sour Dough and considering the rest of my month's travel schedule, I better make the most of it too!

Judging from the pile of baking supplies on top of my wine cart

2009 Holiday Baking Supplies

I'd say I have a long day ahead of me.

I'm still on west coast time, so prepping for the day of baking isn't too bad and I've got the PGA Q-School on the Golf Channel (volume turned down) and the Time Life Treasury of Christmas Collection to keep my company.

I've already got the candied and dried fruit for my special fruit cake all chopped up and macerating in rum.

Fruit Mixture for My Fruit Cake

I've cleaned out the bottom and half of the top shelf of my fridge to handle the containers of finished baked goods

Making Room in Fridge for Holiday Baking

and now two rolls of refrigerator cookie dough are resting comfortably under a half hotel pan with a large sourdough ciabatta has joined the cookies for a long winter's overnight rest.

I was in Vegas for the last half of the week. It came on the heels of my Santa Monica/LA trip of the first half of the week. I ate at two of my favorite restaurants in both places, Cafe Del Rey in Santa Monica and Craftsteak in the MGM Grand in Vegas.

I've been eating at Cafe Del Rey for almost thirteen years and blogged about my meals there before. Craftsteak is a newer "must go to when in town" restaurant for me but I never fail to have a fantastic albeit expensive steak there and they make the best Sidecar I've ever had outside of the Algonquin.

But, what saved me in Vegas wasn't the Sidecar and the steak but rather my Brisk Brew.

zelco brisk brew

You see, Vegas hotel rooms don't have coffee makers in them because they want you to have to go down to the hotel deli/coffee shop at 5am and drop some coins in a slot machines on the way to get your caffeine fix.

I love my Brisk Brew for making coffee, tea, and even instant soup. I can't tell you the number of times even delayed in an airport after all the shops have closed that this little gadget has saved my life (and that of some fellow travelers). Unfortunately, Zelco has discontinued the product. The Voltage Valet looks to be a close replacement and is priced about the same as I paid for my Brisk Brew.

What is on my baking list for tomorrow besides fruitcake?

Iced Lime Refrigerator Cookies
Vanilla and Chocolate Checkerboards
Rum Balls made with homemade shortbread
Cutout Cookies
No Bake Cookies
Raspberry Linzer cookies

and if I have time, white chocolate dipped pretzels.

A good old fashioned Christmas goodie package if I say so myself.