Tuesday, January 25, 2011
More Things I've Learned and Chocolate, Cherry & Pistachio Biscotti
I have been on a very personal, very painful journey of discovery these last almost six months.
My journey has taken me places in my soul, heart and mind I have never imagined.
Here are some things I have learned:
Silence can be deafening.
Shoveling snow alone can be spiritual.
Music can heal and music can bring such pain as you could never imagine.
Loss is something everyone at some point in their lives experiences.
Grief has physical ramifications.
Guilt (real or imagined) has no place in grief. Kick it to the curb early on and leave it there.
You are capable of more than you think.
You are stronger than you think.
You are braver than you think.
There is always someone who is worse off than yourself.
Pity is self inflicted and is damaging.
Actions speak louder than words.
Seeing a qualified therapist is a courageous commitment to one's own future.
We need so much less than we have.
Food can be therapeutic.
Sleep can heal.
There are inherently good people and there are inherently bad people. It is good and wise to recognize the difference.
It is okay to ask for help.
It is okay to not answer the phone.
It is okay and necessary to speak of the dead. Please mention his name to me. It tells me he lived. It tells me he lives on.
I don't have a good segue into this recipe except to say Chocolate-Cherry-Pistachio Biscotti is sweet, and salty and challenging and a little nutty... kind of like memories.
Chocolate Cherry & Pistachio Biscotti:
2 cups all -purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter (room temperature is fine)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups toasted pistachios, chopped*
3/4 cup dried cherries, plumped and coarsely chopped**
Additional flour as needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla, blend well until incorporated. Add the flour and mix to create a dough. Add the chocolate, nuts and cherries and mix to combine.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal portions. With lightly floured hands roll the dough to create two 12 inch logs. Place on a lightly buttered or parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake biscotti for 25 minutes (or until firm to the touch). Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Cut logs on the diagonal into 1-inch thick cookies (12 per log). Place biscotti cookies 1/2 inch apat on cookie sheets, cut side facing each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool biscotti and place in an airtight container such as a cookie tin.
Biscotti can be stored for 2-3 weeks or frozen for 2-3 months.
*to toast pistachios simply place nuts in an ungreased frying pan over medium heat and toast until fragrant. Be careful! Nuts can burn quickly. You can substitute almonds or walnuts for the pistachios or omit completely.
**to plum cherries simply soak in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, drain and dry between paper towels.