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
2 eggs
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.


  1. Always a joy to visit your blog and learn more about you and find yummy recipes. Thanks

  2. Yummy recipe! Food is therapeutic. I agree completely!

  3. You are indeed strong and brave. Some days are better than others, too. I find washing dishes by hand to be a very calming activity. This is good, since I don't have a dishwasher.

  4. I had to read over the list a few times. I'm trying to memorize them, just in case.

  5. Your words today are beautifully eloquent. The lessons life throws at you are the foundation for the future you will become. Your ability to survive despite tragedy...well, you have become the face of that survivor to me. I am so proud that you use your voice and speak your heart.

    TBHITW was an amazing man that loved you. I am so glad you had him with you for all those beautiful days. Imagine if you had never met? I guess it really is better to love and lose then never love.

  6. I'm print both pieces. The incredible list of lessons learned.

    AND the recipe. I'm sure I'll ruin it, but I will GIVE IT A GO.

    hugs to you.

  7. I wish that you did not have to learn these lessons. I agree with the whole list. Take care of yourself.

  8. Were you always this wise, or has the wisdom sprung from the painful journey you've had to walk?

    So many points I want to touch on, but there are too many - I will merely say that you are incredibly intuitive and eloquent, and that, in another time, you would have been a great philosopher.

    Now, as for that biscotti - I have never made biscotti, I never eaten biscotti, but dadgum it, I want some chocolate! now! I have everything I need except the pistachios, but I do have walnuts. so I'm going to the kitchen now, at 12:30 in the morning to bake biscotti!

  9. TBHITW would be so proud of all that you have learned...as am I.

  10. Just stopping back by to say thanks for the recipe. I made it last night and it is FAB! Taking some (not all!) to work today...along with the recipe!

  11. and this too...almost. my main blog is Happy At Home btw..that's where I talk about my Tim. Thank you again for sharing..it helps.

  12. A lot of valuable facts in your list!

  13. I like your description of this biscotti. I've made a cranberry pistachio vanilla biscotti before, but I like your biscotti combo even better. It looks deliciously crunchy, just perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea. I have a linky party on my blog every week called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by tomorrow and link this up.

  14. I just found your blog through Lisa's link party. What a beautiful post. The biscotti looks delicious, too.

  15. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday. I hope you'll be able to join in again.


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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