Happy New Year 2013!

by Jeanne on January 1, 2013

Elf-New-Year-Card

I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  I cannot wait to see what the upcoming months hold for all of us!  Cheers!

(Clip art from: webclipart.about.com/od/New_Year_Clip_Art/ss/Vintage-New-Year-Cards_3.htm)

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toast-booklaunchmediumWow!  What a year it has been for me.  Truly, this year has been the stuff of dreams and I can’t quite believe I’ve had the opportunities and experiences that I have had.  I am truly a lucky person who has been blessed with so much.

I plan to tell you more about everything, but as my final post of the year, I want to tell you about a special person who has enriched my life in ways I never dared to imagine.  Her name is Nancy Baggett and I am proud and thrilled to call her a friend and a mentor.

The story actually starts for me 20 years ago when I was in grad school (wow, I can’t believe that was 20 years ago).  I was at NYU and my dad and his family lived in Connecticut.  So, I would take the bus up to CT on a regular basis to hang out with them.  My stepmom was an avid cook and baker like me, so we spent many happy hours in the kitchen, hanging out, making food, and chatting.  One day she said she had gotten a new cookie cookbook and as far as she was concerned, it was the best cookie book out there.  Well, of course I had to get it.  The book was The International Cookie Cookbook, by Nancy Baggett.  And my stepmom was right—this book was a winner!  It immediately took pride of place in my tiny NYC kitchen and I turned to it whenever I needed to make cookies.

Later, when I moved to Seattle in 1990 to start my new position at a local university, I kept baking cookies.  And I roped in a new friend of mine, Carla, who also worked at the university, to bake with me.  I don’t remember how we started, but Carla and I developed a tradition of baking cookies each Christmas, using the recipe Nancy has in her book for Iced Sugar Cookies.  We spent hours and hours rolling out, cutting, baking, and decorating cookies.  To be honest, I have no memory of what we did with all of those cookies (other than eat them)—I think we each must have brought in our cookies to the university for our students to eat.  But, I remember so fondly the afternoons of sheer cookie baking bliss.

10 years later, I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and had to start adapting wheat baking recipes to gluten-free.  Of course, one of the first books of recipes I adapted was Nancy’s book.   By this time, she had another cookie cookbook out, The All-American Cookie Book, which I also started adapting (she is a prolific writer–she also has several other, non-cookie cookbooks).  I couldn’t live without cookies—and especially, without Nancy’s recipes.   And when I switched my blog over to focus on gluten-free baking (instead of knitting and chickens), I posted my adaptations.  One day I posted an adaptation to her Jam-Filled Butter Cookies, from her first cookie book, which she mentioned were also known as Hussar’s Kisses in Hungary.  In my post, I wondered why they were called Hussar’s Kisses.  To my surprise and delight, Nancy sent me an email saying that she could never find why, either.  Wow!  One of my baking heroes actually commented on my site!  I couldn’t believe it!

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Merry Christmas 2012

by Jeanne on December 24, 2012

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  This has been an amazing year for me and all of you are part of that!  Thank you so much for your support and friendship!

(video is in honor of the fact that this blog used be called Four Chickens–enjoy!)

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Hey Seattle folks!  Just wanted to let you know that apparently the shipment of my books did not arrive at City Kitchens in time for today’s event, so they have postponed it until Monday (December 17), 12-2pm.  So sorry for the inconvenience!  Please come by and say hi on Monday!

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Book Tour Events for Week of December 10-14, 2012

by Jeanne on December 11, 2012

Hey folks! We are rolling into my last week of super-busy book promotion. If you want to get a book signed in the Seattle area, please check out the following events! It’s been so fun to meet many of you and chat! What a lovely time this has been for me!

* Wednesday, 12/12, 7 pm, Samples, Talk, and Book Signing, Village Books, Bellingham, WA
* Thursday, 12/13, 4-6pm, Samples and Book Signing, Metropolitan Market, Kirkland, WA
* Friday, 12/14, 12-2pm, Samples and Book Signing, City Kitchens, Seattle, WA

 

(Clip-art from www1.free-clipart.net/cgi-bin/clipart/directory.cgi?direct=clipart/Education/General&img=18)

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Yay!  My holiday season keeps getting more merry and bright each day!  My book was included on the shortlist of NPR’s 2012 Cookbook Roundup!  I’m so honored and happy!

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It is a busy, busy season for me given that my book is a holiday-themed book.  Here is where I will be signing books this week:

  • Tuesday, 12/4, 4-6pm, Tom Douglas Cookbook SocialSeattle, WA
  • Wednesday, 12/5, 6:30-8pm, Gluten-Free Baking Demo and Book Signing,Book LarderSeattle, WA
  • Saturday, 12/8, 10:30am-1pm, Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays Class, 21 AcresWoodinville, WA
  • Sunday, 12/9, 6:30-9:30pm, Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays Class: Cookies!, The Pantry at DelancySeattle, WA
For all Book Tour Events, see this page.
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Kindle Version!

by Jeanne on December 2, 2012

It is available for $3.49 at the moment!  Check it out–such a deal!  I have no idea how long this deal will last (authors have no say in these things), so grab yours today!  I just bought mine!

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Bay Area peeps!  Please come by one of my events and say hi!  Details:

  • Monday, 11/26, 7 pm, Book Signing, Books Inc., Palo Alto, CA
  • Friday, 11/30, 6-7pm <—-TIME CHANGE!!!!  pm Book Signing, Zest Gluten-Free BakerySan Carlos, CA (this event has an RSVP attached to it–no pressure, it’s just so we know how many folks to plan for!)

I hope to see you!  Both events include gluten-free nibbles to snack on. :)

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Happy Thanksgiving 2012

by Jeanne on November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I have so much to be grateful for this year. And you, my readers, are part of that. I love the comments and chats we have here. I am thrilled to hear about your successes with my recipes. I appreciate when you share your failures with me so we can figure out what went wrong together. I am reassured to know that you have my back and let me know when I forget to include an ingredient or a method in a recipe. And most of all, I love being able to share my baking with you and know that in turn, you are sharing it with your family and friends. Thank you for being there and being part of this site with me! I wish you and yours a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Also, shameless bragging: my book and the recipe for my cut out cookies are on the PBS Kids site today! Yay!!

(image from www.orble.com/sylvias-free-art-stuff/b4/vintage-clip-art/)

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