I also talked way too fast.
But she was gracious and sweet. The dinner that night was incredible ... fennel frisee, soup au pistou, grilled Wolfe Ranch quail stuffed with corn and chanterelles, squash blinis and Chino Ranch greens. Dessert was hazelnut ice cream profiteroles with chocolate sauce and espresso caramel ... it was so good I had caramel all over my sleeves from trying to steal Dirk's dessert across the table.
I bought her cookbook, The Art of Simple Food, and she signed it for me. I use it all the time for vegetable soups, poached eggs, vinaigrettes, roast chickens. I really treasure it. It's a simple book in that the recipes are easy to execute and not ingredient heavy. Waters writes in the introduction of the book, "This book is for everyone who wants to learn to cook, or to become a better cook."
It's also a great holiday gift. Her recipe for ginger snaps is perfect for this time of year.
I made the dough and the boys helped roll them out ... and eat them.
from The Art of Simple Food
Makes 30 2 -inch cookies
Alice suggests using them for ice cream sandwiches, too.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Measure into a bowl and stir together:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
In another bowl, beat until soft and fluffy:
11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) butter, softened.
2/3 cup sugar
Cream the mixture until light and fluffy. Stir in, mixing well:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
14 cup molasses
1 egg, room temperature
Stir in dry ingredients. Don't over mix, but make sure they are completely incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 2 hours.
On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the cookies with a floured cutter and place them 1 1/2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Bake until puffed and set, about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 1 to 2 minutes before removing from the pan.