Winter warm-ups

Weather forecasters are often wrong.On the days when they are not, we often wish they were.So it is today, where the expected high in Eugene is to be around 30°F.At the moment, the thermometer perched precariously outside our home office window reads about 28°F.The snow that fell Sunday night and Monday morning is still coating our backyard, though the front street is now glistening wet with melted ice thanks to the brilliant sunlight today.

To combat this expected but still unusual chill, I’m using our dinner party tonight as an excuse to have the oven on for as long today as possible.With three space heaters running at full strength, the house is still cold thanks to protective, sun-blocking eaves, and house-wide hardwood floors.Last night I mixed the batter and patted out the logs for Almond and Orange Biscotti.I’ve amended the recipe for Lemon Walnut Biscotti from Bon Appetit magazine, seen here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Lemon-Walnut-Biscotti-231901.I’m substituting almonds for the walnuts, orange peel for the lemon peel, and a mixture of freshly squeezed orange juice and orange liqueur for the lemon juice in the original recipe.Then I drizzled some of them with melted semi-sweet chocolate to really make them a dessert item.These cookies require not one, but two sessions in the oven; an excellent plot for subversive house heating.

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Later, I’ll make baked acorn squash, coating the flesh with a mixture of honey, brown mustard and melted butter before shutting them up for their hour and a half required cooking time.The spinach risotto with lemon and goat cheese (courtesy of Jaime Oliver) does not call for the use of my oven, but I should be able to accomplish a healthy amount of steam from the stovetop.

Here’s to my kitchen and keeping warm!

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