Episode 55: Blizzard Blondies and the Smells of Christmas

Andrea starts out by thanking Stefin for encouraging her to give author Ruth Ware another chance, as she redeemed herself with The Lying Game. If you were a fan of The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Andrea think you’ll enjoy this engaging mystery about four girls in an isolated boarding school. Andrea is also talking up Hallmarkies, a new podcast she’s discovered that’s giving all the scoop on Countdown to Christmas. Stefin has found some new Christmas stories and is getting ready to try the Chocolate Lover’s Christmas by Carole Matthews, while Andrea loved the Erin Hildebrand Winter Street Series.

Listeners, what are your favorite holiday reads?

On to more important things…eggnog! Stefin is struggling to figure out where to make her liquor purchases in London, while Andrea just learned about Bobby’s Flay’s Puerto Rican eggnog, coquito, that she’s itching to try.

The Blizzard Blondies from Redbook Magazine was a big hit with both our hosts. Andrea substituted dried sour cherries for dried cranberries and thought the flavor substitution worked well. Unfortunately, she didn’t let her bars cool long enough, leading to some difficulties when slicing. Stefin substituted semi-sweet chips in the batter (not on top) and wishes she had been able to find shelled pistachios in London!

Next up is homemade English Toffee. Both Stefin and Andrea have been fortunate enough to have it from their friend Jeanne, and obtain her mother’s recipe. Jeanne’s secret’s to success with this recipe include a flat bottom whisk, a pan with a heavy bottom, and a nut chopper.

Our hosts enjoy some fond memories of the smells of Christmas: gingerbread, pine, cedar and the classic clove-studded orange (Note: apparently they’re called pomanders). Stefin’s ordering her tree this year from Pines and Needles (a cute pun that sailed completely over Andrea’s head) but lamenting the fact that it won’t be fragrant. Andrea’s recommending the gingerbread scent from CB I HATE PERFUME, while Stefn’s on the hunt for a musty attic smell.


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