And yet another reason to love pork…as if you needed one!

As promised, a few mouth-watering tidbits from Cochon 555, undoubtedly the porkiest culinary event in the country:

Pig in the Sky: Cochon 555 in Seattle, WA 2013

Pig in the Sky: Cochon 555 in Seattle, WA 2013

Cochon 555 is essentially a competition that features different chefs from the same city all cooking a different heritage breed of pig. Beyond that it’s a celebration for chefs and food fanatics across the nation to eat as much pork as possible in one afternoon.

This year’s PNW bout was held on St. Patrick’s Day at the beautiful Cedarbrook Lodge just outside of Seattle. Each chef put out several pork-filled courses to be first scored by a panel of judges and then enjoyed by the masses. The highest-scoring chef will go on to compete in Aspen for the title of “King or Queen of Porc.”

As a very lucky attendee, I suffered the hardship of walking around, gorging on pork in various forms, sweet and savory.

Here’s a few of my favorite swine-filled sweets:

Chef John Sundstrom of Lark wowed the crowd with his chicharone nutter butters.

Chef John Sundstrom of Lark wowed the crowd with his chicharone nutter butters. This was one of my all-time favorite bites.

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You’ve come a long way baby — happy birthday little blog!

Happy 1st Birthday!

Happy 1st Birthday, Attempts in Domesticity!

It’s now been, to the day, a year since I created Attempts in Domesticity. I resisted starting a blog for a long time, but my husband (who knows I love to write) prodded me into creating one and finally I caved. Since then, it’s become a big part of my life. On a basic level, it motivates me to cook more, even on nights when it’d be easy just to whip up a bowl of ramen for dinner instead.

But it’s more than that too…

I’ve learned a lot (not related to cooking) in the past 12 months. When I started writing posts, I was totally unaware that if I didn’t tag things they wouldn’t appear in the “reader” section. For the first month or two, I think my page views were averaging about 30 per week. (Don’t worry, Ree, no competition here!)

I was also so busy (considering it was the holiday season and all) that I hadn’t really started reading other people’s blogs, so I had no connections to anyone on WordPress. My blog was more like a public journal that no one besides my close friends read or even knew about. Finally I understood that I needed to take time to read other people’s posts if I wanted anyone to bother with mine — it’s not a one-way street.

Since then, I have gotten quite a few followers (thanks to all of you!) and made some virtual friendships with people who I really enjoy. I love feeling a little invested in other people’s — yes, basically complete strangers — lives, seeing what food they make, what crafts they create, the lives they’ve lived and where they’ve traveled to. It’s opened my eyes to a lot of different points of view which I think is pretty fantastic.

And so even after 12 months, I still feel like this project is fairly new — it’s constantly growing and developing, which means I am too. There’s no time to sit around and wait to be inspired — you’ve just got to go for it.

Anyways…back to the reason for the cake at the top of this post:

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A Cooling Heat: Ginger Ice w. Pineapple and Condensed Milk

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Ginger Shaved Ice with Sweet & Spicy Pineapple

I am behind. Way behind. We are moving into the first week of December with the speed of a freight train, and here I am still working on my Thanksgiving posts. Oh well, sign of a busy life, right?

That’s what I tell myself anyways.

So here’s a tidbit to tide things over. Since our Thanksgiving theme veered toward Asian cuisine, I wanted to make something complementary for dessert. I dug through my recipe binder and came up with this recipe for Ginger Shaved Ice, which was developed by Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi of Joule and Revel restaurants in Seattle. I ate (and loved) some of their food at Seattle’s Cochon 555 a few years back so I figured this would be a winner.

And it was! A spicy, icy winner at that.

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Triple Threat Ginger Cookies

Ginger three ways: freshly minced, crystallized and ground.

I love ginger in all forms but it seems to really taste best when mixed with butter and sugar. Well, to be fair, most things seem to taste best that way.

These ginger cookies were made because it was a Saturday and I had just bought some crystallized ginger. Yes, it really was that simple. I had been craving ginger and spice since I read this delicious blog post by Dinners for Winners and finally I had all the ingredients needed to make some yummy ginger treats of my own.

Or at least I thought I had all the ingredients. *Sigh*

It always seems to happen that I’m missing something. In this case it was a few things — though nothing important enough to prevent me from baking. I settled on a basic recipe, one I’ve used before and enjoyed, these Triple Ginger Cookies from Bon Appetite. They are from the Dec. 2009 issue, which by the way, had a pretty incredible pictorial spread of holiday cookies. There were cardamom crescent cookies and peppermint bark squares all very whimsically placed in a winter wonderland. I kept that issue around for much longer than necessary. It was just so fun.

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The Obsession Continues… Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Candy Corn Dreams

Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been trapped in my own private horror film, something along the lines of Children of the Candy Corn. While I am rather meh on eating them, the sugary little treats that epitomize fall have clearly infiltrated my brain this month. Over the last three weeks, I have painted a candy corn pumpkin and made candy corn krispie treats, and yet still my dreams have been flooded with the colors yellow, orange and white. So last week, in an effort to satisfy the demons, I made some adorable candy corn sugar cookies.

I couldn’t help it! I swear. I had to make them.

On the bright side, they really are adorable. I mean, really. Look at them.

Just don’t look at the wonky one in the back…I have no idea what happened there.

These cookies are the perfect treats to make when Halloween is around the corner. To counteract all the usual chocolate decadence, they are delicate and lemon-y. And, as a bonus, they are small enough that you can eat a couple without guilt.

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One Sweet Sandwich — Peanut Butter Creme Sandwich Cookies

I was invited to an open house a few weeks ago by my friend DB. The first thing I did was ask if I could bring cookies. He agreed, asking if I’d make the same brown butters ones that I had given him a few weeks before. But, like the bad friend I am, I totally refused. Life is too short to not try new cookie recipes!

And I had just bought some marshmallow creme in hopes of finally making these peanut butter sandwich cookies  — pulled out of a very old (Nov. 2008!) Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Honestly I’m shocked that I’ve had this recipe so long without ever having made it, but I think I’m always one ingredient short of having everything I need. So it gets stuck back in the recipe binder while I bake another cookie in its place.

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