Ginger cookies with white chocolate-cassis glaze

Ginger cookies with white chocolate glaze

It has come to our attention, Here at The Ordinary, that there are, literally, a gazillion food blogs in the world. This is a precise number, tabulated in our statistics division. A gazillion. When the field is saturated to such a degree, questions of sustainability arise. In order to “stand out from the crowd,” we have decided to rebrand ourselves. A careful review of the trending of recent posts out of The Ordinary, suggests that “the time is now” for a blog devoted entirely to the analysis of bird gestures. Henceforth, we will conduct a definitive exploration of birdy gestures, from both the scientifical and the poetical angles. If any bird in the tri-state area (any tri-state area!) should snap a beak, pump a tail, flap a wing or move so much as a feather…we will be there. We will head out into the field to become leaders of the field. We will provide in-depth-studies, detailed technical drawings, DIY guides, celebrity interviews, step-by-step instructions, virtual 3-D models, and printable paper cutouts.

I’m joking, of course! Rest assured we will still be firing a recipe at you (almost) each and every day! In the meantime, though, I have been thinking about birds a lot lately. Some time ago, I compiled a list in my head of my favorite bird related movies, birds and movies seem so perfect together – a movie is about capturing light and shadow and movement, and a bird’s whole life seems to be beautifully made of those things! I’d like to share my top four with you now. So, here we go, yo…

Le Poulet, Claude Berri’s ridiculously beautiful short film about a boy and his rooster. It’s joyful and simple, but it’s also incredibly thoughtful – it makes you think! It makes you think, specifically, about how it is harder to be cruel to somebody that you know, that has a name, than to a generic, unknown being. Once somebody (be they chicken or otherwise) goes from being a random, unnamed individual to being a friend – you have to treat them differently.

In Le Samourai, Alain Delon’s pet bird is, oddly, the most endearing character in the film. The title character is so cold and mechanical, he’d be a lesser man without this bird, who seems to represent his soul. I honestly felt more anxious about the bird than any of the other characters.

Ghost Dog. Inspired by Le Samurai. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again. Ghost Dog’s pigeons…his home is in their coup, he’s closer to them than any human, and they’re his only contact with people. Beautiful, fragile, and accompanied by some of the best movie music ever.

Kes is surely one of the most beautiful saddest movies ever. The bird is his refuge and his friend. I can’t even watch the trailer without getting weepy!

What are some of your favorite bird-related film scenes?

And your recipe for the day is ginger cookies with a white chocolate cassis glaze. I had a small amount of white chocolate chips left in the cupboard, and I wanted to bake something with them. I thought to myself…white chocolate is very sweet, let’s combine it with something with some bite – ginger! These aren’t like ginger snaps, though…they’re pale and simple, and quite elegant. I decided to mix a bit of cassis in with the white chocolate, because I thought its tartness would be pleasant with the spiciness and the sweetness. You could leave it out, or add the liquor of your choice. Rum goes nicely with ginger! So does orange! The flavors are very nice together. Strangely lemony, despite the fact that there’s no lemon!

Here’s Patti Smith’s remarkably ecstatic birdland
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Red wine and dark chocolate cookies

Red wine & dark chocolate cookies

I like wine. It’s almost a defining characteristic. If I was coming over to your house for a meal, you’d probably say, “Claire’s coming over? Let’s see. She’s a vegetarian, so lets get some vegetables, and she’ll be wanting wine, so let’s stock up on that.” And then someone else – the imaginary friend of my imaginary friend – would say, “Should we get a good bottle?” and you’d say, “Nah, she’ll drink anything.” Well, not anything! I wouldn’t drink mad dog 20/20 kiwi strawberry, for pete’s sake. But I am fine with cheap and cheerful, it’s true.

I grew up in a house that had a little silver dish that said, “a dinner without wine is like a day without sunshine,” and I seem to have taken that to heart! When I was younger, before I even drank wine, I would listen to this song by Antoine Forqueray. It must have been wintertime, I remember a glowing sort of light in the kitchen. My mother must have been making dinner. The song sounded like red wine, and I remember thinking, “I hope someday I’m in love, and making dinner, and drinking red wine, and feeling like this song makes me feel.” Welladay! Here we are!

Of course, there’s no combination better than red wine and dark chocolate. And this was the inspiration for these cookies. There’s red wine in the batter. It makes the cookies a little soft and cake-like, but pleasantly so, I think. The taste of red wine in a baked good is quite nice. It’s like a little fruity tang. It’s not overwhelming – you can have these with coffee in the morning. You can feed them to your children. It’s just really nice. These went fast!

Here’s the Forqueray, as played by Jordi Savall. It’s the 2Eme Suite, Chaconne La Buisson. God, it’s gorgeous!!
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