by Debra on February 1, 2011

Musical pairing – Storm Warning by Bonnie Raitt

At the moment, we’re in one of the largest winter storms this country has seen in decades; covering 33 States, we experienced the first round of snow and ice beginning around 6pm last night and within the first 30 minutes our skylights were covered in ice. The Professor managed to wrangle the garbage can to the street but we have no idea if the garbage collectors will make it this morning as there is already a third of an inch of ice covering the roadways and our trees. Round two begins around noon today with another inch of ice expected to fall . . . followed by snow . . . and 40 mile per hour winds. Anyone want to take bets as to whether or not we lose power?

Because we live in the country, if we do lose power it could be days before it’s restored; most of yesterday was spent preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. Our generator is primed and ready to go, extension cords, flashlights, batteries and candles have been gathered, gas cans filled for the generator, cars filled with gas, water jugs filled with water and stored in the basement. I ran the vacuum last night at 10:30pm and started the dishwasher before heading to bed. And I cooked . . . and I baked . . . muffins, scones and these Cracked Pepper, Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chunk Biscotti . . . priorities people . . . because really, one cannot have too many sweets on hand during a major storm. They’re perfect. Not too sweet, light and crunchy and the cracked black pepper gives the biscotti a nice little ‘sumpin-sumpin’ at the end.

The recipe comes from one of my new favorite cookbooks, ‘Gifts Cooks Love’ by Diane Morgan – I highly recommend getting it for your kitchen library; no fancy ingredients but really terrific recipes and ways you can present them as gifts. Speaking of gifts, these biscotti would be a terrific gift for your coffee lovers – place a few in a mug or wrap in cellophane gifts bags, add a pound of espresso beans and you have something really special. Valentine’s day is just around the corner – I say bake these regardless of the weather!