One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the food. We celebrate Christmas Eve with a big fancy dinner, which I have been in charge of making the past few years, and I always make multiple goodies to share with friends and family. This year my family is hosting the annual block party and I was put in charge of the baking. So, rather than provide the typical spread of sugar cookies and gingerbread, I decided to go rouge and gourmet things up a bit. Cookies on tonight's menu:
Cardamom and Pistachio Biscotti drizzled with Bittersweet Chocolate
And, for your cookie pleasure, you can find recipes below.
Disclaimer for the GFreers who follow me: Since I have yet to master a GFree chocolate chip cookie and I am the only GFreer attending the party, I made all of these gluten-filled. The Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix is delicious, however, and would probably benefit from the addition of some bacon. The biscotti can be made successfully subbing the flour for a gfree blend with the addition of a tsp of xanthum gum.
Big News from the San Diego Zoo! Yun Zi, the fifth cub mothered by Bai Yun and fourth to Gao Gao, will be following in the footsteps of his four siblings before him and making the journey back to his homeland next week. His arrival in China marks the beginning of his genetic contribution to the Panda species as a member of the breeding program. His siblings have had great success in the breeding program bringing more than 10 cubs into the world.
I am so proud of that little guy (well, not so little anymore). I was there when he was born and saw him almost every week until I moved to Texas. He is a gorgeous bear with a lot of personality and will be a great addition to the breeding program. I will miss him as I miss Mei Sheng, Su Lin and Zhen Zhen and hope that some day I might be able to make my own journey to China to visit.
The world lost an amazing person today. Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and icon for peace, passed away today (December 5th, 2013) at the age of 95. He will be remembered not only for being South Africa's first black president but for his immense role in the anti-apartheid revolution and the creation of the Rainbow Nation. His actions of humility and compassion during a time of such turmoil made him one of the most influential people on the planet. There aren't very many people who haven't heard of Nelson Mandela. He really was something special. And, hopefully, the country's current and future leaders will follow his example of tolerance and forgiveness so the country can grow and improve and get them out of the rut they seem to be entering. Nelson Mandela's legacy must live on.
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Cheetah Fun Fact
Cheetah's can't roar. Unlike their other big cat relatives, the cheetah doesn't have the ability to roar. In the noise-making department, the cheetah is more similar to its domesticated counterpart. So, one thing you will hear from a cheetah that you'll never hear from a lion.... purring! Other noises cheetahs make includes chirping, yelping, growling, hissing, snarling and bleating. Watch the videos below to hear for yourself!
I am a biologist and my life is crap!