December 8, 2008

baking christmas lizzies

I'm cranking up a few dozen Lizzies, my favorite Christmas cookie. Here's my variation on the recipe, maybe these should be called the Lizzie Borden variant because they are killer. Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 t vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
3 t baking soda
freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon & cloves to taste (I only use a few pinches of each)
1 lb raisins (Trader Joe's has a medley of golden, red flame and black that are perfect for this. In fact the whole TJ's nut & fruit aisle is a great source for Lizzie bakers)
1 lb dried fruits (try a mix of dried cherries, apricots, figs, cranberries; chop the big pieces up)
4 cups nuts (this year I used about 2c pecans, 1c slivered almonds, and some chopped brazil nuts)
1/2 cup nice cognac or brandy (I used a mellow old Martell Cordon Bleu handed down from my grandmother)

The night before you plan to bake, soak the fruits in the cognac.

Blend the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and spices in a large bowl. Stir in the baking soda, then add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until fully combined. You should have a nice creamy, sticky cookie dough at this point. Fold in the fruit including any leftover liquid, and add the nuts. Mix until well combined, at which point you may wonder if there's enough dough to hold all the chunky goodies together. Don't worry, the cookies are supposed to look like that ;-)

Place 1"-2" balls of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes. Cool on a rack, and plan for a good hard workout because you are going to eat a lot of these puppies.

Posted by Gene at 11:24 AM | TrackBack

October 6, 2006

i'm a bit worried about this google thing

Update 2006-10-14: Looks like this post resonated with a lot of folks. Thanks Lifehacker, you guys sure do drive a lot of traffic ;-) Thanks also to Tom at HawkWings, Jamais and the many others who linked here. And many thanks to all the commenters, especially those who disagreed here and elsewhere. I've continued the discussion in the post "I want my Google Data Privacy."

Update 2006-10-15: This is worth a read: Lauren Weinstein's Open Letter to Google: Concepts for a Google Privacy Initiative from May 2006. Wonder if he has had a response?


I'm feeling increasingly uneasy about my dependence on Google services. I just moved to the new Google Reader because it blows away every other feedreader I've used. I've been a sharpreader fan for a long time, because it was simple, easy and clean, and those attributes outweighed even the huge inconvenience of having multiple unsynchronized opml lists on my various machines. Well now I'm on reader 2.0 and loving it.

So I look around my desktop and I see Google Reader, Google Mail, Google Talk, Google Toolbar, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google News, Google Analytics, Google Earth, and of course Google Google. Google WiFi was a pleasant surprise when I was in Mt View a few weeks ago, and last night I found pizza (Goat Hill Pizza SoMA, yummy) for the geowanking gig using mobile Google on my phone. All of these things are becoming indispensable tools for me, and I really like using them because they work well and play well, and every few weeks they magically get better.

And hey, isn't it nice to have a single sign-in across all those apps? Oh wait, oops, it's almost like vendor lock-in, but with the added benefit of having my personal correspondence, my friends, family and contacts, my reading lists, my schedule, my location, and my search history all stored under one roof for easy data mining and subpoena! How, er, convenient.

I think I need a new Google product to drop into beta. That would be, let's see, Google Data Privacy. GDP would allow me to review all of the information that Google retains on me across all services, from all devices, and from all sources. GDP would allow me to determine the maximum data retention period for each of my services. GDP would allow me to selectively opt out of cross-service data mining & correlation, even if it reduced the quality of the services I receive. GDP would allow me to correct any inaccurate data in my profile. And GDP would log and alert me when my data was queried by other services.

I want my Google Data Privacy.

Posted by Gene at 4:00 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

July 28, 2006


Okay, looks like we're back. If you are seeing this post, our bits are now being proudly served up by Dreamhost. Most everything should be in place, except maybe a few photo albums that are still in transit overnight. Note also that we are now happily running Movable Type 3.31, yay. I know there's still a bunch of broken stuff on the site, I'll hopefully get around to a few improvements soon.

Anyway, thanks for reading, it's good to have you here!

Posted by Gene at 10:14 PM

July 22, 2006

got democracy?


New release, free and good. Get yer democracy on.

Posted by Gene at 11:57 PM

June 30, 2006

IDEA 2006 design awards wishlist

On my wishlist from the 2006 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (see the extensive and interesting website by sponsor Business Week):


Fig 1: The Quechua Two Second tent. Whoa!


Fig 2: Nokia's L'Amour series phones, pretty sweet looking


Fig 3: Kodak EasyShare One camera (with wifi!)

And, um...the Ondomusic design have to see it for yourself.

Posted by Gene at 9:23 AM