There’s a storm outside. I haven’t left my apartment since Saturday night and between reading workshop submissions and Dracula I’ve taken a little break: drawing and cookies. I have rice keeping warm in the rice-cooker, a ripe mango and avocado, enough spaghetti for a week. Miraculously, there’s butter, sugar, flour and chocolate for baking, no matter the occasion.
I’m reminded of the time I was camping with my class. I was living in Australia and it didn’t take much to go out into the bush. We were in our tents but the rain was coming down so hard that the floors flooded. Soon the tents were floating in muddy water and our bags looked like small, very wet boats. I’d packed my clothes in plastic bags upon my father’s recommendation. We all relocated to the communal kitchen in the camping ground (the excitement of sleeping all together, girls and boys side-by-side, even though the floor was hard and our backs hurt!). In the morning we dried our clothes in the sun and cooked lunch. Less exciting for the parents and teachers, perhaps.
But let me return to this storm. The first thing I did today, after coffee and breakfast, was to get started on these cookies. They never let me down, so here I’ll share the recipe and hope that you, as well, have the ingredients stocked up in your stormproof home. Most importantly, we hope that you are warm and safe.

————————————— Sanaë’s Hurricane Recipe: oatmeal, chocolate, walnut cookies —————————————-

1 stick of butter, unsalted
½ cup sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate (I used 56%, chunks that I cut myself)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350F and butter a baking sheet
2. Cut the butter into small pieces and wait until it is at room temperature. Mix the butter and sugars together until fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla extract.
4. In a second bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter, sugar and egg mixture.
5. Stir in the oats, the chocolate pieces and walnuts.
6. With a small spoon, drop the dough onto the cookie sheet to form small cookies.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F, but do not overcook. Cookies should be golden, not brown, and will remain moist on the inside.

——————————– Nate’s Hurricane Recipe: Squash, Farro, Pepitas, Pear & Kale Salad ————————————-

While my neighborhood in Brooklyn remained relatively unscathed, from last night’s Category 1 Hurricane, many lower manhattanites were less fortunate. We may have lost internet, but across the bridge, electricity was blown, and both rivers came crashing onto the streets, sending cars and street lights floating down avenues. This was a storm like never seen before in New York City, one spurred by warmer water and stronger currents in the Northeast Atlantic.
In preparation for Hurricane Sandy, I went shopping days ago and stocked up on some seasonal ingredients to cook with. Inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s latest post, I made a salad of an ancient grains–farro–and roasted butternut squash & pears, toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), pickled shallots, topped with a bit of fresh baby kale for color. A soft cheese like ricotta salata is optional; I found it in my fridge this morning, realizing I had forgot to include it. Sometimes when you prepare to be home-ridden for days, it is important to buy ingredients to keep you occupied, warm, nourished. The internet is working again, so without further ado:

1 Medium Butternut Squash
1 Red Pear
5 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup farro
1/3 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3 ounces Ricotta Salata, crumbled (optional)
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 shallots, finely chopped
handful baby kale, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F.
2. Peel squash, scoop out the seeds and cut into 3/4 inch chunks. Do the same with the pear. Coat a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle salt and pepper on top and roast until tender, around 30-40 minutes
3. While squash & pear are roasting, cook farro in a large pot of water (1 cup farro to 2.5 cups water), bring to a boil, then simmer until grains are chewy, around 20 minutes.
4. Once farro is simmering, in a small bowl whisk together, cider vinegar, salt and sugar until they dissolve. Stir in shallots, and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes until lightly pickled.
5. Toast Pepitas on the stove top with some coarse sea salt until nice a crisp
6. Once everything is done, mix squash, pear, farro, shallot, kale, cheese and another tablespoon of oil in a mixing bowl. Salad keeps up to a week in the fridge.
Stay Warm, Dry, and Nourished, NYC.

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