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There aren't very many foods John and I are intimidated by. Two years of living in the woods and working for America's most beloved cookbook will do that to you. Part of it is developing a devil-may-care attitude towards complex dishes. We're testing and developing recipes, not preparing food for someone at a high-end restaurant in New York City.

When I was a vegetarian, I used to dread going out to eat. I know, it sounds strange to dread having someone else wait on you, cook your food, and clean up afterwards. You might infer from that statement that I would also despise having someone else do my laundry or sweep my floor. However, if you have ever tried to be a vegetarian in the rural South, you may understand my trepidation.

We live in the woods. As in, when you look at an aerial view of where we live, you cannot see our cabin because it is surrounded by trees. Due to this proximity to wilderness, we have many opportunities to eat wild foods. We aren't foragers, per se. We do not build our meals around what wild edibles are in season.

Whew. Not to be a naysayer, but I'm glad the holiday feeding frenzy is over. I certainly believe there's a reason we only consume certain things once a year--eggnog, the fatted holiday ham, hypersweet breakfast pastries--and now that we've emerged alive and perhaps a few pounds heavier into the new year, I for one am glad to be eating fruits, veggies, and whole grains in droves.

Before we sign off to enjoy our own family Christmas celebrations, we wanted to offer up one final holiday treat for you and yours to enjoy on Christmas morning: an elegant but simple solution to breakfast on the big day.

I have a strong affection for all things simple when I entertain. After all, the focus of most gatherings is the company--good food is incidental.

Are we the only ones who get the Christmas cookie blues? Now, don’t get us wrong, we love Christmas cookies in all their flavors and forms. The crispy, the chewy, the buttery, the ethereal…but after baking hundreds of cookies this holiday season for the blog, we feel the need for something a little different. Something a little messy and decadent. Like chocolate.

In the process of editing the book for the next edition, there are always some recipes that end up on the chopping block. The trouble with exceedingly large cookbooks is that we often have to make hard choices--we want to update the book to reflect the way people eat now, but we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

Is it possible not to love a crunchy almond cookie tossed in powdered sugar? And, after thousands of years of refining various cuisines, honing cooking tools, and passing down culinary knowledge from one generation to the next, is it possible to forget everything else when in the presence of one of these cookies?

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Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to www.joyofcookingapp.com. Don't forget to review the app!