My secret santa (Ellie, Joe's sister) got me the best present ever for Christmas--a subscription to Cook's Illustrated. I've been wanting one for the past year, and Joe didn't even tell her. Somehow she just knew. (Maybe because last year I spent the entire Christmas day wrapped up in her copy.) Last week my first issue arrived in the mail, and I immediately devoured it, reading the entire thing from cover to cover. I love it. The magazine really appeals to the perfectionist in me. My left brain takes over when I do most things, especially cook, and Cook's Illustrated takes that same approach. The recipes are created in a scientific manner, variations being judged by taste testers to determine the winning combination of ingredients and methods. My favorite part is the explanation of why one thing works better than another. And, dang, the recipes are delicious. Pictured above are the molasses spice cookies I made from this recipe. Yum. Seriously, best present ever.