Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013...now don't be a bitch.

Here we are again.  A clean slate.  A time to restart, reboot and be refreshed.  If you lived in New England you were absolutely refreshed when you walked into the 20 degrees and the wind today had to offer.  So much for a mild winter.
I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very Happy New Year and may this year bring you only the best that life has to offer.  And, if it doesn't, I hope you can stand up and face it head on with the all courage you have.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


This was my favorite season.  My whole life, I would wait for the day after Thanksgiving to happen so that all the decorations would come out.
This year is different.
I had a mix of Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations out for weeks, and I mean, well after Thanksgiving happened.
I've had no time to do the things I've wanted to do this season.  I just mailed my Christmas cards yesterday.  I'm usually that annoying person who sends them the day before Thanksgiving so you get mine first.
My husband was away on business for a week, working at a photography studio which has been busy and non-stop since the summer, with a move to a new studio in the mix as well, it's just be a stressful year.
I made it about a week and half with cookies, and that's it.  I can't find the time this year, and when I finally do have a moment, it's spent sleeping!
I've been really down about not finishing up this season, but then I realized, I started this for FUN when I was laid off.  I had all the time in the world at that point!  No one is forcing me to do this, I should be doing this for FUN not for the stress of getting them perfect so that I can blog about them.
I will be back after the new year, but on my own terms.  This blog should be fun, and it's just become another task on my to do list that I never reach.
I'm taking the rest of the month off for ME.   I may post something if I make something, but I am not about to lose my shit to make a new cookie everyday.  After the year I've had, as well as my family has had, we deserve to just enjoy each other this year, not sit in the kitchen like a slave.  A death, a broken back, and the adoption of a teenager is what I've been focused on, and now I will focus on the family around me this season.  And I hope I encourage all those moms who think they have to be superwoman at Christmas time and bake everything they see on pinterest, to relax and enjoy their families.

May you all have a blessed and happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 6: Peppermint Biscotti

I did a biscotti a few years back and it was a mess so I vowed not to try them again, but here I am, trying it. I will never learn my lesson!  They may not look as cute as this picture, but at least they tasted good.

Peppermint Biscotti

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Imperial Sugar® / Dixie Crystals® Granulated Sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed peppermint candies
FROSTING: 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
 In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir in peppermint candy.
Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating until blended (dough will be stiff). Divide dough in half. On an ungreased baking sheet, shape each portion into a 12-in. x 2-1/2-in. rectangle.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut diagonally with a sharp knife into 1/2-in. slices. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets.
 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over biscotti; sprinkle with candy. Place on waxed paper until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 5: Coconut-Cranberry Macaroons

I needed a break from chocolate today.

Coconut-Cranberry Macaroon

2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 cups (about 8 ounces) finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Whisk the sugar, egg whites, cranberry, orange zest, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Toss the coconut with the egg mixture until completely coated.
2. Moisten your finger tips with water. Form about 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter into pointed mounds or pyramids on the prepared pans, spacing them about 1-inch apart.
3.  Bake until the edges are golden brown and the entire macaroon is nicely toasted and dry, 16 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve. Store macaroons in a tightly sealed container for up to a week. 

"Have you seen these toilets? They're GINORMOUS!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 4: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

If you like Girl Scout Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies, you need to make these STAT!!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking oats
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
3. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet, and press each mound down with a fork to form 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown.
4. To Make Filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butter or margarine with the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.

" You smell like beef and cheese, you don't smell like Santa!"

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 3: Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

This was posted on Pinterest as the "best sugar cookie recipe".  So of course I had to try.  They may be right...

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 8 hours, or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting, or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or colored sugar.
4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

"What's a Christmas-gram? I WANT ONE!"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 2: Peppermint Truffle Cookies

Try these with different flavor Hersery Kisses in the middle.

Peppermint Truffle Cookies

8 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Peppermint Extract
 2 cups flour
 36 milk chocolate kiss-shaped candies, unwrapped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar, egg and peppermint extract. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually beat in flour on low speed until well mixed.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Press a chocolate candy into the center of each ball, forming dough around the candy to completely enclose it. Roll in remaining 1/2 cup sugar to coat. Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets.
3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

"Walter: *whispering* We should call security... 
Emily: *whispering* Good idea.
Buddy: *whispering* I like to whisper too."