Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cream Cheese Dainties and another resolution

When I wrote down my New Year’s resolutions last week I can’t believe I forgot one! I really want to start making more family dishes. Dishes that my mom made. That my grandma made. That her mom made. 

I’m lucky enough to get to do this because, along with my great grandmother’s aprons, I have one of her old recipe notebooks in my possession. This thing is amazing. So delicate I’m afraid to turn the pages. Filled with recipes and notes in my great grandma’s looping, swirling script. Let me tell you, she knew a thing or two when it came to desserts.

Thursday Things

1)     Christmas is this weekend! I cannot wait! I am so excited. Christmas means so much to me I can’t even explain, it’s so much more than gifts and cookies.

2)     In honor of Christmas the weather has given me a present…it finally snowed! Little more than a dusting, but snow nonetheless!

3)     Last weekend I went to Minnesota to celebrate Christmas with my boyfriend and his family and had a wonderful time. The entire family cooks and loves food (would I date someone who didn’t?) and we made some amazing meals.

Like these.

Salmon tacos with all the fixin's and a cilantro lime mayo

 And this.

Pumpkin and sage ravioli with a brown butter balsamic sauce

4)     And, to be a little mushy since it is the holidays and all, I made some pretty amazing memories too.

5)     Today I finished a ten pound bag of flour, over two pounds of butter, and a bottle of vanilla.Winning.

6)     I should have put this on my Christmas list. I got prune hands from washing my one bowl over and over again while I made six different kinds of dough today.

7)     My baking uniform today was t-shirt, athletic shorts, a vintage apron, and fuzzy slippers. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it! 

8)     I read a great tip on David Lebovitz  the other day. Use an ironing board as a makeshift counter top when you run out of space! It's genius!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Swedish Tea Cakes

I’ve never really been one of those nickname people. The ones who have a different name for every other person they interact with and all those cute stories behind them. Me? Not so much. My family has a few for me (that I really don’t care to share here), but most everyone in my life just calls me Amanda.

That’s it, no frills, nothing special, minimal confusion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Cookies

I’ve got a bit of a headache today. Nothing major – just a bit of caffeine withdrawal. We all know, I like coffee. A lot. I drink it in the morning to wake me up, in the afternoon to pick me up, and at night to keep me up. Black, with cream, two sugars, no sugar, how I drink it changes all the time.

Obviously, that means I am a sucker for Starbucks (Gold Card Member anyone?) and love everything from just a tall Americano to a fancy, schmancy, frothy, delicious calorie-bomb of a drink. And nothing gets me more excited than when they bring out their seasonally themed treats; starting with Pumpkin Spice in early fall and heralding in winter with lots of Gingerbread and Caramel Brulee lattes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Things

1)     I was knocked out for a few days with a cold. I’ve got to thank my dad for that one, he gave it to me while I was home for Thanksgiving – it was a nice welcome home. While I was confined to the couch for a few days I read my way through this and then this. Lightning fast. They are amazing! I can’t remember the last time I read a book so fast, and enjoyed it so much! I’ve got the third on my Nook right now and it’s taking all my restraint to type a post instead of find out what happens next!

2)     I finally managed to get lights on the tree! No ornaments yet, I’ll get there. For now I’m just enjoying the sparkle. Pretty lights.

3)     I hope this brings you as much joy as it brought me last night. (video)

Pay particular attention to her walking to and from the oven and how she bumps a bowl repeatedly, but just keeps going. And I've never seen anyone get so excited about rum and butter in my life - it's wonderful!

4)     I like cleaning. Organizing is fun. I don’t mind doing chores, it makes me feel productive. But I’m best at it when I’m procrastinating on something else. Not when it really needs to be done. Which is why one of my baking drawers looks like this.

5)     And I had the best intentions this week to organize my recipes into a neat little binder, complete with color coded dividers. Yeah…not so much...

6)     I wish laundry could do itself.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

2012 (and beyond)

Let’s talk New Year’s Resolutions. They freak me out. Like, really. It’s an awful lot of pressure – deciding to reinvent myself in one day. When I think about it like that, that New Year’s Day is some big, end all, be all kind of day, it kinda takes all the fun out of it. Like how stopwatches take the fun out of anything and everything running.

So, I’ve been thinking about my resolutions the past few days, and I’m deciding to implement my resolutions a little early. To give myself time to adjust and alleviate some of the pressure of January 1. Slow and steady wins the race after all, and 2012 is not a sprint.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Triple Hot Chocolate Cookies

There are a select number of distinctions that are very important when it comes to my life decisions. Decaf versus caf (lots and lots of caf). 2 percent or skim. White or multigrain. Hot cocoa or hot chocolate.

Yes, there’s a difference, my friends, a big difference. Hot cocoa is not hot chocolate – it is but a pale imitation of the thick, velvety smooth, creamy, wintertime drink I love so. Hot chocolate is melted chocolate with heavy cream and milk – perfected with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Hot cocoa comes from a packet and mixed into a glass of lukewarm milk – resulting in a pale grey, chunky, and flat drink.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday Things

1.     I had this cookie dough chilling in the fridge while my dad and I ate dinner.

2.     Oh, and dinner was steaks…from dinosaurs apparently.

3.     I baked the above dough in my new sheep pajamas. Yes. Sheep. They’re cute. So are the cookies! Recipe coming soon!

4.     I was also wearing one of my great grandmother’s holiday aprons. My grandma gave me some beautiful aprons over Thanksgiving. They’re so festive and fun and I feel like I’m wearing a part of history!

5.     This is why I love coming home during Christmas.

The only thing missing? SNOW!

6.     Shopping for boys is hard.

7.     I’m trying to figure out what to do with these. I have an idea – I’m going to play around tomorrow. 

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday Things

1)     It’s December 1! I can’t believe it! The year has gone so fast, and Christmas is right around the corner!

2)     And, in honor of it being December I busted out one of my vintage holiday aprons that my grandma gave me over Thanksgiving and baked up a storm for my dorm’s Holiday Party!

3)     I made double chocolate cupcakes, spice cake cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, gingerbread and sugar cookies, and mint chocolate brownies

4)     I split a pair of my jeans this morning (I blame the likes of the items in number 3).

5)     So, I wore sweats the rest of the day.

6)     It’s finals week for me. With things winding down right now I’m busier than ever, and haven’t had time to post. I feel like a drip. Forgive me? I promise in the coming weeks to do better - baking, posting, writing - if I only get the chance :)

7)     This is our Christmas tree back home. With my little sister as a frame of reference for its height. She's tall for her age...but not that tall. 

Happy Thursday!