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Baking

It’s been a while since I shared a recipe… a cookie recipe! YUM!

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (softened at room temp)
  • 2 tbsp Matcha green tea powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk (any kind)
  • 1/3 cup pistachios (chopped)

In a food processor mix the flour, sugar, and matcha powder until it is well combined.  Then add in the butter and mix well.  Add in the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix well.  Last but not least add in the chopped pistachios and mix well.  Form dough into a log about 1.5″ in diameter and roll into parchment paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Preheat oven to 325°, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Slice log of dough into 1/2″ slices  and bake for about 18-20 minutes.  The color of these cookies will not change much, be careful to not over bake!  Yield: 20-24 cookies.

Enjoy!

At the beginning of the year I made myself some goals for 2012.  I put them on my blog so that I could hold myself accountable for actually reaching them.  Here is my list of goals and my progress on each one:

1. Learn to bake bread- no progress, but hopefully before the end of the year.  There is still time!  And luckily this is a task that shouldn’t take a day or two.

2. Learn to quilt- no progress, but I did buy all my fabrics and get my sewing machine out of storage. Ah ha! Here are my fabrics.  I purchased most of them from Sew Modern.

     

  

Here are all of the fabrics stacked up together so that you can see all the colors and prints in action.

3. Begin to learn Italian- nessun progresso (that’s Italian for no progress)!  But that’s okay I have plenty of time before I move to Florence, Italy.

4. Get my butt into shape- So for I bought an adult tricycle to get around (but it’s been raining lately- a great thing!!!) and I have lost 20 pounds (50 pounds to go).

5. Publish an E-book or a book book- HA! What an unrealistic time frame I gave myself! Maybe in 2013 or 2014.

6. Get organized- Believe it or not I didn’t own a desk before.  Now I have a desk a file cabinet, drawers, almost everything in my life has a place! but of course there is lots of room for improvement.

7. Learn how to plan things ahead of time- I have made so much progress on this.  Even my blog posts I schedule 7-10 days ahead of time! But this is a constant battle for me- procrastination is in my blood… its what I am made of… my very essence.  Fighting it is like fighting my DNA… it’s freggin hard! So I’m working on it and making progress.

8. Eat healthier and more vegetables (get a CSA box)- Got my CSA box! And I LOVE it!!!  I now receive the “more veggies only box” every other week.  They stay fresh much longer because they are local and don’t spend two weeks on a truck.  So not only am I eating more vegetables that are local, organic and in season, but I am getting way more creative in the kitchen!  BTW- Let me know if you are interested in Farm Fresh to You – I can get you a coupon code for $10 off your first box!

9. Eat out only 1-2 times a week- Well, ever since we got our CSA box I feel an obligation to use everything in the box.  May no vegetable go to waste! So naturally we are eating out much much much less.  Also now that I’m not working a full time job I’m not exhausted when I come home and I have a ton of energy to cook for dinner. Also all the veggies we eat give me energy, and the weight loss gave me more energy.  Its cyclical! So now we are down to eating out about 1-4 times every two weeks.

10. Plan a vacation to Europe & New York- Nothing on NY front… but I am thinking about it for the spring.  I did go to Barcelona in the summer. Sorry I didn’t blog about it… but it was right in the middle of the Olga’s Vest KAL and there just wasn’t any Barcelona blogging time… but I have to say- my sister and I had a blast!!!!!  But why don’t I share a few photos for fun?

     

From left to right: La Padrera, Parc Guell, La Sagrada Familia.

 

     

From left to right: Me shopping at All You Knit is Love wearing my Janna’s Tunic, a random yarn bombing in the Gothic Quarter, my sister polishing off a bowl of very Spanishy nachos and washing it all down with a hearty pitcher of sangria.

11. Self-publish between 8-10 patterns with about 5-6 garments- Hmmm….. well… this was definitely a tough one!  I self-published 11 patterns this year and 6 of them were garments.  So booyah! Got that one in the bag!

12. Finish all UFOs older than 3 years- HAHAHAHA! What a pipe dream! I did finish one UFO… and then I published it…. can you guess which one? Here is the link to the pattern… I published it :)

13. Knit another Blanket (maybe TDS)- Didn’t do TDS, even though I still want to.  I even have a the perfect yarn picked out, Manos Del Uruguay Wool Classica.   TDS my size! Even  though I didn’t knit a blanket, I have crocheted one and started piecing it together.

     

14. Make my own pair of pajamas- Yeah right! Another pipe dream.  Got the fabric, got the machine out of storage….  now I just need to relearn how to sew, follow a pattern, and remember how to use my machine…. aaaah! Overwhelming.  One of these days I think I’ll go to the Sewing Arts Center and take a class.

 

I’ve been at it again.  I know what you’re thinking- I’ve traded in knitting for cookies and crochet.  But that’s not the case… I just have a lot of secret knitting projects right now that I just can’t share quite yet.  But in the next few months everything will be revealed!

In the meantime I baked more cookies!  As if all the food at thanksgiving dinner wasn’t enough I had to bake another batch of cookies on Saturday.  Yes, another shortbread recipe…. I know I’ve lost my mind.  But these were pretty good.  These Lemon Poppy Seed cookies aren’t too sweet like the other cookies I’ve been baking lately, which makes them less addictive and a great companion for some nice strong black tea.

Servings: makes 20-22 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

1 softened stick of butter

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp poppy seeds

zest of two medium lemons (I used Myer lemons)

 

In a bowl mix together the flour and sugar.  Add the butter and mix in carefully (I used a fork for this task).  Then add in the egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix in well.  Now you will add in the lemon zest and poppy seeds and mix them in well.  Roll out the dough into a log that measures about 1.5″ in diameter and wrap in parchment paper.  Refrigerate the log for at least 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 325º.  Cut the log into pieces about 1/3″ thick.  Bake cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.  The cookies will not change color much, the longer you leave them in the oven the crumblier they will get.  Enjoy these cookies with a nice hot cup of tea!

 

 

 

I’ve been going a little nuts with the baking lately… I’m coming up with and testing recipes for the February TNNA show, where I will of course be passing out cookies as usual.  I’ve been baking all kinds of shortbread cookies… so many!!!  This recipe was so unusual and delicious I just had to share!

Here is what you need:

2/3 cup flour

1/4 cup coco powder

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 tbsp ground espresso (I prefer a French roast)

1 stick of softened butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

zest of 1/2 a medium organic orange

 

Combine the flour, coco powder, sugar, and espresso powder into a bowl and mix well.  I like to use a whisk for this task.

Add the butter and vanilla extract and mix in well.  You can use an egg beater for this (on the very slow setting), but I just do it all by hand with a silicone spatula.  Mixing the batter burns a few of the calories that I intend to eat after the cookies are ready.  Then mix in the orange zest and chocolate chips.

Form the dough into a log about 1.5″ in diameter and roll into parchment paper and refrigerate for about 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, line the baking sheet with parchment paper and cut the log into 1/2″ cookies.  Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes.  The cookies will still be a little soft when they come out of the oven but they will harden a bit when they cool down.  Yield about 20-24 cookies.

These particular cookies tastes good with a nice strong cup of coffee and some half & half, mmmm!!! Milk works fine too :)

YUUU-MYYY!  I finally came up with my own baking recipe!  That oven has always been a very mysterious little place for me, but I finally came up with a successful cookie recipe all by myself.  I feel so proud. :)

So here is what you need:

7/8 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 stick softened unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 tbsp organic dried lavender

 

You can mix all of this using a food processor, but I just did it all by hand… I have to burn all those cookie calories somehow.  It’s not difficult- just requires a little bit of elbow grease.  Combine the flour and sugar into a bowl and mix together.  Then add the softened butter and vanilla extract and mix everything in well.   Then add the 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 1 tbsp dried organic lavender (make sure you use organic- otherwise it most likely is loaded with pesticides) and mix in well.

Form dough into a log that measures about 1.5″ in diameter, roll it into some parchment paper and refrigerate for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Cut log into 1/2″ slices.  Lay out 1/2″ slices onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.  The cookies will not change color much and will still be soft- don’t worry they are ready and yummy!  This recipe makes approximately 20 cookies.

 Set them aside to cool, brew yourself a nice hot cuppa tea and enjoy!