Thoughts

Weekend Ruminations

I used to follow a blog a long time ago whose writer would occasionally offer up a dose of “Friday Flotsam.” Along a similar tone, the Bon Appetit editorial staff emails occasionally send a catch-all summary of their happenings behind the scenes in their own world. They can be pretty amusing sometimes, so I occasionally break through my 30 second attention span to scan through an entire email. The best part of both of these offerings is that they are an effective tool to remind people to stay human. It doesn’t matter how many hats you wear or balls you’re juggling in the air, you’ve sometimes got to stop and smell the roses.

I promise I will never use that many clichés in one sentence ever again. I will also make a goal to never use that many clichés in a single blog post ever again.

I recently made a batch of delicious macarons that I’ve been dreaming about ever since. It might be on my to do list very soon, as they make wonderful gifts, dont they? Valentines Day is hard on our heels! Does anyone have plans they are looking forward to? This weekend I have an order for 5 dozen heart shaped sugar cookies and accompanying bags of icing. I love that! It gave me the excuse to pick up a new set of cookie cutters. Have you noticed the common trend this year that many of the stores have less than pleasing shaped cutters this season? I was telling my husband that I needed to make a trip to a specific store to purchase a set I previously found online because every set of heart cookie cutters I have seen elsewhere looks like an upside down saggy bottom. He laughed when I emphasized that the heart needed to have pronounced angles or else it would look bad once the cookies bake.

I must confess, this makes me feel like I need to increase my exercise routine even more. I dont want my assets to look like a cheap cookie cutter shape, do I? How is everyone doing on their new year’s resolutions? I have a friend who is down nearly 25 pounds, and I’m over here cutting out all caloric happiness and tripling my exercise, and all the scale says is that I have gained more rather than lost some.

The irony of typing this commentary is that a woman just knocked on my door to deliver food that someone had ordered. She had the wrong door, but I can’t help but wish it Was a delivery for me from my favorite Pho restaurant. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me that there should always be room for pho. This absolutely feels true to me.

Happy Friday, everyone. My goals for the weekend are thawing my hands and feet (I’ve been cold almost all week), making a comforting pot of soup for the family, and possibly filling my car with a load of donations. I’m living the dream, folks. That, and I really just need to slow down once in a while for my mental health. Lazy, quiet weekends are my favorite antidote to a long, stressful week. These wont last much longer, since my son will be back in soccer season soon.

Have a great weekend!

Baking · Cookies · Special Occasions

The 12 Days of Christmas Baking, Day 1: Shortbread Snowballs

First, I owe a shout out to all of my faithful friends and family who constantly stick with me and have shown support to me all these years.  This new chapter is dedicated to you.  I love you.

I’m just barely getting this blog back up and running after a 3-4 year hiatus.  It was rough getting through cancer treatment/recovery and resuming a normal life, but I think I am there (“normal,” hah!) and stronger than I have been in years.  I would like to believe that my thyroid and I once had a happy, non-toxic relationship when I was much younger.  I do miss it and life without the constant medical appointments or meds, but who cares when it is such a blessing just to be alive?  I’m counting my blessings, and they are plentiful.  That being said, I have plenty to be grateful for, and what better way than showcasing some of my favorite things to do in my favorite season of the year?

I give you The 12 Days of Christmas Bake Along

Many years ago, a friend of mine brought something similar to these to my sister’s cookie exchange.  I loved them so much that I sought out a similar recipe, tweaked it just a smidge, and a family favorite was born.  My husband gives these as gifts at work, and I now bring them to my own cookie exchanges whenever I have the opportunity.  I hope you get a chance to enjoy them as much as I do.  They’re so easy to make, I’ll give you the recipe.  😉

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Day 2 of my 12 Days of Christmas Bake Along.  Post pics of your own Sublime Shortbread Snowballs on the Modern Domestic Goddess community page.

Day 1: Sublime Shortbread Snowballs (Skill level: Easy)

Ingredients

1 cup salted butter, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for rolling later)

2 cups all purpose flour

1.5 teaspoons almond extract

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

1 cup blanched, slivered almonds

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and almond extract with an electric mixer. Gradually add flour, and mix until the dough comes together like chunky sand. Using a wooden spoon, fold in mini chocolate chips and slivered almonds.  Scoop cookie dough into 1 tablespoon sized portions. Squeeze/roll together in hand to make round balls. Space two inches apart on tray. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until bottoms are just slightly browned. Prepare a large bowl or platter with a generous layer of powdered sugar.

Remove cookies from heat and place directly in powdered sugar. Roll until evenly coated. Allow to cool and roll once more in powdered sugar.

Yields approximately 2 dozen cookies.

For a printable version, click here.