I recently got a cookie decorating book called Cookie Craft. Some of the pictures of the cookies are pretty incredible. Today Justin asked if we could make and decorate cookies like in the book. As nothing else was on the agenda during the day, I agreed to go along. I made the sugar cookie dough from the book (which is wonderful) and Justin choose the cookie cutters – a train, a motorcycle, a rocket, a cat, a man, a plane, a turkey, a dinosaur, and a reindeer. I rolled out the dough, and Justin cut out the shapes. After a run to Michael’s to get a few supplies we came back and I made the Royal Icing and mixed together a number of different colors. Then Trav, Justin and I sat down at the table among cookies, tubes of icing, and sprinkles and sugars. And proceeded to create some very silly-looking cookies. Trav’s standout was Mooning Man, Justin had a dinosaur wearing lipstick, and I made a pretty good tye-dyed turkey. And of course, the last cookie got as much icing and decorations as humanly possible. Which Travis ate immediately after this photo was taken. All in all, it was a fun day and fun project, though NONE of the cookies looked like the ones in the book!!
Monthly Archives: November 2008
I had kind of a long day today, and Youtube saved the day. Don’t ask me how I stumbled on this, but I haven’t seen such a pure demonstration of absolute genius in a long time. Pure and simple, this video should be shown over and over on it’s own TV station all day, all the time. It should be implanted in a chip in the brain of every person on the planet.
I now present to you “Hamster on a Piano, Eating Popcorn”.
It was a tasty day. For lunch we had beef pot roast, fresh green beans, french bread, and my favoritist mashed potatoes. The only way I make them is with Yukon Gold potatoes. They have such a buttery flavor already that they only need a tablespoon or two of added butter, a little bit of skim milk, salt and pepper, and a couple ounces of reduced fat cream cheese mashed in, and they are the creamiest, buttery-ist, tastiest mashed potatoes of Wonderfulland.
I feel like I am on a baking spree. Must keep baking… faster! More more more! What will be the next yummy thing coming out of the oven? What will be the next “keeper” recipe? Chocolate ganache? Done! Chocolate Cardamom Cupcakes? Done! Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch? Done! Sandwich Cookies? Done! And so on and so forth as the sink fills up with dishes and I scald my hands in the too-hot water. But oh, the goodies being made – I see my future, and it makes me smile.
Since Julie posted what she was listening to while baking, it occurred to me that I listen to music pretty much all day. I have 8300 songs in my iTunes library, and something is always playing. When I work, I generally listen to more laid back, relaxing, music, contrary to what you might see in Hollywood movies showing how computer people work. We don’t all listen to techno music in front of 8 large monitors with all sorts of fancy 3D graphics, drinking booze, with sunglasses on. Just the cool guys do that.
Here’s what I have been listening to the last couple of days:
This is one of my favorite artists, and the new CD is really, really good. Very relaxing music, with a different sound than a lot of what is coming out right now.
The Reindeer Section
Son of Evil Reindeer
Kind of a hit and miss CD, but “You Are My Joy”, and “Your Sweet Voice” stand out
Slow, and kind of depressing, but good for relaxation. Plus, the lyrics are in Icelandic, so they aren’t very distracting.
For Emma, Forever Ago
Recorded in a cabin in Wisconsin in winter, so about as melancholy as you would expect. “Skinny Love” is the stand out track
Stringing lights and baking cookies – kinda sounds like a Christmas-y day, doesn’t it? Let me explain. I like stringing Christmas lights on our fence, and have since we moved in. Two years ago kids came through and broke a bunch of the light bulbs, rendering the christmas lights worthless and me really mad. So last year we wound lights around our trees. Pretty, but a HUGE pain in the rump to take down. So this year, I am hoping the neighborhood kids have grown up a bit and won’t be jerks, and am stringing the lights on our fence again. Plus I got the lights on clearance in January or February of last year, so if they do get busted, it will only be $15 down the drain.
As a treat for small group tonight, we were going to bring this little bag of random Japanese candies we got in Honolulu. But after trying a few of the pieces, I decided that I didn’t really consider the Japanese candy a “treat.” So a couple hours before heading out I decided to throw together some Andes Mint Chip Cookies instead. I had been sitting on a couple bags of the Andes Mint Chips for a couple months now, and all of a sudden I wanted those cookies NOW. I think I can trace back my love of Andes Mint Candies directly to my Grandma. I can picture in my mind exactly where they kept their stash of Andes Candies in their house at the top of the hill in Marathon – right on the hutch in the dining room. Which makes me remember other things about that house – the bowl of whole nuts in the shell, that we would always want to crack open the shell, but never wanted to eat the nasty broken nut on the inside – the worn game of Mastermind – the GIANT cartoon deck of cards – the flowers by the back door that bloomed AT NIGHT (AMAZING – especially to an 8 year old).
I made this recipe this afternoon, and they are just as tasty as can be. I felt like the name “Little Dippers” was kind of an ambiguous title, as they do little to describe what these cookies taste like. Granted, it is a cute name if the cookies are cut as stars, but what if, like me, you didn’t really want to make stars? What if, rather, you wanted to make tiny little leaves and pumpkins to remind you of autumn and the fact that it is quickly speeding by? Well, then you call them “Mini Mocha Cookies” to let people know what they are about to bite into. Chocolate and coffee are a very agreeable pair, and they play very nicely in these little bites!
So for the last few days I have been working away in the kitchen preparing for a family meal-making session. We decided on some great recipes that can be made ahead and frozen, and then pulled out to cook when it is needed. There were 10 of us gathered at my mom’s house today and we made over 30 meals to separate between 6 households. It is quite a bit of work to put together, but it is fun work, and the day was a lot of fun. I’m already looking forward to the next time – probably after the holidays.