Photo Friday!

This month, I am participating in the Photo A Day May from Fat Mum Slim. These are the photos from week one:

  1. Peace. I chose to piece together the word peace (pun intended) from letters I found on the street. The peace sign in the background is from a goodie bag I found in a card store.
  2. Skyline. I love that I can see the top of the Golden Gate Bridge from where I live.
  3. Something I Wore. I wear the watch everyday; the sunglasses when appropriate (not in the rain or in the dark), and I usually have polish on my toe nails, and right now they are gold.
  4. Fun! Local playground. I like that there are mini rock climbing walls. The playground I played on as a kid was cool because it was wooden and had metal slides, but this is pretty cool, too. :)

Catching Up

I did a lot of cooking and baking between July (before I returned) and now. I want to share a bit about all of it, but since I do not want to write a super long post, I will share pictures of these things for now, and link to posts about them later.

From top left: homemade Milanos, mini tart pans, bagels

Below: black and white cookies, fresh pasta, waffle brownies

I’ve got a feeling that SHABBAT’s gonna be a good night…

The title of this post inspired by this video…I am hosting a Shabbat Dinner tonight and it’s gonna be a good night. The dinner will be paid for by the Birthright Israel NEXT team. I am making vegetable matzo ball soup, roasted chicken, lasagna, some veggie sides, and of course, some awesome dessert including a pumpkin pie and chocolate cake. Recipes are either from Gourmet or Bon Appetit magazine or from other blogs or from my mother’s old recipes. (click on links for more information) This is the first dinner I am hosting, and hopefully not my last.

thanks to Rob, Zoe, Staci, Jason, Michele, Peter, and Aaron for making this night a special Shabbat to remember!

Cookies for a Cause: Pictures

I didn’t want to make the last post too long, so I am added all of the pictures I have as a slide show. (This also gives me an excuse to use the slide show feature for the first time!)

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sugar cookies

Yesterday, I made sugar cookies for the last day of Hanukkah party I helped Benjie host. I made two different recipes, one was (I think) the recipe from the back of the Domino’s sugar bag, and is a regular sugar cookie recipe, which used only white granulated sugar. The other one I have saved from Gourmet magazine, and it is a brown sugar cookie recipe. The first one can be rolled and shaped and cut out and decorated. The other can be scooped, and is more like a chocolate chip cookie dough recipe without the chocolate chips. I decorated with sprinkles and blue icing. Many people like to use royal icing for decorating cookies, but with everything else going on for the party (we made latkes, too) I didn’t want to make royal icing. However, I will include the recipe just in case you want it for your sugar cookies. The royal icing is from A Field Guide To Cookies, which is written by another food blogger; her site is called Dessert First.

So, here are the recipes, in order they were mentioned:

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups sifted flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup sugar or 1- 1/2 cups sugar

1 egg

Heat oven to 375º. Sift together the dry ingredients; set aside. Cream together butter and vanilla. Add either 3/4 cup sugar or 1-1/2 cups for chewy cookies. Beat in the egg. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Roll out and cut to desired shapes. You can add sprinkles right into the dough, and/or you can add sprinkles to the top of the cookies. The colder the dough, the easier it is to handle. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on rack. Makes 1-1/2 dozen large cookies.

(Almond) Brown sugar cookies (from Gourmet magazine)

1-1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 stick butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

(1/2 cup whole blanched almonds = 2-1/2 oz)

Whisk together dry ingredients. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture. (Stir in almonds) Roll into logs and chill or freeze dough or scoop onto baking sheets. If you rolled the dough into logs, you will slice the dough less than 1/8 inch thick. If you scooped them, use the back of a wet spoon or wet the palm of your hand, and press down. Bake cookies 12-15 minutes. Cool on racks. Makes 100 to 120 sliced cookies. I think I made about 12-18 3 inch scooped cookies.

Royal Icing

2 egg whites

1 Tbs. lemon juice

3 cups powdered sugar

food coloring

Whisk all ingredients except for the coloring in a clean bowl on high speed. They should be shiny and an opaque white. It should be a glue-like consistency. Divide into bowls and mix in the coloring as desired. Keep covered with a damp towel so it does not dry out.

So, those are the recipes for sugar cookies and royal icing for decorating. I really liked the brown sugar cookies, and I think that was everyone’s favorite as well.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! (though I am sure I’ll bake something else before New Year’s.)

Easy as pie: the pictures: part two: extras

we had a lot of left over pie filling so we made a pecan pie and blueberry cookie crumble. (see Easy as pie post)

Easy as pie: the pictures: part one: pie pops.

the three fillings: pumpkin, pecan, and blueberry, and a little chunk of the cookie dough.

cutting out the cookie dough

first one up, blueberry.

next, pecan. look at how gooey they are!

pumpkin is last.

baked blueberry pie pops! a little bit messy, but still really yummy!

a bunch of baked pie pops!