Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

After listening to my stream of complaints about my ancient computer that's refusing to get with the times and recognize any USB devices including my camera, a very wise (or very annoyed) friend recommended I just go to Walgreens and make a CD for just a few bucks. Huh. Now why didn't I think of that? Genius! I'm not completely in love with the kiosks that are available at the store, and neither was the poor woman trying for almost an hour to scan her pictures and get a CD made that was ahead of me in line, but once I got everything loaded up I was able to walk away with two CDs full of over 1000 pictures for about three bucks. Can't beat that. So why am I telling you all this? Because all the past few weeks that this blog has been sitting idle, I have been baking, cooking, and generally coming up with evil schemes while angrily staring at my stubborn computer, and now I'll be able to share with you some of what I've been up to starting with these Halloween Cookie Pops!

A good friend's little girl is turning one tomorrow and in honor of the occasion my friend is throwing a HUGE party for all family and friends within a reasonable driving distance. She's making a ton of decorations and food and asked me to make 75 cookie pops to include in the party favors. Since the birthday is the day after Halloween, she wanted a fall theme and pumpkins sounded perfect. Besides, everything is just THAT much more fun to eat when it's on a stick, don't you think?

Pumpkin Cookie Pops
I've made sugar cookies before, I have a great recipe and I make them every year around Christmas to include in the cookie boxes I give out, but because I always go a bit crazy, I never have time to really decorate them, so aside from a small attempt at Valentine's I've never actually made iced cookies before. Determined to make the very best icing that would not only look good, but also taste good, I again went hunting on the net and I found a great post for cookie pops on this fabulous blog: Our Best Bites. Her story about finding the perfect recipe echoed my own goal so closely that I decided to give her sugar cookie recipe a try along with the icing. And let me tell you, they came out great. I was a little nervous when I tried one straight from the oven as it was a bit dry, but they blossomed overnight and when I tried another cookie the next morning while testing the dryness of the icing, the cookie was tender and deliciously buttery. Success! Plus the addition of a bit of lemon extract to the icing gave it a nice hint of flavor that transformed the simple sugar cookie into something really special.

I ended up making over a hundred of these and after packaging up the prettiest ones for my friend I took all the rest to work as Halloween treats, where they were devoured with only one small fist fight over the last cookie, so I would HIGHLY recommend you find some time, head over to Our Best Bites for the recipes, make a batch or two of these cookies, decorate however you like, and share with a friend over a cup of tea. Tea optional.

Oh, before I go, in the spirit of Halloween, and since I can't exactly hand out candy to all of you through this site, I'll give you something else that I found recently, yet another awesome blog! Yes, it seems I've become an international serial blog stalker and no blog is safe from my prying eyes! Bwahahaha! Ahem. Anyhoo....where was I? Oh yes! The awesome blog! This lovely lady has taken recipe sharing to the next level by adding witty stories and colorful illustrations, and you better believe I'm putting her book on my Holiday Wish List. Click on the illustration to go to her site and join me in my unbridled adoration:


Enjoy and Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Peachy Keen

Can I just start by saying that despite many years of faithful service, I have come to hate my computer? It's kind of like living with a temperamental toddler who will play nice one day and throw a tantrum and refuse to acknowledge the outside world the next. Right now he's in a "mood". He's determined that he is the center of my world and that none of the other so-called "devices" exist or deserve his attention. In short, he's refusing to recognize almost any of my USB devices, including my printer and my camera. I even tried to trick him by trying to upload pictures using a little memory card converter I had lying around, but no dice. So while I have a ton of pictures building up, I can't get any of them onto this computer to share with you. You know what this means? Time to start saving up for a sleek, sexy, and completely complaisant new laptop! That'll show this old clunker!

Whatta Peach
Speaking of sexy...and please forgive me if this gets a tiny bit risque, but doesn't this look like a tushie to you? It's completely possible that I've been staring way too long at this food porn site, but then I dare you to go there and not get lost for at least an hour. I double dog dare you.

Downward Dog
I realize that I might be just a smidge juvenile here, but when I was looking at this picture, I had to giggle and when I had to give it a title I had bright neon flashy signs in my head saying "downward dog". As in the yoga position? anyone? okay, it's just me then.

This was one of 9 perfectly over-pampered peaches that were delivered to my office from Harry and David, and while they were probably the most expensive peaches I will never buy, I will accept a gift of them any day. It was perfectly juicy and sweet, and it was obvious that it was never exposed to a stern word, let alone the cruel cruel world, before it was lovingly dressed in the gauzy tissue and cradled into that cushy box. It never even guessed that it was on it's way to it's demise at the hands of strangers. Such a bittersweet story...slurp...excuse me, I have to go wash my hands and get rid of the evidence.