the power of a cookie

Just think how amazed you would be if today, someone handed you a tin of cookies and said, I made these JUST FOR YOU.

That my friend is a powerful expression of love.   Having someone bake for you is remarkable.  It sort of takes your breath away.

You HAVE that power.  It’s easy (6 ingredients), pretty quick, minimal cleanup and the outcome is simply beautiful not to mention melt in your mouth tasty.

20181127_110536-1Last night Mr. Right spent 45 minutes and shelled 1 pound of walnuts.  After shelling, that equals 1/2 pound of glorious, amazingly delicious, wonderful walnuts.   His effort will be rewarded.

Today, I baked the first of the season batch of Christmas cookies.  One of his favorites.

Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, however, I’m one of “those” people.  I write, scribble, put stickers, use jelly markers, underline, highlight and leave notes to myself on the pages of my cookbooks.

On page 65 of a cookie book, I wrote: “this season, I baked 9 batches of these beauties”. Using a red pen, I wrote “heavenly”.   20181127_120053 I gave them 5 stars.  “Melt in your mouth”.  There are hearts and stars drawn all around the recipe.

These are extremely simple cookies with only 6 ingredients.  However, because there are such few ingredients, PLEASE use excellent quality of each.  The results will be so worth the effort.

May I gently suggest you bake a batch for your husband, boyfriend, teacher, neighbor, the weekly group you attend,  a teenage grandchild?  Yes, I wrote, bake a batch for your grandchild.  Write the short recipe out in your handwriting, and offer up a piece of your heart and soul, your family history.  I have two recipes written by hand from my grandmother.  Powerful and simple memento to pass down.

While at work, I like to send Mr. Right a picture of what was baked just for him.  Encourages him to drive with purpose on his way home.  Certainly, a powerful, mouthwatering picture to receive via text or email.

Hurry home, Mr. Right, freshly baked cookies await. Drive safely, see ya soon.

Russian Teacakes.

1 cup of butter ( I use unsalted, French butter), 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla (I use Cooks’s choice), 2 1/4 cups flour (I use unbleached), 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Maldon Sea Salt), 3/4 cup chopped Walnuts (Freshly cracked tastes amazing)

Heat your oven to 400*.  Mix butter, powdered sugar, and the vanilla.  Stir in the flour, salt, and nuts.  Shape dough into balls.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 9 minutes.  Roll in Powdered sugar while warm; cool.  Roll in powdered sugar again.

20181127_124918-1 (1)

 

…..and so the baking season of love and goodness begins.   Love to hear about your favorite holiday cookie to bake.

In this together, friends, Happy Baking.

Chat soon.

 

ribbit ribbit

In so much as we say we will indulge our grands with anything they want, secretly we have limits.  A pony?  Sure!  New shoes that their parents said are too pricey?  Sure!  Any book they want?  Why, yes indeed!

Sugar, not so much.

Luckily for us, their parents are well-educated and informed.  They know that sugar on little bodies is not a good thing.  Sugar on little people makes parenting so much tougher.

Sugar causes inflammation.  Sugar suppresses the immune system, a weak immune system is trouble.  Sugar generates alertness, making bedtime difficult.  On and on the list goes as to why we should all be serious about leaving out sugar.

My job?  My job as Grandma Daleen is to love them and I show that by listening to them, sewing for them & baking treats and goodies for them.

One trick to being a good grandma is to indulge my little darlings without upsetting the parental apple cart.  We think our grands are being raised extremely well.  So proud of our adult children.  We would like to respect their desire to raise healthy, well-adjusted young people.

However, I still want to bake fun, happy, silly treats for our grands.  I think, just maybe, I figured out a wonderful solution.

I found a new cookie cutter, several actually.  I only bought one to try.  I loved the idea of controlling the ingredients, yet making the impression so deep on the cookie that no frosting is needed.  Thus cutting down on sugar, yet still having a fun treat.

20170322_113751_resizedI searched for a recipe that wouldn’t spread too much. I didn’t want the shape of the 20170322_112953_resizedcookie to get distorted.  I played with the amount of sugar, so I used less.  I must say this recipe turned out perfect, perfect, perfect for these types of cookies.  Oh wait, maybe that is why they are called, “Simply Perfect Chocolate Sugar Cookies”?

https://bakingamoment.com/simply-perfect-chocolate-sugar-cookies/

The flavor is mild.  The dough turned out smooth and held its shape perfect.

20170322_120048-1_resizedThis practice batch of frogs is for Mr. Right’s 80-year-old chess teacher.  Chess teachers love chocolate frogs, right?

PS.  Oh, you KNOW I am going back to buy all the animal cookie shapes!!!!  Grands NEED homemade animal cookies!!!!

Chat soon.

 

 

purple squirrels

You know those people who are a sqooch smarter than the average bear?

Hold on minute, in no way am I putting myself down.  Jeepers, I spent 1.5 hours this morning learning more about sleep, Folic Acid, Fulvic Acid and Humic Acid.  I took notes like a preppy school girl.  I learned oodles.

I am talking about those people out there, that seemed to get an extra helping of smarts. They love to talk about the state of world affairs, religious topics, math and astronomy, books they are reading and who wrote what book.

Amazingly enough they are more interested in learning a new chess opening than they are about fashion or sprinkles.

See, this is where I shine.  I love talking about sprinkles and colors.

Balance.

It takes both kinds of folks to make the world swirl happily along.

In an effort to help make the world a more balanced and happy place, today, I baked cookies.

Cookies for Mr. Right to take to his chess teacher.  Tonight is Wednesday.  Wednesday is chess lesson night.  His teacher is an octogenarian plus some, he speaks five languages and came to America while fleeing his (at the time) war-torn country of Hungary. Sadly, he is a recent widower.

The conversations those two have sure put a spring in Mr. Right’s step. Before you ask, the answer is yes, he comes home with books and home work each week.  The next answer is yes.  He does all his home work and then some.

Happily, I like to bake and share.

20160622_132131Today, I baked cookies.  I decided on sugar cookies shaped like squirrels.  Then I went that extra step and made them with purple sprinkles. 20160622_134839

Thanks to me, two smarty pants fellas will have a few cookies and a laugh.  A real belly laugh.

Really , who on earth bakes purple squirrel cookies for two intelligent men?

A smart girl, that’s who.

 

 

Oh dear, look, one broke, I should probably eat that, ha.20160622_140951

 

 

 

 

 

splashes of grace

I am easing into the day with a cookie and a stellar cup of coffee.  Did I mention ridiculously moist and delish peanut butter cookie? (I use almond butter ) 20151217_082533-1-1_resized

I am setting the tone for a wonderful day.  Yesterday, did not start smooth and lovely.  Today, I am hedging my bets and trying to get everything to work together for peace.

Here is the info about those cookies:

Brandi, who is the brains and beauty behindhttp://thevegan8.com/

An amazing recipe developer, passionate about food, friendly, okay, I might “stalk” her daily.  I sort of love her.  I know, “you don’t even know her”.  The kind of love I have for her goes beyond all the regular niceties.  I end up using 5 gold stars for every recipe she shares.  Yes, that good.  Do yourself a huge favor and drop by.   May I gently suggest her chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies?  10 gold stars (5 gold stars each)

Her recipes are the kind of thing where you do not have to announce to the world, ………….these are vegan, gluten free, oil free………….you just say, “would you like a cookie?”

These are the kind of cookies when you offer said cookie and the person says, “Oh, I can’t have _______________” fill in the blank.  You politely shrug and say, Okay more for me!   Just teasing.  Shout it to the world!  THESE ARE COOKIES THAT TASTE GREAT AND EVERYONE CAN HAVE THEM!

This morning, in my make believe world, I am having coffee & cookies with my real life friend, not just sitting here with my sweet dog & the gentle rhythmic sound of the washing machine working as background “music”.

I want to use my Christmas mugs and fill them with aromatic coffee.  I want to set a beautiful plate of gluten free cookies in front of her so she can enjoy them.  I sort of want the two of us to finish the entire plateful.  Then for years to come, I want us both to say, “remember that time we ate an entire plate of cookies?” and laugh and laugh and laugh. 20151216_215617-1_resized

Sometimes, out of the blue, being bathed in Grace just splashes all over me.    When I least expect it.  The kind of unexpected Grace that leaves you grateful and flattered all at the same time.

My real life friend, Ann is a gifted and talented artist.

I want to add she is thoughtful, kind spirited, inspiring, great mom, amazing wife, horse woman, beautiful, who has gorgeous hair and a smile that I imagine make grown men take a second look.  She wears sparkles on her belt and jeans and has a flare not just in the way she looks but the way she lives her life.  Oh, sure, we all know that everyone has troubles and ills.  It’s just that she sort of dances her way through life and you forget that she is juggling ill health now and then.

In the most unexpected and kart wheel feeling kind of thing……..she named a painting after me!   I never in 50+ years wished someone would do such a thing.  However, once it happened, I have a pep in my step and a secret giddy feeling like a 4th grade girl with 10 minutes on the clock until recess!

Um, yes, that good a feeling.

May I gently suggest you meander onto her site?  Take a look around, drink in the beauty and intense rich colors.  The goodness you feel will fill you to the brim with goodness and calm.   Certainly a perfect feeling to have this time of year.  Goodness and calm.

If you don’t know what to buy someone on your Christmas list, may I gently suggest/encourage you to …………

write a poem and name it after your friend.

paint a picture and name it after your friend.

write a score a music and name it after your friend.

It is the most heartwarming feeling in the land.  To think, that you inspired someone to create beauty.

You & your friend will end up being splashed with Grace.

The perfect gift.