I just finished this book...it was a good lite read. I am kind of a seasonal reader and the book starts out on New Year's Eve so I was just drawn to it the week before New Year's. It was on sale and I paid $2.99 on my nook for it. It is now $9.99, a little steep in my opinion. It isn't going to win any literary awards but it was a good read on a cold New England night. On a scale from 1-10 I give it a 6.
I realize that as the 'cake chick' I really haven't blogged much about baking.
Honestly, I have been uninspired. But having a flock of 16 hens who are putting out
9 to 12 eggs in a day even in the winter is reason to find some inspiration and get baking.
Along with the beautiful weather this past weekend we had nothing going on for the
first time in a long time.
I perused one of my new cook books...
I'm not bragging BUT it happens to be signed by the author...
How could I not be inspired?
So I got baking.
I have made a lot of things in my day but never biscotti.
I gave it a whirl...
Terry(did I mention that I met the author? Oh yea I guess I did) says that the dough will be very sticky. Well she isn't kidding. I couldn't get the dough shaped exactly how I wanted because it was so sticky. I will lay it out slower when I make it next to control the dough a little better.
I also baked it on my stone and did not use the parchment as suggested in the recipe. I bake on my stones all the time and knew I wouldn't have a problem. The above picture is out of the oven before slicing it and baking the slices. I was really wishing I had shaped that dough better, but as Julia Child says, "No apologies!"
Next was to slice and put back in the oven at 300 for 20 minutes on each side. I just put them in for 35 minutes and did not flip them. Baking on a stone really makes turning things over unnecessary.
and then Viola! This was my coffee break this morning...
Cappuccino, thanks to my Tassimo and my Pistachio Apricot Biscotti.
and it sucks really good! It has a HEPA filter that captures 99.3% of the dust and after using it just once in the coop, I believe it.
Now let me back up, I am not a clean freak or a constant cleaner. I do have an allergy type asthma that when I am having allergy problems, anything can really set the cough off. Especially a dusty chicken coop. If you have chickens, you know how dusty they can be.
We have a good size coop and I like to hang out with my girls if I have a few minutes. I was spending less and less time with them and I knew it was because of the dust. I had also learned from Terry Golson at her Chicken Keeping Workshop that dust harbors many diseases in a coop. I was on a mission. I wanted something that would not kick up the dust while vacuuming and I wanted something light enough that I could hold onto while on the chicken's side of the coop. It worked great!
What has happened to me that I am this excited about a vacuum cleaner?
it was New Year's Day. This cold feeling came over me, it was hard to breath...
it was a feeling I remembered but one that hadn't visited me since college exams. It was anxiety and the hurt was on, but why?
It was time to take down the Christmas decorations. We had such a great holiday season why was I feeling like I could jump out of my skin? It all started when I was taking down the Christmas tree in my youngest room. I realized that next year, when I take out these decorations, the magic will be diminished if not all but gone for my 9 year old who will be 10 in a few weeks.
For the past 14 years, our house has always been full of the magic, joy, wonder and just plan fun of Christmas. I felt it slipping away... Suddenly, and I shit you not, I went from a vision of next year's Christmas to my 9 year old being 30 years old... married to a woman who hates her mother in law(yikes! but sound familiar?) and not even coming home for Christmas. My life...right before my eyes.
Not to fear.
I am a pull yourself up by the boot straps kind of chick and have done just that.
I did have such big plans for holiday blogging but I was too busy enjoying the holidays to blog about them and given my recent panic attack I am very happy that I enjoyed every minute of them.
I went to NYC for a day with a girlfriend of mine. No kids, no husbands. It was such a fun day but, what a mass of humanity! So crowded we couldn't even get on the side walks to see the windows. We did have a great lunch at Pigalle.
Rachel Ray featured the restaurant on her $40 a Day show NYC for the holidays. Since the city was so crowded, we sat and ate and drank and ate. It was a great place to people watch and we just had so much fun. We topped it off with a Bellini, the champagne cocktail Rachel featured on her show. Yum!
Everything in NYC is bigger than life...
Rockefeller Plaza was so crazy full of people,
we took some quick pictures and then got out of there.
We sought refuge from the crowds at St Patrick's Cathedral, just beautiful.
and a reminder of the season...just waiting for the SBJ to arrive.
Then spent the rest of the two weeks before Christmas praying to the SBJ that our house would not be cursed with the puke bug. Thank you SBJ, we were spared the vile bug.
When not praying I was baking, wrapping, cooking and just relishing the time of the year.
Christmas Eve arrived and the Pat's were on at 1pm so the festivities at my house started then.
Ginger watched for our guests to arrive.
It is so much fun to watch the game. Thankfully they won. After the game it was time to switch gears and our Christmas Eve celebration began.
Christmas Eve has always been a big deal for us. Sit down dinner on the fancier side.
Christmas Day is a little more casual, it is the Swedish in us I guess.
No presents Christmas Eve, just good food, family and the pure beauty of it all.
After our guests left, except for one(yes my MIL spent the night)
we watched It's a Wonderful Life.
It is our little tradition, my husband and I. Then it was
off to bed...in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be here.
The stockings were hung...
The children were nestled...
and then it was morning...
we got our boys their own tv to play their video games on...
they were a little excited.
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!