I’m fairly broke at the moment, so I decided to treat my mom and gran to a home-cooked dinner rather than take them out to eat. I’m in for a long day of cooking, having started with dessert early this morning and some fresh breakfast treats for tomorrow.
Dinner is still a few hours away, so I’m taking a break 🙂 .
I started the day by making Mostaciolli, an Italian chocolate spice cookie that I found on Delish. The picture reminded me of the German spice cookies that my mom’s cousin sends us every Christmas, so I thought it’d be a treat to make these. The cookies wer easy to make, but the steps involved are very specific. It’s one of those recipes that you really have to read beforehand if you’re going to mix things properly. The dough also gets very thick and dense, so it can be a bit difficult if you don’t have a powerful mixer (and I do not have a powerful mixer, which is why I now owe my mom a new one 😳 ). The cookies smell lovely, though I replaced cloves with nutmeg as my mom does not like the taste of cloves, and they look wonderfully chocolatey–like bonbons.
Fresh out of the oven
covered with chocolate glaze
I also decided to take a risk and try my hand at making english muffins based on a recipe that I found on Annie’s Eats. Annie’s recipes tend to be very easy to follow and always turn out great, so I took a chance and finally got to use that Whole Wheat flour that I bought by mistake during the last baking extravaganza (re: Christmas baked gift giving week).
Again, the steps are the most involved part of this recipe… unless you don’t have that mixer… I ended up hand kneading these, but they still managed to turn out as they should.
Browning on the skillet
Piping fresh 🙂
I love that the web makes it so much easier for foodies to find and share great recipes, but why is it that I cannot find a single recipe for a simple vanilla cake? I want to bake something moist and classic, perhaps with strawberries in the center.
Managed to resolve my work issue with a carefully worded email to the director. I expressed my concerns and offered suggestions for possible long term projects that I could develop, projects that would make use of my skills rather than keep me busy on a task that has no relation to my position. Overall, I think I handled it quite nicely. The librarian I work with was very supportive; she liked that I defended myself and told me that the other assistant is only now coming to realize that she should have done the same when she first started – they have her working on all sorts of tasks that are not related to the library.
So what’s in the agenda for today? I’m going to try my hand at making a cheesecake. It’s a thank you offering for my boyfriend’s dad, who kindly took care of my car. The whole family loves cheesecake, so it’ll be a nice treat.
And after cheesecake, Watchmen. Though I said no to a late night show as I don’t want to deal with crazy lines and a packed theater. I’ll take a matinee.
It’s going to be a very rushed Valentine indeed as we prepare for the Canadian invasion… an unplanned for visit from some of the Cuban ex-pat relatives fleeing the arctic chill for a week.
The new job is going well, but it seems I’m never home long enough to get anything done, so prepping for this visit has been somewhat er… haphazard. I just barely managed to get all the supplies I needed for yesterday’s pre-Valentine’s baking experiment, so the “made from the heart” part of my gift for Bunny is covered, with the surplus going to the fam as “sorry, can’t afford proper gifts right now” offerings.
I need a nap. A proper one. My free Friday was not the least bit restful and I’m in for a long week.
And now I’m off to go hide things in my car’s trunk to make our place seem neat and tidy. But not before posting some gratuitous baking pictures…
I decided to make holiday treats for friends and family, so I started searching for recipes that would a) be interesting and different, b) meet the dietary restrictions of certain individuals.
I found the answer to part b (a treat that would be low cal, low sugar/carb, and low fat) in these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip (Macadamia) Cookies. I bought all organic ingredients, replaced the refined with raw sugar, and substituted the walnuts that the recipe calls for with macadamias. They’re a bit crisp, I suspect this is because of the low fat factor, but they are very flavorful.
My other inspiration came from Annie’s Eats. Though not low anything, these eggnog cupcakes are certainly different and full of holiday cheer (re: eggnog and rum).
The eggnog buttercream frosting was a bit too sweet for my taste, but anyone with a sweet tooth would love it. I would like to try these with a coating of powdered sugar instead, they have a very nice spongy texture with a delicate flavor that would be great as a sort of tea cake.