Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cookie Marathon 2010

Every christmas my mother and I make around 15 different types of cookies.  We have our tried and true, approximately 13, and then we have a few that we try out each year.  Most of the time the ones we try out get added to our "tried and true" list.  Crazy how that happens huh?

Unfortunately being a Grad student does not allot me a huge amount of time to devote to the making of these cookies.  I made the dough for several of them and then my mom and I had a cookie marathon last Saturday.  This entailed baking cookies from 10 AM until I left at 4 PM, she continued on into the wee hours of the night... we truly could be labeled mentally insane...

Here are some photos for you to drool over
Toffee squares, which got a little over done, and flour.  The kitchen is small(at least when you're making TONS of cookies) and we have to put everything somewhere!

These are chocolate orange cookies, which get dipped in chocolate after baking.  HOLY YUM!

Quite possibly my favorite cookies of all time!  Chocolate Ginger Cookies.  Think molasses meets ginger meets chocolate all in your mouth.
Buried amongst other cookie tools are the finished cookies, chocolate crinkles, russian teacakes, peanut butter nutella sandwiches, chocolate ginger cookies, and peanut butter logs.  

After work tomorrow night I'm heading back over to my parents to frost our sugar cookies in royal icing.  It's a tradition with my mom and myself, which tends to take us almost 2 hours due to our compulsive perfectionist selves :)  But it's fun and it means christmas to me.  I LOVE it.  

More pictures to come.  Happy Holidays!  Off to study for my last exam, that Epidemiology test does not know what's coming ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Snow Snow

Just when I thought the snow was bad... I saw this

Oh yes this was the mess that I came across this morning when Karen and I went out to shovel.  The stupid snow plow and shoved all this snow/ice mixture into the end of our driveway.  Let's just say it was great fun to shovel this.

The morning started with some homework and a great cup of Starbucks xmas blend coffee.  Then we had to shovel.  I barely was able to squeeze out the door... cuz we were literally snowed in!
There did not even look like there was supposed to be a sidewalk in our yard
Craziness.  Together Karen and I accomplished the driveway in just under an hour.  It was tough but we had to do it so she could get to lacrosse.  Hopefully we don't have to do this for at least a few more days!

In other news the Vikings game had to be rescheduled and moved because the Metrodome Collapsed!!!  This has only happened two other times in the history of the Metrodome, and it was early in it's 'career'.  Who knew a little snow could cause so many problems?

The rest of the day for me is going to be spent making christmas cookies at my parent's house and then going to the Gopher Women's Basketball game with Sam.  That is unless of course Cal Poly does not make it into MN in time for a 7 PM game.  I guess only time will tell!

Happy Sunday :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snowzilla '10

Today there was a blizzard.  Unfortunately I didn't capture any pictures of the snow today :(  But the great thing about snow is that it'll all be there tomorrow!  IE check back for photos...

In case you didn't hear, we here in MN got over a foot of snow in less than 24 hours.  This lead to the buses shutting down, along with many other businesses.  It even got so bad that the snow plows stopped working!!!  WHAT?!?!  The Vikings game is even rescheduled to Monday night because the Giants couldn't make it in and because they were nervous that the dome might cave in due to the amount of snow on the Metrodome.  WOWSERS!  Who would've thought a little snow could do so much damage!

This snowstorm did provide in quite a productive day for me though!!!  I slept at Sam's last night and I didn't make it back to my house until after 2 PM and then Karen and I had to shovel the driveway to get her car into the garage.  Thanks to help from Lori, one of the girls who lives above me, it only took us about a half hour to shovel!  Then Karen and I decided to finally defrost our fridge.... which we needed to do about a month ago.  Ooops!

After this I started work on some cinnamon raisin bread.  I've been meaning to make some for a while now, but haven't had enough time to devote to bread.  When I found out I got called off of work tonight I knew that I HAD to make bread.  Here's the final product:
I used a recipe from the Joy of cooking, but I modified it a little bit because I didn't have any butter.  Thus I used 2 Tbsp of butter flavored shortening and then 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil.  I am trying to rid my diet of white flour so I substituted whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flour.  I also decided to use agave nectar instead of sugar to sprinkle on the dough before rolling it up.  In retrospect it definitely didn't turn out the same because you didn't get the buttery sugary goodness that you do when you use real butter and sugar.  I will say that it still was REALLY good, but different.  If I made it again I would use more agave nectar and cinnamon before rolling it up.  It would also be interesting to use stevia or truvia.  I wonder if you'd get the same reaction as sugar if I used this?  Perhaps I'll give it a try on the next snow day ;)

I also used my time today to get some homework done.  I finished a paper and an assignment.  On tomorrow's agenda is proof reading the paper and completing my biostats homework.  

OOO  before I forget I wanted to say that last night I went xmas light house viewing with Sam.  All in all it was fun!  But some of the houses were just not as cool as the others.  This one was my favorite
It had EVERYTHING, santa, the grinch, snowmen, reindeer, snowflakes in the trees, etc.  We ended up driving by this one twice because we liked it so much!  Luckily it didn't start snowing until after we had driven around ;)  We did stop for some beer and apps at Park Tavern.  We were there for just over an hour and by the time we got outside it had snowed nearly an inch!!!  

OK well I'll get outside in the morning tomorrow to snap some photos of the snow.  I somehow don't think that the pictures will do the snow justice, but maybe just maybe...

So excited to go to bed so I can wake up and have some Christmas blend Starbucks coffee :)  I LOVE this stuff!