21 December 2011

Cookie Season

So many cookies, so little time! Now the orders have been shipped, time to turn to softened butter and sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, icing and sprinkles and chocolate chips, chopped nuts and powdered sugar!
Baking cookies has become a tradition in our family! My favorite cookie is the pinwheel cookie it looks beautiful and tastes even better than it looks. I created a video series on facebook last year to demonstrate how to prepare the dough for this prized cookie. Here is the recipe for Pin Wheel Cookies (we always triple this recipe, as it is labor intensive and we always want more!!) 
2/3 c sweet butter 
2/3 c sugar 
1/2 vanilla bean 
1 egg 
1 3/4 c unbleached AP flour 
1/4 c dark cocoa 

1. cream butter & sugar, add vanilla bean seeds and beat in egg until smooth. Set aside 3/4c batter 
2. add 1c flour to remaining batter, beat until smooth, roll out dough between waxed papers to 12"x8", refrigerate 
3. mix remaining 3/4c flour with the cocoa and beat into remaining butter/sugar mixture, roll out as with white dough 12"x8" and refrigerate for 15 min. 
4. place black & white cookie doughs together and roll the rolling pin over both doughs to consolidate, then roll up dough into a tight jelly roll lengthwise and refrigerate wrapped for 1 hour. 
5. preheat oven to 375. lightly grease baking sheets 
6. cut roll into 1/4" slices, arrange on cookie sheet and bake 12 min or until golden brown, cool on racks.
Spiral Cookies, Russian Tea CCakes, Ginger Snaps and 
Chocolate Wafers and Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing 
What is your favorite cookie? Please feel free to share your favorite cookie in a comment. Perhaps some interest may be generated for a cookie exchange in the future? I fancy the idea of baking again tomorrow!

18 December 2011

The Waiting Game

We are still waiting to hear back from Ginnifer Goodwin about the hand painted shawl I made for and sent to her along with a group of artisans via The Artisan Group.
Satin Trimmed Shawl by Joyflower on Etsy

Apparently the parcel has been received by her agent's office in West Hollywood, California.

But the word is she's out of pocket until further notice. I believe she's filming Once Upon a Time in Canada and otherwise having a bit of fun for the holidays!

04 December 2011

Quest for the Perfect Christmas Tree

This weekend I participated in the 3rd annual Dodge Power Wagon Christmas Rendezvous in Adin, California. The National Christmas Tree Association says that "about 23 percent of the consumers will purchase their trees from a "Christmas Tree Farm" while about 62 percent will buy trees from a retail lot." I occupy the 15% who seek out the centerpiece the holiday season in nature. 
Wreath-adorned Dodge Power Wagon.
Saturday morning we met up with a fun-loving and friendly crew of vintage Dodge military truck enthusiasts who had gathered from Reno, Santa Barbara, Santa Helena, LA and as far as Florida to drive their restored vintage Dodge trucks and military vehicles to find the perfect Christmas tree. We gathered at the Adin General Store in Modoc County to drink coffee before we drove up to the snow to cut the trees. I really had no idea how cool vintage Dodge vehicles were until this weekend! 
Sorensen's Catering of Santa Helena provided hot minestrone soup.

By the time all the trucks were admired, warmed-up, test-driven, and repaired, the sun had climbed higher in the sky and it was at least 20 degrees warmer than when we had first set out. We had perfect weather as we caravanned up to the snow, it was 33 and sunny! After finding and cutting 11 suitable trees, we enjoyed hot delicious minestrone soup from Sorenson's Catering for lunch, then dinner was the best BBQ in Modoc County at The Oney Frosty in Town - wow, did we manage to eat our way through this weekend or what!?! 
We fit eleven trees in the back of this old Dodge pickup. 
I not only got the perfect tree, but I also met some new friends who I hope to see again next year and hopefully there will be more snow, so we can go x-country skiing next time.