Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Games and Get Togethers

We are having friends over for a little holiday cheer this Friday. We wanted to do a little get together to celebrate the season and each other. We are planning a potluck dinner where everyone brings a side or dessert and we are providing the main course.
I was thinking of playing a game or activity that would bring out the competitive side in our guests (everyone loves a challenge, right?), but I didn't want it to be something everyone would be like, "oh great a game."
Does anyone have any suggestions on a good adult group game?
I would love to hear your suggestions!

All the best,

Friday, December 10, 2010

If you knew you were dying, what would you do?

Most of you already know Elizabeth Edwards recently lost her long time battle with cancer. I keep thinking about her three children and how their lives will ultimately be changed forever. I am certain before her passing she talked to her children about living without her. Before she died she began writing a letter on life, death, marriage, the future and how to's (to name a few). I think this was a beautiful thing to leave to her children not only as a keep sake but as a constant reminder of the person she wanted them to be.

What would you say to your loved ones, family and friends if you knew tomorrow would be your last. Would you go crazy, would you spend all of your savings, oh the possibilities. I love the idea of a letter, something to express everything you are thinking at a time when your honesty and truth will flow.

I would love to hear what you would do to commemorate your life for the future.

Happy Friday,
All the best,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Spay Away

A Spray Painting Tent is a must have for anyone with an eye for trashy treasures. I recently came across this amazing contraption on the Crafty Nest website. I was reading and thinking "...I need this, oh I need this." What a great idea, huh!
I have a garage, but this is close quarters for spray painting activities and I hate it when I take my latest find outside and get it on the grass or driveway.
So, my next questions is, does anyone have one of these plastic wardrobes they are not using?

All the best,

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sugary and Sweet give me something good to eat!

Have you ever heard of a day to celebrate sugar and calories?  The National Cookie Day is December 4th!
Bake away with no regrets and make sure to share some of your homemade goodness with neighbors, friends and family. This is the perfect opportunity to have friends over for milk and cookies and swap recipes.
This is making me want a cookie right now:)

I want to share my favorite cookie recipe I found online.

And here I present to you, David Lebovitz's recipe, the winningest cookie in the world (or at least my kitchen):

Step One ingredients:

•2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
•3/4 teaspoon baking soda

•1/8 teaspoon salt

•1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

•1 cup (215 g) packed light brown sugar

•3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

•1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•2 large eggs, at room temperature

•2 cups (about 225 g) nuts, toasted and chopped

•14 ounces (400 g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

•Sea salt for sprinkling on top (what??)

Step Two Secrets Revealed

The key secret in making amazing chocolate chip cookies seems to be in how long you let the dough sit before baking.
Leaving the dough in the fridge for 24-36 hours allows the ingredients to fully soak up the liquid, and result in a firmer dough which bakes to a better consistency.
Another hint is to rotate the cookie sheet mid-way through baking. This allows your cookies to bake evenly, regardless of where the hottest part of your oven is.
Step Threee The Prep

First you want to toast you some nuts.
In a pre-heated 350oF (180C) oven bake:

•2 cups (about 225 g) nuts (I prefer pecans in this recipe)

for 10 mintues on an ungreased cookie sheet. Let cool. If you don't it will cause your chocolate pieces to get melty in the batter.
While those are baking, chop up:

•14 ounces (400 g) bittersweet chocolate

Step Four The Procedure
The primary step in most cookie recipes is to sift together the dry ingredients. So do that. In a bowl, sift or whisk (easier!) together:
* 2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour

* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/8 teaspoon salt
In a separate bowl (preferably with an electric mixer) beat together:

* 1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

* 1 cup (215 g) packed light brown sugar

* 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One at a time, add:
* 2 eggs --beating thoroughly after each addition until each is incorporated.
Slowly stir in flour mixture until fully incorporated.

Step Five The Hard Part

Don't eat the cookie dough!
Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each dough into a log about 9in (23cm) long and wrap in plastic.

Stick em in the fridge for the next 24 hours, and try to forget you knew anything about them.

Step Seven The Baking
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Slice the logs into disks 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick and place the disks 3 inches (8 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. If the nuts or chips crumble out, push them back in.

Sprinkle the cookie slices with a small amount of sea salt.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, rotating the sheet midway through. If you prefer a chewier cookie, scale back the time a bit

Let cookies cool on the baking sheet until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack.
You are done . Enjoy!!!!

Happy National Cookie Day:)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010