The BF and I were having one of those late night I-can’t-sleep-so-I’m-going-to-bother-you discussions this week wherein he was complaining about how he feels he’s gotten so out of shape because of his job. If you can audibly roll your eyes, I did. He’s a man. If someone says the word “gym” within a 20 mile radius of him he’ll lose 5 pounds; 10 if he thinks of the gym. It’s a blessing. I, on the other hand, think of the word “cookie” and suddenly my ass doesn’t fit in my jeans any more. I’m pretty sure that’s not a blessing.
I have been on a quest for the perfect rolled sugar cookies for I don’t know how long. I mean literally years I have been looking for the recipe. I only just realized a few months ago that I was actually on a quest for several varieties of sugar cookies. There’s the perfect roll out and cut sugar cookies that you decorate for Christmas and all those other holidays. There’s the slice and bake sugar cookies for when you’re lazy and need a quick fix, and then there are those ultra soft, slightly pillowy sugar cookies that have the deep, smooth frosting with sprinkles. Can you tell I have spent many hours deep in thought over a cookie? One that we all seem to know from childhood and remember so well. And yet, every time I tried to re-create it, I failed. Well I have finally covered at least one of those recipes.
Oh my, I’m really bad at the posting during the holidays thing. And it’s only going to get worse, since The BF and I leave for Cancun in a week for his “Turning Old” celebration. Anyhoo, this is a really quick post and I’m not entirely certain it was a win but I think many of the mitigating factors about that are not due to my baking skills.
I figure I may as well make this the week of cookie swap cookies. May I present to you, one of the two types of cookies I brought to a cookie swap I attended this past Sunday: speculoos spread sandwich cookies. Now before I get to the amazingness that is speculoos spread and speculoos cookies, I have a little back-story to this cookie swap.
It has finally arrived! The day of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap post. I have to admit I was absolutely a wreck about this event. I signed up for it within seconds of hearing about it, and mere nanoseconds before several of my friends told me I should. I was totally stoked on the idea. And then fifteen minutes later, I had a minor panic attack. “Sweet lord, I have to bake for other people and mail them my cookies and then they are going to eat them! Eat my cookies, that I made! And I’ve never met them, they don’t know me, or my sarcasm or my incredibly dark sense of humor and I’m going to end up making them garbage cookies and no one is going to like me.”
I think I passed out then. I’m not sure what happened. I sent a barrage of frantic emails and Gchat messages to the amazing Emily who was the epitome of cool over this (I mean how could she not be? She won 1st place in a pie contest, the girl has skillz). She didn’t even test her recipe before sending out her cookies. I wish I had her confidence. I tested my recipe no less than 4 times, and I still tweaked the last batch before I sent them out.
Happy Thanksgiving Chitlins! Since I am almost positive not a soul is trolling the webs today and certainly no one is thinking of preparing any last minute recipes and everyone eats leftovers from now until Monday, I thought I would offer you a photo essay on how to make macarons. I’ve included the recipe below for those that are curious though.
This is Fred. He’s a Vizsla, eleven years old (and change) and he developed cancer. If you’re the weepy type, I suggest you stop reading here and skip right to the recipe at the bottom. On Saturday, Fred was no more. Unfortunately, the cancer he developed was inoperable in his breed, since Vizsla’s are sensitive to anesthesia and just as likely to not wake up from being put under as to undergo a complicated surgery.
When we first got a dog, I was about four. I’m not sure how my parents came to the conclusion of buying a Vizsla, but we did. We visited the breeder, somewhere in Northern Virginia, and picked out the runt of a litter of the hunting breed variety. I got to name him, and I called him Bob. We joke that we knew this was the dog for us because he wouldn’t leave me and my sister alone. We have a picture of my sister, who was about two, putting Bob in a headlock. If this puppy could wtihstand a headlock, he was definitely meant for our family.
I have a confession to make: I have two boyfriends. I know; it’s really shocking. I don’t seem like the type at all, but it’s true. My heart is divided. It’s surprising really, they both get along so well with each other. We have several mutual friends and we get together a few times a year for parties and whatnot. The BF doesn’t mind that I spend time with Sebastian, and Sebastian doesn’t seem to mind that the majority of my time is spent with The BF. He doesn’t even mind that The BF is my primary boyfriend. I am a lucky girl.
They both bring different qualities to the table. The BF is hardworking, responsible and a good time. Sebastian is a little less mature, he likes to play a lot, but he tells me he loves me often, and I think that counts for something. Especially since he’s shorter than me, which is odd since I’m already pretty short. He even made me a video telling me he loved me and put it on my facebook wall. It was really sweet.
I remember when I started baking in earnest and was asking my mother for all sorts of crazy things (like a KitchenAid mixer, or a springform pan – I know, totally crazy), she was obviously quite confused. First, the woman can’t bake or cook to save her life. The first time she made my father a “home-cooked” dinner it was pea soup. Except that her soup turned out gray. My father, though not the most adventurous eater, ate it. This a true testament to how much my father loved my mother, despite her ineptitude in the kitchen, because I have tried to re-create gray pea soup, and am resolutely convinced it’s not possible. Bless his soul it didn’t kill him and I am here to tell the tale.
Second, my mother was convinced that all these items I was asking for are only found on a wedding registry. Perhaps she was confused because I was not (and am not) engaged, but still I was asking for a KitchenAid mixer. She would complain for hours, “But Aislinn, what are you going to put on your registry?” I told her not to worry, I still wanted a champagne saber and a kitchen blowtorch and those are surely things one finds on a registry. I also recently found out that REI has a wedding registry, and that’s pretty cool too, so I think I’ll probably just register there, since my kitchen will already be filled to the brim with equipment. Continue reading