Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why don't we just celebrate love all year long...?

I had a BAD day on Thursday. Seriously...I don't normally say a day was bad, but Thursday definitely was. Wednesday and Friday were good though! We watched Fireproof on Wed. night and it was actually a pretty good movie. The acting was a little cheesy, but good message and movie overall. Norris even liked it!

So anyway, on Thursday, I came home to these pretty flowers and a couple of boxes of CheezIts:) I had made an offhand comment about CheezIts sounding really good, and he must have heard me because there were two boxes waiting for me at the end of a terrible, no good, very bad day (anybody know which book that is from??).

Anyway, Friday was better--I went to a Health Symposium on Adolescent Obesity. Two of the four sessions were really great, so that's pretty good for a conference. The funny part was that they served mega muffins and danishes for breakfast (along with fruit, I have to give them credit for that), and then for lunch there was chicken parmesan with a ton of pasta and green beans obviously cooked in a bunch of oil with nuts. Cookies for dessert. Hmm....the message of the day was how to prevent adolescent obesity and talking about us being good role models for them. So I decided the purpose behind the food was a trick--they were watching to see if we would eat in moderation. I did, thankfully, I beat their trick :) (whether it existed or not...)

Today, we're going to my sister's basketball game--one of her final college games, kind of sad! I wanted to bring a Valentine's day treat, so I made some sugar cookies. I confirmed that I am not certain sugar cookies are worth the hassle. They take soooo long! The dough is quick to make, but then chilling (although not actually active), then rolling, cutting, waiting to bake, waiting to cool, making icing (took FOR-EV-ER), then actually icing them, waiting for that to dry, then stacking. Whew! Hope they like them!

I got the recipe (same as one we used for school) from Ashlee's "Year in the Kitchen" (any Twilight lovers will also appreciate this link). I used her cookie recipe, then I used a different icing recipe, since I didn't have meringue powder. I liked how my icing hardened up and the cookies are stackable. Last night, the cookies were a little dry, but this morning they taste better. Yes, I tried them this morning:) The icing soaked in a little. Here is my "labor of love":

I'm not so great on the stable hand decorating thing. That's why I'll probably stick to cookies that don't look quite the same, but taste great and don't require any decorating! These were fun to make though, and I hope my family enjoys them! Our hot date tonight involved my parents, sister and Zac, grandparents, and aunt all out to dinner at a family restaurant in my sister's college town. But hey, it's all about celebrating love, right? And these are many of the people that love us! Hope you get to spend today with the people you love.
Recipe: (I cut it in half to make this many about 1.5 that I ate worth of dough...:)
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. lemon zest
5 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.Add in eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.Add in vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.Beat for 10 seconds.Add in baking powder and salt, beat again.Add in flour 1 c. at a time, mix for 15 seconds between each addition.Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away.Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom.
Icing recipe: (I just had to figure this one out...I'm sure it's somewhere, but it came from memory, so I don't know where it's from!)
1 egg white
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
food dye
Beat egg white and lemon juice for ten minutes, until soft peaks form.
Add in powdered sugar, 1/2 c at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Add in food dye as desired.
Tip from Ashlee that I used: I used the icing as is for the edges of the cookies, then divided the icing into two for my two different colors. I added 1 tsp of water to each, then added food dye. The water thins it out in order to "flood" the cookie with icing--the icing is much too stiff to flood the cookie with as the original recipe states.