Month: May 2013

Snickerdoodles

imageWho wants to bake some cookies for the weekend? The cinnamon in these gets me every time. Well that, plus I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like. I’ve also never met anyone that doesn’t like snickerdoodles, although I’m not sure if it’s the actual cookies or the great name. Without further ado, let’s get to the recipe. I’m sharing Martha Stewart’s because her recipe doesn’t call for cream of tartar which I never seem to have in my cupboard.

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt*
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs

2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
*I find this a bit too salty especially when sharing with kids, sorry Martha. I use 1/4 tsp table salt.

image1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Put butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. You can do this with a hand mixer if that’s what you have. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low, gradually mix in flour mixture.

2. Stir together cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 20 (1 3/4 inch) balls, roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I prefer to make the balls a bit smaller and get more cookies from a batch that way. I also give them a light squish-down before baking.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12-15 minutes. Makes about 20 cookies. 

imageI wonder if Martha will read these tips and offer me a job assisting in her kitchen? Right, probably not. Well let’s just enjoy the cinnamon-y goodness of these cookies then…perhaps with a cinnamon dolce latte?

Glittered feather garland

imageGold is trending in a big way…in jewelry, clothing, accessories and very much in home decor. But you knew that right? You haven’t been living under a rock. Me either so let’s give this trend a try with a little project for the home…a low budget minimal commitment kind of venture. This one combines some of my favorites things: white, garlands, feathers and glitter – oops I just gave away the supply list! You’ll need:image

  • feathers, I got a pack of 18 white ones for $1.50 at a Dollar store
  • gold paint, I’m using Martha Stewart’s from Michael’s
  • gold glitter, another Dollar store item
  • thread, fine string or embroidery floss and a sharp needle
  • small paint brush, scrap paper, scissors
  • hairspray (optional but recommended)

Okay, so obviously you could use any color of feathers, paint and glitter to still come up with great results. We’re just using gold here because we’re such slaves to fashion. Moving on…

Paint the rounded end of a feather with a light coat of paint on about the last inch or so. While the paint is still wet, lightly sprinkle it with glitter. Repeat for each feather. Shake excess glitter from each feather onto your scrap paper and reserve for your next project. Let dry, it won’t take long.

imageHere’s the big tip part of the post. Get some hairspray…the yucky aerosol kind is best. Lay your glitter feathers on some scrap or newspaper and give the tips a light spraying over with the hairspray. Guess what? It seals the glitter. Not like Hermetically sealed or bullet proof but it keeps it from shaking off and distributing itself all over your house the way glitter likes to do. Let that dry for a few minutes.

imageArrange the dry sparkling feathers in a nice row then thread your string through your needle and poke it through each feather tip in turn. Leave a good tail of thread at each end for hanging. Now you’re ready to display your glitter feather garland across a window, a fireplace, your headboard or wherever you like. And you’re super trendy.

Bonus: I made a bouquet with some extra feathers.

Life’s little rewards

Do you ever have days where you don’t feel like doing all the something’s you’re supposed to? You’d rather just slack off a bit but then the guilt gets overwhelming? No?….me either. Kidding! This happens to me a lot because I have many projects on the go and take on more obligations than I should. Recent example, I was dogsitting and getting some freelance work done at the same time. It seemed like the perfect multi-tasking morning and I was accomplishing so much. One more task and we’ll go for a walk, well maybe two more or how about after lunch we just throw a ball in the yard?  These thoughts all whirled around my little head at warp speed until I’d had enough. Stopped. Put everything down. Strapped on his leash and my runners. Embraced the fresh air and cleared the thoughts.  And then, right at the end of our route, waiting on the ground, perfectly unscathed and beautiful, was this, my reward.image

Okay, so there were other rewards too like really enjoying some simple outdoor time with my favourite pooch, laughing at him wading through the tall grass, feeling the gentle breeze and calming the chatter in my head all in the space of a few minutes and a few blocks. The symbolism of this one pretty much smacked me in the face since I collect birds’ nests. Sometimes you have to leave the to-do list behind and take the time for what really matters. You’ll be rewarded for it…promise!