Tuesday, December 27, 2011

{TWD} Kids Thumbprints and The End

Good afternoon! It is Tuesday and you know what that means....Tuesdays with Dorie and a delicious recipe. This weeks recipe was chosen by none other than Dorie Greenspan herself. You should check out her post because if you have been following along for almost the last four years it just might make you cry...plus she has the recipe for these delicious cookies in her post.

I am writing this post with mixed emotions. On one hand I am slightly melancholy because this is the last recipe in the book. On the other hand I have learned so much about baking over the last few years and have tackled things I may have never tried. I feel like I have had far more success than failures and my darn dog has had her share of goodies she swiped from the counter. As good things come to an end though there are new good things on the horizon. In 1996 Dorie published Baking with Julia, the cookbook that accompanies Julia Child's PBS series. This is the book the TWD crew will start baking through starting in February of 2012. If you would like to tackle this cookbook and join an amazing community of bakers I would love to see you there!

This all started with Laurie Woodward and a few friends almost 4 years ago. I thank her now for starting this group and creating a fun, informative community of bakers. Thanks for sticking with this all of this time and for inspiring so many!

Now, on to the cookies!
In the tradition of not looking terribly closely at the recipe before going to the grocery store I didn't realize I needed peanuts....not to fear! It is Christmas and I can obviously just coat these babies in sprinkles, because who doesn't love sprinkles...right? I did end up having a red sprinkle emergency and had to run to Dollar General for more red sprinkles but it all worked out.

Little Man lent me his thumb to press the centers of these...he was not really a fan and ran to rewash his hands as soon as we finished. After the raspberry jam was (almost) set I packaged these up and sent them to school with the kids as teach gifts. I also sent a plate to each class for the "holiday" party. Honestly, I am glad I sent them because I really could have eaten the entire plate of these myself. I love cookies that have jam like this in them. Bobby is not a fan but even he liked them.  These will definitely go in the Christmas Cookie line up next year.

I hope you have enjoyed baking along with TWD or living vicariously through the posts and the other bakers in TWD. I know I have and hope that the next four years will be as sweet and tasty as these last four!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec Wrap Up

This is one of those posts that is here to remind me what happened in the last few months. Since my last few posts have all been baking related this is just a list of things we did.

  • Disney World Extravaganza
  •  Kids started 1st grade and 4th grade
  • Little Man bought a skateboard
  • Trophy Ceremony for baseball for Little Man
  • Went to Throwback Thursday Sounds game
  • Munchkin had strep that we initially thought was a spider bite
  • got Munchkins TCAP scores..they rocked!
  • Took the kids to Cedar Creek Batting Cages and Go Karts
  • Kids learned how to make armpit farts
  • I turned 37
  • Took Munchkin to the Perch for Crepes
  • Huge limb fell off of our tree during a mild rainstorm. Thankfully no cars were under it
  • Kids played Upward Soccer. Lady Owls and the Lightning
  • Little Man told us about a little girl trying to kiss him on the playground
  • Went to the Encore picnic
  • My grandpa had heart surgery and came through with flying colors
  • Went to a preseason Predators game for free at the Bridgestone Arena
  • Salient played at Meridee's Bread Basket in Franklin
  • We tried a new Thai place and the kids loved it!
  • Munchkin attempted to pull her tooth with a remote control airplane (it didn't work)
  • Salient played at "The Stand" in our neighborhood
  • I busted the screen on my 2 month old phone (it still works though)
  • Kids put on a "Crazy Kids Concert" on our porch to raise money for church. 
  • Did a sweet family photo shoot at a park. 
  • Introduced the kids to Edamame
  • Worked on the banners for both kids classes for the school fitness day
  • Went to Atlanta to hang out with the Jacksons
  • Salient played at the Madison Folk Fest
  • Did some letterboxing
  • Munchkin made chocolate almond topped shortbread all by herself
  • Saw Wicked at TPAC
  • Went to Pumpkin Hill for Pumpkins. Little Man won a 75 pound pumpkin for guessing the closest weight
  • Halloween: Bobby was Thor, I was Glinda the Good Witch, Munchkin was Elphaba: the Wicked Witch of the West, and Little Man was a cop with a radar gun
  • Munchkin read Because of Winn Dixie
  • We went to the Hobby Lobby family day where we all shot airsoft guns and drove remote control cars
  • Kids were attacked by the leaf monster that appears in our yard every fall
  • Won first place in photography and baking at neighborhood village fair
  • Munchkin won first place for kids baking and second for drawing
  • Little Man sang his rendition of Taylor Swift's "You Belong to Me":  You wear short pants, I wear long pants...na na na na na....I wear short sleeves, you wear long sleeves...na na na na na.... :)
  • Little Man and I spent several hours at the children's hospital getting a piece of glass removed from his foot. 
  • Saw Breaking Dawn
  • Spent Thanksgiving at Mark and Melissa's house
  • Saw the Muppet movie
  • Saw Santa at Bass Pro Shop
  • Munchkin had "Nature Club" at our house
  • Built a snowman out of pumpkins that I spray painted white
  • Dinner 8 at our house with Lindsay and Andrew and Sarah and Travis
  • Got our Christmas Tree at Lowe's
  • Went to Bobby's work party
  • Celebrated our 14th anniversary by going out to dinner at Outback the actual night and then to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol on Saturday
  • Took the kids Christmas caroling in the neighborhood. 
  • Obviously it is not the end of December yet and there is so much more that will happen in the next couple of weeks. I am looking forward to 2012 and hope that I will be a better blogger in the future. :) *sigh* I suppose it takes the discipline that I lack.... 
Marry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

{TWD} Earl Grey Madelines

 Way back when I was a freshman in college, my grandparents sent me a tea set for my birthday. It included 2 large green mugs, which I still have, and several types of tea in a white basket. Earl Grey was by far my favorite.

For some reason I do not recall there being a microwave in the girls dorm and we were not allowed to have hot plates. For this reason I spent a considerable amount of time microwaving water for tea in the lobby of the boys dorm. Perhaps having to go there made drinking tea even more fun. :)
When I saw this week's recipe I was reminded of my grandparents and that sweet tea set that in turn created many memories.
These cookies were not difficult to put together but they did require some time in the fridge before baking. One new technique I learned from this was infusing butter with tea. I did not have a cheesecloth so I used a coffee filter in my sieve to separate the butter from the tea leaves. Of course, that was not terribly effective either so we had some tea leaves in the cookies. One other reminder to myself....do not set the timer and leave the house...my madelines passed golden and springy and went straight to dark brown and slightly burned. The characteristic hump on the other side looked great though and both of my kiddos ate the madelines without a peep about them being burned.

 Once again there were two recipes chosen. Nichi of Bakeologie chose Earl Grey Madelines and Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table chose Honey Almond Fig Tart. I have every intention of making the tart as well however I could not find fresh figs. Perhaps next week. :)

Like I said last week, I am sad to see TWD coming to an end soon. We are gear up to start a new book though (Baking with Julia) and I am hoping to see my copy under the tree in a couple of weeks. If you want to join in check out this link for the details. I am looking forward to baking with my old TWD friends but would love to see some new faces too! Especially some of my local peeps! ;)
Make sure to check out how the other bakers did with each of these recipes this week!