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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Today's Offerings

Today I made a chocolate mint cookie. I used a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe to which I added 2/3 cup of Ghiradelli cocoa, min extract and Ande's Candies Baking pieces. Easy peasy

This week has been hectic and full of drama. More on that later

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A quandary

As I was sitting on a bench in a local park, watching my 8 year olds team practicing soccer, I'm listening and occasionally participating in the conversations of 2 of the moms. They were discussing "teaching homosexuality" at school. Now, I was busy dealing with my 4 year old, who was meandering too close to the road and only caught bits and pieces. But the parts I did catch were disturbing.

Mom, number 1 who is an avowed conservative, says "Yeah, in California, they even make kids do homosexual role playing". Where the other mother, the avowed christian, says "Gosh, I hope they don't teach homosexuality here too". Mom #1 replies "Oh, I'm sure they do, but I don't think it's as bad as in California".

Within a few moments of this conversation I point out a young couple walking down the road, saying (being the smartass that I am) "Well, isn't that an attractive couple?". To which Mom #1 replied "God, look at the wiggers". I had absolutely no comment I could make that wouldn't start an argument in front of little kids, so I pretended I didn't hear it. My reasoning for pointing out the young couple was one of purely cosmetic issues, they were sloppily dressed and none too clean. I'm a snob about stuff like that, but her's was of a totally racist and personal nature. I just didn't get it.

So, my quandary is now, how do I deal with mom#1. She's very bright and funny and edgy, but she's a total pig too. Mom #2 is a religious nut who doesn't know any better so I can kind of blow her silliness off. But Mom #1 is just a blatant bigot.

I'll be blogging regarding my issue with this woman and how I react to it over the next few weeks. It should be interesting.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Apple Pies

As I type this, in my oven is an apple/cranberry pie. We bought the last of the apples at our local stand. The stand is closed for the season now and that is rather depressing, no more fresh veggies.:(

Today I am also making an icebox type cookie, the recipe follows. It really is a very, very tasty and easy recipe. I originally got the recipe from a Southern Living cookbook, but have tweaked it a bit. I hope you enjoy

Cinnamon Pecan Icebox Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon

Cream butter gradually adding 3/4 cup sugar and brown sugar, beating well. Add egg and vanilla, beat well.

Combine flour baking powder, and salt, add to creamed mix, beating well. Stir in pecans. Cover and chill 2 hours

Shape into (2) 6" logs. Wrap in wax paper and freeze until firm.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon on a shallow plate. Unwrap frozen logs and roll in sugar.

Slice frozen dough into 1/4" thick slices, place on flat edged, cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12 - 14 minutes. Cool on wire racks

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Why I don't feed my kids supermarket meat

I recently found this article in YahooNews and it was not news to me, but I added it to my reasons for not walking into Walmart and buy their meat.
FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Could a turkey sandwich or a bowl of chicken soup be hazardous to your health?

Poultry has that potential, according to research that suggests people who eat drug-treated poultry may be at increased risk of developing antibiotic resistance.

Still, the findings are preliminary and shouldn't make anyone stop eating chicken or turkey, the study's lead investigator said.

"We don't want to suggest to anyone that they should alter their diet based on this," said Dr. Edward Belongia, director of the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation's Epidemiology Research Center in Wisconsin.

But federal regulators should consider the results as they make rules about the kinds of drugs given to poultry, the investigator added.

Now take that and imagine what they are feeding your kids in school lunches? Your children might even be ingesting this shit at home.

I was looking for a way to segue into the Whole Food, Organic aspect of my blog and I think I just found it.

If you don't find this sort of situation frightening, you are obviously not paying attention.

There are very simple ways to combat the feeding of your children (or even you)this sort of thing. Don't buy your meat at chain grocers (unless it's an organic or whole food chain). Find a local meat monger, get to know him, ask him about the source of his meat? is a good place to start and they sell to many chains and mom and pop stores. Their chicken, while a little smaller than your average SUPER market chicken, is so much more tasty.

The same with your veggies, know where they come from and in the summer months seek out local organic farmers. AND FOR CHRIST'S sake support them! They need you to survive and your bodies will thank you for not adding pesticides to his/her diet. And if you can't find Organic local buyers, at least buy local produce and ask them for a list of pesticides they use.

That is all for now, I shall be researching a good source for finding local, organic farmers and ranchers.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gingerbread Biscotti

Number 2 cookie on my agenda today is a Gingerbread Biscotti. Biscotti is a twice baked cookie that sounds one heck of a lot more complicated than it is. There is relatively little clean up and people are overall impressed with the results. Again, I use as many organic products as I have available.

If I am short on the spices needed for this recipe, I just use 3 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice in place of the other spices listed.

WARNING - this recipe will make your house smell like a bit of heaven.

Gingerbread Biscotti

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup finely minced candied ginger (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl beat together butter and sugar until there are no lumps of sugar. Beat in the eggs, then blend in the molasses. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. Fold in the almonds (and candied ginger if using). Divide the dough in half onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray your hands generously with nonstick spray (dough will be sticky) and form each half into a log about three or four inches wide and one inch high. Place them two inches apart. Bake dough for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Cool logs for 10 minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut each log into one-half-inch slices. Place the slices cut-side down on baking sheet and return to oven to toast. Remove after 10 minutes and flip all of the cookies over. Toast an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Day One Cookie List

I woke up bright and early this morning and decided which two cookies were on the agenda for today. As I write this, the first batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies w/pecans have hit the oven rack. It was a basic Chocolate Chip cookie recipe that I used, the only difference being that I use mostly organic ingredients, that is...With the exception of eggs (my supplier was out of large). I sometimes switch out 1/2 cup of peanut butter for 1/2 of the butter and use peanuts instead of pecans. My kids really like this version. The other cookie for today is a Gingerbread Biscotti. One of my husband's favorites. I will be sharing that recipe with you. Oh well, gotta go pull the cookies out of the oven. I'll be back on soon with the Biscotti recipe

Well, spellcheck does not appear to be working this morning, so I'll try again with that later, bear with the spelling errors please!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Holiday Cookies

Tomorrow will be my official start day to holiday baking.

Every year I bake and send cookies to family and friends. Though I have found that in the last few years I've slacked off quite a bit due mostly to rising postal costs.

I have however, made a promise to myself this year to send cookies to at least my immediate family members. So few people anymore actually make a variety of cookies and I find that most people truly do appreciate the effort.

I usually start with the basics...Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip w/nuts, Oatmeal, Snickerdoodles and after the mood hits and my baking gene really kicks in I move on to more complicated and elegant cookies. I try to stick with ones that travel and freeze well.

I will keep this blog updated with the cookies I bake daily. And I do tend to bake and freeze at least 1 batch a day.

I look forward to sharing and to suggestions!