Sunday, January 20, 2013

Current Events

Do you want proof of the hipness of Watsonville?
This week my sister and I meet for coffee.  At Safeway.
That's the local nightlife.
Nobody else seemed to be there chilling with the in-store Starbucks bev.
We had a beautiful time.

Also this week, I had a major brain lapse situation.
I was on a super quick grocery run, while my guy was home for lunch break.
I put the car in park, grabbed my purse & jumped out of the car.
My radio was still going.
Hmmm...  Curious.  I wonder why?  Electrical malfunction?
Oh.  Keys still in the ignition.  Car still running.
Although I was only in the store for a 10 minute blitz,
probably still would not have been a good idea...
Close call.

We have beautiful sunshine this weekend.
Which is a relief.
Because last week we were really bearing the burden of winter
with day time temps in the 30's.  I kid you not.  Cold stuff.
Gillian & I were up for our turn in the parent/child outing rotation.
We scored on a gorgeous day.
I took her to my favorite quiet time place, the New Brighton Cliffs,
to explore and hang out.
Fabulous day with my girl -

I have another recipe to share with you all.
It's another dessert thing.
I don't bake every day.  Really, I don't.
But, I guess I more inspired to share the sweet recipes, lately.
I'll try to do a change up on that soon.

This one is Peanut Butter Frosting.  Swiss Meringue Buttercream style.
SO good.
I put in a top chocolate cookies that were only so-so.
I won't share that recipe with you.
Find your own cookie recipe.  Or a chocolate cupcake.
A rolled chocolate cookie, cut in the shape of hearts, made into cookie sandwiches?
Sounds perfect for Valentine's Day.  (I love that day.)

This frosting is a tiny bit more complex than just turning the mixer on.
But, do not fret!  It is NOT hard.  But, you do need an electric mixer.
And it is SO good.

Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 Egg Whites
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract

Fill a medium sized pot with enough water to come up about 1 inch high.
Put over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

In your metal mixing bowl, drop your egg whites & sugar.
Whisk the whites and sugar continually over the the simmering water.
Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.

Now, click your mixing bowl into the mixer, with a whisk attachment.
Mix on medium speed until bowl is cool to touch.
You should have a gorgeous white fluff.

Now cut you soft butter into several hunks.
Change out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment.
Turn the mixer on low and add one little hunk of butter at a time,
until it is all incorporated smoothly.

Now add the peanut butter.  Now turn up the speed to medium.
Beat for about 5 more minutes, until creamy and smooth.
Now slowing add the Vanilla until well mixed.

Spread on your cookies or cupcakes.
Or, just scoop it with a spoon and sprinkle with chocolate chips!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meeting in the Middle

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Do you know the Diamond Rio song?

"I'd start walking your way 
You'd start walking mine 
We'd meet in the middle 
'Neath that old Georgia pine 
We'd gain a lot of ground 
'Cause we'd both give a little 
And there ain't no road to long 
When you meet in the middle "

I've always loved this song.
The story of finding the middle ground in the song is so sweet.
In real life?  I have spent a fair amount of time not liking that idea.
But, I am understanding that compromise can be a great gift.

Scott and I are a classic case of "opposites attract".
One tends toward clinginess, the other toward self-sufficiency. 
One of us, first response in a conflict is to fight.  The other's first response is flight.
One of an optimist, the other a pessimist.
One of us gets over involved in other people's lives, 
the other would rather not be involved at all.
Point being, we have conflict.

Conflict is okay.  It's not the bad guy.
Conflict can actually push us toward each other.

Conflict doesn't help join us together if we just run away from it.
It won't help if we always just concede and say, "fine have it your way!"
It won't help if we push and push for the other to completely agree with us.

The meeting in the middle?  That involves both parties reaching for the other.
Both speak with honest humility, and listen with the same.
We have to seek to understand the other, 
but know that even if we don't understand them, 
that doesn't mean their point of view is all wrong.
In the conflict, we can come to the middle ground of a healthy compromise.

"We'd gain a lot of ground 
'Cause we'd both give a little 
And there ain't no road to long 
When you meet in the middle "

Recently when we had conflict over an aspect of our opposite natures,
I had a simple realization, that hadn't really occurred to me in the past.
The place in between us, where we come to meet - 
I think that is the place where God wants us to be.
He made us two for oneness.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Morning Cookies

I got this recipe from my mom, who makes these cookies as wafer sandwich cookies, 
with buttercream between cookie layers.
The first time I made them, 
my guy & I couldn't resist trying a cookie, prior to filling them.
They are melt in-your-mouth, yummy, not-too-sweet, 
perfect with your morning coffee cookie.
So, we never fill them.  
We eat them sans buttercream, as the perfect morning cookie.

Morning Cookies

1 cup of flour
1 cup of softened butter
 Whip these together until smooth.  
Now beat in 1/3 cup of whipping cream.  
It will be very sloppy.  
Pat your slop out onto a piece of plastic wrap.  
Press flat & refrigerate until firm.  
(Maybe a few hours will do.  I usually do overnight.)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll flat on lightly floured board.  You don't want the dough totally coated in flour.  
You want the future sugar coating to adhere.
Cut with a cookie cutter.  
Dip each cookie into a bowl of white sugar or cinnamon-sugar, coat both sides well.
Bake on lined cookie sheets for 7-9 minutes, until lightly golden.

These are really delicate.  Transfer with care to cooling rack.
Don't eat the whole batch yourself in one sitting.