Postcard #31 “Frankencookies”

Posted on June 1, 2012. Filed under: Postcards, recipes | Tags: , , |

I am lazy and didn’t bother dipping the cookies into the white frosting- oh well…

Happy chickens make happy eggs

WARNING! If you’re looking for an easy, straight-forward cookie recipe, you’re not in the right place. Doodle on down to the grocery store, pick up a bag of cookie mix and in a reasonably short amount of time, you’ll have a plate of delicious cookies.

But if you want a cookie recipe which takes 2 days to make, involves numerous trips to the grocery store and after all that still doesn’t taste like you thought it would, this 52 Postcards blog is for you! The recipe is for Black and White Cookies, but I think they should be called “Frankencookies”!

The recipe calls for:

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature- the recipe I used called for 3 sticks of butter- I thought what the hell, why not?
4 large eggs- I get my eggs from the Reno Homebrewer- they get their eggs from Carson Valley, Nevada- happy chickens make happy eggs. They are always super nice to me because I think that not a lot of women shop there. I like feeling like a queen when I buy my eggs.
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour- 42 years old and I had never used cake flour- it may be another 42 years before I use it again (special trip to the grocery store)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour- more flour? I spilled a bunch and Lily tried to lick it off the floor- kind of gross
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

The rest is for the demonic frosting:
4 cups confectioners’ sugar- like snow in your kitchen
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
3 ounces very bitter or unsweetened chocolate- I ended up using Ghiradelli chocolate and ate the leftovers a couple of days later
1 teaspoon light corn syrup.
1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (optional)- did not use it, but really thought about it

THE NEXT STEPS:

Crack the eggs, cream them together with the 19 sticks of butter, add the sugar and mix, mix and mix some more. Add the extracts and the milk and mix some more. Sift together the dry ingredients and gently add to your egg-sugar-milk mixture. Stir for about 12 years and eventually you will get some kind of dough-like mixture in your bowl.

Since you’re organized, you will have already preheated your oven to 375 degrees, put some parchment paper down on the baking sheets and scoop some dough out (one recipe I found suggests you use an ice cream scoop) and bake those little gut bombs for 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool. They will be puffy and the raw dough tastes better than the finished cookie.

After all the cookies are done, mix together the final 5 ingredients in a double boiler until it is a gooey mess of chocolate and dip those cookies into the mixture. I know these are supposed to be black and white cookies, but I lost interest and only dipped them in chocolate- I have a short attention span.

Let them cool and take them to work (leaving them in the break room before anyone else arrives) where people will eat them for you.

If you would like the real recipe, go to http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/09/black-and-white-cookies/ where you will find better and more detailed instructions.

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Postcard #30- “Thirty Things I Love + One More”

Posted on February 4, 2012. Filed under: Dogs, Postcards | Tags: , , , , , , |

This is my favorite tree to camp under- I love to wake up in the morning and see it

Lillian's Lovely Lady Toes

Postcards

To celebrate my 30th postcard, I have randomly listed 30 things I love the best:

1. Taking my dogs to the dog park

2. Ice cubes. Like I said before:  party in your glass

3. Frosted sugar cookies

4. New socks

5. New shoes to go with the new socks

6. My nieces and nephews

7. Driving around Napa with my sister Teri drinking hot chocolate from 7-11 or a ginormous ice tea from a can (depends on the season), just shooting the breeze and maybe going to Target if I’ve been especially good. Being free-range with Teri is just the best!

8. Beets- all vegetables, really. I had a great conversation with a friend (I promised him that he would remain anonymous) about how beets turn everything red (if you know what I’m sayin’)

9. Changing chords quickly while I am playing the banjo (okay, so I am not that fast at all, but I’m working on it)

10. Watching Lucille swim- that dog paddles like she’s being chased by sharks!

11. Hearing my sister’s children call my Mom “Grams” it is pretty sweet and kinda heartwarming and it makes me feel guilty for trying to get them to call her “Me Maw” (but not that guilty)

12. The way my dogs are so happy to see me when I come in the door and it doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone all day or 5 minutes- they are always happy to see me

Lucille

13. The way my students are so excited to see me and it doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone all day or…

14. When someone calls me “friend”- I just love that!

15. The way compost smells

16. Camping under my favorite tree at Strawberry Music Festival

17. My family

18. Cake with lots of frosting

19. Going to Zumba with my friend Cheryl and making her laugh (did I mention that I’m not coordinated and she is?)

20. Sundance Books- they have a huge selection of books and cards, plus I can bring my dogs in while I browse

21. My husband’s laugh

22. Practical jokes that are actually funny and don’t involve water, farm animals or mail order brides. Earlier this month, I came home to find a 1971 Dodge camper van thingy in my driveway. I named it Big Red and began making semi-serious plans about where I was going to take it camping. Red was so big that it blocked out the sun, had a funky smell and I was scared to drive it because it was such a beast. I was the proud owner for about a day and half until the real owner came back for it. It now lives in front of his house and I hear his neighbors are not happy about it.

This bad boy was mine for about 13 hours...I love you Big Red!

23. Spring, summer and fall

24. Chubby kitties

25. When Clementine curls up on my lap- I feel like I’ve won a huge prize and that’s pretty great

26. The grilled cheese sandwiches my Mom makes me- they are so good!

27. The way my Dad thought I was pretty great

28. The finger picks I wear for playing the banjo

29.  When Lillian puts her long lady toes on the heater vent to warm them up- that dog has some freaky long toes!

30.  Sleeping in on the weekend and not having Walter jump on my head nineteen thousand times

Just one more- which makes this one really # 31- taking the day off and having coffee with a friend (Thanks, Ruby!)

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Postcard #14 Walter is Suave and Dashing Like Burt Reynolds…

Posted on May 1, 2011. Filed under: Postcards | Tags: , , , , , , |

www.UrbanDictionary.com defines a Man’s Man as a real class act. He always shaves and wears clothes that fit. He’s worldly, educated, and a gentleman. He thinks that buttoned shirts are not just for special occasions and that newspapers have more than one section. While he is polite, he is not a pushover. He will swear when he needs to, but will try to control his temper. He can handle his liquor and keeps himself in shape. Most importantly, he will admit his faults and errors, because that is what real men do. He don’t have to be gay or straight, black or white, Republic or Democrat, Atheist or Evangelical; he just does whatever he thinks makes himself a good person that he can be proud of. For these reasons, women want him and men want to be him. They go on to list Cary Grant, Denzel Washington, and Gregory Peck as a typical Man’s man.

I think they forgot one of the best examples of a Man’s Man: Burt Reynolds. He is a sex symbol and a ladies’ man. He still looks good at age 73, his moustache has never gone out of style, and he is of course, a movie star. I believe Walter is the feline equivalent of Burt Reynolds (a sort of Cat’s Cat). Before you roll your eyes and do a Google search for something more interesting, let me explain:

 Both have humble beginnings:

  • Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. was born on February 11, 1936 in Lansing, Michigan. When he was a boy his father was drafted into the army and his family moved around a great deal. Burt struggled to fit in with the other children.
  • Walter’s early years were also a struggle. Born under a woodpile in Reno, Nevada, his family moved around a lot. Little is known during his early kitten months, but what is certain is that he was taken to the SPCA and found a permanent home. Like Burt, Walter has struggled to find acceptance and has learned not to urinate in the potted plants (okay, that only applies to Walter, but it’s still a struggle for him).

Both love sports:

  • When Burt was 14 he began playing football and by the time he was a senior he lead his team to the First Team All State and All Southern Titles. It was also during his last year in high school that he received multiple offers for football scholarships and was later drafted by the Baltimore Colts. Unfortunately an accident ended his football career.
  • Walter loves all sports, especially ones that feature trash. I believe that he would be an excellent soccer player because he is so good at batting garbage under the ottoman. Because Walter is an indoor cat, he lives a relatively accident-free life.

Both love the ladies:

  • Burt has been linked to many famous women during his sexy Hollywood years: Sally Fields, Dinah Shore, Loni Anderson, Judy Carne and Pam Seals. The ladies love him and he loves the ladies.
  •  Lucille, Lillian, Clementine, and Fradies have enjoyed the company of Walter’s affections. I have to admit that I have experienced early morning visits from Walter, but it often results in him getting kicked off the bed. The ladies love him and he loves the ladies.

Both are sexy, suave, and dashing:

  • There are numerous websites devoted to Burt Reynolds’ mustache, an especially good one can be found at:  In April 1972 Burt Reynolds posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine which can be seen at http://blog.moviefone.com/2005/07/18/vintage-image-of-the-day-the-burt-reynolds-centerfold/  Even at more than seventy years old, Burt Reynolds is a dashing and debonair man.
  • While Walter does not have websites devoted to him, he still has the most luxurious whiskers ever possessed by a cat. His fur is soft and supple and even though he’ll never be featured in a magazine, he’s still dashing and suave.
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