Saturday, May 27, 2017

Strawberry Coconut Cake Mix Cookies

For Mother's Day this year I knew I had to do something simple. Auntie Vicki was having a brunch and my mom wanted me to make the orange pound cake I'd made her a couple birthdays ago (the night Anthony and Kati announced their engagement). Because I would be limited on time I decided to look at what kind of cookies or bars I could make with a box mix (I have no idea who it was that first came up with the idea to doctor box mixes but I will never not thank that person. The recipes are great when I'm short on time). For the flavor I decided to make something with coconut (I can't seem to not make something for my mom with coconut. Not that she's complaining) and that was strawberry flavored. The latter I did for two reasons: 1) I love strawberries and I know she's not picky about what flavors her treats are and 2) my dad (for whatever reason) hates strawberries so even if what I picked didn't have coconut, he'd stay away from them. I eventually settled on Strawberry Coconut Cake Mix cookies from The Frugal Girls.

(P.S. I know it's been two weeks since Mother's Day. My first excuse was that iCloud wasn't working so I couldn't get the pics on my iPad to make the collages. My second excuse is that I've been hesitant to do certain things lately. Like cut cable and switch to paid streaming services like Netflix.)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

I've never really had the popular lemon poppy seed flavor. If I'd had, it wasn't memorable. So for my next Sunday breakfast (after the waffle recipe I made in high school cooking class - one of my faves!) I decided on something lemon poppy seed flavored. I also decided on bread because I had mentioned to my family that I don't have a loaf pan and Kati said "Take some of ours! We got more than we need for wedding gifts." So I now have two loaf pans. I searched all the sources I have and finally decided on a recipe from the Joy of Baking website (I swear, this was one of the most decisive moments I've ever had. So quick to pick the flavor and type).

Sunday, March 26, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Double Post: Irish Shortbread and Mint Sugar Cookies

I didn't just make pretzel bites for our day of St. Patrick's Day performances; I also made Irish shortbread. Amber had asked me one day if I knew how to make Irish shortbread and I said no but I could most likely follow a recipe for it. This basically got the idea in my head that I had to make it for St. Patrick's Day.

My original plan was that I would make a batch then divide it in two: half for performance day and half for work. But I ended up only making about 8 so I figured I'd make something else for work. So I turned to my cookbooks for a sugar cookie recipe (since I wanted to give my hard copies some attention). At the end of performance day, though, I had almost the same amount of shortbread that I'd started with. So I still made the sugar cookies and took both to work on St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Homemade Pretzel Bites

Last year, after an almost 8-year absence, I finally returned to Irish dance. Coincidentally, it was with the same school that I had been with for my first 7 years; it was just under a different director/teacher as my former teacher/the school's founder had somewhat retired from Irish dance (Amber, the new director/teacher, knows Anne through homeschooling so that's how that happened). The day I returned was St. Patrick's Day, a Thursday, with 3 performances.

Apparently, this was a relaxing day compared to their usual (a lot had changed since I left, apparently; I only remember doing a recital when we went through Kent Parks & Rec). This year was more the norm: a weekend full of performances.

To prepare for a day of driving around from performance to performance, I decided to make some snacks for the road (this was also because I didn't know if/when we would eat lunch nor when we would eat dinner). Because of my continuous pretzel kick, I decided on pretzel bites. I even searched for a spider strainer to easily remove the bites from their boiling water bath as I knew the wooden slotted spoon I had wouldn't be effective (finally found one at Bed Bath & Beyond).

Lemon Brownies

I've noticed on Pinterest that lemon seems to be a popular flavor of Italian baking. While it could be argued that most of the food bloggers who call lemon cookies "Italian cookies" don't know what they're talking about, I choose to believe them since my mom and sister-in-law both love the Italian liqueur Limoncello (a.k.a. lemon). So I guess I wasn't too surprised when my mom recently told me that Anthony loves lemon. And while I was indecisive at first, I decided to make him lemon brownies for his birthday. I'd always wanted to make them so why not for my brother's birthday present?


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