Sunday, July 17, 2011

...and this one's for you

I love my life here.  My new friends, old friends that have come to visit, friends I haven't met yet, my gramma, the mountains, walking to 7-eleven for pina coloda slurpees, Bear Lake.  It's great.  My girls are happy; I'm happy.
But I also miss some things.  The country.  Walking around in my undies without worrying who can see in my windows.  My sister.  My parents.  Diversity.  My hair dresser.  But more specifically tonight, people.  We made a treat for some new friends, which was delicious, but made me crave some old friends.  (Happy Birthday, Grace Money.  We made these with you in mind.  Hope it was fab.  Now come visit us!) 
In life, there are some people who are family, even though they're not family.  You know.  I am so grateful for those people.  It's the little things...and the big things.  I am so blessed to know them; to have such a wonderful family. 
Thanks for being so gosh-darn inappropriate at all the right times.  You know who you are.  We love you, and wish we could cook for you always.  xoxo, Me & the Nuggets

Chewy Gingersnaps
Preheat oven to 375*

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap*)
  • 1 egg
Stir in:
Add and mix well:
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Form 1" balls and roll in granulated sugar.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 2" apart.
Bake 8-10 minutes.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

*If you only have blackstrap molasses, use 1/8 cup blackstrap and 1/8 cup honey.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons...

...rejoice!  Squeeze them and drift away in the bliss that is pure, unadulterated citrus.
We've moved, life is good, and I'm still finding things to feel good about.  Including beautiful lemons.

We were at the grocery store this week, perusing the produce.  I bent down to pick up whatever it was that was supposed to be keeping my Ellie's attention - but let's face it: gravity is far more exciting - and had the most beautiful whiff of lemons I kind of stood there for a minute, dreaming of the delicious citrus trees that I will never be able to grow on my new balcony, until Chloe patted my bum and said, "You are a Mommy.  You have a big bottom.  I am just a Chloe with a tiny bottom." 

I told her she was right, and that one day, if she was lucky, she would have a big bottom just like Mommy.  So we laughed and filled  a bag of lemons to take the memory home with us, and to make a treat to keep our bottoms perfectly sized. 

Creamy Lemon Bars
Preheat oven to 350*.

Stir together:
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Gradually stir in:
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (today I tried walnuts, as pecans are so expensive right now... definitely a delicious substitute!)
Press dough firmly onto bottom of buttered 9"x13" pan.  Bake for 15 minutes. (You will begin to smell the nuts, and it will be lightly golden around the very edges.)

In mixer on high, beat until smooth:
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups sugar
Add until blended:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
Stir in:
  • 2+ tablespoons lemon zest/rind*
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice*
*this is about 2 lemons

Pour filling evenly over prepared crust.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool at least one hour.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.