Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas cookies

Family and friends is a large part of Christmas for many of us. We share times of laughter, we share food and we share love between one another. One past time that most of us remember and see in movies often are the memories of baking cookies. I have also taken up this tradition a few years ago and in this season of giving I would like to share a recipe for Coconut Macaroons. This year they were by far my favorite in the cluster of cookies that I assembled.

Coconut Macaroons:

Recipe courtesy Glenn and Lisa Marie Van Dyck, changes made by Nadia Chernichenko

1 lb. 2 oz. Semisweet Chocolate, Chopped
9 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, Chopped
9 Egg Whites
2 1/4 Cups Superfine Sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. Vanilla
12 cups coconut,
* I used half unsweetened and half sweetened


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line sheet pans with parchment. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.

Beat the egg whites in a standing mixer to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed to stiff peaks. Mix in the vanilla. Turn the mixer down and slowly incorporate the melted chocolate.

Pour chocolate mixture in a large bowl. Fold in the coconut. Use a 1 inch cookie scoop to portion onto the sheet pans.

Bake for about 12 minutes, if you over bake them they will be really dry. Be Careful.

Well, I hope you still have time to add these to your plate and if not I am sure that Santa would be grateful.

Cookies and Milk, hope.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's a fact

It's interesting to me that when I hear an educated person say the same thing I believe in, it makes more sense. It's as if my thoughts turn from an estimated guess to an actual fact. So the fact of the matter, is that I have been believing that the beginning of the week is the best time to be the most productive in the tasks that are most important. On a scale of priorities, my home needs to be clean and somewhat organized and free of clutter in order for me to function better. I have known this and have been cleaning my home on Mondays for years and only this week did it turn from "a thing that I did" to a "proved fact" that I heard on the radio this week.

So ladies, pick your priorities and do them in the beginning of the week. "You will feel more relieved, less overwhelmed and likely to have more free time for the things you enjoy". It turns out, that it's a fact.

Being Wednesday already, I am excited to finally tackle my creative side. First off, I ordered my Christmas Card online and finished my letter for my stocking. Next up, were those DARN shirts. It took out a large chunk of my day but putting away the sewing machine was the best feeling so far. One deep breath could finally be taken.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Walking on Clouds

"Walking on Clouds" is when a person is so happy (or maybe so in love) that you seem to float/not care/not pay attention to anything else around you. This is what I felt like on Thursday.

Due to my previous commitments I baked my heart out in the shape of puffs. There were cheese puffs for a ladies breakfast and sugar puffs for a Friday lunch. Intently, I concentrated on filling, coating, and decorating the sugar treats. So much so that by the end I thoughtlessly put them out in the garage. The problem was that it has been extremely cold, and a little creature created a home under the warmth of our lawn mower. I could honestly say that God showed up for me in a time when I was JUST.NOT. THINKING. It's as if he laid a shield of protection over my two foot tower of perfection and while one got saved the other dessert got eaten. It definitely got my attention in both ways but I had no mercy for that little mouse.

Weekends are different for me, in comparison to the rest of the week. It's a time when I stop scheduling and just let things come and go as they please. Saturday was my Christmas party and it was the perfect day for it too.

The turn out was great and after eating a breakfast of "Caramelized onion waffles with smoked salmon and eggs in a lemon cream sauce" we were ready to open gifts. The theme was Scarves, in light of a season when they become such an accessory.

Soon after that it became a little more casual and laid back. Some had to leave and some had no other place to be. Chatting away (as most girls do), I shared my hair ideas on them.

Well, I made it to Sunday. It was a filled day of Christmas shopping with my time-deprived kids and having company over but at the end of the day,when I watched the movie "Julie and Julia" I realized that while people were relating to Julie, I was relating to Julia Child's. She was different then the rest and she knew it, she was collected, driven and excited about it. I was both touched and inspired because the movie proves the very point of what I believe and that is that "our efforts aspire to something".

Believing, hope.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One set at a time

One step at a time, one foot in front of another was the motto for my day. And even though I have not done anything yet I took a large portion of my day just to think. Thinking and writing gets my thoughts in order and when things are in the right order, seldom can they overwhelm.

Creatively though I made the letters for my stockings. It was relaxing and I enjoyed the peace.

The next few days will be hectic, but the fun kind where your surrounded by people and laughter. I feel like have a lot going on and am trying to keep my mind focused on today's priorities instead of tomorrow's.

Hoping for enough time and self motivation.