Category Cooking

To a Tea

January 25, 2013 CookingServiceVanilla Life  12 comments

I post so much about tea that I thought I would expound on it because, well, because I can.

I did a tea portion of a class before a formal Leather dinner and it was, apparently, a revelation to a lot of people, so maybe it will have some value here, too.

Tea is a lovely beverage.  It is the second most consumed drink in the world, after water.

Experts say tea provides as many disease-fighting flavonoids antioxidants as fruits or vegetables.

Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemicals that promote a healthier immune system.

White tea contains the most antioxidants, followed by green tea. Black tea undergoes a fermentation process, which severely decreases its antioxidant content (though it still has more than coffee).

Additionally, tea contains a lot of other natural compounds that prom...

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Christmas Eve

December 24, 2012 ChristmasCookingVanilla Life  2 comments

So, it is the night before Christmas.

slave drew got home from his lake house, I made dinner for us tonight – pasta with salad and rolls – and also a Mediterranean Fish Casserole and Orzo Pilaf for tomorrow’s meal with friends.  I’ll make a pumpkin pie during the day tomorrow.

drew opened one of his gifts from me, a book on insects.  If you know slave drew, you know the thing he likes the most is information.  He’ll pour over it and in six weeks know more than is really appropriate about insects.

The puppies got to open one of their presents, some greenie bones.  They have a couple more gifts under the tree for tomorrow, but if I told what they were and the puppies happened to read my blog, then the surprise would be ruined.

We ate some of the candy I was given yesterday, until I made ...

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Cookie Insanity

December 15, 2012 CookingRecipes  10 comments

I am a crazy woman.

This is what I baked today:

IMG_3629aa

They are, beginning at the triangular shaped plate and going clockwise around the outside of the table, Chocolate Covered Nuts, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheery Cherry Cookies, Rosemary Shortbread, Lucye’s Persimmon Cookies, Peanut Butter Dog Cookies, Confectioner Sugar Cookies, Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies, Cranberry White Chocolate Chip, Santa’s Whiskers, Buttery Brown Sugar Slices, and Pomegranate Butter Cookies.

The three in the middle, left to right, are Lucye’s Peanut Butter Cookies, Lucye’s Oatmeal Craisin Cookies, and Plantation Chews.

Yes, that is fourteen varieties of cookies, and Chocolate Covered Nuts.  I baked at least three dozen of every variety, meaning 14 times 3...

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Not Cookies

December 14, 2012 ChristmasCookingRecipesVanilla Life  3 comments

I think we’re all a bit in shock because of the shooting today.

Perhaps the positive that can and will come from this horrible incident will be that we as a country will finally stop listening to the idiocy of the NRA and the Cold-Dead-Hands people and develop rational and enforced gun control legislation.

There’s nothing to say, really, other than what we all are feeling, that this is a tragedy of unimaginable horror.  I will keep the families of those affected in whatever way in my thoughts, and I hope you will do the same.

So, I came home today from getting my nails done, and made two batches of which I have baked none yet.  Tomorrow will be baking...

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Another Cookie Post

December 13, 2012 CookingVanilla Life  2 comments

So, I made it another cookie making evening.

I keep meaning to mention, too, in the vein of making your own vanilla extract, it’s also quite simple to make vanilla sugar.

Want the recipe?

Take some sugar and put it in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  However much you want, probably between a cup and three. Take a vanilla bean or two, slice it lengthwise in half, and drop it in.  If your jar is too small, cut them in pieces.  Close the jar.

You have now made the sugar.  You can let it sit however long you want, but probably at least a week.  It’s lovely on cereal or fruit or in tea or coffee.  When you’ve used half of it or so, add more sugar.  Every six months or so, add another bean.

How complicated is that?

So, anyway, I made three kinds of cookies tonight...

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I Heard a Bird Sing

December 11, 2012 CookingMemoriesVanilla Life  8 comments

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

“We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,”
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

So said Oliver Herford,

I memorized that poem as a kid, and I have thought of it every single December since, as well as other times, too.  Today was the first cold day we’ve had, the first day I actually wore a coat out during the day to run errands.

Actually, yesterday was a bit more of a dark of December kind of day, today was brighter.

I made no cookies today.  I did look at cookie recipes and got some cookie ingredients.

One of the places I looked was an old cookbook I had picked up at a yard sale somewhere, the kind that was some mother or grandmother’s COOKBOOK, the one where she stuck the recipes sh...

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More Cookies

December 10, 2012 CookingMemoriesVanilla Life  5 comments

So, today was the day to bake my peanut butter cookies.

I have been baking these cookies all my adult life.  I’ve no idea where my mother got the recipe, I’ve never thought about asking her that until this moment, and it’s way too late for that.

My mother had good qualities and bad, though I tend to remember the bad ones.  She was smart and educated, which was good.  She was not pleasant, which was bad.

When she liked something I did, I got that from her.  When she didn’t, I was just like my father.

She never told me I was stupid.  She frequently told me I was lazy, and often told me I was fat and not pretty, though she rarely used those words.  The message was there, however.

She loved poetry and passed on a love of it to me...

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Cookie Monster

December 9, 2012 CookingVanilla Life  7 comments

So, I didn’t make a LOT of cookies today, but I did make one new batch and baked three kinds.

First, since someone asked in comments, please steal any recipes you like here.  That’s the point of posting them, isn’t it?

Also, I found this for free in the Kindle edition:  The Blogger’s Cookbook.  It might not be free forever, or even long, but it is free when I post it and there is a free Kindle reading application for phones, computers, iMac items, etc.  Seemed appropriate to post it.

Ok, so, today I baked, among others, Pomegranate Butter Cookies.  I made these last year because I had a pomegranate and why the hell not?

slave drew really liked them, but I found them too salty, almost, so this year I tried again and increased the sugar just a bit, and I am very happy with them.

They’re...

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The Great Cookie Exchange of 2012

December 6, 2012 CookingVanilla Life  18 comments

Ok, so this has been a dramatic recipe exchange!

Causing me to dither slightly because I was worried I might not be doing what all the cool kids were doing or doing it right and causing other undue stress.

I can still get all dorky about not being one of the crowd.

Anyway, I went to look for a photo – mine are not made though all the stuff for them is on the kitchen counter – and found a couple that were clearly NOT RIGHT.

So, the recipe is called Santa’s Whiskers and they really are slave drew’s favorite...

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