Well, welcome to 2018~! I hope everyone had a great holiday season I know that mine was extremely busy and a little chaotic but also nice. Am I glad that it is all done now? YES! & YES! . I love Christmas, don't get me wrong. And I love my family and being able to see all of my children and now my little grandchildren. What part of it do I not like? The shopping part. The hussle and the rushing of looking , searching, purchasing, Im so over all of that part of Christmas. I mean who thought up this rediculous thing of on one day a year whatever someone wants, you just go out and purchase it? Oh yea and I did say what someone wants? You want to know why I said that? Because it's now also come down to they tell what they want. What?? Are you kidding me? Not only do we buy gifts but we now have an assembly line of people who are telling us what to buy for them on this one day per year. What? I mean really?
Oh my, I just cannot deal with it all anymore. To me, and it may just be me because I do have very sentimental values. Christmas is about the birth of Christ! To me I am celebrating the birth of Christ, and honestly that just doesn't go along with buying electronics, perfumes, and designer clothing. lol. I sometimes start thinking of how we have commercialized everything right down to the most important date of a Savior who came to die for us, on a cross, who was beaten to near death, then killed on that cross, buried in a tomb, and rose from the dead all to save us from our sins and give us eternal life.
Even if you do not believe as I believe, who in the world got this day to where it is now? I really want to focus on doing things different for the next Christmas. I want to have a totally relaxed and peaceful day that day. I may take a vacation to another place , or I may spend my Christmas somewhere else. You know, I have not been to my mother's home for Christmas since I was around 27 years old and I am now as of tomorrow, 56 years old. I may do that. Or I may spend it on a beach but for me personally it has to be changed. I may have one last big blow out before I go off into la la land of not doing anything but either way its got to change.
I am on the search this year for the perfect house. It's exhausting finding a house that has eveything that one would like to have. I need a nice and large kitchen since that is where I spend the majority of my time, then again I may change that also. I really want to have lots of room and especially need a room for all of my exercise equipment. The boys are getting older now and they have to start exercising more also. Anyway my mind is going a thousand miles an hour with thoughts of what was and what will be and what I would like for things to be so all I can do is pray that it all comes together into what actually is. As people I think we all stress to much on certain days, or during certain times, so the only one who can change that is ourselves. I wish for everyone a great 2018 and hope that each and every one of us take time to really enjoy our lives, focus on the importance of kindness and doing for others and for praying for our nation . Take that trip to the beach and put your feet in the sand while watching the sunrise. Take a hike in the woods in the spring and notice all of the wild flowers that will be appearing through the leaves on the forest floor. Go to a local farmers market and be grateful for all the hard working farmers that provide us with all of the beautiful fruits and vegetables that we enjoy eating so much. Love more and worry less. Enjoy the rain. Enjoy the wind. Enjoy the Sun. And always remeber to laugh a lot and be grateful for all that you have.
- 400g boiled or canned chickpeas (14 oz.)
- 3 tbsps tahini
- juice of 1 large lemon
- 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsps water
- a pinch of paprika for garnish
- When making a homemade hummus recipe, what really makes a difference is the order that you add the ingredients.
- For this hummus recipe, start by adding the tahini and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pulse for about 1 minute, until thick and light in colour. Then the chickpeas go in. Process the mixture, until the chickpeas are minced.
- Lots of hummus recipes require to remove the skins from the chickpeas. Although this is not difficult it will certainly take some more time, but the truth is, having tested both ways, I am not sure that it is worth the trouble. If you have the time try it for yourself by gently pinching the chickpeas until the skin comes off.
- Add the minced garlic and pour in the olive oil a little bit at a time, whilst pulsing, like making mayonnaise. Blend until the oil is incorporated and the hummus mixture is smooth or coarsely pureed, depending on your preference.
- eason with salt and cumin and pour in 1-2 tbsps water, if the hummus is too thick. Pulse for 1 more minute.
1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large Land O Lakes® Egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Decorator sugars, if desired
How to make
Heat oven to 375°F.
Combine butter, powdered sugar and 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour, cream of tartar and baking soda; beat at low speed until dough forms a ball.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten to about 1 1/2 inches with bottom of glass dipped in sugar; sprinkle with decorator sugars, if desired. Bake 7-9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack.
- I like to chill my dough for at least an hour before rolling out to cut cookies. They hold their shape a lot better and it is easier to work with the dough. These cookies are best if they are rolled into balls also. You can do all sorts of things with sugar cookies. Try some with a hershey kiss in the top of the dough before baking. You can roll them in a sugar/cinnamon mixture before baking, or you can make up your own ideas. Who doesnt love sugar cookies!!
3cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2teaspoons baking powder
3⁄4teaspoon baking soda
1tablespoon ground ginger
1 3⁄4teaspoons ground cinnamon
1⁄4teaspoon ground cloves
6tablespoons unsalted butter
3⁄4cup dark brown sugar
1teaspoon finely grated lemon zest(optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
- In a large bowl (KitchenAid's great for this) beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.
- Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.
- Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
- Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 deg. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
- (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) Preheat oven to 375°.
- Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.
- Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.
- Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
- Cut out cookies with desired cutter-- the ginger bread man is our favorite of course.
- Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies-- very good!).
- Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
- After cookies are cool you can decorate them any way you like.
- SUGAR COOKIES
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.