Five things that happened this week

My orchid finally bloomed again. I was give. This orchid two years ago. Of course it was blooming when I got it, but then the blooms died away with the stem. I kept watering it thinking that it would bloom again, but it didn’t. The. I noticed that the roots were cramped so I changed the pot and put fresh orchid mix in there and now look! I have a pretty orchid just in time to brighten things up on this yucky winter day.

Otto is just about done. I just have to touch up the background and give I’m a couple coats of varnish and he’s good to go. Next up my little Zelda.

Monday was a kitty cuddle kind of day. I woke up and could barely walk leaving me on a heating pad on my back while the kitties and Zelda took turns making sure I was properly cared for. No worries though my back is better, at least for the most part anyway.

Harper took most of these home, but I will have you know that I accomplished the task of eating all the cookies she left behind. This is an accomplishment that I not so proud of, but they were yummy after all.

The last item I don’t have a picture of but I am happy to report that I am once again able to park my car in the garage. It is just in time for this ugly snowstorm too. Unburying my car is not something I am very fond of and I have been doing a lot of it recently.

I haven’t been that diligent this week with my posts, but I vow to pick it up next week!

Fun with Harper

To keep my niece entertained during the Super Bowl we baked some cookies. She picked the shapes and the colors. I think she did a great job of decorating them too. I let her bring home a cookie sheet full and of course she picked all the ones mommy and auntie decorated, but I don’t mind. I missed out on these younger years with my girls as we adopted them at 8, so any chance I get to have kid creations around my house, I count myself blessed.

As for the game…it’s a bummer that the Rams didn’t win.

Cookie Mania

Turns out that I really love decorating cookies!

Here are a few more that I have done recently.

This is my first time using the edible markers. They are very easy and fun.

I made these for my boyfriend brother for his 40th, and yes I used the same icing as the kitties.

For my sister I made butterflies of all different icings.

With the excess icing I made doggies. I cannot wait until Valentines Day!

The last batch I used egg whites, and the first batch I made the icing with meringue powder. I think I like the egg white texture better, it’s less expensive too. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Hopefully, there is improvement.

Yesterday I did a Thing

I finally did it! I bought myself a Kitchenaid mixer! Of course, I had to use it. I had so much fun icing those Christmas cookies a few weeks back that I decided to try my hand at some more.

It worked great, it was everything that I imagined it would be. Now, I need to do a lot more baking. I have decided that I am going to make Birthday Cookies for all my family members. It just so happens that today is my youngest sister’s birthday!

Happy 27th Birthday Kirsten! I hope you love your cookies and I hope that they make it to Michigan in one piece. Sorry they will be a few days late, but I hope they are a great surprise.

Tried Something New Last Night

I have been seeing the most creatively iced cookies this year on the Food Network and in blogs, so I had to try it for myself.

I learned a few things in the process. I would definitely make my own dough next time though, and I was not happy with the consistency of my flood icing, so I would need to work on that too.

All in all it was fun though. I almost wanna go out an buy the supplies to make more. Or, maybe I will buy the stuff and make some cookies to send to my family in Michigan for my sister Kirsten’s birthday on the 2nd of January. She might get a kick out of that. I could find some cool cookie cutters that look like cats or something else she might love.

Just a thought though. It looks like it would be fun to do with children, but unless you have the patience of Job I would not try it. It was very messy and I am a 42-year-old mother of two teenage girls who did not enjoy cleaning up the mess that I made alone.

Christmas Tradition: Gingerbread Houses

This year we added to the Christmas Gingerbread tradition by baking our own Gingerbread.  This was half out of necessity and half out of adventure.  There were no Gingerbread house kits to be found in the small Northern Minnesota town that I was visiting over the weekend.

I think we will be adding the baking process to this tradition.  It was fun to create our little village, and the gingerbread smells it created were so warm and cozy.  It set the perfect mood, along with the snow covered ground and apple cider simmering on the stove.

Here is the The Gingerbread Recipe that we used.  I would recommend it for building, but not for cookies as there wasn’t enough Ginger flavor for my taste, but you may like it.


Dough

2 Sticks Softened Butter

1 cup Brown Sugar

2 cups Molasses

4 Eggs

8 cups of all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

5 tbsp ground cloves

5 tbsp ground cinnamon

5 tbsp ground ginger

Directions

In a bowl combine brown sugar and butter and mix until smooth, add molasses and eggs; set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.

Into the large bowl add the wet ingredients, folding in by hand.  Once combined place on a floured surface and roll out to 1/4″ thick, and cut out pieces.  There are many templates online or you could create your own.

Preheat oven to 350.  Place Gingerbread pieces on parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.  Cool completely before assembling house.

Icing

2 lbs powdered sugar

1 tsp cream of tarter

3 egg whites

1/4 cup water

Combine powered sugar and cream of tarter in a bowl.  Add eggs and whip adding water until you get the consistency you like.  I like mine to make stiff peaks.