Tag Archives: coffee

How to Renovate Your Wardrobe for Free {recipe: maple walnut shortbread}

1 Apr

So I have learned some things at work that are completely not work-related. Like how to tie a good scarf knot and how to make stellar cake balls and how to plant a container garden. And how to have a Clothes Swap.

Let’s face it. I just had a baby and those once-tight jeans are now too-tight jeans that would look great on you and the flowy top that you wore twice and now hate? It would look great with my baby-feeders. So, get all your lady friends together, bring the stuff from your closet that you don’t wear anymore, spread it our in a giant room and get your friends to do the same. And then shop. For free. Donate what’s left and go home happy!

Here are the rules for a Clothes Swap that go in an Evite. Just copy and paste them, and send to your own friends!

CLOTHES SWAP RULES:
Bring your old clothes and an appetizer or a dessert or something to drink to the swap, along with a bag or two so that you can haul away your new goodies.

HOW IT WORKS
1. Clean out all of the Clothes, Shoes, Jewelry, Purses and other Accessories you don’t want (all of those things that you need to get rid of because no matter how many times you try them on, they will always be too small/too big/too tight-in-the-wrong-place/the wrong color/wrong material, or just plain ugly);

2. Come to the swap and take new-to-you clothes that you do want (free shopping!); and

3. laugh at what is just plain ugly.

AGENDA
4:00 – Show up and grab a drink and some appetizers while you sort your clothes. We’ll have all items divided into different categories of clothing in different rooms of the house.

4:30 – Go time. Start bagging what you want, try things on, solicit feedback from your peers (ask questions like, “does this make me look fat?” and get told you look fabulous).

5:00 – Have another snack and laugh at what is ugly (perhaps an award will be given for the worst piece?).

Later – Go home. Brag to husband/fiancee/roommate/mother how you just got bags of fantastic clothing and accessories for free, AND got rid of the crap in your closet.

Great, huh? Now go do it with your friends!

You can make these for your snack. They are quick and tasty. Eat the leftovers with coffee on a groggy Saturday morning.

Maple Walnut Shortbread

from Real Simple

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 300° F. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and egg yolk until smooth. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and salt until combined.
Spread the dough into an ungreased 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan or cookie sheet with sides.

Beat the egg white in a small bowl with a fork until foamy. Spread evenly over the dough.

Sprinkle on the nuts and press them gently into the dough.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the shortbread shrinks slightly from the sides of the pan. Do not overcook; you want them to be a little chewy. Cut diagonally into 3-by-1 1/2-inch bars.

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For the Birds {recipe: nut and seed biscotti}

28 May

Recently, Rocky has really become quite the watchdog. We have a picnic table in the backyard and he takes the liberty to sit on top of it. From there, he can see into a few of our neighbors’ yards and also moniter all bird activity in a 100-yard radius. Oh, how he would love to snag a bird. I even got a birdhouse that Jon put up in the back yard to entice the birds to come into the back yard and entertain him.

It is all very cute.The bridge here is that this biscotti is maybe a little like bird food. It is full of toasted nuts and seeds and whole wheat flour.I like to say that this is a biscotti for the tea drinkers. It’s not heavy and doesn’t need the sweetness that normal biscotti does to hold its own against bitter coffee. This biscotti is perfect with a cup of herbal tea. I am going to recommend something like a tarragon lemon tea. Yes that would be perfect.

Nut and Seed Biscotti

This is totally not my recipe at all. It came from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks. Her site is full of recipes and fabulous.

makes about 15 pieces.
1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds (I used a combo of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sliced almonds, and pistacios)
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup natural cane sugar, fine grain
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Rack in the middle. Lightly butter or oil a 1-pound loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

If you are using any whole nute, place them in a plastic bag or between two sheets of waxed paper. Bang them with a meat tenderizer or a wooden spoon or rolling pin to get them into smaller pieces.

Combine the flour, nuts and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate large bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Add the flour-nut mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined. The dough will be quite thick. Scoop into the prepared pan and press the dough into place using damp fingertips. You want to be sure everything is nice and compact, level on top, with no air bubbles hiding in there. Bake for 45-50 minutes – or until the loaf tests done. If you under-cook the loaf at this stage, it makes slicing difficult. Remove loaf from the oven, and turn the oven up to 425F.

Immediately run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the loaf, remove it from pan, and set the loaf upside down on a cutting board. Using a thin serrated knife (or the thinnest, sharpest knife you have), slice the loaf into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet. brush tops with a bit of olive oil and bake for 3-4 minutes or until the bottoms are a touch golden and toasty. Pull them out of the oven, flip each one, and brush the other side with olive oil. Bake for another 4-5 minutes or until nice and crisp. Let cool.

Here are some pics of the other animals, you know, so they don’t get jealous.