Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I'm not sure exactly what I'll do with my bonus day! Definitely some cleaning and organizing in my office. I've been putting that off forever, and I finally started last night. I'll probably tackle that and also do some cooking. I made a big vat of turkey chili over the weekend and I might make a big pot of chicken tortilla soup now. I have also been meaning to make truffles for a long time, as I have some chocolate I need to use, so I might mess around with those. We shall see.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Several people have asked me for my biscotti recipe, so I'm going to post it on here. I'm not a huge fan of ginger, but these are pretty tasty. I get quite a few compliments on them, so I have to recommend them. The recipe is from Cooking Light.
Gingered White-Chocolate Biscotti
Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (4-ounce) bar premium white chocolate, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg white
- Vegetable cooking spray
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the vanilla and next 2 ingredients, and add to the flour mixture, stirring until well-blended (dough will be dry).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 7 or 8 times. Shape dough into a 16-inch-long roll. Place roll on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and flatten roll to 1-inch thickness.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove roll from baking sheet to a wire rack, and let cool 10 minutes.
Cut roll diagonally into 24 (1/2-inch) slices, and place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 325°, and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the cookies over, and bake for an additional 10 minutes (the cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet, and let cool completely on wire rack.
Now I'm going to be like my Grammy Lucy and go into all of the things that I've learned from making this a gazillion times.
-This is better if you use bar white chocolate (I use Lindt which is sometimes on sale at World Market. I've got to find a cheaper source online). If you must use white chocolate chips (which I did today), chop them up a bit first. The chips are too big and will make big holes or burn after you slice the biscotti.
-I always add more white chocolate and ginger than what they say. I add "very heaping" in front of those two measurements. :) I heap the vanilla a bit too.
-I mix everything in my Kitchenaid. You don't have to do much kneading if you do that, which I like. It can be a pretty sticky dough so it gets stuck to your counter or Roll-pat. Don't be afraid to use flour though - it doesn't hurt the consistency.
-I actually never do the diagonal cutting because I want to get as many same-sized biscotti out of the recipe. I'm sure this looks less authentic. :)
-If you're like me and don't have a fancy stove, use an over thermometer. I burned the first several batches I made in this apartment because I later realized my oven is almost 50 degrees too hot. Gross.
-I get my ginger at Williams-Sonoma. I've used both the Ginger People ginger chips and the WS brand slices. Both are less than $10 and have tons, if you're making more than a batch. I once bought a little bottle in the spice section at the grocery store and it was so much more expensive than buying these. I mince both of them, even though the ginger chips might be small enough to use as is.
-I read somewhere that you can stand the biscotti on their flat bottoms and cook them that way so you don't have to flip them midway through, but I've never tried it. I'm too afraid the bottoms would burn too much.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I've been lying in bed reading (AGAIN! Now I'm re-reading Something Blue for the umpteenth time.) and am trying to make myself do some housework. Ick. But I really need to put some laundry away, vacuum, and clean up the kitchen. The dogs thought it would be super fun (AGAIN, second time in a week!) to pull out all of my spatulas and spoons and chew up a few of them. Luckily, after losing seven last time, I think I only lost two this time. But now there are shards of wooden spoon all over the living room. Good thing my days at Williams-Sonoma left me stocked with a plethora of cooking utensils. However someone (Abbey!) also laid into one of my Silpats (grrr....) so I'm probably going to have to replace it. I trimmed the ripped parts off, but now it's smaller and the edges are exposed. For those who don't know what a Silpat is, they are amazing. They're made of silicone and are basically reusable parchment paper sized to fit your cookie sheets (or half sheet pans, as mine are technically called). No need to grease or spray, just throw one of these bad boys on there and wipe it off when you're done. Love them. Apparently Martha does too. :)
Ok, that's probably enough procastinating for now. Off to domesticate myself!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
And while typing this, I wanted to give a quick belated birthday to Kim! I didn't end up posting on her birthday (December 24) and I felt bad because I posted a birthday shoutout to AJ, whose birthday was the day before. Kim, you know I didn't forget about ya. :) (I doubt you're even reading this anyway, LOL!)
Anyway, happy day!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Stay warm out there!!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Now I'm off to brainstorm. Some of you probably know I coordinate weddings on the side. I never really came up with a good name for my "business" because I didn't want to make it seem purely wedding-y, and all of the good websites were taken. I have two weddings coming up and I need to make some business cards, so I need to pick a name, get a site and make some cards. I let my old website lapse (it was m-details.com) so I have a clean slate. I need something easier to remember, and I'm ok now with making it more wedding-centric. I'm thinking maybe something with the word "celebrations" in it. "Cavanaugh Celebrations" seems too cheesy and also too long. We'll see... Feel free to give me suggestions!!!
Monday, January 12, 2009
here is how it goes: go to your 4th folder (where your pictures are stored) and find the 4th picture….and post it. then explain it.
This was actually a picture I took for you, my dear blog readers. All 3 of you. :) These are the Christmas cookies I made and decorated, and I had planned to post the results. As per the usual, I got bored of doing it several cookies in, so the later cookies aren't very exciting. I sent a handful to my sister Laura in Korea, and then ended up sending some more to one of Todd's friends at this request, and he and I probably ate the rest. :) I love me a frosted sugar cookie!!
I'm not sure I have 4 people reading this who will see it, but just in case, I tag Sarah, Liz, Melissa and Suzanne. I picked all of you because I know you've read my blog at least once. :)
Saturday, January 10, 2009
On that note, our coaches tell us that if you run a distance over 24 hours, it's pretty much the same as running it at once. I don't believe it. While the end of my 6 today did feel a bit more like being at the end of 12 than at the end of 6, it was not nearly the same as running 12 nonstop. I'm no expert, but I'm unconvinced. That said, I think sometimes it's ok to do and it's definitely better than not running.
I need to try to be productive today. I kind of just want to laze around, so it's going to be rough. I think I'll start by washing some dishes and putting away some laundry, and go from there. And shower at some point. I still have 6 miles of gym sweat on me. :) I need to make a few lists and phone calls for the wedding I'm coordinating next month, and maybe cook a little or something. If the crap ever stops falling outside, I'll take the ladies out too. They hate the rain though.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I pat myself on the back a bit because I managed to get my lazy butt out of bed and hit the gym before work. I used to do it almost every day but I've gotten out of the habit. I only ran 4 miles, but I'll take it.
I had a funny dog moment this morning. I walked into my bedroom while I was getting ready this morning, and the dogs were both on my bed. I looked at Jelly, and she was tucked under the covers with her head out, right near the pillow. It made me laugh out loud. She loves burrowing under the blankets, but usually she goes all the way under, so this was especially funny looking. Sadly, I didn't get a picture because I thought my camera was downstairs (and they usually follow me downstairs, hence defeating the purpose).
I'm going out hang out with a couple of girlfriends I haven't seen much of in a while tonight, so I'm super excited for that. I love girls nights!
In other news, I met with a potential bride last night. I'm really excited about the wedding. I used to coordinate a lot of weddings, and I'd like to focus some efforts on getting back into that. I have 2-3 on the horizon this year already, which is great. I can't really do too many or I can't focus enough on any one. But I need to get a new website up and all of that.
I also got to catch up with one of my bestest friends, Sarah, on the phone. I love talking to her! :)
Back to my real job now. :)
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Oh, and congratulations to my friend S! She and her boyfriend M just got engaged last night!!!! Yay! In honor of that, I was going to post a picture of them from last year's ugly sweater party (S won, although she was not wearing a sweater), but I'm not sure how she would feel about that. Suffice it to say, she and he both had GREAT costumes!!
So now there are two exciting weddings coming up, A and A's, and S and M's! Yay, I'm so excited for them!!!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I like cooking a lot but I'm kind of intimidated by all the good food blogs out there already. Where are these people taking these photos??? They look so professional.
So, no photo to go along with it, but I made this delicious soup the other night and had it for lunch today. Highly recommend - it's easy, pretty healthy, and tasty. It's from Cooking Light.
North Woods Bean Soup
Yield: 5 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup baby carrots, halved
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
7 ounces turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (15.8-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach leaves
Heat a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, and kielbasa; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes.
Add the broth, Italian seasoning, pepper, and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
Place 2 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to pan. Simmer an additional 5 minutes.
Remove soup from heat. Add the spinach, stirring until spinach wilts.
Calories:227 (15% from fat)
Fat:3.9g (sat 1.2g,mono 1.3g,poly 1.2g) Protein:18.1g
Cooking Light, JANUARY 2002
They provided the calorie breakdown. I think it's kind of low though. Todd got me an iPod Touch for Christmas (so cool!!!) and I downloaded this awesome app called "Lose It" where you enter what you eat and do for exercise and it tracks your calories for you. My favorite feature is where you can enter a recipe and it automatically caluclates the nutrition info per serving. When I put this bad boy in, it was a bit over 300 cal per serving (although I do up the kielbasa by a smidge). Still not bad, but not what they got.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
I can't believe 2008 is already over. That year went by SO quickly! Wow.
Like a woman I know said in her blog, it may not be fashionable to make New Year's Resolutions, but I kind of love the tradition. While I don't know that might are outright resolutions, I like to think about the year that just passed and the one about to start and make some goals. I'll post them once I finish. :)