Burst of Summer – Peach Smoothies (recipe)

Okay, so maybe smoothies are a little bit out of season in the US. After all, it is the beginning of February. * But they are not out of season in Australia, so I’m gonna go on that and post this. Don’t mind my logic.

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*This asterisk is here because you may be like me. If you’re like me, you are craving fresh fruits and veggies like no one’s business, regardless of the fact that it’s 20 degrees outside. If you’re like me, then you’ll probably want to keep reading. If you’re not, then you can get a cup of hot coffee and do whatever coffee-lovers like to do.

Don’t mind me – coffee-lovers are mystifying to me. That’s all that is. Read on, friends.

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Peach Smoothies

*makes about one tall glass

1 1/2 Cups peaches: halved or quartered (partially frozen)

1/3 Cup yogurt (regular or vanilla. if vanilla, omit the vanilla extract)

1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp water (you may need more, just to allow your blender to work)

a pinch of ground nutmeg

 

Place all ingredients in blender. Pulse until smooth. Enjoy!

 

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Cappuccino Swirls (recipe)

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There’s something magical about baking. Yes, any teenage girl with a sweet tooth and a cookbook could tell you that. In my opinion, the true magic lies in who you’re baking with.

Yesterday, instead of going straight home after work, I went over to my sweet friend J’s house. Last night we were both deliriously tired, but still decided to bake cookies. Thank goodness we chose a fairly simple recipe.

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These cookies are quite amazing, actually. They have the lovely flavour of coffee, but it isn’t overpowering. The white and dark chocolate on top makes them utterly delectable. They’re light and sweet – perfect for accompanying tea, milk, or coffee.  farmgirl-0025.jpg

Ingredients

2 tsp instant coffee

2 tsp boiling water

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (diced)

1/4C  superfine sugar (to make superfine sugar, pulse granulated sugar in a food processor for about a minute-ish.)

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 tbsp cocoa powder

(for the top)

1/3 cup white chocolate (chopped or in chips)

1/3 cup dark chocolate (chopped or in chips)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put coffee powder and boiling water in a cup together and stir. Essentially, you’re making really thick coffee. Sift the flour, corn starch, and cocoa powder together. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then add the flour and coffee mixtures. I would recommend using an electric beater to beat them together. It will take a few minutes of beating for the consistency to look right. Ideally, the batter should be about the consistency of mashed potatoes and look a little bit like chocolate frosting. Spoon the batter into a piping bag and use a large tip to pipe it into 18-20 circles on a parchment-lined pan. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

Melt white and dark chocolate in separate, heat-proof bowls. For the sake of efficiency, I recommend a double-boiler, or a heat proof bowl inside a small pot of water. Once melted, use a spoon and drizzle one kind of chocolate onto the cookies. Then, drizzle the other kind going the opposite direction.

Note: the white chocolate was a little thick, so we ended up piping ours, but the dark chocolate liquefied much better and we were able to drizzle it.

Enjoy!

(recipe reprinted from The Cookie and Biscuit Bible)

2012

This past year has been a broad one. Broad – that’s the only way to describe it, really. I’ve traveled more than in previous years combined, with a couple of exceptions. I started my first job. I bought my first DSLR. I grew in more ways than one.

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I’m not going to go over specific events from this past year. It was a good year, but I’m happier to look forward to this year. 2012. This year, I will finish high school, graduate, and enroll in college. This year, I will grow even further, again, in more ways than one. This year, I will travel. This year, I shall resolve to be more content, and strive for the best I can possibly be.
More on my resolution(s) later…

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In love with the sky (and gingersnap recipe)

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Today was one of those days where the sky was brilliant. We’re almost at the height of our equinox – the leaves are growing more colorful by the day.

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Next week, we’ll hit the height of of fall, if the season is true to tradition.

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This is my lovely calender that I haven’t shown you all yet. It’s in German, which means it has German holidays on it, and the week starts with Monday instead of Sunday, like all European calenders. Awesome, no?

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Now that it’s cool at nights, Opal sleeps on the pillow besides me at night. You know? I love having a cat that adores me. Because… I just do.

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She keeps me company while I do school. She may or may not sneak sips of my tea while I’m not looking.

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I made gingersnaps again today. Such an amazing feeling to work in the kitchen. I received multiple requests last time for the recipe – I’ve included it below.

Gingersnap Cookies – makes a lot… but I promise. You’ll eat them quickly. Especially if you have kids.


1C of Shortening
1 1/2C of Sugar
2 small eggs
3/8C of Molasses
3C of Flour
1 Tablespoon of Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Tablespoon of Ginger
1/2 Tablespoon of Cinnamon 


Preheat the oven to 350. Cream shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and molasses. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon together. Add this mixture little-by-little to the wet ingredients. If the mixture is too sticky, add a bit more flour. (The consistency should be cookie dough-ish.) Have a small bowl of granulated sugar nearby. Take tablespoon-sized bits of cookie dough, roll them into a ball, and roll them in granulated sugar. Place them on a non-greased metal pan. The cookies should bake between 8-10 minutes, or till the edges are set and the tops are cracked. Don’t overcook them. 


Finishing off the post – I had bunches more pictures to show you all. Then, my Flickr account decided that I couldn’t upload any more photos this month.
*cough* It’s not like I’ve been uploading photos or anything?
I shall be back tomorrow, with more photos. Think gorgeous photoshoots and more lovelies…
Until then, adieu.