Many have picked meaningful words for 2015~
I read them here and there..and enjoyed reading what I saw..
If you could peek below the fairies and angels..you would see a glass etched ornament given to me maybe 4 years ago by my friend Nancy..it says ..HOPE.
So I am picking..have picked that♥
Christmas hibernated here January 9th..
It involved a whole lotta organization and cleaning..
It takes one full day to ready for Christmas..and one full day to do a system restore.
Putting up Christmas is way funner,
Putting Christmas to sleep involves more cleaning:)and is way less fun..
I don't mind it..though..it's a ritual for me..
Hand made ornaments go in one bag/box..breakables in another..see above:)Little porcelain faces.. glass balls..etc..confiserie types..
OLD ones..not antiques..just old since our wedding .in another..etc etc..
I don't wrap them..or it would take 2 days..they are gently placed.They look haphazardly placed..but no..they are fine..the ones that look haphazardwere place on the top of the tree..I needed the ladder and the rest had been placed~
Everywhere feels younger...lighter..yet less ZEN...and then again..more Zen.Like a makeover.
We had days with minus 20 F temps.. some snow..some freezing rain..
I busied myself in the kitchen..making those powdered infusions of clementines and meyer lemons..
The idea and recipe was found here..I could not find a better way of showing you the finished product than by gleaning(copying) almost exactly how she showed us..
It was the best way to share..
Basically peel your oranges..(organic..)lemons..limes.. being careful to peel up the least bit of white..possible..as that is the very AMER..bitter part..If they are not organic make sure you wash the citrus carefully..I use a mix of vinegar and water..I am fine with that..
Then I put them on parchment..and baked in a slow oven..she recommended 100 C for 1.5 hours..it took mine longer..keep checking..you want dry..so that when you pulse in your coffee grinder(I have one specifically for herbs and spices)..there is no moisture and you get a fine fine grain/powder.
The scent is suerb!
Perfect addition to zest up muffins.. cakes.. icings..pancakes..cookies ...even date squares.
I have baked since New Years and 2 trials were absolute shambles..blueberry baked donuts..oy..
not pretty not good ..
That little silicone mold will have to wait a while before I venture that route again..
And really beautiful stuffed cookies made in a moon cake mold.
I had tried mooncakes..to no avail last year..so when I saw cookies ..I thought .."I have found THE recipe" for my molds..
Not so much.
My cookies were rock hard..the impression faded at baking..FLOPS.
I did make this for dinner one night ..adding mushrooms I had pan sautéed first..I had to bake longer because I used skin on ,bone in.. legs..We rarely if ever have skin on ..bone in..but ..in some cases the 2 are needed..
It was quite good for a quick and easy meal.
So as far as baking went..since the new recipes were being so stubborn.. ..I made a tried and true..
Date squares..as far as I know..Jacques and I love them ..and Frédérick..
So I brought some over.
We all probably have as many date square recipes as banana bread recipes..but a friend lost his aunt during the holidays and he had given me her recipe..
So I made those thinking of him..and her..
The secret he and she said..:" Is love..and the freshest dates you can find..in this case and their cases..Medjool from Algeria."
And they qualify this recipe as no different from many others..the sole reason they are so good..is that they are made with love~
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour(I put 3/4)
1 cup butter in small cubes
2 + cups of rolled oats
450 grams of fresh dates..pitted.
1 cup water or orange juice
Now I grate the butter.. she says/ he says.. to cut the butter in small pieces and blend into the flour..I grate the cold butter and with my extremely clean fingers..I blend the butter into the flour and then add the brown sugar and oats that I have pre-blended.
It makes the crumble..Work it gently but thoroughly so the butter is well incorporated.
After pitting the very fresh dates..cook them in one cup of water or orange juice..(I do half half)..
...for a little over 5 minutes until you get a type of jam consistency (my words)..
In an 8 x 8 pan..(I add a piece of parchment that overhangs so I can lift the whole square out and put on a board to cut into ind. squares or triangles.) place half the crumble and don't press down hard..
With a spoon ..spread the date mixture over all..and top with the rest of the crumble..
I added a smidgen of my orange powder to the date mixture..
Bake at 375 for ap 30 minutes..Check because they said 45 minutes and really after 25 mine were browning..so check you will know when they are ready..they brown and they just look cooked/baked..as you can see every oven is different.
My notes..I used a 9x9 silicone pan..
So nice w/ tea/coffe/milk.
A classic in the kitchen.
The ones I usually make are from Ann Lindasy..If you scroll down to Best Ever Date Squares you will find the recipe here..
I also like Blueberry Oat bars..these are my faves..
Tomorrow..I am seeing Jersey Boys with my daughters ..♥
I'll let you know..it was my Christmas gift from them..The tickets said:" Lunch and a show with your girls".