Lenox Almond Biscotti

So, this week’s recipe for Tuesdays With Dorie is Lenox Almond Biscotti.

Biscotti, you say? This Sicilian was game!

My first thought was, “Lenox? Is that some kind of a fancy pants New York flavoring? Hmm…maybe I should read the recipe.” So I did. I came to two conclusions: first, all they were are almond biscotti. No more, right? Nope. Wrong. Second conclusion: weird! They have CORNMEAL in them. No self-respecting Italian, Italian-American, or Sicilian-American would add cornmeal, right? I have my own recipes, and they work very well, thankyouverymuch Dorie.

But I made them anyway. This is the first time in two years I’ve gone to the store just to buy ingredients I didn’t have, as opposed to just substituting.

And it was WORTH it. So worth it. The cornmeal adds a fun crunch to the crunchy cookie. The almonds are delightful, and they’re not too sweet, which is good. Many “biscotti” I’ve had just, well, aren’t biscotti. They’re pathetically sweet impersonations of the classic cookie.

A few words of note: use REAL almond extract. Or any real extract, for that matter. It makes all the difference in these cookies. I’ve used imitation before, and it doesn’t do a cookie like this justice.

I’d show you pictures, but the battery on the camera died, and really, I didn’t feel like driving a half hour to the nearest Best Buy for a battery. I wanted to enjoy my cookies.

They’re found in Baking: From My Home to Yours, pages 141-143, if you’re interested. 🙂

Tuesdays With Dorie

So I joined a cooking blog entitled “Tuesdays With Dorie”. A rather punny name on the Mitch Albom book, but these ladies are hardcore. Hardcore bakers/chefs that is! I certainly feel at home discussing my troubles with yeasted dough that is just too slack, caramel that, well, doesn’t caramelize, and just cooking up recipes I might not think to try. This is the Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake from pages 245 and 246 of the cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan.
And that’s DH’s hand holding his slice of the cake, whilst taking a picture of it with the webcam. (I promise better pictures in the future, our digital camera is in desperate need of a battery.)
Caramelly goodness....

Caramelly goodness....

“Remember the ladies….”

In all of the political hubub, theological fighting, and blog-smackdowns that have taken place lately amongst the Christian realm and the patriocentrists…I have found a quote that by one of their beloved Colonial examples of womanhood, Abigail Adams. In a letter to her husband, she famously wrote, “…I long to hear that you have declared an independency – and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember that ALL MEN (emphasis mine) would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation”.

That was found in Founding Mothers, by Cokie Roberts. I HIGHLY recommend this book…it is an interesting and an historical view of the good women who supported the Founding Fathers, and kept our country running whilst the men were off fighting wars and charming the French (*ahem, Mr. Franklin).

That was a stressful September!

With October 1st looming before me (okay, it is halfway over already!)…I thought I’d recap my September.

Grad classes started again. I’m taking a YA lit course with Mary Wepking over at UWM. She’s possibly one of the coolest profs I’ve had yet. I’m constantly anticipating discussions, book selections for the week, and even assignments. The only thing that keeps me on edge is whether my local library will have it together enough to get my books that I requested before the week is out.

We moved into the condo. ‘Nuff said. I made the first mortgage payment too early, leaving us with $192 bucks until my husband got paid. Good thing we didn’t have any other bills left in the month. And even better that he got paid, and we’ve got plenty o’cash in the ol’ coffer now.

Brewers baseball…slumping…Nedley gets fired. I never wish to celebrate someone else’s misfortune, but Dale Sveum was the obvious pick, and an obviously good pick. The last time the Brewers made the playoffs, I was about 8 months old (you do the math).  Cold beers, brats, and a party are in order, I think, to watch the game.  This is just further proof that the evil empire of the Yanks doesn’t mean that big market teams are the only teams to get to the playoffs. Hello, Milwaukee! I’ll be cheering them on later this afternoon while the banana bread is baking.

Moving. Did I mention that? Oh, I did? Well, I’m not doing THAT again for a long long time. Really long.

That’s it for now…have to go make my grocery list up for shopping later after the game. I know that the Hubs is going to want a cold one for the game replay later. (And I have to hide the remotes. He has a propensity of throwing them when things don’t go his way on the field. Don’tcha just LOVE armchair pitchers/umps? Ha!

Whoa…already?

I’m not one for reading too much of the news usually. Sure, I’ll read my Sunday paper, but that’s mainly because I pay for that edition. Otherwise, I don’t subscribe to any local newspaper because I can read up to date news at the Journal Sentinel website. But…this caught my eye tonight. I knew it was getting cooler faster than it normally does in Wisconsin, but frost? Already? Granted, I live in the southern part of Wisconsin, but frost? In September?I’m glad to see the 90 degree heat go away, I’m not a huge fan. And don’t get me wrong…I LOVE fall. I glory in it. Apple pies, pretty burnished leaves, new classes starting…but an early fall means winter gets here quicker. I like winter too…I love snow, I love hot cocoa and snuggling up on the couch next to my hubby. I just hate the icing of the roads, being trapped indoors, and getting stir crazy right about February.

At any rate…I’m looking forward to fall starting. Now that Munch is 1, going on walks, poking in the dirt for bugs, looking at the trees that have already put their Autumn ‘wardrobe’ on, and even going apple picking are all much more enjoyable than last year. Come to think of it, this time last year, he was only 16 days old. 16 day old babies are sweet, but they aren’t too, well…active. He’s pretty good at playing and entertaining himself too – the latest game is trying to open the cabinets in my kitchen that now have baby locks on them. He’s not a fan, considering he pretty much had a free run of the apartment when we still lived there. But the Hubster and I felt that owning one’s own home meant a slightly higher level of decorum in terms of kitchen supplies NOT being strewn about the kitchen on a daily basis. But, Munch can still get in the Tupperware cabinet. To deny a baby that glorious chance to play is just….mean. 😉

And speaking of Fall…I LOVE to bake and cook. Most of you know that if you go to other sites and blogs I comment at. And my disclaimer…just because I comment at a blog or you come from a blog does not mean I necessarily agree with what is posted at said blog. I’m really quite nice, laid back, and non-confrontational. But I’m also not a doormat. And frankly, I’m about as middle-of-the-road, whitebread, Midwestern-college-educated-girl-turned-Mama-and-grad-student as can be. You’ll never really find me in a skirt unless someone’s died, and I think that everyone should have some kind of public education if they so choose, meaning…I think EVERYONE should at least TRY going to college/university. To deny someone that right just because of their financial situation, sex, or whatnot is a true social injustice. Regardless of whether you are a Christian or not. I went to a state university. And I survived, with my faith intact. But…moving on from that rant…

Anyway…I’ve recently starting perusing the King Arthur Flour blog. I LOVE it. There are people out there who are as passionate as I am about apple pie! My husband is absolutely flabbergasted that there are, but I kept telling him that….he didn’t believe me. 😉 Being that I’m a good ol’ Wisconsin girl, I’ve grown up using Gold Medal flour for the most part – it is usually on sale, and I’ve always had good results with the stuff. My forays into shopping at Aldi from time to time finds me buying their brand of flour if the sales haven’t been that great at the regular supermarkets – I just don’t think that paying $3-$4 a bag for standard, all purpose flour is necessary. But then I received two coupons for two bags of flour from the kind folks at King Arthur Flour (thanks MaryJane!!). A local Sentry store has them for $7.95 a bag – yowza! There’s a lovely disclaimer at the KAF site that they’ve been able to lower their prices on flour – unfortunately, the Sentry in Burlington didn’t get that memo. 😉 I’ll be ordering my flour from them from now on though; their store is AWESOME. I joined their Monthly Mix club, because really, I’m obsessed with their products now. Sure…I can bake the stuff without a mix. I don’t need to use a mix at all. But after having one of the molasses whole wheat cookies from this month’s selection, well…it ain’t no Betty Crocker mix, that’s for sure. It is whole wheat goodness, that tastes like true junk food. I’ll pinch my pennies and get free face wash, free frozen veggies, inexpensive meat and cheese that is on sale, and even switch makeup brands to whatever is the free product with coupon. In fact, I’d coupon until the cows come home. But there’s no way I’d pass up an opportunity to buy their products again. They also have a Recipes section: try it out! I highly recommend their Guaranteed Biscuits recipe – it is made with whipping cream…yum!

Back to those molasses cookies, and the Brewer game. Go Ray Durham!! Whoo!

Things I think are just plum stupid today…

Can you tell, I’m in a crabby mood? I feel the need to rant just a bit.

Either way, in no particular order, here are the things I think are just ludicrous, after watching CNN today:

John McCain and his ‘town hall meetings.’ Seriously dude…you aren’t pulling the wool over our eyes. Just because I live in the Midwest, in a small town that tends to be more ‘red’ than ‘blue’, doesn’t mean I buy what you’re saying. You’re only saying what you need to to get the swing states to vote for you. We’re not stupid. We know what you’re saying. Drilling offshore is a bad idea – our environment is in a bad enough state. Why would you exacerbate it? And just because you were tortured during the war is not impetus enough for me to vote for you. There, I said it. And before I get flamed for non-support of our troops, I have a brother serving over in Iraq. Yes, I’m thankful he’s doing what I won’t do. I support him. I don’t support the war, and really, I don’t support anyone who wants 100 years of war if that is what it takes. I’m a mommy of a little guy, and you know what, John McCain? You can’t have him (to quote the Moveon.org ad).  You wanna focus on issues, Mr. McCain? Focus on feeding needy families, saving their homes, helping our elderly (which, *ahem*, you are one of). Why should I have to feel bad when I can only afford to donate $50 to Love Inc this year for Thanksgiving meals for families when the government should be stepping in?! Dude, I’m just really mad about the state of affairs in our country right now.

The new ‘bill’ that is going through the drafting process under the Department of Health and Human services sponsored by the Federal government: it would consider birth control pills and IUDs, amongst other forms of birth control, abortive aids. Since when did PREVENTION equal abortion? It would be one thing to already be pregnant and take the abortion pill or have an abortion, but to lump IUD/Pill/hormonal birth control users in the same darned category as those who choose to have abortions is just ignorant. Plain stupid. And I’m pro-life!

Doug Philips’ stance on abortion to save the life of a mother in the case of ectopic pregnancy. There’s no nice, edifying, or polite way of saying this: dude, you are a freakin’ moron. An absolute idiot, who has NO CLUE about real life. I’m waiting to see what happens when one of your followers has an ectopic pregnancy, and because of YOUR ruling on this, a life is lost because of YOUR ignorance. Her death will be on your soul, at that point. See the article about this here.

Russia invading Georgia. Great Olympic spirit, guys!

*shakes head* I’m out for now.

And I thought I was the only one…

I’ve heard about the Botkin girls and their movie, “Return of the Daughters”, as well as Stacy MacDonald’s joke of a theology book about “Raising Virtuous Maidens” (seriously…I don’t know a single unmarried woman who refers to herself as a ‘maiden’ anymore. But that’s beside the point….

I recently discovered, through linking and such, a blog called Whitewashed Feminist. One would THINK that it is, indeed, a feminist site. But if by feminist, you mean a thinks-for-herself, doesn’t-buy-dominion-mandate, can’t-find-a-Scriptural-basis-for-the-Neopatriarchal-movement, then yep…they’re feminists over there. All brevity aside, the ladies who post over at WWF are intellegent, well schooled, faithful Christians. Many of them remind me of friends I had when I was in college and involved in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. I especially appreciated this post: http://whitewashedfeminist.com/

What is occurring now in the VF circles and their like is nothing more than spiritual abuse, and I appreciate Godly women such as those at WWF who are willing to stand strong, and be loud and proud about womens’ rights. You rock, ladies!