Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 4 Monday (1/27/14)

Week 4         MONDAY

Recipe Review

Today’s Recipe and Location:  Citrus Butter Cookies
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From my Frontier
                           Pages 236-237      Copyright:  2012  Harper Collins

I figured out that there are 216 calories per serving, if 35 cookies are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

         Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire I love these cookies.  At first I thought these cookies would taste more like sugar cookies – fool that I am.  Possibly they don’t because the name is butter cookies. Duh! These are heavy wonderful cookies that would be perfect for all holidays and a light snack for the kids.  I felt full after one but they continued to call to me.  The citrus flavors are wonderful.  I broke the bank when I brought them to Norton Creek Elementary School Today, we have oodles of guest critics.

You can see the lemon, lime, and orange zest clinging to the top.  Yum!

Today’s critics: 
        Brandy:  “Very cake-like I thought, and every time I ate one this is what popped in my head "these are so different they’re good" Is that weird? Never had anything quite like those, but they were good.”

        Nicole and Gianna Serpico weighed in with, “I can taste all of the fruit. It is buttery, but I like them.  They are a heavy cookie.” Gigi stated that it reminded her of Christmas. “After a few days, the kids thought the zest on top looked like mold?  They didn’t even know what it was.”
        I took several of these fabulous cookies to school today so we have many guest critics.
         Rachel Friend shared, “I’m not a lemon cookie girl, but this is delicious. The lemon doesn’t overpower everything else!”
         Jenny Anderson said “Yummm!!! This isn’t a cookie that I would grab to satisfy a sweet tooth, but I would love one or two a night with tea.”
         Virginia McGannon wrote, “Very good. Reminds me of a mini scone.”
         Kate Phillips replied, “Good cookie. Tender, moist, and flaky with a hint of citrus flavor. I would have preferred a stronger flavor.  Good frosting.”
         Genesis Madigan wrote, “The cookies are soft and flavorful. I don’t usually like lemon cookies, but these are delicious!”
         Christie Griffin replied, “Zesty and refreshing!  Would be great with a cup of coffee.”
         Joyce Simkus stated, “Delicious! I love citrusy pastries. The glaze is perfect and the inside is moist and dense but crumbles and melts in your mouth. A wonderful treat!”
         Madonna Strom wrote, “The perfect cookie to have with a cup of tea. Refreshing but not too sweet.”
         Kim Verbout said, “Really enjoyable cookie! I love citrus anything. I thought the texture was great.”

Craft Corner

         I love growing flowers.  Working in the garden, getting my hands dirty, and planting something beautiful makes me so happy.  My gardens are my pride and joy all summer long.  I put in a lot of time and energy and it really does pay off. 
         Here is a winter activity you can do while you’re waiting for the real thing to grow.  The pictures show two different floral arrangements that I created. The spring arrangement is one I copied from Straw Flower Shop in Geneva. They had this arrangement in their store, and I loved the look of it, but not the price.  I truly love that store because they sell all of the materials needed to create these arrangements. Now the hard part is going home and recreating the vision in your mind. I would never take a picture of an arrangement because that seems unethical. I just took a picture in my mind by studying it, and was able to complete the arrangement in two days.
         The store clerk allowed me to watch them work their wonders, and I learned how they melted the glue in an electrical skillet. I watched how they worked and was quite successful, if I do say so myself. I love this arrangement and it sits in my entry.

         The winter piece is different. I designed and created this one alone.  I did buy many of the supplies at the Straw Flower Shop because they have the best materials. I grow many hydrangea plants in my yard.  Some of the plants in this vase are purchased and several were dried from my gardens. 

         Try to become more observant as you shop.  I am never afraid to try to create something new.  If it fails – oh well.  No problem. At least I gave it the old college try.

Random Reflections

         I like to take on new challenges in my personal life.  One of my most satisfying as well as challenging was extreme couponing. I loved the show and decided to tackle shopping for less.  I began by purchasing 12 Chicago Tribunes (they gave me a great deal).  I cut out the coupons and then hunted for sale items that I had a coupon for that week. Walmart matches other store’s prices so I went armed with coupons, various sale papers and a great attitude.  Locally, I obtained about 55 – 65% savings.  I was disappointed. I went online and hunted for double coupon stores locally and discovered we do not have these gems. I did find one in Ottawa, Illinois. I made my plan and headed south. 
         Due to their rigid policy, I was limited in how much I could purchase. I did achieve my goal of 97%, but it really wasn’t worth it.  It was too far to go, I could only buy a couple of each item, and I wasted too much time.  The store has tightened their policy so you can only buy so much with each visit.  Apparently, they watched the show, too. Ha!
     The pictures below are of my stash in the height of my shopping sprees.  I do not have nearly this much anymore, but I still cut coupons and save a lot of money.  Try it – you may like it.

It is a little scary being like those people on T.V.

I was up to four shelving units when I cut back to one Tribune.

Laundry soap is one of the easiest to say money on if you cut coupons
and buy it when it is on special.

Wants and Wishes

Wise words can be found on Pinterest. I love this quote from Beth MMBBGC from wickedpaper, the ETSY shop of designers Jason and Cami. I got it from Good Housekeeping  (July 2013).

“You could make a wish, or you could make it happen.”

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