I rarely bake, but on Sunday I had the bright idea of making some pretty holiday-themed sugar cookies. Using Pinterest for inspiration, I settled on snowflakes with an intricately iced design, which looked easy enough because everything always manages to look deceptively easy on Pinterest.
While perusing the Internet, I found some promising recipes (that I tweaked a bit) and made the cookies and the icing from scratch after buying a slew of tools including a mixer, because I didn’t have one. With a bit of experimentation, I ended up with perfectly baked cookies and some suitably tasty icing. So far so good.
As it turns out, icing cookies is incredibly difficult. You have to have icing that’s the right consistency (I made a lot of icing) and you have to have the right tools. My cookies took two nights to make and ended up looking like they were made by a 5-year-old because I didn’t have a small enough pastry tip for detailed work (my flood icing worked out though, so minor victory!)
If I ever take on the arduous task of icing sugar cookies in the future (unlikely), I’ve at least learned that I’ll need a better set of icing tips and some corn syrup in my icing to get it to flow better. On the plus side, I do think my cookies ended up tasting quite nice.
We stopped by DavidsTea in Burlingame this weekend and picked up the annual 24 Days of Tea advent calendar, plus a new tea mug. I got the set for the first time last year and even though it doesn’t have an entire array of teas that I love (I’m not big on black tea) it’s still totally worth having.
Last year I cheated and opened it up early, but this year I’m going to wait until December 1 and drink them on the day I open them.
This year’s list:
Cream of Earl Grey
Glitter & Gold
Read My Lips
Silk Dragon Jasmine
Cinnamon Rooibos Chai
Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait
White Chocolate Frost
Mother’s Little Helper
Vladimir Nabokov once wrote that literature and butterflies are two of the sweetest passions in life, and I am inclined to agree. There are few things that I enjoy capturing quite as much as the bright colors and patterns of a butterfly.
Taken with the E-P5, as I was regrettably without my Nikon and macro lens. From the Butterflies and Blooms feature at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco.
Several months ago, a mysterious cat began visiting our yard, much to Molly’s dismay. We were initially worried the cat might have escaped from a nearby house, but its collar and pudgy belly suggested otherwise.
We’ve seen the cat (who we affectionately call Voldemort) traipsing along our fence on a near-nightly basis since then and we’ve also seen it (I call it she, John calls it he) around other areas of the apartment building. Voldemort has become a regular part of the backyard wildlife, which also includes squirrels, a family of raccoons, and a skunk.
Last night was business as usual, or so we thought. We heard Voldemort outside but when we peeked out the window, we were in for a major surprise…
Suddenly, there were two identical silver bengal cats walking along the fence. WHAT.
Apparently, someone in the neighborhood has two lovely cats that roam the wilderness of Sunnyvale and despite seeing them separately dozens of times, we had never seen them together to know that there were multiples.