Baking Day, 2011

I’m hard at work today, at the holiday baking.  The photo above was taken in the middle of preparing Dutch spice cookies, a perennial favorite.  The little round balls of dough are ready to be pressed and then baked.

I picked a good day for the 2011 version of Baking Day.  It’s rainy, cold, and dreary in Columbus — an excellent day to be inside, playing Christmas music, working around a hot oven, and sampling the new creations.

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Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011 (IV)

This doesn’t fall into the category of a Christmas cookie recipe, necessarily, but when I mentioned it to Kish and our dinner guests last night, they all responded “Oooooh!” — which suggests to me that it is worth a try.

Malted Milk Ball Cookies

Ingredients:  1 cup softened butter; 3/4 cup packed brown sugar; 1/3 cup granulated sugar; 1 egg; 2 teaspoons vanilla; 2 1/4 cups flour; 2 tablespoons instant chocolate drink mix; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 2 cups crushed malted milk balls (about 7 ounces)

Baking:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease baking sheets.  Cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, drink mix, soda, and salt in separate bowl, then gradually add to butter mixture.  Stir in crushed malted milk balls.  

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 3 inches apart.  Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Cool on sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.  

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011 (II)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011 (III)

Carolers In The Dark

Last night we were expecting guests.  We went to the door when the doorbell rang, but instead of our guests, it was a group of carolers, adults and children both, belting out a holiday song with great gusto.

What a pleasant surprise!  After they finished, we thanked them and wished them happy holidays.  They looked like they were having a good time, and they made our evening a bit more merry, too.  Kish and I both recalled going out caroling when we were kids, and how much fun it was to be outside, singing those old familiar songs.

The group was affiliated with GnG Music Instruction, 45 Second Street, Suite B, here in New Albany, which all kinds of vocal and instrumental music instruction.  They deserve a plug after brightening our evening and bringing back some great childhood memories.

The Penny Chronicles

My name is Penny.

Every morning the old boring guy feeds me, then we go for a walk.  We always walk the same path, every morning.  Every morning!  Why?  Don’t look at me!  Why do you think I call him the old boring guy?

As we walk, I try to smell as many things as I can.  I like to see if I can smell the other dogs I’ve met, like Shep and Sassy.  Usually the old boring guy doesn’t let me do much smelling.  He just pulls me along, which makes the walk even more boring. What is his problem?  Doesn’t he know that smelling to see who has been there is the only reason to take a walk?

But there is one place where I always get to stop and smell.  It’s like my own little park.  I always smell the post in the middle of the lawn, because other dogs have been there.  Then I smell along the fence line, because other dogs have been there, too.  It’s good to smell the other dogs.  Then I make sure that they can smell me, too.

Then we go home, and I go to sleep, and then I wait to be fed again.  Why not?  I am hungry!