And in VIRGINIA FF Mar Bakes Cookies, Too

Maternal grandma (FFMarlene) baked peanut butter chip cookies for our grandkids Anna, Michael, Jack and Maura.

We are going to have a doubly sweet family weekend together. Our tins of cookies will disappear at lightning speed.

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Pizzelle Perfect

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Baked in Bloomfield ( using a special pizzelle iron)

Maria Merante – Celebrating all things Italian since 1983

Anise or vanilla?  They are delicate and delicious.

 

Macarons – First Attempt

img_3045img_3047Macarons go for about $2.50 apiece at the French bakery. Martha Stewart said you could bake them at home for about 18 cents apiece.  My friend V did some quick calculations in my kitchen and seems it’s more like 50 cents each

I’ve watched a video several times, purchased the best ingredients, and splurged for a baking mat with perfect circles embossed in the material. (Not factoring the equipment into the cost.)

Here’s the result.  Some of the macarons seemed a bit chewy. Did I underbake  them? Was the humidity a factor? Did I whip the egg whites correctly? Did I fold the dry ingredients sufficiently? I let them sit before I put them into the oven. Perhaps I used too much batter on each circle as the seemed to puff up like white mushrooms.  I will watch another video I found The Science of Macarons. If you have made them before please share any tips.

I got the ganache right. Had to put it over hot water after awhile as it firmed up, though.

I found another recipe to try next batch.

 

 

Be My Valentine Gallery 

But first- Who is working quality control at the candy heart message factory?

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and Be My Valentine Gallery – Hearts around the house

Red Cupid photos courtesy of my friend Joanne (wood cut creations by Sue John’s husband)

  Candy from my sister. Sweet!
  Tray of raspeberry jam hearts at Colangelo’s bakery in the strip

  And the one I brought home with me to devour!
 

 

 

Change: From Dough to Cookies

Change is this week’s photography challenge and Friday I posted my children as they are all grown up with families of their own.  I’ve looked at quite a few fellow bloggers posts and didn’t see this one yet but I might have missed it.  So many possibilities for posts illustrating change.  

I was baking some cookies, noticed the mixing bowl of dough, and I thought- change.

I went to the other room and got the real camera instead of the phone.

The light seemed nice in the kitchen.

 

cookie dough

Oatmeal Crisps from the Farm Journal Cookbook (1972 ed.)

 I cut the recipe in half and left out the coconut. You could add nuts and/or raisins.

My minor adjustments to the original recipe below.

 

cookies

1 C butter, room temp ( I happened to have Irish butter on hand)

1 C brown sugar

3/4 C white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 C flour

3 C Bob’s Red Mill Oats

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

dash of cinnamon and dash of ginger

Bake about 11 minutes @ 350

 

Thanks to Kristin Snow for the challenge this week. You have to check out her blog Snowmads

Excerpt from her blog is below.  You will be inspired for adventure after reading it.  

“Who are the Snowmads?

We’re Jason and Kristin Snow, a travel-addicted couple who walked away from cubicles and conventional lives two years ago to roam full-time, gaining valuable perspective on life and meeting new friends at every turn. We hope to inspire others to follow their dreams and collect experiences instead of things. Please feel free to share some travel tips right back at us whenever possible — we love hearing from you!”

3.14.15 9:26:53 Celebrating Special Pi Day at School

 

A very special Pi Day.  Once in a century.  Tomorrow, 3.14.15 is it.    Get ready!

Celebrated at school today. Spearheaded by Mrs. Mihalic.  Creating some spirit!

There were numbers posted all around the hallways on the 800 level to who-knows-what place…..some cool art which I didn’t get to photograph yet.

Eat'n Park Pi Day Cookies

And my neighbor across the hall…. I went in this morning and said “Hey, where’s your Pi shirt?” and then she turned around and showed me!

The librarian, wearing the machine stitched embroidery shirt her Mother, J.E., created espcially for her.Pi Day Shirt Machine Stitched`

Mrs. Mihalic, math teacher, created a wildly spirited event, complete with Pi Day cookies she special ordered from Eat’n Park 

Eat 'n Park Pi Day Cookie

 

 

 

cutting slices of pie

 

In the cafeteria there was a game where students could win a slice of pie. (Similar to a Cake Walk)

 

pies

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Posting this one so you can see how you had to land on a certain number when the music stopped to win a slice of pie.

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Photographed by Steve after school Friday the 13th. I’m wearing one of the shirts Mrs. Mihalic created.

 

 

 

 

IMG_9395A different shirt worn by one of my  photography students.Everyone was getting in on the festivities.

Cookie Trays Await Saturday’s Wedding

Nice job Marlene!  (Mark’s MIL-and Erika’s mom) has been sending me the photos of the cookie baking and today all the sisters got together and “trayed” the cookies.  I had never  “tray” in a verb form until I lived in Pittsburgh.

Marlene is Godmother of the Bride.

If you’ve been following the blog this week, you’ve watched the progress and everyone pitching in to help.

Here is what they did today and took them to the hall. The hall where the wedding reception will be held tomorrow June 7th.

The Alphabet Stamp cookies are from that well known kitchenware store but I see alphabet letters are available in other locations online so no commercial plug.

We used them at Laura and James wedding and also for Jaclyn and Mike’s wedding.  It is fun to change the little letters to spell out their names.  (Well, not that much fun, they are tiny.) But so satisfying to have them as part of the cookie table display.

 

Thanks Marlene for the photos for today’s post about the cookie baking this week in preparation for the big day….

I added the last one of the biscotti I baked after school yesterday.  Will bring it to the wedding tomorrow.  xxoo Ruthie

 

p.s.  My dear friend Donna commented on the cookie table blog, remembering the cookie tables she put together for her son John and his bride Angie’s wedding which was five years ago.    Click here to see her beautiful and delicious baking

While Waiting for Wedding Cookies Post #2

To the bakers of the wedding cookies  for Vicci and Ben  

‘Twas Three Days Before the Wedding

 

While aunties and cousins are baking all day,

Kennywood’s open- people scream while at play

 

Upstreet the neighbors, childhood friends, drop in to chat.

They help eat misshapen rejects, reminisce and laugh.

 

Praline grahams, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate chip

Coconut macaroons all lovingly dipped.

 

Nut horns, peanut blossoms, dough rolled out, shaped and cut.

Almond, vanilla, sticks of butter, chopped nuts.

 

Ladylocks, pinwheels, and sugar cookies in a heart,

snowballs , biscotti and pecan tassie tarts.

 

Cookie tables laden, all homemade sweet treats

Pittsburgh baking traditions cannot be beat.

 

(Marlene is gathering the photos of Wednesday’s Cookie Baking from various members of the family.  Stay tuned)

 

Taken after I left the cookie bakers on Monday evening

 

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Wedding Cookie Production Begins- Part 1

Monday night I got a preview of the beginning of wedding cookie production but today Marlene sent me this cookie dough still life photo she took Tuesday.

She said she knew I would like it.  Nice photo Marlene.Thanks for sending it tonight for the blog.

photo 1

 

Marlene sent these photos she took today also

 

 

Here are a few I took Monday evening as they were just gearing up.

 

 

 

I took the portraits through the screens using my 70-200mm Canon L Series lens.

 

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Aunt Linda

 

 

Aunt Marlene
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Stay tuned for more baking for Vicci and Ben’s wedding