Sunday, December 28, 2008

Coconut, Christmas, Cows

Hiya folks. I hope everyone is doing fine and returning to normalcy after Christmas craziness and the fact that 16 tons of snow were just dumped on every acre of land from sea to shining sea. We had a mellow holiday here in Cali. We opened gifts live over speaker phone with my family in Illinois and then cooked a glutinous dinner and pigged out. It was an easy relaxed day.

I whipped out a batch of ambrosia macaroons the other night. It was my first try at making macaroons and it was so much easier than I had guessed it would be. I am a hard core macaroon junkie and always assumed that they would be a tough cookie to crack in a home kitchen. I was ever so wrong. You can kick out a batch without even knowing what the heck you are doin'. The hardest part is the waiting.... waiting for them to cool and set up in the fridge. Here are my pics from the baking seesion and the recipe follows taken from

Before baking...

and after...

Ingredients and Preperation

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 3 large eggs
  • 24 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 6 cups firmly packed)
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and salt; beat until blended. Beat in orange peel, then eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in coconut. Drop batter onto sheets by tablespoonfuls, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake macaroons, 1 sheet at a time, until golden on bottom and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on sheets.

Using fork, drizzle chocolate over macaroons. Chill on sheets until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.

I took advantage of my friend Brook's kitchen to bake in since they were away for Christmas. The space we have in the trailer is obviously not ideal for projects like this. I thrill at the opportunity to spread out over real actual counter space and the ability to use three cookie sheets at once!

I am pretty sure the cattle did not know or care that it was Christmas. It was business as usual for them. Eat grass. Poop. Eat grass. MOOOOOOOOO! Chew your cud. Stand around. Whatever. They did not get any new Wii games or an iTunes gift card or rainbow striped toe socks. They don't care. They save their money. Smart cows.

We still have no idea what our next move is or what our plan of action for 2009 will shape up to be. We are kicking around several possibilities. Each idea is completely different from the next. It is possible we may head back to New England... or maybe we will become light house keepers on an island in Lake Superior. Or perhaps we will finally allow Rudy to join the circus (his big dream) and Billy and I will escape to South America (my big dream.) Over the next week or so we should shake out the details and figure out what we are gonna do.

Happy New Year to you all. Be safe and don't shoot an eye out with a party popper.

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