Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Cookies #7 - Thin Mints

The most recent cookie was Thin Chocolate Mint Cookies -- basically the girl scout thin mints.  Nevada made hers ages ago.  I just made mine this weekend.


1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/5 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 c refined coconut oil
3/4 c sugar
2 T. milk
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

for the chocolate coating:
1 pound semisweet chocolate wafers
1/8 t. peppermint oil

The picture from the book

Nevada's cookies

One interesting thing with these cookies was that they were rolled between two sheets of parchment paper.  I'm not sure why.  I also made them smaller than suggested and then overcooked almost all of them.

I tried to take a picture like the one in the book.  I realize now that the angle was wrong.

If I make these again, I will use less mint in the chocolate and watch the cooking time more carefully.  Might just be easier to buy the girl scout cookies.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

2023 - Week 3 : Jan 15 - 21

Jan 15 - Cocktail Wednesday

Jan 16 - the neighbor being friendly 

Jan 17 - Charlie
Jan 19 - the ride to work
Jan 20 - the ride home
Jan 21 - Cookie #7 (thin mints)

Cookies # 5 & 6

Cookie #5 - Lemon Sour Cream Cookies
    3 cups flour
    1 t. baking powder
    1/2 t. baking soda
    1/2 t. salt
    16 T. butter
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    2 t. lemon zest (plus 1/4 cup juice)
    1 oz. cream cheese
    3 cups confectioner's sugar

Nevada's Cookies

My Cookies

Of course, at this point I don't remember much about the baking of these cookies but they turned out pretty good.

Cookie #6 - Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


    1 can pumpkin
    2 t. pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 t. salt
    15 whole graham crackers (crumbled)
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 t. ground ginger
    8 t. butter
    1 pound cream cheese
    1 T. lemon juice
    2 t. vanilla
    4 eggs

These were pretty good and I made them in early December and then again for Christmas. 

Batch #1

Still Batch #1

Nevada's Cheesecake Bars

Not sure you can tell, but Nevada's bars were much lighter than mine -- when making my second batch I realized that I had only used half the cream cheese.  I'm guessing that she had made it correctly.  In my second batch, I did some feathering, which turned out okay.  I pulled out some of the cream cheese mixture before adding the pumpkin and used it for the feathering -- I used about a cup.  If I make it again, I will use less of the cream cheese mixture.


New Recipe - Butternut Squash Breakfast Casserole

One of my goals this year is to try new recipes, the first one was a new breakfast casserole. Recipe from here.  It was good and I will definitely make it again.

I didn't follow the recipe exactly -- I used pork sausage and a whole pound though the recipe only called for 8 oz.  I was two eggs short but it was still great.  I ate it for lunch all week.  I want to start making a breakfast casserole on the weekends so that I can have something to eat at work.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Prisoner - first watch (Ep. 1 & 2)

So, one of the things I have been wanting to do for the last couple of years was to watch The Prisoner.  It was a British show from 1967-68 that my parents watched and I had seen some of it when I was a kid. Big Finish has done some full cast audio drama continuing the story.  And then some of the podcasters I listen to (think Doctor Who) did a podcast on the show so I felt I needed to do a re-watch.  I didn't want to listen to the podcast or the continuing episodes until after I had watched the show.

As an FYI, here's the synopsis from Big Finish:

‘I’m not a number. I’m a free man!’

January 16th, 1967... A secret agent resigns, then wakes up to find himself imprisoned in ‘The Village’ — a bizarre community with a cheery veneer, but an underbelly of mystery and threat. All occupants of The Village have numbers instead of names, with our secret agent forced to accept the mantel of Number Six.

The authorities running this Village are intent on discovering why Number Six resigned — but it’s a secret he steadfastly refuses to divulge. As the drama unfolds, the authorities, in the guise of the sinister Number Two, try ever more ingenious and aggressive means to bend Number Six to their will. All the while, Number Six is intent on two aims: to escape and to find out ‘Who is Number One?’


Anyway, this past weekend I watched two episodes

    1. Arrival

    2. The Chimes of Big Ben

As long as the internet works okay, it's fun.  

Monday, January 16, 2023

January's Cocktail - Dark Mint Dream Cocktail

So, we're going to do cocktails once a month -- and we'll try to make them themed with the month.  Since January is still winter, we decided to go with something wintry - the Dark Mint Dream Cocktail.

Closeup of a glass filled with a coffee-based cocktail and ice, topped with a swirl of whipped cream and a sprig of mint, with a white paper straw decorated with gold foil straws, with another identical beverage in the background, on a gathered white cloth dish towel with scattered fresh herbs, on a wood background.


For the Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 large mint leaves

For the Cocktail:

  • 4 large mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • 1 1/2 fl oz white rum
  • 1 fl oz espresso
  • 1 fl oz heavy cream
  • 3/4 fl oz mint simple syrup
  • 1 fl oz club soda
  • Whipped cream, for garnish

Recipe from here.

We had planned to have cocktail night on January 14, but my SIL got sick so we had to postpone.  Nevada and her mom went ahead and made the cocktail on Saturday.  Here are their pictures.


We weren't sure which kind of alcohol to use, but we tried vodka, spiced rum, and white rum.  They all tasted pretty much the same.  My YD and I ended up drinking the cocktail with vodka and my husband and SIL went with the spiced rum.

So until next month.  If you want to join us, let me know and we will provide you with the recipe in advance ...


2023 - Week 2 : Jan 8 - 14

Jan 8

Jan 9 - Christmas pjs

Jan 10 - driving to work

Jan 11 - driving to work

Jan 12 - the cars & the house

Jan 13 - road closed

Jan 15 - Charlie

Friday, January 13, 2023

The REAL List for 2023 (incomplete)

I figured I better get this posted before the month slips away from me.  I only have 43 items so I need 9 more.  Hopefully I can come up with those before the end of the month.   

1.  Family Vacay??
2.  Trip to LA - Gallifrey One - DONE
3.  Learn Spanish
4.  Go to new wineries in Livermore
5.  Distillery - tasting
6.  Bake a pie with homemade crust
7.  Make homemade pasta
8.  6 New recipes
9.  Try new beers
10. Story Corp interviews
11. 1SE  (one second everyday) project
12. Participate in the A to Z Challenge
13. Work on scanning old pictures
14. Work on scanning WWI era letters
15. Watch the Prisoner
16. Hang pictures in the house
17. Walk 1,000 fit bit miles
18. Take a bike ride
19. Picture diary (a picture a day?)
20. Finish Grinch quilt
21. Finish knitting blanket for Mackenzie
22. Make pillow cases
23. Refinish towel rack / quilt rack
24. Visit family in Texas
25. Visit family in Tennessee
26. Plant olive trees
27. Plant rosemary
28. Plant lavender
29. Take a photography course
30. Go to the Grand Canyon
31. Cocktail Wednesday (or Saturday) -- once a month
32. Continue cookie bake off with Nevada
33. Visit Andrew D in Maine
34. Make T-shirts (or buy)
35. Drink more water
36. Go to the beach
37. Visit Ed R. Levin Park
38. Exercise more - shoot for 3x a week on the treadmill
39. Take 12 hikes/walks
40. Bake bread
41. Lose 25 pounds
42. Go to a zoo
43. Complete Couch to 5K
44. Read through the entire Bible
45. Organize / clean / etc. sewing room
46. Deep clean one room a month (starting in March)

52. Make a list for 2024

Sunday, January 8, 2023

2023 - Week 1 : Jan 1 - 7

Jan 1

Jan 2

Jan 3

Jan 4 (windy night)

Jan 5

Jan 6

Jan 7


The list for 2023

Well, this isn't actually my list.  I'm still working on it.  I fear if I publish before finishing, that I will never complete the list, so, I am holding off.

I am thinking of getting a cricut so that I can make our Christmas t-shirts rather than buying them.  But it seems fairly expensive so I may not.  

I am having trouble thinking of things that I want to do this year.  Any suggestions?

2024 : Week 11 - March 11 - 17

    March 11 - llama socks     March 13 - swimming         March 14 - hanging at the pool       March 15       March 16 - easter smashpillow...