holiday baking

A high school friend recently wrote about Finding Focus at 100mph, referring to his motorcycle.

I kinda sorta relate to that, as I love to drive fast and have lately thought of racing (cars!) classes. While driving fast laps around a racetrack, I believe I could easily find that flow, that peace, that calm.

Back in high school and college, this was skiing for me – being out alone on the mountain (well, I wasn’t alone, was I – it simply felt this way) with that silence that can only come from the layered padding of snow.

Now I find that peace while running – it takes a little bit to find my breathing pattern and get into my groove, but once I do, there’s nothing like it. I can process, I can think, I can just be.

I also turn to cooking, specifically baking, when I’m stressed, worried, need to focus or simply zone out.

Dad and I have had some long exhausting hospital days lately – some of it has been good news and some news is still up in the air. I am tired, I am distracted, I am hopeful, I am scattered.

Good thing it is the holiday season, I have been baking a lot these past few days.

Yep, up baking midnight.

sparkly apricot rosemary jewels

makes 14-17 cookies

1/2 cup butter (dairy and soy free)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 sprig fresh rosemary, stemmed and finely chopped
1 cup flour (gluten free all purpose), plus up to 1/3 cup for kneading
2-3 tablespoons milk (vanilla coconut)
apricot preserves
colored sanding sugar (optional)

Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and rosemary. Stir in flour, adding milk one tablespoon at a time until dough forms. Knead into a ball, cool in refrigerator 20 minutes. Roll dough into one inch rounds, place on prepared (parchment/silpat) baking sheet, make a thumbprint.

Bake at 300 for 25 – 28 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely. Spoon apricot preserves into thumbprint, sprinkle with sparkly colored sugars.

I will have more of an update on Dad soon.

When do you find your focus? What is your 100mph calm?

 

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Happy Holidays, everyone!

I can officially say that now, right? Thanksgiving is complete, so now can we focus on the rest of the holiday season?

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, or if you were not celebrating, simply a nice weekend.

Our holiday was so lovely – as I mentioned, my dad joined us at my mom and step dad’s house, and I could not have been happier. I definitely missed having my sister and her husband there that day, they were out of town. We often go to Missouri on Thanksgiving, to see Jason’s family, and the only thing that could top this weekend would be having both families together. Perhaps someday.

Thanksgiving began with a brunch at my other sister’s house, where Dad also joined us. Jason and I then stopped back at our house to pick up Basil and all the food I had made, and we headed to my mom’s place right away. I like to spend the whole day at my moms…  I used to spend the night the day before!

We avoided shopping crowds the next day, opting for a fabulous lunch and movie instead. Saturday the Ducks won our Civil War game, and I had a super fun girls night out with a show at Tony Starlight’s Supperclub.

The holidays and merriment begins!

More holiday festivity – all month long, my friend Roxana has a holiday series where she is featuring delectable holiday goodies and some fantastic giveaways.

To see my orange creamsicle shortbread, please visit #25RecipesToXmas.

 

Happy Holidays! 

 

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