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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Odds & Ends

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1. You guys are awesome. Last week I put out a call for tights help and several of you chimed in with your recommendations and advice. Please go and read Jim's comment--cracked me up :) Funnily enough, I was then at Nordstrom Rack last Saturday and picked up two pairs of PLUSH-lined tights. I'm now obsessed. They feel like your legs are being wrapped in a warm hug, I kid you not. Plus, they're thick, so I'm crossing my fingers they'll stay snag-free!

2. I entered a Good Housekeeping contest called "My Mom's Best Dessert". I of course wrote about my mom's sugar cookies. As you can see in that link, my photos for them are pretty awful, so I asked my mom to make a batch for me to photograph. Being the gem she is, she made a whole variety of them--all decorated differently. She is the best (and so are her sugar cookies)! See #3 below for my contest entry...I realized after I submitted that I went over the word count so I'm not expecting to win, but I just had too many things to say about our very favorite cookies!
3. My entry: My mom knows better than to show up without a plate of these cookies. They’ve been the constant staple in all of life’s big moments. The cookie shape and the sprinkles design change, but you can always count on their soft and chewy texture and their unique taste that puts them above any other sugar cookie I’ve had to date.

There have been footprints for new babies, flowers for spring, and turkeys for Thanksgiving. We’ve seen monsters, ballet slippers, and teapots, depending on the birthday party theme. The cookies have even shown up in a school report or two—demonstrating a little geography while simultaneously testing the teacher’s sweet tooth. More than two hundred of them were baked and decorated as favors for my wedding four years ago and more than a few people couldn’t wait for the end of the evening to dig into their prettily wrapped cookies.

The cookies have made appearances at baptisms, road trips, and in care packages. They are mandatory for all family parties. I’ve watched my younger cousin sneak cookies from the tray, hours before dessert is served. I’ve heard friends declare them “crack cookies”, never able to stop after just one. If it’s an occasion worth celebrating, these cookies are there. If a sibling or friend or neighbor has a craving, these cookies are there.

After more than twenty years of mixing and rolling the dough, my mom requires no recipe. The cookies are an extension of her, an outpouring of love in honor of anything and everything. The legacy continues. I’ve made them for baby showers and weddings. They’re the only thing my sister is allowed to bring to her work potlucks. And while the shapes and designs continue to change, the flavor—and more importantly, the sentiment—remains the same.

4. We are in full blown cookie season and OXO sent me a "Be a Good Cookie" spatula as well as some adorable mini beakers to assist me in my baking. I have a few of my favorite Christmas cookies on the agenda in the next week or so [considering Ginger Cookies, Candy Cane Cookies, Chocolate Mint Puddles, and maybe some Gingerbread Cake Balls] and my new baking tools will come in handy! Head on over to OXO's website to buy a Good Cookie spatula of your own--50% of all proceeds from this sale benefit Cookies for Kids' Cancer!

One Year Ago: Slow Cooked Smoky Chipotle Brown Sugar Chicken
Three Years Ago: No Bake Granola Bars