First Holiday Weekend Recap

So, my weekend didn’t exactly turn out as planned, but it still was a success.  Friday afternoon, I worked on my ethics essay and met Santa at the library.

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That night I wasn’t in the mood to cook and was really craving some WingStop, so that was our gourmet adventure 😉  Then we went bowling, which was hilarious.  What was extra funny was that Liz and I just happened to be dressed identically.  We hadn’t seen each other all day, so it was completely unplanned.

IMG_4957Like my shoe selection?  I prefer my Sperrys but I guess the bowling professionals would prefer that I not wear them on the lanes.

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I don’t usually eat much fast food, but I considered this a splurge.

As for Saturday, I had planned to head north to Healdsburg to attend this culinary demonstration at Relish Culinary. However, the weather forecast had not looked very positive and driving four hours in the rain did not sound appealing.  Also, I had planned to work our basketball game that night, so I would have essentially spent more time driving than actually at Relish.

Instead, I slept in, went for a nice long run, and attended the engineering “study lockdown.”  When it comes time for finals, it’s practically impossible to find a decent area to focus.  I usually like to stake out in the library, but unless you arrive at 8, it’s difficult to find a good spot.  This was fun because along with some free Starbucks, there was a raffle every hour you spent at the lockdown.

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I just downloaded the SnapChat app and thoroughly enjoyed taking random pictures to send to my sister and Theta little.  I hope they got a kick out of it 🙂
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Green Tea Frappacuino Light as a pick-me-up during study hours.  Brought by the wonderful Liz

I’d say it was a very successful afternoon with my ethics paper finished, immense progress on my marketing final report, and a Jamba Juice gift card 🙂 As for work, my task was to run score reports at every timeout to the various media people.  It’s a pretty laid back task and I get to enjoy the game from the sidelines but the real stress comes in after the final buzzer.

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At the end of the game, I have to run various reports to locker rooms and try to make copies of the box scores as fast as I can.  Sure, sounds like an easy task, but let’s add in the chaos of people leaving the arena, two copiers breaking down, and a very impatient coaching staff.  But, I sort of enjoy the rush of it all 🙂

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As for Sunday, I dedicated it as a semi-lazy day (shocker, I know), almost like the calm before the storm.  I had some ideas for holiday baking in mind, but I’m not sure if they turned out completely as I had intended.  First up, red velvet cheesecake cookies.  I originally spotted them here but mine did not look at all like those in the picture. 😦 Maybe the cocoa powder was too overwhelming or the use of egg replacer instead of real eggs. Hmmmm. (Why they are more brown than red, probably because of the cocoa powder)

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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cookies
~15 cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp red food coloring
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (it calls for white whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder (seems excessive…might recommend less)
3 tablespoons Neufchatel or reduced fat cream cheese, softened

IMG_4993Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy.
3. Beat in egg and vanilla, then add in the food coloring.
4. Add flours, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder and mix. Next, add in the cream cheese (in chunks/pieces) and mix for a few seconds (not too long).
5. Divy up and set in the oven to bake for about 10-12 minutes.

redMaybe I’ll try these next.

My other idea was to take the idea of bark and blend it with a bar cookie. My baking rarely seems to turn out like I expect and never looks similar to the pictures.  Again, the use of egg replacer was probably not such a good idea, but hey, it was worth a shot.

bark

Worked off of this recipe for Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Bars and added in some Kaitlin flare (PEPPERMINT!!!)

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Peppermint Bark Cookie Bars
Ingredients
2 1/8 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1.5 sticks butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs (calls for 1 egg and 1 egg yolk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup each (white chocolate chips, chocolate chips)
1/2 cup peppermint pieces (crushed candy canes)

IMG_4984This would be my method of crushing the candy canes 🙂 It’s a great way to relieve any stress or pent-up anger.  No anger of course during the holidays. 😉
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Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Place a piece of parchment paper in a 9×13 baking pan.  If you have extra hanging over the sides, it allows for easier removal. 🙂
2. In one bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside. Mix the butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula.
5. Bake until the top of the bars is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan, 24-28 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. (delivers a very doughy/chewy result…delish by review)
Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the foil overhang and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

I was confused as to why they sunk when I took the pan out and have determined that I might not have baked them as long as I should have.

Well, all in all, it was somewhat successful, but just like pancakes, maybe the first attempt or first batch isn’t the best.  Once finals are finished, I will have some time on my hands, so I can always re-test the recipes.

We went to see Silver Linings Playbook in the afternoon.  Pretty solid dialogue but I was not a fan of the fact that the camera was practically shaking the entire time. Then 9pm mass to end the weekend and start the week off well.  The homily was on patience, something which I admit I often lack and would love to practice more 🙂 It is a virtue after all, isn’t it?

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Have you ever had a recipe/baking disaster?
What are some solid holiday dessert recipes?

“A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
– Albert Einstein

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5 thoughts on “First Holiday Weekend Recap

  1. Oh no, I’m so sad you didn’t get to go to the Relish Culinary Event 😦 But it looks like your weekend sure made up for it in other ways! Isn’t snapchat the best way to beat the boredom while studying?! My sister made me download and although I was skeptical at first, now I’m obsessed!

    • Good to know! Well, it seems I don’t give mine enough credit. I can always be picky about the result, but got the thumbs up from my taste testers, so we are good to go! All about expectations and of course trying something new!

  2. Pingback: WIAW #17 – Peppermint has Arrived! | California Endless Summer

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