Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas and Cookies

Well it has been over a week since I last posted, but that is mainly a result of my first week back, posting a blog entry was not a very pressing issue.

Last Tuesday I left for Seattle to go on a ski trip with one of my oldest friends Craig, his family, and his friends Byron, and Eli. The train ride up there was pretty rough, because I was fighting a travel cold at the time. But getting up early in the morning to leave was pretty easy, because my body was not completely over the jetlag. Once we hit the road though, the drive went pretty quickly because I was talking to new people and also catching up with an old friend. Then when we got to Stephen’s Pass we got right to skiing, it being the first time all of us had been to the mountain since last season.  Eli and I had snowboards, which was nice because it is always more fun when it isn’t just me and a bunch of skiers.

The snow wasn’t brilliant, but it was okay – just icy. Apparently the whole Northwest has been getting pretty crap snow so far this season. We had fun anyway, and our second day of skiing Eli and Byron switched skis and the board and both did very well. Besides skiing, it was really just a lot of chilling. Haha pretty low-key, and our last night and day we went to explore the town of Leavensworth, where we were staying. It was a super cute Bavarian town, and reminded me of some of the little villages in Disney Land.

It was one of the most fun ways to start of break, and I absolutely adored my company. I am so thankful to Craig’s parents for letting us all come, and especially the amazing hotel we stayed at, The Sleeping Lady. I would go back to Stephen’s Pass just for that adorable little accommodation place. They had a buffet for breakfast and dinner, and it was so amazing that there was actually food I could eat there. We all got to stay in little cabin-rooms of our own, and even though the guys and I had a few noise complaints from our room…it was a really fun accommodation.

Well going home after that was rough, I did not want to leave Leavensworth and was especially dreading the 3 hour train ride back to Portland. But alas, I did go home, and as much as I wished I could go back to Seattle to hang out with those three more, Craig already had plans to visit Portland on the 27th, so there was that at least.

So Christmas day was busy with lots of baking. As far as gifts and such it was a pretty good Christmas, I got a ski pass which is all I really wanted. It is also nice not having to worry about homework. For Christmas dinner I made roasted squash and brussel sprouts, hazelnut vinaigrette, crusted tempeh, cranberry wild rice soup, and stickey toffee pudding for dessert. Pictures are below.

carrots, onions, and celery for the soup

with the cranberries and all the good stuff

plating the pudding

I was very proud of the sticky toffee pudding from here, because it is a dessert the other girls in my family are obsessed with. The dessert itself is very rich and always seemed complex to me, but the recipe was actually very easy to follow!
dates and almond milk

and then add the flour right into the pan

and out of the oven poked with holes

just look at all that toffee

topped with coconut milk ice cream!

I curled my hair too, and we got some attempts at Christmas card photos. Who knows if that will actually work out however.

Running has been off and on, my run yesterday was simply not enjoyable and I attribute that somewhat to all the Christmas gorging on food. I need to work more on self-control with eating; it is very frustrating. Right now as I sit in a car (and have been sitting for an hour, going a whopping 10 mph) things seem bleak. I am tired and frustrated and battling a lot of depression that comes with being tossed back into my old life, and finding less changes than I was ready for. We will see how job hunting goes, but for now my goal is to try and run, try to eat less, and try to busy myself with my friends, because that improves my mood. I also am going to attempt a Pumpkin-Pie muffin when I get back, so hopefully that works out.

Despite my current grim outlook on life, I do have a new recipe to share. My dad says they are his favorite cookies I have made so far, and they really captured the taste of the Berry Oat Wondie bars from Flying Apron Bakery. The day after Christmas, I was craving some carbs and sweet cookieness. But I wasn’t feeling the heavy rich chocolate or shortbread taste, so I went with a berry oatmeal cookie instead. I am pretty happy with them. They are moist from all the berries, as I used frozen berries and some simply ended up getting smooshed into the batter. If you are using fresh, or more firm berries, I would suggest decreasing the cooking time by about 5 minutes. Or just check them as you go.

Berry Oat Cookies
Makes 25 cookies

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¾ heaping cup of mixed berries
  • ½ cups safflower oil
  • ¼ cups agave or coconut nectar
  • ¼ + 1/8 cups of brown rice syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a mixer with a paddle attachment.
  3. Add the brown rice syrup, agave, vanilla, and lemon to dry ingredients.
  4. Once ingredients are fully incorporated fold in the berries.
  5. place spoons of cookies on an ungreased baking sheet
  6. bake for about 15 minutes if you didn't use berries that mushed into the batter. if your berries mixed into the batter so that the dough was very moist, bake about 18 minutes, until golden on top. 

Well, there you go! A summary, a dark musing, and a recipe. Haha hopefully my stomach will quit this nausea soon, and I can sleep or at least not feel sick the rest of the car drive. MLIA.
Haha enjoy the rest of your day. 

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