Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas is in the air...

So it is just less than a week away from Christmas and I am quickly trying to get myself together. I have been less going-outing lately so I apologize for not having as much exciting stuff to report in terms of city life. Work has been going along great but has been keeping me very busy as you can imagine. That being said, I am really enjoying the job so that is always good news. As I am sure it is for most people this weekend, it has been and will continue to be a mish mash of amazing potlucks and Christmas get togethers.  Last night I went to my friends Aaron and Kate's house, who have an absolutely stunning older Craftsman style home that has been done up so it is perfect. We had delicious vegan delights and great conversation. Since it was a potluck, the idea was to bring something, so I must tell you the epic story of my dear friend Amanda and her dessert.

Amanda had been having one of those days where nothing was going right and it didn't stop after I arrived. We decided that we would each bring a dessert to the party. I was in charge of coconut cupcakes and Amanda was in charge of the peanut butter cookie bars. We each threw together our recipes together in a frenzy because we were strapped for time. We only had natural PB, and the recipe mentioned that it would be ok to use it, only that the bars may be a little oilier than usual. We pressed on. I cooked my cupcakes which, when done, had a slight resemblance to whole wheat chocolate turds, but once covered in amazing coconut vanilla icing, were unrecognizable and tasted A-OK.

When Amanda went to take the bars out of the oven, they were browned on the edges like the recipe required, but all of the oil form the peanut butter had risen to the top and was floating above the squares. In a flash, we decided to just pour it off the top and pop them back in the oven to let them reset a bit and crisp up. As Amanda held the pan gently over the sink, the oil dripped off, all was ok. As it resettled in the pan, a bit more oil rose to the top, so again Amanda tipped it into the sink. This was the last straw for those bars, as they took a full on crumbling dive into the sing full of water and dirty dishes.

And so, we went to the potluck with one dessert, which I carried most of the way, for fear that bad luck would catch the cupcakes too.

Regardless, the party was fun and there were plenty of desserts so it didn't even matter that we only brought one.

Today, I decided that I must finally start making all of my Christmas presents. I won't be saying too much on here about what I'm making as I don't want certain people to read about stuff and then have no surprise. That being said, some people will be receiving delicious homemade goods. I would like to share this recipe for Almond Roca with everyone, because despite all the horror stories, and my lack of baking skills, I still was soooo successful in making it. I must admit I am so proud of myself, because I half expected to see myself sitting on the kitchen floor with a ruined pan of blackened sugar and 3rd degree burns on my hands.

But instead, I have very impressive looking roca that will be broken up and distributed among friends. I will definitely be making more batches, as this one was tiny and a trial to see if I was capable. I am so thankful that it worked!

After Christmas, I will post photos of homemade gifts and if anyone wants, tutorials just post a comment.

Happy Egg Nogging everyone!


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