Top Recipes For 2017

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It was this same time a year ago I began to struggle with writer’s block. What to Write? What to write? What to write? Like last year, I got nothin’! So instead I will share YOUR top 3 favorite recipes from 2017. BTW-your favorites are for sure some of mine. May love always guide you in the kitchen.

Sweet William's Fancy

inspired by Will

Not one bit surprised that the recipe that got me started writing this blog makes the top list for the second time. Who doesn’t love a perfectly crisp chocolate chip cookie with a soft inside spiked with bourbon? Click here for the recipe.

 

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Next up a heart-warming nourishing bowl of soup that features wild rice. It’s perfect for the crazy cold winter we are having all over the country. Click here for the recipe.

 

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Pretty sure this third and final recipe made the list not only because people seem to love everything cheesecake, but also because it was a Food Network Magazine prize winner. Getting a little national attention never hurts in the blogosphere. Get the recipe right here.

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Food is the common denominator that brings all kinds of people together at the table

Gather the ones you love most as often as you can.

More Happiness in 2018

 

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The Challenge & Lemon Cookies

lemon cookie

lemon cookies

If you are following this blog you are either grieving or mourning or both or know someone who is. What? Grieving and mourning aren’t they the same thing? In a nutshell, no they are not. Today’s challenge is to understand that grieving and mourning are different. They are two separate experiences. If you understand the distinction you can be a catalyst to healing. That’s a good thing.

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Let’s start with grief. Grief is an internal experience. It is one’s feelings about the loss. It is about natural reactions to pain and one’s private protest to the assault. It’s one’s wish to undo it and have it not be true. Grief is often accompanied by keeping a stiff upper lip. It’s not looking weak. It’s carrying on, but in a kind of isolation. The griever may look OK on the outside, but on the inside is a lonely turmoil.

Mourning, on the other hand, is grief gone public. It’s wading through the territory of loss and pain surrounded by supportive people. It is active work of recognizing the loss and how to change and adapt to it. Different people mourn in different ways, but essentially it is expressing your feelings or doing something outside yourself.

The truth is that many people grieve, but they don’t mourn. Take the challenge. Be active in your grief. Step outside yourself. Share your feelings and celebrate yourself and your loved one. And if you know someone who has suffered a loss encourage them to mourn and be the catalyst to healing. Take the challenge.

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Recently, my neighbor asked if I was up for a challenge. Apparently, the local bakery refused to share their recipe for her favorite lemon cookie and she was having trouble trying to duplicate it. Always up for a challenge I got busy in the kitchen. Luckily, I already had my winning lemon cookie recipe from a Mrs. Field’s Cookie contest to use as a base. With a tweak here and there I came up with a pretty good replica—at least that is how my neighbor called it.

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mine on the left and bakery on the right

mine on the left and bakery on the right

Mine are more crispy and more lemony than the bakery version. Both are good.

Lemon Drop Cookies

 2-½ cups all-purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1-cup sugar

2 egg yolks

Grated zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon lemon extract

Heat oven 350F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, lemon zest, juice and extract. Add dry ingredients; blend well. Drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 15 to 16 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Transfer cookies to cooling rack.

Resurrection & A New Old Recipe

lemon almond cookie cups

“Imagine the Impossible” is the byline of a new show premiering next month on ABC. Now imagine deceased loved ones returning home. This is “Resurrection”. If there ever was a show to mess with the mind of a griever then this is it.

Naturally, what every griever wants more than anything else in the world is to have their loved one back with them safe and sound. It seems that is what the show promises. The TV trailer features a mom greeting her son who died 30 years earlier. The joy on her face is like what you would imagine. It’s like her heart is jumping out of her chest as she cups his face in her hands. Don’t I wish I could do the same, but I know better.

William in NC

To suggest even the remote possibility of our deceased being resurrected from the dead creates a kind of hope that surely complicates the grief process. It’s already hard to accept and let go. This only will make it harder for those who will see the story for something other than the fiction it is.

Now imagine a delicious new life for an old cookie. For all my gluten-free readers this one is for you. Hard to believe gluten-free is so easy and delicious.  No weird ingredients or special mixes required.

Frangipane Cookie Cups

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 eggs

1 tablespoon honey

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 ¼ cups almond meal flour

24 whole almonds

powdered sugar

Heat oven 350F. Line 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add zest, eggs, honey, salt and almond extract; blend well. Add almond meal flour; blend well. Divide batter among prepared cups. Top each with 1 almond. . Bake 12 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.  Cool. Dust with powdered sugar.