Monday, February 22, 2010

Meet the cookies

I'm sure I got these somewhere off the internet years ago, but that's the circle of life I s'pose. Here is my now-famous sugar cookie recipe:

1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
½ c. milk
2 t. vanilla
4-5 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
¼ t. soda
½ t. salt

Mix together butter and sugar.  Add eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate  at least 2 hours.  If longer then place in plastic zip/lock bag.  Roll  and cut out.  Bake at 375º 8-10 min.  Cool and frost. 

My favorite frosting is made with cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk. Go get 'em, tiger!

PS Does anyone know some tips for getting rid of blog spam, or as I like to call it, Splo-Bam?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A little late

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. But that’s just because I’m old and bitter. But the secret—and I swear, nobody has figured this out—is that I actually love it. I LOVE it. In theory, anyway. And the good Saint V. has been good to me sometimes, including this year when I was able to find a package of puppy and kitty valentines for a dollar. This gets me thinking of other great Valentine’s Day happenings, thusly:

In elementary school, nothing demonstrates the classroom caste system better than Valentine’s Day. I remember painstakingly sorting my store-bought cards, figuring out which message was most appropriate for each of my classmates. “You’re cute, Valentine” could be socially devastating if it landed in the wrong hands. So I had the ‘friend’ types and the ‘slightly flirty, if you catch my drift’ types. I also did this with conversation hearts. Yes…I sorted individual pieces of candy. I even measured how much candy I would give someone, based on how much I liked them. Call me nerdy; call me OCD; even call me unnecessarily discriminatory, but when you know it’s all downhill after fourth grade, you do what you can to secure your place in childhood society.

As a friend, ok? JUST as a friend.

When I was younger, I was very careful about the types of cards I bought for the occasion. They needed to be cool, but not seem like I was trying to be cool. I would opt for a flower power theme (I was really into the 60s back then) or cards that used smart-sounding quotes (I was also really into thinking I was wicked smart back then). Heaven forbid I arrive late at the grocery and find only Little Mermaid or puppy/kitty cards to choose from. Those were for babies. My taste in cheap, thin-papered sentiment was very sophisticated for one so young. If there were ACDC or Metallica Valentine’s cards for sale in those days, I would have bought them. Ok, fine, I would buy them now too. In a heartbeat. Get it? Heart? Valentine’s Day?! BAM!

Then there was 6th grade. In the absence of cool grocery store options, my best friend and I decided to make our boyfriends something for the special occasion. Jason, my sweetheart, received some sort of doily thing.
Lindsay did much better and made a large folding something for Trent. I was jealous. So was Jason. But the best part was Jason's card for me. It, too, was homemade. I can picture it so clearly: A red heart partially glued on the front to make a flap. Open the heart and you see this:
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
(eyeball) (heart) u

And on the inside? Something along these lines, in careful cursive handwriting:

Dear Stefanie,
I have really enjoyed going out with you. I will always love you.

I think of this now, and my heart goes pitter-pat. It really does. It’s just so cute, this naïve declaration of 12-year-old love. But back then? I was endowed with far too much self-awareness at that age, with irony and cynicism that overrode anything young and blissful about me. I recognized right then and there that this was sweet, but that he couldn’t possibly really love me because we were too young. LAME. I held onto the Valentine for awhile but then I threw it away out of embarrassment. My regrets in life are few, but that is one of them. Do you think he still loves me? I mean, he said "always," right? 

In junior high, all the girls would buy the flowers they sold at school for their best friends. And thus began the long-term coping strategy of substituting girl friends for boys in the absence of the latter. Where would girls be without girls?

One freak year in highschool I got roses from 2 different boys. That’s tough to beat.

Every year my mom makes my dad a giant (like, entire cookie sheet giant) heart-shaped cookie for the occasion. Don’t disappoint me this year with some silly diet, Mom! Anyway, this is a tradition I want to continue with my husband. (Please, please let me have a husband some day so I can make him a giant cookie. Amen.). I’m not sure why, but I love that so much. Something about the stability of the giant cookie warms my heart. Get it?!

Ok, enough of the past. Let’s talk about now. In Cupid’s name, I declare passionate love for the following:

Brandon Flowers of The Killers
The song “Cry To Me” by Solomon Burke
Heart-shaped stickers
My $5, deep-throat chair
The Halloween picture of Colby and Kara as a devil and an angel
Red hots
My bike
Those times when I can’t stop dancing and I go into another world
The sunny beach
My rooftop
Cooking--I love nothing more than an evening where I have the time to just be in the kitchen cooking something.

I also love (though not ‘passionately’ because that’s weird. Perhaps…’ardently’)
My family
My friends
My gospel
My country
My HB house
My capacity to love

Happy V-day, everybody. I hope you found your way to express it to those you love!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

These things I love.

What do you think it says about me when the highlight of my day (week?) is when a grilled cheese truck shows up at work? A GRILLED CHEESE TRUCK!

I have no time for preparing meals, and in my bachelorettehood grilled cheese, quesadillas, cheese and crackers, and string cheese have all become staples in my diet. So imagine my delight when a truck made of grilled cheese parks itself outside. Yes, food from a truck is questionable. That's why it's so exciting!  !!
And these were not just any grilled cheese sandwiches--we're talking deluxe with an e. I ordered a cheddar and mac n' cheese sandwich. This means there's actual pasta in my sandwich. Unorthodox, yes. Delicious, yes.

I may have overdosed on cheese today. Yep.
But I think cheese is one of my 5 food items I would take on a desert island. The other 4?

--Jolley Time Kettle Corn
--Fish Tacos from Chronic Taco

Here are my 5 movies:
--Big Fish
--Stranger Than Fiction
--A dance movie....I can't decide. Step Up 2, Center Stage, or You Got Served
--Waiting For Guffman
--The BBC Pride and Prejudice (that's like 12 movies for the price of one, man)

--To Kill A Mockingbird
--The Hiding Place
--Kite Runner
--The Norton Shakespeare Anthology
--Los Scriptores

--Ray LaMontagne:
--Damien Rice: O
--An 80s compilation
--Eva Cassidy: Songbird
--The Killers: Sam's Town

The End.

PS I may or may not be losing my mind today.