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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Recipes & More

Ryan & I had a fun three day weekend that some how still flew by! I thought I would post an update while Ryan is watching the Super Bowl. We had Friday off which was filled with a dentist appointment (no cavities!!), follow up appointment on my toe, and then we went and saw Slumdog Millionaire. I would highly recommend it to anyone. We really enjoyed it, and thought it was unlike any other movie we've seen. After a quick jog, we of course finished the night off with some Canasta with the Haymonds.

Saturday was spent running errands, oil change and another movie. Before our movie we went to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner. It was a really fun atmosphere and we cracked up every time the animals started moving and making noise. We both agreed though that we probably won't go back until we have kids. They brought out a kiddie menu for Ryan because they thought we must of had a kid since we were the only ones there without one! I guess Ryan IS a big kid a heart. Ryan really wanted to see a scary movie and it was between My Bloody Valentine (3D) or The Unborn. Since those were my only two options I went with The Unborn because I really like the actress Odette Yustman. I would not recommend that movie...

These are pictures from Thursday night's celebration of Lindsey's birthday. We ate at Escalante's Mexican Restaurant. One of our favorite places to eat.

(Not a very good picture)

The birthday girl with her man. (Those are Lee's hands)

Shannon & Lee
Lindsey & Lindsey!
For Lindsey's birthday I made these sugar cookies with royal icing. It was my first time making royal icing and it didn't turn out exactly how I wanted but still good. I would have refrigerated the pipped icing before hand, but just didn't have time. I put the recipe below.
Sugar Cookies:
3 1/2 cups (460 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Royal Icing Using Egg Whites:
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

For Sugar Cookies: In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.

Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you may want to sprinkle the unbaked cookies with crystal or sparkling sugar.

Bake cookies for about 10 minutes (depending on size) or until they are brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure to let the royal icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours.)
Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.
Makes about 36 - 4 inch (10 cm) cookies.

For Royal Icing with Egg Whites: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
I used the color gels from Wilton that you can get from Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby to color the icing. Just a small little dab will color it plenty.
Today we went grocery shopping and just cleaned the house. I decided to try my first attempt at a cherry pie. It doesn't look pretty but it was pretty good! I put this recipe below too. It was pretty easy to make but also sort of tricky!

Cherry Pie:

Ingredients
Pie Crust:
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup ice water
Directions
For the crust: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and work it through with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and work it in with your hands until you have a smooth ball of dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. This recipe will make two pie crusts.
For the whole pie crust: Roll out the dough on the floured surface into a circle about 14 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Gently fold the circles of dough in half and then in half again so that you can lift it without tearing it, and unfold into a 9-inch pie pan.

I then just used cherry pie filling. Hope you enjoy!

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