Sunday Salon ~ February 8th, 2009

Just over three months.  That’s how much time we possibly have left in Okinawa before moving back to our hometown area of D.C.  It’s been a whirlwind of a stay here.  We arrived on this tiny sub-tropical island in May 2005 and have enjoyed so many aspects of living in a foreign country, traveling, experiencing new cultures and building lasting friendships with wonderful people from all over the U.S. 

While living here I have been able to read more books than ever but as the time winds down, I am thinking ahead to working again and getting back into the busy lifestyle that goes with being a Washingtonian and it’s getting harder to concentrate on the words in front of me.  I’m excited about the future and have found memories of the past.  It is the present that is challenging.  All the things there are to prepare for an international move, spending time with friends we may not see for a long time or ever again and finding the time to concentrate on reading when my head is spinning around the to-do list that never seem to end. 

I finished reading The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee last week and I am currently working on writing my book review.  I started a new book but feel that I need to take a break from reading for a few days.  I would like to make one more quilt before we move.  I made one the first year we were here and would like to take advantage of the time left to create another one for our new home in the States.  I keep procrastinating on deciding on a fabric medley and ordering it though.  We’ll see what happens. 

dig-in

This weekend I found myself baking again.  Yesterday I made Parmesan Pull Aparts from my February 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine.  They were easy to make and delicious, though a bit rich.  The recipe does call for a cup and a quarter of freshly grated Parmesan cheese after all.  Today I broke out my Martha Stewart Cookies Cookbook and made a batch of the Thin & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They are so good!

What have you been up to this weekend?  Do you have any big changes looming on the horizon, waiting for you too?  When big changes are making an impact on your life how do you deal with them?

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Early Birthday Cookies!

Today I made some cookies for the hubby since he won’t be here for his birthday next week.  He LOVES chocolate & peanut butter so I made Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies from Martha Stewart’s Cookies Cookbook.  Oh my goodness where these easy to make and even easier to eat!  Hubby was so tired when he got home today and to see him sink his teeth into one of these huge cookies and see the smile spread across his exhausted face was all the thanks I needed. 

When I was transfering these pics to the computer I was reminded of some pics I had taken last weekend of Rocky.  I just love it when he is relaxed and resting at the foot of the bed with us.  He looks a bit annoyed with the camerawoman though.

 

Cookie Marathon ~ Week 4

After this week I’m going to cut down on the baking and only make a cookie recipe every two weeks. The hubby is starting to complain about the yummies every week and I am using so much butter, it’s a bit ridiculous.  Plus it doesn’t help that last week on Martha Stewart Living it was Cupcake Week and I couldn’t resist making two of her cupcake recipes in the last week.  Her Coconut Cupcakes and her White Cupcakes.  DELICIOUS!!!!!  (Sorry there aren’t any pics… they were gone in an instant!)

Today Rocky and I had a lovely day of making Martha Stewart’s Almond Horn cookies from the Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook and reading BOOMSDAY.  Tomorrow I’m going on a guided tour with friends of the local Japanese Love Motels.  It should be interesting and I will report on what I learn right here on Planet Books.

The Almond Horns turned out pretty well on their own but would probably be better accompanied with a cup of coffee or tea.

Cookie Marathon ~ Week 3

Today the hubby took the day off in honor of our four year wedding anniversary last week.  We took advantage of a beautiful and quiet Monday and drove up north of Nago to a quaint little restaurant on a montain top overlooking the East China Sea.  It’s called “Pizza In The Sky” and it is a pain in the neck to find as well as takes an hour and a half to get to.  Thank goodness the salad and pizza were as good as I remembered!  The hubby liked the view and atmosphere as well as the food.  The dining is mostly outdoors and the view is breathtaking. 

After returning home the hubby took care of the lawn and I made my fourth cookie from “Martha Stewart’s Cookie Cookbook“.  They’re called “Cashew Caramel Cookies” and OH MY GOODNESSS….. they are awesome.  You take the cashews and put most of them in the foodprocessor and pulse till they are finely processed.  Then you take 2 Tbsp’s of conola oil and add that till you have a nut cream.  Cashew Butter.. kind of!!  These cookies were great naked and drizzled with caramel.  Check them out below.

Cookie Marathon ~ Week 2

My newest hobby is making a cookie a week from my new

Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook.

          The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share (Martha Stewart Living Magazine)

Well today I made her Macaroons and boy are they tasty!  I love, love, love coconut and this was just the easiest recipe to whip up and bake.  Forming the cookie peaks was a messy task but so worth it in the end.  Check out these little mountains of yumminess!!!   

                             

              

         

Cookie Marathon – Week 1

                           

Last week I received my copy of Martha Stewart’s Cookies Cookbook and couldn’t wait to dive in and try some recipes.  Well I may have a new hobby here folks and that is making a cookie recipe a week.  The hubby thinks I should start a blog titled “How Fat Can Pete Get?” but I think I will stick to posting pictures of the cookies I make here on Planet Books instead. 

I actually made two of the 175 recipes over the weekend and man, were they delicious.  The first one is “Thin & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies”.  Now, I have always made the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Cookie and have never strayed from that sure fire recipe but I was curious about this one.  Well folks, it was AWESOME!!!!  Buttery and crispy and HUGE! 

The second cookie I made was “Chocolate Thumb Prints”.  This was a first of this type of recipe for me and it was fun to make.  I finally figured a better way of making the thumb print with the last batch.  Instead of freezing your finger on ice and than pressing it into the hot hot cookie, I chilled the tip of my coffee scoop and used that to make the indentation.  I got a deeper hole that looked nicer when holding the chocolate filling after completely cooling.  Below are pics of the two cookies on a platter for a going away party I attended on Tuesday. 

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Strange Stories

Well, this morning I completed our March/April book, “St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves” by Karen Russell.  Boy was it strange.  I do have a favorite story and some that I liked mroe than others but I will wait till the last week of April to discuss them. 

Have you gotten started on this book yet?  If you have which stories have you read and have you liked them or not?  What else are you reading?  I haven’t decided on what I’m going to read next but I will probably know by the end of the weekend. 

I am anxiously awaiting Martha Stewart’s new cookie cookbook to arrive in the mail next week.  I discovered that on www.marthastewart.com you can watch all her shows so I have been addicted to that.  I was able to catch a few of her episodes while we were in the States for Christmas and really liked the simplistic style of which it was done so I am very excited that I can watch all the episodes now.  I’m trying to be a better house keeper and a way that is helping me is asking myself, “What would Martha do?”