|Alex in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico|
I hope Penny and her friends like them. Can't you just picture a group of 9-year-old girls dancing around in their pj's? :) Happy Birthday, Penny...have a great party!!!
For the colors:
Black: Spectrum Super Black
Yellow: AmeriColor Gold mixed with AmeriColor Egg Yellow
Purple: AmeriColor Violet
We choose our partners with a secret eye seeking the twin. Not the twin in the mirror, but the lost twin in shadow. The discarded, smothered twin we poked and twisted and kicked under the bed of childhood. The Other. The Everything We Are Not. The Abandoned One.
Forgotten in order to please.
If the stars are kind and align just right, you choose well. And The Chosen shimmers with your own potential, reflecting not what you have found but what you seek. And basking in their soul mate glow you grow- just a little. You stretch and you risk- just a little. With time and fledgling self awareness you notice a glint sparking back at you and you reach to claim it, knowing, This belongs to me. I am this, too.
And you take it back.
This unburdens your partner, piece by shining piece- who is, by design, if you have not done the work of reclaiming, either bored or chafing beneath the yoke of your golden-hued projection. Or worse- wandering off in search of eyes that see something new, or more authentic.
When people ask, What is the secret of a good marriage? I usually answer, Chemistry. And good manners. Especially when it comes to the toilet seat. And then I laugh. Because it's true. But only a slice of the truth. The more complicated truth (and one you don't share at dinner parties) is a messy, juggling, wrestling wrangle with the aspects of two separate selves discovering two mysterious twins in the marriage bed.
You see, it's not always safe to integrate.
The squelched and sore parts of you can knock apart your coupled equilibrium. Don't kid yourself. It's not ever easy to bid for wholeness. To grow. Growth means change. And change is challenging. Even in the best of circumstances. So some days it's frighteningly tempting to believe that the dust balled fragments skulking in the shadows are not worth the effort of excavation.
Denial and distraction can smell pretty good at first.
But one cloudy day when your mending hip is aching and your desert skin is itching, you glance up from the kitchen counter cluttered with sticky spoons and banana peels, and you meet a clear gaze that sees you for who you really are- not some projected angel in the house, not some idealized muse, or nurturing mother stand-in. But who you really are in all your unadorned, quirky, burnished glory.
And you thank not the stars, or luck, or even fate. You know better. You've done your homework. So has he. So you smile a slow smile and crack, What are you looking at?
The love of my life, he says.
Cilantro Pesto de Esteban
Hot Artichoke Dip
Jalapeño Lime Hummus
Roasted Yellow Tomato Salsa
Savory Grain Free Crackers
Spinach and Cheddar Quesadilla
Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries
Warm Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Grape Tomatoes
Baked Frittata with Gold Potatoes and Sour Cream
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Gypsy Soda Bread
Maple Apple Sausage
Purple Potato Crustless Quiche
Roasted Vegetable Cheddar Quiche
Santa Fe Huevos on Polenta
Savory Kugel with Mushrooms, Potatoes, Spinach and Mozzarella
Spinach and Cheddar Quesadilla
Strawberry Hemp Milk Smoothie
Sweet Potato Cornbread
African Coconut and Chick Pea Soup
Celery Soup with Fennel with Ryeless Rye Croutons
Coconut Split Pea Soup
Cream of Broccoli Soup with Coconut Milk
Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup with Sausage
Potato Leek Soup
Potato Soup for the Sensitive Soul
Roasted Vegetable Chowder
Rustic Mediterranean Chicken Soup for the Soul
Spicy Vegetable Soup with Lime
Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger
Purple Cabbage and Sweet Potato Soup
A Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Leek
Alex's Favorite Baked Chicken Mediterranean
Baked Chicken Chili Rice Casserole
Baked Cod with Roasted Sweet & Sour Vegetables
Baked Mac & Cheese - Dairy-Free
Balsamic Roasted Veggie Smothered Baked Potato
Chicken Enchilada Casserole (New Mexican Style)
Creamy Penne Pasta Bake with Zucchini
Dijon Roasted Vegetables
Enchiladas Griegos for Two with Spinach and Feta
Irish Cottage Pie with Mashed Potato Crust
Lime Chicken Tacos
Maple-Apricot Glazed Meatloaf
Peanut Broccoli Chicken Stir-Fry
Pineapple Salmon Brown Rice Bake with Sour Cream and Green Chiles
Pork Roast in Apricot Mushroom Sauce
Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, and Almonds
Roasted Brussel Sprouts Medley with Butter Beans + Rice
Roasted Vegetables in a Nest
Roasted Vegetables on Broiled Polenta with Goat Cheese
Sexy Spring Pasta- with roasted asparagus
Shepherd's Pie Two Ways- Vegan or Chicken
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spinach and Chicken Rice Bake with Portobellos and Mozzarella
Tuna and Artichoke Pasta
Turkey Meatballs with Lime and Mint on Sir-fry Asian Noodles
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Vegan Garden Loaf with Maple Apricot Glaze
Art School Rice with Curry, Appple, Carrots and Raisins
Asparagus with Maple-Tahini Dressing
Baked Grape Tomatoes with Cornbread Crumbs and Basil
Herbed Flatbread with Roasted Veggies
Kicked Up Colcannon (Mashed Potatoes and Cabbage)
Lime Quinoa Salad with Mint
Millet with Carrots, Mushrooms and Mint
Peanut Coleslaw with lime and cilantro
Pomegranate Glazed Green Beans + Portobellos
Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf
Quinoa Salad with Pineapple, Broccoli and Fresh Mint
Quinoa Taco Salad
Roasted Blue, Red and Gold Potato Wedges
Roasted Sicilian Potatoes
Savory Vegetable Pancakes
Spanish Rice Bake
Spring Millet with Mushrooms and Carrots
Two Potato Salad- with sweet potatoes
Warm Spinach + Quinoa Salad with Grape Tomatoes
Three Ways To Dress a Naked Salad (Three Dressings)
Zucchini Tomato Mozzarella Pie
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Banana Corn Muffins
Banana Blueberry Muffin Cake
Big Banana Muffins
Blueberry Corn Muffins
Blueberry Oat Muffins
Delicious Gluten-Free Bread
Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread with millet
First Loaf in My Gluten-Free Bread Machine
Gluten-Free Focaccia with Garlic, Herbs + Tomato
Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Sandwich Bread
Gluten-Free Ryeless "Rye" Bread
Gypsy Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread
New Irish Soda Bread with Millet
Strawberry Banana Muffins
Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins with Streusel Topping
Whole Grain Strawberry Muffins
Balsamic Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Banana Snacking Cake
Blueberry Brownie Bites
Blueberry Cake Cupcakes
Blueberry Crumb Cake
Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares
Chocolate Chip Cookies and Vanilla Brownies
Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Chips
Coconut Carrot Cake
Coconut Layer Cake
Coffee Biscuits with Chocolate Chips
Lemon Yogurt Cake
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Orange Creme Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
Rice Crispy Treats
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with Quinoa Flakes
Sweet Banana Polenta Cake
Vanilla Cupcakes with Mocha Icing
My Favorite Summer Recipes
My Favorite Autumn Recipes
My Favorite Winter Recipes
I used my scalloped heart cutter to make the "bite mark" on the cookies.Some of these faux chocolate bunnies are on their way to La-La Land...hope they make it safe and sound! Happy Trails, little bunnies!
Take a minute (or more!) to check out Maura's blog to see her darling bride and groom felt birds!
Here's an idea for your Easter baking:
These decorated Easter eggs are some of my favorite cookies. I don't know if it's the combination of dots and squiggles, or the colors, or those little scalloped lines across the middle.
For details on how to make the dots, click here. For the squiggly lines, follow the basic instructions for dots (adding the line color on top of the WET flood icing), but squeeze lines instead of dots across your cookie. Make all of then lines that you want in one section...in the cookies above, I used 3 different colors, then drag a toothpick through your lines alternating up and down.
To make the little yellow "scalloped" detail, use a #2 tip and pipe across the cookie, changing the pressure while squeezing the piping bag. Don't let up in between bumps, continue in one line. A good way to get a feel for it is to practice on a piece of waxed paper or a plate.
These are great cookies for personalization also, just wait until the icing is completely dry (overnight) and write with a food coloring pen (AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Pens).
These top 2 pictures show how I first did them. I thought a star tip would work great for the "foam" at the top. Well, I didn't love the way they turned out and this way used A LOT of icing. Near the end, I was close to praying to St. Patrick to let the icing hold out through the last cookie.
|Simple and romantic: pasta with roasted asparagus and tomatoes.|
Today's recipe is a romantic, sexy spring pasta sauce with balsamic roasted asparagus and tomatoes. Because it's snowing. There's a foot of the white stuff. Ridiculous. Our morning appointment with our real estate broker was canceled. Oh, did I mention? We're putting our house on the market. Los Angeles beckons.
Aside from my husband's screenwriting momentum, these ole bones of mine (not to mention, my spare parts) are too creaky for winters with snow. Two years ago, when we planned our big move west, I was naive enough to imagine kinder temperatures. A January with no snow shovels. February afternoons sunny and warm enough to peel off your apple-green cardigan, roll up your sleeves, and drink in vitamin D old school style. Maybe south, in Las Cruces.
But not here north of Santa Fe. And so I find myself once again turning toward the new, welcoming change. Packing away family photos and books to simplify rooms and coax potential buyers into imagining their own conversations and meals and lovemaking in this space.
This space in the desert that has been my shelter- and my tabla rasa. Where I have shed old skins and birthed a new sense of self- in startling and unexpected ways. Interesting, isn't it? Living here has been so different than I imagined. Difficult, even. And yet. So good for me. It's been all about the process of change.
And lucky for me- I think change is sexy.
Five more things about me, this time about cookies and blogging:
- Years ago, I remember reading a book that said you should follow what you loved as a child and you will be happy. I really racked my brain and couldn't think of anything I was really into as a kid. Now, I get it. My most memorable birthday party...we decorated our own mini-cakes and my mom made all of the girls coordinating aprons and chef's hats out of dotted swiss! In a high school Spanish competition, I won a prize for dessert (I made flan, haven't made it since). As a girl, I loved to make these giant, soft chocolate chip cookies from a kids' cookbook (can't find it now), but I always got a secret thrill when people said they were good. I wish I would have noticed this food trend much earlier in life! A major in psychology?!? What was I thinking?
- I started making decorated cookies 9 years ago when my son was a baby and I quit work to stay home. I had no idea what I was doing. I wish I had pictures...they are tucked away in a box somewhere. I used to dip the cookies in icing and spread with a spatula. Most had only 2 colors and sprinkles. I made all of them on a stick and put them in clay pots and sold them to mainly family and friends. (Thanks, guys!)
- That blossomed into learning all about cookie decorating and finally opening a web store, shipping nationwide and then focusing on local deliveries only. When 2008 came, I decided to hang up my apron, so to speak, and quit selling cookies and just make them for fun. It gives me more time to spend with my son who we are now homeschooling and less late nights decorating.
- I was introduced to blogging by my cousin, Maura. Her blog, paper bluebird, was the first one I ever paid attention to and soon became addicted. She is an inspiration, always finding the beauty and joy in life and crafting some amazing things along the way. So, I thought, OK...maybe I'll try combining cookies and blogging.
- My sister & I also have a blog, two curlytops, where we share what we are up to. My sister's posts are a combination of quilting, crafts, photography and food...mine, well, just food. She's more multi-faceted than I am. :)
There you have it...more than you ever wanted to know! Since I tagged 5 bloggers last time, I'll just leave you with 1 more link to Aran's blog...Cannelle et Vanille.
- Pipe the outline of a shamrock in white icing, using a #2 tip.
- In the center of the cookie, pipe an outline of a heart in red, using a #2 tip. (AmeriColor Super Red)
- Thin red and green icing to the consistency of syrup and let sit covered with a damp dishtowel for several minutes. Run a rubber spatula through the icing to pop any air bubbles that have formed on top.
- Fill in outlined shamrock in green using a toothpick to guide into corners. Use a squeeze bottle for easy filling. (Spectrum Leaf Green)
- Fill in heart with thinned red icing following method above.
***a note on green icing: a deep green like these shamrocks is susceptible to humidity. Sometimes, the icing will get a blotchy look and turn slightly darker. Not to worry, eventually the entire cookie will darken to an even shade. Although red and blue will do this as well, I find it happens most with green icing. Just try to keep the cookies in a non-humid environment and never put in the refrigerator.***