I have been in total cookie baking mode since making my gingerbread cookies. My second holiday baking adventure began when I started searching for the perfect shortbread recipe. I have always been a huge fan of shortbread. In the past I have had some success with the recipe that I always use to use. My old recipe was good but not spectacular.
I found a new recipe at allrecipes.com, for shortbread logs that sounded delightful. It was super basic, and I had all the ingredients on hand, so I set out to give it a whirl. This was my first time ever baking short bread cookies with real butter! The cookies turned out to be AMAZING! They are dangerously addicting, and I attribute a large part of the amazing factor to the butter (instead of margarine).
If you have never made shortbread cookies using real butter, I recommend you give it a try. Seriously, you won’t be sorry.
It’s time to start the holiday baking! Since setting up my Christmas tree at the Festival of Tree’s last weekend, I have been in a Christmasy mood. I had a major desire to kick off my holiday baking with making some gingerbread. I spent a lot of time online looking for a recipe that appealed to me. In previous years I always used cookbook recipes, but I was never very satisfied with them.
I found a fabulous recipe for gingerbread at allrecipes.com that is by far the best gingerbread I have ever made, and maybe ever eaten. The cookies are super soft (even a couple days after baking), and have that traditional ginger molasses flavor.
Before choosing to use this recipe, I read all of the comments about it. One particular comment taught me a new baking technique that I am so grateful to have learned. I have always had trouble making cut-out cookies. They often stuck to what ever surface I rolled dough out on (even with refrigerating the dough). One of the commenter’s recommended using parchment paper on the surface where the dough is rolled out on, as well as on top of the dough (use cookie cutters through the parchment paper). I followed the commenter’s suggestions and was blown away with how easy it was to make cut out cookies. I have a new appreciation for cut-out cookies!
This year I decided once again to decorate a tree for the local Festival of Tree’s. The Festival of Tree’s supports student awards in the form of scholarships, and bursaries at the university I attended (Vancouver Island University). The theme this year was “A West Coast Christmas”. I decided to make a nautical tree which I called “A Sailor’s Christmas”, for the festival.
Here is my tree.
(The distant view of my bright blue and white themed tree)
My tree with it’s neighbor “A Teddy Bear’s Christmas”.
Here are some of the other beautiful and unique trees from the festival.
This was my favorite tree. It was a tree about succeeding with disabilities. It is unique and beautiful on so many levels. Here are a few of it’s many decorations.
Another one of my favorites a pretty nautical tree!
I have been a long time reader of Annie’s Eats, a food blog I admire greatly. Annie recently posted a recipe for Spinoccoli Pizza. I had never heard of any kind of pizza like that before. Spinach and broccoli seemed like a very odd combo for a pizza, but everything about the recipe (including the mouth watering photo) sounded like it would be pretty good. Since I am a HUGE lover of pizza I had to give it a try.
I made the pizza with my own favorite crust recipe, and added some deli Cajun chicken to the toppings for extra protein.
The result was the best pizza I had ever had in my whole life!! Seriously, I have been to many pizza restaurants in my life (fancy ones, and cheap ones), and nothing has ever compared to this pizza. The pizza sauce is absolutely divine. It is so simple and quick to make. The garlic sauce complements the broccoli, spinach, chicken and cheese combo perfectly. I changed the sauce a little by using garlic powder, instead of a garlic clove.
If you are a pizza lover I highly recommend you check out the recipe for this amazing pizza on Annie’s Eat’s. Thanks for posting this pizza recipe Annie!