Sunday Post: Less than a week till Christmas

Connecting with others to talk about books plus a little about our personal lives

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

We’ve had some beautiful sunrises and sunsets so far this month, but no snow! Apparently there’s only a 25% chance for snow in the Indianapolis area at Christmastime!

Our menagerie

Not only do we have a new kitten in our household, but we’ve also been taking care of our son’s mini dachshund this month. Our son is moving from Seattle to New York City this month so we offered to keep Duke for him while he packed up and left Seattle and then rented an apartment in NYC. He found an apartment this week and he arrives back at our house tomorrow. We are all excited to see him!

Olaf and Blaze (our cat and kitten) and Duke all get along well so they’ve all had fun together. It’s very cute how Duke sometimes runs up to them to break up the wrestling match when Olaf and Blaze are playing together. I think he’d like to play with them, too, but none of them quite know how to do that!

Baking

I’ve baked quite a few cookies so far this month and hope to get some more baking done this week. I made Ginger Cookies also, but forgot to take a photo of them. These are all new recipes I made this year, but they’re all drop cookies so easy and quick to make. The cookies all taste great. I was concerned because the chocolate chip cookies didn’t brown very much on top, but my husband has taste-tested and says they’re the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve made!

Neighbors

We’ve delivered some of the cookies I’ve baked to some of our neighbors. We also had some of our neighbors to our house to get to know them a little better. That’s been nice and I think we’ll get together with some of them again after Christmas.

Christmas

I’m so excited to spend our first Christmas here in our new house. Our three kids will be here which is wonderful.

Our son arrives tomorrow and our Illinois daughter arrives on the 23rd and we’ve got tickets to hear Handel’s Messiah that evening. I think we’re going to watch Christmas movies on Christmas Eve plus we always play some games during the Christmas holiday. Of course, we’ve got lots of cooking and baking planned and even some time with no particular plans!

Blog

I haven’t read any Christmas themed books this year. I started one and liked it pretty well, but just wasn’t feeling like reading it very much. I finally had to return it to the library and I’d only read 50% of it.

However, I’ve read other books in the last couple of months that I’ve really enjoyed–especially some fun urban fantasy books. So even though I was five books behind at times this year with my Goodreads Challenge Goal of 100 books I’ve completed the challenge. So far I’ve read 101 books and hope to read at least two or three more before the end of the year.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Wicche Glass Tavern by Seana Kelly
Books read
  • Deadly Wishes by Rachel McLean
  • State of Terror by Hilary Rodham Clinton & Louise Penny
  • Scorched Heart by Helen Harper
  • Junkyard Bargain by Faith Hunter
  • The Noose of a New Moon by Helen Harper
New books

What are you doing next week? If you celebrate Christmas what are some of your traditions? If you don’t celebrate Christmas do you have other celebrations at this time of year?

Sunday Post: Another batch of cookies

Connecting with others to talk about books plus a little about our personal lives

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

It’s starting to warm up here! On Friday the temperatures got to about 25 degrees. By the middle of next week it might be 40 degrees! But first we’re getting more snow this Sunday morning. People to the north of us will get more snow, but where we live we could get 2-6 inches of snow today. Winter hasn’t ended yet!

Vaccine

I’ve been eligible for the vaccine for a while, but haven’t been able to get an appointment. Finally, I’ve got one for Tuesday and the second appointment for the middle of March. It’s a relief to get started though I know many people are still waiting for their vaccine.

Kitchen pack-up

We started sorting, throwing away, decluttering and donating stuff from our kitchen last weekend and continued during the week. We’re trying to just keep things we’ll need to use for the next two or three months. We want to get as much stuff off the counters as we can.

We packed my mixer, so I made one last batch of cookies–Peanut Butter Chocolate Chippers! I’ve made many batches of cookies during the pandemic and sent them to my kids.

Blog Life

I didn’t get to visit many blogs or answer many comments. That might be the norm for the next few weeks as we sort, pack and clean the house.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Dance Away With Me by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Books I read
  • A Simple Murder by Linda Castillo
  • A Stranger in Town by Kelley Armstrong
Books I got last week

Christmas cookies

I want to celebrate the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon with an easy cookie to make hohohorat_2015while reading your holiday books and drinking tea, coffee or hot chocolate!

I love making Christmas cookies though I don’t make as many as I used to when our kids were still at home. This is a recipe I’ve made most years since I found the recipe. The recipe is from a 1990’s Christmas cookie magazine.

One of the reasons I like the recipe is that the cookies are easy to make. It’s fun toDSC_0010 make intricate Christmas cookies which are rolled out and cut into shapes, but sometimes it’s nice to have a cookie that tastes great, but is quickly made!

I was going to make these cookies and have step-by-step photos, but when I started to make them I realized I didn’t have enough granulated sugar and didn’t have time to go to the grocery store. 😦  So instead I’m adding a photo of our Christmas tree from a few years ago!

Mocha-Chocolate Crinkles

The cracks on the surface give a hint of the rich, chewy texture inside.

1 Tbsp. coffee liqueur or milk
1 Tbsp. instant espresso powder or coffee crystals
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, cut up
1½ C. granulated sugar
3 beaten eggs
½ C. cooking oil
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 C. all-purpose flour
⅓ C. sifted powdered or granulated sugar

Stir together coffee liqueur or milk and espresso powder or coffee crystals in a small bowl or custard cup; set aside for a few minutes till coffee is dissolved (see Notes).

Place cut-up chocolate in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat till melted (see Notes). Cool 15 minutes. Stir in granulated sugar being careful not to introduce any water into the chocolate.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. Set aside.

Combine eggs, oil and espresso mixture in a large bowl. Add chocolate mixture. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring till thoroughly combined. Cover and chill 2 hours or till easy to handle.

Shape dough into I-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar or granulated sugar to coat generously. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7 to 9 minutes or till edges are just set. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. If desired, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar. Makes about 60.

Notes
  • I sometimes use about 1½ tablespoons strong brewed coffee instead of the liqueur or coffee crystals. I have never used the milk or espresso powder. (I was given a Godiva chocolate liqueur about the same time I found this recipe and used that for years before I used it up!)
  • I usually use the microwave to melt my chocolate. Follow the directions on the chocolate package for melting in the microwave. Be very careful not to introduce any water when you melt chocolate by itself. Chocolate is composed of fine, dry particles (cocoa and sugar) and fat (cocoa butter). When you melt chocolate, a few drops of water or even steam will moisten the dry particles and cause them to stick together and form a dull, dry, grainy mass, called seizing.