Where did December go?!

18 Dec

Goodness…it’s December 18 already?! I can’t believe it’s been almost three weeks since I blogged anything. I apologize to my regular readers!

I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that my daughter, Madison, auditioned and got a role in the Monroe Community Players’ production of “A Christmas Story.” She played Helen, one of the school girls in Ralphie’s class. Well, the week leading up to the shows was crazy. She had rehearsal every night at 6:00 in Monroe, which is almost a half-hour drive for us. So we were eating dinner at 5, leaving at 5:30 and getting home somewhere between 10:30 and 11 every night. She was exhausted. I was exhausted. It was crazy. But the show was fantastic and I’m so proud of her for working hard and doing such a great job.

Needless to say, that didn’t leave any time for blogging. The day after the last show, I came down with some kind of stomach bug, I think. I had 4 days last week where I just felt nauseous all the time. No other symptoms; just nauseous and tired. That meant…no energy for blogging or doing anything worth blogging about. And now, all of a sudden, it’s the week before Christmas. I still have shopping to do, baking to do, wrapping to do and more.

Tonight I decided to get a jump start on my baking. The kids settled in front of the fireplace to watch a movie and I made two different kinds of biscotti.

A few weeks ago, I had a gingerbread biscotti from Starbucks (I know…not vegan…but fabulous.) Anyway, it was so good I decided to try to create it at home. I found a recipe on allrecipes.com that had received a ton of good reviews. I altered it only slightly — I added 1/4 cup toasted macadamia nuts, and I’m going to dip the bottom of each finished biscotti in melted white chocolate, like the Starbucks one. Delicious!

I also had been thinking for a while about making alterations to my standard chocolate biscotti recipe. I was envisioning a chocolate biscotti with a hint of peppermint in it. Then the top drizzled with white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes. I decided to try a different chocolate biscotti recipe as my base. Bad move. I should have made the one I always make, with the alterations. Instead, I used a recipe I found in a cookbook that used a box of vegan chocolate cake mix as a base and added 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to the mixture. The finished biscotti have the most amazing, rich, dark chocolate taste with the hint of peppermint…but they are crumbly and didn’t hold together well. Lesson learned. They are definitely still edible (don’t think those will be going to waste!); they just aren’t gift-giving quality.

After both batches were out of the oven and cooling on racks, I walked back into the family room to check on the kids and there was my baby (Logan, 6 years old) sound asleep in the chair by the Christmas tree. Ah-dorable!

More baking to come on Sunday so I’ll try to post some recipes. It’s a whirlwind month and I’m just going with the flow! (Still working on Plan B for this blood pressure situation, too.)

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