This is the opening sentence to a 2007 Yoga Journal web article describing the two pillars of yoga: Abhyasa and Vairagya that I use with my Yoga II students. For the next few weeks I plan to focus our Meditation Monday posts on the topics I cover with them in regards to meditation. I have previously presented a series of 4 posts titled How to Meditate that covered some basic meditation techniques. Now I am expanding that for you with a deeper practice into meditation as well as my own insights on the topics at hand. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #32 – How to Meditate: The Two Pillars of Yoga”
I’m really kind of sad right now that one of my 18 month old’s favorite words is “COOKIE”. Where have I gone wrong with him?! My older son wasn’t that into cookies until he was much older. I was much stricter about that kind of thing and really limited how often cookies were around. This year though, it’s been on like Donkey Kong in the cookie department at our house! We have made 4 different types of cookies so far this month and Christmas is still is 4 days away. Watch out Santa!
Here are our cookie recipes and exactly no photos of the cookies because we ate (or gave away) ever last one of them already. I still have another batch of the last ones to make for Christmas Eve at a friend’s house, but I doubt I’ll be coming home with any of those either.
December 1 ~ Thank you Monique at Ambitious Kitchen
Brown Butter Nutella-Stuffed Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
The name is soooooo long, but they taste soooooo good! I made these little treats to take to a friend’s house for dinner one night. They paired perfectly with the tacos we had because the spicy food loves to be followed by sinfully sweet and rich chocolate! The cookies were crispy on the edges and moist in the middle. I subbed pumpkin pie spice as it says in the notes, because who really keeps cloves on hand?! I don’t know if browning the butter made any difference, but it was the first time I’d attempted it and it all worked out okay. I would definitely put dark chocolate chips in the next time I make these.
December 9 ~ A School Book Fair find circa 1990
Boys and Girls Cookbook Recipe for Sugar Cookies
Okay, so I don’t really recommend this recipe for the simple fact that it uses regular granulated sugar and not powdered sugar like all of the other recipes out there. It was very confusing and took quite a while for it to seem to get hard enough/thick enough to roll out. We decorated them with simple red and green sugars because my almost 4 year old (that’s what we have to say for his age now) and my 9 year old niece did them together and we had to keep it simple. We made these for a family Christmas party and they were not my favorites and also got a little hard before the party. How do you soften sugar cookies? Add a slice of white bread to the container and wait overnight. Softens them right up! I don’t recommend wheat bread as the cookies take on the flavor sometimes. A nice soft and sweet roll really works best.
December 10 ~ Back to Betty
Betty Crocker Snickerdoodles with Classic Buttercream Frosting
While making sugar cookies my husband informed me that he really liked just regular chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles and that he would love to put the left over frosting (from the birthday cake that we had made for our babysitter/my son’s girl friend’s 16th birthday the day before) on either of those two cookies. So, Wednesday we decided to do EVEN MORE BAKING! and whipped out these beauties. A few changes to the BC recipe I made were that I used 1 cup of butter instead of half butter and half shortening. I really don’t like to use shortening and will sub it out for apple sauce or butter depending upon the desired outcome of the product. I also did the cream of tartar and baking soda swap with baking powder. We mixed in the the cinnamon and extra sugar with the original intent of freezing the dough enough to roll it out and cut out cookies, but it didn’t work so well and we ended up just making round ones with frosting on top and no red and green sugars…..much to my son’s dismay.
Stef, I know you suggested going with the Italian meringue, but I just didn’t want to have a lot of egg yolks laying around for a little cake. I am definitely going to try it out in January on my son’s birthday cake though! Have you ever just bought egg whites to use?
December 16 ~ The Winners!
Hot Cocoa Cookies with Marshmallows
I went 6 whole days without making any more cookies, but not without eating them…….So, Tuesday night we had some friends over for a pre-Christmas comfort food indulgence which included my second time ever to make chicken pot pie and these cookies for dessert. The recipe came via a round up over at IGE and I am sooooo grateful! There are so many in a batch that I only baked up half and saved the rest of the dough to make up later in the week. I sent all the remaining cookies from that first batch home with our friends because I knew I would have a hard time with moderation and these cookies. I gave away a lot of the next batch as well. I will say this, DO NOT feed these cookies to small children. They will have strings of marshmallow goodness traveling from the cookie to their mouth, hands, cheeks, sleeves, and hair. The melted chocolate square is so gooey that our friend’s daughter had chocolate up her face to both ears! It was so cute that I couldn’t help but giggle and want to give her another cookie.
I’m also curious as to how these cookies might turn out with dark chocolate chips instead of semi sweet. I wonder what the sugar ratio would have to be? Any thoughts?
So, here we are on the Sunday before Christmas with one batch of these cookies left to make and take. I am not baking any sweets for the big day (delegated dessert to my MIL) and I will probably take a nice long cookie break after this. I’ve been very proud of my indulgence choices and my practice of moderation over this holiday season. Today I completed push-ups 61-80 and I can’t wait to see my little angels’ faces on Christmas morning! Happy Holidays!