Well, Guys, I have made it through 8 days of training and my head hasn’t exploded, although it’s been close at times. Yesterday, I was almost in tears because I just couldn’t quite understand what I needed to do. It was the last thing I thought about before falling asleep and the first thing I thought about this morning. In training this morning, we worked through more examples and I got it fine. I have to remember to be patient with myself. No one has all the answers after 8 days of training.
Last Friday, the class was on the phones for the first time helping real people with real problems. It was scarey af to push the go button but once I did, it was fun. Did I have all the answers? No. Did I do everything right? No. Will I do better when we are on the phone this Friday? Yes.
They talk a lot about the opportunities for advancement at my new job. I have already decided if I get the opportunity I would like to be a trainer or coach. I loved to train at my old job and many of my trainees said I was good at it. I think I would like to be the person who is as encouraging to others as our coach, Kelly, was to me. Yesterday, when I was having trouble and feeling very discouraged, Kelly sat beside me and gave me some concentrated help. She walked me through steps I needed to solve the problem. She didn’t make me feel like I was dumb for not getting it. After lunch she gave me an extra resource to help me understand. Kelly is very aware of who is struggling in class and is there to help before she is asked. I want to be that person for others.
I think it’s funny that three weeks ago, when I was approaching my last day at my old job, I was having serious doubts about leaving, now I am thinking about my future at my new job. As hard as it was to leave my old job, I am more certain than ever it was the right decision.
These cookies are my new favorite. I love molasses and think it’s a shame it isn’t used more often in all kinds of recipes. I don’t usually frost them because the cookies are great without it. I just like to enjoy the molasses flavor without any distractions.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter, molasses and egg white until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Leave about two inches between cookies. Bake for 11 -13 minutes or until just set and the cookies appear dry. Let cool on a rack for at least a half an hour. In a bowl, use a spoon to combine the powdered sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Add milk, a little at time until you have a smooth frosting. Frost your cookies.
Okay, angel food cake is known as more of a summer treat then a Christmas treat but I would like to change that. I love Angel food cake. It makes a nice change of pace from the more traditionally heavy treats of Christmas. I am also obsessed with making Angel food cakes at the moment. A few summers ago, I spent the whole summer perfecting my angel food cake technique. I made cake after cake until they came out perfect every time. Eventually, I had to stop and only make them upon request. My friends were overwhelmed with Angel food cake. At the beginning of November, I found a 7 inch Angel food cake pan and I have been making Angel food cake ever since. The initial recipe was a bit of a challenge. You would think that the recipe on the label of a 7 inch Angel food cake pan would be for a 7 inch Angel food cake. It wasn’t the recipe was for some kind of mojito bundt cake. Thank goodness for Christina Lane at Dessert For Two. She had the perfect Angel food cake recipe for a 7 inch pan on her site. Since I didn’t have to do any of the work of cutting down the actual recipe for cake, I decided to play around with some flavor variations. If you don’t have a 7 inch Angel cake pan head over to Dessert For Two for directions on how to make Angel food cake in a loaf pan.
Recipe Used With Permission From Dessert For Two Variations Are By Me
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 TBS corn starch
7 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt; set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, add egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is running. Continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down with nothing falling out when you reach the stiff peak stage. Seriously, this best way to tell if your whites are whipped enough. Just do it.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and gentilely fold it in until combined. Repeat twice more.
Spread the batter into the pan. Gently tap on the counter to make sure you get the batter into all the spaces. Bake at 325 degrees for 38-42 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn upside down. Cool for at least one hour before cutting.
Chocolate variation: reduce flour to 6 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Proceed with recipe as written.
Lemon variation: sprinkle the whipped egg white with 1 tablespoon of lemon zest before adding the flour/sugar mixture. Proceed with recipe as written.
People who love to bake seldom love to cook and people who love to cook seldom love to bake. I, however, love to do both equally. I try to keep the baking half of my heart under control most of the time because no one needs sweets lying around all the time, not even small batches of sweets.
The one time of year I can indulge my love of baking is the Christmas season. The next few weeks I will posting my adaptions of traditional, at least in my family, Christmas treats. Let’s get started with one of my favorite cookies, date pinwheels. You can use any kind of date for this cookie but fresh Medjool dates will take it to another level. Cliché but true.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a seperate medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda; mix well. Add the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Mix well. Bring the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, bring the dates, sugar and water to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until the mixture is thickened, 10 -15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
When filling is cool, pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. When ready to make your cookies, place your dough between two sheets of waxed paper and roll out until a 1/4 inch thick. Spread the filling evenly over the dough until 1/4 inch from the edge. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough up jelly roll style. Wrap the rolled up dough in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When ready to bake the cookies, unwrap. Using a serated knife, cut the dough in 1/4 inch slices. Place slices on a sheet pan. Bake 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit 2 minutes before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool.
This morning I dropped off my cockatiel, Riley, at the vet’s office to have surgery on her wing. As of right now, I am still waiting to hear how she is doing but I have high hopes she will be all right. While I am sitting here waiting to hear from the vet, I thought I would take my mind off the worry and do a gratitude post.
Today I am grateful:
I have an excellent vet that surrounds himself with an excellent support staff.
For all the people on the bus who were cool with Riley being there. They aren’t always when people bring animals on the bus.
For my friend, Steph, and her want to hang out today text. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with myself until I can pick up Riley except for worry. I am beyond grateful for her friendship.
I will be very glad to have Riley home and this wing problem put behind us. You can tell I have been stressed because the last three recipes I have posted here are for desserts. I bake when I am stressed. I hope you are all have a great week and bake just because the day ends in y.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg, mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 3 tablespoons of sugar.and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix well. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon in a dish. Roll a tablespoonful of dough into a ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Cool a few minutes on the pan and then remove the cookies to a rack to cool.
This morning I hadn’t even got to my station before I heard the store manager say “Julie, could you come here for a second? I need to talk to you.” My heart sank. It’s never a good thing when your boss comes to the floor and says that. I couldn’t, for the life of me, think what I had done or said to a co-worker or a customer that would get me a talking to. I don’t get talked to often but when I get called to the office for a talking to I usually have a pretty good idea why before I get to the office. The store manager took me aside and told me that on Saturday a customer pulled him aside and told him how awesome Julie on lane 5 was. I was friendly, talkative, and really good at my job. She would come back to the store and get in my line anytime. She appreciated how hard I work for her and the other customers. That was so totally NOT!!! what I was expecting to hear. It really made my day. I don’t often hear the positive things my customers think about me so it means the world to me when I hear them. It means as much to me that my store manager heard them too. So today I challenge you to take a minute or so out of your day and let your favorite cashier, hair dresser, nail tech, server, or others in service to you, know they are doing a good job and you appreciate them and what they do. You will never know how much it can mean to those in service.
This recipe is like eating the pumpkin part of a pumpkin pie. Originally, the recipe was keto but I am not so my adaption uses cow’s milk and real sugar. I like the recipe a little less sweet so I used 4 tablespoons of sugar. Add the other 2 tablespoons of sugar to the filling if you like it sweeter.
Adapted from The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook (note: My adaption is not keto)
4-6 TBS sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla
Grease a 5 inch pan well, get all the surfaces. In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Add the milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and vanilla. Mix throughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and cover with foil. Add water into the liner and place the trivet in the pot. Place covered pan on the trivet. Lock the lid. Cook on high for 20 minutes. Naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure.