Pretty Party Cookies!

I made this set of cookies for a party. I’m pleased with the results. I wanted to practice my brush embroidery and my quilting. I also made some mini cookies because I know that some people will want a bite sized treat. I’m super happy with the colour combination. Success!

Valentine Cookie Experiments

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valentinescookies

During the holidays, I made a bunch of gluten-free sugar cookies. They were horrible. I blame the flour I used because my baking skills are well above average. Instead of chucking the batch of inedible cookies, I saved them to practice decorating with royal icing. I’m pretty happy with the results. I plan to try some of these techniques on proper, edible, heart-shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day.

Some things I learned as a newbie cookie decorator…

  • It’s challenging to get the consistency of royal icing “just right”. 
  • Cleaning piping tips is a pain in the ass.
  • I need to get an adjustable rolling-pin so my cookies have an even surface.
  • Royal icing seems to darken up as it sits.
  • Cookie decorating is the new yoga. Okay, maybe not…but it can be really relaxing if you are doing it just for fun.

Until next time!

D.I.Y. Kombucha

KombuchaParty

 

When I was a teenager, my mother briefly experimented with brewing kombucha. Back then, I turned my nose up at the slightly vinegary health drink. These days, I can’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, it’s a bit spendy in the store. A bottle will run you about $4. That’s a bit more than I care to spend daily, but I would love to drink kombucha every day. The obvious solution is making it at home. There are a wealth of recipes available online. I opted for this one from thekitchn.com.

The first thing I did was track down a Scoby. The Scoby is a gross looking colony of bacteria and yeast. It’s a magic glob of goodness. I have a friend who sells kombucha on her food truck, so she hooked me up with a healthy glob. If you look at the photo above, you can see it in the small jar.

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The first thing I did was brew some tea. I used 14 cups of water, 8 bags of black tea and 1 cup of white sugar. While the kombucha ferments, the bacteria will feed on the sugar so the resulting beverage is low in residual sugar. So, don’t worry if you are watching your carbohydrate intake. I boiled the water, turned off the heat and then added the sugar. Once the sugar dissolved, I put in the tea bags. I let it sit for several hours, until it reached room temperature.

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Once the tea cooled down to room temperature, I added 2 cups of commercially available kombucha. You want to find an unflavoured kind. I used GT Original.

The next step is putting the tea mixture in to a big glass jar. I bought this huge jar from a restaurant supply store. Once the liquid was in the jar, I gently coaxed the Scoby in. I wrapped the top with a couple of layers of paper towel and secured it with an elastic.

It’s now resting in my cupboard for a week. When it’s done, I’ll be putting it in to some airtight bottles, like these ones from Crate&Barrel. If all goes as planned, I’ll be drinking my favourite non-alcoholic beverage for pennies a glass!

That’s it, easy peazy lemon-squeezy. I recommend checking out the link for the recipe I used for more detailed instructions. It was really helpful!