Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Reading Goals, revised

Apparently, I am much more of a masochist than I initially believed.

When I sat down to map out my A to Z Reading Challenge list, I went a little nuts. I seem to qualify for LEVEL 4 of the challenge.

Level 4 - The Vanna White. 52 books. Tackling each and every letter twice over this year, you'll prove your prowess is matched only by the letter master herself! We will be awed and humbled by your achievements.

See? Masochist. World-class.

I suppose I could just stash away most of the books I came up with for another year, but as I said, masochist. And probably in need of therapy. I'm only saving back a few dozen books, and the only reason for that is because I want to have time to read a few new releases and short stories (anything with less than 100 pages) this year.

I'm still mulling over the notion of reviewing the books I read. I don't normally give reviews, even on goodreads. Usually, if I'm giving a "review", it's more to explain why I gave it a low number of stars than to actually review the book. So... still thinking...

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Love and bondage,
Rubi Jayne <3<3

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Reading Goals

In setting my reading goals for 2012, I wasn't satisfied with just "read 100 books". Apparently I really AM a masochist and added some stipulations to my goal.

The first stipulation is less than 50 of the books I read (or count towards my reading goal) should be really short reads. As in, 100 pages or less.

And because that just wasn't enough of a challenge, I decided to add level 3 of the A-Z Reading Challenge found over at The Challenged Writers to the books that have more than 100 pages. Level 3 states

Level 3 - The Varsity Jacket. 26 books. You'll read a book starting with every single letter! Once completed, a victory lap around the track can be performed in celebration!

So... yeah. There we go. Books. Reading. Masochist. Yup.

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Love and bondage,
Rubi Jayne <3<3

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cherry Bomb (from Joanna Fluke's Sugar Cookie Murder)

Cherry Bomb Cookies
Yield 5 - 6 dozen cookies

3 cups flour (no need to sift)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 (16 ounce) jars maraschino cherries , with stems (about 65 cherries)
confectioner's sugar (for dipping)


Drain the cherries. Leave them in a strainer while you make the cookie dough.

Put flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir with a fork until thoroughly mixed. Cut in the softened butter with two forks, continuing to cut until the mixture looks like course corn meal (you can also do this in a food processor with the steel blade, using cold butter cut in 1/2 inch chunks).

Beat the eggs in a medium-sized bowl and combine them with the sugar.

Add the egg and sugar mixture to the rest of the ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Extract small bits of dough with your fingers and wrap them around each maraschino cherry, leaving the stem sticking out. Press the bottoms of the dough-wrapped cherries down slightly on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (cookies will be white, if they start to brown, reduce the baking time). Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet. Then dip them in powdered sugar so that the entire cookie part is covered, but not the stem.


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Love and bondage,
Rubi Jayne <3<3

Fairy Drop Cookies

Fairy Drops

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cooking oil
2 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
Colored or plain sugar (optional)
Almond frosting (optional)
Crushed candy canes (optional)

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and granulated sugar; beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add oil, eggs, and almond extract; beat just until combined. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating on medium speed just until combined. Cover; chill dough about 30 minutes or until needed.

To shape cookies, roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. The dough will be soft. Arrange balls on ungreased cookie sheets. With the palm of your hand, the bottom of a glass, or a swirled or patterned cookie stamp, gently flatten the balls to about 1/4" thickness. Sprinkle with sugar, or leave plain, if planning to frost.

Bake in a 350F oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges are light brown. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely. If desired, frost with Almond Frosting. Also, if desired, sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces over frosting. Makes 55 - 60 cookies.


TO MAKE AHEAD: Place unfrosted cookies in a freezer container; seal, label, and freeze for up to 8 months. Frost after thawing.


ALMOND FROSTING
In a small mixing bowl beat 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in 1/2 tsp almond extract and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Alternately add 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 3 tbsp light cream or milk, beating until smooth and of spreading consistency. To tint, stir in a few drops food coloring, if desired. Makes about 2 cups.


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Love and bondage,
Rubi Jayne <3<3