Incidents of an aimless mind.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Still baking

Lavender Lemon Butter CookiesIngredents:

7 ounces (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon dried lavender
zest from one lemon
1.5 cups & 1.5 tablespoons plain flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch

What to do:

1) Sift flour and cornstarch, set aside.
2) With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth, add icing sugar and beat until well blended.
3) Beat in the egg yolk, followed by salt, dried lavender and lemon zest.
4) Add the flour mixture and blend with a spatula. Mix just until flour is incorporated.
5) Gather dough to form a ball, divide in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill dough for 30 minutes in refrigerator.
6) Form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4" in diameter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 2 hours in refrigerator or leave overnight. (Dough logs can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in freezer for up to 1 month.)
7) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven is ready, slice the log into 1/4" thick and place on a lined baking sheet with 1/2" interval.
8) Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are set but not brown. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Courtesy of Happy Home Baking


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The Early Edition: 6/6/09

Be sure to get out and pick yours Sunday papers, all three inserts are included this weekend. Here are some coupons of note:

Redplum - $1 off one Hefty Fresh Extend bags, 3 $1 off select Kellogg's cereals, $1.25 off Bertolli frozen meals.

P&G Saver - $3 off any size Prilosec, $2 off any Venus razor, $4 off Always Infinit pads, $1 off Gillette body wash, $4 off Gillette Fusion razor

SmartSaver - $2 off any Pet Fresh product, $1 off Cottonelle at Target, $4 off any non-drowsy Clartin

Also check the Albertsons flyer for 3 double coupons up to a $1 off and $1 off any $10 produce purchase.

Lots of good saving to be had. Happy shopping!


Friday, June 5, 2009

A means to an end

...and yes, I mean the bread. I opted to make croutons with half of the loaf for a caesar salad. This is very simple.

1) Cube your bread
2) Toss with salt, pepper and oil
3) Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes.

The other half, what was left after hub's attacked it, I made sandwiches with. Piled high with cheese, avocado, cucumber, tomato, hummus and ham for Scott. Better than Quizno's any day.

Guess I'll be baking another loaf tomorrow!


Shopping Spree!

Okay, slight exageration...but I did go to the mall for the first time in six months! Hubby was sweet and took me up to get my free VS panties. Lucky day, turns out Victoria's Secret is having a blowout on their make-up. After grabbing some mascara for 75% off, we made a beeline for Bath & Body Works to take advantage of the 4/$10 deal on anti-bacterial soaps. I'd just taken the last one from my stash, so the timing was perfect. All said and done, my little trip only cost $16.01.

And no we didn't forget to grab our free doughnut from Krispy Kreme.


Back to Baking

Clearly I was inspired by my shipment of flour, because I just baked a loaf of English Muffin bread. This recipe came in the package, courtesy of King Arthur Flour.

3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
cornmeal to sprinkle in pan

What to do:

1) Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
2) Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. The liquid will feel very hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would scald you. As a reference point, the hottest water from your kitchen tap is probably around 120°F.
3) Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
4) Beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft.
5) Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
6) Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
7) Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it's just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn't be more than, say, 1/4" over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn't very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
8) Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 20 to 22 minutes, till it's golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
9) Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Consolation

As though he were offering a consolation to my indiscretion at the grocery store today (you know, the magazine) the UPS man delivered me a little bit of sunshine today. My free 2lb bag King Arthur Floor that I had signed up for last week arrived. I see cookies in the near future!


$20 dollars today: 6/4/09

Well I blew it, I got a magazine at check out and wet over budget. To my defense I did have a coupon for it and happen to know 'Real Simple' is always chalked full of additional coupons for me to use.

Here's the breakdown:

2 Trix Cereal - $1.25/box
1 Ken's Balsamic Dressing - $1
1 Post Trail Mix Cereal - $.49
3 Ronzoni Bistro Sauce - $.44/pouch
2 Herdez Salsa - $1.20/jar
2 Hefty OneZip gallon bags - $1/box
1 Hefty OneZip quart bag - $1
1 Egglands Best - $3.13
1 Reynolds Recycled Foil - $1.44
1 Real Simple Magazine - $3.99
5 Peaches - $.49/peach
4 Del Monte Fruit cups - $.75/cup
2 Athenos Feta crumbles - $1/pack

I also got my .06 cents off for bringing my own bags, earned a .10 cent fuel discount, and I received credit toward my next air mile reward.

Total cost - $23.46
Total saved - $45.58
Overall saving of 66%


Three for Free

Mark your calendar, the National Parks Service is offering three fee free weekends at over a 100 national parks this summer.

June 20-21, 2009 (Father's Day Weekend)
July 18-19, 2009
August 15-16, 2009

Check here for participating parks near you.


Doughnut Day!

Friday, June 5th is national doughnut day,
to commemorate in style Dunkin Donuts by giving customers
a free doughnut
of there choosing with any beverage purchase.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bag it

I'm sure by now you have noticed the reusable grocery bag trend. They are everywhere! Are you on board yet? Or are you are asking yourself if it's worth it? More than likely the answer is yes, especially if you are in a populous city such as Seattle or DC. Just this past January the city of Seattle introduced a bag tax of .20 cents per bag issued to customers at checkout. Washington DC has a similar policy and many other cities are looking to follow suit.

You can imagine how quickly this adds up. Fortunately these taxes are avoided when consumers bring their own bags with them. In fact, most store offer a rebate for those who opt to use your own bags. It can be difficult to find the written policy, but here is what I have found at my local stores: Safeway - .03/bag, QFC - .05/bag, Top Foods - .05/bag, Fred Meyers - .05/bag. As you can see, it makes "cents" to reuse!

Here are some tips for those ready to jump on board the recycle wagon.

-Look for free bags. I usually see offers every few months.
-Only use your bags for grocery items. No stinky gym clothes!
-Was your bags! Especially if you've had a spill.
-Keep your bags in the car where you will see them before running into the store.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Do you know...

Aveeno? If not, give it a try.


Chill Out!

with a friend at BaskinRobbins.


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