Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Cookies

I mean, I'm still not a food blogger. But I'm a blogger who makes food. Enjoys food. Celebrates food. And sometimes I write about it. Today I'm going to give you the cookie recipe that made me ever so happy yesterday, for Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Cookies.

Can we just pause for a second to appreciate how good fresh lemon zest smells? This little pile of goodness made me thankful for all of my life choices yesterday.

A few years ago, my good friend Ronda gifted me with the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which is an incredibly awesome cookbook and my favorite because, as the name implies, the recipes have been tested. It's filled with information like why you need to have butter softened and not melted (or melted and not softened) or how to get the perfect texture, or why one thing works better than another—really, a behind the scenes peek as to why they made each choice in the recipe and why each recipe is perfect, just the way it is.

And yet... I tweaked their sugar cookie recipe. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

9-28: On This Day

My jar is empty.

I bought this cookie jar with the full intention of being the sort of mom who doesn't let the cookie jar get empty. I had grand plans—I would bake cookies on the regular to give my family sweet treats that weren't filled with preservatives.

Fast forward a few years and, well, sometimes I hold up my end of the bargain. Sometimes the jar is filled with artfully-arranged Oreos.

A photo posted by Mari Farthing (@marifarthing) on

I mean, yes, it's a bit precious, but it prevents the cookies from breaking up into tiny pieces. So it's smart and pretty.

The secret is I don't really love baking—well, I don't mind but I'd prefer it if someone would gather and measure the ingredients. And then do the dishes. I would just do the mixing and the putting on the cookie sheets and the putting into and later removing from the oven.

Basically, I want to be a TV talk show baker.

But I'm using my power for good and whipping up some cookies. More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

9-27: On This Day

Fall has finally arrived in the air, and I celebrated in one of my favorite ways—throwing wide my windows and welcoming in the chilly breezes. Only I realized that the placement of my desk in my office was not making the best use of said window as I have to sort of contortion around the table and between the shelf to reach the window, and even then it would only open a few inches because I can't get leverage.

That just won't do.

So this morning I've been doing my fall cleaning and moved around some furniture to make better use of that window. I realized I could tuck that chair I love so much between my desk and the window if I moved my desk back far enough—which solves 2 problems, since the chair was in the way of moving my desk back. I mean, I'm not a hoarder, per se, but I do tend to gather those things I love around me, so my office is stuffed quite full.

There was a moment of apprehension where I considered how much this wouldn't work out, how much I would regret it, how much I would hate it... but then I reminded myself that it was temporary. And you never know if something will be right unless you rule out that it's wrong.

Trixie seems to approve. Though I do question her judgement; she obviously also thinks she's a lap dog.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Banned Books Week

I read banned books. If you want me to actively seek out a title, slap a "banned" label on it, tell me it's offensive or explicit or harmful or dangerous. That's the kind of reader I am.

One person's required reading is another person's hell no. And the opinions of one, no matter how closely held, shouldn't dictate what is fit for reading by someone else. I mean, opinions are like elbows, everybody's got 'em.

Hiding ideas won't make them go away. Not talking about things that may make us uncomfortable won't stop them from happening and reading about things that are provocative won't hurt us. There are many reasons that books can be challenged—as many reasons as there are books, to be sure—some for being too real, some for being not real enough, some for just introducing thoughts that are considered far too provocative.

Here's the thing, as I see it: life happens to us all, and then art—in this case, in the form of books—reflects life, in all its sticky, messy, scary reality. Books are written that teach us, challenge us, push our boundaries, entertain us, thrill us, scare us and more—but should that mean we try to hide those books?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Enchiladas and Meditation

That one time I went to Korea to
see my husband in September 2008
Here's the thing: I'm a woman of a certain age. Don't let that scare you away.

I'm on a quest, and I'm looking for that thing we all want: happiness. You know—contentment, self-acceptance, to be confident and comfortable in my own skin—the whole enchilada.

And also an enchilada, because now I want enchiladas.

One day I stood still and really thought about some choices I had made that maybe weren't the wisest ones. I asked myself, out loud—what am I missing? Because clearly, I was trying to find something, correct some thing I felt wasn't as it should be.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

9-22: On This Day

I've been assured that fall is coming. Regardless of the calendar—yes, I know that officially fall has dropped—I'm relying on the thermometer to tell me and it has yet to weigh in. The heat rolls forth.

Though, this morning... this morning was literally a breath of fresh air. There was still a slight chill to be found when I took out the dog before the sun, when I went out to capture the sun-streaked sky at sunrise behind the trees and I was buzzed by a big hawk, even after the sun was up when I went for a walk.

The Mercury retrograde period ended last night, so maybe it took some of the hot with it? Yes, I know, that's not how it works. But it's a hell of a coincidence and I'm happy for it.

Thank you, chill, for being there. You give me hope.

The world is confusing right now. There is so much dissension, I don't even know where to turn. I don't know how to fix it. I like things I can fix. But how do we fix this? We start within, we make big changes, we spread them wide. Do what Jesus would do—no matter what your creed, Jesus was a guy who stood up for those who needed standing up for. Can't we all agree that's a good goal to strive for?

Those are my early-morning, cool weather, goodbye Mercury retrograde thoughts.

Monday, September 19, 2016

9-19: On This Day

If it's gotta be a Monday, I might as well jump right in.

I mean, pay no attention to that red line at the top of the tracker screen, that just means that I've been productive in a different, more sitting type of way. But it's still morning and I'm almost 2000 steps above my goal for the day, so I'm calling Monday a win and scheduling a nap for later this afternoon between loads of laundry and editing projects.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

9-15: On This Day

Sometimes, it's not about what you think you want to say, it's about what you need to say.