Archive for the ‘Food Adventures’ Category

I recently had the privilege of attending my first cookie-swap: With the lovely Ms B and Crafty Ladies Co. Essentially, you and a group of interesting people bake two dozen cookies, take home samples of said cookies and trade recipes for mass reproduction consumption purposes.

Brianna's picture Credit

The custard cookie recipe is a family trade secret. Translated from Afrikaans. Decades old (my Mom’s first cookbook). And made with enough butter to age your arteries several years. So enjoy (occasionally). This dry, not-too-sweet, cookie is a great companion for tea, books and weekend conversation.

Should make 3 dozen cookies.

  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup custard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1) Mix the soft, room-temperature butter and the sugar till the mixture is light and fluffy

2) Mix in the egg and add the vanilla essence

3) Sift the flour, the corn starch, the custard powder, the baking powder and the salt and mix together. Mix well till a stiff dough is formed.

4) Place the dough in teaspoon heaps on a baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes at 200 degrees C/ 400 Fahrenheit. (Keep you eyes on these – I found that less time worked better).

Cook and Enjoy.

* As a PS: It’s been a long time since I made these and I stupidly forgot to add the flour (WHO DOES THAT? I’ve baked these bebes since I was a single digit). I made the rest of the Crafty ladies wait till I baked another batch. Their politeness is much appreciated.


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The end of May, the reintroduction of sugar and chocolate (as it was done at Brianna’s get together with the dessert Sex-in-Pan… which reminds me of a friend who worked in an old folks’ home and they had that name on the menu and had to change it due to the uproar it inspired. Again more proof of the danger sugar inspires).

What did I learn from this sugar/chocolate hiatus?

1) I can survive without sugar and chocolate for an extended period of time. (I wasn’t actually sure I could physically do this)

2) Sugar is a drug.

3) Not eating sugar will have people stare at you as if you have a problem, and to do so out of free will rather than a medical condition will double the questioning

4) I will tone down the use of sugar from here on out.

5) Le sigh. I’m signing up to do this again next May.

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This may come as no surprise, but I’m a fan of publicly funded TV. I know at times it can be boring, pretentious and pedantic (and I realize watching it might categorize me as someone with similar descriptors). But in world of 16 and Pregnant – I think it’s needed even if only for the fact of providing a standard for what constitutes knowledgeable-ish TV.

I was watching PBS and they were featuring Dr. Daniel Amen’s diet program, Change your Brain, Change your Body. This guy made some pretty interesting points about knowing your brain/your personality of dieting:

“Your brain is the command and control center for your body, and your brain function is directly related to how your body looks, feels, and functions. If you want to lose the love handles, you have to get better frontal lobes. You want to say goodbye to all those headaches? You have to calm your brain.”

On the program he pretty much slams sugar for having a similar affect to drugs, and claims that adage “everything in moderation” should not apply.

Is he being excessive with his findings? I don’t know anymore. Does he deliver a good pitch? Most absolutely.

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