May 28, 2009

Sugar Cookie Recipe

I tried this recipe from Mrs. Field's Cookie Cookbook and it was a hit
I tweaked it a little bit so that it's better for use with cookie cutters. Enjoy!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup colored sugar for decoration
3/4 cup butter

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2) In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt with a wire whisk. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well blended. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add the flour mixture. Blend on low speed just until combined. Do not overmix.
3) Gather dough into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Refrigerate two hours until firm.
4) On a floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. With cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Decorate with colored sugars or sprinkles. Bake for 13-15 minutes, being careful not to brown. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface.


May 22, 2009

Father's Day: What Should We Buy For Dad?

It's here again! Father's Day is Sunday, June 21st. Before every Father's Day, I email back and forth with my sister Jenny about what to buy for dad. What pops to mind are the usual go-to gifts: the tie, the golf shirt, the pen... there have got to be some better gift ideas out there. There ARE better ideas and some of them are below.

Create a basket of little things that Dad can do with daughter: Buy and decorate a brown basket at the craft store and fill it with some or all of the following ideas:
  • Movie tickets for a date with daughter, a bag of his favorite candy to "smuggle" into the theater.
  • A gift card to a place his visits regularly like a local coffee shop or book store, you will go too!
  • If your dad visits the Home Depot frequently, buy him a gift card and tell him that you want to assist in a project he is starting!

Can't afford an expenisve gift like a flat screen TV for Dad? Start a "Flat Screen Tv Fund"

  • Buy a piggy bank at the craft store, decorate the outside as "Dad's Flat Screen TV Fund", if there is a child in the family this is a great way to get him or her involved.
  • Get a bunch of siblings to donate cash to the fund, fill the piggy bank with the bills, no checks!
  • Maybe by Christmas, he'll be able to get his TV!

As always, when giving a gift think about the specific recipient. What one dad likes, another dad doesn't. If you steer away from generic ideas like socks and sweaters and think about activities that your dad enjoys and are unique to him, that will help stir your creativity. Effort and time are always appreciated by recipients of gifts. If you decorate something, make anything by hand or include your time as part of the present, you will be sure to delight dad


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