Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Something New-ish

I was having lunch today with some women friends and one of them asked me how I manage to to so many things...blogging, working, watercolor, photography, P.E.O., constructions projects, cooking, baking, reading, gardening and my latest...golfing...which is the new-ish in the post title. I told her "Careful Scheduling". The truth is that I enjoy the hell out of so many things that I don't really have enough time to put into many of my pursuits...like watercolor...so I don't get really, really good at most of them. Still, life is too short, so I continue to pack in a lot of fun.

The golf came about because Sweetie wanted an activity we could do together that was fun and that required a little more exercise than plain walking (which I also do when I walk the dog 3-4 times a week). Due to my eye condition, I can't play sports where the ball is moving, so tennis, a favorite sport of Sweetie's, is out. Same for softball, baseball, basketball, handball, squash, badminton, and so on. Ever since Grandma L hurt herself so badly while cycling, he has been down on bicycle riding. He's not fond of water sports either. Guess we could still take up fencing or rock climbing :)

I find golf intriguing. Each swing is important. How you hold your body, how you move your wrist, the strength of the wind, the wetness of the grass...lots of things have a bearing on where and how the ball flies and where it lands and how many strokes lands it in the cup. In truth one is soon in competition with oneself, no matter who else you are playing with. I know that some people get frustrated, but (so far) I find it hilarious and true play in the best sense of the word. I played golf a long, long time ago, so that's why this isn't really new, just new-ish.

Another thing that is new-ish is happening at work. When we did the clinic on the same property, I helped to cook lunch three out of the six days. Now we are doing the clinic in the 'big city'. Last month I returned to work on Friday and made dinner from what was around in the kitchen so that the PT, doctor and PT assistant would have food fairly quickly. Friday is a late day. It was such a success that I'm making dinner for Thursday and Friday this month. Yesterday I agreed to make dinner for the doctor and a few of his friends each Tuesday. I'll get to take some of the food home for dinner with Sweetie and I'll blog about some of it, too. Sweet. On occasion work will be too busy to allow time to make dinner, but most weeks I'll get to play in that wonderful kitchen! And I'll get paid to do it. That's hard to beat.

Today's lunch was a pot luck. I offered to bring dessert. Looked through multiple cookbooks. Looked at bookmarked recipes. Just couldn't find the right thing to bring. And then I visited Laura Rebecca's Kitchen, always a fun place to visit, and saw the perfect dessert for a luncheon meant to be finger food...butter cookies dipped in dark chocolate. They are delicate and decadent and just right. I changed them a bit by making the cookies lemon flavored. The dark chocolate really brought out the lemon flavor. The dough is a bit sticky, so chilling the logs thoroughly is a must before slicing the cookies.

Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey is having one of her lovely mingles. For this one we are bringing dishes that included fruit and chocolate. If her guests enjoy these cookies as much as my lunch mates did, they will disappear fast.

Chocolate Dipped Lemon Butter Cookies adapted from a recipe from Laura Rebecca’s Kitchen which was
Adapted from a recipe originally published in Gourmet, Feb. 1999

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
zest of a lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon lemon extract

Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg, lemon zest, lemon extract and vanilla and beat until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture, beating just until mixture forms a dough.

Divide dough between 2 large sheets of parchment or wax paper and form each half into a 10- x 1 1/2-inch log, wrapping it in the paper, and sealing the wrapped logs in a zip top plastic bag. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 5 days. (Or, dough may be frozen up to 2 months.)

Let dough soften slightly before cutting (or, if frozen, thaw). Preheat oven to 375-degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place about 1 inch apart on baking sheet.

Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before dipping in chocolate.

In a microwavable bowl, or in a double boiler top over simmering water, place 2-3 oz. finely chopped dark chocolate. If microwaving, do so a minute at a time at half (or less) power, stirring after each time, and only until chocolate has just melted. If there are tiny lumps left, let sit a minute, then stir…they should be gone. If using the double boiler, stir just until chocolate melts, then remove from heat.
Dip half of each cookie in the chocolate, then place on parchment paper until the chocolate hardens. You can use a spatula or knife to spread the chocolate a bit if you like. This amount of chocolate will do about half the batch. Use twice as much if you want all of the cookies dipped.

Store cookies in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 5 days.

Yields about 50 cookies.

10 comments:

Meeta said...

Elle! Oh I love it - lemon and chocolate so perfect. What I love more is that you have combined it in a cookie! Brilliant!

KJ said...

I admire your approach. There are so many things to enjoy in life!! But put me in the golf is frustrating category. Just the thought of hunting down balls in long grass makes me want to tear my hair out.

As for your cookies, they look and sound delicious. I would be delighted if someone made them for me.

TadMack said...

Oh, FUN! I haven't golfed since I was in my twenties. It's all the rage now in high school PE courses, but back then, I was playing with elderly people who gave me some very amused smiles (I had NO IDEA what I was doing, and showered sand all over my partners trying to get a ball out... yikes.).

LUCKY, lucky you to get paid to cook! I see a third career: catering!

Lemon and dark chocolate= a touch of genius. Oh, yum.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Elle, how nice to know you play golf!
My boss is the only person I know who plays it, but since he is an ass and one just can't have a decent conversation with him I have never asked him about it.
As for the cookies... Lemon is my passion and if you match that with chocolate be still my heart!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Ooh, wonderful cookies! I'm like you, always taking on a truckload of things to do. I don't do any of them super well, but I can't do without any of them either.

Peabody said...

Golf pisses me off to much. A lot of hockey players play it and so I took it up. I am horrible at it.
The cookies look good though...nothing horrible about those. :)

Elle said...

Meeta, lemon and chocolate is a favorite of mine, too.

KJ, I always did enjoy 'treasure' hunts :). Most things taste even better if someone made them for you. Heehee.

Tadmack, y'all are in golf holy territory now, or something. Still, the whole game is amusing in the extreme. Catering could be another career...this is just once a week for people who like me...real catering is scary to me.
Wish I could instantly send some of the cookies to you.

Patricia, Not all golfers find it amusing, so I'm told. Do try the cookies...the lemon doesn't beat you over the head...it whispers, just over the chocolate flavor.

Lynn, Life is more interesting packed with interesting things, isn't it?

Peabody, I can't paly hockey, but we can agree that these cookies aren't hobbible at all :)

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

Thank you for explaining the lure of golf without really meaning to do so lol. I totally understand it now. I feel like an entire new genre of life is open to me now. Really, thanks.

eldivenlerim said...

cookies and your all recipes look very yummy:) thanks for sharing.

kellypea said...

I LOVE golf. I'm no good at it, of course. And you're so fun. Life is short, so why not pack it with all the things we love to do? Good for you! The cookies look delish. I love anything dipped in chocolate, but not that bacon everyone seems to be talking about. Can you imagine?