Green Tea Sugar Cookies

When Alex and I emailed Lingie to see what he wanted to do for his birthday back in April, I was half-expecting another repeat of his birthday last year at that goth bar with all the weird vampires followed by a trip to the ER.  The last thing I thought he’d say was, “Let’s all get together and bake something. Something Star Wars-themed.”  I suggested ice cream sandwiches, and threw out the recipe for Green Tea Oreos from Just Jenn.  Lingie was way into it and chose Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream to compliment the cookies.

I’d been wanting to break out the Star Wars cookie cutters Sam got for me via the 2010 Sho-Yu Secret Santa gift exchange.  They’d been in their box serving as décor on my desk at work for over two years, and I was really excited for the perfect opportunity to christen them.

Lingiegram Obligatory Hipster-esque Photo

When Ling and I arrived at Alex’s place, we had a pizza and beer waiting for us… as first-dinner. Yes, first-dinner.  Lingie took charge of the lemon zest, and Alex helped with the dry ingredients.

Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, and Culinary-Grade Matcha Powder

Once we finished prepping the dough for the cookies (to the tune of a Brad Pitt marathon, mind you), we wrapped it up and chilled it before heading out to second dinner at Peru’s Taste.  Lingie and I had never been there before, and it was DEEEELISH.

Cookie Dough – Ready for the Fridge

Daniel showed up later as a “surprise” to help us with the cookie-cutting (and taste-testing).  Kiddingggg.

Lingie and Daniel

Alex did the plating for the cookies and ice cream.

Alex’s Mise En Place

Between the coffee ice cream and the green tea cookie (okay, maybe it was more like three cookies) I had, I couldn’t sleep til 4am that night. Major caffeine kick!!

I also got an uber amazing sneak peek of the music video for “Fight to Keep” by Monsters Calling Home after we were all done. Daniel had just finished editing it and brought it over.

I also made the cookies again for the IMAX Star Wars savant (Dan) for his birthday back in May – this time with a side of blue milk!

Blue Milk and Cookies

Martha Stewart Cookie Boxes

Sadly, I’m already caught-up on my backlog of holiday baked goods.  I thought I’d wrap-up with a short ditty on how I packaged the treats. I typically opt for a cellophane bag, some festive Glad Tupperware, or a little Christmas bag or box. However, I am quite the sucker for all things Martha Stewart, as well as cute paper goods.  Naturally when you combine the two, I’ll wreak all kinds of domesticated havoc.

Such a Sucker for Cute Paper Goods

But seriously, is this Martha Stewart Cookie Box not the cutest?  It seemed like a great way to showcase my Grinchmas Cookies, S’mores Cookies, Walnut Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies, and Martha Stewart’s Snickerdoodles.  And it even has a freaking window on it for Pete’s sake.

Close-Up of the Nomness

I didn’t create a separate post for the Snickerdoodles because I made them at night-time and the photos were just awful. Plus, no one would be impressed by the process of making a Snickerdoodle… not that anyone is impressed by anything on this blog anyway.

Getting excited to bake this weekend!  My hiatus is drawing to a close!

As an aside, I usually take a lot of pride in carefully selecting things to hyperlink to throughout my posts to shed a little light on certain situations. Well, I’m shamelessly swallowing that pride and am admitting to having absolutely no tie-in to the one I’m about to share.  It just plum made my week.  Hell, it’s made my year so far and I couldn’t find a clever way to include it.  So here it is.  #nerd

Lace Earrings (For Sale)

For the entirety of the time I’ve been crafting or baking, I’ve listened to familiar sounds to help me focus.  At first, I would defer to having one of the Star Wars episodes playing on DVD.  I can’t tell you what it is – it’s just comforting to have it on as background noise.  As I got older and perhaps more considerate of the lesser affections my various roommates had for the trilogy (and even less for the prequels), I switched to music.  Adele’s 19 as of the last couple months has been my album choice lately, but even more so when I was making these earrings.  Perhaps a few of the tracks turned into my own personal anthems to an extent, but listening to her just made me wanna pump out some earrings!  Her voice is so soulful and, more importantly, calming – especially when I’m trying to avoid creative disasters.  What gets your creative juices flowing?  Send me suggestions!

Anyway, I really dig the look of lace earrings, and not only NEEDED to own a pair (oh yes, they will be mine) but I wanted to make them myself.  Having never dabbled in jewelry-making before, I bought a big surplus of supplies to make them a few weeks ago thinking it would take me a few tries to get it right.

Piles of Pretty Lace to Play With

I’d like to think the first pair didn’t turn out so bad after all, so  I ended up making a whole fleet of them with the extra materials I got!

Snapshot of the Different Lace Earring Styles

I was going to debut these little guys via this blog post, but Andrew trumped my big reveal (along with my photography skills) by posting the below on Facebook… along with another awful candid.  But that’s water under the bridge. #notbitter

"Snowflake" Earrings

I’ve also been toying with the idea of starting an Etsy account to sell some of my handmade things for a couple of years now, but never really knew what item(s) would make the most sense or have a high enough demand.  I unfortunately don’t have enough piercings (nor ears) to wear all of these earrings I made, so I thought these might be a good fit to start off my Etsy.

"Leaf" Earrings with Blue Ribbon - $8

However, when I looked into what people are selling handmade lace earrings for and the craftsmanship of their work, I got really intimidated.  Then, I figured, “What the hell, I’ll just be the Costco Kirkland brand of lace earrings and undercut my name-brand competitors”.

"Crochet" Earrings with Sunglow Ribbon - $8

With the exception of the “Snowflake” and “Floral” style, each pair of earrings is made using surgical steel hooks.  I have that type of metal in my knee, and haven’t had problems so those that have earring sensitivity probably won’t have problems with it in their ears.

"Floral" Earrings - $7

Bottom line is:  I’m selling affordable lace earrings!  If you’re interested in looking FABULOUS with these little guys, inquire within!

"Crochet" Earrings with Aqua Ribbon - $8

Pricing is included in the title for each pair of earrings.  I made duplicates of some of them, and can make more upon request.  If the demand is there for these, then I’ll make some more and start the Etsy account.  🙂

Diabetes-Friendly Pumpkin Muffins

As mentioned before in a past post, my dad is diabetic.  I inherited lots of things from him – my love for Star Wars, my sarcasm, and my affection for pumpkin and all desserts.  He’s my loyal taste-tester of everything that comes out of my kitchen, but he’s limited to only a sliver whenever I make anything sweet.  For his birthday, he asked for a diabetes-friendly treat that he couldn’t just buy at our neighborhood Ralphs (i.e., NSA pumpkin or apple pie).  However, he does love him some pumpkin, so I decided to make some diabetes-friendly pumpkin muffins.

Who Loves Splenda?

The recipe I used from Gourmet Magazine called for 1 1/4 cups of sugar, so I just replaced one cup of sugar with 30 (yes, 30) packets of Splenda.  I’ve never baked with Splenda before, so I didn’t want to commit to buying a large baker’s box not knowing how using it would turn out.  Admittedly, I had been pocketing a few extra packets from numerous Starbucks runs and accumulating a stash that I could use towards this recipe.  I can’t help myself.  I’m Asian.

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

They turned out a bit on the dough-y side, since using Splenda changes the chemistry of the dough when baking.  But it could also be because I eat cupcakes more often than muffins, so I’m used to more of a cake-y texture.  My dad liked them, and they didn’t have the strong fake-sugar aftertaste that I was worried they would have.

Pumpkin Muffin

Happy 60th Birthday, Daddy!  Love you!