Friday, March 8, 2013

(Shot) Guns and (Cookie) Roses

So last weekend I was a little bored. I was also in kind of a "I love you" type of mode. Just felt like baking and making something pretty. It was a "me" weekend. Mike and I had our off weekend and he was working and I was enjoying the weekend in the ways I know how.

I first started off by getting up early Saturday so I could make it to the range by opening (10 am).

I shot well the first round, the second I didn't take my time like I should have. So out of two rounds 16/25 and 13/25 for my first Trap practice without Mike. He's gonna come with me this weekend. To watch.

So while shooting and being so happy with myself for breaking clay birds, it's quite a thrill really. Everyone should learn how to responsibly use a firearm, learn the value of life, and go shoot some clay birds. 
Of course while I shoot, being still fairly new to it, I remind myself things as I get ready. "Feet wide, toes forward and out slightly, bend at waist, knees loose, elbow up, beads only on barrel, breathe, focus, take my time, follow through." Yes I really do say these things to myself. But it's helpful and I'm told to do it. Habit makes for muscle memory and second nature. 

Of course one shot I thought I had it all down, had recited my little shtick and said "PULL!"  Bird goes flying, I pull the trigger and BANG!! Yeah, that one wasn't set into my should right. Somehow I had it just a bit high and the stock kicked just enough to hurt. So in the end here I am with a bruise.

Needless to say I learned my lesson. Only takes one bruise to learn.

So, later that weekend, after shopping and working out, I decided while I waiting for Svengoolie to come on MeTV at 9 pm (CST) I decided to bake some pretty cookies. 

I found this recipe by chance, I think through a food related newsletter in my email. They are called Fragile Rubella. The blog was in Polish, so Thank God for Google and the ability to translate a page. :)
Of course I still had to figure out a few things. Like translating Celsius to Fahrenheit. Of course grams is no biggie since I have a scale and milliliters is easy now that I have my trusty oxo cups that measure in just about every available system, metric or standard. This cookie is basically a basic butter/spritz type of shortbread. A little of both mixed together. 

So to start off, after making your dough and chilling it. You roll it out and then cut circles out, I used a 3 inch cutter. Then you take your circles and layer 4 together (just the edges overlapping, creating a line of circles.)

I forgot to capture this while doing it, messy hands.

Then you roll up all 4 circles on top of themselves. Then cut them right down the center to make two pieces. like so.

Continue to do so until you run out of dough. Then place the cut side down and pull down the "petals" to shape the rose.

So once you have them shaped, place them on a baking sheet. I did that the first time and all my roses fell over and turned out rather pathetic, so the next batch I put in muffin tins so they wouldn't wilt on me. That worked absolutely perfectly!

The final product on the right was beautiful. Dust with powdered sugar to give a little extra. The original recipe doesn't call for food coloring to create red roses but I just felt like it. So you could make dough colored roses and sprinkle with red sugar crystals or edible glitter. Get creative.

Speaking of creative, I got creative Sunday. I had an empty space up above my headboard in my bedroom between the 4 small pictures I have. So I brainstormed, got a few ideas from Mike and then made a decision. I would create something rather than buy it.

I got to playing with the shells that were on my counter from trap practice and shaped them into a heart which then gave me an idea to turn those shells into something even more beautiful than shot.

I took the two canvas I had and painted them completely black. Then mapped out where I would glue the shells on. From there I let everything dry and set. Then I wrote a quote on the canvas with a silver sharpie (because it's prettier than me painting words, trust me)

"The best thing to hold onto in life is each other." Audrey Hepburn *my favorite actress ever also stars in my favorite movie set in Manhattan New York New York, "Breakfast at Tiffany's." You can see all those elements here below. The New York pictures in black and white with just a pop of color. And the art in the middle depicting a black and white setting with a pop of red color. I call this - Shotgun Love.

So, while we are now finally coming to the end of the "Great Blizzard of Oz," the two weeks where we had almost 2 feet of snow dumped on us within 3 days worth of time, I can finally see some grass and the sidewalks are emerging once again to be run on so I do not have to dodge drivers that don't care to give me the time of day while I run on the side of the road.

So we have survived the snow, and I have gotten some cool pictures because of it. Ice and snow walls on the sidewalks at the brownstone.

Ok, enough flapping my fingers on you. Here's the recipe you are wanting.

Fragile Rubella

200 g cold butter (about 2 sticks)
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt

Chop flour together with salt and butter. Add sugar and egg yolks and chop everything together with a pastry blender or with your hands. Quickly knead the dough and form a ball. If it does not stick together add 1-2 tablespoons of cold water until it comes together.

Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the fridge for about half and hour.

Roll out the chilled dough thinly on a lightly floured surface (about 3-4 mm thick). Cut dough into circles, about 3 inch circles. After you have 4 circles, arrange so as to overlap each other, and roll it into a roll (rather loose). Cut the roll in half to create two parts. Thus obtaining two rubella's.

With the cut side down on your rubella part the petals on the top and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or place in cupcake cups). Bake in a preheated 200 degree C/400 degrees F oven for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown on the edges.

Baked cookies can be sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Go out and cook, make something pretty and delicious. :)