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05 January 2017 @ 12:39 pm
So, it's 2017 now...  
Last year had a lot of suckage in it, but I've been dreading 2017 more because that's when we come under the Trump regime. Worried about how this will affect so many people, not to mention the economy, scandals, ugliness, and international shame. Ugh.

Near the end of 2016 and beyond, I finished The Christmas, read stuff, watched stuff, and wrote a few things. So...

Biscotti baking: I make these as Xmas gifts, and I tried a new recipe last year and completely forgot to mark that this was now The One (and also what to do with the required vanilla that is not in any of the steps). The discombobulation continued as I went into the assembly with WAY too much confidence:
* Combined all the dry ingredients! Except, oops, the sugar wasn't supposed to go in there. Crap. Restart.
* Combined all the wet ingredients! Oh, for the love of god—the butter and sugar were supposed to be whipped at length before adding the egg (and unmentioned vanilla). Crap again.
* Okay, barely shape the loaves, because they spread during baking.
* Wait, that was the old recipe. Augh—these are lumpy and weird looking. :(
* Oh, so apparently the pre-baking powdered-sugar finish was not optional. Because these look strange and unprofessional.
* They do, however, taste good despite looking un-fabulous. Well, no worse than the previous recipe, then.

I'm updating the recipe to list the ingredients in a meaningful order, and clearly flag the recipe as "Yes!" and add all the needed steps. In detail. \o?

I read the most recent book in the Harry Bosch series, and just finished Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Both excellent. :)

I caught up with most of The Walking Dead, which was less good. My favorite character is dead, and I hate the entire Negan plotline and watching any part of it. Plus, the violence is basically R-rated now, and that's way too much for me. I also caught up with How To Get Away With Murder, in which my favorite character is ALSO dead, and Frank—who used to be a lawyer in a suit and everything—now appears to be re-enacting Sling Blade for reasons unknown. Huh. I would honestly quit the show, except Viola Davis was the only reason I ever started it, and just when I think I might bail on it she pulls out some raw, all-the-stops-amazing performance, and I just can't. Damn my weakness for her talent!

Um... did not manage any Yuletide treats, but finished my story on time, and also an Idol thingy that was past the cutoff because I try to tune all that out during the holidays (too much going on), and had magically transformed the deadline of the 2nd to being the 7th. Hey, they sound similar in my head!

Biking: About one or fewer outside days a week, thanks to the rain, wind, or it being just too freaking cold! *cries* And far too many holiday goodies, so you know that won't end well.

The epic UN-Christmasing of the home awaits now, and our daughter will be flying back to school on Sunday, which we're not eager for, but I know she's ready to be busy again.

So... did you all survive the holidays, and are now vowing All The Things for the new year? It's kind of unavoidable, isn't it?

 
 
 
bleodswean: twdbromancebleodswean on January 5th, 2017 08:45 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year, K! I have high hopes for this year and truly believe it's going to be a zillion times better than last year! It's just got to be.

I love baking biscotti. I should share my easypeasy recipe! I baked all season long and am now beginning a diet. Hahahahaha. But I do love a good gingerbread.

The Walking Dead is torture porn, plain and simple. It's absolutely disgusting and without merit and I worry, seriously, for the young people who are still watching it. The rest of us - and this is proven by the insane drop in viewership - have said NO. No more. Nasty stuff. And I loved it like crazy for the first four seasons.

We are LOVING Rectify.

I've got my spin bike and need to jump on that. So much snow outside...that hiking is out....maybe snowshoing but that's sweaty work.

I'm having trouble getting in a writing groove. I, too, had written for the break and mistold myself that the deadline was Tuesday. Ugh.
bleodswean: crafty mommableodswean on January 5th, 2017 08:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I dropped Kidling1 off at the airport yesterday and thought I was going to have a fullblown panic attack from the sadness of it.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2017 08:57 pm (UTC)
This does not surprise me at all!

Ours also has an internship in DC this summer, so this break is the longest we will see her in a year. :(
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2017 08:56 pm (UTC)
One of my issues with biscotti is touching the dough. My original recipe was like tar-- you had to pry it off your hands with a knife. The new one is better, but the ingredients seemed to be in inverted order, which tempted me to think I knew more than I did. ;)

The baking and such is usually bad enough for me, in terms of treats, but G decided to bake an additional apple pie for the family, and then a chocolate one for New Year's, and that was EXTRA unhelpful. I am biking long and hard in the garage these days. :O

I should look up Rectify and see whether it seems promising.

Snowshoeing is apparently great exercise! So, might be worth it over shorter distances?

I'm sorry I'm not the only one who missed the Idol deadline. I've just been mostly offline, because there is too much to do getting Xmas ready, then packing, driving north, and unpacking. Every. Year. :O
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on January 5th, 2017 08:51 pm (UTC)
Yum! Biscotti!

We (obviously) survived here. The coffee machine did not. Hooray for Target gift cards! Whoo Hoo!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2017 08:59 pm (UTC)
Aww... though better the coffee machine than the computer that HalfshellHusband finally lost.

I have replace one coffee machine, and that's because I broke too many carafes, and the model got discontinued. I think I have a spare for the current one that I've never used, because I finally got the hang of having two smaller side-by-side sinks instead of one large one, and haven't cracked the new one against the side yet. *knocks plywood, or maybe this desk is plastic*
Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on January 5th, 2017 09:07 pm (UTC)
I stopped watching TWD a couple of seasons ago. From what I've heard/read it's gotten more into the "torture porn" groove as opposed to a good storyline. No thanks!

I'm not a biscotti fan but I've been binging on hermits lately. I make a yummy version at work which is probably a tad too rich for everyday. When I buy a box (there are six pieces in each) I put it in the cabinet with the dishes so it doesn't tempt me. I allow myself one piece for after dinner dessert and that's it. So far it's working :)

We're getting snow this weekend, maybe a couple of inches at the most. That's fine by me. I'm not looking for single-digit temps, though.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 5th, 2017 09:48 pm (UTC)
I've never heard of hermits as a dessert before, so I had to look them up. Cookie-like, perhaps less sweet... but if you can limit yourself to one a day, you have amazing willpower that I sadly lack. :(

Sweets are my nemesis, partly because I have hypoglycemia. They're addictive.

You're in Massachusetts, aren't you? So, a snow climate but apparently not as bad as some other parts of the Eastern Seaboard. If the snow eventually melts and goes away between storms, that's not too bad!
Direst Ryl: Clownsryl on January 5th, 2017 11:50 pm (UTC)
I have a new respect for biscotti. I didn't realize it was so complicated! But then again I do burn most things I cook. As my mother said, a little carbon's good for you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 6th, 2017 08:17 am (UTC)
It's easy to have them be unimpressive, but my main issue is the time and the former recipe that would not come off your hands.

They seem a little touchy. This new recipe says to "cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy." Neither of those ingredients (or their combination) can even BE fluffy, so you wonder exactly how long you're supposed to beat them. Maybe < 1 minute tops? An eternity? What?
uselesstinrelicuselesstinrelic on January 6th, 2017 06:32 am (UTC)
That biscotti process was cracking me up. I'm glad it worked out somehow though. This year I tried making filled molded chocolates for the first time. I filled them with coconut milk caramel, salted cayenne caramel, pear cinnamon caramel, and a soft chocolate filled one. Taking on a new recipe or project like that is filled with all kinds of mishaps but it's also exciting when you get something out the other side!

I never really watched TWD and I did see a bit of HTGAWM but then missed a whole season when it came back. And then everything seemed so different I was like "what??"
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 6th, 2017 08:21 am (UTC)
Your chocolate candy recipe sounds like it has all kinds of opportunities for things not to go as planned.

As a teenager, I tried three times to make fudge from the Joy of Cooking recipe. And we even had a candy thermometer!

I succeeded in making slate, taffy, and soup (one disaster per trial). Now I use the Kraft Marshmallow creme recipe, which has never failed. ;)

HTGAWM... the vast majority this season has mostly been, "Huh?" And a lot of that is Frank's character, which makes no sense to me at all. It's as if they forgot who that character used to be, and decided they could write him any way they wanted to. Which only really works with a new character. :O
Vice Captain of the Universesweeny_todd on January 8th, 2017 06:53 am (UTC)
I always make a step wrong in biscotti XD

although... you have reminded me of how much I enjoy giving food gifts. This year we just gave each other theatre tickets (and dad a head lamp)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 8th, 2017 07:13 am (UTC)
My husband had a couple of close calls with a banana cake he was making around the same time-- first, forgetting the bananas (that would have been one boring cake!), and then almost forgetting the chocolate chips.

We both agreed that most baking recipes of any kind are 1) Combine wet things, 2) Combine dry things, 3) Combine the two parts. Any deviation from that is an invitation to screw something up. :O

It was a good thing we had extra ingredients around the house, or that would have been more aggravating. I still remember-- was it last year?-- making back-to-back batches of peanutbutter/chocolate-chip cookies, and realizing that I had omitted half a cup of the total flour from one batch. That didn't occur to me until I noticed the flat foam-wads in the oven that did not look like cookies. :O
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on January 9th, 2017 10:20 pm (UTC)
I am making no resolutions other than not to live small
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 9th, 2017 10:22 pm (UTC)
That may prove to be a more meaningful one than those that most people make!