a weekend with Ms. Madds

This weekend, I had a 2 1/2 year old to myself– 4 days and 3 nights. As I write her mother is spending her last evening in NYC celebrating the completion of her undergrad degree. This is a big deal for Maddie to be without her mommy overnight, but we seem to be having a good time in spite of it all.

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Friday night we heard the familiar music of the ice-cream truck. When my kids were little I  used to curse the guy that would drive into our townhouse complex nightly. I felt like a meanie, as I rarely had any spare dollars to spend on frozen rockets and overpriced ice-cream. Well guess what? Somehow I have the $ now to buy ice-cream almost as large as a 2 year old’s head…even if I have to raid he college fund to do it!

On Saturday we wandered around the neighbourhood. We especially love http://www.bobbetteandbelle.com/ and the little flower shop next door. We hit a French bakery for bread and spent the next hour at the playground. The evening was spent eating a cold hotdog at a baking fundraiser for kids to go to camp.  Sunday we mostly stayed home,  watching endless YouTube loops of Kitties and owls and doggies and monkey with a few Barbie Princess and Mickey Mouse cartoons thrown in for good measure.

We also baked shortbread cookies…rolling out the scraps of dough and pressing the cutters into them 100 x each. I use the easiest recipe on earth and for once she can eat the play-dough. I have posted the recipe along with a fancier version from Rouxbe. The key is to USE REAL BUTTER. This is not the cookie to skimp on the butter.

Madeline’s culinary preferences include Cheerios, macaroni, peanut butter sandwiches, crackers and cheese and scrambled eggs and toast. She also likes grapes, apple, a few bites of banana and mandarin oranges. Now I recall the reason my regular dinner making went off the rails and has yet to recover. Give me a crowd of 10 or even 50 and I am a happy to cook all day long. Make an appetizing, well-balanced meal every night is a challenge I have yet to perfect.

Joy of Baking —   Shortbread Cookies:

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

 In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer or food processor beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).  

Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated or pulse in processor.  Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll out between parchment or floured surface. Cut shapes and bake until lightly browned 8-10 min. 

http://rouxbe.com/recipes/1939-lemon-filled-shortbread-cookies/text

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