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In my last post, I was side-stepping gallons of paint and tattered drop cloths.  For a week, I would come home to shake cans of paint then and continue to roll the warm colors over the dull white that plagued my walls.  My roommate’s air mattress was pretty inviting by the end of one of these evenings.  As promised, here are some photos of my finished room.

Of course, a modest baking project fell into my lap around the same time.  Did you meet my friend, Kristy?  She and her husband, along with their three bouncy children, are moving to Rwanda as missionaries.  Learn more about their journey here.

Kristy is already helping the families effected by the 1994 Rwandan genocide by selling Hope Beads.  (I can’t help showing off my own necklace, shown below.)  An organization called The Good Samaritans teaches families living poverty how to make jewelry from recycled magazines and calendars.  Most of the members could not finish school and are HIV+.  Thanks to the work of The Good Samaritans, these families are loved and taught to read and write in their native language.  Check out the newest pieces for sale on Kristy’s blog.

Recently, the Marlins raised support with a bowling and bake sale benefit.  The recipe below is my creative adaptation of Alice Water’s biscotti from The Art of Simple Food.

Send the Marlins Biscotti

1 1/2 c. whole hazelnuts

2 1/4 c. AP flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 eggs

1 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. of semi-sweet chocolate chips (If more chocolate falls into your mixing bowl, that’s fine too.)

Preheat the oven to 350.  On a baking sheet, spread out the hazelnuts and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool and chop coarsely.

Combine flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in one mixing bowl.  In a larger bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together.  In small portions, add the flour mixture and finally incorporate your hazelnuts and chocolate.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, divide the dough in to two loaves.  You may want to dampen your hands to shape the loaves.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350.  The loaves should be lightly golden.  Remove them from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Lower the oven temperature to 300.  Cut the loaves into individual cookies — about 1/2 inch thick.  Place biscotti, cut side down, on 2 baking sheets.  Cook for 10 minutes, then turn them over, and finish for another 10.

**Depending how hard you like your biscotti, you may want to pull them from the oven a few minutes early.  If you do over bake them, you’ll just need to brew more espresso.  That’s not much of a loss.

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