Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homemade Goodness

I still have a few more recipes to share with you from the cookie party...and just in time for your holiday festivities this weekend!  But first, I just want to say thank you for reading my last post about "healthy jeans" as my good friend Emily coined them last night!  And thank you for your support!  It means so much to me! 

I have struggled for several years with negative self-talk and control issues with food.  Sometimes it feels like as soon as I am in a good place and I have picked up the pieces of this life...I land right back down in the bottom.  For the last couple weeks I have felt this up and down slide weekly, if not daily.  I have been swinging right to left and my emotions have been out of control.  I find that much of this imbalance is unfortunately because of my failures and successes with marathon training.  Just as I cannot measure worth based on weight and food, I also cannot measure my own worth based on my running.  All these things should be something I do, not who I am.  Ultimately, the person I should be is a follower of Christ who just happens to love food and running.  But not a runner and foodie who happens to follow Christ.  Are you following?

All that is to say is that right now I am looking for balance.  The constant ups and downs can be good at times, they make me feel alive, let me know I am passionate and can also help to discern what my true passions are, but they can also make me a little crazy!

Luckily for me I am now on Stay-cation #2.  I still have to work for Girls on the Run, but I am off work from the kiddos and my hubby is also off work.  We plan to spend lots of quality time together and take stock of what is truly important this holiday season...Jesus!  I am hoping to find my footing at least in time to jet set off to New York City next week!  I am so excited about the trip!  Any good dining/attraction suggestions?!

Ok, I am off track.  In short, thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement!  In return, I shall bring you the good stuff...Gingerbread and truffles!  Enjoy!

Gingerbread Men need a House!

This recipe was adapted from Mama Pea.  I changed up a few ingredients and also doubled the recipe to be sure I had enough for my very first Homemade Gingerbread House!  Warning, rolling a double batch of dough might leave you with very buff arms for the holidays!  Also, in now way is this a healthy recipe!  I didn't even try to healthify it because I knew we wouldn't be eating it. 

3/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup almond milk
5 cups whole wheat pastry flour + more for rolling
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg

In stand mixer, combine oil, sugar, molasses and milk.  In large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.  Slowly combine dry to wet.  When it becomes to thick for the mixer, remove mixer from stand, and combine with large wooden spoon (do not use plastic...it will break!) and then finally just throw your hands in the mix!  Combine well.  Break into two dough balls, wrap with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30-60 minutes to chill. 

Bring out the dough and on a floured surface, roll out a small amount at a time.  Use only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin, and dust the surface with flour.  But no matter what I did, it stuck to the surface.  I used a small metal spatula to slowly release the cookies once I had cut them. 

Use cookie cutters, or gingerbread house pattern and pizza wheel to cut your pieces.  Use a straw to poke a small whole at the top of each cookie ornament that you will later string ribbon through and hang on the tree.  You can also use candy pieces and push into dough to make buttons or decorations on the gingerbread men.  Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350*.  Remove cookies from oven and place on cooling rack. 

Once cookies are cool, you may assemble your gingerbread house and decorate your ornaments/cookies.  Sorry folks, I didn't make my own frosting.  In case you didn't know, I had a party to plan for!  

Ok, I promise two more are coming really soon...I won't even make you wait until tomorrow.  However, right now I have to go pick up Mr. Kummerow from work and then Stay-cation begins! 

Have you every made a homemade Gingerbread House?  Rolling out the dough and decorating the house was very therapeutic I must add!

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