Saturday, March 14, 2009

has spring sprung?

I've never really thought that we have spring where we are. I see two clear seasons: "hot" and "not as hot"! But yes, they are referred to as "summer" and "winter", even in Saudi Arabia. Today though, it seems as though thicould be spring. Whatever it is, the sandstorm is no more and the weather is pleasant as we're still able to leave the windows open.

I've had a semi-busy weekend. We kicked off with cookie baking and decorating for the bazaar a little later in the day.

The kids enjoyed a weekend ritual of hosing down the balcony. I usually sit this one out and let Dad and kids get the job done while having fun. This time the kids shared the experience with two of their little cousins who also had a great time.

I got on with my ongoing spring-ish cleaning while the kids played in the clean balcony. Later they went to visit their Nan and play in the park.

Friday was peaceful and blessed. And with the balcony cleaned and the weather cool, we decided to have breakfast there. Ma sha Allah. We headed out for a simple, late lunch, came home and got things in order for the beginning of the week.

Cookie and Icing Recipe
When making plain cookies like this I generally use about 2 cups of flour in to which I add a cup of butter. This time I used oil and they came out fine. Then I add a cup of sugar. This time I used a little brown sugar and made it in to a cup by adding caster sugar. I usually add a little vanilla too or I use vanilla sugar. Then add milk just a little at a time to pull the dough together. You shouldn't need more than a few tablespoons. Chill the dough for an hour and then it's ready to roll out, cut in to your favourite shapes and bake in a moderate oven for about 10 to 12 minutes.

I made up some Royal icing here by beating 2 egg whites with 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, until they form soft peaks. Then I gradually added 3 cups of icing sugar and kept whisking it. You have to do this gradually to ensure that the consistency is just right. If you don't have enough icing sugar the mixture will be runny and if you use too much, it will be to thick. So you need it to be just right. Then I separated it out in to a few little cups and added different food colouring to each cup.

I hope you have fun with this too!


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