Greek Butter Cookies (Kourabiéthes)

Some of you are probably wondering: “Hmmm, did Willyummsbakery decide to call it quits from the world of blogging?”  The answer: a big fat NOPE! But I am truly sorry if it seems that I have completely forgotten about my millions of followers…Hahaha! One can dream right?

Actually I’ve already had something planned to write about 2 weeks ago, but that 4-letter word got in the way of me actually posting it…WORK!  😛

Anyway, I am glad to say that I finally got a chance to have a minute to myself and compose this blog.

I would like to give our 8 yr. old boy credit for this project because it was actually his idea to make these yummy cookies!  He came home one afternoon and said: “Mom, I took (I’m hoping he meant borrowed :p) a book from our library  and it’s about foods from around the world.  We should pick something and make it!”

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Awww isn’t he cute?!?! He could’ve picked a comic book or some other fictional book to entertain him but instead he picked something that he can do with Mommy 🙂 so, here we go…

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose floor
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 ts salt
  • 1 c (2 sticks) of butter, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (we used less because Sister Bear hates anything with nuts and we were hoping we could mask it, without going too far off from the original recipe)
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 oF.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add vanilla and almond extract.
  6. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well blended but do not over stir.
  7. Using your hands (which was probably the funnest part, if you ask Little Bear), form the dough into balls.  Traditionally they are shaped into crescents or S-shapes but we were not very good at shaping (the dough was a little crumbly) so we decided the balls would be just fine :p

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  8. Place the dough 2 in. apart on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for 15-18 mins until the edges a slightly browned.
  9. Remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool in a wire rack for 5 mins.
  10. Once cooled, use a sifter (or in our case a mini strainer) to sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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According to the book, these cookies are eaten year round but are most popular around Christmas time.

I think that this recipe was a perfect, simple project with my Little Bear and the result was yummy!!! It is similar to a sugar cookie which most of us in the US are familiar with but not as sweet, which is just the way we like it. He was pretty happy with himself for baking these cookies and I was a proud Mama Bear.  It was definitely baked with LOVE ♥

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Anyway,til next adventure…and thanks to everyone who has followed my blog (through thick and thin :P), and have been very gracious with all the likes and comments…You are awesome 🙂

~CW

Related literature:

Baruth, P. E. (1988). Holiday cooking around the world. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co.

 

Liebster Award

 

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Hi guys!

I am so pleased (and quite shocked! to be honest…) that I was nominated for the Liebster Award.  I looooove food…and so far, I looooove blogging as well.  However, being that I’m such a newbie and have very few posts and followers, it was really quite a surprise when Taylor told me that she had nominated me for the award.  What an honor! especially from such a gifted writer…If you guys haven’t checked her out, please visit her page at https://peasromainecalm.com…I know you would love her posts and my favorite characters Samson and Mona 🙂

So for those who are not familiar with the Liebster Award (like myself until up about last week :P) it is a way of connecting bloggers, new and old, so that we can help build and discover each others page…what a cool idea 🙂

Here are The Rules :

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Copy and paste the Liebster Award badge to your post.
  3. Nominate 10 new bloggers.
  4. Answer the 10 questions the person who nominated you asked you.
  5. Create 10 new questions to ask the bloggers you nominate.
  6. Notify the bloggers you have nominated by leaving them a comment on their blog.

My Nominees:

  1. Greencookingblog
  2. Foodbycamilla
  3. Dosirakbento
  4. Cooking without Limits
  5. Twin Days
  6. GrowTasteCreate
  7. Mrs. Twinkle
  8. Lazymomcooking
  9. Mercer Creative
  10. IceCreamMagazine

OHHHH so many, many more talented bloggers, and food photographers out there…wish I can nominate more…

My Questions for the nominees:

  • What made you decide to blog?
  • What do you think is your most important blogging tool (except for the internet ;p)?
  • Who is the most influential person in your life?
  • If you were only to rely on one thing, do you enjoy food that looks good or smells good?
  • When making decisions, do you go with your gut or do you like to research every detail?
  • What is your favorite past-time, other than blogging? (I’m borrowing this from Taylor :))
  • What was your first project?
  • Was it a success or a failure? Either way, what did you learn from it?
  • What was the most important decision you’ve made so far?
  • What was your most favorite project?

Peas Romaine Calm’s Questions:

Why did you start this blog?

~I wanted to have a place where I can chronicle my baking projects.  Initially it was just something that I wanted to be able to share with my family, especially my kids when they got older, but I was lucky to find other bloggers out there who have visited and appreciated my musings.

What is a great memory from your past?

~ Oh, there’s really way too much that I can’t even begin to decide which one to write about.  I have selective memory :p I remember tons of happy events and forget about everything else

If the sky’s the limit, what would you like to do next?

~ I would like to be able to open my own bakery business someday…but at this time, I think I’m spread out too thin to be able to focus on such a big project…

Are you a planner? Or are you spontaneous?

~ I am both actually…is that possible?  I like to plan for important things or things where other people will be affected by my actions…For myself, I like being spontaneous and I guess “flexible” is a better way to describe it.

What makes you smile?

~ Nice people make me smile.  Seeing that there’s goodness in a lot of things, in a lot of people, out there makes me happy.

What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?

~ Hmmm, I can’t say it was a failure…but not taking the time when I was younger to really think about what I am passionate about, and to go for it.  I learned that sometimes, a bit of a risk might be necessary to get what you want in life.

What do you do in your spare time? (besides blogging😛 )

~ I love reading…and spending all day watching movies with my Hubby…working on some projects with our monkeys (a.k.a kiddos)…and of course baking 🙂

Favorite place you’ve visited?

~There’s lots of places that I’ve visited that I liked a lot…probably Japan being on the top at the moment.

What are your favorite sweets?

~Anything  with dark chocolate and ice cream 🙂

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 3 items what would they be?

~ Just 3??? a picture of my family (I’m assuming, I’m alone in the island?), something to make fire with, and my cellphone (hope there’s WiFi hahaha j/k)…although quite frankly, I don’t think I’ll survive too long on a desert island :P…if it’s a DESSERT island then count me in 🙂

Thanks again for the nomination…and hopefully you guys can visit all the other bloggers that’s been mentioned here.

Til next adventure

~CW

 

Happy Easter!

H! Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend.  It was such a busy weekend for us so I don’t have much to post here but I will be posting more this week. I promise…

We were lucky enough to have nice weather this weekend and we met with family and friends at the local park for a little picnic.

LGP

For our Easter celebration, we had both candy filled and decorated hard-boiled eggs and the kids had a blast searching for the eggs.

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We had lunch with three-bean salad, honey ham, quiche (more eggs?), and mac-n-cheese followed by a light and fruity dessert of pineapple upside-down cake topped with fresh berries and whipped cream.  However, with all the hubbub, only the bean salad made it to the photo shoot 😛

bean salad 2

To finish off our trip, we took a short train ride around the park to enjoy the scenery.

Train ride at LGP

Anyway, I know it’s late but I sincerely wish that everyone had a great Easter and weekend overall…

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Hope, Believe, Peace, Faith, Imagine, Live, Dream, Love, Smile, Laugh, Wish, Inspire

Til next adventure….

~CW

 

 

 

Living Kawaii…(Part 2)

So these past few days my kitchen has been transformed into a scene similar to what you might find on the streets of Japan, Kawaii characters littered about; except instead of Bandai figures, these were from the the ever growing line of Shopkins figures. Modeling for us are the following characters: Mandy candy, Cheeky chocolate, Bubbles, Millie shake, Frank furter, Pretz-elle, Pineapple crush, Apple blossom, Corny cob, Wishes, Cupcake chic, Kooky cookie, Googy,  Jiggly jelly, Fairy crust, D’lish donut, Chee zee (not shown below), and Spilt milk (not shown below).

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Each character was individually cut, carved, shaped and brought to life from combined pieces of fondant.  If you are interested in learning how they were made I’d be happy to post a separate tutorial…upon request though as they are a tad time consuming. 😉

These adorable characters were used as toppers for yummy chocolate and red velvet cupcakes. I know many of you have your own go-to recipe for these cupcake flavors so I won’t bother to post those here.

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For the frosting, some of you maybe wondering how to do the swirl effect (those of you who are pros, you can space out for a few minutes 😉). This can easily be accomplished by putting one color of frosting in one bag, then another color of frosting on another bag and make sure not to overfill each bag. Prepare a larger size bag and fit with your piping tip. Place both of the frosting-filled bags inside the larger bag and make sure that the tips from both bags are fitted through the piping tip. Squeeze both bags evenly. You may have to do some practice piping until you can get both colors to come out of the piping tip evenly. Of course you can also go the easy route of buying a piping bag and tip set that are specifically designed for this purpose but…what’s the fun in that? But I guess if time is of the essence (because you’ve literally spent days playing with your fondant Shopkins), then no judgement here…Hehehe :).

I also wanted the cupcake liners to match the Shopkins theme and since I’ve had some problems in the past where the liners turn really dark and lackluster after baking, I’ve decided to make my own liners.

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The beauty of making your own liners is that you can customize the color and the design of the liner based on the theme that you are working with. There are also templates available online that you can print out and all you would need to do is to cut them and fit them over your cupcakes.

Here are few samples of the final cupcakes:

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Anyway off to bed I go since I’m not one of these Shopkins characters that can keep their eyes wide open at all times, and stay cheerful 😋

Special post birthday greeting to the little girl who requested these cupcakes…. Hope you liked them sweetie!

Til next adventure….
– CW

Living Kawaii…(Part 1)

“Kawaii” (kah-wah-ee) is a Japanese term that can be loosely translated to “cute” or “adorable”.  As a child, I was such a big fan of characters like Hello Kitty, My Little Twin Stars, Kero Keroppi, and the likes, that my sister and I would “trade” stickers, stationery and other trinkets that we’ve collected using our “lunch” money.   When Hubby, Sister Bear and I finally got to visit Japan a few years back, it was so surprising and refreshing to see how this lifestyle was present almost everywhere in Japan!  It wouldn’t be uncommon to see a large cartoon-like character in the middle of a sidewalk even in the business district.

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So, when given a chance to create (a.k.a play around with) similarly adorable characters, I was definitely excited to get started! 🙂  Japanese character based pop culture has spread world-wide and has become popular even here in the US.  Can you guess what characters these were based from?

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Anyways, there are more characters to come and I’m very excited to share the final product with you…so if you like Kawaii…or for those that LIVE a Kawaii lifestyle…stay tuned!

And in case you’re wondering, of course they are going to be edible and used on something baked! I mean what better way to enjoy them, right? 🙂

Til next time…

~CW

 

Feeling a bit under the weather….

Here in “sunny” California, we had a very dry spell and everyone was worried about the drought and a possibility of water shortage. Then lo and behold! El Niño came to our rescue and we’ve now had our share of rainy days…. Unfortunately, along with the rain and this gloomy weather comes the sniffling and coughing in 90% of the populace of families with school-age children.  And sadly, that did not skip our household this year. Yup, first Baby Bear got sick, then Mama Bear, then Sister Bear…Will Papa Bear miss it? Only time will tell.

So in this yuck, I think about better and sunnier days, and our trip to Hawaii came to mind. Frolicking at the beach….

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Hiking through the forest…

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Soaking up the sunshine….

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Ahhhh summer…seems like it’ll never come again.

Or perhaps, I am feeling just a bit nostalgic. I should confess, our daughter left for Science Camp this week, longest time she’s ever been away from home. Even with our son at home, with no Sister Bear to torment, the house seems quieter than usual ;p

Anyway, this weekend, we will be celebrating my nephew’s birthday and semi-hosting a Super Bowl party…Guess who’s baking the cake?  ME! YAY! Ah the thought of cake makes me happy 🙂

Til next adventure…

~CW

P.S. I would love to hear your “best summer” stories….