The Most Delicious Scottish Shortbread in History

I have a weakness.  It’s butter.  If you like butter as much as me, then I have no doubt you will also love this “buttery goodness” (my daughter Zoë’s words).  You can see why.

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I’ve been making these for years.  Once again, it’s another shared recipe from a woman named Helen Bradley.  She used to bring these into work years ago.  I think they lasted about one hour.

Here’s her original recipe from our company cookbook.  I haven’t’ strayed from it at all.  IMG 5233

This is all you need.

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I only use Gold Medal flour.  It’s worth the extra 50 cents.  There’s a reason they’re still around.

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The butter.  Somehow it doesn’t seem as bad for you with that happy cow.

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Toss all of those sticks in the mixer.  Don’t feel too guilty.  You can cut very small squares.

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Add the sugar.  It’s only a cup!

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If your butter gets stuck like this, let the mixture sit for a few minutes.  It’s not softened enough.

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Mix until the butter and sugar have fluffy tips.

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Add the flour.  One cup at a time.

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The dough should look like this.

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I spread the whole thing out with a spatula and then even it out with my fingers.

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Have fun with that fork.   Put in the oven and bake until golden, about 30-35 minutes.

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This looks a little more golden than I would like, but the result is delicious.  Do not go darker than this.

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Cut into squares right away.  I use a pizza cutter.  Much faster.

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Serve warm with a cup of tea OR coffee.  It seems anti-Scottish to suggest coffee, but it’s a great accompaniment, too.  I do not drink coffee and never will, but I try to be progressive.  Hope you like.

-StephieLou

Bluest Sky

Bluest Sky

This was taken with my iPhone 4s. No filter. No flash, no help from anything. Just a picture taken on a Sunday afternoon walk through my neighborhood.

Sunday’s Quote

“Love is life.  All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.  Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. “

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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Simple Pleasures

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I love these vintage postcards.  I have a collection of them, thanks to my one of my girlfriends, Maureen Connolly, who so appreciates the finer things in life.

And you thought she was thinking about something else?

Happy Saturday.  Don’t clean all day.  Do something else. 🙂

Russian Tea for a Rainy Day

It’s another rainy day here in Cary, NC.   Time for some Russian tea.  I make it every fall and winter for days just like today.   It’s an instant mood booster.  Even the house feels better as the aroma of cinnamon and cloves permeate the rooms.

I didn’t know about Russian tea until my dear friend and old neighbor, Kristin,  brought me a cup when I lived in New Jersey.   It was the best tea I’d ever had.  I’ve been sharing the recipe ever since.

Here’s the recipe I jotted down years ago as I sipped it with Kristin.

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The Steps

  • Pour 12 cups of water into a large pot over medium high heat.
  • Add one cup of sugar, two cinnamon STICKS  (haha…I wrote cloves on the recipe), 8 cloves.
  • Depending upon the kind of tea you use will determine the number of tea bags.  For stronger tea, like Tazo‘s “Awake”, I only use 4 tea bags.  You can use plain ole generic tea, too.  Just toss in 6 tea bags.
  • Squeeze two lemons or pour equivalent of two lemons into the pot.
  • Add about two cups of Orange Juice.  You can also use half a container of frozen OJ.
  • Stir everything together.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Skim off foam.
  • Reduce temperature to low and let simmer as long as you like.

RussianTea.JPGAdd more water throughout the day if you leave the tea bags in for a while.  I usually take them out right before I pour any remaining tea into a pitcher for refrigeration.

I’m not sure how great it is at helping a cold, but it has a bunch of vitamin C in it and I swear it makes me feel better. It’s a great drink to serve for book clubs and other small gatherings.  My children really enjoy it, too!

Serve it up with some shortbread.

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I’ll post this super easy recipe later!

Message in a Cough Drop

When I’m in need of a cough drop, typically I unwrap it and toss it in my mouth. I never think to read the wrapper. Until last night. Something blue caught my eye.

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I thought that was rather clever. Kind of a subliminal, positive message.

Then I unwrapped it and saw it was much more than one quote.

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I wonder how many people notice these messages during this flu season. More than that, I wonder if Halls thinks their messages help people feel better.

What would Donald Draper think?

I like these kinds of surprises.

Thanks Halls, I noticed. I think I will seize my day and “fire up those engines!”

-StephieLou

The Chair in the Woods

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It’s been there for a few years now.  I pass it everyday when I take my children to school and wonder who put it there.   Does someone go there and read?   Is it a teenage hangout?

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Upon closer inspection, I’d say no.

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What’s the story behind this chair? Why the woods?  I’m certain my questions will go unanswered.  That’s all right.  I kind of like to think about the possibilities.

I wonder how long it will remain here in Cary Park, land of manicured lawns and stable families.

I hope it stays.  It makes me smile.

"Color your world."

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