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coconut macaroons baby!

these might be hands down my most fave dessert of all time. that’s a bold statement. i know. but i love coconut and i love vanilla. maybe even more than i do chocolate. that may be an even bolder statement. i’m really learning a lot about myself right here in this very moment. :) so, why on earth have i not made macaroons or anything with coconut for that matter for this blog before? that’s easy. because L doesn’t like coconut. as in she hates it. haha and now that we live across the country from one another i’m less sensitive to her likes and dislikes.  j/k. but, now i don’t feel guilty making them! love you L. what have i also learned here with this recipe? that i’m the laziest bird around. this is the simplest recipe ever, so enjoy.

this recipe is adapted from a recipe i found on allrecipes.com

ingredients

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
11 cups flaked coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vanilla paste

equipment

large mixing bowl
wooden spoon
cookie sheets
table spoon from scooping

preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

mix it up. in your large mixing bowl add the flour, coconut and salt. with your wooden spoon mix contents while adding the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla paste until everything is well blended.

scoop it up. using your tablespoon, scoop up the dough and plop it down on the cookie sheet making rows. place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. coconut is best toasted anyway right? once done in the oven place on cooling racks and while they’re still warm, be sure to try a few. these will also taste great in the days to come!

enjoy and share the love!

love,
b

p.s. thanks for your patience in mine and L’s absence. life gets tricky sometimes, but we always seem to bounce back and we’re glad to be back!

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“what’s the frosting? cream cheese and magic?!”

spring has sprung and i think it sprang us directly into summer. with highs already hitting the high 90’s we were in need of something light, sweet and juicy. sugar cookies, cream cheese frosting and strawberries? count me in. i love pizza, so why wouldn’t i love a dessert counterpart? to make this as delicious as possible i knew i could count on my old friend Martha Stewart for a superb foundation. here is what you will need for this simple and delightful treat.

sugar cookie crust

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

cream cheese frosting

8oz. cream cheese

8oz. cool whip

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup powdered sugar

fruit topping

strawberries

grapes

blueberries

and really whatever fruit you desire

– – – – –

equipment

electric mixer

mixing bowls

parchment paper

rolling pin

biscuit/cookie cutters

first things first, the crust. in a large bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. in your electric mixer’s bowl, go ahead and whip your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. i usually do this on medium speed for about a minute. but make sure the butter and sugar are well blended and aren’t in crumbles. once fluffy, add your egg and vanilla. slowly begin adding your flour mixture, next. once this is all combined it should resemble cookie dough. split in half and, on plastic wrap, smash the dough into a disc shape, wrap up and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes. do the same to your other half of dough. (preheat oven to 325 degrees) after 20 minutes take out and leave on the counter for 5-10 minutes. on a flat surface lay down parchment paper and dust with flour. dust your rolling pin and roll out your first disc of dough to desired thickness. i rolled mine out to about an 1/8 of an inch and got about 2 dozen 3.25″ in diameter, cookies. using a round biscuit cutter cut out your crusts. pickup scraps, roll into a ball and roll out again, cutout and repeat this until no more dough is left. place crusts onto cookie sheets and bake for 5 minutes @ 325, turn cookie sheets around and bake for 5 more minutes, turn again and bake for 2.5 or until golden around the edges. once finished baking, remove from oven and set out for about 5 minutes before transferring cookies onto cooling racks.

in the meantime, while your crusts are baking get your frosting started. in a large mixing bowl, add all cream cheese and cool whip and mix together. add lemon juice and powdered sugar and mix together well. cover and place in fridge until cookies are completely cooled. once cooled, using a spatula, spread frosting onto your crusts. chop up some fruit and decorate as you see fit! enjoy your self…this is the fun part. i suggest adding fruit close to when you will be serving. the fruit juices tend to discolor your frosting. if you need to make them ahead of time, place in fridge once decorated, just know that your frosting may get a little tie-died.

please enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

b

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“take that, Girl Scouts of America.”

O.  M.  G. if you do not own a cookie press, stop what you are doing and run out to the store right now. they are sooo much fun. each press comes with these interchangeable discs that allow you to make different shaped cookies called spritz cookies. with so many different recipes out there, i decided to do a very simple, plain jane butter cookie.

ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup crisco

1 egg

1 1/2  teaspoon vanilla

equiptment

cookie press

cookie sheets

dipping chocolate to garnish

preheat your oven to 375 degrees

in a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. cut your crisco into your mixture until it begins to create crumbles.

in a measuring cup, crack your egg and add water until you reach 1/4 cup. i didn’t have to add but probably a tablespoon. then add your vanilla to the egg/water and beat together. mix into your crumbles to form the dough.

now the fun part. put your dough into your cookie press, pick out the shape you want and apply the disc. in three clicks you will have the cutest little cookies! line up your cookie sheet with these and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

if you don’t already have a cookie press, check out Wilton‘s. i have Marha Stewart’s, but can’t seem to find it for sale anywhere. but, there are a lot of cookie presses out there, i don’t think you can really go wrong.

happy monday and happy baking!

b

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God could have killed me today.

sounds a little dramatic, but it’s true.
(maybe you shouldn’t read this one mama)

since i grew up and learned to drive in iowa, i feel fairly confident taking my rear-wheel drive town car (tony) out on slippery roads…when necessary. i learned how to maneuver him through the slickest of terrains…how to correct him when he fishtails…and not to park him facing uphill unless i plan on backing out of the spot. when my dad gave me the car….he said,…”it’s not a car for northern weather, so be careful.” so, when i moved to dallas three years ago, i knew tony would be just as happy about the warm weather as i was.

dallas faces few “artic blasts” but when they do…it’s trouble. this is mainly because it’s not common and no one knows how to respond to it. the roads are bad and the drivers are worse. most businesses shut down and schools begin closing with just the predictions of snow in the forecast. it’s laughable to a northerner….but also terribly frightening. frightening because, where i once had confidence…i now have uncertainty and anxiety.

i drove to work this morning a total of four blocks to the interstate and then about fifteen miles to get to the office….the only office in dallas, that never seems to shut down. the roads were covered with ice….every bit of them, even the interstate. the news reported 60 sand trucks patrolling the major highways and overpasses. (sand…another thing i’m not use to as a northerner….we take our slick roads with salt, please) as i drove in, i was surrounded by about 20 other drivers…a drastically smaller amount than the normal rush hour holds, but still 20 too many as far as i was concerned.

to me, it looked like the sand was being mostly reserved for the ramps, bridges and overpasses….if there was more on the road, it had already been covered up with the snow that was blowing around. some people drove fast…and some people drove slow….most of them drove way to close to each other and me. there was fishtailing, panicked braking at the sight of ice, skidding and spinning across four lanes of traffic and slamming into a median wall….there was danger, life threatening danger…and that’s what makes an iowan…not so confident to brave the slick roads in texas.

not only were the drivers around me frantic, inexperienced, horrible winter drivers…but my own car was the most stubborn i have seen him in a long time. he fishtailed the whole way to work…up hills, across bridges…just for his own enjoyment?! i must have scared every driver around me to death with the amount of times my backside wandered into the next lane.

when i finally got into the office…hands still gripping my steering wheel at ten and two….i probably took my first deep breath of the drive…and immediately wanted to cry. i can’t explain it any better than just saying, i’m a girl…and sometimes that’s the only response i can muster. (for the record, i didn’t actually cry)

i got to my desk and pulled up the first assignment i could think of, just to dive into thinking about anything besides how i could have really injured myself on the way in to work today.

the first time i spoke out loud to a coworker, my voice cracked and my eyes immediately filled with tears…i was just overwhelmed….and didn’t know why these emotions were surfacing. it just seemed silly. i turned back to my monitor and put my headphones in and turned the music up…and took a few deep breaths to stifle the tears that were trying to make their way out of my eyes.

i finally made my way to the bathroom, to pull it together and thought…i could be at home, but i’m not….i could have died on my way here…but I didn’t. God gave me this day…and he protected me all the way to work. so, what should my response be? should I be upset that the weather is so horrible?…should I be mad that my office was open and I drove up here?….or should I be grateful that I have been given this day, ice, scary car drive and all…and was protected from harm throughout it? admittedly, i was feeling the former.

God could have killed me today…but he didn’t. sometimes it takes a treacherous day…to remember how grateful i should be for every day. because my time is fleeting, I am a mist…here in the morning and gone with the afternoon sun. I have been praying lately for a better grasp of how quickly the days pass…and to have open eyes for opportunities and a grateful and trusting heart for God’s will for me. in hindsight, this morning’s experience put those prayers into practice…and while i can’t say i’m proud of how long it took to gain perspective….i am grateful for the lesson…and the grace and mercy that comes with it.

Psalm 39:4&5
“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah”

-L

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“if you eat it in the dark, no one can see it” said my husband after I showed him why we at lazybird bakery do not, and i repeat, do not and will not decorate cakes. it’s too risky. i have FABULOUS ideas in my head that quickly snowball into horrendous displays of creativity. haha. but wow, that cake tastes good, and if you ask me that’s what’s important! remember this, don’t judge a book by its cover.

we’ve been writing this blog for some time now and we’ve yet to run out of ideas which is great, but sometimes we need a little push. so i called my little brother this week and asked him what i should make and the first thing that came out of his mouth was carrot cake. done. perfect. i love carrot cake and pretty much anything with a little spice to it. then throw some cream cheese icing on top, shut the front door. you’re going to need a nap after this one. it’s amazing. thanks Martha Stewart. Read more at Marthastewart.com: Carrot Cake – Martha Stewart Recipes

ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 pound grated carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots)
2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake) optional.

equipment

stand mixer
mixing bowls/prep bowls
veggie peeler
crisco shortening
3 – 9″ cake pans
parchment paper

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

carrot cake

first things first. i went ahead and grated my carrots because it took forever. i haven’t peeled and grated in so long. i forgot just how time-consuming a task it was. so once i grated them, i covered with plastic wrap and placed back in the fridge while i got everything else together.

before using crisco to coat pans, go ahead and trace three circles the size of your pans, onto parchment paper. cut out and set aside. now coat your pans, place the parchment paper down into the bottom of the pan, and cover the paper with more crisco. lightly dust with flour, making sure to flour the edges of your pans. this will ensure that your cake doesn’t stick to the pans once baked!

in a large bowl go ahead and add your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. whisk together, making sure all ingredients are well mixed. in your stand mixer bowl, mix your sugars and your butter and whip until creamy. once creamy add eggs one at a time, mixing continuously, followed by vanilla, water and carrots. reduce the speed then add the flour mixture. if adding pecans go ahead and add them now.

using a spatula scrape out dough evenly into the three 9″ pans. bake pans for 15 minutes. turn pans half way around and bake for 10 more minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. once ready pull from oven and set pans on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. scrape edges with a knife to help loosen the cake. flip over onto wire racks and let cool completely.

while that’s cooling or even baking, go ahead and start your cream cheese icing. read more at Marthastewart.com: Cream Cheese Frosting – Martha Stewart Recipes

ingredients

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs. of powdered sugar

cream cheese icing

first things first. in your mixer blend cream cheese and vanilla extract. once creamy cut the butter into T size slices and one by one, add to the cream cheese while the mixer is going. lower your speed and add the powdered sugar. your icing should be fluffy and smooth. this icing will keep in an airtight container for two days. bring to room temp. and mix well before icing your cake.

now that your icing is ready, set aside and clear off a space so that you can start assembling your cake. there are lots of ways to do this, but here is what i did. I took my first layer and laid it bottom side up. this way i have a flat surface to ice. apply icing. lay second layer same way, apply icing. for the third layer and lay correct side up, so that it is dome shaped. ice. here is where i should have stopped. cakes look great when their layers are exposed. but due to a lapse in judgement i just kept going, as did Martha, if you check her icing recipe. her cake is beautiful and she decided to use the remaining pecans as decoration to the sides. it’s elegant. but if you’re going for a circus big top look, such as myself, GO CRAZY. the sky’s the limit!

please enjoy.

-b

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sneak peak wednesday

did you know it’s cookie week?!?!?!

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new friends

lazy bird bakery just made a new friend. check out will’s blog the momentum of failure. he’s doing a photomentary on his glorious tie collection! check him out and scroll down to see a familiar face!
http://themomentumoffailure.com/2010/11/01/100-days-of-ties-day-41-where-the-lands-end/#more-9404

-b

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