Death of a Gingerbread Man

Each Christmas season, I attempt to become super mom. With each super task that I chose to take on, it becomes very obvious where I have strengths and where I have opportunities. One of these opportunities is THE KITCHEN.

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This year’s challenge was to make gingerbread cookies from a box recipe. What could be difficult about this? The only two ingredients I had to add were butter and eggs. Easy enough! Each box produces enough dough for 24 cookies. I thought two boxes would be perfect for cookies around the house and for Santa’s stop on Christmas Eve.

I began my challenge by inspiring Cate, our spirited three year old, that traditions are wonderful and that cookie making is one of our traditions. I helped her pour the ingredients into our bowl. We had a great time mixing everything together. Within seven minutes, I lost her. She was on to the next room with zero interest in cookies. Shortest rodeo ever. She never looked back.

Continuing on with the cookie challenge, I took out the rarely used rolling pin. I think I’ve used it twice in 10 years. I quickly found that the consistency of the dough was not “doughy enough” for me. There was no way this would even form a cookie. So I decided to add more butter. Who doesn’t love butter?

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Once I added the extra butter, I found that the dough was very doughy. Amazing, right? Maybe it was too doughy…. So I broke out the flour. By this time, Drew, my husband, had come into the kitchen to chide my baking skills. I sprinkled flour throughout the dough in order to thicken the consistency so it would form in a cookie cutter. Why is this so challenging?

Next step, as I seriously considered throwing everything away at this point, was to form the cookies. I was actually excited to use my new gingerbread man cookie cutter. Unfortunately, the dough was too moist to actually cut through. So I started filling the cookie cutter up with dough by just picking up the dough and pushing it into the mold. This was creating 2-inch thick gingerbread men; not exactly setting myself up for baking success.

Drew came back into the kitchen at this point. I was instructed to half the amount of dough in each gingerbread man. While I agreed with this logic, the very thought of having to redo the two cookies I had just molded annoyed me. So, I proceeded to do it my way… The wrong way.

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Ultimately I created six gingerbread men and 15 gingerbread balls. Remember: this recipe was for 48 cookies.

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GET OVER GRETA
Throughout this process, I learned that, yes, you can deviate from a recipe, but do it in small amounts. I should have added half a stick of butter versus an entire stick. I also learned that Drew knows a lot about baking. I should have listened to him. This entire process also reiterated how much I hate cooking. Super mom projects, for me, need to involve crafts, cleaning, and organizing. The cookies tasted great and were very soft and moist, but they really looked more like giant snow flakes. Stay tuned for round two next week.

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Top 7 Back and Neck Gadgets That Help Greta

As a frequent Amazon shopper, I love to view recommendations that are “custom” for me. Quite often, they have nothing to do with my purchase behavior or interest. There are times when Amazon knows me too well. Usually it’s when I’m seeking new back and neck gadgets.

Heading into the holidays, the stress of travel, family, rushing around from one party to the next can make you feel like crap. Besides the traditional hot and cold therapy with a little over-the-counter NSAIDs and a glass of wine, sometimes you need something extra. Here are my top seven¬†favorite gadgets that help me get over neck and back pain and hopefully will provide you with some cervical, thoracic, and lumbar pain relief. You’re welcome! Continue reading “Top 7 Back and Neck Gadgets That Help Greta”