Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas baking

Well the idea was to start my Christmas baking this weekend, but somehow it got waylaid with the here and now instead. I had grand plans to make some icebox cookies so that they could just be thawed out when it came time, and thrown in the oven and save myself tons of time. But then I noticed I had two lemons to be used, so first I had to make lemon poppyseed muffins and a lemon bread. Then I had a hankering and R. always has a hankering for chocolate chip cookies, so those had to be added to the list. But I wisely started on the famous UBC cinnamon buns first, at least scalding the milk and waiting for it to cool and made the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies while the milk cooled down. While the cookies were in the oven, I continued onto making the dough for the buns.

I have to remind myself next time to halve the recipe. While I love the idea of having 18 buns (or however many I ended up with), the mixer just cannot handle that much dough. It mixed it, but it also went all the way up the mixer and I spent almost as much time cleaning the mixer as I did making the buns.

At least the black and white cookies were also easy to make while the dough was proofing. That's the great thing about cookies, everything goes together so quickly and the baking time isn't that long, it's almost instant gratification.

The best part is how nice the house smells when there's baked goods in the oven, and how warm it gets. It was a good prelude to doing the Christmas baking at least.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Food, in a manner of speaking

We had an administrator's retreat today and for the professional development part of the retreat, a speaker was brought in to do a presentation on the Power of Food (that's what he called it). Now far be it for me to say how much you need to pay a motivational speaker but no matter what the cost, I think it's important that the person does due diligence in researching their topics before speaking.

I'd heard of the talk before, in fact, this gentleman has been on campus to speak a few times now, and he's almost as popular as Rachael Ray. His talk is on how the foods affects how we feel, our energy level, blah, blah, blah. I'll give him credit in not talking about one hit wonders, like the Atkins diet, however, he was there mostly to promote his product line which he sells, along with his motivational books and recipes, and services as a life coach.

The main reason I found this entertaining is that being in the field of Medicine, two of our faculty members attended the session and you could tell that they were not nearly as impressed by his talk as some of the administrators. In fact, in discussion over lunch, our director said that some of his statements were downright false. Of course the faculty members are far too polite to say anything, but I wonder if they were having thoughts like I was. I was sorely tempted to raise my hand during the session and ask if his background was in Nutritional Sciences, or Chemistry, knowing full well from reading his website, that it was neither. Also, as my boss pointed out, the speaker said when he opened his fridge, he could see his cooked quinoa, his flax seeds and hemp seeds and whole oat groats waiting for him; when she opened her fridge, she has a large bottle of wine and some different jars of sauces for flavouring. My boss looks great and so you think I'm going to follow the sayings of some snake oil salesman, I mean speaker, or a doctor who's studied the science of health? I also managed to lose a fair bit of weight in my early 20's, I just wasn't smart enough to make a living out of telling people how I did it.