Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Clean Slate

New Year's Day
"You know how you're supposed to come up with a list of "resolutions" at the beginning of the year to try to make yourself a better person?
Well, the problem is, it's not easy for me to think of ways to improve myself, because I'm already pretty much one of the best people I know.
So this year my resolution is to try and help OTHER people improve. But the thing I'm finding out is that some people don't really appreciate it when you're trying to be helpful.
One thing I noticed right off the bat is that the people in my family are doing a lousy job sticking to THEIR New Year's resolutions."
taken from pages 1-2 Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Last Straw

And so begins the Wimpy Kid story by Jeff Kinney. The first few pages caught my attention since the story line in the first part of the book about resolutions is quite timely as 2009 draws to a close. Mr. Kinney has written a series of books for middle grade students. He was astute using a humorous approach written in a diary format to capture the spirit and interests of the middle school reader. The main character is in middle school and at times appears clueless how to handle social and school situations that come his way. Since this is an age group I have worked with his series appealed to me and has been an enjoyable read for me.
I recently hung a brand new 2010 calendar. Looking at it made me think of a clean slate. Soon begins a new year and new month. The January page hanging looks so clean and bare... no scribbles, scheduled appointments, events to attend, dates to remember or places to be at. A clean slate certainly is something to think about. Starting fresh has endless possibilities with chances to make some changes and new things to look forward to and just perhaps there may be some surprises awaiting each of us in 2010.
One thing to think about is tomorrow night. The appearance of the Blue Moon is a rather rare occasion. It is a full moon that appears twice in one month. Hopefully the skies will be clear to see this sight.
While you are planning for the New Year get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and grab a few cookies. Remember life is always better with a sweet treat!
Walnut Snowballs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Sift first 4 ingredients in bowl and transfer 2 TB.flour mixture to food processor and add walnuts. Process till walnuts are finely chopped.
  • In another bowl beat butter until fluffy add 1-1/4 cup powdered sugar and beat well
  • Add egg yolk, vanilla and beat in flour mixture and nuts
  • chill dough in freezer for one hour
  • Shape into balls
  • Bake 10-12 minutes until brown on bottom and cracked a bit on top
  • Roll balls ( 2 at a time) in remaining powdered sugar use a bowl for this step
  • Cool on wire rack-sift more powdered sugar over the top when cooled

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