Awesome in November

Awesome in November

November has been exhaustingly bipolar. I can’t beat to think about politics for another minute. As the month has worn on, I’ve only gotten more nervous. 

But then… Then we went crazy. I’m married to a very impulsive man, and it keeps things rather exciting. We bought a flat, and now all of that craziness will ensue. I may never rest again. Guys, I have to buy furniture and decorate an entire apartment. I can’t even deal.

We saw Fantastic Feasts and Where to Find them and had a lovely time. It combined magic and animal conservation, so it was truly the perfect date for my husband and me.

Let’s eat our feelings. 

I’m seriously considering forcing this Cinnamon Roll Christmas Wreath on my family at Christmas.

Rosemary and potatoes can clearly only be improved by the addition of cheese. Please give me these Buttered Rosemary Smashed Potatoes with Burrata right now.

Just call me Mrs. Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Then make me this No Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Dark Chocolate Ganache. Thanks.

Your favorite recipes this month were Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf, Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding, and Peanut Butter Fudge. You guys are the awesomest.

I’m going to play nonstop Christmas music and pretend like I don’t have to move until the very last minute. May your days be merry and bright. 

Amaretto Sour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Amaretto Sour

Amaretto Sour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Happy holidays, friends. I’m wishing you lots of laughs and unexpected guests who bring cookies and hugs over the next few weeks.  Because I love you, I’m sharing a simple drink you can easily throw together for guests both planned and impromptu. Two ingredients and a simple ratio means you can easily scale it up or down. Plus, the addition of a couple of simple garnishes help to elevate it to a festive tipple that will make your guests feel fancy without you even trying.

Amaretto Sour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

To make an amaretto sour, simply stir together three parts amaretto with two parts lemon juice. Pour this over ice and prepare to pucker up. Make a pitcher or a single drink. Add a cherry and a strip of orange peel if you like. It’s amazing what the scent of fresh orange adds to this drink. It’s holiday cheer in a glass, and I love it.

Amaretto Sour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope you have lots of friends to share a drink with this holiday season. You can always come over and share a drink with me. See you soon, my awesome friends. Eat, drink, and be merry.

Gingerbread Dudes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Gingerbread Dudes

Gingerbread Dudes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Presumably, most of you spent yesterday overeating and napping to your heart’s content. Now that we’ve got all that turkey and thankfulness out of the way, we can start talking about the C word.

I’m getting the most outrageous birthday/Christmas present ever this year, our very own apartment. With us moving at Christmas, I doubt we’ll get to have a tree and all the decorations that make Christmas feel so special this year. Things could be much, much worse, I know. But there’s just something about the way the whole world seems to change at Christmas that makes it so magical. 

Gingerbread Dudes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

To kick of our Christmas cheer, I made us some fun and tasty Gingerbread Dudes. Often times, I don’t like gingerbread cookies because they’re made with molasses which I just can’t get into. These are made with brown sugar and golden syrup. 

Golden syrup is impossibly sweet and quite possibly the stickiest substance in the universe. I’ve just come to accept it as unavoidable, especially as it’s sold in a container similar to a paint can. If anybody knows any tips for measuring this stuff without making a huge mess, please share it in the comments. If you can’t get your hands on golden syrup, light corn syrup will work, too.

I like to let each person decorate their gingerbread dudes themselves. No matter your age, it’s impossible to decorate a cookie without getting a huge smile on your face. It’s instant happiness. I brought a tin full of these and some store bought tubes of writing icing to work, and I loved seeing everyone’s cookies. They loved making them. The joy was much needed.

Gingerbread Dudes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bring a smile to everyone’s face. Make some Gingerbread Dudes and share them with friends, family, and coworkers. Be merry.

Gingerbread Dudes
Yields 20
Gingerbread Dudes made with golden syrup are delicious and bring a smile to everyone's face.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 350 grams all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 125 grams butter
  6. 175 grams light brown sugar
  7. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  8. 1/4 cup golden syrup
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Add the butter and process to mix. You should have a mixture resembling wet sand. Add the sugar and pulse to combine.
  3. Add the beaten egg and golden syrup and process until the dough starts to clump together.
  4. Turn your dough out onto a clean surface and knead it two or three times just to bring everything together. Flatten your dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough about 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out your dough t about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out your dough using a cookie cutter in your favorite shape and transfer the cut cookies to a cookie sheet. Give them a little space. They will spread a bit.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. These are crisp cookies, so you don't want them underbaked. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once the cookies have totally cooled to room temperature, you can use writing icing and other decorations to create the gingerbread dude of your dreams.
Notes
  1. If your dough starts to get too soft and sticky as you're rolling and cutting, wrap it up and stash it back in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  2. If you're baking your cookies in batches, store the cut cookies in the fridge until they're ready to go into the oven. This will help keep them from spreading too much.
Adapted from BBC Food
Adapted from BBC Food
http://awesomeon20.com/
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