Year of the Dragon

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Unfortunately, due to my complete lack of obvious Asian features, nobody outside of my family remembered that I was Chinese and wished me a happy new year. Nonetheless, it’s the year of the dragon, and I feel like that makes it a good year for travelling. Dragons are all adventurous and such, right? (Mind you, they also have the advantage of being able to torch anybody who pisses them off, so that probably helps with the bravery factor.)

I had a pretty busy weekend, which was probably a good thing, as it kept me from lying on the couch and devouring cookies. Speaking of which, though, I discovered the perfect cure for a bad day on Friday night:

My friend and I made some pretty spectacular ginger-ninjas, and they were delicious and the perfect cure for sadness. I tried a new recipe that had butterscotch pudding mix, and the cookies turned out only mildly gingery but very soft and just yummy in general. I prefer soft cookies anyways, so if anybody wants the recipe (from http://www.food.com):

Gingerbread Men

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir in the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon then stir into the pudding mixture until dough forms. Cover bowl and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  3. Grease a baking sheet. On a floured board, roll dough out to around a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into man shapes using a cookie cutter (can also use Christmas trees, Santas, circles etc). Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks. Pipe royal icing to detail the men once cookies are cool. Can be stored in a container in the fridge for a week.

I think next time I make them I’ll put extra ginger in to spice them up a little. Also, if you want more than 15 or so, I’d double the recipe.

I may have eaten a few too many of them though, because I had an interesting experience Saturday morning. I had to volunteer at a leadership conference for school, so Saturday morning I duly got up, showered, put my contacts in, fed my bunny, and was standing in my bedroom when I happened to glance at the clock and discover the first clue of my insanity. It was 3:00 in the morning.

The second clue was when I suddenly realized it was still very dark outside. The third was when I thought a little more, and really couldn’t remember getting out of bed and into the shower. In fact, as I stood dazed and sleepy in the middle of the room, I could barely remember how I had gotten there. For a girl who hates getting up early, it is a very disorienting thing to have taken a shower in the wee hours of the morning. After standing there for about five minutes trying to force my sleep-drugged brain into figuring out what the hell I was doing, I took out my contacts, put my pjs back on, and crawled back into bed. My only theory is that I was sleepwalking, or something, which has never happened before. At least it makes a good story.

I made up for my poor start by going for Dine Out on Saturday night at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. on Main Street, where I had the best salad of my life: it was fig and goat cheese, and it was AMAZING. I’m going to try really hard to reproduce it. The pizza was delicious too – it wasn’t greasy and everything tasted really fresh. Om nom nom. I love good food. It was probably the highlight of my weekend, as I spent the rest of it fighting battles with Scheme for my AI assignment. (And like the dragon, I conquered! Take that, Scheme.)

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