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Monday, July 27th, 2009

Time Event
Less glass, more boring stuff
Back in Mountain View after visiting Seattle for a few days (joined by Melinda on Saturday for my Mom's family's annual summer picnic). Melinda and I have now used the glass workshop on three occasions (last Tuseday, yesterday, and this evening) and it's working pretty well. The torch flames aren't stable - the candles grow and fade with a period of about 6 seconds - and I don't yet know why. Maybe a bad regulator (but, propane or oxygen?)? Maybe the torches just being broken in? Maybe it's too cold to torch at night? Dunno; I'll do some internet research for it soon.

With the workshop basically done it's time I move on to other projects for my sabbatical. The small project for today was working through a backlog of account statements from the mail, and putting information from them into Excel. The time certainly can fly when you're having fun, let me tell you. Tomorrow I'll do more of the same, as well as post some photos of glass and the workshop, and perhaps try building an organizer for our colored glass canes (we have a few dozen different colors, from six different companies).
Matcha cookies
As a treat for my dad for my visit home I made a few varieties of cookies, including a few with matcha powder. Matcha is a powder found in green tea, including Starbucks's green tea frappucinos, which my dad likes. Here's one recipe I tried (just the one for now; it's nearly bed time and I'm nearly out of laptop charge): matcha sour cream cookies.

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sour cream
2 eggs
3/4 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. granulated sugar
3 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp matcha powder

Combine the butter, sour cream, eggs, lemon extract, salt, and sugar to make a cream. Mix in the matcha powder; you'll get a nice green color to the cream. Sift in, together, the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and fold until all the dry ingredients are integrated. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Drop in 1-2" blobs on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake for 14 minutes at 375, rotating the cookie sheet half-way through. The cookies will brown on the bottom but be soft to the touch on top. Makes 30-40, IIRC.

These cookies have a distinctly soft and light texture but aren't cakey. Try substituting lime extract if you're in to that sort of thing, or try adding more matcha powder for a stronger flavor and darker color. I like my cookies a bit more firm, actually, and I expect using cold butter, chopped, rather than soft butter would produce a more solid cookie dough. At least, it's something I thought to try later.

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