Holiday Shortbread

I know I said I was going to be super busy and probably not have time to post, but as it turns out I have some time. Yup. Plenty, actually. I'm sort of just playing the waiting game right now. I have a temporary apartment in NYC, someone taking my apartment in DC, boxes for packing (but I can't pack yet because most of my stuff is still in use), my aunt in Virginia is taking my extra furniture so I don't have to worry about that...so, yeah, there really isn't really much I can do right now. Except, finish out these last few days at work and say my goodbyes. I've been in DC for 3 years now, and for some odd reason leaving hasn't really made me sad. Maybe it hasn't hit me yet? Of course, I'll be saying bye to people I've become close with here, but I think I am just ready for a new adventure. I'm actually becoming a little worried that I'm one of those people that can't sit still for too long, which wouldn't surprise me much considering that in my 25 years of life I have moved more times than most. I'm about to live in my 8th state. Yes, that's right. Eighth. Obviously, there are plus sides like learning new things, meeting new people, etc. But moving sucks! The actual process, ugh. Way too much planning involved and way too many possible stress-filled moments. When I was little, it was much easier. I just worried about the meeting people part. The planning was my mom's part. Too bad we have to grow up though, because now I have to do it all. (She still helps. I'm not that independent yet. Thanks Mom!)

Luckily, with this move, Christmas falls smack-dab in the middle. So I have a few days for relaxing. And considering my parents moved to Massachusetts when I was in college, I have no friends around. So when I say "relaxing" I mean it. I will literally HAVE TO relax. Which will actually cause boredom. So then I have to find ways to entertain myself. Maybe this is where my love of cooking came into play. I made these a while ago for co-workers. They were a huge hit. I am in love with them, dearly. As I've mentioned before, I tend to lean to the salty side of things as opposed to the sweet. These little shortbread cookies that I found on 101 Cookbooks are amazing - salty, savory and sweet.

I think I'm going to make them for my family for Christmas. Kill two birds with one stone - boredom and baking bliss.

You could even use Christmas cookie cutters. A little more creative than my circles.

Pine Nut Rosemary ShortBread
from 101 Cookbooks

2 cups white whole-wheat flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (natural cane) sugar
zest of one lemon
2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and loosely chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

2. In a separate large bowl or stand mixer cream the butter until light and fluffy.

3. Add the sugar and lemon zest and mix again, then add the flour mixture, nuts, and rosemary and mix until the dough goes just past the crumbly stage, and begins to really clump together (you don't want to over mix, but under mixing will make the dough seem a bit dry, which can make it difficult to handle).

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough just once or twice to bring it together, then divide it into a ball and flatten into a disk 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper of a Silpat mat.

6. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into whatever shapes you desire, and place on the prepared baking sheet.

7. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are beginning to brown on the bottom. The baking time will vary depending on the size of the cookies, taking less time for smaller cookies.

Also...if you're having a hard time with gift ideas this year, my friend, Nadina, provide me with this awesome link. Check it out.


The Big Apple

Remember when I told you I was kind of busy here? Well, I can officially tell you why now. After years and years of dreaming about the bright lights, skyscrapers and crowded streets, I am finally moving to New York City. To the middle of it all. To the heart of the Big Apple. Manhattan. And I have never been more excited in my life. And I'm not just going without a plan...I definitely have a plan. I don't think I have enough balls to move there without one. I'll be working here. Ya know, only the world's largest network of women bloggers. And, ya know, only the world’s largest conference for women in social media that may include guests like The Pioneer Woman on occasion. No biggie. What more could I ask for? Maybe like world peace, but let's not get carried away. Anyway, as you can imagine, my life just got a bit hectic. I don't sleep much and I spend most of my time worrying about moving and housing and leaving DC and housing and things I will need and money and housing. Did I mention housing? Yeah, should be a good time...finding an apartment and all...and being broke. But hey, sometimes you just have to take risks, eat Ramen noodles, and do what you want...right? Life would be boring otherwise. Good thing I like Ramen noodles. So you may not hear from me much for a while. Pretty sure I'll be busy...eating Ramen noodles.

See you in NYC!