Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Toast for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday.  I love that it's a day devoted to giving thanks and celebrated by eating lots of delicious food and spending time with family.  So because it's my favorite holiday, this post is a double feature with an outfit post and a baking post.

This year (and every year), I am thankful for so many things.  Most people take for granted the fact that they get a holiday off of work.  But those working in medicine know that no holiday is guaranteed.  So I am thankful that I not only got Thanksgiving off, but I was also able use some vacation days and take the whole week off, affording me plenty of time to fly back to Michigan and spend the holiday with my family.  I'm thankful to have ended long distance with Mr. J and we are able to enjoy our lives without having to worry about basics like food and shelter.  I'm thankful for my friends, who have been extremely supportive the past few months, and to everyone who reached out to me after my last post.  And most of all, I am thankful for my health and my family, both of which I often times take for granted.  

So Cheers! Kanpai! Salud! Skal!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

'Cheers' Sweatshirt: J. Crew. Chambray shirt: J. Crew. Jeweled bib necklace: J. Crew factory (old). 
Distressed jeans: Dylan George 'Lucy Low Rise Skinny Jean' (last seen here). Herringbone oxforts: TOMS 'Cordones'

Whenever I'm home, I always make time to see my best friends from high school.  We scattered across the country after high school and by some miracle, we all ended up back in Michigan after college.  These girls kept me sane during medical school.  We always met up at the same coffee shop and would sit and chat for hours.  We started a birthday celebration tradition and stood in each other's weddings.  One of our oldest traditions is a holiday cookie baking extravaganza, when we would bake a bunch of different cookies, place them in decorative bags, and distribute to friends and family.  I hadn't been home for any of the winter holidays in a long time, so this visit, we decided to bake cookies while we caught up...for old times' sake.  Instead of baking 4 or 5 different cookies, we settled on an autumn-inspired candy corn sugar cookie.  We were so busy catching up, that I unfortunately didn't get to take many pictures.  So for the full tutorial (with better pictures), you can go here.

We used the sugar recipe below, which I totally messed up and put in regular granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar (because I was so busy chatting).  Oops.  The end result still turned out soft, sweet, and delicious.  We sprinkled some with sanding sugar, dipped others in white chocolate topped with white sprinkles, and the rest we just left plain.

Sugar Cookies

1.5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 egg
2.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Mix together the first 5 ingredients.  Stir in by hand the dry ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

To make regular sugar cookies, divide chilled dough and roll to 1/4" thickness.  Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes.

To make candy corn cookies, follow the instructions here.

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