2015 in review

Happy New Year, everyone. Thanks for reading my blog in 2015. I hope that the new year ahead brings many blessings to you and yours.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 910 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Coffee Dunkers

My college student is home and he had a request nearly as soon as he walked through the door: cookies!

So, I got busy in the Exile’s Kitchen and made two kinds last night.

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Coffee dunkers: Ginger Cookies rolled in red and green sugar and Butterfinger Cookie Bars

Ginger Cookies are perfect for the Christmas season and great to dunk in hot coffee or tea, if you prefer. Here’s the recipe-

In a bowl mix together

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup molasses

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

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In another bowl, sift together

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

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Then slowly combine dry ingredients to wet ingredients, just so you don’t make a mess. Then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the frig for about an hour. When thoroughly chilled, form into one inch balls and roll in colored sugar. I used red and green, because after all, it’s Christmas.

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Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Cool on a wire wrack and store in an air tight  container. Makes about 3 1/2  dozen.

The second batch of cookies I made last night are super easy. Butterfinger Cookie Bars use the same recipe as my Perfect Peanut Butter cookies (see the recipe posted on August 1, 2015). Just add a bag of Butterfinger Pieces. They can be found at the store with the big W on it, in the baking section next to the pedestrian semi-sweet choco chips.

Instead of using a muffin top pan, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the dough out in the pan. Spraying a rubber spatula with vegetable spray makes this part easy. The dough will spread out, while baking so don’t worry about not getting it perfect.

Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on your oven. Cool slightly before cutting into  bars. I use a pizza wheel to make the task a sinch. When completely cooled, store in a pretty glass jar. But they probably won’t stay in that pretty jar for long!

Merry Christmas from the Exile’s Kitchen and happy coffee dunking.

Quick Gift

Winter has finally arrived in this part of the South. I could never live above the Mason Dixon line because cold weather dries my skin so badly. Here’s a recipe for a head-to-toe, moisterizing body scrub. (I use the scrub as a facial once a week,  but usually daily, slathering it on right before stepping into the shower.) This creamy concoction enhances your regular body wash or beauty bar, leaving your skin soft and smooth.

Four humble ingredients, probably already on hand in your kitchen, make a luxurious spa-like scrub.

Here ya go:

20 heaping tablespoons of coconut oil

9 tablespoons of sugar

20 tablespoons of baking soda

the zest of 3 lemons

What to do:

In a big bowl mix all the ingredients together. I use my stand mixer and the whisk attachment. Beat on high till it’s fluffy. Spoon into jars with stopper tops. Tap the jars lightly to settle the contents. Printed boxes and tissue paper make wrapping easy. This recipe makes six 8 ounce jars.

Lemon zest gives the scrub a light yellow color and lightens blemishes. The baking soda softens skin. The sugar exfoliates and of course the coconut oil moisterizes.

Merry Christmas from The Exile’s Kitchen.

Note: As the base of this scrub is coconut oil, it will be solid in cooler temperatures and more liquid in warmer temps. If you would like, store it in the frig during the summer months.