Lemon Lavender Biscotti

I love biscotti…well I just love food…looking through different recipes  I was inspired by a lemon almond biscotti recipe on the  King Arthur Flour site …so I played around with it and made a few changes…and this is what I came up with

 

Lemon Lavender Orange Blossom Honey Biscotti

preheat oven to 350

2 1/4 cups of flour….I do love King Arthur flour but this time I used Trader Joe’s      ……………………………………unbleached white flour

1.5 t  baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

combine the above dry ingredients together and set aside

1 stick of light butter….I used Land o ‘ Lakes…softened

1/3 c sugar

1/3 c orange blossom honey

1 T lemon zest

2 t vanilla

3 T lemon juice

1 egg

2 egg whites

2 T dried lavender

 

so in a mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar……add the honey and continue mixing for a minute or two

pulverize the lavender to release the oils…I do this in a coffee grinder

add the lavender…the lemon zest…the vanilla …and the lemon juice….mix until well combined in the butter/sugar/honey mixture

add the egg…mix until incorporated and then add egg whites and beat on medium high for 2 more minutes

 

slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture…..the dough /batter will be on the soft side

line a baking sheet with parchment

with a rubber spatula…help ease the dough out of the bowl onto the parchment…and I then  flour my hands to pat the dough into shape…the dough takes up just about the entire length of the pan…except for maybe 2.5 inches on either end of the baking sheet

I then put it in the oven for 30 minutes after 30 minutes I take them out and let them rest

Lower the oven to 300 degrees…and let the log rest for 20 minutes…after the 20 minutes start slicing the log into 1/2 inch slices…I ended up with 20 cookies…large cookies…take the slices and place them back in the oven for another 20 minutes

take them out and let them cool

 

so while cooling I make a lavender lemon glaze…I do not measure when Imake a glaze…but I did measure out 1  T dried lavender buds…and again pulverized them in the coffee grinder…I then used roughly 3 T lemon  juice….and added confectioners sugar until I reached a consistency I liked…I then piped the glaze onto the cooled cookies

Biscotti are great by themselves…or for breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee…or a mid day snack with a glass of milk…no matter how you like them…they won’t last long and you may be hearing requests for….more ?

 

The table  I used to photograph the cookies is just a plain square raw wood table from Ikea . I painted it with chalk paint …I used the folkart chalk paint that you can get at Jo-An fabrics…..I used Java as a base and then painted patina  on top  …I then used a crackle medium on top that crackles clear and gives a crackle like you might see on porcelain…it was made by decoart…I don’t think I will ever use it again…even though I like the end results it produces….there are no warning on the bottle…but while using this …my tongue started to go numb and I started getting heart palpitations…as soon as I got away from this stuff I started feeling better…so after the crackle I started to distress the rest of the paint with just a wet rag…a little sand paper… a little steel wool…and then i finished it off doing a little dry brushing…now i need on figuring out how to seal it .

 

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DIII Forge v Presque Isle Scallywags

Nice comfortable temperatures for late September in sw Pennsylvania…Great day for rugby…I actually think everyday is a great day for rugby

So from Erie the Scallywags ventured south to Pittsburgh to face the Forge for an 11 a.m. match…I love the early matches…again I do not do play by play . This was a really enjoyable match to watch…at least for me…I like hard hitting aggressive play…and both teams brought it . it was war out there…I am not quite sure of the final score but I think it was Forge 19…Presque Isle 17

The Forge defense was amazing in the second half keeping the Wags from scoring a try while deep in the zone . Love when the Sir makes the gesture showing…held up . The Scallywags on 2 different ocassions gave the ball to number 5…I call him…Big Red…simply because he was tall and had red hair …and he was not able to score…so kudos to the Forge defense .

Big Red did cause problems elsewhere…in line outs…with his wingspan as large as a condor’s…he was able to steal throw ins…I can understand that happening once …but it happened twice within a few minutes on Forge throw ins during a line out…but thankfully the Forge did eventually make adjustments to keep the ball away from big Red in the line outs

And to make things a little too interesting the Scallywags score a try late and miss the conversion…so this is where it got a bit more intense than it needed to…. whenever the Forge kicked off and it did not go ten meters…luckily it worked out for the Forge but it didnt need to be that close

thanks for an entertaining early Saturday

Rugby Pitt v WVU

saturday past it was a nice day for rugby…well at least the weather was pleasantly cool around 67 degrees…at least I liked it…brought my best Friend Tucker along…he is my rat terrier…I know barely just a little more about rugby than he does.

Well Pitt and WVU always makes for a good rivalry…no matter what sport

And that pretty much was the case in the first half. From what I recall…Pitt definitely had time of posession….they controlled the ball but when WVU got the ball a couple times…they showed their quickness and were able to advance the ball down the pitch…but never far enough to score a try…they were tough on defense as well as they only yielded 14 points in the first half . Pitt showed some nifty kicking on their successful 2 point conversion from as far away as you could be …pretty much .

The second half was a different story…It was all Pitt…WVU did pose some problems when they kicked off to Pitt…but Pitt always capitalized on the Mountaineers mistakes…I left with a minute or so to go…and I do remember WVU scoring with about 18 minutes left in the match…that was their first try…and maybe their only one…Like I said I left a little early as i wanted to walk Tucker….at the time I believe the score was Pitt 43 and WVU 7

Pitt will play again this week at founders field…hosting West Chester…should be a nice afternoon to watch some rugby

Here are a few images from the WVU match

Forge v South Pitt and other stuff

Adventured out to McDonald Pa…to watch some rugby…a route I have driven many times…but for some reason I got lost…I missed my turn…but it was a quick fix

Lots of nice fluffy clouds in the sky…the grass was green and the air temp was 83 degrees with an occasional breeze

The D III Forge scored rather regularly at the start of the game and South Pitt fell too far behind to fully recover…but that didnt stop this from being an enjoyable match to watch .
The tackling was better on both sides than what the Steelers had offered up on Sunday…and when a team is down by 30 points or so…you might expect them to quit…but South Pitt didn’t do that….they actually outplayed the Forge during the last 20 minutes or so of the game . I like that attitude…always trying to win the next possession …trying to do better than you did just a minute before…Despite the never quit attitude…the Forge still won …I am not quite sure but the Forge was near 50 points and the South Pitt Team I believe had 27

So I am combining this with my Sunday stroll with Tucker …downtown and north shore…we were down there before the tail gating began…but it was just starting as we were getting ready to leave…Steeler fans…KC Fans…it is nice and peaceful down there as the sun comes up…I get out early for a few reasons…but the major one is for my little 8 year old rat terrier…Tucker who I adopted…he has Lupus…yes dogs can get lupus…it is best I keep him out of direct sunlight…and just in case I carry doggie sunscreen for him…you dont want to use a sunscreen with zinc oxide in it…it is poisonous to dogs…but there are several dog sunscreens…and if you cant find that…there are some infant sunscreens that will do the trick…

stopped by a couple local rinks for some amateur hockey as well

have a great week everyone

Forge v South Pitt and other stuff

 

Adventured out to McDonald Pa…to watch some rugby…a route I have driven many times…but for some reason I got lost…I missed my turn…but it was a quick fix

Lots of nice fluffy clouds in the sky…the grass was green and the air temp was 83 degrees with an occasional breeze

The D III Forge scored rather regularly at the start of the game and South Pitt fell too far behind to fully recover…but that didnt stop this from being an enjoyable match to watch .
The tackling was better on both sides than what the Steelers had offered up on Sunday…and when a team is down by 30 points or so…you might expect them to quit…but South Pitt didn’t do that….they actually outplayed the Forge during the last 20 minutes or so of the game . I like that attitude…always trying to win the next possession …trying to do better than you did just a minute before…Despite the never quit attitude…the Forge still won …I am not quite sure but the Forge was near 50 points and the South Pitt Team I believe had 27

So I am combining this with my Sunday stroll with Tucker …downtown and north shore…we were down there before the tail gating began…but it was just starting as we were getting ready to leave…Steeler fans…KC Fans…it is nice and peaceful down there as the sun comes up…I get out early for a few reasons…but the major one is for my little 8 year old rat terrier…Tucker who I adopted…he has Lupus…yes dogs can get lupus…it is best I keep him out of direct sunlight…and just in case I carry doggie sunscreen for him…you dont want to use a sunscreen with zinc oxide in it…it is poisonous to dogs…but there are several dog sunscreens…and if you cant find that…there are some infant sunscreens that will do the trick…

stopped by a couple local rinks for some amateur hockey as well

 

have a great week everyone

A

Forge v Syracuse Chargers

Saturday past….not too bad temperature wise for august…I missed the first match between the Forge DIII v Greensburg Maulers…but was glad to make the 2nd match of the day…I believe the final score was 34-7 in favor of the Forge…Pittsburgh was in total charge of the Chargers who at a few different times would have threatening drives…but…ooops a booboo…and the Forgeturn it around for a quick score…very disheartening for the Syracuse club…I really do not have much to say…so I am posting a few images…Go Forge

Forge v Scioto Valley in a friendly

It was SaturdaY and my gear was packed and ready to head to watch some rugby preseason action…so I was getting ready to travel to the Mt Oliver area…one more check before I leave….ooops…the game had been moved to Cheswick and Founders Field…well good thing my guardian angel tapped me on the shoulder to point me in the right direction…and I really didnt mind trying to find a parking spot on the steep street and having to park up on the sidewalk or in a ditch…it was like going from the RedRoof Inn to the Omni William Penn

I got there a little late but still caught 3/4 of the game…For early August it was reasonable at around 80 degrees and sunny…I can say it was reasonable but I did not have any 200pound person chasing me and knocking me down

Nice little crowd out working on their tans while still being safe rubbing some of that banana boat sunscreen on.

I cant tell you much about the game as I kind of struggled through it with some back issues…but I did get a few images…I do know the Forge was leading at the half but lost in a close one as the scioto valley teams defense stiffened and did not allow a score in the 2nd half…If I am wrong corrections are encouraged

The Forge are headed to west Virginia this Saturday for late afternoon games…so if you got your chores done and want to watch a little rugby…check out the Forge on facebook forr exact location

some images

Getting Old

Somedays i feel like I am 109 years old

I hurt my back a week ago and was not able to do much…A hydrocollator , a foam roller and Tucker were my best friends .

I had an electrical unit …not a TENS unit as I cannot use those…but a unit from a company in Canada…King Brand is the company…and the unit sent electronic waves deep into the tissue causing heat…and bringing blood to the injured area…well i thought I had mine for a couple years…Turns out I only had it 14 months after checking with Amazon…which is where i bought it…I contacted the company as this unit was quite expensive and it did really work…but there is only a 12 month warranty…so I am s@$t out of luck…and I wont spend that much on another unit…the wires broke on mine…I tried splicing them back together but to no avail…so the foam rollerwhich cost about 5x less does a really good job…I think everyone should have a foam roller

So I am now at least to the point where I can sit at the desk for a little while…I pretty much slept about 12 hours a day last week .

So Yesterday…Tucker and I got up early and headed downtown…street parking is free…went into the park…Point State park…we were parked just across the street…enjoying some things I do not usually pay attention to…like the 2 canons near the Fort Pitt Museum…the has markings on the canon barrel…if that is what it is called …but it was made in 1755

walked down near the fountain that was not yet running as we were there pretty early…a park ranger drove by while making his rounds and greeted us with a good morning…pulled out a liyyle of a chicken tender and broke it into pieces for Tucker…he enjoyed his snack as we watched a barge come up river from down by the West End bridge and pass Heinz field .

As we made our way up the allegheny side of the park…I saw some white morning glorys…a much underrated flower…and then I saw a morning glory that very much reminded me of a morning glory I remember from childhood…it was pink and white…I have a picture to prove I saw it…but that flower made my day…I had been looking for a similar one for years…always something close but this one has been the best….since childhood…Tucker and I ended up in PPG plaza as always where we sat and meditated…and had the rest of the chicken tender

It was 62 degrees when we started…and 65 degrees when we headed home…it was an enjoyable morning

Oh one more thing…we were near Heinz hall and saw this really nice bicycle rack sculpture…it is a skeleton but its vertebrae is made like a bicycle chain…it is in the images

also since my back has issues…i wanted to travel light and only caried my littlee point and shoot Olympus Tough 3 camera…I think they are up to tough 5 now…but my tough 3 works fantastically…is that a word ?

Hope you all have a grande week

some images

Sunday Stroll for Tucker

went down town Sunday and ran into yoga fest at 6:45 a.m. there was already a yoga class in progress…when I left the house it was thundering and lightning and a l;ittle rain…but we headed downtown any way….and the storm even though it was moving with us towaerd town…did not come over Mt washington

So we just slowly meandered our way around Point State park and downtown ending up at ppg plaza and watched the water fountain before heading home

just a few images

I do say if you want to take portraits…PPG plaza on a sunny morning 8 to 10 is a great pl;ace…the light is bouncing all over the place…I got the nices image of Tucker

stuff

No one ordered cookies from me last week…I was lost…what to do…I had been making cookies for a month for various occasions with graduation and a baby shower

I had bought different items in getting ready for the baby shower which had a whale theme…

so……………I decided to make some shortbread and use the whale tail cookie cutter I had bought…so I researched some recipes…not that I needed to…but the stuff people put in their “shortbread cookies”…lots of folks using eggs…there are no eggs in shortbread…that is the beauty of shortbread…it is a 3 ingredient cookie…butter sugar and flour…NO EGGS ! some people add flavoring…though not needed it is an easy method to create variety…add a little vanilla…or lemon rind or some ground lavender buds

I opted to make a recipe I never tried before…instead of granulated sugar it called for confectioners sugar…I don’t think I will do that again…the cookie was tasty…but it was too light…next time I will stick with granulated

So made the cookies and started on some photographs I had planned to make or already made and needed some post processing done .

Set up my little studio and did some macro photography…refracted water droplets always interested me…I became easily frustrated with one failed attempt after another…went back the second day…learning a bit from the 1st day…and was alittle bit better…and still a long way to go…so I found some santa clauses…those fluffy white cottony thing that blow around in the wind and put it in a clothes pin to hold it…then i spritzed some water on it…put it in front of some sunflowers…you will have to look through the images to see a phot or 2 of what I got

And I guess it is going on 2 weeks now that the Futures of Pittsburgh tennis tournament took place in Mt lebanon…It was some of the lowest quality tennis that has ever come through here on the Futures circuit….the finalists and semifinalist put on a good show…It was won by Argentine…Mateo Nicolas Martinez who defeated Colombian Alejandro Gomez 6-4 , 6-4…though the scores seem close it really never was as Martinez was in control the whole match

Last image is of Tucker in PPG plaza…if your client will get up early and you ared doing a photo shoot…PPG plaza on a sunny morn between 8 and 10…the light is phenomenal