The Void, Art, And Cayenne

After yesterday’s frendzied run of gift tag making, I was left sort of twiddling my thumbs in the creative department today. I really dislike that “limbo” kind of feeling. I don’t know what I want to do next. Or I find something I think might be fun and don’t have all the supplies I need. It’s got to be a lot like surfing the void, but only in the lack of a direction. In the end, I turned to painting.

I’d promised Magiba she could paint today, so we painted together. She painted on canvas and I painted the ink design I created for our lesson on medieval illumination. My illumination was a spur of the moment whim. I didn’t have to create a project like the girls did, but it seemed like so much fun. The only paper at hand was newsprint, so when it was time to paint, I kept some tissue paper handy to blot it. It seemed to work pretty well. We worked with acrylic paints and Magiba discovered that they dry really quickly. It’s actually one of the reasons I love working with acrylic paint! We really enjoyed working on our art projects. Since they are going to be given away, I’ll wait until later to post photos of them.

Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day. I wanted to give some goodies to my coworkers so I decided on peanut butter cayenne cookies. If you’ve never tasted them before, you should give them a try. Sadly, the first dozen cookies took a turn for the worse. There weren’t enough cookies left to make sure everyone at work got one. I used most of my peanut butter for the first batch and couldn’t make a second so my coworkers will have to wait until later for their cookies. If you’d like to give the cookies a try, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients: 1 cup granulated sugar; 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper; 1 cup peanut butter (if you use a no-salt peanut butter, add 1/4 tsp salt to the sugar); 1 egg.

Set the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl first, and be sure they are blended well, otherwise someone will have a bit of a surprise. Add the peanut butter and egg and stir until blended well and a dough is formed. Scoop out the dough with a teaspoon and roll into 1 inch balls. (You can use a melon ball scoop, if you have one. It’s faster.) Place the balls approximately 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and make cross-hatches with the tines of a fork. This will also mash the cookie into it’s round shape. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until they are just turning golden brown. This recipe made 22 cookies in all.

I had to bake mine for 20 minutes. The cookies are still soft when you remove them from the oven so I let mine rest for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. I know some of you may be thinking that adding the cayenne is just too odd but it really works well! I found this amount of cayenne to be just enough to let you know it’s there but not so much that you feel you need to cool off your tongue. If you try it, I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on it.

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.  ~Pablo Picasso


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