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I Was Born: It’s My Birthday! Sunday, March 23, 2008

Posted by Grace in graceisms.
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Today is Easter.

It is also my birthday.

Yesterday was a long day of partying, and this morning was easter breakfast with my large extended family.

When I woke up, about an hour after getting home, there was still enough alcohol in my system that my disposition was still Woohoo! Birthday! Easter! And at my grandparent’s house, things slowly rolled more and more downhill…

Famous people I share a birthday with: Keri Russell and Joan Crawford. (find who you share a birthday with here)

Being born on March 23 makes me an Aries on the cusp of Pisces, also known as the Cusp of Rebirth. People born in this period possess the dreaminess, active fantasy, quietude and sensitivity inherent in Pisces with the uncomplicated and fiery forwardness inherent in Aries. They are likely to possess strong mental powers coupled with the gift of comprehension. These cusp characters play as hard as they work, perform their best under pressure, do not deal well with failure, and pursue goals unremittingly, refusing to be denied. They are exceedingly artistic souls who have an inherent power of intuition, and have the ability to skillfully reach out to others. Stubborn, they are likely to want what they want when they want it. Also, their definition of family will often include friends and associates. (Paraphrased from here)
Personality traits people born today are reported to have:

Personality Strengths: Drive, Style

Personality Weakness: Impatience

Successful Career Path: Entrepreneurship

Sense of Humor: Quick Witted

Descriptive Adjectives: Strong, Adventurous

Enterprising and creative – you see things that most people fail to even dream about. You see the world from a unique perspective and that gives you a natural advantage in most regards. Talented to the point of being almost prodigal, one can only hope that you utilize your talent and make something great of your life.(You can find out yours on the My Birthday application on facebook)

Song of the Day: I Was Born – Wilco

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Love You Madly: Mm Mm Hamantaschen Friday, March 21, 2008

Posted by Grace in from the kitchen.
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I have a love affair with these cookies, a deep seated one. Because I have no recipes that involve Easter traditions, other than perhaps paska which I don’t know how to make, I’ve got one for Purim. Perhaps I should give my Baba a call… maybe I’ll hit you all with that recipe later.

Hamantaschen

For the cookies, you need:

1 C Butter
2 C Granulated sugar
2 tsp orange rind (grated or filed, not big chunks)
2 eggs
3 ¾ C flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and orange rind until fluffy. Then add in the eggs.

In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Give them a mix to disperse the ingredients more evenly. Add to the butter mixture, and stir until you achieve a smooth dough.

Divide the dough into thirds, and form each into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap to seal in the moisture, and stick them in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.

When they’re nice and cold, roll the dough out to ¼ – 1/8 inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, I use a 3 inch one, cut out rounds. Reroll the scraps to make more cookies.

Next, what you want to do is go around the edges with egg wash (that’s an egg beaten with about a tablespoon of water, it’s what makes the edges stick). Place a heaping teaspoon of filling (recipes for which will follow) in the middle of the cookie.

Fold up three sides to make three corners. Pinch the corners to seal them, leaving a small opening in the center.

Place the cookies about an inch apart on a prepared baking sheet, and put them back in the fridge. They can hang out in there for about half an hour.

Bake them till they’re golden in a 350 oven, that’s between 15 and 20 minutes.

For the filling:

Poppy seed variation: In a saucepan, bring milk (1 C) and water (1/4 C) to a boil. Mix in ground poppy seeds (1 C), sugar (1/2 C), chopped raisins (1/4 C), honey (2 tbsp), cinnamon (1/4 tsp), and a pinch of salt. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, stirring often until stiff and dry, about 18 minutes. Let cool and use in cookies.

Apricot variation: In a saucepan, soak finely chopped dried apricots (1.5 C) in water (1.5 C) for about 20 minutes. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low about 30 minutes, until almost no water remains. Stir in 2 tbsp honey, and a splash of orange juice (I never measure, maybe a little less than a quarter cup?) and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Let cool and use in cookies.

This recipe makes about 50 cookies, but they’re so good that they disappear quickly. Once or twice, in a pinch without poppy seed or dried apricots, I’ve used strawberry rhubarb jam, to much delight of my fellow Hamantaschen munchers. I’m sure there are other fillings used out there, of which I would be curious to learn, but these are the ones I know of.

Song of the Day: Love You Madly – Cake