Wowee, I had no idea how much I would miss this little space of mine after two long weeks of my computer being at the repair shop. What was supposed to have been a quick little upgrade, turned into a massive overhaul that really tested my patience sometimes. Thanks to those of you who sent me very sweet e-mails telling me how much you too were missing our little website. I really appreciate it!
So, I've got a lot of catching up to do. We're going to go back in time all the way to May 9th, which was Mother's Day. In some ways, I like this little holiday even more than birthdays. I like the idea of being celebrated, not just as an individual, but also as a collective, global community of women and all that we do for our children everyday. And I also love the aspect of giving back to my own mother, and watching my boys want to create something out of love for her too.
The day was easy, and spent mostly how I like to spend a special afternoon: a doughnut (or two), receiving something handmade by my little boys, and a warm walk in the fresh air (preferably with a view of the ocean nearby.)
This year my homemade-ness included some mango cardamom hand balm and ginger biscotti, that I think my mom enjoyed.
Mango Cardamom Hand Balm
(adapted from Stephanie Tourles' Organic Body Care Recipes)
4 Tbsp. sweet almond base oil
2 Tbsp. mango butter
1 Tbsp. anhydrous lanolin
2 Tbsp. beeswax
25 drops cardamom essential oil
In a small saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler, warm all ingredients expect the essential oil until the wax and mango butter are just melted. Remove from heat and stir a few times to blend. Add the essential oil, stir, and pour into your storage container. I used a small round tin.
Lightly cover each container with a paper towel and allow the mixture to cool before capping. Leave product at room temperature for about 12 hours to set. No refrigeration is necessary, but it's best if it's used within a year. Plenty of time.
** Note: I like to get all of my body care ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs. The Anhydrous lanolin came from Kalyx.com.
(adapted from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and baking powder until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time (the batter may look slightly curdled). Over low speed, beat in the flour, mixing until smooth. The dough will be soft and sticky.
If you would like to add finely chopped nuts, chocolate chips, seeds or dried fruit, you can do it after mixing in the flour.
Shape the dough into a rough log about 14 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide and about three-fourths of an inch thick. Place the log on the cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 325 degrees. Cool the log on the cookie sheet for 20 minutes.
Cut the biscotti into straight one-half inch slices. Arrange them so they stand upright on the cookie sheet, keeping a little space between the slices.
Bake for another 20 minutes.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container or in the freezer.