Saturday, February 08, 2014

The World is a Book

Life is good and God is great.

If you asked me to sum up the last six months of my life, that would be it - life is good and God is great. I've been working at Winkler Bible Camp as director of their Saturday morning kids program, Kids Zone, and also prepping for summer camp. It's been marvellous.

But it's been so much more than just a job. In the last six months I've meet and become friends with some of the sweetest people around. I've learned that I don't have to plan my whole life because God's got my back and his plan is so much grander than mine. I've learned to appreciate silence. I've only begun to fathom the beauty of the night sky - the stars, the moon, and occasional northern lights. I've learned that trees are the best place to eat supper and that cereal will always be the best supper food. I've learned that open fields are the best place for reminding myself how small I really am and forests are the best place to forget life's troubles. I've realized that I'm not the only one who hurts, worries, frets, stresses, questions, or doubts. I've learned the difference between being alone and feeling alone and that sometimes the latter can happen even when the former does not. I've been shown what it means to love unconditionally, to serve unselfishly, to care genuinely. I've seen people lost in the monotony of life and I've seen people on fire with passion - I've been both of those people.  I've learned that life is full of light and darkness and that every single person is a beautiful combination of both. I came to camp to have a job, but in coming I got so much more than just that.

With that, being at camp limits my baking since I don't have a kitchen located conveniently upstairs. I've made cookies here and there but my creative baking has been slightly lacking.

My best friends sister (who's a gem) had a birthday this past week and I was asked to make her cupcakes again. Last year I made her volleyball cupcakes:

And this year I made book cupcakes:

I don't play around with fondant near as much as I should, but when I do I have a great time! 

The cupcakes were Red Velvet and the icing was a Pinterest find I'd been waiting to try for a while, Pudding Frosting.

Pudding Frosting:
  • 1 Box instant pudding (any flavor)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cups icing sugar
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 4 oz cream cheese
*Mix the milk, pudding mix, and icing sugar together
*Beat in the cream cheese until smooth, add cool whip
*Refrigerate for an hour before using

It was quite lovely, though it wasn't thick enough for piping but it spread nicely.

Well thanks for stopping by again even though I disappeared for a while. I'll try to be around here more often but there's so many adventures to be had I can't promise anything :)

Stay golden,

Monday, November 04, 2013

It's the Inside that Matters

Good evening and thank you for joining me for another episode of  "Sydney's Kitchen Adventure." I'm your host, Sydney Schultz...

Kidding, but for cereal, welcome to my blog: if you've never been here, thank you for stopping by, if you've been here before, thanks for coming back!

Let me begin with an English lesson:

Nutella: [nuˈtɛlla]: Happiness in a jar.

Okay, that was the lesson. There will be a pop quiz, so make sure you understand.

Enough joking, here's the deal:  I made cookies a week or so ago...and the idea kind of really blew my mind. I mean cookies are good enough to start with but stuff a cookie with Nutella and it's practically like eating magic.

I was a bit confused by the instructions on the site I found the recipe on, so I adapted it to make more sense.... at least to me...

Nutella Sugar Cookies:
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 7/8 cups butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • *Using a teaspoon, scoop out Nutella and place small drops on a lined cookie sheet. Put in the freezer until the dough is ready. (1)
    *Preheat the oven to 350*
    *In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
    *Use a mixer to beat together the butter and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar on medium until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
    *Turn the mixer to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined. 
    *Place 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl for later
     *Use about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie, scoop dough onto cookie sheet. They spread quite a bit so leave an inch or so of room between each one. (2)
    *Using spatula, lift the mounds of Nutella from the baking sheet and press into the middle of each cookie. (3) If the Nutella starts getting soft, toss it back in the freezer for a few minutes.
    *Make sure the dough covers the mound of Nutella. (4)
    *Sprinkle the sugar you put aside previously over each cookie (5)
    *Bake for 10 to 13 minutes. The centers should till be soft and puffy.
    *Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

    And because words are confusing, here's the picture version of those instructions!


    I imagine you could use any sugar cookie recipe...and shove some Nutella inside.

    Also, I found that the mound of Nutella didn't really spread out like I would've liked it to. When scooping out the Nutella, I would suggest spreading it out into more of a disk than just a mound. 

    What nice looking sugar cookies.... BAM! Nutella filled!

    What a pleasant surprise!

    Well thanks again for stopping by, I'm going to go continue listening to Christmas music. Only 50 days, you know!