2013 here we go!

So it’s 2013 and after 5 days away from work, I’m back here.  Blech.  But I won’t dwell on that stuff.

Having 5 days away from work was lovely!  I typically only take vacation when I go on a vacation, so having time off with nothing to do was novel.  It felt good though.

Friday morning DJ and I went to look at a new car for me.  My lease isn’t up until August but I’m keeping my options open and want to be ready should a deal come up.  After that I got my hair cut and colored, which was much needed.  Darn grays!  Friday night we hit up a new BBQ spot in Stamford and then called it an early night.

Saturday started off busy.  I was a very caring spin instructor and agreed to sub an 8am class in Westport before my usual 10a in Stamford.  The instructor couldn’t find anyone to cover and I felt bad, so I told her I’d help out.  Snow was in the forecast so I was concerned that i’d be driving all over in lousy conditions, but thankfully the snow didn’t start until around noon, and at that point I was already home.  Phew.

On Sunday I made the most delicious rugelach ever.  If you’re not sure what rugelach are, here’s a little description (thanks wikipedia).
Traditional rugelach are made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling.

It’s possible that you’ve had one and not known it as they’re pretty common on cookie platters.  Once again, I took some photos and my phone has eaten them (although this time I can’t say I blame the phone, since they are insanely tasty).

Source
Source

The recipe I use is from the Barefoot Contessa and it’s perfection.  Only thing is, they are a pain in the butt to make.  I found myself questioning why I was making them during the process, although once they were done and I ate them, they were sooooo worth it.

Rugelach and spinach balls came with me to our New Year’s get together (which was a small gathering at a friend’s house).

New Year’s day was lazy and the midday nap meant falling asleep last night was not in the cards.  Oh well.  And now it’s 2013 and back to work, but thankfully it’s already Wednesday, so that’s good.

I don’t get wrapped up in new years or resolutions, but I am hoping for a good year.  I’m also hoping to once again find my fitness motivation which has gone missing.  I think i’m ready though, so it shouldn’t be too tough.

Happy 2013 and talk soon! 🙂

Oh yes, here’s the recipe for the rugelach if you’re curious.  I’ll gladly share tips/suggestions if you think you’re going to make them, just leave a comment. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2-pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 9 tablespoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves, pureed in a food processor
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

Directions

Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins, and walnuts.

On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

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