Who Do You Love?

With the constant barrage of advertising centered around Valentine's Day, it's hard not to think about the "L" word these days. Roses, candy, and jewelry offered at inflated prices just to prove your love on February 14. For me, it's not so much about the proof of love on this single day as it is about the little things done on a day-to-day basis - consideration, compromise, thoughtfulness, the occasional PDA. If spouses, soul mates and significant others would put half as much thought into these daily gifts as money spent on the one time purchase, alot of relationships would be much better off, in my humble opinion. But what do I know? I'm obviously not one to be offering advice with two failed relationships under my belt, but I am an eternal optimist when it comes to love.

The question of who do I love is an easy one. There are the obvious people - my family, my dog, my closest friends. Then, there is love for people who are no longer in my life. That love continues to fade and become a distant memory.

And then there is love for THE ITALIAN. *Swoon*

The Italian and I met at a party nearly 10 years ago and there was something about him that captivated me immediately. It usually takes a while for me to warm up to people - it is very rare that someone impresses me from the get-go. He walked me to my car that night and planted a kiss on my lips and I swear I forgot my own name. *Swoon again* The Italian and I had a hot and steamy romance that summer, a relationship built entirely on physical attraction to one another. Eventually other people entered our lives and while the spark never fizzled between us, I ended the relationship to further another seemingly more stable one. I would cross paths again with the Italian quite by accident during this visit and with one quick flash of his pearly white smile I had to learn my name all over again. *Swoon again and again*

Today, so many years later, the Italian is in my life again. The spark, the flame, and all the fireworks are still there but this time there is much more to our relationship. It goes much deeper and has more substance. He has absolutely no qualms in saying the "L" word every time we're together but it has become a running joke between us that I haven't responded in kind as of yet. Oh, the Italian knows I love him. And I know he knows. But when the words finally do escape my lips, it's going to be him who has to pick himself up off the floor and be reminded of who he is!

Happy Valentine's Day, my love{s} and please enjoy this batch of cookies that I baked just for you. I followed some web links and eventually wound up using the cookie recipe from this website. I halved the recipe and they turned out quite nicely since they held their shape during baking as well as the transfer from the roll and cut stage to the baking sheet {where I always seem to have problems}. They weren't overly sweet on their own which is good considering I smothered and covered them in sickening sweet royal icing. Just pick up a can of Wilton Meringue Powder, follow the recipe and decorate until your heart is content :)

recipe from Kitchen Gifts

This recipe is GREAT when using complex cookie cutters. The dough holds its' shape and won't spread during baking. Make sure you let your oven preheat for at least 1/2 hour before baking these or any other cookies.

6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I used almond)
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)

Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.

HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess -- Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper.

Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator. Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all. By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut. Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.



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