January 23, 2011

What are your EP's?

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EP.  Do you know what it is?  Unless your familiar with Dr. John J. Pelizza, you may not know. I am very happy that I now know who Dr. Pelizza is and that I know what EP means!  He is a motivational speaker and author that I had the opportunity to listen to last week and he is definitely great at his job.  EP is what is most important to us (Emotional + Personal).  Laser is what direction our EP's put us in.  When you know your EP's and you are laser, you can be better! 
What are my EP's? I bet most of you already know.  My children, husband and entire family.  My friends and my pets - especially Rotten Rudy Rut-ton! The next time someone asks me how I am doing my response is always going to be "better".  Better means there is room for improvement and I want to always improve!  I am really thankful my work had the new hire orientation that they had for us.  It was a very motivating and up-lifting experience.  There wasn't a thing about the entire day that I didn't enjoy. Another exciting event on that day I will never forget?  I watched Airforce One as it descended into the Albany airport and then watched later as it ascended back into the skies.  That was just another experience to help me remember my day.
Why am I telling you all of this?  Well, partly because I am still very motivated from Dr. Pelizza's talk and I don't want to lose it.  The other part is because I want to share with you that if you do what you love you will be better.  I did what I loved today.  I baked cookies and decorated and photographed them.  I am beyond happy because they turned out so gorgeous.  So much so I almost don't want to eat them.  But I will.  :)
This post is also very EP to me because it is a recipe that my Aunt Marlene makes, and I love her so much.  I love her cookies too!  She sent me this recipe at Christmas time but I ended up not having time to make them.  This weekend I decided that making them would happen, and I would make heart cookies to share with you.
Its been a while since I've been so happy and so optimistic for our future.  I realize I need to stop the worry.  Worry is an energy drainer and I need my energy!  I have some new goals set, some things I want to learn and I am going to put forth the effort to "laser" and succeed.  I can blog and  I can bake.  I can share my food with friends, family, and co-workers.  I can make friends and I can take a class.  I can, will be and will stay happy and optimistic.  The power of positive thinking.  That is where I am at.

What are your EP's? What motivates you to move and go forward?  What do you want to be better at? 

I know I am going to use my Journal to Live By that was given to me by Dr. Pelizza and I am going to be better!  Bring it on!!

Now for the cookie!  The recipe my Aunt Marlene shared with me is for a very soft and tender cookie from an Amish Cookbook that she has.  They are called Holiday Cutouts.  The instructions in the book were pretty vague and as my Aunt states, its a good things we know what to do!  I will give you the instructions as I made the cookies.  I halved the recipe but will give you the full one.  This makes a lot of cookies!


Valentine Cutouts
2 cups margarine (I used unsalted butter, softened)
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup boiling water
6 1/2 cups bread flour (I didn't have bread flour so I just used regular.  Worked just fine.  I may have used just a little less than what it called for too.)
1 teaspoon salt - I added this since I used unsalted butter.

Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time and mix until blended. Add sour cream and blend.

In a separate bowl place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt - stir to combine.  Gradually add flour and alternate with water until all flour is incorporated.  Chill 2-3 hours.  Roll, cut, and bake @ 350 for approximately 7 minutes.  Cool and decorate.

I used a tutorial from Our Best Bites for decorating with glace icing.  This is the tutorial I found when I made and decorated my first glazed cookies - the Snowflake Cookies!  I will always use the recipe and method on Sara & Kates blog because I think it is the best out there that doesn't incorporate meringue powder.  It is really simple to decorate with glace, just a little tedious.  Believe me, when your done and look at your artwork, you will be proud and it is all worth it!


Tracy said...

Your cookies are beautiful! Will they last until Valentines day??

Shelby said...

Thanks Tracy!

Ha! I will be surprised if they last that long! I do intend to share. :)

Leslie said...

Beautiful cookies. Great Job!
I love your positive attitude.
My EP's ...the 3 f's...Family,friends and food!

MaryBeth said...

I agree..these are amazing and so pretty. I would be honored to have someone share them with me.

Mateja ^_^ said...

This cookies are so pretty! They express a true note of love: it is sweet and it goes through belly ;) Amazing decor!!!!

Vickie LeBlanc said...

Hi Shelby. Sorry I haven't been leaving comments but I still visit your blog a few times a week. Those cookies are amazing; so professionally decorated. You sure have a talent there.

Fallon said...

Great job on decorating the cookies! They look like the kind at the grocery store with the pink frosting.

EP is something I never heard before but I like how it sends out positive messages. At the top of my head my EP's of the moment would be blogging, seeing my boyfriend each day, having a nice dinner each night, and the ability to be happy with laughter.

Grace said...

Shelby your post couldn't have come at a better time, feeling a little blue this week after receiving some news about my health but you are so correct concentrate on positive thinking and I am going to try and do just that. Love your cookies, don't you think recipes that gets handed down from a family member is so much more special. You've done these cookies justice - they look beautiful, drooling on this end and the pics are fabulous!!!

Cathy said...

Wow, beautiful cookies. I'm envious of your decorating skills. A pastry bag and I just don't seem to get along.

Your comments about being positive are so true. That and staying in the present are essential to happiness.

bellini valli said...

It is always evident in every post where your priorities lie Shelby...home is where the heart is. Thank you for making these gorgeous sugar cookies for the ones you love.

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

What a great post Shelby. It definitely inspired me at a time when I needed it most. Thanks for being you!

And those cookies are BEAUTIFUL!

teresa said...

i don't think i've ever seen such beautiful cookies in my life. great post, some wonderful food for thought!

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

These are wonderful Valentines cookies.
EP's, wow, hard to really put them all down in words here, but I am always motivated to try new recipes, use new ingredients, and taste new dishes.

Suzanne said...

Shelby, great blog post! And what beautiful cookies!!! Outstanding!

marla said...

These cookies are beautiful, glad to hear you were so inspired by that speaker. How fun!

Megan said...

I want to be your Valentine! I <3 sugar cookies. Especially beautiful ones!

FOODESSA said...

It is not to long ago that I decided that doing what was emotional and personal to me would certainly help make things better for sure. For one, I decided it was worth my time to blog about the culinary journey I've always wanted to take...spend more time with Hubby and my puppy Sushi. Now, I find myself in a much better position ;o)

Great thought provoking post and of course those adorable cookies is what lured me in from CES in the first place ;o)

Flavourful wishes,

Taylor said...

I have never heard of EP's...the concept sounds inspirational! My EP's are my family, my boyfriend, cooking, and blogging. Oh and cookies too :) These cookies look delicious...so sweet and soft!

Barbara Bakes said...

Gorgeous cookies and gorgeous photos! Perfect for someone you love!

Jessica said...

I love the icing. You really have some bakers talent. Thanks for the post.

Pat's Pink Apron said...

These look amazing. Love to try them. Pat

Katherine Martinelli said...

I love these cookies!! Thanks again for linking up at my v-day blog hop :-)

Lizzy Do said...

Beautiful cookies! I am hoping to pick up on your optimism and run with it!!!!

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Yvonne [Tried and Tasty] said...

These cookies are so pretty! What a great post, I'll have to write my EP's down so I can focus on them and be better - thank you for the insight!

EZPZ Mealz said...

I had no idea what EP's were. Haha But I love these cookies, and now I know!

Sarah Olson said...

I will have to look up that motivational speaker! And your cookies are beautiful! I hope I have time to bake this valentine's day.

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