Finally, after weeks of the same notification from Alexa, "41 degrees and cloudy with a chance of flurries", today felt like Spring. The last few weeks the days have been so grey it feels like we've been in an endless tug of war with winter. Opening the windows to let in a fresh breeze felt spectacular. Just what I needed to get into gear to finish off my last week of pregnancy on a super positive note.
More so than in previous posts, this year I feel like pressing RESET on everything. No surprise, really. At 38.5 weeks pregnant I am the size of a watermelon and nesting hard. My brain feels like scrambled eggs except when it comes to organizing closets, creating freezer meal plans, and reshuffling the pantry for baby bottle storage. Also, I channeled all of my neuroses and folded every single towel we own into a perfect square. I am told this is entirely normal behavior one week before your entire life changes.
In an effort to curtail irrational terrorizing of every linen closet and resorting of paper towels and pillowcases (for the third time in two weeks), I spent this week letting all my anxious energy out through transforming the apartment for warmer weather.
Over the last few days I arranged fresh flowers and put away everything that reminds me of winter: no more boots and no more puffy marshmallow pregnancy coat! Referencing seasonal posts from years past really helped me figure out what to tackle and stay motivated. In no particular order and with as much energy as my very round self could muster, I attacked each of the below. Hope this burst of warmth is as motivating to you as it was to me. Each post is linked so click away!
- Resuscitated our greenery and planted fresh windowsill herbs.
- Updated pillows and blankets for the warmer weather. No more dark and moody colors or heavy comforters and wool!
- Stocked the fridge and pantry with Spring friendly foods and greens from the market. Goodbye stew, hello fresh vegetables and fruit!
Then, once my home was relatively in order - I baked the best cookies of my entire life. For the record, cookies have never been my forte and they've never been my favorite. I'm mostly a chocolate chip girl and only on very rare occasions (somehow, cookies never satisfy a craving for me the way ice cream or brownies do.) That completely changed when I made these. I've made them twice since Passover (they're gluten/flour/leavening free) and vowed to never let my cookie jar be empty again.
Not too sweet, not too crunchy, not too soft. If I am the Goldilocks of cookies I finally found my perfect fit. Ok, I'm awful at analogies but these are SO good. Please forgive me, and make them this weekend!
Almond Meringue Cookies
- 3 cups almond flour
- 4 egg whites room temperature. reserve one for later in a separate cup.
- 1/3 cup buttermilk or whole milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- pinch of salt
- rough chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts
- Preheat over to 300F.
- Beat 3 egg whites and the pinch of salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. The trick to egg whites is that all of your equipment must be totally dry. Not a single drop of water anywhere! Like the desert but even less. (Thanks, mom for this tip! Only took me 2-3 years to ask why I couldn't manage "stiff peaks".)
- Combine all dry ingredients.
- Gently fold the meringue into dry ingredients.
- Add buttermilk and vanilla.
- Stir to combine into dough. It will be very, very sticky.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling chop up your toppings and remember the egg white you set aside in a separate bowl. I used pecans but honestly any nut or even chocolate chips would work.
- Scoop up slightly smaller than golf ball chunks of dough, roll into a ball.
- Coat cookie dough ball in egg white followed by topping of choice. Flatten into patty... or cookie. Cookies are a type of patty, right? Whoa.
- Place on greased baking sheet or parchment paper.
- Bake cookies for 15- 20 min, until edges are a bit brown. Cool and then eat. Duh!