Open House 2015 Cookie Recipes

Candied Orange and Ginger Cookies







Everyone who tried these cookies raved about the orange and ginger flavor.  The only thing that I changed in this recipe was the amount of sugar.  I almost always find that there is too much sugar in cookie recipes for my taste so I always decrease, sometimes by a little and sometimes by almost half.  For this recipe I decreased the amount of sugar to just shy of 1 cup instead of 1 1/4 cup.  I could not find the candied orange in the store.  I was actually not sure where to find it other than the grocery store, so instead of running all over the place, I ordered it from Amazon.  I have made it in the past and it is very simple, but this year I just did not have the time.  I found this recipe in the December issue of Oprah magazine. Enjoy!

Makes 35-40 cookies


  • 2½ cups almond flour
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. candied orange peel, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. candied ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar


    Active time: 30 minutes
    Total time: 1 hour (plus freezing overnight)

    In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree almond flour, sugar, egg whites, candied orange peel and candied ginger until smooth. Add cranberries and pulse twice, until just combined. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover and freeze overnight.

    Preheat oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

    Put confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Roll chilled dough into 1″ balls, leaving half in the freezer while you work the first batch. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar, then arrange on prepared baking sheets, spaced 2″ apart. Repeat with remaining dough.

    Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet 10 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks or freeze, wrapped in plastic in an airtight container, up to 1 month.

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Preaching vs. Practicing

I know exactly what to tell you to do.

Well, most of the time.

Practicing it myself – not always that easy.

I read so many books. I listen to so many Webinars.  I constantly search the blogs and websites of those

“in the know” in order to help myself and my clients/students.

Today, as I sit and research, I am struck with this question, ” Do you think all of these experts really practice what they preach?”

What is making me so skeptical?

The answer is – my own life. I am an expert in my corner of the world.

I could write a book if I stopped reading what everyone else is saying.

I could put together a swanky health summit if I weren’t so busy listening to all the “other” experts.

I could blog consistently if I spent more time reflecting and less time researching.


I could practice more of what I preach if I weren’t so human.

My friend Patti coined a great saying, “we all like to argue for our limitations.”

I realize I am no different.  I argue for my limitations all of the time.
Here is a short run down of some of them:

~lack of time

~lack of resources

~the need to reward myself

~the stress of  ______ (well, you name it!)

~the list of too’s:  too hard, too much, too many, too intense

Louise called while I was working on this post and I asked her my question:

Sister, do you think these experts really practice what they preach because I find most of it so hard to sustain?”

“Well, I think ______ does because on those health summits she is so goddamn annoying. You know she does for sure.”

Is that it then? If you practice what you preach then you are annoying?

Hmmm..not so far fetched, is it?

We all judge people, especially those we deem, “too big for their britches.” (The truth is their bigness scares a part of us). Most of us are excited when one of the experts or a celebrity fails or something bad happens to them. ( If this were not true, People Magazine would have been out of business long ago). Many of us are sure that Oprah can’t be all that together or she would not continue to have “that”  weight problem.

We want to see that they have limitations too.

We use their limitations to justify our own. We want to hear them say that it is not always easy to get up and meditate every morning. How about one of  them telling us that they went to the Burger King drive through last week, or haven’t flossed for over a month, or hurt someone with unkind words and actions?

Brene’ Brown says that we judge in the areas where we are most susceptible to shame.

Back to Oprah. I find her annoying. I judge her because of who she is and who I think I should be.  I can get triggered by shame when I don’t live up to my own standards and expectations as a teacher, healer, leader, and spiritual seeker. Instead of dealing with my own shortcomings, I focus on the shortcomings of others – in this case, Oprah.


If I continue to focus on whether or not Oprah is succeeding, then I will have less time to be my own success story. I can let myself off the hook when it comes to practicing what I preach if I use an expert or celebrity as my excuse.

I am committed to telling you the truth about who I am so that we can share our humanness, while at the same time,not allowing it to get in the way of  my evolution.

Today is a good day to begin. Step one. Stop sitting and get up and stretch/move. Take 3 deep and full breaths. Eat a good meal that includes lots of protein and vegetables. Appreciate the beauty around me. (I know, it’s not finding the cure for breast cancer, but I have to start somewhere.)

P.S. I wrote this blog post and scheduled it for 3 days from when I wrote it. If you are reading to the end I feel compelled to tell you that I did not stretch, I ate a meal with too many carbs, but did breathe and walked Scout while appreciating the beauty around me.

This truth telling is not so that you can say, “Oh, good, now I am off the hook”, or ” If Anita is not making it then how can I?”  It is so that we can call each other out -in a good way. It is so that we can hold each other accountable and ask more of one another – shine the light for each others brilliance. Don’t let me play small. That would not serve either one of us.