Less than stellar two weeks….

I have always known I was allergic to things. Certain foods, grasses, trees, etc… And I just always dealt with them. But this last year that got really out of control and so I broke down and went to see an allergist. I had put it off for quite sometime because I have a deep fear of needles (a phobia actually) and to test you the poke you with a needle…a lot. And second I was afraid I would be allergic to wheat. I know a lot of people have that allergy and deal with it beautifully. I would not be good at dealing with that beautifully. So off I went. They were kind of rude, they kept telling me, “you think you have allergies” and I kept thinking to myself, “no, I have allergies, I don’t just get hives for shits and giggles”. But none the less I just smiled at them. My smile turned to smirk when my entire arms went aflame and before she was even done with the test she said, “oh, I guess you do have allergies”. Gee, I guess I do. But here comes the super crappy part. I’m allergic to my dog. Yes, CCS. Luckily, I am not allergic to rabbits. But my puppy. :( They told me of course that the best thing to do was to give her away to a friend or family member. Which I did, I gave her to my husband. ;) I just laughed at the doctor when he told me that and he knew he would not be winning that battle. He then told me no more dogs after CCS. I laughed again, but this time in my head. :) Then he told me that since I am allergic to every tree, grass, pollen, pet dander (but hey…good news, I am not allergic to cockroaches…lucky me!) and molds, that the best course of action would be to get allergy shots. Shots? I avoided coming in in the first place was because of the needles and now you want to stick me three times a week for three months and once a month there after…for five years. Ugh. Though, in good news, I am not allergic to wheat.
That was followed with my right hand going numb all the time. I couldn’t do simple things like stir cake batter in a bowl. I couldn’t keep grasp of things. Yep. I have the dreaded carpal tunnel. Mostly because of how I sleep on my wrist at night. But aggravated from the computer. So you probably haven’t seen me around as much and if I do get to your site my messages have been short and sweet. This may be the case for awhile. I have also had to slow down on my baking as some of it just down right hurts. Grrrr.
That followed with me losing my main source of income. They simply aren’t making money and therefore can’t afford employees.
That followed with my husbands company laying off 5,000 employees within the next 18 months, with 1,400 being laid off last Thursday. The great thing is that we made it through that round. The scary thing is we still have 18 months to have that possibility.
Needless to say I have been a little less than perky as of late. So it was so extra special when Melinda (a faithful reader) of Melinda’s Kitchen Diary sent me a care package….a big one. It arrived on the day we found out whether my husband was going to have a job or not and for some reason when I opened up her packages it was like someone telling me everything was going to be alright…and it was. An hour after opening the packages, we found out my husband was still employed. What was in those packages was a complete surprise. See, when I made quince paste over on my other blog, she emailed and asked me if I would like any quince cheese (that is what they call it in the UK). I was really interested in trying it out and so I said yes, please. Well, I got my quince cheese along with many other items. There was a cookbook (Bake by Rachel Allan…she is a UK baker), tea towels (you can see those in the pictures), a little bag for my pup, and a cute little polka dot mug. Far more than what she should have done but a great treat as even though my husband did not lose his job we are buckling down and not spending money. So no more cookbooks for me for quite a while. :(
These shortbread (though the way I make them they are more like a butter cookie) are a take on the peppermint version I already made. This time I used the full cup of rice flour and really liked the texture. You could use any liqueur but I love Frangelico and it goes nicely with coffee or tea. They are quite addicting I must warn you. If you end up using the 9 by 13-inch pan you will need to bake them longer.
So there you have it. Not the best two weeks of my life. And also the reason why you wont see me as much around to your blogs and what not. And even when reading them I might not be able to comment depending on if my hand is numb or not. :(

Frangelico Shortbread Butter Cookies    

1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 TBSP Frangelico liqueur
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white rice flour
½  TBSP salt
2 TBSP coarse sugar for top
Parchment paper

In a standard mixer or with a hand-held beater, cream sugar, Frangelico and butter until light and fluffy.
Add flours and salt and combine until mixture just starts to come together. (The dough should be crumbly but stick together when squeezed.) Don¢â¬â„¢t panic as the dough will be very crumbly, when they start to bake they will form into a cookie.
Line a 12-by-16-inch pan with parchment (I used a 9 by 13-inch pan). Place dough into the pan and break up any large clumps, spreading evenly.
Press dough down gently and sprinkle coarse sugar on top.
With a rolling pin or drinking glass, roll out the dough evenly. (Use a little additional sugar if the dough sticks to the rolling pin.)
With a meat tenderizer or fork, press indentations into the top of the shortbread. (This prevents the shortbread from rising unevenly.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes(if you use a 9 by 13-inch pan you will need to bake yours around 30 minutes) or until shortbread is golden brown. I under baked mine because I like mine to be on the soft side.
Cut into squares while still warm and remove cookies from pan to cool.
Makes 24 2-by-2 inch cookies.
Source: Adapted from Sugar Bakery & Cafe right here in beautiful Seattle.



  1. Oh P – I’m so sorry to hear how stressful things have been lately. I am a firm believer that when things happen that seem bad at the time, they always lead to something good, and I hope that is true for this rough patch you’re in — great things ahead! In the meantime, hugs to you. Hang in there!

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your allergies and carpal tunnel. I hope you get better very soon. I pray you find a new job soon-hope things begin to look up for you!!

  3. I had allergy testing done last year finally too and was allergic to every tree, pollen, dust, grass there was – to my cats, to cockroaches, but also to yeast, mold and fermented items- which meant strict dietary changes.

    My allergist and ENT let you choose if you want shots or to control them on your own with their resources- I’m going sans shots and followed their dietary suggestions with a daily claritin and have been INCREDIBLE for almost a year!

    I’m more than happy to mail or fax a copy of their recommended things to avoid for tree/pollen/dust allergies if you’d like me to – just email me and let me know.

  4. ohh, I’m so sorry, Peabody. I’m only a lurker normally but I had to post to say I feal for you. What a horrible load of happenings — and being allergic to CCS is the pits. Hope things look up for you all soon.

  5. Oh, dear. What a couple of weeks you’ve had =( Here’s hoping for more silver linings! I too suffer from many allergies. I love my Veramyst nasal spray for all the pollen, dust, dander, and spores, and the food allergies I grew up with, so I don’t really miss what I’ve never been able to enjoy. I’m under another of those big Seattle companies, and while my bosses claim I’m in a safe place, I’m still somewhat holding my breath. *hug*

  6. I am so sorry to hear that things aren’t so great right now. I think we are all suffering somewhat. If not from things happening directly to us…there is the fear that something will happen soon! I hope things look up for you soon! I love looking at your treats, they are always a silver lining for me!

  7. So sorry about your “challenging” couple of weeks,Peabody! Things seem to come at us in bunches like that,don’t they? I have those massive allergies myself, and did weekly shots for 3 years, and now do a monthly one. It’s gone by fast and has really helped. Thanks for another shortbread recipe…my favorite! I made your peppermint variety at Christmas, and they were fabulous! Take care of yourself!


  8. Well, goodness! I’m sorry that you have had such a bad two weeks. At least you have the blessing of the hubby’s job for now. The shortbread looks delicious! A perfect texture.

  9. Dang. Sorry I’ve been such a loser and haven’t been here. If it helps, you were practically the first foodie I came across when I started blogging almost 2 years ago. Remember when your mom didn’t think people read your blog and you asked us to come out? I’m sorry you’re dealing with crap. Seriously. My oldest son is allergic to practically everything on Earth thanks to his father whom I divorced a few decades ago. I’ll add you to my list of special people whom I include when I go out at night to count my lucky stars. It works for me. Big hugs to you peabody and nice shortcake. I love me some Frangelico…

  10. BIG HUG!!!!!

    hang in there!

  11. I am your newest blog stalker. I found PW through like 5 other blogs I stalk and then found yours and I am going to BAKE IT UP!!! MM MM MMMM I can feel a sugar coma coming on! Thanks for all the amazing recipes and wit!

  12. I’m sorry to hear that things are not all sunshine and roses right now. Sending some good thoughts you way. I love your blog and it would be too bad if you were allergic to wheat — I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to deal gracefully with it either, I love my carbs.
    That said, although those labradoodles or whatever they’re called are hyped as hypoallergenic, they’re not really. At least not for everyone. My friend whose parents got them because he was allergic to dogs and they really wanted dogs — well, short story is that he still sneezes his head off.
    Hope things clear up for you!

  13. Oh, Pea, I’m so sorry to hear that. Hang in there, sweetie. I’m sure things will get clearer with time. Take good care of yourself – be sure there will be several Brazilian fingers here crossed for you.

  14. sorry to hear your last two weeks haven’t been the best. keep your chin up. :) good solution giving your dog to your husband. i couldn’t give up my cats either if i found out i was allergic to them.

  15. Oh Peabody! :( I’m really sorry to hear about being allergic to CCS! There are a few ways to reduce her effects on you (I’m slightly allergic to K-dog) like vacuuming a lot (vacuum?! clean?! gah!) and washing hands thoroughly after touching her, etc. And I’m sorry about the shitty 2 weeks you have been having. Keeping fingers crossed for the mister and I hope things will hold up for both of you. I hear ya on the numb hand thing. I had the f’d up shoulder thing (from knitting then sleeping funny on it then programming a lot – the hell?!). Sending you many many good thoughts and good juju. huggles. xxoo

  16. I have a deathly fear of needles! Going to the dentist or docs is a MAJOR event for everyone in my family. I am horrid with needles.
    If I ever found out I was allergic to my pets I would do exactly what you are doing: keep them. I know getting a high-quality air washer (not air cleaner, but washer) does help with allergies tremendously.
    I must try using the rice flour…someone else raved about.

  17. those cookies look great.

    my hubby is severely allergic too. to everything. he is more allergic to dogs than cats and his allergist also told him to get rid of the pets….ummm sure. so the dog gets bathed once a week – his skin gets itchy if he touches her and she hasn’t been bathed recently…and the cats get bathed once a month (yea, they love that). we manage though. i hate needles too but i hope the injections give you the relief you need – it has really helped my hubby

  18. Sending big hugs your way!

  19. Oh Peabody! I am so sorry!

    The shortbread looks incredible!

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