28 Jan 2010

Insomnia and midnight baking

Posted by PastryPrincess at 23:45
Sleep... oh blissful, relaxing, invigorating snooozy-snooze dose of Zzzzzzz. I really hope you'll grace me with your presence tonight, oh please! You might have wondered where I'm at and I can tell you I'm still here - or the shadow of me that is, looking like something that was puked up sometime ago. TMI? Tough! ;P

Ever since I posted my application (and started this blog ... that was 2 long weeks ago!) I haven't been able to sleep. At all. I guess that happens when nothing's ever been this important to you but it sucks nonetheless - release me from my misery already! Don't tell me anxiety and suspense is half the fun, my crankyness ( or cranky-poo, as my boyfriend calls me these days ) would tell you otherwise. As I've found out there's different levels of insomnia-related craziness: First you just feel tired, then comes the bad mood followed by big, nasty crankiness. Seriously, everything annoyed me! Then it's on to brutal exhaustion, not caring that you can't press the pause button to your life. It's indeed sort of inconvenient when you become so thin-skinned and hyper-sensitive that you feel like breaking-down and crying when you get up in the morning and the simple noise of a ringing phone can lead to madness. Basically you're never really present, awake anymore so you can't do anything. Hence I didn't write on my blog, I thought calm would do me good, but it didn't make any difference...

When I started this blog I got hooked, addicted and actually started thinking in blog posts. I wanted to write and post all the time and my boyfriend was already fearing I'd end up as an in-the-basement-living geeky eremite, you get the picture? The thing is I'm an either 200% or 0% kinda person, there's no happy middle for me. So I decided to turn it down a notch until I had actually made more stuff to post and write about, which happened very quickly. I was a very busy bee and even built a lightbox made of canvas from the diy store in order to be able to take better pictures and I was very proud of the result. There I was making chocolates, cereal bars, salads, muffins and cookies, trying to work on my food stylist and photography skills, all the while desperately needing some shuteye. At the back of my head I felt guilty, thinking I should really get a groove on and write on my blog but always procrastinating and hoping I'd be more alert the next day... in vain.

Yes, yes, you might have noticed it too, the appearance of my insomnia coincides with me starting this blog - is that weird? One of my best friends simply told me I should delete it so... she mustn't get it, I don't want to stop! Anyway, having said that my problem is that instead of being able to go to sleep or sleep through the night my thoughts starts spinning, information overload. No particular thoughts, just unwelcome randomness or rather my subconscious freaking out even though it seems to be fine during the day. Hmmm...?!?

I went to see different people who offered me different and way too time-consuming solutions and I ended up getting herbal sleeping pills and being told by the pharmacist that I'd have to consult a doctor should my insomnia continue. I had great hopes but even after almost overdosing on the pills I wasn't able to sleep, they only made me feel relaxed and kinda woozy. Nights have been a nightmare and I dread having to go to bed because I know I'll be tossing and turning, not being able to find rest. Today I finally did go to see a doctor and he prescribed proper, chemical pills which will hopefully make me conk out in the next couple of hours! But right now I'm stilly too hyper and exstatic because of the amazing news I received today and the craziness of this week. So many news, so little time...!!! I'd like to go out and celebrate but there's nobody around to party with right now and so I'll have to wait until tomorrow.

If you struggle to go to sleep maybe you should read this post and it'll bore you so much it'll make you pass out, hahaha! ;o)

Let's not completely forget about my baking though, it kept me occupied until past 4 a.m. last Sunday after all. Why not be productive if you can't sleep anyway I thought. I hadn't anticipated staying up this late though but our stupid oven must be broken because it wouldn't properly heat up and stuff needed forever to be done and it was like a game of luck whether it would come out alright or not. I made olive-oil and lime cookies which were extremely limey and a little tangy but didn't taste the least of olive oil which I found a bit disappointing - I love EVOO! For some reason, must have been my weariness, I formed the moist dough into normal cookies after chilling it and they came out nice and chewy but I think they were actually meant to be a LOT smaller and therefore probably with a slightly different texture, too. Whatevs, still good. ;o) Oh, they had little hollows that were filled with lime icing and candied lime peel after baking - be prepared for a full-on lime shock!
I found the recipe in a booklet by a German magazine, "Brigitte". Shall I translate it for you?

Lime and Olive Oil Cookies

1-2 limes
40 gr candied lime peel
100 gr caster sugar
150 gr flour
1/2 tablespoons baking powder
pinch of salt
75 ml olive oil ( optional: lemon-infused olive oil )
2 tablespoons milk
about 50 gr of sugar for coating

40 gr candied lime peel
about 50 gr confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice

For the dough:
Wash limes under hot water, dray and zest the lime, then juice it. Mix 75 grams of sugar and the candied lime peel in a food processor until it's finely ground.
Preheat conventional oven to 180°C (ca. 350F) or fan oven to 160°C and gas 3.
In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, the sugar-lime peel mixture and add olive oil, milk, lime zest and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Use the dough hooks of your hand mixer and then knead the dough with your hands.
Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment, form about 35 little balls of dough, roll them in caster sugar and place them on the tray. Use your fingers to press them down a little so a small well forms.
Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until they are golden brown and let them cool on a cooling rack.

For the icing:
Roughly chop the candied lime peel. Mix the confectioner's sugar and lime juice until you get a liquid, creamy icing. Pour a little bit of icing into the wells in every cookie, sprinkle with some candied lime peel and let them dry. Ready to eat, enjoy with a glass of milk!

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