We invited our friends over for dinner Friday night and they said they would come over but the Mister (that is, the spouse of the Mrs; not to be confused with One Who Mists) would not be eating. Although my initial thought was “he detests my cooking”, I started to think there was something more to it.

While I was feeding his wife pantry foods (they are really understanding friends), he explained that he was in the midst of a My Fit Foods 21-day challenge. In addition to their scheduled healthy meals, he’s also not supposed to eat after a certain time, and some other rules including exercise, etc. I was amazed at how he had already dropped noticable weight and I was really impressed by the discipline it took to do this for 3 weeks.

I was inspired listening to him. So inspired, that without thinking I opened my big mouth and exclaimed, “I’m going to give up coffee and alcohol for 3 weeks!!!”

It was very impulsive…and very DUMB.

Why volunteer myself to relinquish things that i happen to love? And what’s with 3 weeks or 21 days? What an odd window: longer than a fortnight, but shorter than a menstrual cycle?

The tea is out of the bag…er, so it turns out that white tea is actually black.  The Michael Jackson of Tea!!

A little zest really livens up a batch of cocaine
As you can see, this takes LOTS of skill.  Actually, the real skill here is trying to keep yourself from being too OCD.  I have friends like that.  It’s quite painful to watch.

Two minutes too long in the oven, but still yummy!  Try not to ignore the oven timer to avoid the “peplum skirt” effect.  Peplum – great for fashion; bad for cookies 

The problem with making these pledges in public is that you kind of feel like you have to step up and actually, you know, follow through.

Note that I did not claim to give up caffeine.  When making a pledge you have to give yourself a tiny clause of escape, in my case, tea.  A little morning tea never hurt nobody (except the double negative cop).

Immediately following my pledge I went to a week-long software training conference.  Yeah – that’s a snoozer in words alone.  How am I to keep two, much less one, eyelids open without coffee?  The omission of coffee wasn’t terrible because I wasn’t actually the one suffering the most.  My coworkers were not enjoying me wean the bean.  “So…when can you have coffee again???” “So Amee, how much longer on this ‘thing’ you’re doing?” 

Alcohol was a different challenge.  I didn’t get to rinse any weekdays off with a glass of Pinot Noir.   Secondly, my social calendar happened to be studded with commitments that don’t involve yoga pants or a mud mask.  It just so happens that I was invited to happy hours, dinners, and an Alicia Keys concert in this window exclusively.  How is one supposed to be in the Empire State of Mind without alcohol?  It was really fun turning down alcohol like an expectant mom.   “oh you aren’t having anything?” “oh…oh i see”    

Well, I did it.  I’m done.  Do I feel different?  Nope.  However, I do believe I’ve cut the umbilical cord to coffee.  I wasn’t rushing to the udder of our coffeemaker the next morning.  I did however enjoy my reunion with Pinot Noir. 

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I’m feeling…
-alicia keys

You should pledge something, anything. Anything that you find difficult/challenging: Promise to Exercise, or Give up Dessert, or Respond to Evites.  Do it.  And you can having a reason to celebrate when you’re done.

White Tea Cookies with Grapefruit Glaze
This recipe is a perfect celebration of the magnificent Texas Rio Star Grapefruit in season every spring.  These are soooooooooo good.  Enjoy these with a cup of your favorite tea.  Try a neutral flavor that doesn’t overshadow the citrus here.
cookie dough recipe from thekitchn 
modifications in italics and strikethrough


1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Earl Grey White Tea leaves* (~4 teabags)
zest of half of a Texas Rio Star Grapefruit
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup unsalted butter**
1 Tablespoon Turbinado sugar

Glaze Ingredients:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons grapefruit juice freshly squeezed
zest of half of a Texas Rio Star Grapefruit


1.  Preheat oven to 375°F. Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor until the tea leaves are pulverized. flour, sugar, confectioners sugar, tea leaves, salt, and zest in a food processor.
2.  Add Pulse in vanilla, water, and butter**. Pulse together until a dough is formed. Form the dough into a log onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Wrap the paper around and roll the log smooth. Freeze now, or chill for at least 30 minutes.
3.  When chilled, slice the log into 1/3 inch thick pieces. Place on baking sheets and bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
4.  Once cookies are completely cooled, top each cookie with 1 teaspoon glaze. Let the glaze dry for at least an hour and then top with turbinado sugar.

*One would think that expensive loose leaf tea would be best in this recipe. But I’ve actually gotten the best flavor with tea from cheap bags that I’ve ripped open. I think the leaves are more fine and flaky.

**I didn’t know if the butter in the recipe is supposed to be cold right out of the fridge or room temperature or what???  So mine was not right out of the fridge, but still cold.  When you pulse it into the flour, it looks like cornmeal but if you continue pulsing it (just run it a little longer) then it starts to form into a sort-of ball.