I have known Ashley, since, geez, can either of us even remember? We went to grade, middle, and high school together. Ashley and I were both cheerleaders and I can absolutely say that one of the best parts of cheering at games was having Ashley’s mom cheering along with us in the stands. Her mother, Carol, was a huge personality and one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met.
Ashley lost her mother nine years ago to cancer. Ashley said that being happy and healthy is very important to her, in part because she watched both of her parents struggle with illnesses. Wanting to maintain her own healthy lifestyle, she was drawn toward a career helping others do the same.
After working in retail jobs, Ashley was introduced to massage therapy by an acquaintance. With a background in dance, sports, science, and health, she was interested in teaching her clients how to be more mindful of their own bodies to lead a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. After working for others in the massage business, she decided to strike out on her own.
Today, Ashley’s business, The Compassionate Touch, is steadily gaining clients and, in October, Ashley was named one of the 20 Best Massage Therapists in Louisville for 2016 by Expertise website.
Ashley still feels her mother’s influence through her own work today. I asked Ashley if she would share a recipe from her mother that was special to her. Ashley obliged, saying that, when she has free time, and gets a sweet tooth, she likes to make her mother’s sugar cookie recipe. She remembers that she and her mother used to dance together to the music of the 50s and 60s as they baked, and then enjoy the cookies together. Ashley told me that this recipe reminds her of her mother and the fun they had together.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
Adapted from Phyllis Pellman Good’s Best of Amish Cooking
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 sticks of margarine, softened
1 tbsp vinegar
1 c buttermilk
3 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and margarine together well.
Add eggs and beat well, until fully mixed.
In a measuring cup, add one tbsp of vinegar and then fill to one cup with milk. Add to sugar margarine and egg mixture.
Add the dry ingredients and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Drop by teaspoonful onto creased cookie sheet, or a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet. Alternatively, for a more uniform shape, you can refrigerate the dough overnight and form into small balls before cooking.
Bake for 8-10 min. Immediately sprinkle a little sugar on top of each cookie.
This recipe makes a ton of delicious, little cookies. You will have more than enough to share, which is perfect for the upcoming holidays. And, if you’re looking for a way to work off some of these little beauties, I suggest turning on some 50’s and 60’s music and dancing around your kitchen.
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Ashley!