May 21st, 2013
Chocolate chip cookies #32: Based on Baking Bites’ Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies. Baked on 4/27/13.
Remember those rules I set about limiting food posts? Well, throw them out the window. I’m going to give up trying to write anything else for a while because it’s just not happening. I should probably take an extended hiatus for a while until I get my life back in order, but I’m not quite there yet. But while I can’t post anything else worth reading, I’m going to catch up on my chocolate chip cookie recipes. Starting now.
This is another one of the batches of cookies I sent to my East Coast co-workers last month. I’ve had this recipe for strawberry chocolate chip cookies saved for a long time. I love the idea of adding fruit to a classic chocolate chip cookie, but fresh strawberries aren’t really compatible with cookies. Cakes yes (see my strawberry buttermilk pound cake recipe for proof), but not cookies. But based on this recipe freeze dried strawberries seemed to be the answer, so I picked some up at Target. I threw the strawberries in with the chocolate chips after mixing up the rest of the ingredients. Freeze dried strawberries are very fragile so they broke up into much smaller pieces when I stirred the dough, but that’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. It evenly distributes the delicious strawberry flavor! The rest of the recipe was pretty standard so I figure you can use whichever one is your favorite version and just add freeze dried strawberries for delicious twist. The end result was very tasty, but next time I’ll use even more strawberries.
May 17th, 2013
I have a recipe all ready to post for Foodie Friday today, but I’ll spare you this week since I only wrote one post of any substance since last Friday. I’m not going to apologize (again) because, let’s face it, this is not a big surprise. This week consisted of work (as always), some medical issues I won’t go into here (you don’t want to know), and lots of television watching (it was finale week for a lot of shows). Not very exciting. I kept my couch company a lot of the time. I really wish I had something more interesting to share, but I don’t at the moment. I’m working on it, though. Not that today is a good example of that. After work I did my laundry while watching the “Star Trek” movie from 2009 in preparation for seeing “Star Trek Into Darkness” next weekend. I’d go this weekend, but I’d rather avoid opening weekend. When the laundry was done I watched episodes of “Mad Men” on Netflix while baking a batch of cookies and a batch of brownies for something I’m going to tomorrow. I’ll tell you more about that later. I wanted to try some new recipes, but I was worried that a culinary disaster would force me to take grocery store cookies with me tomorrow. Not good. So I stuck with two of my most successful recipes to date – coconut chocolate chip cookie bars and toffee brownies. I haven’t posted either of those recipes here yet, but they are in the queue. Unfortunately now it’s almost midnight and my sink is full of dirty dishes and I’m way too tired to wash them tonight. Something to look forward to tomorrow! Good night!
May 16th, 2013
“I’ve always considered myself a lucky person, no matter how much I gripe and complain about life’s little frustrating moments, but the past few months have presented me with situations that I never thought I would have to face in my life.
5/1/10 webpage post
May 13th, 2013
Chocolate chip cookies #31: Based on Picky Palate’s Raspberry Scented M&M Cookies. Baked on 4/27/13.
After a baking blitz a couple of weeks ago I have quite a few new chocolate chip cookie recipes to share. But in order keep myself from using these recipes as an excuse to not write about anything else, I’m going to limit my cookie posts to one per week. Sound good? On to the recipe review! We had a big event at work recently and I promised to send a box of cookies to my co-workers on the East Coast to sustain them. One of those co-workers requested cherry chocolate chip cookies which are one of my favorites. I love making them for the holidays, but this time I wanted to take them to the next level. I was intrigued by this recipe for raspberry-scented M&M cookies the first time I saw it. Basically you mix raspberry puree into the butter before adding any of the other ingredients. Yummy, right? Well, I was way too lazy to actually puree fresh raspberries and strain out the seeds so I used some 100% fruit seedless blackberry (I couldn’t find raspberry) spread instead. I figured it couldn’t be THAT much different, and luckily the substitution didn’t blow up in my face. And to fulfill the original request, I added some dried cherries to the dough (which was a lovely lavender color) along with the chocolate chips. The end result was really tasty. Chocolate chip cookies with a tart berry flavor. Delicious!
May 12th, 2013
“One day when the light is glowing,
I’ll be in my castle golden,
But until the gates are open,
I just wanna feel this moment”
Pitbull & Christina Aguilera, “Feel This Moment”
This song speaks to me. It says that the future is bright, but if you don’t focus on anything else then you’ll forget to enjoy the present. I’m trying to remember that. I really am. It’s no secret that things haven’t been going that well for me lately. As much as I’ve avoided discussing details here, I know I’ve mentioned it generally on multiple occasions. I know I sound like a broken record and it’s getting old. For me too. I’m really hate it, but I haven’t been able to pull myself out of this funk for long enough to experience anything else for very long yet. The operative word is “yet.” I am absolutely positive that things are going to get better. I know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel and that I’m going to be happy again someday. I just wish that “someday” would get there already, or at least give me some sign that it’s approaching. Because right now I’m really struggling. At the moment I have good days and bad days. More bad than good, and some of them are downright terrible, but I’m surviving. I try to get out as much as possible even when I’d rather stay home and lie on the couch. It’s not easy. It wouldn’t take much to push me into survival mode. You know, only leaving the house when absolutely necessary and avoiding contact with other people as much as possible? But I’m fighting it. Don’t worry, I’ll be OK. I know things will turn around eventually.
May 10th, 2013
OK, I tried to write some meaningful posts this week, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I know you’ve heard this from me more than once before (especially over the last six months), but I just wasn’t able to focus this week. I couldn’t put together more than a few sentences on any topic, and that’s not a recipe for a good update. Sorry. I’m not in a very good place right now and this past week has been particularly difficult. I won’t go in to that now, but I’ll try to write more about it soon. On to the food!
I made these delicious roasted Parmesan green beans to take to dinner at a friend’s house last month. She was making tacos and asked me to bring healthy side dishes. That required some thought. My first thought was rice, but I decided against adding extra carbs to the meal, and unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to make a batch of homemade salsa. So I rifled through my Pinterest boards and found this recipe that I pinned a long time ago and was dying to try. Dinner with friends was the perfect opportunity. Green beans aren’t the most obvious side dish for taco night, but they were ridiculously easy to make and really delicious. Roasting vegetables is definitely the way to go (for more evidence see my Parmesan-lemon roasted broccoli recipe). I’ll be making these again soon!
12 oz green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil
Pepper (I used both black and white)
1 1/2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)
Throw the green beans into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Stir *I used my hands) until all of the beans are coated with oil. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper and stir to evenly coat. Lay the beans in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 425 deg F for 10 minutes. Stir the beans to flip them over and then bake for another 3-5 minutes, depending on how done you want your beans. (The full 5 min was slightly too long for my batch. I would have liked my beans a bit crunchier.) Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Based on Skinny Taste’s Roasted Parmesan Green Beans.
May 4th, 2013
I skipped Foodie Friday this week because I figured I’d already written too many posts about food. I don’t want to bore any of my readers because heaven knows I don’t have enough to afford to alienate a single one! It’s a shame really because I have a great recipe for roasted green beans to share. (And four new chocolate chip cookie recipes to add to my tally.But that will wait until next week. Until then I’m going to try and write a few updates that aren’t based on my culinary experiences. It’s not that I don’t have things I want to post about, but my life has been a bit strange lately. I seem to simultaneously have a lot on my plate and very little going on at the same time. It’s weird. I guess most of what’s keeping me busy is in my head, but I can’t really write about that stuff without someone hauling me off to the loony bin. I’m just trying to figure out how my new life is going to work. Right now I have no idea, which is both thrilling and absolutely terrifying. I’ll keep you posted once I figure anything out. As far as today goes, I had a very quiet Saturday. I did some shopping this morning, mostly returning things I’d changed my minds about, and then I watched TV and worked around the house the rest of the day. But mostly I was lazy. That means I need to go to bed soon so I can get up early and make the most of my Sunday before the weekend is over. Good night!
May 3rd, 2013
Disneyland is supposed to be the “Happiest Place on Earth,” right? Well I have a story that says otherwise. Up until April 14th the Disneyland and California Adventure parks opened one hour early on the weekends for annual pass holders. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect time to visit? Well, I put off taking advantage of this perk until the last possible weekend. Silly me. But on Saturday, April 13th I was one of the first people in line for the early opening of California Adventure. My plan was to go directly to Cars Land as soon as they opened the gates and get in line for Radiator Springs Racers – by far the most popular ride in the park these days (since Cars Land only opened about a year ago). Usually the line is way too long for me to even consider waiting, but first thing in the morning I figured I could get through the single rider line and onto the ride very quickly. Easy, right? Or so I thought. Obviously everyone else who was there before California Adventure opened had the same idea about heading immediately to Radiator Springs Racers when they got into the park. Needless to say, it was a mad dash to Cars Land at 8 AM. And then everyone was funneled into a smaller much area to queue up for the ride itself. It was like a cattle drive walking down that little street. Very close quarters. There were so many people that you had to watch where you were putting your feet to avoid trampling a small child who wasn’t paying attention. Folks were much more interested in getting to the rides than observing social graces. So as I was walking towards Radiator Springs Racers with dozens, if not hundreds, of other Disneyland guests the guy to the right of me suddenly turns and shouts at me, “Will you please stop bumping into me while I’m trying to walk here?” I was surprised and initially thought he was joking because everyone was bumping into everyone else. There was no way to avoid it. So I didn’t say anything to this guy at first, but gave him some kind of quizzical look instead. That made him shout even louder. He said something like, “You keep bumping into me and now you’re looking at me like I’m an idiot!” I was so shocked that I don’t remember exactly what happened next. From what I can recall, the progression went something like this:
Me: “I apologize, but we’re all bumping into each other here.”
Mr. Angry: “Act like you’re educated and stop bumping into me!”
Me: “There are people everywhere and we’re all bumping into each other!”
Mr. Angry: Starts insulting me even louder
Me: “Happiest Place on Earth everyone!”
Mr. Angry: Continues screaming. Something about how rude I was.
Me: *Laughs* The situation was just too crazy not to.
Mr. Angry: More screaming. I had stopped paying attention to his actual words at this point.
Me: “Thank you sir, you made my day.”
Mr. Angry: “You’re welcome.” Obviously the sarcasm didn’t register.
I looked around at the people surrounding us during this altercation and they all had their mouths hanging open. I heard several people under their breath mutter, “Wow.” I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who was completely shocked by this guy’s behaviour. It was the most bizarre and unbelievable thing that’s ever happened to me. After I slowed down and let Mr. Angry get ahead of me in the crowd a lady fell into step next to me and said, “You mean you don’t come to Disneyland in a bubble?” That made me laugh. I think I handed the situation pretty well, actually. I didn’t return his insults, I didn’t swear, and I didn’t let this guy make me angry. He rattled me, that’s for sure, but in the moment I laughed at him rather than getting mad. It’s not the way I’d choose to start my day at Disneyland, but at least I have a good story to tell!