Confessions of a reformed baker

I was invited to a Super Bowl party on Sunday, but since I could barely walk after the Surf City Half Marathon I opted to stay home and lie on the couch all afternoon instead. It was a good choice, but it meant that I missed out on an opportunity to make some brownies and chocolate chip cookies. It was a bit of a bummer. I find baking therapeutic (which I’m sure is evident by the fact that I spent the last few years testing chocolate chip cookie recipes), but no desserts have come out of my kitchen since August. Hard to believe, right? This extreme lack of sweets speaks to my attempts to improve my diet. I’ve actually done pretty well since the fall, despite the lack of progress shown on my scale, but I do miss baking cookies. It’s funny to have a cabinet full of sugar and chocolate chips and a huge bag of flour all sitting around doing nothing. I’m not sure if it’s a terrible waste of ingredients or if it’s a good thing that I’m not baking delicious goodies every weekend anymore. A little of both, probably. That’s why I’m sad that I missed out on the Super Bowl party. It was a legitimate reason to bake cookies besides the usual “because I feel like it” excuse! And I was going to try and perfect my dark chocolate brownie recipe too. Missed opportunities all around. I either need to find another relaxing hobby or else find someone else to throw a party!

Foodie Friday – Chocolate chip cookies #41

Chocolate chip cookies #41: Based on Two Peas and Their Pod’s Chocolate Chip Shortbread. Baked on 11/24/13 (and again on 2/1/14).

There is nothing simpler than a shortbread cookie – crispy, buttery, and delicious. So what do you get when you add some chocolate chips? Tasty chocolate chip shortbread cookies, of course! I’ve found several different recipes for chocolate chip shortbread, but the recipe I picked to try first was by far the simplest. Butter, white sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, and chocolate chips. No eggs or leavening ingredients. The first time I made these (for Thanksgiving) I swapped the chocolate chips for red and green sprinkles to make them seasonally appropriate, but when I baked them for the Super Bowl party last weekend I used mini chocolate chips (and took the above photo). I think there might be a bit too much flour in this recipe, but they were still really good. I’m going to try a couple more chocolate chip shortbread cookies and see if I can make some improvements, but this batch was still really well received by the Super Bowl partygoers on Sunday and my co-workers on Monday!

Super Bowl Sunday

Yesterday morning I got up and headed straight to the kitchen in my pajamas. I needed to get the meatballs in the Crockpot so they would be ready for the Super Bowl party at 3 PM. I had mixed the turkey and seasonings the night before so I didn’t have a lot to do, but the meatballs needed to cook for about 6 hours before I left for the party. Turns out I shouldn’t have bothered because the meatballs didn’t taste very good, but I didn’t know that at the time. Just before I left for Mike and Lisa’s I put both of the dishes of mac and cheese in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. After that I took the dishes out of the oven, wrapped each one in a beach towel to keep it warm, threw them in the car with all of the other food I made, and headed to the party. I certainly enjoyed watching the game and eating a lot of good food with a few friends. I didn’t pay too much attention to the game itself, or even the commercials (which were pretty disappointing), because we were talking and playing with Mike and Lisa’s the three month old son. That was a lot of fun. The homemade pizza that Mike has become famous for was definitely the star of the show, but I heard good things about the the food I made as well. Except the meatballs. Luckily I was the only one who tried them because they were kinda terrible. But anyway, the pizza was so popular that I had tons of leftover food when the game was over. So I packed it all up and drove it over to another friend’s house. They couldn’t attend the party because their daughter was sick, but I got to play with her (and their cat who was agressively affectionate) for a little while before I went home. See the photo below. It was a good Sunday. Good food, good friends, and some fairly decent football. Too bad the 49ers wouldn’t pull off the win!