Thursday, January 07, 2010

I live in a snow globe.

Also known as Columbus, Ohio.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe

Hey friends,
So I have been on a quest for quite some time to find the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. (I want everyone to know that I'm blogging this while watching the Biggest Loser). I tried a NUMBER of different recipes - ones that led to crispy cookies, ones that led to really soft cookies, ones that led to cakey cookies, ones that left to chewy cookies. I tried recipes that involved corn syrup, I tried recipes that involved vinegar (the cakey ones, actually pretty good, just not my can't taste the vinegar, don't worry).

Anyway, I finally found a recipe that I've been sticking with. One stipulation: the recipe has shortening in it instead of butter, so if that's not your thing, it might not be the cookie for you. You could always substitute butter for the shortening, but I happen to make it with shortening for 2 reasons:
1) I typically have shortening on hand for use in pie crusts (I make a pie crust that includes both butter and shortening)
2) You don't have to refrigerate shortening, which means that it's always at room temperature, which means that when you decide to make cookies, you don't have to wait for the fat to come to room temperature. Granted, you should still wait for the eggs to come to room temperature before you use them to ensure that all the ingredients blend together at their maximum potential, but you can get there quickly by just putting the eggs in a bowl of warm water - microwaving butter often leads to melted butter which is a bad sign for your cookies (they will turn out super flat)

I wanted to share that recipe with you here. I'll admit, my all time standard cookie is basically the Toll House cookie recipe, but I wanted to find something that tasted just a little bit different. I also really enjoy this recipe because it only uses brown sugar instead of a combination of brown and white sugars - which I enjoy because I heart brown sugar. This is where I ended up:

1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt (I like to use an extra 1/8 tsp salt because I like salty cookies)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (optional, you could always use 2 cups total chocolate chips, or a different nut, or a mixture of different chocolates)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine brown sugar, shortening, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat egg into creamed mixture.

2. Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda). Mix into creamed mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough 3-inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely. I find that 10 minutes is the perfect time for my particular oven, but yours may be different. Don't be afraid to take the cookies out if they look done but they're still super soft, they'll firm up while they're cooling and become wonderfully chewy :-)


Ode to size 11

I really like font size 11. I don't know why. I think it's the same reason I adored college ruled notebooks instead of wide ruled notebooks back in the day. It's a little bit different, not something you're really used to seeing. Font size 12 totally sucks, 10 is pretty cool, but 11, I think, is the best. It's the unsung hero of the font size world. I'm a fan.

You should check it out.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Wii is back, and it's pissed

So when I bought my Wii, or lovingly adopted it from its previous owner, rather, I played with it ALL THE TIME. For a while, it got constant attention. Then I stopped playing it quite as much as I had been. And then, it kind of got put away. I got a really cute storage cube from Target and I used it to store all my Wiimotes and games while I wasn't using them.

Then, for Christmas, I got the Super Mario Bros Wii game, and it is SUPER FUN, so I started playing the Wii again, and it was quite happy to come out of storage, but I think it's kind of pissed that I ever put it in storage in the first place, and is now constantly demanding reassurance from me in the form of attention. Which may or may not be why I devoted hours of my time this past weekend to playing the Wii. I'm on level 7 out of 8. Pretty intense stuff.

Saturday night I even drove downtown to my friends' house to play the same game on THEIR Wii until 1 am. The great thing about this game is that you can all be playing simultaneously (up to 4 players) - and while you are supposed to be a team working towards the same goal, it is much more fun to terrorize each other while you're on the course -- ie, picking other characters up and throwing them off the course to their death, stealing their mushrooms, stealing their extra lives even when you have 20 and they have 5 (all behaviors developed and exhibited by my friend John, and then by myself and Paul in retaliation). My favorite, though, is when you're all riding on Yoshis (they even have a pink Yoshi now!) and one of you gets knocked off your Yoshi, the other people can PICK THAT PERSON UP IN YOSHI'S MOUTH and run off with him!! Paul and I played Yoshi catch with John's character for a while and it was hilarious. Especially because John had gotten knocked off the pink Yoshi which I then, naturally, stole from him.

Less hilarious, though, when I got knocked off my Yoshi and they did it to me.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

This happened.

At some point I apparently became a housewife from the 50s.

No, you didn't miss anything - I'm not married, it's still 2010, and I live in a rented apartment, not even a house. But this morning, I got dressed and put on my pearls because why the hell not? along with a pink cardigan my Dad got me for Christmas. I went to the store and got groceries then came home to make Chex Mix and chili (unrelated, I just wanted both of them). I already took care of baking cookies earlier in the weekend. So I made the Chex Mix and the chili, then put them in Ziploc bags/Tupperware containers to store in the pantry or freeze (have I mentioned before how much I effing LOVE Tupperware?). I passed by the mirror in my entryway at one point and was startled to see that the transformation was complete...this is what I saw...pearls, cardigan, apron, the whole shebang.Who knew?