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Grandma Sanders’ Chocolate Chip Cookies

31 Jan

Baking is what I do when I feel guilty for procrastinating and I feel like I need to do something productive. I avoid my homework and replace it with eggs and sugar and fat. Last night I made some extra delicious chocolate chip cookies. I brought some to a meeting at school this morning and was asked to post the recipe online. So here it is, straight from my grandma’s kitchen to yours:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate, whichever you prefer)
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped nuts and/or raisins

Cream together sugars, shortening and eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes until light brown.

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Eat your heart out Julia Child

13 Jul

So the roomies and I have decided to take turns making dinner for everyone. That way we have 4 home cooked meals a week with minimal individual effort. It’s been working out very nicely. This week I successfully made some of the most delicious french onion soup I’ve ever had. Not to toot my own horn or anything… Who am I kidding? Of course I’m loving tooting my own horn. It’s what blogs were designed for: shameless self promotion. Ahh, I digress.

I started with a blog post about Julie Child’s recipe. I made many alterations because I was too lazy to go to the store. I think they worked out fantastically.

French Onion Soup

  • 5 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 9 cups (a little more than 2 quarts) chicken stock–I like the Better Than Boullion chicken base
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • Sourdough bread, sliced
  • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese

Drop sliced onions into bottom of a large pot with butter and oil. Cook on low for about 20 minutes. Add salt and sugar (helps the onions to brown) to the onions and cook on medium for 30-40 minutes, until they are an even golden brown. Off the heat, add a little bit of the chicken stock to deglaze the pot–and make sure you scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to get all the brown bits. Add the rest of the stock and worcestershire sauce and let simmer for 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour soup into oven safe bowls and top with a slice of sourdough bread and a generous heap of gruyere cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melty and brown. Enjoy!

#119-127

20 May

119. Homemade strawberry freezer jam. My first jam attempt was a huge success.

120. This amazingly easy and delicious bread recipe. Also a huge success. Homemade wheat bread in about 30 minutes. You can’t beat it.

121. I found out the YSA ward in Vancouver has a housing coordinator. Hopefully that will make my house hunting much less stressful come July.

122. Biscuists and gravy with fried chicken on top at The Bayleaf Cafe.

123. Molly’s giant bathtub. It’s deep enough to cover my whole body with water. So nice.

124. My friend Rachel got a job in San Francisco. I am super excited for her new adventure, and super excited to go visit her.

125. Old Project Runway marathons on Style Network. They are how I’ve been passing the time every morning this week before work.

126. Having parents who are willing to loan you money so you don’t have to pay 6.8% interest on federal student loans.

127. Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. I can’t get enough of that song.

There will be more later, but that’s all I’ve got for today.

94-111: about a zillion to catch up

21 Apr

93.    I finally know where I will be spending the next few years of my life.
94.    I will be home for the summer. Meaning that I will be home for all my fave summertime activities. I can’t wait to go camping and hiking and rafting and Lagoon-ing and zoo-ing and everything else that the warm weather brings.
95.    I have found 2 people already that are interested in sharing an apartment with me.
96.    Molly FINALLY closed on her house. I never thought the time would come, but she’s actually a homeowner. And her house is super cute. I’m so excited for her.
97.    This caramel apple cheesecake pie recipe. Amazing. I haven’t quite mastered the homemade caramel sauce just yet though. I burned it on my first try and the second was gritty. Not delicious. The pie however, 100% delicious. A few tips: I added an extra cup of nuts to the crust itself and I think next time I would double the cheesecake layer. I also just served it plain with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top of each slice.
98.    I took four Benedryl the other day and lived to tell the tale. At the time my itchy burning eyes deemed the potential overdose necessary, but in hindsight I realize it probably wasn’t a great move. Other than a drug induced 5 hour coma, I was ok. And my eyes felt great!
99.    Long chats with old friends in the entry way of Molly’s house.
100.    Dying Easter eggs with Blake.
101.    This photo of Molly and I. Aren’t we the cutest kids ever?
102.    You get a chocolate dipped strawberry at Zuppas. I love that.
103.    Pushing Daisies. I just watched the whole series on Netflix and I’m so sad there were only 2 seasons. Best show ever.
104.    Skirts. My favorite warm weather clothing item.
105.    Thunderstorms. I love thunder. Almost as much as I love it when the power goes out.
106.    The I Owe You app on my windows phone.
107.    I get to work an extra 10 hours this week. Not exciting, but I need the cash.
108.    Those white out tape roller things. My mom just got a new job where they still use liquid white out. I was stunned.
109.    Five gum.
110.    Reese’s pieces eggs. The greatest Easter candy ever.
111.    True Blood. A gloriously violent and ridiculously dramatic entertainment spectacle. Can’t wait for season 4.

#57-68

9 Mar

So much to report on lately. First I’ll update my list, and then maybe post about what’s been going on lately. Also, I realized my counting is off somehow, so I’m adjusting 😉

57. I leave for London in 2 days! Honestly I CANNOT wait. I can’t decide what I’m more excited about: visiting new places or seeing old friends.

58. The first ingredient in Goldfish Crackers is “smiles”. That makes me smile.

59. I can FINALLY apply for the fellowship at Simmons College I’ve been wanting for the past year. Keep your fingers crossed.

60. Old professors that are still willing to help me out. I spent almost an hour with an old Comm professor the other day working on my resume and cover letter.

61. Alton Brown’s lemon curd recipe. Every time I make it I remember why it’s the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.

62. Getting together with old friends. A couple weeks ago I had lunch with all the girls from high school and today I had lunch with some other high school friends. It’s so fun to catch up and realize that even the guys you thought would never grow up eventually do.

63. Book club. The first meeting was a smashing success. More on that later.

64. My nephew Blake. On Sunday he performed a “rock show” for us. All I can say is that I think I see the next Eddie Van Halen. Videos will be posted.

65. Joshua Radin. He’s my new musical love. Well I’ve always loved his music, but after attending his concert last week I am in love with him personally. If he asked me to marry him tomorrow I would totally say yes. Also, he decorated the stage at his show with lamps. How cool is that. (I really like lamps.) Here’s a little snippet of the show for your viewing pleasure.

66. Molly nearly got into a brawl at the Joshua Radin concert. If you watched the link above, you may notice that it’s perhaps the most mellow concert in the history of live music. Lucky for us she’s a big pansy and backed down ASAP when the angry girl in question tried to pick a fight. 100% HI-LARIOUS.

67. Smart cookie ice cream sandwiches. A giant scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two homemade cookies of your choice. For $3 you can’t get a better treat.

68. Pandora radio. It fills all the empty hours with musical love.

#45: Who knew you could grill angel food cake?

14 Feb

Today you get a delicious recipe that I’m SUPER thankful for. It’s both delicious and sort of low-cal, as desserts go anyway. I found it on Eat This, Not That and made a few alterations. I made it last night for Sunday dinner and the fam was super pleased.

Ingredients:

  • 1 angel food cake
  • 3 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • Pinch fresh ground black pepper (optional)
  • Fresh whipped cream

Directions:

Mix together balsamic, agave nectar and pepper. I used Sepay Groves blackberry ginger balsamic and Xagave brand nectar. Feel free to use less agave if you want to cut sweetness and calories. I also omitted the pepper due to the unadventurous inhibitions of my family. Pour mixture over sliced strawberries and marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Slice angel food cake into wedges. Spray non-stick griddle with Pam and pre-heat to 300 degrees. Grill cake wedges on each side until caramelized and toasted.  Top generously with fresh whipped cream and strawberries.

Red Devils Food Cupcakes with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

10 Feb

I ran across this cupcake site the other day. They all look amazing, but I made these ones today.

I was really excited about them because we’ve been talking cupcakes at work for the last 2 weeks. I’ve never made a red velvet cake before and I was intrigued by the sour cream frosting. I was babysitting Tavia and Blake this morning, so I figured it would be a great time to try them out. After a trip to the store to buy cake flour and buttermilk (no short-cutting for me), I dived in.

The cakes: The batter was the fluffiest cake batter I’ve ever made. Very whipped, like meringue almost. Now that I’m looking at the recipe, I realize that it’s a devil’s food cake, which explains the lightness of the batter. I kind of want to try it with regular all-purpose flour instead of cake flour and see how they come out. Anyway, I made the recipe exactly as it said, except that I cooked the cakes for 17 minutes instead of 20. I think they were still a tad over-baked. Definitely not burned or anything, but a bit dry. I think it may be the high altitude cooking. Anyway, next  time I would reduce the cooking temp to 325 and check after 17 minutes.

The frosting: Wow, this frosting is amazing. I always love using a little bit of coffee in everything chocolate because it makes it taste so much more chocolate-y. And I always use really high quality chocolate for baking. It makes so much difference. This time I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking chips. I was worried it wouldn’t set up, but as the chocolate cooled it got much thicker. Now it’s almost like a thick pudding. The sour cream gives it a different and interesting flavor, which I love. And it’s not too sweet. It goes nicely with the cupcake, but I feel like I want to just dip fruit in it. Or eat it alone by the spoonful. Amazing.

The verdict: I would give the cakes a solid 6 and the frosting a 9. With a few adjustments (and depending on how the cheaper/easier ingredients work out) I think the cake has potential to improve.