Friday, February 27, 2015

{Recipe Recap} Chocolate Chip Cookies

We started the week with cookies, might as well end with more cookies, right?


I know there probably aren’t many of you who read this blog who get excited about chocolate chip cookies.  I get it.  I mean, until the past year or so, I would’ve been fine making whatever recipe was on the package of chocolate chip cookies I was using and those cookies would’ve been great.


But I know better.  Literally, I know of better cookies than you’ll be able to bake by using Nestle’s recipe.  My favorite recipe is still the NY Times recipe, but that dough requires two different flours plus two days of chilling and sometimes I don’t have that kind of time.  Like on Wednesday when I was home because of the snow and I was tasked with making chocolate chip cookies for the office.  One of my coworkers said I could stay home if I used my time wisely and shared the spoils with the office. 


I was happy to oblige since it meant I was able to avoid being on the roads.  AND there’d be cookies!


These cookies were supposed to bake up thick and chewy.  Mine didn’t.  But they were still delicious and they had a great texture.  The bottoms were caramelized and the centers were still chewy.


My coworkers loved these cookies.  One of them knew there was extra salt in the recipe (I sprinkled fine sea salt on top of the dough before baking), and another thought the bittersweet chocolate chips I used were perfect.


The McHusband wasn’t so fond of those chips, but I was able to make him four cookies without any and he said they were fantastic.

If you look at the original recipe, you’ll see that my cookies don’t look anything like Barbara’s.  I chilled my dough, I double-checked my oven temp…  I don’t know enough about the chemistry of baking to figure out why my cookies weren’t chunkier.


But you know what?  I didn’t care because they were really freaking good.


Remember how I said that I was taking these pictures while Connor was keeping busy in the walker?  He wasn’t immune to the power of the sugar.


I know exactly how he feels.


We hope we’re saying adios to all the snow this weekend.  I stayed home for a half-day yesterday, but I made it into the office for the afternoon.  Snow days are fine, but one a week is enough.  I’m ready to get back to my normal schedule, my normal eating, my normal exercising.

Bring on spring!

{Recipe adapted from here; I added about half a package of Heath Bits to the dough and sprinkled fine sea salt on the dough before baking}

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow day fun

We stayed home yesterday.  Let me rephrase: We returned home soon after leaving for work.  I didn’t think the roads would be that bad, but when I saw the car in front of me fishtailing and I was only 5 minutes from home, I just couldn’t make myself risk an accident or getting stuck at the office or in a five-hour drive home like last year right before Connor was born.  I called the McHusband to let him know and he was still going to the office at that point but about 5 minutes later, he called to say he’d just slid through an intersection from a stopped position.  So I picked up Connor and the three of us were safe and sound at home by 8:00.

Connor took a wonderful morning nap, sleeping for just over two hours.  I made cookie dough so it could chill before baking and baked a couple fish fillets for Connor, one for lunch and one for another meal.  Then we spent the afternoon playing.

I finally got a chance to take some pictures of my cookies, and Connor wanted in the walker so he rolled around while I did my thing.  And then I turned the camera in his direction.





I was able to get some video of him.  He may be too big for his bouncy seat now, but he still wishes he could bounce as you’ll see at the end.

Maybe next year our “snow day fun” will involve actual snow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A day to celebrate

Can you believe that I know four people whose birthdays are today?

  • An old schoolmate
  • The kid I used to babysit
  • An ex-boyfriend
  • And the McMom!

I hope they all have great days full of everything that makes them happy.

Especially that ex. Winking smile

Just kidding, McHusband.  We are sending lots of love to the McMom today.  Hope your day is wonderful!

Monday, February 23, 2015

{Recipe Recap} Cinnamon Chip Crinkle Cookies

I hope you guys had a good weekend.  Mine started off with dinner with the ladies from the ‘hood on Friday, then got a little less interesting with the Y and Walmart on Saturday, followed by errands and house stuff on Sunday.

I know, thrilling stuff, huh?

Something to get excited about, though?  These cookies.


I made them last week for my coworker’s birthday and he was lucky there was one left for him at the end of the day.  I know they look pretty unassuming, but they were the perfect texture.  Don’t just take my word for it, another coworker asked me my secret for getting them just right.


If you guys haven’t picked up a package of cinnamon chips yet, make your way to the World of Wal and get some.  They aren’t great by themselves, but they add a lot to things like banana bread and certain cookies.


That’s all I have for you this last Monday of February.  Speaking of this shortest month of the year, did you hear that Facebook would be down the 29th, 30th, and 31st?

I know some people will be VERY upset by that news.

Winking smile

{Recipe here}

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Connor’s Party: The People

We had a HOUSEFUL for Connor’s party.  Both of our immediate families (even my dad from Kansas City) and their immediate families came plus so many of our friends.  It was really great to have everyone with us on Sunday to celebrate Connor’s first birthday and, to be honest, our first year as parents.

Kevin, Jenny, and the kids came up from SC with a pit stop in Charlotte to see Jenny’s parents.  We really appreciate them making that long drive. 

Aunt Jenny with Henley and Connor.


Kim and Sara traded babies.  Sara had her miracle twins, Cora and Deacon (that’s him below), two weeks before Connor – and they were due the beginning of May.  Kim just had Kaitlyn on January 29th.


While Connor was eating cake, I played Pin the Tail on the Donkey with some of the kids.  Our old-school game was a hit.


People were everywhere and anywhere there was space.


Connor wasn’t too sure about all the people in his house, but he was very happy to see Ashley, his sitter.


Okay, who wants to see some people in sombreros?  Unlike in the pinata game, let’s go oldest to youngest.



Maxie and me.


And Henley.


Vanessa and I needed a couple more pictures for the slideshow we’ll have at the kids’ rehearsal dinner.  Connor has a thing for other babies’ heads.  I remember he “petted” Henley’s head at Christmas, and he couldn’t keep his hands off Karis’s noggin on Sunday.


It’s not too easy to get a one-year-old and a one-month-old to look in the camera’s direction at the same time, but at least their moms are pretty good at it.


All right, I think I’ve probably dragged these party posts out about as far as they’ll go, but I had to make sure I fully documented my little boy’s first birthday.  We had a wonderful day celebrating with everyone, and we really appreciate everyone taking the time to spend part of their Sunday with us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Connor’s Party: Smash!

I made Connor’s smash cake: two little layers covered in vanilla buttercream and sprinkles. 


We brought the cake out and started singing “Happy Birthday,” which seemed to take Connor by surprise.


I wasn’t worried that Connor would be one of those kids who wouldn’t eat his cake.  The kid eats limes, I knew he’d like cake. Smile







The little cake wasn’t the only thing that got smashed.  We had a pinata in the garage, too.  Kevin lined the kids up according to age (youngest to oldest) and everyone got a couple swings or so.  But first, Connor had the inaugural hit.


Rebecca got a little help from Greg.


Then Maxie took a turn, doing things her own way, of course.


Zachary made contact then Layton followed up with a couple good whacks.


Leah, Lucas, Lyla.


Just the two oldest boys left.  Chase had a couple really good hits and put a crack in the pinata.


Then Owen finished things off.



If things are working like I want, below is a video snippet from the rush to get the treats from the pinata.

I’ll have some general people pics soon.  Wait til you see Henley in the sombrero.