Tag Archives: unofficialkikiproject

om + yum

happy 2nd birthday, baby c!

file photo, july 2011

c u later! ūüôā

baby c, august 26, 2009 - > where has the time gone?!

[it’s official: as a two year old, *baby c* needs an updated name. tomorrow, when i tell you about our birthday party celebration taking place later today, we’ll do the name reveal].

~*~*~*~*~

wednesday, i attended another yoga class at fearless heart yoga.

this time, though, i was inside at their studio!

yoga essentials, at the ready

what a beautiful spot. i love the hardwood floors…

the wood is reclaimed maple

…the natural light and open space, the clean and clear and uncluttered feel.

my spot

this is fun:

the change room is unisex - how very ally mcbeal, eh!

i went to the lunch express class: 30 minutes of focussed mat time. we started with legs-up-the-wall. i had completely forgotten – this pose is a favourite! wednesday’s class was the first time i have ever done yoga to music – i really liked it! the sound was not intrusive, but complemented my breathing and “posing.”

on the flipside, this short class was like taking a 10 minute walk around the block: it’s a pleasant break, but leaves you wanting more. after legs-up-the-wall, we had time for some warriors, a neat partner-yoga pose, then shavasana, and that was it.

i need a laughing buddha in my life - xmas list!

when i left, though, i felt buoyant and free-spirited. what a lovely mid-day revitalizer!

~*~*~*~*~

as mentioned, we’re off to baby c’s birthday party today! i offered to bring chocolate chip cookies. since some potential guests are vegetarians, i grabbed the opportunity to make some vegan cookies! this is recipe # 12 of the unofficial kiki project. [yikes –¬† at this pace i’ll be happy to hit my half-age for this project!].

yes, i realize vegetarians and vegans are not the same animal [sorry, couldn’t resist that joke]. but who knows – maybe a vegan guest or two will be present, and if so, then all bases will be covered!

i really was keen to try using a flax egg, but this recipe doesn’t call for that. i chose to make these cookies, though, mostly because the recipe also does not include margarine (i don’t have earth balance in the condo casa; subbing in butter would have negated the whole purpose of choosing a vegan recipe!).

the recipe can be found here on a blog called erica’s sweet tooth. or, just look below!

vegan chocolate chip cookies

  • 2 cups flour [i dared to experiment with 1 cup gluten-free flour and 1 1/3 cups cake & pastry flour, as that’s what i had on hand. then i crossed my fingers].
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar (or granulated sugar) [i used turbinado, just for fun]
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (make sure they’re vegan) [i almost goofed up here! luckily, i found some at eating well organically]
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy or almond milk [i used almond]
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses

~preheat oven to 350 degrees.

~in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips.

~in another bowl, combine the vegetable oil, milk, vanilla, and molasses.

~add the wet mixture to the dry, and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands to get the mixture well incorporated.

~roll dough into compact balls, place on a parchment paper-lined pan, and squish them down to form saucers.

~bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

~recipe yields about 16 cookies. [i got 24 cookies (?)]

my feedback: the raw dough is very moist – quite unlike other choco chip cookie recipes i have made. i assume this unique texture is due to the oil. that being said, i was impressed with how nice the texture was, and it was really easy to form the dough balls. by the looks of it, my cookies turned out poofier than erica’s, which is just fine, as they’ll travel better!

vegan nuggets of gold ($5.99 a bag!!!)

right outta the oven...

perfect vegan gems!

have you ever tried a flax egg in a baking recipe? or, what was the last baked treat you made? i need to transport the cookies over land and sea lake for the party today – hence, no decorated cake as my contribution!

saturday plans? i am excited to P – A – R – T – Y at one of my favourite spots in toronto!

[thank you to fearless heart yoga for providing me with a complimentary, two-week yoga pass. the opinions expressed are entirely my own, and i was not asked to do a review].

~*~*~*~*~

31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

5/31

treat: vegan chocolate chip cookies (homemade by me! see above)

price: priceless!

rating: **1/2 (two and a half stars)

tasting notes: of course, i had to taste my handiwork before inflicting it upon inviting family and friends to take a bite! these vegan cookies are every bit as good as “regular” homemade chocolate chip cookies. the only downside is they are on the crumbly side (erica mentions this on her blog, too). the turbinado sugar adds a fun crunch to the cookie texture.

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Cookies or Country?

As you read yesterday, Dad loves cookies!

I had decided that I wanted to make Dad a batch of cookies as part of his Father’s Day gift (he also received a gift card to Wordsworth Books). The timing would work out perfectly for me to bake the cookies on Saturday eve, then give them to Dad on Sunday. They’d be fresh for golfing today (Dad always takes cookies along for his Monday golf date with his buddies).

Saturday, while working at the store, I discovered that Uptown Country was going on at the square (yes, the same spot as the non-existant Thursday market). In fact, we could hear the twangs guitar reverberations  in the store!

Talk about perfect weather: Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day here: sunny, hot – just the kind of day you want to be outside.

So, I had a choice to make: bake cookies, as planned, or head over to Uptown Country on the beautiful Saturday eve. The no-brainer choice would seem to be the music fest, right? As a bonus, I thought that I could take my knitting as Saturday was also Worldwide Knit in Public Day (I missed the gathering at Shall We Knit due to my work shift).

I knew Dad would totally understand if I gave him an IOU for the cookies, and made them tonight, or sometime this week. But I just wasn’t 110% gung-ho on going to Uptown Country. While I have nothing against country music (in fact, I bet if I exposed myself to it more often, I could become a fan) it’s really not my thing. Plus, I know from the past that there is long gaps of time between acts/musicians, and since the venue is out-of-doors, lots of cigarette smoking (blech).

Plus, it’s been a while since I made cookies (Thurs May 19th, to be exact). The year is speeding by, and the Unofficial 1970 Kiki Project is only at ten recipes completed!

So, what recipe to choose…one thing for sure: no way I could whip up vegan, gluten-free, carob-chip morsels of delight for Dear Dad. No way, Jose. I wanted an online recipe so that I wouldn’t have to type it out for you to try something new…and knew it had to come from someone who loves butter and family-style cooking. Ina Garten? Bobby Flay? I went with Paula Deen, a mostly unfamiliar-to-me celebrity chef (I’ve seen her show a couple times on Foodnetwork). Best of all – she’s from Dad’s generation, haha!

(source)

Here’s the recipe I chose from Paula Deen’s website: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies by Gladys Carter. Scanning the list of ingredients, they seemed right up Dad’s alley (nothing funky or foreign).

The changes I made:

  • I used one stick butter and one stick Crisco shortening
  • I used 1 cup milk chocolate chips and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Everything else is the same as in the recipe link.

My impressions:

  • Paula says the prep time is 15 minutes. Oh, Paula, you do make me laugh. My prep time was almost 45 minutes. Good thing I never reference prep times til I’ve shut the oven door, and my work is completed.
  • The batter, pre-baking, was fabulously delightful in consistency: creamy, smooth, easy to shape into cookies.

"sun setting over cookie dough" - how pictoresque!

  • I got 48 cookies instead of 50. I purposely didn’t make mine all that big as Dad does not like mega-giant size sweet treats (unless it’s a wedge of pie!). They’re still pretty big, though.

i'm no photo aficionado, but lovin' that evening light glow on the cookies!

  • I had to bake my cookies 10-12 minutes, not 7 – I’m guessing that’s because of the size of my cookies (?) or the weather (?) or the altitude in Waterloo (?).
  • The cookies went a little splatty during baking – maybe due to the Crisco?
  • Lucy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies is still the best recipe in my repertoire.

All boxed up and ready to go:

i think i'll ask for that gift box back!

Which Foodnetwork star do you look to for a fail-proof recipe? I had good luck with Anna Olson’s chocolate chip cookies. Plus, her TV presence is so calm and reassuring, that I have confidence in her recipes, as funny as that sounds!

Pie or cookies? Cookies all the way, man…

Just A Little Slab’ll Do Ya

Dad and I are making great progress in working our way through the meal times of the day for our Outing of the Month project. So far in 2011, we’ve enjoyed…

breakfast

morning coffee break

lunch

…which brings us to afternoon break!

I’ve been terribly excited about today’s destination for a very long time.

Now, the weather is still like this today:

i've lost track of how many days the sky has looked like this, now...

Does it make you think of ice cream? Not really. But beggars can’t be choosers. We had much better weather last year when we enjoyed ice cream one afternoon!

Marble Slab has been in Waterloo for about two years now. The first location opened beside the University – smart move! Students + ice cream shop = sales bonanza. Recently, a second location opened in the ‘burbs of Waterloo. Families with small children + ice cream outlet = sales extravaganza, I am sure!

So, while I’d never set foot in a Marble Slab, I’d heard nothing but great reports about the creaminess of the ice cream, the incredible variety of choices for toppings, the unique customization of your ice cream. What have we been waiting for?!

Dad and I chose to hit up the University location.

Wow – sooo much to choose from!…

talk about being a kid in a candy shop!

dad and i are going to start getting a complex! do we smell or something? every time we go somewhere, we're the only customers!

I had to ask a few questions as I made my deliberations as I didn’t totally get the menu board:

as the girl explained, you get ice cream, one mix-in and your choice of waffle cone for the small, medium and large prices; i know it says that on the board. i needed verbal explanation.

Dad placed his order while I deliberated.

the girl customizing dad's selections...

Dad went with white chocolate ice cream with raspberries and caramel sauce as his mix-ins, all scooped into a waffle bowl.

I knew I wanted a chocolate mix-in…

...but which one?!

I decided upon: birthday cake ice cream with Nestle Crunch bits mixed in, scooped into a chocolate waffle cone.

the waffle cone options, alone, boggled the mind!

prepared right before my very eyes

Wow. This was one delicious treat. Marble Slab ice cream is very creamy, and their hand-mix concept is a unique marketing angle. I loved my cone! Dad raved about his combination, too.

happy campers

Yippee for yet another fantastic outing – fun with Dad, and fun slurping down my cone. I can only imagine how this ice cream hits the spot when it’s hot, humid and sunny out!

Thanks, Dad! Our outing was such a *sweet* treat!

What’s your favourite ice cream shop? I’ve always had a soft spot for Baskin Robbins and their vanilla/chocolate chip ice cream. It’s been my #1 choice since childhood.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Dad’s Famous!!

hey! i know that man!

OK, not really, but he was on the 6 o-clock News the other night!

mid-interview

The feature was about the psychological effects of this rainy, dreary May weather, and it was the lead-off story of the broadcast (??).

dad’s seven seconds of fame

The behind-the-scenes scoop: Dad said they interviewed him for about three minutes, but only 10 seconds ended up being shown. Dad, a lot of your footage ended up on the cutting room floor, eh?!

these photos are pics i snapped of my tv

Way to go, Dad! It may not have been 15 minutes of fame, but we’ll take what we can get, right?!

Have you ever been interviewed on TV? I answered a “Street Beat” question a couple years ago for that segment of the nightly local news broadcast. I think I was on-screen about seven seconds, too!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Sticking with our Sweet Treat theme, I made cookies last night (Recipe #10 of the Unofficial 1970 Kiki Project).

I used a tried ‘n’ true recipe because the cookies are part of a birthday present, and this recipe is a favourite!

I did make this recipe last year as part of the “40 Recipes” portion of the 1970 Kiki Project (it was recipe #1!)

Wednesday, I went over to Bulk Barn for the necessary oats. I eat the GF type, but have discovered they’re not the best for baking. I wanted exactly 2 1/3 cups oatmeal. Brainwave! I tucked my measuring cups into my knapsack so I could purchase just the amount I needed!

i could have used a third hand here - or a photographer; camera+scoops+bag+oats=a lot!

A whole $0.55 later, I was back out the door.

Here’s the recipe for these Jumbo Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies again, in case you don’t feel like clicking the link, above (Never say I am not helpful!).

(from Baker’s Chocolate Celebration Cookbook)

Jumbo Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/3 cups oats
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package (350g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup raisins

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, oats, baking soda and salt; mix until well blended. Stir in chips and raisins. Drop dough in 1/4 cup mounds onto greased cookie sheets [I used parchment paper]. Flatten each cookie into a 2.5 inch circle. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes; remove and finish cooling on racks. Makes about 20 large cookies [I got 26.5].

oops! ok, don't place your raw dough cookies too close together!

**DO use the 1/4 cup measuring cup! This is key to the popularity of this cookie!

yummy, i promise!

Happy Friday and Happy May 2-4 Long Weekend, Canadian friends!

Why I Had to Bake Thank You Cookies

There was a bit of negative karma floating around these parts last week.

  • I lost not one but TWO completed blog posts, both of which I had spent over an hour writing. For some reason, once in a while when I try to insert a photo from another website, I lose EVERYTHING when I paste in the picture. (The first time this happened was when I wrote this post). Talk about a sickening feeling in your stomach! I rewrote one of the posts (quickly and in a panic) and the other idea I just trashed (so you’re never going to get my reaction to the Globe and Mail article “Putting Up With the ‘Random Vitriol’ of Shoppers For $11 An Hour). Lesson learned: new blogging method is write; copy to Word so I have a backup; insert googled images into WordPress.
  • Of more significance was Wednesday’s incident. After a lovely Babysitting Time in Toronto, we were driving home to Waterloo when I realized I did not have my keys with me.

the errant keys...

See, B graciously had offered to drive, so I didn’t need my car keys. I had been so proud, though, because before leaving Waterloo, I had remembered that I HAD to take my keys so that we could get into The Brother and SIL Ana’s before they arrived home. As is typical, I threw my keys in the mitten box after opening their front door. When we left in the evening, The Brother ushered us out, so I didn’t need to lock the door, then B drove home so I didn’t need to drive. I didn’t realize my oversight until just before the Highway 6 South exit (local drivers will know where I mean).

(source)

This location is a good forty minutes out of Toronto, ie 2/3 of the way home. I had to have my keys, there was no question about turning around. So back we went, retrieved the keys, and headed home again. A 60 minute drive turned into a 140+ minute trip. I felt so bad! B was so gracious and kind about the extra time, my stupidity, the gas (one litre is over $1.35 here, right now)…I really appreciated his easy forgiveness.

As a token of appreciation, I said I’d bake a batch of cookies – it’s the least I could do. Type: chocolate chip, without a doubt! (This is Recipe #9 of the Unofficial Kiki Project).

When you’re making a thank you gift, you don’t want any unpleasant surprises. So I used the recipe for Lucy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – bar none, the absolute best cookie in my repertoire. (It was Recipe #3 of last year’s “40 Recipes” project – you can see the full story about Lucy in that link).

If you ever make cookie dough ice cream (*cough, ahem* Janetha), this would be the dough to use.

can i convince you yet?

yup, definitely a winner!

When I told B about the cookies, he immediately asked if Eric could have a batch, too. Not going to say no when I really owe B big-time! So a double batch it was.

cookies, cookies, everywhere!

Here’s the recipe (the copy below is for a single batch).

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • packages of chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cream butter and sugars together. Add egg, water and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift flour. Measure and add salt and soda. Sift again. Add sifted dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Add the chocolate – lots of it! – and blend into the mixture. Drop teaspoons onto a greased baking sheet, spaced 2-3 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until light brown.
  • **(As you know by now, I never sift. And I used parchment paper instead of greasing the cookie sheets).

Hopefully, the bad karma streak is now over (although when I was getting this recipe out of my recipe box, I dumped the whole shebang onto the floor. Yup, >100 recipe cards and magazine cutouts mishmashed into a mixed up pile).

Maybe  the Magic 8 Ball knows when my good fortune is going to return!

Magic 8 Ball Cookies

In her Monday eve blog post, Monica provided a Magic 8 Ball link.

Oh my gosh. Talk about too much fun. I immediately asked this psychic helper online Magic 8 Ball a question about work. It got the question right. That’s it! I’m a believer! ūüôā

Yesterday, I was overcome with the urge to make cookies. Since this desire strikes intermittently at best, I had to roll with it. Recipe #8 of the Unofficial 1970 Kiki Project, coming right up!

In order to up the baking fun-factor (cuz we all know I need all the encouragement I can get, in the kitchen) I decided to consult the Magic 8 Ball and let it pick the type of chocolate chip cookie to be made.

Here’s the Q & A that went down:

Me: Should I make a chocolate chip cookie recipe found on the internet?

M8B:

"no way!"

[Well, that was certainly a clear and definite answer!]

Me: Should I make a chocolate chip cookie recipe from my recipe collection, then?

M8B:

"ask again later"

[Since “later” is pretty open to interpretation, I waited 15 seconds, and asked again!]

Me: Should I make a chocolate chip cookie recipe from a recipe book that I own? [I rephrased just to humour M8B, who so far seems to be feeling pretty cranky today].

M8B:

"definitely"

[Now we’re getting somewhere!]

Me: Should I use a peanut butter cookie recipe as a base?

M8B:

"definitely"

[Okey-dokey, M8B!].

One final question…

Me: Can I use the two eggs I have that are slightly past the best-before date?

M8B:

"absolutely!"

[OK, I’m sorry but this whole thing completely cracks me up. Talk about making my day].

Onto the recipe!

I chose the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies recipe found in my “Come Taste the Pride” cookbook.

yes, from the 1995 international plowing match!

As I’ve said on many an occasion, you cannot beat community fundraiser cookbooks for solid, reliable recipes.

I think you can see this recipe clearly enough that I don’t need to retype it!

let me know if you need clarification

I swapped in chocolate chips for peanut butter chips, and used butter (not margarine) – everything else stayed the same.

[Ha ha, guess what?! Half way through the mixing of ingredients, I realized this recipe does not contain peanut butter! So I just added in 1/2 c all-natural peanut butter and another 1/2 cup flour to balance off the added “butter.” Let’s see what happens…I daren’t defy the M8B’s choices!]

ah! that's what we like to see! poofy pillow cookies, fresh outta the oven!

nice! i'm pleased!

Then I couldn’t resist; I had to ask the M8B one last question:

Me: M8B, are these cookies going to taste good?

M8B:

"definitely"

[Oh, man, I gotta cut this out. I’m becoming addicted!].

Have you ever consulted a Magic 8 Ball? I used to have a real one, years ago, that I kept on my desk…no idea what happened to it. I totally think it’s OK to *play* with asking the Magic 8 Ball questions for fun. I would be horrified to learn that someone used it in regards to a Major Life Decision!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Are you feeling lucky? [Better just ask the Magic 8 Ball!]. My local blogger buddy Angela (with whom I visited thrive juice bar, earlier this month) is hosting a Giveaway Contest! Click here to see the details and to enter!

The 1970KikiProject Quarterly Report

Good Morning!

Today is Saturday, April 9th, and the weather is…springlike?? (it’s kinda early in the morning to tell, for sure…appears to be clear out. Let’s hope it’s a sunny day!)

Three months ago today, it was my birthday!

file photo: january 9th, 2011

That means it’s time to check in with our progress on this year’s 1970KikiProject which kicked off its current incarnation three months ago, today.

(source)

Quick recap: I intend to enjoy 41 New Experiences during the time period of January 9th, 2011 to January 8th, 2012.

And where are we today? The tally stands at 12 New Experiences completed.

And we are right on target, kids. Whew! No need to panic!

A couple of comments on the twelve projects completed thus far:

~ Most fun: the fake fingernails

~ Most expensive: trip to Aruba

~ Most time-intensive: the Cake Decorating course

~ Most disappointing: drinking Coconut water!

Just 29 more to go!

I’ve got a lot of ideas floating around in my head for possible Fun New Experiences. In the short term, I have an Easter-themed project in mind, and chances are high that a work-related New Experience will occur, as well.

I haven’t pre-determined how to stay relatively on-track – so far, just randomly going with the flow has worked extremely well (quite unheard of for someone who adores planning!).

While we’re at it, let’s check in on:

The UN-Official 1970 Kiki Project:

Goal: bake 41 different recipes of chocolate chip cookies between January 9th, 2011 and January 8th, 2012.

Status: SEVEN recipes baked….oops! I better hop onto that baking trolley and get crackin’!

Let’s aim for TWO more recipes this month.

Two other shorter term cookie goals:

1) make a fancy version Рlike something with a unique twist to it in terms of ingredients (although I have learned from experience that anything other than a basic recipe is met with dubious expressions!)

2) make a gluten-free version.

(source)

If I made an all-purpose flour variety AND a GF variety, I’d love to do a blind taste-test!

We’ll see if we can make that happen…

Then,¬†there’s the Coupon of the Month Project.

Happily, this project is right on track, too. And April outings are all scheduled with Mom, with Dad, and with babysitting in Toronto. Yippee!

Lastly: I have two goals for the month of April:

1) finish A’s sweater – the back is complete

please excuse the ugly towel backdrop, but I'm blocking the piece...just finished the knitting last night!

I’d say I’m on track.

2) Still clean!

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions and/or April Goals? Are they still on the radar, or have they faded into the sunset?!

*#*#*#*#*

I really enjoyed reading the results because I am nosy from those of you who took the Real Age Test! Thanks for sharing! (Click here if you’d like to try the test).

Now here’s my question: EVERYONE who shared their results came out YOUNGER than their biological age. So:

~ are readers of this blog generally a healthier-than-average lot? or…

~ did people who came out OLDER than their actual age just not share their results?!

Hmmmm….enquiring minds want to know.

Have a great day!

Cookies for Firefighters – or Cowboys??

Lately, whenever I make a batch of choloate chip cookies, B’s been¬†passing along a couple to his friend, Eric. A firefighter for about a year now with a local department, Eric fills my heart with joy because he’s loved every cookie he’s tried yet. (Any single ladies in da house??!…Eric is mid-20’s, sooo nice…and unattached, presently! :))

Tuesday eve, we got together with Eric and another couple at the Huether (more about that in a minute). When Eric started raving about homemade cookies, I told him that he’d get a dozen for himself, next batch. So, last night I made Batch #7 of the chocolate chip cookie project. I knew I wanted to make the choco chip cookie recipe in this book…

...added to my cookbook collection in the mid-'90s!

…because Firefighter Eric would be inheriting a good portion of the recipe!

Here’s the recipe:

last made in july, 1996 - see the note? and they were "great!"

I think you can read those ingredients easily enough. And you may very well wish to make these for the firefighter(s) (or cowboys?!) in your life because the dough is divine. [Sidenote: at the bottom of the recipe, it says that Shirley doens’t know any cowboys, but has made these cookies for her family for years…so I’m stumped as to the Cowboy reference!]

I loved this recipe because of how many times “1 cup of x” appears – the less washing up of measuring cups at the end of the baking episode, the better, if you ask me!

In terms of what to do, just do as you usually would for making cookies: beat the shortening, add the sugars, add the eggs and vanilla, dump in the dry ingredients, stir in the chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Presto – cookies!

A couple of comments:

i did run short on white sugar, so topped up the 1 cup required with a bit of extra brown sugar...i think this was ok

Remember when I bought this eight ton HUGE bag of oats for last year’s ¬†40 Recipes Project??!

[From March 2010 – happily, oats don’t go bad…I think!]

Finally, the oats are finished!

good to the last drop

Once again, I fell short on required ingredients (plan, much?) and had to top up the 1 cup measure with my GF oatmeal:

tinier flakes - added textural interest for the cookie dough!

The batter is delightful:

this dough is a more dry and crumbly than some recipes, but i'll take that over SPLAT doughs, any day!

Out of the oven:

beautiful!

…and ready to share!

two for Dad and two for Paul at the store...

tons for B - into the freezer they go! (childhood memory: my mom used to pop fresh cookies into the freezer asap; we always said NO NO! keep them out! now i do the same thing!)

...and eric's dozen!

Eric will receive his cookies tomorrow…hope he likes them!

*#*#*#*#*

An Awkward Situation:

So, as mentioned, we’re at The Huether the other night. The service really stunk: the waitress obviously didn’t care about being there, she forgot to bring drinks, she said they had no special mussel forks (not true)…you get the picture. So the guy of the couple we were with (not Eric), actually¬†confronted her to her face about her poor service! He asked her if she had an issue with our table, he said that we were here for a good time and she was not helping us enjoy our experience…and said a few more¬†true but¬†rather hostile¬†comments. It was so awkward and embarrassing!!! Yes, she was not being helpful at all (another server pitched in and got us the fork,¬†brought us the drinks) but I just could never address an issue like poor service so openly like that. I felt bad for her! And frankly, her attitude did not really improve after being called up on the carpet like that.

What do you do when you receive poor service at a restaurant: address the server or keep your mouth shut? I would let a very small tip speak for me, and would say something to management on my way out…but I could never confront the server myself – I really dislike confrontation too much!

*#*#*#*#*

Followup to April Fool’s Day jokes.

I posted my own joke…which some people believed and some people did not!

My two favourite jokes of the day:

Angela at Oh She Glows played a good trick on her husband! But, top prize goes to Sabrina at Rhodey Girl blog for the joke she played on her Dad. All good fun!

*#*#*#*#*

Quote of the day:

Credit goes to My Dear Friend Gina for providing Our Daily A-Ha:

“Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” – Samuel Butler

Happy Saturday!

The Cookies Are Already Gone!

Can you believe the batch of choco chip cookies I wrote about on Wednesday is gonzo?! This could very well be a new record.

And Erv

dad!

didn’t even get one!

Recipe #6 for the Unofficial 1970 Kiki Project revolved around these chips:

president's choice CHUNKS - new to me!

…and chunky monkeys these are! – – >

it looks like one chunk would equal about 5 regular chips!

Since the star attraction is the CHUNKS, I decided to just flip over the bag, and make the PC-provided recipe. Besides, aren’t the back-of-the-package recipes always the blue-ribbon winners?!

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Here’s the recipe – it is quick and it is easy – – two of my favourite things!

…but best of all, this cookie dough ROCKS!! The batter baked up wonderfully – each cookie is a pillow of chocolatey-chunkiness.

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PC Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Cream 1/2 cup softened butter [I did use a butter stick] with 3/4 cup packed brown sugar. Beat in 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Stir in one package PC The Decadent Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks. Drop by heaping 1 tbsp amounts onto ungreased cookie sheets [I lined my sheets with parchment paper], spacing two inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes [I needed 10 minutes per sheet]. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Makes about 32 large cookies. [Hunh??! I got 18 NOT-large cookies!].

no sifting, no adding in increments; i mixed the wet ingredients, dumped on the dry, threw on the chunks, mixed by hand - that's the way i like to bake!

cookie clouds!

Only 18, though? Maybe I better set two aside for Erv

aka the yahtzee king!

asap!!

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DUUUUUUUUUUKE!!!!

Are you into March Madness?!

I’ve loved Duke since the Christian Laettner era of the early ’90s.

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Now go make cookies! Just do it!

The Best Room Freshener Scent

Last evening I rectified a sorry situation: the last time I baked cookies was back on Saturday Feb 5th! Wow, time flies when you’re sitting on the beach having fun! Given that I have made it an UNofficial goal to make 41 choco chip cookie recipes this year, I decided to get crackin’!

I turned to this trusty resource book:

this cookbook is at least 20 years old!

Conrad Grebel College is affiliated with my alma mater, the University of Waterloo. The cooks at Grebel are all of Mennonite background – you cannot beat the Mennonites when it comes to cooking and baking, let me tell you (I know of what I speak as I grew up in the Mennonite faith – but “modern,” not Old Order).

In university, I had supper once a week at Grebel, and consumed many a cookie back in those days.

This Grebel cookbook was one of those community fundraiser types, where people submit their favourite tried-n-true recipes. My favourite chapter is the one that contains Grebel-famous goodies:

grebel cookies and grebel bread: the stars of this compilation, for sure!

Last night, I made a recipe that I have previously made:

does anyone else date when they try a recipe, or make notes? i always write in the date the first time i try a new one...

And yes, I had NOT made these cookies since 1996! I have to laugh: see how the recipe states you could get seven dozen cookies? Like, how?!!! Your cookies would have to be the size of thumbtacks! Grebel always made their cookies the size of small dinner plates, hence the “Grebel-sized” option, as noted.

I think the recipe is clear enough to read if you’d like to try these – I do recommend them. They are buttery and rich, just as a chocolate chip cookie should be. I was not 100% happy with my version, though…

the bottom tray got a bit more brown than the top tray - two different textures, then!

As you know, I loathe and detest a cookie that bakes up in a “splat” – which is exactly what these did. It was completely my fault: see in the recipe that they say 1 cup shortening OR 3/4 cup butter or margarine? Well, I used 1 cup of butter because I had 2 x 1/2 cup butter sticks at the ready. Error! The result definitely indicates the mis-matched ratio of butter:dry ingredients. Thank goodness the taste is still superb!

I got 24 cookies out of this batch – I am laughing at my notation that I made 12 cookies back in ’96! They must have been the size of flying saucers!

To my mind, there is no better smell to have wafting around the home than fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. I need one of those automatic poofers that disperses blasts of air throughout a room, like in a conference centre! Barring that, I guess I need to make cookies daily!

Have a great day! I am off to Toronto to see the little ones!

The UN-Official 1970 Kiki Project

When I was brainstorming ideas for this year’s version of the 1970 Kiki Project, I batted around a few ideas. Obviously, none of them made the cut except for “41 New Experiences.”

One evening, some time around my birthday, I was debating various ideas out loud. B – while likely inhaling a Chipits Chocolate Chip Cookie from Recipe #40 – proposed his grand idea for the 2011 version of The Project: make 41 cookie recipes!!! I then joked that I could find 41 chocolate chip cookie recipes very easily, hardy-har-har.

But then I paused. You know, I very well could¬†find, effortlessly, all sorts of chocolate chip cookie versions…

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…and they are B’s (and my) favourite type of cookie…could we eat 41 batches in one year?? (Silly question, I quickly concluded, considering a batch usually lives 2-4 days in our household). And they’d make great gifts, party fare…who doesn’t like to receive a coupla cookies, as a treat???

For a few days, I seriously considered¬†doing “Project Chocolate Chip Cookie”¬†plus41 New Experiences” for 2011. In the end, I opted solely for one focus, this year.

However, B and I decided that we would unofficially chase the 41 different cookie types competition.

To date, I have three batches completed. Tonight, I make #4.

a new *exotic* package of chips from vincenzo's!

We’re going down to Jeff’s condo for a Superbowl Bash Get-Together tomorrow. I’m going to contribute chocolate chip cookies!

Since I never got around to making an Anna Olson recipe last year, I’m making “Chocolate Chip Cookies a la Anna Olson” this time ’round.

I’m beginning to feel quite¬†educated¬†about “what maketh a good cookie,” – as in amounts of sugar and butter, baking temp and length of time, any “secret ingredients.”¬†Anna’s recipe excites me!

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Just within the past hour, it has started snowing vigourously!!

it's snowing more densely then during snowmegedon wednesday, this past week!

Perfect for a cookie-making evening!

See you tomorrow!