Monday, March 28, 2011

The Best Cookies I Have Made

So, a few years ago, I was looking for a blueberry crumble bar recipe and I stumbled upon the smitten kitchen blog. This blogger has the best recipes. If you are looking for something wholesame and tasty, she has a great site.

I was looking for a good cookie recipe a few months ago, when I found her most delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. These babies are Divine (with a capital "D").

Here is the recipe:

Makes about 3 dozen cookies (I had to continously bring 6-10 to work on a daily basis, until my co-workers asked if I had poisoned them and was trying to slowly kill them).

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups chopped pecans
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (I only had a clementine - worked fine)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

(I added craisins which I highly recommend!)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat (nonstick baking mat). Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about three minutes. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a separate bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter with the mixer on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half. Stir in the oats, pecans, orange zest, and chocolate chips. Drop the dough, by the tablespoon, onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack.

These make a ton of cookies. You will not be disappointed. I promise.

And this is one of the reasons I got my brand new mixer for my birthday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MIA in Madison, Wisconsin

Sorry I have been missing in action. As an American (and Americans like to blame), I fully blame AT&T for my disappearance on this blog. Enough said.

What have I been doing? Well, the Wisconsin budget bill was strangely passed and now there seem to be some glitches with it. No surprise there. As I walk around the capital on my extremely routine walks, the protestors are still there, but not as many. The rallies still take place every Saturday. The largest one, taking place on the 12th of March.

My parents were here for the big rally and I think it made them nostalgic, bringing back memories of their time in Madison during the Vietnam protests.

If there is one thing I can't reiterate enough about the protests here, it is that these are very peaceful and calm movements. Don't believe everything you see on t.v. Any newstation referring to "dangerous mobs" also shows palm trees in the background. And we do NOT have any palm trees in Madison, Wisconsin. Last time I checked, people associate this state as a frozen tundra filled with blizzardy winters. No palm trees here. So, lay off the station that starts with an "F" and ends with an "X." The only good thing they have going for them is a show called "Glee," so I am told, as I have never watched it.

Which leads me to a topic of my addiction to Bravo T.V. Yes - I am finally going to publicly and very openly admit that I am strangely addicted to all the housewife shows on Bravo. I am slightly embarassed about this and if you ask me why I like them, I cannot tell you. Riding in the car with someone the other day, I secretly confessed to her that I enjoy watching Bethenny Frankel. She asked me, "What do you like about her?"

Me: "What do I like about her? That's a really good question. Hmmm... Her voice is annoying, she is obnoxious and loud. What do I like about her?" Pause "You know, I like her business sense and I love her husband. I think he has a great personality and he is so cute."

And the more I think about it, I think I like that Bethenny really established a brand and then did what I want to do. She got pregnant at forty and then married a great guy. I have said one child at the age of forty sounds nice.

Now, here is the other thing that is going through my head this month. I am turning thirty-one on Friday. Thirty-one sounds old to me. And while I am ok with having a baby at 40, I may not be able to have a baby at forty. So that's a little sad. Friday is really my third twenty-ninth, by the way.

While I started the creams and the hair dying at thirty, I have decided to grow my hair long (even though I think my boyfriend prefers this length) and start saving up for an eye lift, when the crows feet show up. And I am not afraid to admit it.

And every year, my parents ask me what I want for my birthday. Up until I was about 21, I asked for a little sister and a dog. Well, I got the dog for myself, but I am still hoping for the baby sister.