Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's 10:08pm. Do you know where your kid is?

Don't worry Madre. Scotty is sleeping comfortable on my bed. Oh and I'm fine too >:) You will find me in the kitchen, baking away! 

The kitchen is my favorite place to be. At home this is where we tend to congregate. I like it a lot. Also this is the place of eating. And creating yummy things. 

I will find any excuse to bake because it's relaxing and it gives me the opportunity to try out new recipes and share the goodness because left to my own devices and by myself with a pan of goodies...yikes. No dice. I overheard one of the nurses say she really wanted a red velvet cake for her birthday so I told her I'd make one. Then the nurse next to her said their birthdays were a day apart so I told them in May I'd make them each a cake. I can't wait! THEN the pharmacist, who I absolutely adore, said it was her birthday Saturday and I told her I'd make her something and bring it in tomorrow.

When I got home I I meticulously combed through recipes to find a good enough one for her. Well I found one. A classic recipe with a few twists: 

Brown butter chocolate chip cookies. With a pinch of sea salt on top. 
I hope she likes 'em!

Now on to random tidbits.
1. I ordered a new cookbook that one of the dietitians told us about yesterday. It's written by a dietitian/chef and she alters recipes to make them a little healthier while still maintaining the integrity of the product and its taste. I'msoexcited! I can't wait to get it, crack it up and start cooking/baking. 

2. My friend and colleague Amy is a Godsend. Honestly. I needed a friend badly and she came into the scene and boy oh boy am I EVER so glad. She's HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILARIOUS. Put the two of us together and just follow the giggles and you are sure to find us. Yesterday we had a staff meeting after work. I opted to sit next to Amy, which may have been an unwise choice, because we pretty much reverted to 3rd graders. A story: Amy and Britney decided a few days ago that they were no longer going to eat sweets. I refused to join them. Not this week anyway. Well one of the other dietitians brought in pumpkin spice Hershey kisses and pumpkin yogurt covered pretzels. To tease and tempt Amy and Britney (who was sitting across table from us) I slowly unwrapped one of the pumpkin spice Hershey kisses, smelled it seductively, and the bit into it slowly. All the while our manager is reviewing the first bullet point of her agenda. Amy and I BUSTED up laughing. I almost choked on the Hershey kiss. Everyone looked at us and chuckled awkwardly while Amy and I were, at first laughing hysterically, and then trying to calm down, silently laughing with tears coming out of our eyes and I was still trying to swallow the kiss without spitting it up, choking, or aspirating chocolate. OH wow it was sight to behold I am sure. Amy and I pulled it together and we were trying not to laugh but every time Amy silently chuckled I would start to lose it, though I was able to keep quiet but JUST BARELY. I  was half expecting our manager to tell us to separate. It took me a good 3 minutes to finally swallow that Hershey kiss. Whew. It was so funny. 

3. This morning I stumbled outside to take Scotty for his morning jaunt and ran into my neighbor as we stepped out the door. Mind you, I had no makeup on, hadn't brushed my teeth yet, my hair was crazay and I probably still had an eye crusty in my eye. He told me he was taking one of our neighbors to the airport this morning and usually she trims/buzzes some of his hair in between haircuts but she is going out of town and so he asked me to be his "barber." I said sure. So this evening Scotty and I went over (Scotty is now besties with his chihuahua Poppy) and for the first time in my life used clippers. I told him I'd never done this before and if he ended up losing an ear, I had forewarned him. Apparently you can't cut people with those...Well, I didn't cut him and 1.3 minutes later I had clipped and told him I was changing my profession to a barber. Then I bowed ever so gracefully and Scotty and I went home. So gents, if you need to trim/buzz the back of your hair in between haircuts, I'm your gal. 

4. Today was my last run before the half marathon. I busted out another 3.2 miles with an average pace of 8:29. I felt really lethargic and crummy running, though I was shocked when I saw my pace. We'll see how Sunday goes. I'm starting to get nervous because this week I've felt so icky running. YIKES. I'm hoping the adrenaline and excitement help to alleviate my nerves. 

And now for the recipe, adopted from design. bake. run.

115g (1 stick) unsalted butter 
75g (1/3 cup) granulated sugar 
90g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar 
1 medium egg 
1 tsp vanilla extract) 
175g (1 1/2 cups or 6 oz) whole wheat pastry flour (I used 1 cup regular whole wheat and ½ cup all-purpose flour but just using one kind of flour is fine too) 
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp cornstarch 
1/2 cup semi-sweet or 60% cocoa chocolate chips (I highly recommend Ghiradelli) 
sea salt for scattering on top (optional but encouraged)


1.    Place the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and cook until it starts to bubble and has turned a lovely golden brown color. Take off the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
2.    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cornstarch.
3.    When butter has cooled (I got impatient and put it in the fridge for a few minutes), cream it together with the sugars until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again. As this isn't a recipe for a cake, you don't need to keep on beating forever - you just want everything all nicely mixed together. You can do it by hand. I did and it was easy breezy.
4.    Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the chocolate chips.
5.     Chill the mixture in the fridge for any time between 30 minutes and 24 hours. i don't have that much patience so my chilling time is normally closer to 30 minutes.
6.    Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f and prepare a couple of baking sheets with either greaseproof paper or a silicone mat.
7.    Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, place spoonfuls of the dough on the baking sheet and, if desired, scatter a little sea salt on top. I did and recommend it.
8.    Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until the edges of the cookies just start to turn golden brown and are firm to the touch.
9.    Allow to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.


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