Hey blog world.
By now, you’ve probably figured out that it’s officially Christmas Break, almost 2 weeks in counting! I’ve successfully completed 2 TV series from Investigation Discovery on Netflix, along with a season of Desperate Housewives and 6 movies.
Aka, I’m bored out of my MIND.
At home I have my parents, my two little brothers, and my 2 dogs: Patch and Bailey. My dad has been out of town for work and his flight was delayed. My mom works all day. My brother, Alex, works 2 jobs when he’s not in classes. My baby brother, Asher, is a senior in high school, therefore his break just officially started…
and then there’s me & the dogs. I think I knew I was going crazy when I caught myself talking to them for extended periods of time. No need to be alarmed: They are intuitive, intelligent, and involved so the conversations were not lost on them. I only wish they could do more than bark and howl back at me. (pictured below: Bailey on the left and Patch on the right.)
How I’ve kept myself occupied: Netflix, Pinterest, baking, and cleaning. Usually, I shop. But given that it’s Christmas I’ve decided to cut back on spending. Also an ice storm hit Oklahoma so that may have influenced my penny pinching decision.
I’m probably like a good 107% extrovert so it’s only killing me a little to be on break. The good news is my sister and nephew come home tomorrow (Tuesday,) my dad’s flight gets in around 9am, my mom took the week off, and Asher starts being around so I’m sure I’ll be sick of them in no time.
In the spirit of Christmas, I have a couple of gifts for my faithful 3 readers out there.
1. Free Music!
I hope you’re enjoying the music playing above! It is a new Christmas song covered by my friend, Ty Mayfield. This year, he is giving away his Christmas Sampler on Noisetrade! It’s an upbeat, fun, bluesy/jazzy mix with some of his original songs (including a Christmas orig,) and the cover you’re listening to! You will LOVE it- Money back guarantee. Download it for FREE HERE !!!
2. My favorite Pinterest Recipe!
I’ve found the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie recipe on Pinterest…and I’m not normally one for actually doing what I pin! It’s amazing, therefore I will share it with you.
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 c unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 c Crisco
1 c light brown sugar
1 c minus 2 T white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
The key with these cookies is to follow directions closely! I’m not one for this either- every time a recipe tells me to do something oddly specific, I say to myself, “why??” and do it the easy way. I’ve tried to add comments for the picture-directions to help you identify the “why” behind the matter.
Beating the butter and shortening gives the dough a better rise in the oven, making the cookies lighter. Butter is good for taste and shortening is good to make the cookie softer.
The flour to be just incorporated, is the point when you no longer see white spots of flour. Do not overmix! Over-mixing will ruin the cookies. They will bake flatter and look greasy.
When shaping the cookies, you will know if you have the fat/flour ratio right: too little flour- it will stick to your hands, forms a messy looking ball, just right- won’t stick to your hands, but just barely, forms a smooth ball, too much flour- dough has to be forced into a ball, crumbly dough, rough looking ball
The same problems occur when over-handling the dough as over-mixing it. They will bake flat and look greasy. Handle the dough as little as possible while still shaping them properly.
To freeze, place the dough balls on a plate side by side, cover and freeze at least an hour. You can then bag them and they won’t be stuck together when you take them out.
It takes most ovens much longer to preheat than when it beeps to tell you it’s ready. An oven thermometer is very helpful. When most ovens beep, they are usually 50-100 degrees too low. It will ruin the cookies to bake them at the incorrect temperature. Let the oven heat longer than it allows for “preheating.”
Determining when they are done:
underdone- the are tall, shiny in the middle, pale in color, fall apart when transfered, fall through on the cooling rack
perfect- domed, puffy, show a few signs of browning, look a bit underdone but are not shiny on the top, hold together during transfer It is important to wait 2 minutes before transferring them. They continue to bake from the heat of the sheet without being over-baked in the oven. Also, they will hold together better and be less likely to fall in the middle if you wait.
…And if they don’t look like the cookies above, here are the possibilities to what went wrong:
I hope you enjoy!
Have a holly jolly Christmas, and let me know how you feel about the music and the cookies!
Over and Out!