Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The New Adventures in Baking

Having declared last night's home made kettle chips a success, tonight I turned my attention to the Nearly-Perfect Cookies I wrote about last time. They've gone through a couple incarnations and I think I've got them just about right. I bumped the chili powder considerably, up to 1 1/2 tsp and reduced the cinnamon to 3/4 tsp. Also the first time the dough came out too dry and dry dough means hard cookies, so I adjusted the flour measurement by the amount of cocoa powder and the dough is pretty good now. I also made myself a shaker full of a cinnamon/chili powder mixture that I can just shake over the top of the cookies. It allows for nice uniform coverage.

Then it was time for peanut butter cookies. Last time I made them I added chocolate chips, but today I used up the last of my chocolate chips on the Nearly-Perfect Cookies. So I added a little cocoa powder to the dough for the chocolate and used peanut butter chips instead. A complaint about Reese's Peanut Butter Chips for baking: why is the bag 1 2/3 cups? Most recipes call for 1 or 2 cups of chips, but almost never fractions of cups. I ended up dumping the whole bag in. Oh well, my peanut butter loving husband isn't going to complain, I don't think.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

True Confessions

I admit, I'm a lapsed blogger. I haven't blogged in like a year. I'm not really sorry though. I've been a little busy. I got married and I've been experimenting with all kinds of new and exciting foods in loaf-form. You know, meatloaf, banana bread and stuff like that. Along with the occasional foray into cookie-baking, my real passion. So without further ado...

Tonight's experiment is for tomorrow's Comadres get-together. The assignment was something Spanish-American or something like that. I bent the rules a little since we weren't supposed to make dessert, but since I have to drive an hour and a half to get there and entree is sort of out of the question. So: Spicy Cinnamon Double Chocolate Cookies.

It's basically Betty Crocker's chocolate chip cookie recipe with a few additions. Say what you will about Toll House's cookie recipe, but Betty is a rock star. She's the queen bitch in my book and her chocolate chip cookies k.o. toll house any day. So that's my starting point. To the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla stage of mixing I added 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of chili powder. Then to the flour I added 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa. This made the dough a little dry so next time I think I'll reduce the flour. On the cookie sheet I always press them a bit flat so they'll spread a little faster. It seems to help. Then I sprinkled them with a mixture of cinnamon and chili powder. Eddie likes them, and he hates spicy food so I guess that means they're not too spicy. We'll see how they go over tomorrow at Comadres.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm still here

And there's been lots going on, but I've been too lazy to come here and update anything. Anyhoo, I'm getting married, I have a new job in New York soon, I'm thrilled to be leaving my job in Sedona because what I thought was a good thing turns out to be hell.

Yeah, maybe I'll write after the wedding...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Job and stuff

I have a job! I have a job! I have a really real, permanent, non-temp job! It's in retail, we'll see how it goes. I start on Monday! Yay! I think it's going to be good. But now I have to pack up my stuff and find a place to live in Sedona, so that's going to be a bit of a pain. Eh, it'll work out.

In other news, I'm loving my Jack LaLanne Power Juicer. It's awesome. I've been juicing stuff just about every day. And I've lost weight so that's good.

In knitting, I finished all the knitting on my Eyelet Surplice Dress yesterday. I'm not crazy with the way certain parts of it turned out, but I'm going to try to make it work. I'm now hard at work on my Tilted Duster, although I need to finish up my Knit Knack exchange items too. The Chinese knotting books I ordered came in the mail, so that's about all I need to finish the pasties. The purse is currently in lining limbo.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cookies and Juice

Wow, it was kind of a busy weekend. I was home all weekend in honor of Mothers Day, plus it was the first day of the farmers market in Prescott, and the first Mountain Artist's Guild show of the summer. I got my paws on a jar of honey wine jelly at the farmers market. It should be pretty yummy, but I didn't have the heart to open it yet. Then came the art show, which was huge. I was not entirely prepared for the magnitude of the entire courthouse square in Prescott to be taken up with vendors. Fortunately, not nearly all of them were remotely interesting. There was a lot of cut-out sheet copper in the shape of roadrunners and coyotes. It's just not what I'm into. I did snag a pretty great pair of earrings and Mom got a bracelet from the same artist. Oh, and I ordered a bracelet from a guy who does glass enamel work, and he's going to bring it to the next show for me. So that was pretty cool too. Otherwise we just bought food.

Then we went and got me one of these. I tried it out on Sunday and what can I say. It makes juice. And pulp. Yeah. I'm pretty excited about it, but I made the decision not to bring it back to the camper with me for a week then have to cart it back home again. So I'm gonna be all over the juice diet next week.

Sunday I finally got to bake again. It's been a while. I'm sort of discovering that, as I told my mom, I really enjoy the process more than I enjoy the finished product. I think that's a good thing. It means I'm not going to gorge myself on cookies just because I can. I was cruising blogs last month and found this recipe for saffron cookies on pieknits and really wanted to try the recipe out. So I gave it a whirl, and I'm pleased to say they were delicious. It's a fairly simple recipe too.

Sadly, the kolachky experiment that followed was not nearly so successful. But I salvaged half the dough in the freezer, and I think half the problem was the shape I was trying to do. So I'm going to try again with the rest of the dough.

So the saffron cookies went to work with me today, and although they turned out quite a bit harder today than they were yesterday, they were still pretty much gone by lunch time (I snagged the second to last one). The failed kolachky, which still tasted good despite being a failure, stayed with my parents.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

On Russia and vampires

Gasp! Two posts in a single week?? What is the world coming to?

I'm completely addicted to streaming movies on Netflix. Tonight I watched Nightwatch and remembered why it was so awesome in the first place: dissolving subtitles. Seriously, it sounds silly, but you have to see it to know how kick-ass it is. Usually the subtitles are just kind of there, but in this movie they're kind of integrated. They disappear behind bodies in the foreground and turn red and dissolve like blood into water. They're actually expressive. Not to mention that the effects are pretty great, especially considering the movie was made for something like $15 million.

Ok, that's all I got. My mind is too blown by the good vs evil crazy seasick battle cinematography, and also by the dude who pulls his spine out and it turns into a sword. Seriously. Wow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I love you Netflix, but, um, what?

Dear Netflix,

Yes, I love the works of Hayao Miyazake. That's apparent, as I've pretty much rented them all from you. However, I'm not really making the connection between "Princess Mononoke" and "The Garbage Pail Kids Movie". Maybe you know something I don't, but I kind of think the suggestions you make are a little mixed up.

On the other hand, I'm totally loving the "watch instantly" thing. Yeah, it's pretty great.