Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Burlap, Books, and Cookies

05-15-2012 burlap minibook
Today I'm working on minibook. I've finished the messy part. Wood and burlap and Mod Podge and crackle paint. Getting ready to work on the insides. Chevron and vintage floral prints and damask. A kit with instructions for making the minibook will be available for purchase soon at Frost It Pink.

05-15-2012 books
Then I have to decide which of these I'm going to read next. I looked through the bottom one when I was at Mardels on Saturday. It's about being a follower of Christ, not just a fan and I wasn't making an emotional connection with what I read as I flipped through it. It felt more practical. As I sit here I'm looking at the cover and there's an endorsement from Max Lucado that has the word practical in it! I bought it thinking maybe practical is what I need right now, that maybe I'll make an emotional connection with it as I go through and answer all the questions in it that force you to examine yourself. I see a lot of question marks!

The top one is the book the bible study/book club I've been in for 2 or 3 years is reading right now. Now that I'm working a split shift I can't go anymore. Kind of fortuitous that the month I have to quit, the book is about not letting work take priority over home. And also because last night we were reading Will's devotion book before bed and it was about finding your value in Christ and what you can do for others, not how much attention others choose to give you. Before getting to that lesson, the question after the story asked (paraphrased), "Do you ever feel ignored at home?" Will's response was, "You're always working." I think there was a lesson in there for both of us. So this is probably my first read!

05-15-2012 choc chip cookies 3
Finally, did you know today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? Any excuse to make these works for me! About 15 years ago I found a recipe in the newspaper and the name of it was Absolutely, Positively the Best Chocolate Cookie Recipe Ever. I don't know how you can read that and not be compelled to try it! It turned out to be the truth and it's the only recipe I've used since. They are firmer than most chocolate chip cookies. If you're like me and you don't like cookies that are gooey (meaning tastes like they are only 1/2 baked), this is the recipe for you. I usually bake 1/2 the dough and put the rest in the fridge to use throughout the week so "the kids" don't eat all the cookies in 2 days. The only problem with doing this is I have to wait until later in the week for my special cookie. I have this weird thing where I make sure all the chocolate chips get used before the batter is gone so there is enough left over to make just one cookie with no chips in it. The cookie also has to be completely cool before I eat it and everyone knows not to even think about touching my cookie when it's on the cooling rack.

If you want to make Absolutely, positively the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever, you can find the recipe here. This recipe has you take extra steps that I think are unnecessary so if you want the faster, lazy person's version that turns out tasting just as good, here is what I do. Please, please use butter instead of margarine. Otherwise you'll probably end up with Absolutely, Positively the Most Mediocre Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever.

Absolutely, Positively the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever

2 sticks of butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups chopped nuts

Cream the butter, salt, and sugars with a mixer until the mixture is fluffy, around 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and continue beating another 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and baking soda mix until incorporated. Add 1/2 the flour and slowly mix just until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour mixing just until incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drop 1/2 rounded tablespoonfuls of chilled dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. They are finished when they are lightly browned. After removing the cookies from the oven, transfer them to cooling racks.

If you make these, I'd love to know whether or not you agree that they are the best chocolate chip cookies you've ever made!
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