Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I walk the line...

Okay, so Kerrie is finally on the mend and life can go back to normal. Kinda.

On Saturday, Kerrie, her parents, and I went into downtown Cincinasty to see the sights. After a few pictures at Fountain Square, we went to Tower Place Mall -which was pretty dead.

On Sunday, after going to church, I began thinking of my last cookie-related entry. I realized I wasn't as satisfied as I had originally thought. The major flaw with the last batch of cookies was that they dried out far to fast. I recalled that this was the same problem I had run into with the Urban Legend cookies. The one constant that stuck out in my rattled head was the ground oatmeal, and without serious scientific speculation I pegged that as the culprit.

So I looked around a little more. I checked out some of the more credible sources for recipes. After a few hours of reading and cobbling ideas together, I came to settle on what may very well be what I want in a "perfect" cookie.

As I said before, I don't like crispy and I don't like greasy. I like a chewy cookie. Soft, but not crumbly. This cookie, when kept in a ziplock bag, held up VERY nice over the course of the last three days. In addition to holding up nicely, this is a fuck-off easy recipe to knock out. Prep work AND time is light, making this a good recipe for the spontaneous among us. Can you dig it?

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 Sticks Butter (1/2 Cup)
2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 t Kosher Salt
1 t Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 1/4 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
2 T Milk
1 1/2 t Vanilla
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Second Item of Choice (Walnuts, Peanuts, More Chocolate Chips, ect.)

Preheat over to 350F.
Melt Butter in microwave or over low heat on stove.
In a bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder. Set Aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and two sugars together. Add Egg, Egg Yolk, Milk and Vanilla until combined.
Gradually add flour mixture until well combined.
Stir in chocolate chips and secondary item.
Use small ice cream scoop to portion small cookies. Bake for 14 minutes.


For the secondary item, I used mini peanut butter cups. The beauty of this recipe is that just about anything complimentary to chocolate chips will work. Yes, I think this may very well be the cookie I've been looking for.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Today, Kerrie had her gallbladder removed. After months of pain, random worrying, and a doctor who recomended "managing" the problem, this is what they pulled out of my sweet little Kerrie:

I know, right? For those of you who did not immediately glance up towards the ruler, take a second look. That little sucker was over an inch long... It looks like a friggen Avocado pit! (Bonus points for those of you who immediately thought: Kerrie isn't spelled with three R's...)

I guess the real question is, to be blunt, Is this the consequence of good eating? Diets high in fat and cholesterol seem to be the top factor in all of this, so what now? Well, one source recommended what amounts to a Vegan diet. Yeah, go DIAF... Vegetarian, a step up from being vegan by eating eggs and dairy? Uh huh, why don't you EABODs. Essentially, I'm being tasked with feeding both Kerrie and I good food, without using all the "good" thing I know and love. "Beyond" brand butter flavored oil? Sadly, I shouldn't be using that anyways. And now I know I have to stop. Deep fried accompaniments to each meal? Not so much... Once in a while, and in moderation, sure... But not every night.

A lot needs to change, and I'm sure I'll figure it out. But I'll be damned if I'm going to turn Kerrie and I into weak little rabbits doing it. If I let that happen, the terrorists win.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm waiting for the gift of Sound and Vision...

What's the best chocolate chip cookie you've ever had?

For me, I really don't know. Cookies in any form reached perfection with my mom's Cereal Cookies. It's a scientific fact...

But a chocolate chip cookie... The most basic, universally revered of all cookies - What's the best one I've ever had? I can't honestly say.

See, I recently realized I haven't had a great earth-shaking Chocolate Chip Cookie. Bakemark makes a pretty good product, but they dry out way too fast after baking. English Bay has a reasonably consistent cookie dough, but they use dark chocolate and they are nauseatingly greasy.

So what goes into making a good chocolate chip cookie then? Well, I like mine to be chewy -not soft- with a clean feel to them. I shouldn't have to scrub the grease from my fingers in between each bite. I also don't want to bust my jaw trying to bite through a piece of plaster board. Also, I really don't like walnuts. BUT... I don't mind peanuts or macadamia nuts. Plus, if the nuts are salted - all the better.

This past week I spent a reasonable amount of time trying to find a good recipe for the elusive "perfect" chocolate chip cookie. I found one, slightly reminiscent of the Urban Legend Cookie, that had a few extra steps and needed a little extra attention.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 t Baking Powder
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
3/4 t Kosher Salt
1 1/2 Cup Oats
1 3.5oz Milk Chocolate Bar

1 1/2 Cups Softened Butter
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 1/2 t Vanilla

2 Cups Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Chopped Salted Peanuts

Preheat Oven to 350F.

Begin by mixing Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
Next, place oats in a food processor and grind into a fine powder. Add to Flour mix.
Using a microplane or box grater, finely grate milk chocolate bar into flour/oat mixture. Set Aside.

In a Large Bowl, mix Butter, and Sugars together using a hand mixer.
Add Eggs, one at a time until thoroughly combined. Add Vanilla.

Add Flour Mixture to Egg Mixture, and stir until dough comes together.
Add Chocolate Chips and Peanuts and mix into dough.

Portion cookies on to sheet tray and Bake for 17 minutes.
(They may be soft when you pull them from the oven, but they WILL set up.)

Note: I used a 2oz ice cream scoop to portion the dough onto the sheet trays.

In the end, I got 52 two-ounce cookies out of this recipe. Were they the perfect chocolate chip cookie? No... But there was something oddly gratifying out making my own and they were damned yummy. Kerrie and I sat around with our glasses of milk, nibbling away contentedly enjoying the abundant pile of cookies which, while not perfect, were very satisfying.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hello, Dad? I'm in jail...

I found this on a case of celery at work. I wonder if I should throw it out...

Hmmm... For those a little lost, google Steve-O and try not to hate me for what you see.

Was not Was - Dad, I'm in jail
David Bowie - Sound & Vision
Andrew WK - We Want Fun
Iggy Pop - Success

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Once in a lifetime...

There has been a lot to celebrate over the past few weeks. On Saturday the 20'th of September, My cousin gave birth to her daughter Charlotte. The next day, Sunday the 21'st, we surprised my mom with a cookout at my brothers house for her birthday. On Thursday of this past week, Kerrie and I celebrated 4 years together. Yesterday started the 1-year countdown to the wedding.

Yup, in 364 days Kerrie and I will be married and all of you will be judged on how good of a gift you get us. Stop laughing, I'm not being funny.

Okay, yes I am.

To celebrate our anniversary, which fell on a week night, I made a fairly elaborate dessert of Vanilla Panna Cotta. I prepared a Chocolate biscuit, raspberry sauce, and even a little bubble sugar for flair.


Mom and Gramma

Kerrie and I

"It's a celebration bitches!"
- Rick James

Talking Heads - Once in a lifetime
Bar Kays - Too Hot To Stop
Fatboy Slim - Yamama
MC Chris - Fett's Vett
Bobby Bland - Turn on your love light