Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some photos to highlight the last few months.

Langston Wedding at the Niagara Falls Country Club
'Take my picture, take my picture!"
Me and my new baby.
Schroeder wedding at the Morton Arboretum. I so miss Matt and Suz.
My husband, the blacksmith.
Broiler + marshmallow + top rack = BIG fire in new oven
Hanging a baby on a sculpture in Grant Park. So weird/unsafe.
You know it, but we bought a house and love it.

Martha & Me Cookies 5 of 175

Cookie: Snickerdoodle
Listened to: Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus on repeat (thanks to Mike)
For: Sandy Slagor, Deb DiFranco, and Kim Gallivan (the 3 other women in Mike's life :))

Some people (Kim) were asking why I didn't bring any cookies to my first weekend trip to Buffalo. I simply stated that there were only so many hours in the day. But I knew that there was going to be hell to pay if I didn't bring something the next weekend. (Oh yeah, you read that right. We drove to Buffalo two weekends in a row.) Kim, Sandy, and Aunt Deb mean so much to Mike and I can tell exactly why. They are great women of strength and love and I am blessed to have them in my life.

Ok so I swore to Mike that if these didn't turn out they work out/were perfect, I wasn't bringing them. I brought them and they were soooo good (if I do say so myself)! OMG! These cookies are delish. They are soft, sweet, and huge. So the weird thing about this recipe is the one on Martha's website is not the same as the one in her book. I loved these so much that I don't think I'm straying from this recipe.

2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar plus 2 tablespoons
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Put butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the egg. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in four mixture.

2. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into twenty 1 3/4 inch balls; roll in cinnamon-sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheet halfway through, until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment paper in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Soooo, when I read back through this I definitely strayed a bit due to a lack of supplies/reading skills. 1. I used 1 stick of unsalted and 1 stick salted butter and reduced the additional salt, 2. I used equal parts sugar and cinnamon (3 teaspoons of each), 3. I made about 24 cookies.

Make these, you won't regret it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Martha & Me Cookies 3 and 4 of 175

So school takes over my life. Here are the updates on cookies 3 and 4

Cookie 3: Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies
Listened to: Gossip in the Grain by Ray Lamontagne
To: The Krein family

Daniel Krein was a student in Mike's class at Central. His mom, Sheila, donated several generous materials for my classroom. One of those items is a water-filled glass tube that has plastic fish in it. When you turn it on, the fish float and light up. My students LOVE it! These were a thank you to the Kreins.

These were tasty, but nothing special to be honest. I am a bit frustrated because my cookies keep going flat after baking. I think maybe I need to better store my baking soda. Overall, these cookies are a great staple and who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies? These were fun to give because they were a surprise and actually a "saving grace". Sheila sent Mike and email telling the story of their Thursday. Long story short, the Kreins needed a snack to bring to a Boy Scout event and had nothing in the house. They took the cookies and many were able to enjoy them. So, all in all I am so happy that my cookies put a smile on someones face.

Cookie 4: Rocky Ledge Bars
To: C-U YoungLife leaders and Stratton SPED staff

YoungLife is something that is so important to me and my growth as a person. I spent some of my best times in high school with YoungLife and met my best friends from college leading YoungLife. It has been something that has been a part of my life for so long and has truly changed me. Mike and I were so excited to have the space to welcome the YoungLife leaders into our home for their leadership meeting and dinner. We had a yummy taco bar and to top it off I made these Rocky Ledge Bars and an angel food cake.

These bar cookies are to die for! I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and Milk Maid caramels for all the extra sweets in it. Don't forget to use dark brown sugar, not light, you'll be glad you did! The Rocky Ledge Bars are sticky, chewy, and leave little pieces of caramel in your teeth. The paraprofessionals in my classroom kept saying that they were to die for and everyone had to try one. Also, they were a good workout. You have to hand mix these, so my arms were feelin' it. Make these, enjoy them, and make them again :)