Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pretty flower but oh so fleeting

This Christmas Cactus was a real beauty! A lovely friend of mine gave me this plant for a house re-warming gift when we moved back into our home. Unfortunately shortly after taking this picture the many, many buds simply dried up and fell off. So sad for me, I followed the directions on the little tab on the plant but alas it wasn't meant to be.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Boo hoo feeling sorry for myself...and cookies!

Youngest daughter is on a trip today with another 18 year old girl and I think I'm going to make myself nuts! They are driving 500 miles to visit friends at college, then snowboarding. Of course all i can think about is how many things could go wrong instead of how much fun they will surely have. I guess its the mom thing because I wouldn't have thought twice about doing something similar a her age. Of course Iasked her to check in every few hours and it's been over 2 so i'm anxiously waiting for her to call. She packed a cooler full of vegan goodness so I'm not worried about them having enough to eat that's for sure. I made them some delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies this morning so they took those along also.

Here's that recipe:

Vegan Chocolate chip (more appropriately "chunk") cookies

1/2 cup brown sugar (I was out of this so used 1 T less of raw sugar and added a Tablespoon of molasses)

1/4 granulated sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup soy milk

1 T cornstarch

2 tsps. vanilla extract ( I use the amazingly delicious vanilla bean paste)

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips (I didn't have vegan chips so chopped up a chunk of dark chocolate*)
depending on how chocolatey you want your cookies.

I use a stand mixer to beat the oil with the sugars (and molasses in this mornings case), milk and cornstarch for a good 2 minutes to get this mixed really well. Mix in vanilla. I then remove from the mixer and do the rest with a wooden spoon and/or good-sized rubber scraper, one of those spoony shaped ones does the job really well and scrapes down the sides of the bowl as a bonus. Add about 1/2 the flour and the baking soda and salt, mix well and add remaining flour; fold in chocolate chips/chunks.

I use a disher or scooper or whatever you call it size 50. I forgot to count the number of cookies i got but I'm guessing around 30. use a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or not. if you don't use parchment paper you might have to scrape the cookies off the sheet but it will still work ok.

Bake at 350 for 10 - 12 minutes. Baked mine for 12 and they were perfecto! I have checked my oven temperature recently I know its accurate. Let them cool on a wire rack or eat immediately if you like them hot and squishy!

* Whenever I chop a large piece of chocolate I get quite a bit of shavings along with my chunks but i just throw them in too. i think you'll find the different sizes of chocolate chunks are wonderful in these cookies.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shall we try again?

Good lord it's 2009! I've decided to stop saying "'ll be here before you know it" because it always is and its starting to make me a little crazy. i get these notions in my head that before you know it something I'm looking forward to (or not) will be here and gone and then what? What I'm trying to say in my long winded way is that I am going to try to live each day to its fullest potential and stop lamenting that time is absolutely flying by! There, that is as close as I get to making a New Year's resolution. I am going to try to start blogging more regularly too because I've noticed that I haven't come across many bloggers in my age group. The over 45 age group that is... ok not going to think about the time moving fast thing, not going to do it!

I made some bread from the book "Artisan Bread in five Minutes a Day". I have been thrilled with the results. I can't figure out how to get my pictures in the right place on this blog. I try to drag them around but they don't seem to want to go where I tell them! I solved the problem I think by deleting one of the pictures. Apparently I need more experience with the blog world. These are pictures of the dough in midrise and the finished load of 100% whole wheat sandwich bread from the aforementioned (is this a word?) book. Delicious! My only complaint is the recipes are a little too salty so I reduce the salt called for by about 1/3.