april

No this isn’t an April Fools’ Day joke. I’m really posting and since it has be awhile I thought I’d do a quick recap on what the heck I’ve been doing the last couple of months.

Survived winter.  Which if you’re not familiar with the emotional roller coaster that is winter, please see 20 April Ludgate GIF that describe how I and probably everyone else who has had to deal with below zero temperatures and the other sick jokes that mother nature has played on us for the past six months.

AIR yoga

Joined ClassPass.  If you’ve been following my Instagram you’ve seen that starting in February I worked to complete thirty classes in little over a month. I completed my goal in early March and have gone down to 3 to 4 classes a week and getting outside for runs.  I have a lot to say about ClassPass and the workouts that I’ve been doing, so I’m going to post more on that tomorrow.

Read books.  A few days before winter break started I realized that I had not finished one of the three books (Night Circus, Wild and Goldfinch) that I had started months before, so I resolved to finish Goldfinch before going back to work and I did!  I also started and finished The Circle and I’m about 50 pages into The Marriage Plot and can’t wait to pick up The Girl on the Train. I also started listening to books and for those of you who commute, check out Audible.  I listened to Yes Please and loved it! I just picked up #Girlboss and once that is done I plan to listen to Girl in a Band. I find autobiographies the easiest thing to listen to. Tip: listen to the preview before you buy. There’s a reason why they give Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word.

house

I decorated. With the help of a vintage store going out of business, my parents hand me downs and a small town interior design store in December and January my apartment went from odds and ends to a full blown adult apartment. I have rugs, a dinning room table, throw pillows, etc.  It is so cozy and I love it.  Above are just pictures of the living and dinning room but I’m always posting kitchen photos on Instagram.

I knit. More on this later. I have four friends expecting babes in the next three months and I have been busy.

I baked. Cookies, muffins, bread, etc.  Nothing really new, I mostly stuck with my standards but this week I tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe The Chewy from Alton Brown.  I wasn’t impressed and as a friend said, “They aren’t bad but you’ve made better.”

I watched a lot of shows. Again I’m going to do a whole post on this but if you haven’t checked out Bloodline, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or the HBO documentary Going Clear, please do.

Hope you enjoyed this update.  I’m happy to be posting again and I hope you continue to check in.

Happy spring!

gf peanut butter cookies

gf_pb_cookies

 

I was reading Gluten-Free-Girl‘s A Guide to Gluten-Free Baking this afternoon and when I saw Peanut Butter Cookies under Basic Recipes headed to the kitchen. It took me all of 10 minutes to pull everything out of the cupboard, mix and put the first batch in the oven. By the time I took the second batch out of the oven I had eaten two and I now have my go-to pb cookie recipe. Below is the recipe and I didn’t change any of the ingredients but did alter all of the directions.

 

thg_gf_pb_cookies

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies adapted from GFG

 

Yield 10 to 14 cookies

 

One cup creamy peanut butter (I used natural pb)

 
One cup white sugar (I used raw or natural cane sugar) plus 2 to 3 tablespoons for rolling

 
One teaspoon baking powder

 
One egg

 

Preheat the oven to 350°.

dough

Hand mix the peanut butter and sugar in a bowl with a spatula or flat spoon. You want to mix the sugar in completely to the peanut butter.

 

Stir in the baking powder and mix till combined.

 

Add the egg and mix until it is all well combined.

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

dough_balls

Take a spoonful or ice cream scoop of dough and roll into a ball. You want the balls to be about the size of a ping-pong ball or golf ball. Keep them small, this is not a go big or go home cookie.

 

Roll the ball into the sugar. Place dough balls on the baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Make a crisscross with a fork on top, pushing them down into a disc shape. Feel free to sing Kris Kross’ hit Jump while you make the crisscrosses with the fork.

IMG_2155

Bake for about 10 minutes. The cookies need to feel like they are starting to have a crust but will stay soft inside, like a sugar cookie.

 

thehomemadegoodness_pb_cookie

Remove cookies from oven but keep them on the baking sheet for another 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes. They will harden a bit more and be delicious. Store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days but they won’t last that long.

new york chocolate chip cookies

While I was on vacation this summer, I did some serious searching for chocolate chip cookie recipes – now I know that there is a perfectly good recipe on the back of every Nestle bag of chocolate chips and that everyone claims their “fill-in-the-blank” family member makes the best chocolate chip cookies, but it is my goal to try as many recipes as I can, till I have a recipe for every type of cookie lover.  If you don’t know what I mean by that, people like their chocolate chip cookies so many different ways: crunchy, chocolately, nutty, soft, etc.

Well, I already have the perfect recipe for folks that like them chewy: the Chewy cookie recipe from the Food Network’s Alton Brown, and I can always call on my Grandmother’s variations of the Nestle recipe to make them taste like home. But what about the folks who like sweet and savory – is there a chocolate chip cookie for them? The answer is yes.  In July 2008, The New York Times published an article “Quest for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie” and a recipe from Jacques Torres that seemed to be cited in pretty much every CCC recipe I found on my favorite baking blogs.

Torres’ recipe calls for two different kinds of flour and that you refrigerate it for at least 24 hours. This cookie is not low maintenance. I made the batter on Sunday and baked them last night (refrigerated for 48 hours), and even though I was fearful to sprinkle them with sea salt, it was soooo the right thing to do.

The cookies are amazing, and you will want to give them away to everyone you know before you eat the whole batch.  You’ll also want to have a pretty good stream of music going while making/baking them because it does take a while.  I suggest going to Rolling Stone and streaming Megafaun’s new album, Megafaun.