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Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

12 Dec
Waffle cookies, popcorn, and peppermint bark from Elizabeth in Arlington, VA

Waffle cookies, popcorn, peppermint bark, and a sparkly ornament from Elizabeth in Arlington, VA

Happy cookie swap 2012!

Peanut butter sandwich cookies from Eleana at choudown.blogspot

Peanut butter sandwich cookies from Eleana at choudown.blogspot

This was our first time participating in the Food Blogger Cookie Swap and we are totally doing it again next year!

Stacy at everylittlethingblog sent wonderfully fragrant rosemary lemon cookies

Stacy at everylittlethingblog sent wonderfully fragrant rosemary lemon cookies

I made white chocolate chip pecan cookies from the Beanilla blog.  I left a few at home for my husband and when I got back from work he said “You have to make these again! Maybe for the party on Saturday?”

pecan cookie 1

So I made them again.

This time I took some to my uncle who just moved back to town and he thought they were the best cookies ever!

All boxed up!

All boxed up!

So what are you waiting for? Go make some!

White Chocolate Pecan Cookies

makes 4-5 dozen

(from Beanilla)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used a vanilla extract from my work, Amoretti)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans


Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer until creamy; add sugars, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in white chocolate chunks and pecans (I had to switch to a wooden spoon for this part). Using a small ice cream scoop, drop dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment.

Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

♥ twin 2

Can you believe I forgot to take pictures of the finished cookies? Two opportunities and 9 dozen cookies. No pictures. *sigh* Maybe when we make them for Christmas.


Twenty Twelve

27 Jan

So far, this year I’ve:

been to Denver, CO


Denver skyline from the top of Red Rocks Amphitheatre

returned twin 1 to Davis, CAtwin 1

toured the Anheuser-Bush brewery


free samples!

Berkeley, first time

twig and fig

they were closed, so bummed

visited San Diego


crab cake burger at Hotel del Coronado

made breadcheese bread

went to the beachsand

had soufflé for the first time (homemade!)


Happy Birthday Mom!

got my wedding dress

my dress


started running with a friend


sunrise after our run


Herb Bread

27 Jan

(KitchenAid ©2001)

**SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: This recipe requires a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment**


I put grated Parmesan cheese in one loaf = delicius

1/2   cup low-fat milk

3   tablespoons sugar

2   teaspoons salt

3   tablespoons butter

2   packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 1/2   cups warm water (105°F to 115°F)

5-6   cups flour

1   tablespoon herbs (I used a Herbs Special Pizza blend we had in the cupboard)


Place milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan; heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.  Cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl.  Add lukewarm milk mixture, herbs, and 4 1/2 cups flour to yeast.  Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer; turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.


Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time (using the shield that came with your mixer prevents flour flying out as you add it), and mix about 2 minutes, or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl.  Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic.  Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.

Place dough in large greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover.  Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down and divide in half.  Shape each half into a loaf by rolling out on a lightly floured surface to a 9 x 14 inch rectangle; starting at short end, roll dough tightly, pinch edge to seal seam; pinch ends and turn under, placing seam side down in greased loaf pan.  Cover.  Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.



Bake at 375° for 25, or until golden brown.  Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.


That's how tasty it was, it didn't even last a day


17 Jan

(©2005 Cook’s Illustrated)

1   cup pecans

1 1/2   cups flour

1   teaspoon baking powder

1/2   teaspoon salt

12   tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2   cups packed brown sugar

2   eggs, lightly beaten

4   teaspoons vanilla extract

1   cup white chocolate chips (I used half dark and half white = delicious)

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350°.  Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown, 10-15 minutes.  Transfer nuts to cutting board to cool; chop coarsely and set aside.

While nuts toast, cut foil to fit 9 by 13-inch pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges.  Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in large bowl until combined.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix.  Fold in chocolate and nuts and turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.

Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22-25 minutes; do not overbake.  Cool on wire rack to room temperature.  Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhang and transfer to cutting board.  Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Makes 36.

Turkey Day

29 Nov

We made a pie!

*     *     *

Crazy holiday weekend:

  • speeding ticket
  • overflowing toilet
  • smoking water heater → no water heater
  • freezing showers
  • broken furnace
  • sick cousin
  • stranded sister

But there were good times too:

  • gorgeous north coast weather
  • breakfast at the beach with waves crashing on the road
  • Big Sur
  • pecan pie
  • roasted garlic white cheddar mashed potatoes
  • sunset hike
  • fungus among us!
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Red Moose Cookie Company
  • maple, chocolate coconut, chocolate raspberry and chocolate orange fudge
  • family coming up with weird names for my future children
  • visiting friends on the way home

Picture to come.



31 Oct

There have been several things keeping me from the kitchen these past several weeks…

*     *     *

“Sweaterman” (of Labor Day french fry fame) became my sweater-ed fiancé.  :)

v's engagement ring

photo courtesy of twin1

I’ve been painting a mural at VCMC with some classmates.

VCMC mural

A piece of the mural in room 302 at VCMC

I actually didn’t work on this part at all.  On second thought, I may have painted some sky here.

Midterms and post-midterm homework has been killer.  I had to make an emergency run to Michael’s for some cardstock to keep me busy when computer issues kept me from homework.

paper chain

A paper chain to count down!

To make the passing days a little more fun.

*     *     *

In other news, twin1 visited us this weekend!

We went to the mall and helped out at a lovely friend’s wedding and ate leftover tri tip and generally acted like we’d never been apart.


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

16 Oct

One of my professors has been telling us from day one that he loves oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  They are his all time favorite.  Like, ever.

doughI’ve been thinking about oatmeal cookies since then.

dough with oats and chipsAnd that was in August.  *sigh*  Midterm stress has led me to finally baking them.  (Thanks little brother for helping)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, with pecans

(from Mrs Bruhn’s amazing raisin pecan oatmeal cookies)

1 1/2   cups pecans

1/2   pound butter, room temperature (2 sticks)

1   cup packed brown sugar

1   cup granulated sugar

2   large eggs

2   teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2   cups flour

1   teaspoon baking powder

1   teaspoon ground cinnamon

1   teaspoon salt

3   cups oatmeal

1 1/2   cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake pecans 5 minutes; let cool then chop.

Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy.  With mixer on low, add eggs one at a time then add vanilla.

Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  With mixer on low, add to butter mixture.

Stir in oats, chocolate chips and pecans.

Drop 2″ mounds of dough on parchment covered pan.  Bake 12-15 minutes.

chocolate chip oatmeal cookiesThese are seriously the most delicious oatmeal cookies ever.  Make them.


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