Training to Live

living and learning, one day at a time

my french macaron experience

macarons are beautiful. they are elegant, fancy, and absolutely delicious. i don’t get to have them very often because they’re not really your every day kind of cookie, and when you can find them, they are usually quite expensive (though quite worth it).

when heather proposed having a macaroon monday, where we could all try something challenging that we’d never done before, i was inspired to attempt the macaron. it was definitely not easy. i had to get almond meal (because i don’t have a food processor to grind my own almonds in), age my egg whites for a few days, and measure out everything extremely precisely on the food scale. i carefully followed helene’s instructions from this article and from her numerous blog posts on macarons (she is the expert)

attempt #1

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clearly a fail!

i didn’t do a good job of taking pictures while making them because i needed to be 100% focused on the task at hand. after the above fiasco (mostly cause by my own ineptness, a) at leaving them in the oven too long and b) mostly because instead of making meringue at the beginning, i sort of started off on the royal icing path when i accidentally mixed all the sugar – powdered and granulated – in with the whipping whites. royal icing =/= macarons. that is why i hardly got any lift), i gathered up my courage to go again.


that’s more like it! peaks!



after i mixed in the almonds and powdered sugar (and red food colouring), i had to let the macarons sit for an hour before heading into the oven. this is supposed to help them develop a skin on the outside.


then they had their trip into the oven (12 minutes, at a low 300°F). you can see little feet. not a whole bunch of lift, but a definite improvement on round #1. muuuuuuch better.

i had trouble filling them. they were fragile and i opted not to pipe my filling on, but rather use a spoon. this resulted in broken cookies. (sorry about the terrible lighting). i used some dulce de leche filling that i had in the fridge because the biscuits that i’d made earlier in the day to go with our supper’s soup used up all my cream for the originally planned ganache. i think i basically got the effect i was going for, though in future, i would coordinate colours with buttercreams and flavours (i just went with pink because that’s what i had).


i learned a lot from these two attempts. folding powdered almonds and sugar into whipped egg whites is serious stuff. you really really need to sift the almonds extra (and grind them super fine yourself, if possible). next time, i would add the colouring right to the egg whites instead of folding it in with the sugar/nut mix. you’re supposed to use powdered colouring, which may have worked better, but i couldn’t find any of that, so i used gel. this may have had negative impacts on the results, but i quite liked the pink effect. also, parchment paper seemed to work a lot better at having the cookie bottoms not stick than the silpats. you have to wait till they are 100% cool before you try and remove them. a thin metal flat tool is good for this job.

i am definitely glad i took the plunge. macarons are something that i’d always sort of thought about trying but never really had the guts or incentive to just do it. so thanks, heather, for the extra motivation! i will definitely be attempting these again in the future. i’m looking forward to seeing how everyone else’s brand new challenges turned out. maybe i’ll find another exciting thing to try. we certainly have enjoyed eating these. someday, i’ll be able to package up tissue lined boxes of these to give away as presents, like these. for now, they stay in my kitchen.

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November 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm Comments (37)

week at the farm

i had an extra long labour day weekend because of my work schedule and since we’d planned to have a bunch of friends up to the cottage that weekend anyway (the cottage is about a 3 hour drive away from here), we figured we’d make an entire week of it. as luck would have it, the weather didn’t really cooperate. it was cold and rainy all weekend long. after our friends left and we enjoyed the one sunny/warm day there was going to be, jon and i hightailed it to his parents’ farm, about 30 minutes away from their cottage, for the rest of the week. although the farm isn’t home for me, it sure feels like it.


we didn’t have the relaxing week we originally planned (thanks, weather), it was wonderful to be at the farm anyway, as always. we ate loads of good super fresh, local food, worked hard at putting veggies away in the freezer for the winter [a great big pot of ultra veggified pasta sauce (which i'm calling my 500 metre sauce, since everything we put in it came from within 500 metres of the kitchen we cooked it in!, 2 gallons of crushed/stewed tomatoes for making chili with this week (and oh what chili we made this week!!! at least 17 quarts put away in the freezer), and a bushel of red peppers chopped up and frozen]. we went to a small town country fair, played with kittens, watched movies (and napped) and it was good.


i think this photo (taken on my iphone with the super fun ShakeIt app) really captures the beauty of the country (big open blue sky), fall, and the colourful energy of the fair. shortly after i took this, i proceeded to eat a big bag of cotton candy. ohhhhh was my tummy ever not happy about that! (it was certainly enjoyable to eat, however). i’d never been happier to see vegetables again.

we came back to regular-old-at-home life for a week, but come monday, the craziness begins again. i am flying off to the great city of winnipeg for a work conference and then immediately after i come back, i have a half marathon to run! my training over the last few weeks has been pretty abysmal (i blame the weather again.) i’m sure i’ll make it through, even if not super quickly! i’ve been to winnipeg once before, but only very briefly (i flew into their airport and had lunch at a quizno’s before driving out northwest to a wedding. not so exciting) so i’m hoping to have a bit of exploration time.


in other, more creative news, i have been working on a lot of projects, art and otherwise. sadly nothing concrete to share yet though! in august i got an email about a super fun sounding workshop that one of my favourite bloggers (elise) was running on how to make minibooks (like a scrapbook but on a smaller physical scale {hence the “mini”} and with a much more casual concentrated or super stretched out approach). my dining table is covered in all kinds of fun new supplies so i can start making and doing. the workshop was 2 weeks long and i learned tons of neat tricks and ideas.

also, another favourite blogger (kal) is running a different kind of workshop right now, which i am also signed up for. it is called “nurture your creativity and be bulletproof”. i’ve been through a bunch of stuff at work over the past year and a half that i really could have been a bit more bulletproof for (who couldn’t!) so i figured the class would be more than useful just for that. the nurturing my creativity bit is a bonus and pairs perfectly with elise’s class that just wrapped up. i am really looking forward to the next 4 weeks!


last month i finally joined the twenty-first century and ditched my ultra crappy super old pay as you go plan cellphone, which had a battery that only lasted a day (without use) and no other redeeming features (which meant that it was usually left at home, battery uncharged, with no paid time on it! not so useful). i bit the bullet and got an iphone4 (expensive but SO LOVELY), which i guess i was lucky enough to score right when they were released to canada – everyone is out of stock now. having the internet in my pocket has made things so fun and easy! i plan to do a lot more on the fly adventure blogging, once i find a good app for this. any recommendations? i’m signed up for posterous, so i might go that route, but it would have to be separate from Training to Live here. the wordpress app has left me unimpressed (photos only at the end of the text? no thanks!).

other favourite apps so far:

teuxdeux (amazing amazing. i went through a whole bunch of to do type apps before i settled on this one. i love that you can have multiple accounts. and that it automatically pushes everything you didn’t do today onto tomorrow. i also love that you can go back and see what you did on any given day. and that you can assign tasks into any day in the future). also it automatically syncs with the web version, so you can enter everything on your computer at home and have it with you on the go.

doodle jump – super fun and a great game to play when you’re staying put for a bit. i just downloaded tetris for an alternative for my upcoming trips.

shakeIt – just like your old favourite polaroids

mobile banking

mindbody (so i know what yoga classes are being offered where, RIGHT NOW). i’ve been missing from yoga since june and i’ve made a pledge to myself to try and get to class at least once or twice a week.

starbucks (mostly to seek out free wifi. when i was in chicago last month and didn’t have roaming data, i discovered that just being in the vicinity of a starbucks would give me the internet. it was awesome. plus, you never know when you’ll need a pumpkin spice fix! this is good for being in new cities). also, for newbs to the ‘bucks, you can create your own drinks!

alarm clock pro – my alarm clock that i’ve used for the last 5 years recently stopped working (sort of) and i have since been trying to find a good replacement that wouldn’t set me back a ton of money. i came up short. until the day i decided to try out alarm clock pro, for the low low price of 0.99$, it is everything i’ve ever wanted in an alarm clock without a) having to spend a ton of money and b) adding more crap to my night stand. perfect.

and of course, tweetdeck. i still heart twitter!

what apps do you go to?

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September 18, 2010 at 8:51 am Comments (9)

what i brought home on my bike, part IV

in case you missed it, part I is here, II and III were eaten by the universe. i’ll fill you in – there were 13 cobs of corn one week and a watermelon (that was possibly the most ridic) another week. plus all the usuals, of course. peaches, plums, apricots, maybe a few zucchinis here and there, etc. jon had to reinforce one of my panniers the other day because the connection mechanism that holds it onto my bike was getting loose. oopsies! i’m back in business now.

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this is how i do it. big panniers and a spare bungee cord just in case.


the loot:

-cable + padlock

-2 bags of cheese curds from thornloe

-some temiskaming cheese (also thornloe. best cheese place ever!)

-a purple bag filled with my work clothes and other sundries (deoderant, comb, etc)

-2X 1.5L of seedless concord grapes, for a raisin making project

-3L basket of delicious peaches

-a big bag of italian plums for some plumjum (i’m currently making the bellaeats plum cake that we loved last year with my last week’s bunch)

this week i actually managed to restrain myself a little bit. i didn’t get any veggies, so we will probably hit up the saturday market. it was the last day that thornloe was going to be at my market, so they had some killer sales and i stocked up. dill flavoured cheese curds are amazing. is this just a canadian thing? at the HLS, when i talked about eating cheese curds, i remember someone looking at me like i was crazy. also when i described poutine…. it’s delicious stuff! really!

for supper tonight, jon made burgers with some beef we got from his uncle’s farm. these burgers were definitely in contention with the epic burger from chicago.

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ok. they were both really really good – grass fed beef is where it’s at! i couldn’t tweet about the one on the left and have it displayed up on a screen like at epic.


i have to say that was a pretty cool thing for them to have. the top three posts on the left and right columns were my dining companions: stina, mary and dawn. i couldn’t tweet because i didn’t have roaming data on my phone but i did when i got back to the hotel!

i have some chicago posts to catch up on. they’ll come. soon. eventually. i hope. this week has been kind of crazy.

i ran a 15K race last weekend. i have a 10K this week! i’m hoping to splash my 56:08 time out of the water! one more week of work and then i have a whole 5 glorious days off to relax at the cottage and farm. i have some fun projects planned for while we’re out there, so hopefully also some good blogging will come of that too! in the meantime, i better get back to my cake.

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August 26, 2010 at 7:10 pm Comments (6)

celebrating life!

yesterday we attended the funeral of a 24 year old young woman. heart heavy sadness. as with funerals (and weddings), it brought a lot of family together, and i did have the chance to meet many wonderful people from jon’s side. if only the circumstances were lighter… it was a nice service, anyway, and though i never had the chance to meet melanie during her all-too-short life, it seemed to do her spirit right. many happy memories were shared.


jon’s parents sent us home with a trunkload of farm goods: a big bag of yellow and green beans, a sack of new potatoes, beets, zukes, a jar of blueberries and a big basket of red tomatoes. my own little garden patch is bountiful (even a little out of control) with tomatoes, peppers and varied herbs (basil, mostly). i decided that a big pot of pasta sauce would be a delicious way to use up many of the tomatoes and some other vegetables and be a great excuse to try out my newest toy: (whilst at the same time, crossing one thing off of my mighty life list, which i know, i haven’t quite posted my own yet. it’s coming)


the pasta express! it has 12 different attachments for all kinds of different shapes to extrude. it even does pretzels, bagels, and extrusion cookies!

jon’s sister was cleaning up her house last weekend and getting rid of unnecessary clutter. for some reason, this lovely pasta maker fell into that category for her. i happily took it off her hands, since i’ve been wanting to make pasta myself for ages now AND it’s an easy item on the list to cross off! hooray for fun, new (free!) appliances.


making pasta sauce from scratch is fun, but it can get pretty messy! i basically used this recipe.


first you have to score the tomatoes, so they are easier to peel. i used a mix of romas from my garden, littlish rounds (also from my garden) and the big rounds from the farm. although my plants originally came from the farm, the tomatoes that stayed seem to have grown much bigger!

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blanch for a few seconds and dunk in ice water before peeling

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squeeze the seeds and goop out into the compost and squish the flesh

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onions are required. i don’t like them much, but they cooked long enough to not be noticable.

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basil from the yard along with a few cloves of garlique.

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cook down and add tomato

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add a bit of alcohol. wine is good, but i didn’t have any, so i went with a splash of fortified and then i simmered my sauce.


we took a break to visit a nearby farmer’s market for some fruit.
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then it was pasta time!

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i sadly don’t seem to have any pictures of the plated meal. i guess we ate everything up too quickly! the pasta was delicious. it’s hard for me to say whether or not it is better than bought, since i am obviously biased, but jon seemed to really enjoy it a lot! there will be much more experimenting with this in the future. much more.



this is part of our veggie patch (before we finished weeding!!!) taken back in may. tomorrow i will try to get a picture of it now so you can see just how crazy the situation is. i literally have tomatoes coming out of my ears, and those pepper and basil plants in the foreground have been engulfed. my vegetables are a great source of happiness in my life right now.


bike race tomorrow and a 60th anniversary party!

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August 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm Comments (28)

this week in review

sunday was spent having brunch with a few lovely ladies at a vegetarian restaurant in the fashion district (not kensington market, sadly i was mistaken) at a great meetup that angela organized. the restaurant (fressen) was only just so-so – the food was a little meh, pretty expensive for what it was, and the service was just ok. i’m not sure i’d go back, though i’m not really their target demographic, being carnivorous and all. ;-) the company was far more enjoyable than the food, and i really loved getting to chat with people that i already knew i had things in common with.


(picture from Angela’s camera – I failed to take actual photographs at the event)

Kristin, Kristen, Christina, Steph, Kelly, Nienke, Morgan, Alex, Julie, Karly, Jaclyn, Noelle – thanks for a great sunday morning!

After brunch, I headed off to MEC for a bit of shopping. (Clearly i am not fashionable or trendy enough for the Queen West district, but I do appreciate a good cycling jersey, some new running tanks and a season’s supply of sharkies!). Passed this condo-to-be on the way

so ridiculous!!

The work week was not super eventful. My manager did announce that she is going away for a year to do a different job for a while which is surprising, exciting (for her) and sad (for us, as she is an amazing manager). I also discovered that someone that I have been dealing with over the phone and through emails for the last year and a half, under the very clear impression that the person was male is actually female! How embarrassing! Luckily I never sent her any letters addressed to a Mr! (At least I hope I didn’t…. I kind of don’t want to go back to check, just in case)


I finally ordered my vibram sprints! Ashley and Kelsey have been raving about them for months and I’ve been waffling on if I could pull them off. I finally gave in and put in my order. I wasn’t able to try them on first (MEC had none in stock), so hopefully the size is right. I should have them in a few weeks.

squeeeee. I also ordered a couple pairs of injinji socks in case it is still chilly when they arrive. i couldn’t decide between the colour above and the bright blue/grey like ashley’s, but they were out of stock in the blue/grey, so i thought it must be fate and got the aboves!
I got to have dinner with my super fantastic favourite almost brother in law on wednesday – sushi at our favourite sushi place in yorkville. i want more! i managed a quick trip to whole foods before we met up where i scored a few new fun things: white chocolate wonderful, artisana coconut butter (to. die. for), some israeli couscous, mulitcoloured quinoa, and maple almonds. it’s good there isn’t a whole foods closer by!
Duane gave me my belated birthday present!!! last year, i got the gift of fire (via a crème brûlée torch) and a cookbook. this year, an awesome gift card to any of the oliver and bonacini restaurants. jon and i will certainly enjoy it next time we have something to celebrate (or maybe just because!). Thanks Duane!
i did my 20+k run this morning in light rain and heavy winds. it went a lot better than last week, as i was a) properly fueled, b) properly dressed (no camelbak burn on my neck this time!) and c) didn’t have to pee the whole time with nowhere to stop! i was also smart enough to pack my cellphone (to call jon if i needed a rescue), my bus pass (in case i needed to bail) and some money in my camelbak pocket. if you have them, you won’t need them! and i didn’t! i caught up on some this american life podcasts while i ran – super interesting episode on a look back at the recession/foreclosures and one that looked at how homosexuality was removed as a “pathological disease” from the DSM of the american psychiatric association. NPR has the best podcasts!
jon is back at the indoor bike park today (this is the perfect weather for it!), and I am curled up on the couch with a harry potter movie. i know i should get up and eat and drink more, and do the dishes, but i am feeling pretty comfy here. we’ll see where the day takes me.
wish i was a SXSW right now! someday.
made some meatballs for supper, via pioneer woman, and they were yummy! thumbs up. (i skipped the onion)
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March 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm Comment (1)

aaaaaand we’re back

hopefully to regularly scheduled programming. the end of 2009 was a whirlwind, and sadly i guess that sharing some of it now seems pointless (like what i baked for christmas this year) but. maybe not! maybe a picture or two and a list will be helpful, even if just helpful for me for next year! plus christmas cookies are pretty.

baking this year went sort of out of control. i was a madwoman in december. usually when i get an idea into my head, i cannot be stopped. i see an interesting recipe or project on the internet and. i MUST MAKE IT. this is one of the major reasons that i bite off more than i can chew and have problems simplifying. the project did not go without a few lessons though. next year i will make a short list and stick to it as closely as possible. i will try to focus more on taste than on perfect appearance (because really, the gorgeous sugar cookies and gingerbread people that i spent hours decorating were hardly noticed as people were just popping the cookies into their mouths. it wasn’t until december 29 that my mother realized that all my gingerbread girls had a beachy theme!). this is part of my overall goal to reduce stress and become a more easy going, happier person. i also learned that dipping truffles in a chocolate shell, while really yummy, is not worth my time/frustration. next year i will make less fudge and more gingerbread, more shortbread jam cookies and more candied orange peel. i will make fewer sugar cookies and decorate them less crazily (because although the icing is gorgeous, it is a little hard and makes the cookie less enjoyable to eat). i will make molly’s peppermint bark again, because it was beautiful, a bit hit, and not very time consuming. remind me.

here is the final tally:

  • fudge, peanut butter and dark chocolate
  • sugar cookies – christmas trees, santa hats and stockings (which i also personalized with names for my work goodie bags) – martha stewart cookie book
  • gingerbread boys and girls – martha stewart cookie book
  • jam thumbprints (a last minute add on, but a HUGE hit. helped that i used homemade jam) this recipe is awesome
  • peppermint bark (see above)
  • candied orangettes (so good i plan to make more this month) these were a lot of work – many steps and much time but worth every minute
  • mocha truffles (which were not terribly mocha though – my fault – they were delicious. next time i will try for a bigger buzz boost)
  • chocolate sugar cookie stars – martha stewart cookie book

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ok so that was more than just a picture or two! aren’t the gingerbread people cute?

next posts up will feature some travel stories and how i will be spending many sunny winter afternoons.

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January 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm Comments (9)


so. i fail. i spent all of thursday away from computers and the interwebs. i didn’t come home on thursday night (dance party! stayed at the fancy pants hotel downtown), so i couldn’t blog. then on friday morning, after only 4 hours of sleep and a shower, i went to work.

fun fun!

i came home in the evening and collapsed in bed. after a few eps of the new adventures of old christine, i fell asleep. jon woke me up when he arrived around 10 and then we turned the lights off shortly after. bad blogger!

i have fun pictures to share, hopefully tomorrow. today was pretty tiring. feels like i was standing in the kitchen all day long – wish i had a cork floor or something else nice and soft. my feet are protesting.

i made:

a big fruit salad with pineapple, clementine, honey crisp, banana and pomegrate and a dressing of agave, lemon and ginger. we had it with a dollop of greek yogurt + granola.

grilled cheese sandwiches

kath’s crantastic crockpot chicken (the breasts were wonderfully done after 4-5 hours on high. perfect texture)

roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, balsamic and cranberries

pureed squash (still unsure of what variety it was, as i bought it from the farmer’s market a month ago and i don’t remember what they told me. it looks kind of like a buttercup, but it was orange. i don’t love buttercup squash and i didn’t love this one, but the texture was lovely. the taste was odd. jon liked it)

a pumpkin pie (though i always make it with a crust, half of this recipe)

now i’m resting on the couch, playing some online games and waiting for my pie to be finished. i still have very little energy and my right calf is quite sore. 4 hours of crazy dancing will do this to me, apparently. my impromptu living room dance parties are insufficient training. i promise to try and be a better blogger tomorrow! we won’t talk about the lost 2 days, nablo. i’ll make it up somehow. promise.

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November 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm Comments (83)

a little bit of awesome

the top 1000 awesome things , via the happiness project

a hilarious video about hipsters discussing cyclocross. hipsters are funny.i need to make an xtranormal video – all i need is an idea for a script! any suggestions?

in other news, i finished shift 2 this evening. it was fun and challenging! good thing i still have shift 3 and 4 to play through*. now i am going to work on an art project.

i need to make this butternut squash risotto with some of the mountains of cut up butternut squash i have in my fridge.

*disclaimer: i only played once the dishwasher was empty and my laundry was folded. i am starting to become more diligent and responsible!

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November 23, 2009 at 8:29 pm Comment (1)

chewy chocococoa craziness

i learned an important lesson this evening: do not try to do math in your head on the fly as you go between laptop in the living room (where the recipe is) to the kitchen (where the baking happens). this can only result in disaster. today i decided to make up a batch of these chewy double chocolate cookies for snacks and to take to a party we’re going to on saturday. i intended to double the recipe (because it’s pretty small and only yields about 20 cookies. i always double it), but right after the first step of combining the butter with the sugars, i realized i had accidentally quadrupled the amount of butter. so i decided to suck it up and just quadruple the whole thing. i do not recommend this. somewhere the math got fuzzy. when i got to the yogurt, i doubled the amount required. then i doubled that. and then i doubled it again as i was mixing the batter and it seemed too dry.

disaster, right?

wrong. it seems to have actually worked out ok. i baked two cookie sheets worth of cookies (and have at least 4 more in the bowl in the fridge). the cookies look super chocolatey and quite moist. they are soft, but structurally intact. i haven’t tasted yet (since i had more than my fill of tastes from the batter and am quite chocolated out), but this recipe has not failed me yet in over two years of baking it regularly. as you can see, it is quite forgiving. i have made all kinds of variations on it, sometimes putting peppermint extract instead of vanilla, sometimes using white chocolate, sometimes semisweet (tonight i used milk chocolate chips that i got on sale), sometimes i substitute some chocolate for dried cherries or cranberries, sometimes i use chopped up chocolate bar (snickers, mars, etc) after halloween, sometimes i decorate with m&ms. sometimes i don’t. this is the little black dress of cookies, i think. they also require only 1 bowl and 1 wooden spoon. (when you make a quadruple batch, the stirring is a workout for your arms!)

i got this from orangette back in 2007 and i never looked back. i’ve never been disappointed by anything molly makes! i still have her delightful new book, sitting on my shelf, waiting to be devoured, just like my cookies will be when jon gets home tomorrow ;-)

Chewy Cocoa Cookies with Chocolate Chips
Adapted from Alice Medrich

(i’ve gone ahead and doubled the amounts for you. you’ll definitely want more than 20 cookies)

2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup. unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably not low- or nonfat
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1cup chocolate chips or other mix in

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. (i usually just dump these into a strainer above the bowl with the wet ingredients to cut down on dirty dishes. sifts and mixes in one step)

Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave briefly, until just melted. Add the sugars, and sift in the cocoa. Stir to blend well. The mixture will be somewhat thick and pasty, like wet sand. Add the yogurt and vanilla and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the dry flour mixture, and stir to just combine. Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.

Drop the dough by generous tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. (I use my tablespoon-size measuring spoon to scoop and shape the dough into little domes. Rinsing the spoon regularly helps to keep the dough from sticking, and leaving the spoon slightly wet after each rinsing helps too.) Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crackled slightly and look set. Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack, and cool the cookies on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.


i couldn’t resist tasting! they are super super moist, very brownie like, and extremely chocolatey (i love the milk chocolate chips! will definitely repeat). they are somewhat on the soft/fragile side, so i will have to be careful with transportation, but i am confident that everyone at work will be my friend when i take these in tomorrow.

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November 19, 2009 at 9:33 pm Comments (0)

good eats

i did lots of cooking this weekend (and lots of eating!) and not lots of picture taking. oops. everything was food-blog-sourced and quite delicious.

1) hangry pants’ twice baked acorn squash

i used fresh spinach instead of frozen, added chickpeas for protein, extra cheese (a mix of mozz and cheddar). it was good. a for sure make again.

2) kath’s nutty vanilla kale sweet potato soup

i used fresh spinach instead of kale and skipped the shredded coconut garnish. we love this soup and i had some leftover giant sweet potatoes from the apple farm a few weeks ago to use up. 1 potato was 2 pounds and made at least 4 servings of soup. whoa! perfect for the dreary day we had here.

served them with some of alton brown’s buttermilk biscuits, that i had whipped up for breakfast.

3) make it fast, cook it slow – 365 days of crockpotting slow cooker beef bourguignon (adapted from julia childs)

i had a blade roast in the freezer that we got from jon’s uncle’s farm (grass fed, free range yumminess! happy cows are the best). blade roast isn’t a super tender piece of meat so we decided that a long, slow cook in the crock pot would be just right. we left it whole, but i think cubing it up would have been better. the meat was still a little tough at the end. it was tasty though! i thickened the sauce on the stove and cubed up the leftovers for a hearty stew for tomorrow, over my leftover garlic mashed potatoes. i made my own herbs de provence mix, which i have decided i need to make more of! we still have many cuts of beef to eat through.

i also made some of kath’s maple roasted brussels sprouts to which i added some bacon (for extra porky magic) for vitamins.

for dessert, to use up the last of my last half bushel of apples (i got a new bag on friday. HONEYCRIPS!!! jon is awesome. have i mentioned?) i decided to make a big apple crisp. i remembered that we had tried this one last year and it was great (though, everything i get from URB is great!): apple cranberry crisp.

i had cranberries in the freezer. popped it in the oven just as we started supper and it was ready when we were done. we didn’t have any tonight though because jon’s friend sent home these two fancy pastry/cake things home for us from a bakery. i failed to take any pictures, but they were beautiful! bits of gold leaf writing on chocolate, thin slices of crushed-nut brittle, etc. i sent jon home with half the crisp, but i have some for me to enjoy tomorrow!

food blogs rock!

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November 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm Comment (1)

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