Sunday, May 29, 2011

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes

Perfectly puffy chocolate chip cookies
3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco stick 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1 (3.4 oz) package vanilla instant pudding mix 1/2 tsp salt 1 Tbsp baking soda 3 cups flour (I used a tiny bit more than 3 cups) 12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars, butter and Crisco. Mix with the paddle attachment until thoroughly combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add pudding mix; stir until incorporated. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with the baking soda and salt. Blend into the egg mixture. Add additional flour 1/2 to 1 cup at a time until reaching desired consistency. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of dough on cookie sheet. Bake 10-11 minutes. The cookies may not look done, but that is the trick to keeping them puffy and soft. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet on top of cooling racks for 5 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and cool completely on the cooling racks.
This is another recipe that I think I like even more. They are not "puffy" though so Mike doesn't like them as much. I love the nuttiness of them, and they are super adaptable. Plus I like to think they are a little healthier with the whole wheat and oats. But that might be me trying to justify it so I can eat more. Of course the nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg are optional, but they are what makes them so good.
A Dash of Sass whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temp.
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tblsp milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a dash of nutmeg
1 cup uncooked quick rolled oats
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup nuts (I used pecans)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter with both sugars and add egg, vanilla, and milk. Cream until smooth. Combine flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add slowly to butter mixture. Once smooth, stir in oats, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop rounded teaspoons on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Makes about 2 dozen.
Enjoy! If you try them, let me know what you think!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Two weeks ago, the semester ended

And it was the best thing of my life. It's so nice to have the evenings free to spend time with each other. The other night I was baking cookies just because I wanted to, and Mike was playing his guitar, just because he wanted to, and I thought, "this is a perfect moment." Just the casual togetherness, where we are both doing something just because we want to is heaven.
Lately we/I have been....
Baking up the wazoo! I finally defeated my long time enemy, the chocolate chip cookie! I love to cook and bake. And I'm pretty good at it. Except when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, the most basic dessert ever. If I am going to make a dessert i don't bake chocolate chip cookies, A.) because they are no fun, everybody has had chocolate chip cookies and its not an adventure to make or eat. B.) because i just plain suck at it. They are ALWAYS flat.
A few weeks ago a it was a friend of mines birthday and she wanted chocolate chip cookies. So reluctantly I made them. And they sucked.
It had been a rough day and i was pretty angry that they were not delicious. In my rage, I swore to myself never again to make chocolate chip cookies.
Then the next day my dramaticness wore off and I realized that I COULD make some puffy cookies. So I searched and searched and tried some recipes and on round 3 I made these beauties. Mike dubbed them the best chocolate chip cookies he has ever had. And I feel good again.

It is so fun living right next door to some of our best friends Hillarie and James. Then I can make fun of how awkward Hill looks when trying to play rockband with her baby bump.


My grandmas beautiful lakeside backyard + bike rides + kayak rides + food + nice weather + family = perfection.

Gotta love the pizza sauce faces.

My niece Roxy has the best pouty lip out there. So glad I captured it on camera.

She loves her uncle Michael.

Doesn't this precious look like the caterpillar from A Bugs Life?

Cheers to an entire summer of free nights!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Goodbye kiddos

A lot of my posts have been about work lately, but I couldn't not share some of these with you.A bunch of them wrote little thank you notes for me and they are so precious and hilarious. Here are a few. Note-I can't correct any of the punctuation or spelling... it's just too cute.
"Mrs. Grudds, thank you miss grudds for helping us at math and reading and when we need help you are there to help us and when I need help you help me. - Bryan"
"Thank you Mrs grubes it was so fun at the feald trip. I liked the part when we whent to the spining thing. but the most emportant thing was that she help us. - Sebastian"
"You made me bloom! - Selina" (Ha! I made her bloom.)
"Thank you for helping us in erythings - Uriel and Oscar" Then off to the side they wrote their phone numbers! HA!
"Thank you Mrs. Grubbs for all your help this year and will miss you and never forget you! I will never forget the day i met you. You looked so nice when I saw you! - Alicia"
And my personal favorite. This one has no pictures, no colors, no nothing except these words, "Dear: Mrs. Grubbs I hope you pass grade and so you can be a real teacher."
I love my kids so much. It was harder than I expected to say goodbye to them. Especially when I was hugging Selina goodbye and told her that I couldn't wait to see her next year.... and she replied with, "I won't be here next year." I just about cried. I'll never see her again! What do I say to her then? "I hope you have a fantastic life?" Gosh I will miss those guys.