Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Birthday Party: My baby is 1!

So, Seth isn't really one yet...the real birthday is Thursday, but since his original birthday was a week ago, I figure I can cheat and celebrate for a week long, right?  We had his birthday party this past Saturday.  Troy voted for a fireman theme, so Chief Seth Rider was the honored guest at the fire station for the day.  We had lots of fun with our family.  It was a very special treat to have both sets of grandparents and Seths grandparents all together in the same room.  Lots of aunts and uncles and cousins shared the day with us.  We're so blessed to have family that loves our crazy kids as their own!  Here are the highlights of our week-long celebration (thus far):

Making a mess for the cupcakes:

These are fire engines....not semi trucks with wierd wings:

Making lollipops....that was really fun and pretty easy!  We might have to try it in Cubbies sometime....ok, maybe not.

The finished product (some of them, anyway).  My mom added the "1" for the final touch, thanks Mom.

The painting, by none other than Abby Charlton, of course!

Happy Birthday, my little silly man!

Ultimate chocolate chip cookies

These cookies are slightly crispy at the edges, chewy in the center, and loaded with two kinds of chocolate.  You can add 2 cups of chopped walnuts or pecans to the dough...but that would ruin it.  I like to slightly underbake my cookies (by 2 minutes or so), take them out a bit doughy, and allow them to firm up as they cool.  Enjoy!

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour                                       
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp coarse salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter,
   room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I didn't use this)

1.  In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, banking powder and salt.
2.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, 6 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium low and bet in eggs, one at a time.  Beat in vanilla.  Mix flour mixture just until incorporated; fold in chocolate chips and chunks.
3.  Using a 1/4 cup ice-cream scoop or a large spoon, drop dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (you should have 24) and refrigerate 1 hour.  Preheat over to 350, with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Arrange 6 unbaked cookies, 3 inches apart, on each of two parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake until edges are light golden brown, 17-18 minutes; rotating sheets halfway through.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.  Bake remaining dough using new parchment.

To freeze:  freeze unbaked cookies on a baking sheet until firm; store in a resealale plastic bag in the freezer up to 1 month. Bake from frozen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Peer pressure

So, I'm reading a book called "When People are Big and God is Small" that is revolutionizing the way I feel about people.  That's right - I'm changing my feelings into facts about people/the world and how we "fear" them when we shouldn't.  So...it's a little ironic that my fear of a certain FRIEND (respecting her right to privacy, but in case you're curious her name kinda rhymes with "Shady Looks") caused me to become a blogger.  Like I've heard many say:  I don't have anything interesting to say, I'm not funny, I'm not one that should be "followed", and I don't have time to blog...., and yes, these are my excuses as well. So I'm setting the bar very low.  Don't expect to laugh, don't expect to learn anything here, don't expect me to lead you into any new dimension of reality or fantasy, and don't expect me to update this each day as I wake up.  BUT, I'm joining the ranks of all the cool bloggers out there simply because my "fear of people" is still holding on.  Maybe I'll shake it soon...but until then, "Shady Looks", please stop scaring me into blogging-compliance.
Now, on a positive note:  I have found the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever.  Trust me, I've tried DOZENS of recipes and I've found "the one".  It's like when Troy knew that I was "the perfect recipe" for him.  Stay tuned.