Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WDW - Refrigerator Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Warning:  this post contains information that you may wish you had never heard.   It makes eating fresh hot cookies dangerously easy.  If you continue to read, please realize you do so at your own risk.  You have been warned.

Hey!  You're not still here, are you?  Uh-oh...

 P1050813

Have you ever just craved a warm chocolate chip cookie but didn't want to take the time/effort to make them?

Or, have you ever wished you could have fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies when you have guests over? 

Or, could you be one of "those people" who happen to like finding a bowl of cookie dough in the fridge???  (of course, I'm not.)

Well, the answer is this recipe!  You can make the dough for these cookies up to 2 weeks in advance.  All you do is scoop dough directly out of the fridge and bake for 9-11 minutes.   VOILA!  Fresh, hot cookies.  And not to mention perfect, ooey-gooey ones, too.  I was amazed at how good these turned out.  You can make one, two, or ten! Who knew you could do this?

The funny thing is, this is just the basic Toll House recipe, with an extra 1/4 cup flour added in. 

Recently, we had a family over for dinner.  After dinner, I took 2 minutes to scoop out some cookie dough.  In about 10 short minutes the house smelled amazing and I was serving fresh from the oven cookies.  They were a hit!

I'm planning to make these for a dessert bar at a baby shower next week.  Imagine the yummy aroma when my guests arrive! And wait until they see that the cookies are still warm.

And by the way, if you don't use a cookie scoop to make cookies, you are really missing out!  Uniform cookies, lickety split!  One of my favorite kitchen tools.  

Now if you'll excuse me, I think we are out of cookie dough...

Refrigerator Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. (REFRIGERATE AND REST A DAY.) Drop by rounded tablespoon (or use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop)onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool. 




post signature

Friday, March 13, 2015

Showers! Showers!

It's shower season!  
We kicked it off with a sweet baby shower for Emma, which was held at our home on a rainy Saturday in February.  Emma and Nick have chosen the sweetest name for their baby girl: Darsy Claire.

Untitled

Emma with all her hostesses... minus one.  Stephanie's mom, Luci was also one of the sweet ladies on board, but had to leave before we could get photos.   L to R, my sweet daughter in law Stephanie, my dear sis Suzanne, the momma to be Emma, my darling niece Amy holding her son Micah, and Rich's lovely sister, Kristen.  These hostesses sure showered my girl with lots of love!
Untitled
  
As you can see, we had quite a downpour, but thankfully we were all cozy inside.

Untitled

My sis and Luci provided the unbelievable food.

Untitled

My sister can seriously figure out how to 
do/make anything on the planet.
She made one of our favorite candies, honeycomb, dipped in dark chocolate.  It was SO good!  And yes, she made those adorable cake pops too.  They tasted as good as they looked.
She never ceases to amaze me!
Untitled

Oh, did I mention she can make Nutella turnovers, too? 

Untitled

There was a delicious fruit salsa and cinnamon crisps.
And everyone was sad that there were no chicken salad cream puffs leftover!

Untitled

Luci made one of Emma's favorites:  orzo pasta salad with rosemary, pine nuts, and feta.
It was so cute how they served it in little containers.  
Suzanne also made mini peach trifles in recycled baby food jars!  
So clever!  The little wooden spoons were even stamped with Darsy's initials - so sweet.


 Untitled

It was so special to share the day with treasured friends.  Here is my friend Anna who I am always inspired by.
Untitled

I'm so happy I got this shot of our dear friend Meredith with Emma.  Meredith is also expecting her 1st and we will be showering her soon, too!
Untitled

Here's a special photo --Delphine, Wendy, Emma and I.  Emma was named after Delphine's mother, Emma Lee.  Wendy and I are lifelong friends and continually mistaken for each other!  
{We were sad to miss Wendy's daughter Whitney and her sister Brooke.}
Untitled

What a blessing to have two grandmas and one great-grandma present! (and we would have had TWO great-grandmas but one was sick).  Also, there were several excited aunties-to-be there too!
Untitled

One of my favorite guests was my great nephew, 9 month old Micah Raye.  I get to babysit him a couple afternoons a month and he's definitely my baby boy crush.  I love that little face!

Untitled

Amy had such sweet things planned -- diapers you could write a fun message to Emma on, an ABC book for Darsy we could all contribute to, and adorable sugar scrub favors.  Kristen and Stephanie did the amazing flowers and decorations.  I wish I had gotten more pictures of that!
Untitled

Untitled

Emma was also showered a second time -- this time by the three friends she nannies for, Melinda, Vanessa, and Carly.
It was a small, intimate gathering at Bottega Louie in downtown L.A.   There were 8 of us and it was just so delightful! 

First of all, if you've never been to this restaurant... GO!
It's truly spectacular.  It's housed in an old building that I believe used to be a bank.  It has high, ornate ceilings, is painted a stark white, and is accented elegantly by white Carrara marble everywhere.  It just oozes stately charm. And the bakery and food are UNBELIEVABLE.  If you have a minute, click on the link above and take a virtual tour on their website. 

Here's what you are greeted with when you walk in the door.  

Bottega Louie is famous for their macarons.  
And their beignets are not too shabby either (top shelf).

 Untitled

Whoever designed this place and did the B.L. branding was a sheer genius.   The place is pure eye candy.

 Untitled

Emma with her hostesses which are so dear to her.  
And you can see they all adore her, too.
 Untitled

The group:  l to r: Stephanie, Carly, Vanessa, Melinda, Kaylin, Emma, me, Suzanne

Untitled

Some girly gifts were waiting to be opened.

 Untitled

The uber-talented Melinda made us all darling 
personalized bags as favors.
Mine was extra special :-)
{actually I almost cried when I saw it}

Untitled

The table setting was gorgeous thanks to Carly's lovely flower arrangements (which we all got to take home and enjoy).

Untitled

There were also precious little Bottega boxes filled with macarons at each seat.

Untitled

Untitled

There was also a special bag for Darsy....

 Untitled

With a cute little diaper holder inside... beyond cute!

Untitled

And even my bag contained a pouch with diapers & wipes for when I'm traveling with Darsy!

Untitled

Bottega has the BEST coffee on earth.  Seriously. 
And when they plunk down a tray of fresh, warm beignets and raspberry coulis to go with it, the world around you just fades away.

Untitled

My brunch was beautiful and scrumptious.

Untitled

Emma had their amazing quiche.  Can't you just see the deliciousness in this photo?

Untitled

And then some time later, Melinda decided we all needed 
to share a pizza!!
It was one of the best pizzas I've ever tasted, too.
Bottega has a huge brick pizza oven.

Untitled


And then a special little dessert came out for the momma to be, and we all passed it around and had a bite or two.
I don't know what it was but it was sure decadent & chocolatey!

Untitled


Me and my sweet "girls" - we are just so excited about this baby!

Untitled

Emma opened her gifts and it couldn't have been more girly fun...
First, a beautiful blanket hand crocheted by my sister!!
(I told you she can figure ANYTHING out.  This was her very first blanket and it's gorgeous.)

Untitled

baby pink moccasins!
Untitled

And Darsy's first Salt Water sandals...in gold! I die.
Untitled

Untitled

I cannot fully express my gratitude for these three ladies' examples and godly influence in my daughter's life.  Though Emma was originally "hired" to help them with their families, they became dear friends and over the years became like family, really.  Each one has lavished her with love and has invested uniquely in her life.  Emma loves them and their children to the moon and back.  I know she is going to miss spending time with them but is very ready for her own momma adventure to begin. 

Lord willing, we will meet this sweet baby girl in a month!
Untitled

post signature

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WDW - creamy goddess salad dressing

 Untitled

My favorite dressing when I was a kid was "green goddess."  I'm not sure where the name came from (or what was in it), but I loved the creamy consistency.   Creamy dressings are just so wonderful... but they usually contain yukky mayonnaise.   So we stick to mostly vinaigrettes.  When I came across this dressing recipe using tahini, I thought it was a brilliant yet healthy way to add some creaminess to a salad.  I have made it a couple times now, and I just love it!

Tonight I made a salad using our fantastic fresh garden greens and beets (which I oven-roasted), some avocado, leftover steak, and this lovely dressing.   With daylight savings time in action, and the warm weather, this felt like the perfect summer dinner.

 Lemon Tahini goddess dressing

  1. Toss all ingredients into a Vitamix, small food processor, or standard kitchen blender.
  2. Blend until well combined and smooth.
Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Use within 1 week.




post signature