Friday, June 28, 2013

Toasted Oat & Coconut Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you ever feel like you get a little behind on life?  Like it takes weeks for you to get some minute task done.  Or you have been meaning to stop by an old spot, but didn't get it done for a year.  Or maybe you have been dragging your feet about really sitting down and spending the time to think through what it is that you really want.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes we all need a break and to just escape, but I keep having to remind myself of a quote I read from Lincoln a few years ago...
"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."
                                                                                                                -Abraham Lincoln
Sometimes we have to just get stuff done, cross if off the list, and make those hard decisions...I think I am just giving myself a pep talk first actually get stuff done this weekend and second to figure out what's next in life and how to best prepare for the future.  Right now I know the best way for me to plan, that doesn't require me to make a hard decision right this minute, is to keep baking.  When the time is right, everything else will fall into place.  So, in the mean time I will just keep trying to figure out different ways to get oats into recipes, chocolate into new cookie creations, and spread the love through baking.
It only took me a year, but I finally made it back out to my grandmother's old house.  Sometime in the future this barn will be torn down, along with her house, so I just had to visit one more time.

Monday, June 24, 2013

200th Recipe! Browned Butter Pecan Biscoff Cookie Cake

Somehow it has been crazy around here.  I don't know what's going on because its the summer and its supposed to be time for relaxing and hanging out with friends.  Don't get me wrong, I am making time to do said things but it sometimes feels like there is very little time to sit around and day dream.  Which let's be real, sometimes that is all I feel like doing.  This cake was a day dream...what's better than dreaming of cake?  Admission it was totally an after lunch, I am craving something sweet and can't really concentrate right this minute on the work task at hand day dream, because what, oh what am I going to make for my 200th recipe.  But in all seriousness a lot of thought went into this cake.  I mean I could have made anything, but I wanted to something over the top and unique, but not terribly complicated.  There might have even been GChats about this cake that went something like this...
Lauren: I might have to buy the TJs kind and make frosting with it
Meghan: omg that would be amazing
what kind of cake?
Lauren: hmmm
spice cake? Vanilla cake?
Meghan: spice cake might overwhelm the spread
that stuff is seriously good
Lauren: haha
what about between sugar cookies?
or honey cake? brown butter cake?
Meghan: oooh
brown butter cake would be perfect
Well this cake turned out exactly like I wanted.  The cake is moist and rich, it has an almost decadent flavor and the frosting has a slight crunch from the cookie butter that is creamy and spicy.  I can't wait to make is again and it is definitely the perfect 200th recipe for me!
It's officially summer! 
Which mean...Jazz in the Sculpture Garden.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Updating a Classic...Strawberry Lemon Bars

Sometimes we just have to switch things up, take a different route to work, try something new a menu where you always get the same thing...or even add strawberries to lemon bars and see how they turn out.  These turned out just as a I hoped they time I am going to have to try strawberries.  These were lemony and tart but sweet and the strawberries really complement the flavor.  A co-worker who rarely eats sweets, went back for a second one and said he wished he could have it from his review mirrow like an air freshner because they smell so good.  These are really easy and simple, and it is the prefect time of year for them.   Summery with the light lemon taste with hints of spring strawberries.  I would deifnitely recommend trying these and enjoy!

To change things up this week, a meeting in the city with a view.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Giveaway & Product Testing...William-Sonoma's Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix

Okay, so WOW....The next recipe I bake will be my 200th! So, to celebrate, I am going to send one lucky person a delicious treat! All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post telling me what your all-time favorite dessert is between now and this Friday, June 14th and someone will be sent a cookie or bar based off that dessert.  (If you want two me the post on my facebook page)  I can't wait to hear what everyone loves!  My favorite is a tie between...cinnamon rolls or carrot cake.
Okay so I am totally not one to buy cake mixes anymore.  Don't get me wrong boxed cake mixes taste great and are what I grew up on, but they are won't of those things on my grocery list anymore.  This gluten-free cupcake mix was a gift so I could test it out, since there are three gluten-free individuals in my office.  This mix from William-Sonoma is made with a base of Thomas Keller's Cup4Cup gluten-free flour, which you can also buy at W-S. The vanilla flavor, according to the container, come from "aromatic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean".   This mix is super simple in that all you have to do is add melted butter, eggs and milk.  I however wanted to put a spin on them, since they are a boxed cupcake mix.  I browned the butter, because well nothing beats that flavor.  I also add extra vanilla bean seeds from half of a vanilla bean. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Family's favorite type of cookie...White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Last weekend I went home for my youngest nephew's 2nd birthday party.  Although there was a lot of driving for one weekend, it was totally worth it!  In preparation for the trip, I whisked together some white chocolate macadamia nut cookie dough for brother and sister-in-law since I know its one of their favorite.  P.S. this is the first time I have ever made white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  Saturday was crazy busy...waking up and baking cookies at 7, then made a quick trip to the farmer's market with my mom before heading to Charlotte for the day.

What can I say I am a total snob for North Carolina strawberries.

A little man after my own heart, my nephew started to dig into the side of the cake before he could even be sung happy birthday.

Monday, June 3, 2013

For those Awkward Moments...Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Do you ever see something happening, like you know someone is going to say exactly what you don't want them to and it is probably in front of that guy you dated for a month or so, but you can't stop them?  Like you have the mental image of a football player coming from out of nowhere to tackle the person right at the moment someone is going to say something completely embarrassing or awkward that just makes you want to slide out of the chair you are sitting in and hide under the table like a 5 year old?  Oh and wait you are sitting directly across from that person and there is no where to run...Well crap.  That's life. 

What about that moment when you are excitedly talking about the awesome party you threw last weekend to an office friend who was there, and that one person you didn't invite walks up behind you in the kitchen...or worse that person is you...

Or this...