Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Soft and Delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So it is day 5 after the removal of my wisdom teeth, and the first day that I have not been in a T3 induced haze. I knew that with this horrendous ordeal coming up I needed to plan ahead a little bit and ensure that I had a delicious treat ready for you all.
The Perfect Ratio

I whipped up a simple easy batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I won't lie, I was nervous about going under and having my teeth wrenched from my jaw. I was in need of some comfort and nothing is more comforting to me than an oatmeal cookie. I really enjoy an oatmeal raisin cookie but Brad, a classmate, put in a bid for them to be chocolate chip. I obliged him and ensured that I obtained the best ratio of cookie to chocolate chip, it was apparently a huge concern of his that I got the ratio right. 
Getting ready for the oven.

I went to the bible of cookbooks for this recipe, Joy of Cooking. We have an incredibly old and decrepit copy of this cookbook and to save the poor book from travel I have a photo of the page the recipe is on. These are the best oatmeal cookies in my opinion, and I always like baking them when I feel the need for a bit of comfort. 

I also love how you can make this basic oatmeal cookie into a bunch of different cookies. Sometimes I like to add raisins, chocolate chips, or my favourite dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Now I think it is time for me to curl back up on the couch and ice my cheeks.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Tips, Tricks and Tools

Do you want your baked good to be the best they can possibly be? Of course you do, who wouldn't? Well I am here to help you with this goal.

The majority of recipes will always call for eggs, whether it is egg whites for macaroons, egg yolks for cheesecake or eggs in general, you are going to want them to be at room temperature just like your butter. Things will bake better if everything is at the same temperature no matter what ingredient it is. So whenever you are planning on baking something, take a moment and plan ahead a little, take the number of eggs you will need and the butter out of the fridge at the same time.

Now just in case any questions arise from this tidbit of information, this does not mean you should store them on your counter for an extended amount of time. They can be kept on the counter for a day max, but it is best if you continue to store them in the fridge. 

Now if you are anything like me, you always forget to preheat the oven and you always forget to take the eggs out of the fridge. I have a terrible memory I know. So how do we quickly bring eggs to room temperature? Place the number of eggs you will need a bowl and fill it with luke warm water until the tops of the eggs are covered. Set aside on your counter and usually by the time you are done getting everything else ready the eggs have come to room temperature. Usually it takes about 10 minutes to get eggs to the perfect room temperature.

So remember always bake with ingredients that are at room temperature so that your sinfully delicious treats turn out their best!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

A February Trail Ride

Me on Zoro!
There is nothing better than a trail ride to put a smile on my face. What’s a trail ride? Getting on horseback and taking a leisurely ride through the Niagara escarpment, across the beach at Lake Erie, and back home along a stretch of the Trans Canada Trail. I braved the cold wind and the potential snowstorm and went anyway. I’ll brave the winter elements to spend time with new friends and horses. I’ve done crazier things to be on horseback, so braving the elements is nothing.
Steph riding Tiny!

I have been riding since I was 9-years-old and have loved horses for as long as I can remember. I was so excited when my roommate, Steph, organized a trail ride and potluck for the Brock Equestrian team. Living with her has some perks and I got invited along even though I’m not on the team. Saturday could not come fast enough for me.  

Potluck you say. Well what would a baking blogger bring to a potluck… I just had absolutely no idea that I would bring cookies, none at all. Friday night we enjoyed a drink in our kitchen and got baking. I have never met anyone that does not love a chocolate chip cookie and since I didn’t know all the girls that were coming I thought it was a safe choice. 

 I have been baking chocolate chip cookies for as long as I can remember. I have made them so many times I have the recipe memorized. I have no idea where I originally got it from or who first created it. All I know is that people get really impressed when you start measuring all your ingredients and have no recipe in front of you. 

In all it was a great day. I had a lot of fun and I have to credit Steph for most of it, because without her it would have been another Saturday filled with homework… Which I think we can all agree is never any fun. I had such a good time the fact that my entire body ached the next day didn’t even bother me. I got to spend an amazing day meeting some great new people, enjoy some delicious food, and of course horses. In my opinion, there is nothing better.

To print the recipe click here!        

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day Truffles

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Now I know a lot of you are either smiling like a goof or rolling your eyes. You have either labeled today S.A.D. (Singles Awareness Day), calling it a marketing scam, or truly believe in the sappy holiday. However you feel about today I think we can all agree that it can be used as an excuse to show how much you love anyone, even if it is not a significant other.

So in the spirit of showing my love for people, I decided to use my blog for something good. I decided to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough truffles for all my classmates. I even took the time to make some of them red or pink to go along with the Valentine's Day theme. I got adorable zipper sealed bags from Dollarama to present them in. I interpreted today as an excuse to show how much I appreciate my classmates… especially when they help with my grammar homework.  

Claire enjoying a truffle
So I gave them all a couple of these delicious treats to show how much I care and was thrilled to see how well received they were.  Claire is happily enjoying her treat, and Sam posted a great tweet with a photo that I am borrowing (hope you don’t mind Sam). You should check out their blogs by clicking their names.

Sam's Photo

Her photo also shows Andrew’s Valentine's Day cards that he handed out. It’s really nice knowing that even though we are all in our twenties, we all appreciate a cartoon card with a cheesy phrase asking us to be their Valentine.

My valentine from Andrew
I got the recipe for the truffles from Recipe Girl, which is a blog that has a lot of great recipes that I hope to try in the future. For the truffles recipe click here.  

For my friends who I don't get to see today, Happy Valentine's Day and you know I love you all.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Superbowl Oreos

Buzz! Buzz! That is the sound my phone made at 2 a.m. this past Saturday night. I, being a natural night owl, had only just recently gone to bed, but still I was in bed attempting to sleep. I mistakenly looked at my phone to see that my brother Michael had messaged me. Great, what could he possibly want other than a ride home from whatever shenanigans he was up too. Being the world’s best sister, I answered and dutifully left the house at 2:30 a.m. to go pick him up at Yonge and York Mills. That is in Toronto if you all aren’t in the know.

I get a kiss on the shoulder and a five-dollar bill for this great sacrifice of going out in the middle of the night to get him, but he is my brother and I do it more often than I should. On the way home we start talking about the Superbowl and if I am going to watch it with him. Mike then goes on about how it is a man's day, and a man's day needs man's food; hence why I decided to make this week’s recipe into the shape of footballs. I thought we all deserved a little something special and I do love a theme. I chose to make homemade Oreos, and like I said, in the shape of footballs.

I found this week's recipe on Plain Gourmet, which is a blog that I frequently read for new ideas and recipes. Check it out for the recipe I used to make these cookies. The only thing this blog left out was how long to bake the cookies, I baked mine for about 8 minutes and they turned out great!