Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies, etc

Hello friends! Hope everyone has had a great mid-week. It's been kind of a run-all-errands kind of day for me and by the time I got done with all of it, I was ready to crash but alas, I still had supper to make. So I did that too. When I got dinner out of the way, I remembered I did have a recipe I wanted to try. I've told you all so many times how when I want to relax, I bake. So here I go...


This thing has been all over twitter... Chocolate Chip Cookies with cornstarch. Really, take out the baking powder and use the same amount of cornstarch as you would baking powder. The claim is: They are supposed to be soft when they bake and the batter should have an ice cream like texture.


And these are my findings:
  • the batter is thicker and ice cream-like. 
  • the dough retains its shape as it bakes [given you use a scoop and not a regular spoon to portion the dough out] check out how mounded the baked cookies are in the photo below.
  • it doesn't brown up as rapidly as the regular chocolate chip cookie dough with baking powder. Usually at about 9 minutes, chocolate chip cookies would be golden brown. These weren't. But I took them out of the oven anyway because they looked done [and they were].
  • According to my taste testers they are SOFT and GOOEY. To quote what Will said when he took his first bite, "Oh my God, this is soooo amazing!" And I believe him, because he rarely says anything about anything. So when he speaks, believe that every word that comes out of his mouth is from his heart.

The photo below is the second batch of dough that I baked for 10 minutes instead of the usual 8. They don't have darker brown edges, which I LOVE. I do not like burned cookie dough, it's bitter. Gross. I looked at the bottoms of them and they weren't burned either.

So guess what cookie recipe is going to make it in my holiday baking this year? I think you already can tell! :) I will share the recipe soon as I am able to transcribe all these gibberish that I wrote down on my notebook while I was baking the cookies.


Also, I did get a new addition to my kitchen last night. My facebook friends on my personal account have seen photos of it because I got excited and just went crazy and posted them. Here's a pic.

This used to be just an empty little corner behind our kitchen island and I have been wanting so bad to have a place for our Keurig because even how much we love it, it does take a ton of counter space... So my handy dandy husband put this together for me and now this little space doesn't seem so lonely anymore. I didn't want anything too permanent here because a double wall oven is in the cards for this room when it's time to replace the appliances, which isn't soon. The cabinet is from Ikea. I love the red and the glass on the top drawer. It's darling. There is a runner on top because we are getting a glass top for it and we don't want to ruin the top before we could protect it.

I am grateful for a really handy husband. :) He is just the best. Everything that is in this nook is a gift from him. He knows me too well and I've said this over and over again in multiple posts, I am not the girl to buy flowers or jewelry for. I'm very highly allergic to pollen, it's like poison to me... And I don't have any use for jewelry. Period. So he buys me stuff that I actually enjoy using from stores that I enjoy shopping from [Crate and Barrel, CB2, Pottery Barn, Pier 1, West Elm, Ikea, Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie, etc] He adds into it every time he feels generous, which is always. :) That's one of the reasons why I love him.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hello There!


I hope everyone has had a nice Halloween. We didn't do anything halloweeny [no, that's not a word]. I am not a big fan of the holiday. It seems to me like it happens, kids/people overload on candy and then nothing...  So I don't invest time or money on it. I did end up channeling my energies into other things, like play with my Silhouette. :)

I finally got a Silhouette Cameo early in October. I say 'finally' because I have been planning on getting it for like a year and a half now and I got it at an unbelievably low price. Getting it was one of those right place, right time kind of thing. My Cameo only set me back $70 as opposed to the $269 price tag it has on Amazon or anywhere else. And it was very very brand new when I got it because the person I bought it from did not want it at all.


I have played with it a ton. And I have cut quite a bit of stuff from it... and I am very very impressed by all that I learned about the Silhouette Cameo in comparison to my Cricut Expression and the other stuff I have that has to do with the Cricut. Here's my list:

1) The Cameo doesn't require cartridges, unlike the Cricut. However you do need a computer with the Silhouette machines. But what crafter/paper crafter doesn't have one nowadays? Also, as a Cricut owner, it is an awful feeling paying $20 for a cartridge just so I would get the one or two images I have my eyes on. The Silhouette images only cost 0.99 cents a piece and you can cut any .PNG, .JPG files you have on your arsenal. And if you have the Designer Studio software, you can cut .SVG files too.

2) The design software for the Cameo comes free with it. I paid at least $20 for the Cricut software. My bestfriend, Sara and I got ours from ebay and spent days, maybe weeks waiting for the right deal to come around. Then I spent at least $40 on Sure-Cuts-A-Lot just so I could use the fonts on my computer and non-Cricut .SVG files without depending on my cartridges. 

3) You had me at Print and Cut! Yes, the Silhouette has this capability and I didn't have to buy a totally different machine. I am able to print any image through my printer and cut them in my Cameo.

4) The detailed cuts are SUPERB! I can't tell you all how happy I was when I found out that I could load my vinyl into the machine without the mat! You could certainly NOT do this with the Cricut and there is no guarantee the Cricut blade won't rip your vinyl either. I am loving the presets on the Silhouette software.


5) I love the weight of the Cameo compared to the Cricut. I have tried to lug my Cricut around with me in the past, and none of them was a pleasant experience. I could probably load my Cameo in a plastic sack, that's how light-weight it is. 

6) The learning curve. To me, there is/was none. I am used to using the Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and I am used to using paths, layers, adjustments etc. So for me, it was easy transitioning from the Cricut to the Silhouette.

I may have forgotten to mention some stuff, but the bottom line is, I love my Cameo. It is totally so much better than what I am used to.
John, my Husband has been wanting me to do this for a long long time. But I couldn't do it with my Cricut. I had forgotten about it until a couple of days ago while I was playing with the Illustrator and I bumped into it. So I laid the stuff out on AI and went to cutting this morning.

I also made this last week...


After I painted our kitchen, I found that getting rid of the wallpaper in there also required starting from scratch decorating-wise. So I really can't show much of it right now. It is in the works and John and I are in the process of figuring out the route we want to go design-wise for our kitchen because it has taken a totally different personality soon as I started rolling that grey paint on the walls. :) I wasn't surprised but it sure made me re-think our furniture choices and all kinds of other stuff. 

One of the things I had to re-think was our window treatment/s


We only have one window in the kitchen, but we have french doors leading into our back porch and backyard. There used to be lace everywhere in this kitchen. I love lace. Every time I go window treatment shopping, when I see lace, the search is over. This time around though, I decided against it but this doesn't mean I don't have lace anywhere in my house now. I have them all in my craft room.

I've seen a ton of these [photo above] on Pinterest. So I decided I'd give it a shot. I am on a sewing kick so this is a No-Sew project. I actually sewed the slats onto my fabric to secure it. The only tricky part is making sure that all the slats are on straight otherwise, your shade won't cover your window like it's supposed to. The level was my bestfriend during this whole process!


In addition to my subway art, I also added a few other things... I made sure we had a place for precious gifts and memoirs from loved ones. I am working on a really special display for Grandma Turner, John's Granny. In the process of making this house ours, we also don't want to forget that she is responsible for us getting it, and we want to make sure we are reminded every day of her and how wonderful she was. :) I will make a post for it very soon. 

I also did some shopping. Fall is when I do a lot of it because I love fall and winter, and this is also the time when summer clothes go on sale. So I go on a clicking frenzy online and spend most my days waiting for the UPS or the mailman to deliver the goods to me. I love shoes but we are very partial, we love Nike and I love Zappos.



Also got these gorgeous boots. They [may be] Nine West.


And last but definitely not the least, I put one of our trees up in the kitchen! :) To me, Christmas ALWAYS trumps halloween. I did buy two bags of candy, and made loots for my little buddies Reed and Riley [our friends' kids], everything else went to John's belly. He loves candy and he doesn't like sharing. 


So, I really didn't miss Halloween. :) I have had a really great time the past couple of weeks getting my house ready for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. I am ready for Christmas most of all. It's my favorite holiday. 

I'll be back soon for more updates. I am having a good old time working on our house. This has been a great year!

Laterz gatorz,

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