Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cookies!

So H. was in town (yay!) and we decided to make cookies for Thursday night and they are probably the most epic cookies I've ever had. I went with a simple Betty Crocker recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but I decided that the Almond Roca we just picked up would be a great substitute for some of the chocolate the recipe called for so we swapped out 1/2 cup of chocolate chips for 6 pieces of chopped Almond Roca.
We also didn't use actual chocolate chips: we just chopped up half a hershey's bar 'since Rite Aid was the only store we found that was open today. And since we substituted milk chocolate for semi-sweet chocolate, we reduced the sugar by about 1/4 cup. Our substitutions are noted in purple. For the next batch, I want to figure out how to make it a thicker cookie (does this have to do with bleached vs. unbleached flour?), add chopped nuts, and I want to add more chocolate 'cause I think it would be more satisfying with more melted chocolate chunks in each cookie. But as they are now, they are still pretty epic. We brought 2 dozen for Thursday night and kept a dozen for ourselves. mmmm... But in retrospect, we saved too few for ourselves.
Here is the original recipe, which yields about 3 dozen cookies:
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar (reduced to 1 1/4 cup)
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or unbleached flour (only had bleached flour on hand)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (reduced by half to compensate for the salted butter)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz) (substituted for 1/2 cup chopped Hershey bar + 6 pieces of chopped Almond Roca)
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired (left out)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until blended. Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt; stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
2. Onto ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.
3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
I think I ate a dozen this weekend...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sandwich


I made a wicked sandwich today. Whole wheat bread + turkey + bacon + avocado + tomato + cheese + freshly ground black pepper. mmmmmmm. I'm getting hungry for another one of these!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Computers 'n things

"Computer skills are sexually transmitted... you're welcome." - the boy

And while there is no way of validating this claim of his, I can attest to the fact that he gives me the braveness to do all the computer things I do these days. Granted, I'm still pretty handicapped with the user-friendly programs I use, but it's a step! I implemented ANCHORS, baby! Ahh, so sad how something so simple can give me such sense of accomplishment.

In other news: I'm super excited for Taiwan in the new year! SO excited. I feel like I should go there with a plan, like a set of goals to work towards while I'm there so that I don't mope around everyday eating ridiculously yummy food. Speaking of which, documenting my eats is one thing I'd like to do to give the 老公 some incentive to come join me in Taiwan in 2011! Something else I'd like to do is explore more of Taiwan (also in hopes of inspiring the 老公). I'm debating if I want to bring my climbing gear or not. The two gyms I've found that look decent & reliable are in opposite ends of town. Not sure if they require you to bring your own rope or what though.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Things I love


Growing things (something about bringing something to life is exciting).


Designing things (the reason is almost synonymous as the one for growing things... creating stuff is neat). This is my first polished draft of the rhyme/card design for our party invite. I'm quite proud of it. Not sure if those are the colours I want to commit to but for now, I like them. I like the punch the green gives, especially as the dot at the end. Definitely liking the contrast. And I'm not sure if the lower-case "i" is an idea I want to commit to as well, but I put it in mainly because of my concern of the "L + I" looking like a "U" in my name.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Party

The 老公 and I have decided on having more of an anniversary party than a wedding because there will be so many wedding traditions thrown out the window by the time we're done with it that there will be no point in labelling it a wedding in the first place! The decision came about one night as we lay in bed, in the dark, talking about our vision for the wedding. After going through the list of things we *didn't * want to have, we realized there was no way we could call it a wedding without certain traditionalists in our circle of friends giving us bad vibes for hosting such an "unconventional" wedding.

To us, the need to celebrate our marriage is just an excuse to gather close friends & family to get to know each other and know us better while having a good time. During our talk in the dark, it was hard for me to conceptualize our wedding because we kept saying, "yeah, we don't need to do/have that", relative to the "typical" wedding formula of ceremony+cocktail hr+reception+speeches+first dance+father/daughter dance+mother/son dance+cake cutting+meet&greet+being whisked away in a fancy car to the honeymoon. After deconstructing that wedding formula to fulfill the two things we wanted our "wedding" to be (gathering of close family & friends + fun), we realized we just had one big party on our hands and that made it easier for me to envision our day. The wedding formula was really bogging me down until I finally let it all go and it felt great. It felt great knowing this party would be unlike any I've been to or friends have been to. It felt great knowing we could do whatever we wanted and not be judged for it because we are already married. We could call this thing whatever we wanted and it felt great.

But then comes the hard part: we could do any.thing.we.wanted. Though I exaggerate a bit here because 老公 and I already decided that we wanted to host this at someone's cottage near his hometown. We're still trying to nail down a date, which I feel is the most difficult decision to make right now. October 2nd was the original potential date since it would be our official 1 year anniversary (of being a Mister & Misses) except it may be too cold for the locale we've chosen. We had first considered a California locale, which made the weather a non-issue, but it just made no sense to have family & friends who are mostly in EST to all fly out to PST, if they can even make the time. So a party in EST time made the most sense. But again, what date to pick... I'll have to come back to this another day because I'm just so indecisive right now (老公 is his usual indifferent self so I should note here that most final decisions will likely be made by me).

A venue is also up in the air but I'm confident that it's just a matter of the 老公 reaching out to his people and his peoples' connections to secure a site.

So what do I envision... for now, I will just leave a link to a wedding I recently came across that comes pretty close to what the 老公 and I want/wish we could have. Maybe I'll come up with a collage of ideas that I've become fond of through all the wedding-blog-perusal-ing I've been doing.