Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chocolate chip cookies

I started reading my new book "Ratio" decided for my first recipe, I was going to make the chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate chip cookies has to be the cookie with the biggest variety of recipes out there. There are recipes for big and small cookies, with and without nuts, mini chocolate chips and chocolate chunk cookies. Some use butter, some a mixture of butter and shortening. There are also those which use just brown sugar, and those that use a mixture of brown and white. With this variety, no wonder there is such a variation in the cookies when baked.

Most people are familiar with the Toll House Cookie recipe. In my experience, this is the recipe used most by my friends.

The difference with Michael Rulman's recipe, is the fact that he uses weights for his flour and sugar, not just measurements in cups (which is also listed). I find this comforting. Ever since I started to take my baking seriously, and wanted to learn more about the science of baking, I have been weighing my ingredients.

My cookies came out excellent! They are not as sweet as most recipes, which ito my liking as more of the butter flavor comes through. They came out crispy around the edges, chewy in the center. In the book, he states to bake them for 10 minutes, mine required about 14 minutes.
Can't wait for my family to come home so they can try them!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Four Weeks

It has now been four weeks since my surgery, I am amazed at how well things are going! The hardest part of the recovery is being still while the tendon heals. I can semi-sit on my right side, can walk using crutches with a peg leg. Now that it has been four weeks, I can also start bending my left leg, making it much easier to sleep.

So, what have I been doing for the past four weeks? The first two weeks, I basically spent lying down and watching TV and sleeping. I had my first post op visit after two weeks, and have gradually been trying to do some things to build up my stamina. I'm not normally a big TV watcher, and found that after two weeks, a lot of what I like to watch is reruns.

Lsat week I mixed a batch of chocolate chip cookies from a recipe which I received at It makes a big batch of cookies, which can be frozen for later use. I use a small
disher (like an ice cream scoop) and placed the dough on the cookie sheet, then placed them in the freezer. My goal was then to place the pieces of frozen dough in the freezer, that way if you wanted just a few cookies, you did not have to make a big batch. Before I could do that, my daughter baked them up for the concession stand for a game at school. Guess I need to mix another batch!

I have decided I want to branch out my baking skills, so I bought the book
4.4 out of 5 stars (59) $17.82
49 used & new from $13.45

It describes the ways we can use ratios in our baking and cooking to come up with our own recipes. So far, the book has been very imformative. One of my weakest cooking points is using sauces, so I want to branch out into making those.

I enjoy sewing, and have decided to learn pattern making. For Christmas I made many pairs of flannel pants, and branched out at that time to changing the patterns for what I wanted. Great fun for me!

I found a quilt I had started working on about 10 years ago, and now I am going to work on finishing it. I have about 1/2 of the quilt blocks made. Hopefully I will get it finished soon.

Haven't been able to do much baking, due to inability to stand as long as I need to. Since I need to use crutches, it is difficult to get all the ingredients I need easily. I did make up batches of bread dough for the soft whote, caraway rye, and brioche dough from the artisan bread in five book. Baked a couple of loaves, tonight I am thinking of making beignets from the brioche dough.

So, for now I will continue to progress slowly as I should be, being gentle with myself and my new tendon.