saturday night randomness

he climbs!

oh look, it’s finally warm here!

>>Amazon has Ice Age on DVD for $5. I bought it for my kids to watch with their great-grandparents.

>>This One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake was good. I made it with grapeseed oil & unsweetened soy milk in the actual cake and regular coconut milk, Earth Balance, & Enjoy Life morsels in the frosting, because of a tree nut allergy. Do use good quality cocoa if you try it, because it is a very, very chocolate-y cake.

>>These Dragon Noodles were fantastic. And really, really spicy. I doubled the recipe and added an extra egg for more protein, and then added some steamed chopped broccoli at the end. Oh, and I left out the cilantro.I’m really hoping Keith doesn’t steal the leftovers tonight so that I can have them for lunch again tomorrow. Ha.

>>I am really uninspired by a lot of the spring clothing I’m seeing out there. Maybe I’ll just buy a bunch of ‘activewear’ and pretend I go to the gym all the time?

the best (egg free!) chocolate chip cookies ever

I’ve been on a quest to find the best egg free chocolate chip cookies ever, and I think I’ve found them. These are AWESOME.

The original recipe is courtesy of my friend Alexis, who is a far better baker than I will ever be. I just modified it.

So first, the ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, OR, 2T ground flax seed + 6T water
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (original recipe calls for all purpose. I used white whole wheat.)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt (I used regular iodized table salt)
  • 12oz chocolate chips

First, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

The original recipe then calls for melting the butter. I didn’t do this – I just threw the softened butter into my Kitchenaid and added both sugars. I beat this mixture until it was smooth, and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. I then beat it again – recipe calls for 30 seconds, I’m sure I ended up going more like 45 seconds or so – and then let it sit again for another 5 minutes.

During that first 5 minute break, I mixed the 2T of ground flax seed with 6T of water and let it sit.

I then turned the mixer back on and let it beat the sugars/butter one last time, and then slowly poured the flax/water mixture into the mix. I then added the vanilla, beat that for a minute, and then slowed the mixer down and started to add the flour slowly. Once the flour was mostly incorporated, I turned the mixer off and mixed the rest of the flour in by hand. I then added in the chocolate chips.

At this point the dough looks a bit…soft? And made me go hmmm. But! It really will work out. Take out an airtight container such as a Tupperware or Rubbermaid, and put all the dough into it, seal it, and stick it in the fridge for 24 hours.

The next day (sorry, these cookies do require a bit of delayed gratification. I promise it’s worth it though), pull the dough out and preheat the oven to 375. Scoop the dough into largish balls (I used a soup spoon and did balls that were about…1 1/2 inches wide? but if you’re a better baker than me and own a large cookie scoop, use that) and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet or parchment lined cookie sheet. I personally use parchment paper, as I am very talented at ruining recipes because they get stuck to my “non stick” pans.

Bake the cookies until they are brown at the edges but still soft in the middle – for my oven that was about 10 minutes. Your mileage may vary.

Transfer to a rack to finish cooling, and then eat far too many of them. Yum.

This entry was posted in recipes.

and it’s January!

Yay, 2014!

We are having a huge cold snap here. Temperatures well below freezing. My kids are out of school solely because it is cold. I’m seeing a lot of snark about this online but honestly, our buses aren’t equipped to run at these temperatures, so I understand why the district made the decision they did.

We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary yesterday! 9.5 years together, all told. It feels good. :) Granted, “celebrated” is a very loose description of what actually happened because let’s face it, it was just another day. Kids being out of school + my first day back after vacation+ his store manager out of town = not a ton of excitement here. We’ll probably go to lunch on Thursday or something instead.

8 years though!! Who-hoo!

happy first day of winter!

First day of winter! And first day of winter break for the kids. Who-hoo!

So, 2013. 10 more days left until 2014 and honestly, I’m ready for those 10 days to pass and this year to be kicked to the curb. There have been some really good parts to this year and some really, really crappy parts too – and the crappy parts are why I haven’t been blogging, because honestly? I’ve just been trying to survive, and a lot of this hasn’t been blog appropriate anyway.

I mean, we’ve been dealing with things like – my husband went through massive upheaval at work that led to him having to step down a position, which really sucked. We strongly suspect Sydney has some learning disorders, and we’re having to fight the school system for testing and accommodations. We’re tired. We’re a lot poorer. It’s been a rough year.

BUT. We also are really enjoying our house here in Atlanta and this area is starting to feel like home. We love being across the street from relatives. My kids love their elementary school. We’re making friends. We’ve found a church that is both liberal enough for us and friendly, to boot. We got to take a fun vacation to Disney World. There’s a Christmas tree in the corner of my living room – and one across the street – both with presents for us and our kids, because there are a lot of people out there who love us. And that love, those relationships? That’s worth a hell of a lot more than money.

I made a list in early 2013 of all my goals. That feels so far away at this point and I’m not going to bother finding the list and linking to it. I know I didn’t accomplish most of it and I’m fine with that.

Instead, I’m going to set a goal for 2014. Breathe and live. I want to step back, take a deep breath, and focus on just living for a year. I think I owe that to myself. And I think it’s going to be good.

Here’s to 2014!