FRIDAY FAVORITES // JAN 23. 2015

January 23, 2015

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Happy Friday, friends! Hope January is off to a great start for all of you. I’m starting to feel a bit more optimistic about the year ahead. I’m ready to make stuff happen. Contemplating my last week of being at the ripe ole age of 25, I’m excited about 26. It’s an odd (even) number that my brain hasn’t quite wrapped around the reality of, but I’m ready. How did or do you feel in your mid-twenties? Anxiety? Optimism? Motivation? I want to know. Last year around this time I definitely had a case of the quarter-life crisis feelings. Thoughts of wanting to skydive, climb higher mountains, learn how to drive a motorcycle, and planning lots of trips overseas circled through my mind. But I didn’t really get to any of those. It doesn’t mean they’ll never happen. They just haven’t happened yet. Sometimes I think birthdays just exist as good reminders to come back to our true intentions of how we want to live and lead our lives. What do you think?

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MAST BROTHER’S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

January 22, 2015

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I apologize for the amount of radio static around here lately. Time has been flying by in the blink of an eye and before I know it, it has been weeks since I posted on here. The timing (and my mood) just hasn’t felt right, but since it’s Thursday, and nearly the end of a long work week, I thought you all deserved to have this: Mast Brother’s Chocolate’s outstanding Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Just incase you needed it…

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If you’re at all a chocolate bar connoisseur, you’ve probably heard of the Mast Brother’s chocolate company before, or at least purchased some of their chocolate. Or perhaps, you even already own their amazing cook and baking book of all things chocolate. Or you may remember me posting another recipe from their book, about a year ago today (maybe I consume more chocolate in the winter? not at all surprising). But I’ll let you in on a secret: even though you technically are assumed to be baking with their Mast Brother’s chocolate label, my budget simply cannot afford and does not want to afford a 2.5 ounce chocolate bar at around $9-10 per bar when a recipe calls for at least 15 ounces of chopped chocolate just for a cookie recipe. I don’t know about you, but that’s just simply impossible. So I’ll admit, I always turn to one of those gigantic five dollar “Pound Plus” dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s. I have one in my cupboard at all times in preparation for when inspiration strikes. It is really decent chocolate, or at least my tastebuds seem to think so. But I must warn you, unless you’re a fan of chopping thick chocolate bars, be prepared that it is an arm workout to never forget. I started sweating bullets toward the end of all that chopping, so get pumped. I promise it’s worth it.

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This simple recipe is pretty much the perfect chocolate chip cookie you’ve been craving and dreaming of. A few weeks ago, I had a hankering for a chocolate chip cookie recipe ever since I saw Michelle’s recipe for New York Time’s classic CC cookie recipe (but not having the patience to wait to order the right chocolate chips or have them sit overnight–this will be a future project well worth the wait), I instantly grabbed this book and frantically flipped to the index for THE “Chocolate Chip Cookie”. Butter (check). Brown sugar (check). Dark chocolate (check). SEA SALT (double check check). All you have to say is sea salt and chopped dark chocolate and I’m totally on it. And brown sugar is by far the money making magic of delicious chocolate chip cookie goodness. I was sold. And by the sound of it, my boyfriend was too. I lost track of how many times he would randomly say to me “these cookies are so damn good…” or “those are the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever made, sweetie” or “OH MY GOD I CAN’T STAHP EATING THESE TAKE THEM AWAY FROM MEEEE”. And he doesn’t lie. He’s my official taste tester. Every time I ate one, I felt like I just took a trip to the bakery and picked up a cookie that I didn’t make. They’re that unbelievably good. Even you’ll be shocked you made them yourself. They’ll make you feel like a five-star baker. And who doesn’t love that?

So there you have it. This one is a keeper. Your salty, chewy dark chocolate secret weapon, just between you and me.

MAST BROTHER’S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Makes 24 cookies 

From the Mast Brother’s Chocolate Book

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 15 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • fleur de sel, for topping (totally recommended)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream softened butter with both sugars until fluffy.
  3. Blend in eggs one at a time.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate and combine.
  5. Spoon cookie dough 2″ apart onto a baking sheet using heating tablespoons.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. I baked each dozen separately so that they all baked evenly.
  7. Cool on wire rack. Top with as much fleur de sel as you’d like.
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NEW YEAR INTENTIONS > RESOLUTIONS

January 6, 2015

If you’re anything like me, every year when the first day of January rolls around, you dread the idea of “New Years Resolutions” or despise anyone that is all gung-ho and seems to have formulated these ideas weeks or months ahead of time. The media and our society that reinforces this annual pressure doesn’t help either, making it seem like we all have to strive or think about striving to be better people only on the 365th day of the year. I apologize if this makes me sound like a grinch, but it always seems like a gimmick. I’ve always been in the camp where if you’re motivated enough to really want change, you make it happen regardless of what day it happens to be on the calendar. New Years day never really excites me. And any time there is a collective societal pressure around an idea, I tend to want to run the opposite direction.

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