Today we were up early and out the door to the St. Nick Fun Run at Rorey’s school. The profits from the race go toward the scholarships at the school. Definitely a good cause and worthy of one of my 59 deliberate acts of kindness.
Andrew and Leigh ran the 5K together and then Leigh continued on to run the 10K. Andrew was very surprised to get second place in his age group. I had planned to push the double stroller with Rorey and John in the 5K. We started out and were going well as we passed the park Rorey decided that it would be a good idea to go across the bridge and check out the water level. So we cut through the park and continued on in the race for awhile before turning around to get to the finish line before Andrew so we could take some photos.
Since I didn’t really finish the race I felt like I needed to do something else today. A norther hit College Station while we were out and about and it was really cold. I drove home with the heat cranked up most of the way and sang my heart out. When I got to Kingwood I decided to stop for some peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks. I had the intention of paying for the car behind me if anyone pulled up. When I got to the window I told them what I was doing and asked to pay for the car behind me. I was told that maybe I should rethink that since their order was large. I smiled and paid for my hot chocolate and their order. The guys inside smiled. I know that this is a popular thing to do, but I haven’t ever done it! I smiled the whole way home and my peppermint hot chocolate was so good.
Today I made Valentine’s Day cupcakes with friends. Here are their creations:
I am so grateful for the person who decided to try adding chocolate to hot milk. I love it on a cold Tokyo day. This winter I have enjoyed this
One of the things I love about winter is eating soup. Lately, my favorite has been minestrone. You can find my favorite recipe here. I am grateful for soup…
This week I have been preparing to help the YW in our branch learn to decorate cupcakes. Unfortunately, I was didn’t get any photos. Here’s one of the Snicker’s cupcakes I made to demonstrate (chocolate cupcake, caramel frosting, chocolate frosting topped with chopped Snicker’s pieces). You can find the template for the cupcake wrap here.
I love doing anything with the youth of the church! I am grateful for them and their faith and energy. It revitalizes me!
Yesterday was cleaning day and the floor had just been cleaned. I scooped it up, but it didn’t look pretty. When Rick got home I asked him if he wanted to eat it or go out. I literally didn’t have anything else to make. So we ate it and it was fine…no questionable bits. I don’t think I could have eaten it if the floor had not just been cleaned.
The only other time I remember this happening was when Rick and I were dating and I dropped a steak I was cooking for him on the floor. This lasagna hit the floor and sprayed all over my white cupboards. It was a fun mess to clean up, reminiscent of the day Andrew made chocolate pudding in the blender and forgot to put the lid on.
So…do you think we ate it?
Today I came across this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen and had to try it, although I had many other things I should be doing. The method intrigued me. Browning the butter is the key to the taste of these cookies. There is usually not much advance thinking when I decide to make a batch of cookies and I don’t like waiting for the butter to soften. Browning butter makes me a bit nervous, probably the result of burning a lot of butter over the years. Today I watched and stirred constantly over a medium low heat. At one point it was covered with a soft yellow foam and I could see what color it was below the foam. Eventually, I could see the golden brown color I was looking for and immediately removed it from the heat. The dough turns out to be much chewier than my usual recipe. The recipe I use all the time is found at Vanilla Carrots. I’ll have to make a batch of each on the same day and do a taste test, but these are really good.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen)
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 sticks butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk and set aside.
Melt 1 1/4 sticks butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Keep swirling until butter has a dark golden brown color and a nutty aroma, about 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl and mix in the remaining butter until melted.
Add the sugars, salt, and vanilla to the butter and mix well. Add the egg and the extra yolk; whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Let it rest for 3 minutes, then whisk again for about 30 seconds, before letting it rest again. You’ll want to whisk this about 4 times, until you have a thick, glossy, and smooth mixture.
Gently stir in the flour and baking soda just until combined. Stir in the chocolate and nuts.
Form dough balls (mine were about 2 inches in diameter), and place them on a lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes Mine took 10 minutes, most people cook chocolate chip cookies way too long. They actually looked a bit under cooked when I took them out, but they continued to cook as the baking sheet cooled down. the key is for them to be just barely turning golden on the edges but looking a bit soft in the center. Put the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the cookies cool on the sheets.
I have posted other photos of Tokyo Tower before. It dominates the skyline from many places in my neighborhood. Today I had an appointment right across the street from it. There was a striking contrast between the red and white tower and the deep blue sky. The perspective of being under it, instead of shooting from a distance was interesting.
Family Photo Spot- Kawai (cute)
I was able to resist having a crepe for lunch. They are so yummy! Instead, I came home and had a bowl of homemade tomato soup that I made from scratch on Saturday night.