Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Baking (soda) Cookies

After two evenings of craving chocolate chip cookies, MD tried to take on the task himself. After he got our mixer out at 9 p.m., I realized he was serious about making cookies and I sort of took over from there. He didn’t mind much. However, I must give him credit for finding this recipe. My, oh, my.  It’s a keeper, my friends.

The problem: we didn’t have the semi-sweet chocolate chips the recipe called for. We dug a little in our pantry and found one bag of white chocolate chips and a bag of M&M’s about a quarter of the way full. His response, “Eh. That'll do.”

We mixed, measured, stirred and spilled. Then we got to a step in the recipe that I’d never seen in any other recipe. “Dissolve baking soda in hot water.”  Hmm. Well, okay.

We did that and went on with the recipe as usual. After the first batch came out, I quickly realized this whole “dissolve then add” situation was for a mighty fine reason.

They were amazing! Evidently, more than just magic happens when you dissolve the baking soda in hot water before adding to your batter mixture. Something about premature release of carbon dioxide and that it will incorporate into your batter better, it might activate your baking soda quicker. Yeah, yeah. I’m only concerned with the magic it did to these cookies.

Disclaimer: They were okay; only because they really needed to be made with semi-sweet chocolate chips. The cookie dough was already sweet enough before white chocolate came to the party.

My point is: Make these. This is the chocolate chip cookie recipe you’ve been searching for. You’re welcome.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until edges are nicely browned. 

Serve with milk!

Recipe adapted from                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Seeing Blue

Summertime is pretty awesome. Here are a few reasons why:
long, sunny days
lounging by the pool
the greens
the blues
breezy dresses
and bright colored pedicures

My most favorite part of summer (along with everything previously mentioned) are fresh fruits and veggies.

After an afternoon of lying around in the pool, my sister-in-law and I plucked a basket full of juicy blueberries from several plants in the backyard of a neighbor. It’s something I look forward to every summer.

I have a technique that I call “power picking.” My mind goes into a frenzy as I begin to think about all the delicious treats I’ll soon be baking. 

Get in on the fun. Pick your own blueberries in Goshen, Ark. at Blue Haven Farm. You can find them here: Tuttle Road WC 79, Goshen, AR 72745 
and phone them here: 479-751-8987

Saturday, July 2 is your last chance before the season closes! If you can’t get out, you should be able to find fresh blueberries at your local farmers’ market for a few more weeks.

Stay tuned for a recipe post!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pucker Up

Here’s something you should know. eos. evolution of smooth, a chemical free, 95% organic, 100% natural lip balm. The New York based company, who also has locations in Scandinavia, Switzerland and South Korea, has only been on the market for a short time.
Quick fact: The savvy company does have one of the coveted “212” New York area codes.  Sexy.

I first tried their smooth sphere lip balm back in December.

Oh, wow. I’m not sure I’ll buy another brand of lip balm ever again. Its futuristic packaging makes it fall off the shelf and into your cart nearly as quick as you can say, “eos.” Good thing too. They have five different flavors:
·         Summer Fruit
·         Lemon Drop with spf 15
·         Honeysuckle honeydew
·         Medicated Tangerine
·         Sweet Mint

Here are a few that I have: 

As they say, “It’s a lip balm that makes you smile.”
Twist off top. Pucker up. Smooth on. Smile.
Sounds fun.
I’m sold on this product. It’s different, it’s neat looking and does the job lip balm should do. Go give it a try.

Pucker up,

Meet Christi

Hello, I'm Christi. Thanks for stopping by. Here's a little bit about me:

I have been married for two terrific years and live in the funky town of Fayetteville. My husband, Mitchell Darling, and I have a sweet two-year-old fur baby named Benjamin who is a 5 1/2 pound Maltese. He rules at life. You might also say that he rules our lives. Among many other things, we love biking, traveling, perusing our local farmers' market and eating. Lots and lots of eating.  

I have spent the greater part of my life sitting on the kitchen counter cooking and baking with my Grandmother Carolyn. MD grew up doing the same with his Grandmother Billie Jo. He and I tremendously enjoy spending time in our kitchen together, covered in flour and such while stepping over spilled ingredients. He isn't what you would describe as a "neat freak" in the kitchen. It works out okay because I am. We are always looking forward to the next time we can host our friends and family.

My purpose for creating this blog is to provide you with my ideas, opinions and resources about what will probably be a smorgasbord of topics. I hope this will bring motivation to you to try new things and share your experiences and ideas with others, all while having fun doing so.

A little more?
My favorite thing to bake is Baked Fudge.

I have a love/love relationship with red wine.

My 68-year-old pen pal lives in North Carolina. We've been penning for three years. She is now a retired flight attendant that I met on a flight to Chicago. 

Kayla is my younger and outrageously talented sister who owns her own florist and gift shop in Little Rock, Ark. You might like her. Her work has been featured in CitiScapes Magazine twice.

May I suggest you purchase a French press coffee maker? It may change your life.

Send family and friends cards now and again. It's a nice surprise outside of the many emails we all receive daily.

and here: ChristisChirps (at) gmail (dot) com
Tell me what you think and what you'd like to see on Christi's Chirps.

Many, many, many thanks to you for visiting my blog. It's encouraging and I hope you'll enjoy it.

Come back soon!

Cheers for now,