Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Frozen Balls

So I have a bit of a sweet tooth. I start craving my grandma's pecan pie about three months before Thanksgiving. I think brownies are a perfectly acceptable breakfast food. I have justified going to one of those self-serve frozen yogurt places for dinner because it's yogurt, you guys, and yogurt is HEALTHY (even when it's covered in hot fudge). So curling up on the couch with a warm from the oven chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk??... is pretty much my idea of perfection. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, and have been since I was very little; every time we walked by Mrs. Field's at the mall, I would beggggg my mom for a chocolate chip cookie. And I spent countless afternoons baking with my grandma--without fail, we always made chocolate chip cookies, and I always got scolded by my grandma for eating too much of the dough. Ha :)

Given this history and my 27 year love affair with the chocolate chip cookie, I know myself well enough to know that a dozen or so of them laying around my house will last about a day and a half under my watch. Even I, frozen-yogurt-for-dinner-girl, can't justify that too often. Enter these things: Frozen Balls. What the hell is a frozen ball you ask? Individual frozen cookie dough balls. In particular, chocolate chip cookie dough balls. A couple of years ago, I had some friends that had just had babies--when I was getting ready to go over to meet the new little ones, I wanted to bring them food, but figured they were up to eyeballs in frozen lasagna, crockpot meals, etc. I think I read about the idea of freezing individual cookie dough balls somewhere and figured that would be an easy treat that new parents could enjoy whenever they felt like it. So I gave it a try, and (for test-purposes sake ;)), saved a couple of the balls of dough for myself. The cookie dough balls were a huge hit with my friends and in my "testing", I discovered I loved the concept too. Since then, I've been hooked.

MMMM Dough. I may have eaten one of these just like this.
Frozen Balls.
So about once a month, I make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough.  After I chill the dough in the fridge, I roll it into individual balls as if I were going to make cookies right then, but instead, I put the cookie sheet in the freezer until they're good and frozen, and then toss them in a gallon freezer bag and stash them back in the freezer. Whenever I want a warm chocolate chip cookie, I take out 1-2 balls and bake them up. (I try to limit myself to one at a time, but the concept of self-control is a work in progress around these parts) 15 minutes later, I am rewarded with a warm and fresh chocolate chip cookie AND there aren't 10 more of these bad boys laying around the house tempting me to eat them. Win.

The finished product. And my view from the couch. These babies were gone in about 30 seconds.
My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is Alton Brown's The Chewy. If you don't feel like busting out a kitchen scale to make cookies, go here for a converted version of the recipe. I also really really love this recipe. It's a little more work to make than your basic chocolate chip cookie, but how can you go wrong with warm Nutella in the middle of a cookie?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I blog now??

So for awhile now, I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a blog. I do love to write. And I certainly have Important Opinions on things. But part of what’s held me back is that in general, I think I’m pretty boring. I'm a 27 year old living in Minneapolis. I work as an attorney in juvenile court during the day, and at night, dream about owning a bakery (see #1 below). My life is far from glamorous, and it’s definitely not a thrill a minute around here. But when I think about it, I realize that the blogs out there that I like best are the ones where it’s obvious that the writers aren’t writing to impress anyone, to have 5 billion readers, etc. They’re simply writing about what’s important to them and what they enjoy, and if some people out there like it, great.

With that out of the way, the question becomes what the hell do I write about? Well I suppose I’ll write about what I know:

1) Food. I spend an obscene amount of time obsessing about the stuff; cooking it, baking it, eating it. I love feeding people, and making food for people I care about is how I show my love.  That being said, I don’t think anything is more disappointing than a “meh” meal, so picking a place to go out to eat can be a chore for me sometimes, because I want to know it’s gonna be good. I would love to own my own bakery someday and make a living making people happy with my food. Anyone wanna fund this dream for me? :)

cinnamon rolls at Christmas

Brunch at Blackbird Cafe

2) Clothes. Specifically Cheap Ones: I shop. A lot. I can blame this habit on my mom and grandma. Both these lovely ladies shopped/shop more than anyone I know and I spent a large chunk of my childhood with these two in dressing rooms either trying on clothes myself or impatiently waiting for them  while they twirled, twisted, and turned in the mirror, analyzing the fit, the color, the quality , the price. Well this apple fell quite close, and I find myself  shopping just as much (if not more) than my mom and grandma. The one major (and probably pretty important) difference is that much more than the two of them, I am obsessed with bargains/clearances/sales. When I receive a compliment on something I’m wearing (or let’s be honest, even if I don’t), I have  an  extremely charming annoying habit of responding with something to the effect of “Thanks!! It was $5!”  That Thrift Store song by Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis? That’s my jam, because I  live  it.  

Leopard skirt. Black leather boots. Target brand, but purchased new at Salvation Army.

3 The Twin Cities: I have lived in beautiful Minneapolis, MN for the past 5 1/2 years. I originally moved out here to go to law school and much to my mother's dismay, I've never left. I was born and raised in PURE Michigan (another topic I'll definitely be bringing up--love my home state), but since I've lived here, have tried hard to make the Minneapolis/St Paul area my home. I love getting out and about and enjoying what my adopted hometown has to offer.

At the State Fair, grinning like an idiot in the Dairy Barn
The view of Minneapolis from other side of the Stone Arch bridge

So I'll try to use this space as my little spot on the Internet to talk about all these things, plus whatever other random thoughts/opinions pop into my head. Enjoy :)

**This is It, Don't Get Scared Now is a reference to one of my favorite movies of all time, Home Alone. Ah yes, the 1990s. I have a deep abiding love for the Greatest Decade that was the 90s.