The Classics

With the million and two holiday recipe options floating around every year, sometimes you just need one go-to that is pretty much always guaranteed to taste great and be a crowd pleaser. I bring you…the chocolate chip cookie. It’s easy, it makes a decent sized bunch, it isn’t super fancy, and hell, who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?

I would love to say this recipe has been in my family for generations (because well, my grandma does in fact use this recipe), however I shall not tell a lie. It is taken from the cookie extraordinaires themselves, Toll House. And well, why fool with something that’s already so good? I present you…the classics:

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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I sometimes like to add things like white chocolate chips and dried cranberries , or coconut flakes to this recipe instead…the base is great for any amazing cookie! I’m giving some to my coworkers as gifts this year…hopefully they’ll like them as much as I do 🙂

Have you made these before? What is your favorite flavor combination?

xo SA

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Three french hens, two turtle doves…

And a roasted duck that tastes love-lyyyyyyyy!

Sorry, had to finish the song hehe.

So at my Friends-giving (the better alternative to Thanksgiving, of course) this year, I assisted my masterful chef friend in making duck for the first time. We followed the instructions to a T, and well, the final product can be seen below. While it takes about a million and two hours to complete (and may not be the best choice for those on a tight schedule with the potential to get hangry–yes, hunger+anger), it’s a great alternative to fancy up your meal if you’re having a few friends over for a relaxing dinner. The recipe she used can be found here.

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Not too greasy, totally moist, and really a great first-time-you’ve-tried-duck experience for the more squeamish eaters. Bottom line, it tastes amazing. Just make it!

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Have you tried to make duck before? Did you like how it came out? Would you try this recipe for a dinner party?

Happy Eating!

xo SA

 

“They were crying to get out of the jar… Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know!”

I’ve been dying to do a little baking lately, and I figured a Sunday afternoon would be perfect. Would’ve been better if it was a lazy Sunday afternoon, but alas, busy day or not, baking was completed. As you may have noticed at one of our earlier posts, I like to use locally made jams/preserves in my baking/drinks/cooking…anything, really. Maybe it’s because I for some reason have so many of them? Regardless, expect to see more of these in the future. Next time potentially with a rose petal cake. If anyone has suggestions for things to do with rose petal jam, please leave them in the comments. I’d love to get ideas!

Meanwhile, today’s baking! I was in the mood for thumbprint cookies, and had marmalade lying around. Switched out plain marmalade for lemon, and amped up the cookies with some cinnamon, and we were in business!

My roomies gobbled about a half dozen of them up already. It’s still summery, but I think the cinnamon brings it to be a bit more of a fall-transition cookie (not just applicable to wardrobes! 😉 haha)
Check it out below and let me know what you think.

xo SA

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1 cup butter, sliced (2 sticks)
¾ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 c lemon marmalade

Cream together the butter and sugar, then slowly add the other ingredients (minus the marmalade). Once all mixed, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Bake the cookies at 350`F for 8 minutes and then take them out of the oven. Make a thumbprint in the middle of each cookie and place a small dollop of marmalade. Then place back into the oven for another 5-7 minutes, or until the cookie is done.

“It is not down in any map; true places never are.”

A few months back I was over an old friend’s apartment for a dinner party. It was the first time I had visited his apartment and was expecting the usually college-y minimalism in design given that he was a mid-20-something bachelor. For the most part, I was right. However, what I did notice was that on one wall he had a huge nautical map, framed. Given that his walls were relatively bare otherwise, I made a comment on it, to which he pointed out that it was a gift from a friend. The two apparently had been discussing their love of nautical maps, and it seemed like a natural housewarming gift when the time came. I thought it was a nice, classic, understated piece, that really went well with whatever post-college decor he really would’ve chosen.
Since then, I have seen an abundance of maps in all shapes, sizes, and forms incorporated into artwork and wallpaper in interior design. This probably has a bit more to do with Ralph Lauren than my friend, but we won’t tell him that 😉 See below for a few of my favorites.

What are your thoughts on this interior decor trend? Would you do this to your walls?

xo SA

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Photos courtesy of Pinterest