Saturday, December 4, 2010

...and an angel appeared to me in a maroon Envoy.

Yesterday I wrapped up the week by letting Thing 1 reduce me to tears....again.  I must be honest and say that, as of now, I am not the biggest fan of the age of three.  I should not have celebrated avoiding the "terrible two's" with Thing 1.  Foiled again!  Seriously, two was a fabulous age where he was a little joy to be around~ affectionate, sweet and gentle.  Then we introduced Thing 2 to the family. One month later Thing 1 turned three, and the reign of terror began.  Always the little reader, I think he started having midnight rendezvous under his blankets with his flashlight and a copy of "The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia".   He has morphed from my amiable little boy into a miniature tyrant who plots against his parents, manipulates our emotions and is clearly trying to make us *crazy*.  And the whining... Lord help me with the whining. I. Am. Exhausted.  Mind you, he still shows his "real" personality at times- the precious and kind little boy who says "Please" and "Thank You" and tells me that I "look like a princess".  He even randomly caresses my cheek and declares "you are the best mommy ever". (So I spoon fed him that line one day.  So what?  It still makes me happy when he says it.)

Anyhoo, yesterday I needed a little break from repeating "keep your hands to yourself!" 476 times, whining, the poo issue, whimpering, arguing, mauling of Thing 2 and mommy and the general defiance... "It's NOT nap time!". I actually feared that my head was going to detach with great force from my body and land in The Caped Cupcake's yard in New Jersey. I called my cousin who lives 15 minutes away (hallelujah!) and begged her to take him for the day.  I think she understood what I was asking through the snot and sobs because she (here is the angel reference) showed up at my house 45 minutes later and whisked him off (in her maroon Envoy) to ride tractors, eat grapes and run in the park.  She and her spouse worked him over.  It. Was. Awesome.  I, on the other hand, took advantage of my breathing time and sat on the couch with Thing 2 propped up beside me. We stared at the Christmas tree for an entire hour.

The couple returned later with a very tired, happy little boy in tow. I was as refreshed as can be expected of someone who was approximately two seconds away from knocking on the door of the mental ward with a suitcase, my pillow and a pile of romance novels.

In return I wanted to give my cousin and her hubby a gift.  I also want to rid the house of the damned M&M's, because I am consuming them like they are the sole source of my survival on this planet.  Since it seemed slightly inappropriate, and possibly poor etiquette?, to hand over an opened and partially eaten bag of Christmas M&M's, I decided to bake them into cookies!


This is my favorite cookie recipe.  They are soft and chewy and fluffy.  Heaven. It took me years to perfect this SOB- baking cookies in Colorado is not the easiest task on the planet.  It is altered for high altitude baking, so I would recommend cutting out 1/4 cup of flour if you are closer to sea level and baking at 350, but I can't guarantee results.

Johi's Freaking Awesome Cookies

1 cup butter- room temp
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
- mix together with hand mixer until creamy.

1 t salt
1 t soda
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
- crack eggs into creamed mixture and sprinkle salt, soda and vanilla on top.  Mix with hand mixer.  Do not over mix.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
- mix into creamed mixture with hand mixer, do not over mix.

Stir in 6 oz semi-sweet and 6 oz milk-chocolate Ghiradelli chips.  Add 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts. Or add a partially eaten bag of Christmas M&M's.....

Bake at 365 for 10-11 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Let sit on pan for 2 minutes. Move to wire racks to finish cooling.

Because it is the Christmas Season and I am arguably one of the nicest people on Earth, I will give you my secret cookie tips.....

High Altitude Conversion

·                     For each tsp of baking powder or soda, reduce by 1/4 tsp
·                     For each cup increase liquid 3-4 extra Tbs
·                     For each cup, decrease sugar 1-3 Tbs
·                     For all cakes and cookies increase temp 15-20 degrees

Johi's Tips for perfect cookies:
·                     Use room temp butter and cold eggs.
·                     Bake on Airbake sheets only (never soak these in water).
·                     Place cookies on center rack in oven.
·                     Remove from oven when just starting to brown on bottoms
·                     Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks.
·                     Spray spatula with Pam.
·                     Eat or freeze within 3 days.
·                     Always make a double batch of peppermint cookies.

"Ellis" The Elf on the Shelf recommends using quality ingredients for baking.  This is good vanilla, as is the stuff my friend brings me from Mexico (I am OUT! hint! hint!).  C & H sugar and salted sweet cream butter are always winners in my house.

I will *probably* post the peppermint cookie recipe later.  I guess you will have to keep reading my BS to get to the good stuff.  muahahahaha!

1 comment:

  1. 3 sucked! Big Time! 4 was better. 5 was even better. Etc.

    Oh, and use the f-bomb as much as you want. We're all growed up! Yes, growed!