Get Series(ous). #5

It is 2 degrees in NYC. Two. As in 1+1. It’s the most basic math equation one ever learns, and all I can think is one plus one equals fuck you. I don’t want to leave the happy hollow I’ve created out of a pile of duvets and fuzzy blankets. I have a steaming mug of coffee, a filled thermos of the liquid sanity, and endless pages of fiction to write–and to read–in front of me. Damn the outdoors, I’m not even going to put on proper pants today.

Because I’m a writer, I’m going to pretend that’s ok.

Today’s Get Series(ous) series takes place in sunny Chicago!

Oh wait…

witch's tit. A closeup.

Ok, so, negative one minus one also equals fuck you–probably.

For whom is this series perfect?

The grown-up who loved The Bridge to Terebithia. They might-could-possibly tell you every story line in every Nancy Drew book. Their first movie boyfriend was Louis de Pointe du Lac, and then they read the book and fell in love with the tortured Lestat. (Obviously, the book is the original, but hey, they were 11 when the movie was released!! QUIT JUDGING ME, IT WAS BRAD PITT!)

This reader might have loved the show Sports Night. Not because of the sportsing going on, but because of the beautiful layers of sarcasm. Because there’s really nothing more important than the ability to embrace the “meh” in everything.

This reader is probably physically active–or at least has aspirations of activity. (Doing the walkings and the liftings of heavy things is hard when one plus one equals fuck you.) Reading about training and dancing and other strenuous physical activities that make you sweaty is really a motivator!

don’t pretend looking at this doesn’t make you…warm.

This was totally not just another excuse to place a Fassbender .gif.

this was.

This reader may also love the bacon and the pizza(ish) and the junk food. They make late-night runs for Hot Beef if they live in Brooklyn. Italian beef if they live in Chicago. Creamed beef in Youngstown. Hidden beef eaten in a closet of shame at 2am in Los Angeles.

What’s the series?

The Chicagoland Vampire Series by Chloe Neill. (book is link.)

The Blurb from book 1: (pictured above)

They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world. When a rogue vampire attacked me, I was lucky he only got a sip. Another bloodsucker scared him off and decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed,
four-hundred-year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude—and servitude. Right…

But someone’s out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.

Why I love it:

This series was not even on my radar until a few years ago when my PSM told me that I really must read it. I was burned out on romances, and just wanted some action. (Take that as you will.) 

I wanted a book that didn’t make me feel like my feminism was perishing slowly under the weight of the Bellas and my own insecurities. I am SO glad she pointed me toward this (and a few other) series.

Not these Bellas. They’re aca-awesome.

Here is a protagonist who is smart, (PhD candidate) athletic, (dancer!) and she never once thinks a man is the key to solving her problems. She is not the polite, tractable female so common in PNR/UF.

Even when she does catch a man’s eye. He doesn’t–I don’t know–take her to a red room of dubious consent, or stalk her at night while telling her that her virginity is a sacred bloom that should be preserved. Sort of like this other flower held by this other dude with consent issues….

Bitches love libraries–and autonomy.

Nope. What does this guy do? He places her in a position of authority–even over himself–apart from him. He doesn’t mansplain or pull punches. He balls-to-the-wall Betty Friedans her vampire ass.

It’s great.

The series is lengthy, sitting pretty at eleven books (more to come!). However, this is not like some long series that died a painful death long before the last story is told. I’m actually EAGER to read the next novel that is to be released on 3/2. I’ve preordered. There’s a certain tingly feeling of anticipation when I think about the next book. I’m not at all eye-rolling the next book, dreading the nails to be added to the coffin of a once-loved storyline. Each book is fresh and engaging.

I honest-to-Pete have no idea how she’s kept me so interested. Homegirl must have Nora Roberts level book-penning juju.

It would be easy to get ensnared into a too-convoluted storyline, what with the multitudinous supernatural groups populating this series. From the shifters and their acute noesis, to the nymphs and their libidinous natures, and the fae, and their ass-basketedness. It never does, though. It simply works.

Put on a pair of leather pants, get yourself something made with bacon, and dig into these books.

The recipe inspired by the series:

In the book, the MC, Merit, is a bit of a junk food junkie. She loves deep dish, Italian beef, and her beloved, “mallocakes.” In the series, they’re a chocolate and marshmallow confection, similar to Mallomars. I knew I could recreate something similar, but just doing a plain old Mallomar copycat seemed lame. So I made them better.

Green Tea and Dark Chocolate “Mallocakes”

or less creatively-infringing

Green Tea and Dark Chocolate Mallow Cakes.

Because, umami.

marshmallow recipe adapted from this one.

Green Tea and Dark Chocolate Mallow Cakes Green Tea and Dark Chocolate Mallow Cakes

Get Series(ous). This time, with mallocakes. Bookies and Cookies, Oh my! Click To Tweet

Green Tea and Dark Chocolate Mallow Cakes.

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 45 minutes-1 hour

Cook Time: 4 hours+of passing time

Keywords: snack dessert bars cookie

Ingredients

    for the marshmallow

    • 2 packages of unflavored gelatin (use Knox)
    • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
    • 2/3 cup water
    • 1 cup superfine sugar
    • pinch of sea salt
    • 2 tbsp matcha powder
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup corn starch
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • cooking spray

    for the bottoms

    • one sleeve of graham crackers

    for the chocolate coating

    • one bag of dark chocolate chips

    optional

    • crushed almonds or matcha powder to dust the tops of the mallocakes.

    Instructions

    mix together the corn starch and powdered sugar and set aside

    spray a 13″-9″ pan with cooking spray

    sift some of the flour/sugar mixture over all of that spray, coating the inside of the pan

    break down the graham crackers into quarters and layer in a single layer into the bottom of the pan, using halves of those quarters to finish the layer if need be.

    to make the marshmallow

    divide the water in half, place half in a mixer bowl with gelatin

    add half to a heavy-bottomed saucepan with sugar, corn syrup, and salt.

    (spray the measuring cup with cooking spray before adding corn syrup for easy removal!)

    cover and turn to medium high

    let cook for about 4 minutes

    uncover and cook about 5 more minutes, or until the sides begin to boil.

    remove from heat immediately.

    place whisk attachment in mixer and turn to low, when the jelly mixture sort of gets globby,

    pour in hot sugar mixture in very slowly

    when it’s all in, turn mixer to high and whip that stuff for a damn long time

    about 15 minutes-until it’s really fluffy and white, like marshmallow fluff

    add in the matcha powder and vanilla in the last minute or two

    pour over the graham cracker mixture and spread with an offset spatula

    cover with a dusting of more of the corn starch and sugar mix

    let sit in the open air for a few hours (no less than 3) or overnight.

    to coat

    it’s really easiest to melt the chocolate in increments in the microwave, 30 seconds on high, stir, repeat, take to 15 seconds for a few times, until smooth.

    Avengers! Assemble!

    turn out the marshmallow/graham pan onto a dusted cutting board

    using a BIG pizza cutter that you’ve rolled through the sugar/starch mix, cut between the crackers, and shake off the excess dust

    place marshmallow up onto a cookie sheet lined with a cooling rack and silpat or parchment

    spoon melted chocolate over each piece and let coat or dip tops into the melted chocolate.

    while chocolate is still tacky, dust with almonds or matcha

    let set–about an hour.

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    Red Tent Regrets.

    Ok, let’s be honest with each other, shall we?

    Yesterday was meant to be my long-run day. However, it was roughly 1 degree Kelvin outside. (about the same temperature as Santa’s balls) Also, PMS. My body wracked with cramps like an evil Clydesdale had kicked me in the lady region, paired with the aforementioned Santa balls weather, I made cookies and drank wine. I also indulged in a roast beef sandwich, and retail therapy.

    Note to mothers: if you’re residing in your red tent, and have zero patience, this is not the best time to go to the Disney Store. I bought my daughter a Merida bow-and-arrows set. This, admittedly, was not my best parenting decision. Also, she appears to be a natural shot, unless she wasn’t aiming for my head just now.

    damn it.

    Today shall be my many-miled day. I’m almost 100%, but not quite, so I’m not going to push it. I have two fistfuls of Midol, and chocolate chip cookies. I’m as prepared as I can be. Anyone who lives with Endometriosis (in my case, it’s joined by PCOS) knows just how painful it can be. It’s honestly crippling–sometimes narcotic worthy–pain. I do the best I can, and just endure. The way one endures calculus–or bagpipe music.

     

    (ok, I actually like bagpipe music. tell anyone, and I’ll deny it.)

    With my tent in mind, here is my schedule for the remainder of the week:

    Today (Tues) 18 miles and foam rolling                                                                               Wednesday-6 miles and Crossfit                                                                                               Thursday-SW (Yassos FTW) and yoga                                                                                           Friday-10 miles and Cross-training                                                                                           Saturday-8 miles and rolling                                                                                                       Sunday-Crossfit

    It’s less milage than I’d usually run this far in the game, but it cannot be helped. As it stands right now, I’m going to be forced to listen to Taylor Swift and then Kanye and then Beck and then Kanye again, just to be angry enough to force myself to do my speedwork. I also may need to give in and take my #3 Tylenol (or stronger) at night to ward off the worst of the pain so I may sleep. Or at least curb the pain enough that it doesn’t cause me to lose my lunch at mile 10–which is a thing that happens.

    I’m curious about other marathon runners who have similar issues. How has it affected your training? Do you “give in” and take the narcotics? I realize most runners are leery of any pain killer that doesn’t come from fermented hops, malt, and barley.

    I’m still working on the best solution. If I find a good one, I’ll let you know. And for the love of Pete, don’t tell me you rub ylang ylang essential oils over your baby maker and then chant for it to go away, because then, well, then I’ll just assume you’re batshit crazy, k?

    I may be in a bit of a mood. So I guess it’s good I made cookies. Cookies help.

    I made INSANELY delicious chocolate chip cookies. Different enough to be distinct, familiar enough to be crave-worthy, and fecking delicious. Salted, toasted almonds, browned butter toasted oats, dark chocolate chips, and all dark-brown sugar. INSANE.

    Better than a Bakery Nutty Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

    Browned Butter and Almond Chocolate Oat Drops & Run Pain #FitFluential Click To Tweet

    Better than a Bakery Nutty Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Better than a Bakery Nutty Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Better than a Bakery Nutty Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

    Better than a Bakery Nutty Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

    by Cat Bowen

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook Time: 10 minutes

    Keywords: bake snack dessert cookie

    Ingredients (3 dozen)

    • 7 tbsp softened butter
    • 3 tbsp butter
    • 1 cup oats
    • 1/2 cup chopped salted almonds
    • 1, 12oz bag of your favorite chocolate chips (I like dark chocolate)
    • 1 1/2 cup AP flour
    • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • coarse sea salt

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 375F

    in a saucepan or skillet, bring 3 tbsp butter to brown over medium heat

    add in oats and toast until they begin to smell nutty

    add in nuts and toast 2-3 more minutes

    let cool

    in a mixer on medium, cream together softened butter and sugar

    add in vanilla and eggs

    slowly add in the oat mixture

    add the baking powder

    sift in the flour

    stir in chips

    cover dough with plastic wrap

    chill for one hour in the refrigerator

    using a 2 tbsp scoop

    scoop onto a lined baking sheet 2″ apart

    dust with a bit of coarse salt

    bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown

    let chill on baking sheet 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack

    store in an airtight container up to 3 days

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    *Scrum*tious.

    Ok, I know this is out of order, but today is a book review post, and Friday will be Get Series(ous). Why? I need better pictures of the food made for the post. Which means I’ll have to make it again. le sigh. (snicker)

    Before I get to the meat of the post…RUNNING UPDATE!

    Ok, I just finished (we’re in a blog time machine) my extra-super-long-run. Like, just this side of a marathon, long. It’s actually the longest distance I run pre-mary. 20 miles. It was a bitch, and I struggled. I felt good, and strong, but my headspace was all effed up. It was like one of those times when one is having sex, and enjoying everything, but they can’t help but remember that they missed that one spot while shaving on the back of their thigh, and DON’T TOUCH THERE. (here…I have boobs…you like boobs! DAMMIT, MEN WHO MARRY 6′ TALL WOMEN ARE LEG MEN! SHIT!) That was how my running headspace was going.

    I wanted to just focus on the run and talking to my run partner, but NO. I couldn’t. I kept looking at my Garmin, and could not stop watching my speed. GAH! Here I was, running a score of miles with one of my very best good pals who has run a few sub-3 marathons, and I kept looking at my freaking GPS as though he wasn’t pacing me. He flat out TOLD ME he’d pace me. That we’d set up our splits in 5 sets of 4 miles, and I only had to worry about running.

    I was tripping over my own brain.

    However, with his excellent pacing, I set out (mostly) what I’d wanted to accomplish. Our average was no greater than 8 min/mi, with some miles significantly faster, including 3 sub 7s. Oddly, our fastest miles were the miles I felt best. Let’s face it, the shin-crushing, side-stitching, mucus-running miles are only the best miles when my head is shoveling out darkness. Thankfully, the pain and endorphins are a pretty good plow.

    This.

    book cover is link.

    Now, you scamps know I love me some LH Cosway and Penny Reid. I was over the moon when I received an ARC of this book. I received it with no expectation of a review, and I already pre-ordered it. Therefore, it was like a pretty little gift in my inbox with a pink bow.

    The Blurb:

    THE HERMIT

    Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

    THE HOOKER

    Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

    THE PLAN

    When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
    What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

    This book reminds me a lot of the confections featured throughout its pages, light, sweet, and too quickly gone.

    When the book opens, it is immediately apparent that the tone of it is the quick-witted snarky humor that readers have come to expect from both LH Cosway and Penny Reid. Told in first-person, the story begins fast and that pace is held for the duration of the majority of the text.

    What I loved. 

    The dialogue, both spoken and internal, was by far my favorite part of the book. Here’s a snippet.

    Roses are red, violets are blue. I’m using my hand, but thinking of you. 

    How could I not love that, right? The banter between Annie and Ronan, or Annie writing as Socialmedialite, was spot-on hilarious. LH Cosway didn’t shy away from using UK sayings in her parts of the text to water it down for American audiences, and Penny Reid spouted ‘Merica fearlessly. Ok, I don’t know if she was writing this book while flying an American flag behind her head and drinking Coca Cola while humming “The Star Spangled Banner,” but that’s how I picture it happening.

    Strike that, I picture her humming this:

    I love that the characters were each strong and extremely well-suited to their occupations. In their professional lives, they take no prisoners. They are educated, intelligent, leaders in their field.

    I love that two authors who depend quite a bit of the good word of bloggers did not pull any punches when it comes to the sort of banal trivialities that afflict social media and blogging. Because, let’s face it, the internet provides a great deal of anonymity for people hide behind. This, in turn, allows a great many a person to switch off their “good person” button, and become epic steaming shitpiles of douchebaggery.

    I love that the “mean girl” trope was used, but not in the completely typical manner. Usually, I sort of hate the “mean girl” trope. It’s overdone, and to be honest, even though those women truly exist in real life, I feel like writing about them over and over again just perpetuates it. I’m way too feminist not to say “Hey, why must it always be the girl who is the asscandle?” This book featured an asshole *couple.* For some reason, that made the manipulative bitch pill easier to swallow.

    I 100% realize that hating this specific trope is completely my own feminist hangup.

     

    I loved the HEA. Of COURSE I did. *SPOILER ALERT* I won’t call a book a “romance” if there’s no HEA. It’s a romaybenot, or a bummermance, or you know, fiction.

    The Hooker and the Hermit has plenty of chest–and other area–tingly bits throughout the text. I dare say this book is a bit more “in the sack” than Penny Reid’s other novels, but about on-par from what I’ve read of LH Cosway. (I’ve read four, and I think I’ll binge this weekend.)

    I adored the chemistry between the two MCs. I thought the verbal tug of war was believable without being overly realistic. Because, duh. It’s a fucking romance. No one writes about how that one time your boyfriend once admitted to the fact he touched himself to images of his fourth grade gym teacher.

    *that was a thing that happened.

    I love that there’s enough rugby players on Ronan’s team from which to choose for sequels.

    I love that the entire time I was reading, this is who I had in my head as Ronan:

    Stuart Reardon…a real, live, just-look-at-that, rugby player.

    This is him again…for comparison. Obviously.

    I would not kick him out of my house for wearing boots indoors. I hear they’re good for knocking.

    What I maybe didn’t love as much. 

    I really hate saying anything remotely negative about this book, because I truly believe you should read it. It’s fun, it’s engaging, and sessssy as hay-ell.

    However, just a few, tiny things. GAH! I feel like dreck.

    I thought the first 1/3 of the book was unevenly paced. It goes right into the action, great, hook us! Yes! But the romance felt less-genuine, a teeny bit rushed. The chemistry was there, all the fizzle and spark, but I had trouble connecting the two MCs and the reasons for their deeper attraction.

    I felt as though the MC, Annie’s excuses and behavior in the final quarter of the book were in opposition to her inner dialogue, especially given how she purported to feel about Ronan. But! It does come to a satisfactory conclusion.

    This last bit is again, 100% my own hangup…

    The book was set in NYC. I happen to know a bit about NYC. I feel like the setting was very inconsequential, which saddens me, because NYC in and of itself can add so much to a story.

    Again, that’s my New Yorker’s bias.

    The Hooker and The Hermit 4, ball-kicking stars.

    And guess what???

    This book has a theme near and dear to my heart. If fact, I would argue it’s actually a bit of a motif–symbolism if you will. Annie loves herself some tea and desserts. The first thing we see of Annie, she’s having a bit at Tom’s Southern Kitchen. Then, we see her eating an eclair in the office, Ronan feeds her dessert, and even has one himself later in the book. Here’s the thing, only when she is dealing with inner turmoil does she turn to the sugary support beam. I don’t get the sense she’s eating her feelings as much as I do she’s using it as a substitute for stability. These things are always the same, even when I’m in upheaval. In the end, when she’s settled, there is no mention of cookies or donuts or eclairs or wine–anything. Just she and Ronan.

    The Hooker and the Hermit by LH Cosway and Penny Reid

    Obviously, I had to make eclairs for today’s post. It was that, or treacle tart, and eclairs won.

    I also could not possibly be expected to make typical eclairs. Yes, I use the same Alton Brown pate a choux recipe everyone else does for the shell. Yes, I use the same epicurious recipe for pastry cream everyone else does. I make ganache exactly the same way everyone else does. HOWEVER, I folded peanut butter into the pastry cream. Because I could.

    Peanut Butter Eclairs Peanut Butter Eclairs Peanut Butter Eclairs

    This is a process, not a recipe. Use THIS recipe for the eclairs, and pipe them into logs instead of dots. Same cooking time. Make THIS pastry cream and fold in 1/2 cup of Jif Natural PB. NOT the all-natural whole foods pb. This is not the time for that. Ganache is just 1:1 chocolate to heavy cream. I suggest dark or semi-sweet chocolate. Melt them together in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring between, and stir until smooth. Cut open the sides of the FRESH eclair and pipe in the peanut butter pastry cream. Dip in ganache. Either eat immediately or freeze immediately.

    Gift Guide for Your Annoying Fit Friends

    HELLLOOOOOO,

    This is my THIRD AND FINAL gift roundup post! You know, unless I decide I want to passive aggressively suggest more gifts I think the man should gift me. Because, obviously, I’m a CATCH. I deserve, like, at LEAST a cheese grater or new dustbuster. (For the record, I’d be totally ok with a cheese grater. If the man got me a dustbuster, I’d use the cheese grater on him.)

    This selection of suggestions is for that really annoying person in your life who posts their workouts on instagram, facebook, twitter, daily mile, random post its that you find around the house, stands on street corners to tell everyone they’ve qualified for Boston. They eat Paleo. They have a designated sparring partner. They tell you all about these weird people that make them do awful things—Mitch, Fran, Isabel, and Roy– They count the macros of their nutritional intake and tell you at Christmas dinner that this is their “cheat day.” I’ve done most of these but qualify for Boston, eat Paleo—because, cookies–and have cheat days.(Only days that end in Y!)

     

    I totally make post its to remind myself that I need to run or I’ll be forced to go more often to the head shrinker. And I don’t like talking about my feelings to anyone but the cold sterility of the internet.

    I never said I was evolved.

    The first group is fitness WEAR. These you would get for the person in your life who lives at Athleta, Dick’s, and prays to LuLuLemon. You haven’t seen them in jeans since they started taking yoga in 2008. You’re now certain they only have one large boob.

    *click pic for link.

     The 2XU contour sport bra. It is SO comfy, and has just enough padding as to hide your/their headlights. Thank all the gods. EYES ARE UP HERE, GUYS!

    just ask anyone.

     

     

    everyone has a fucking beard.

     

     

     

     

    This tank from ReEvolve Clothing and this tee shirt from Bear Strength Fitness are not only funny, they’re functional. Combed cotton and not skin tight, it’s exactly what one wants wear when one is bitching at Mitch.

    Wrist wraps for weight lifting. I have the world’s weakest wrists. I’d NEVER MAKE IT as a dude. I hear they need a lot of strength in theirs…to use on a daily basis. These wraps provide comfortable support and make me look more credible as a weight lifter, even though I basically just wing it.

     

     

    Running tights from Oiselle and men’s “base layer” running gear from Under Armour (because dudes can’t POSSIBLY wear tights!) Are the perfect way to say “I’d love to see you in stretchy pants. That ass, though.”

     

     

     

    Now? Gear. Because, the $100/mo gym membership isn’t enough.

    Kettlebells. I think Stalin or, perhaps, Attila the Hun invented these instruments of torture. The bane of AMRAP (as many reps as possible) WOD-doers everywhere, of course people want them at home, too!

    An activity tracker with extras, this combined HRM/step/sleep tracker, is a perfect extension for your fitness fanatic’s neurosis. Also, it finally gives people a chance to check their wrist again to get out of conversations. “Hey, would you look at that! I really have to run.”

    I hate pull ups. I hated them in elementary school, I hate them now. Every time I step up to the bar at Crossfit, I can hear Bryce Lepley from my third grade class yelling “I bet you can’t even do one! You can’t even kickball!” Bryce Lepley was really bad at talking smack. I can SO DO THE pullups now, and he’s probably still bad at talking smack. This comforts me. I’ll use this to practice at home. HOW YA LIKE ME NOW, BAD BULLY FACE!?

    And finally, for that person you hate. That person who got you a month’s subscription to Weight Watcher’s and a year of Of Course You’re Not Fat, magazine….

    Happy Christmas, you smell awful.

     And now…I DID IT ALL FOR THE COOKIES.

    I’ll just leave this one here.

    Today’s cookie is PERFECTION for the holidays. They’re like little mouth miracle.

    Chocolate Candy Cane Chewies

    Chocolate Candy Cane Chewies Chocolate Candy Cane Chewies Chocolate Candy Cane Chewies

    Chocolate Candy Cane Chewies

    by Cat Bowen

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 10 minutes

    Keywords: bake appetizer breakfast dessert snack cookie

    Ingredients (3 dozen)

    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup crushed candy canes
    • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
    • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 350F

    sift together dry ingredients and set aside

    cream butter and sugar

    add in vanilla and eggs, slowly

    add a little of the flour mixture at a time until combined

    stir in chips and candy cane pieces

    drop 1 tbsp drops onto parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets, 1″ apart

    bake for 9-11 minutes or just set.

    let cool on sheets for 4 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

    store in an airtight container.

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    All Things for Face Holes

    Hellllooooooo! Well, here we are! Another Sunday Sweet! This one has a bit of a twist! It’s also my Foodie Gift Guide!

    But first….the great and powerful Oz Carla Birnberg posted a link today that is a ranking of the most stressed zips by rank. Unsurprisingly, my neighborhood falls in the top two thousand. Strangely enough, just a few zips over in crunchy munchy Park Slope, Brooklyn, the rank zips past 15k. *to give you an idea, The Squid and the Whale is set in the Slope. My only conclusion about why they’re so much less stressed is that THEY LIVE IN A DEN OF LIES.

    They don’t have thrones in the hippie commune.

    Seriously. I love the restaurants in the neighborhood, and (here’s where I’m going to sound like a racist making excuses) some of my best friends live there!! But seriously, any neighborhood known for breaking into damn near hysterics over not being able to bring a baby to a bar *this is a thing that happened* is not without stress. I bet, if you started a discussion with any number of people at their gigantic food coop, they’d tell you how their children only drink organic, non-gmo milk that they themselves hand wrung from only the most precious of hemp nipples from Narnia.

    and I am NOT A HEMP!! THAT’S NOT MY NIPPLE!! oh wait…I think…YES WRING ME! YES!

     

    Moving on! ooooooosaahhhhhh. Ok! First, gifts, then LIFE CHANGING COOKIES!

    foodie gift guide

     

    First! Gifts for people who like to make the food they stuff in their face holes. Click on pic for link to buy. I get zilcho money for this, so feel free to buy wherever you so choose. SUPPORT LOCAL!

    THIS

    I’m all mixed up about you.

    This mixer is a BEAST for the home. Unlike other mixers (which shall remain nameless) this one doesn’t choke at a loaf of challah with 8 cups of flour. It whips eggs like the scads of women who read 50 Shades whip their husbands. Whip-chhhhh (sound effects!) Mr Gray (mixer) will see you now.

    Is it getting hot in here? Or is it just me?

    THERMOMETER GUN. These things are just cool…(bad pun alert!) I am tempted to take mine around rehearsal and check for fever before I have to kiss anyone. Or maybe their temperature is elevated because I make them SO HOT. yeah, doubtful. YOU HAVE THE FLU, AND YOU HAVE THE FLU!!

    Can I see your lil’ smokie?

    I love love love bacon. You love love love bacon. We all love bacon. Let’s make it ourselves. Add in some lox, a little schmear, and you have the least kosher bagel toppings ever. Tastes like sin….mmmm.

     

    You can’t construct a rebellion without cookies.

    NEXT! Winos. If they hate what you buy them, at least they’re too drunk to care.

    Betty White is a superhero.
    red wine and humans have one thing in common: the need to breathe.

    A decanter for red wine. It really does enhance the flavor of the wine to let it breathe. Try it.

    unbreakable…like my black soul.

    Seriously, you need shatterproof wine glasses in your life for your longer evenings.

    This one. THIS RED.

    This wine. This exact one. Buy it. Put it in that there decanter. Then in your unbreakable glass, because you’ll (I mean they’ll) finish the bottle in one sitting. I will forever love Caitlin for introducing me to wine at my front door. One bottle of this and a night with the man, and a Wes Anderson movie, and I forget I live in one of the top two-thousand most-stressed zip codes.

    I hear wine helps.

    NEXT UP! Gifts for people who just like to stuff their face holes.

    this is so true.

    First?

    I LOVE AND ADORE these brownies. They just happen to be available by mail. Because encouraging others to eat their feelings is healthy. When I was pregnant with the Captain, I had TWO PER WEEK. The shop girl also did NOT give me dirty looks when I didn’t ask for decaf. (ONE CUP A DAY IS FOINE!) Wonder if she gave me unleaded, anyway?

    Because, when you eat your feelings, maybe you should be healthy.

    This is, no lie, the best granola you’ll ever buy. It’s fecking amazing. The Peanut ate an entire bag IN ONE DAY. My Peanut, who IS THE PICKIEST EATER KNOWN TO HUMANKIND. Yeah. She poured it on yogurt, with coconut milk, homegirl crunched it onto her “bwead butta samich,” everything. SO GOOD.

     

    pouring over the details….of how I wake up.

    Ok, honestly, I know I’ve talked about my favorite thing ever, shirtless coffeepreviously on my blog. So you know, the man and I use a French Press. HOWEVER, recently, I discovered Chemex coffee, and I am trying to get the man to convert to this on weekends, holidays, and birthdays. (we allll know how accommodating women are to their husbands on these days!! wink wink) Tis only fair!

    And now for the delicious and amazing and life changing cookies! I MADE OATMEAL SCOTCHIES THAT DON’T GO FLAT AND RETAIN A SOFT CENTER. Much like myself.

    Oh, who am I kidding, my innards are like granite.

    Soft Oatmeal Scotchies.

    soft oatmeal scotchies
    soft oatmeal scotchiessoft oatmeal scotchiessoft oatmeal scotchies

     

    Soft Oatmeal Scotchies

    by Cat Bowen

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 9-10 minutes

    Keywords: bake appetizer breakfast dessert snack cookie

    Ingredients (3 dozen cookies)

    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
    • 1 1/3 cup flour
    • 1 box (not family sized) vanilla or butterscotch cook and serve pudding mix
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1, 12 oz bag of butterscotch chips

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 350F

    cream butter and sugar

    add vanilla and eggs

    sift together dry ingredients and toss the butterscotch chips in the mix

    stir in a bit of the dry mix into the wet a spoonful or two at a time.

    drop into 1- 1 1/2 tbsp mounds onto a lined cookie sheet 1″ apart

    bake for 8-10 minutes, the bottoms will be just turning brown.

    let cool on sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

    store in airtight container.

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