Monday, 23 January 2012

and I wonder why my clothes don't fit...

Yay!  I've noticed that I have been stress-snacking slightly less! This might be because I'm nearly up to date with my paper work (as far as I know-seems like there are a zillion and one things Ofsted likes childminder's to have in place!)  It may also be because we have now acually eaten all the naughty stuff that was brought into the house over the Christmas period.
We've also cleared out a Mountain of Junk.  Again.  I don't know where it all comes from- but it feels so good to CLEAR OUT.  So I feel that I have been suckered into the yearly trend of New Year- CLEAR OUT, SORT OUT, MAKE GOOD.
Last year, my resolutions were to 1. Play more and 2. Allow Less Stuff into the house.  I am carrying these on into 2012 and adding to this: 3. Stop thinking that everything has to be EPIC.  Simple stuff can be the Best Stuff. So basically- give myself a break and stop trying so hard all the time:-) (Apart from keeping up with paperwork this time and try a bit harder not to procrastinate and then stress eat.)
SOOOOO what do I do?
Whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies with the kiddies of course!
(Check out the little one's hand.  I think he is saying "Enough of the pictures Mummy, just give me the Cookies already.")
This was our activity of the morning, so it wasn't really for me:-)  This recipe is THE BEST.  It has never failed me and is therefore a great recipe to do with the kids.  I have been using this for about 10 years now. It's a throw-it-all-in type of recipe. I Love it!
We probably make this once or twice a year- or when I was pregnant- every week.  I usually throw in some peanut butter, or nuts- but since I was doing this with the little ones- we left them out.  Still Yummy and Kid Proof!
Thank you Tom for 10 years of good cookies!
And last night- we hosted a birthday tea- so I made Banoffee Pie.  Which is another super-easy no-fail slap-it-on-your-hips, everyone-compliments-the-chef type of recipe.  Measurements don't really matter:-)

I didn't use the chocolate digestive biscuits this time- but it was still delicious.  And easy.
So I haven't completely failed on my resolutions already- because this was food for sharing, and it was not epic- showing off cooking, it was simple.  And baking with the kids is a playful experience right?!  And a learning opportunity too- keeping Ofsted happy!
Everything is justifiable.

A few months on and I am putting some recipes together for a family friend, whose eldest is flying the nest to college.  I have noticed that Tom's Chocolate Cookies have gone offline, so I am copying and pasting, yet still referencing the original.  It is TOOOOOO good to disappear and not be shared.


Chocolate Chip Cookies Photo -- Yummm!1 stick Crisco-bar or 2 sticks butter (16 tablespoons total) 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1.5 cups brown sugar (may substitute white sugar)
a couple glops of honey or maple syrup 
2 eggs 
a gurgle of vanilla (2 tablespoons if you're picky) 
a hefty sprinkling of cinammon 
optional nuts (I like walnuts) 
a bunch of chocolate chips (half a bag? -- don't feel compelled to use as much as they suggest on the package -- they're just trying to sell chips) 
2.5 or so cups of flour
Note: In order to fully duplicate the experience of home-made Tom's cookies, you must also add a special *surprise* ingredient, which can be anything which seems like it might taste good. options include: a squirt of root beer (add it right before the flour), a dash of ginger, ground nuts (peanuts, pecans, or whatever), .25 cups whole-grain cereal, a small handful of vanilla/butterscotch/mint chips, a heap of cocoa powder, etc. Be creative!


Melt Crisco in a large bowl. Add in everything but the flour (but don't add the chocolate chips in while the Crisco is still hot, or they'll melt).
Mix. Add flour.
Mix some more. Mixing may be accomplished with a contemporary wooden spoon or through the old-fashioned method of sticking your hands in and really working the dough (old method has the benefit of being able to lick your hands clean afterwards -- wash hands thoroughly).
Add extra flour until a few chocolate chips don't quite stick to the dough -- this will achieve the right consistency.
Drop little clumps of dough onto baking sheet (don't use a spoon or else you won't be able to lick the dough off your fingers afterwards. don't roll them into balls or else they won't have that homemade awkwardness of shape).
Bake 9-10 minutes at 375 degrees F. Don't overcook -- Tom's cookies should come out slightly undercooked for that delicious chewy texture.


This and the other cookie recipes make about 20-40 cookies depending on how big you make them and how many you eat. Let me know how it goes.
Also, Stephanie's cookie secrets won't do you wrong. She recommends butter, which works fine for me, though I find Crisco cookies come out tasting smoother.
And if you're uncomfortable with my carefree measurement technique, you are probably one of the people that this recipe was intended for.

1 comment:

  1. I love Banoffie! one of my fav desserts! Yours looks so mouth is watering! x


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