Most of this week has been spent unpacking and moving into the new house, settling into the patterns of life, and working. We are getting ready to move Sam up to his apartment in Madison while also trying to get the rest of our house situated and all the boxes either stored or emptied onto shelves. We have our first ever riding lawn mower, since our yard is so big and they use about as much gas as a pushmower we caved and bought one from a friend. Since Sam will not be around much longer he showed Clara Margaret how to use it...it was entertaining to watch from the mosquito-free safety of the house as Clara Margaret learned how to use this machinery, while still wearing her polka dot pjs. I suppose that is a sign that we are really starting to feel comfortable and at home here!
|a Cheese plate we had for appetizer, YUM!|
We also had a celebratory gathering with most of the Floodclan to welcome back myself and a cousin from our abroad trips, another cousin from college, celebrate our new house, and to wish Sam happy graduation. This was a fun outside picnic/barbecue and we had a great time playing horseshoes, beanbag toss (in which Clara Margaret had the best beginners luck I have ever seen), and talking about critter encounters and ghost stories. Now that we have joined the Oberlin community, it will be really great to become more a part of casual family get togethers like this since most of my family lives in this town.
I have not had much opportunity to cook as of yet, but since I myself am pretty much settled in now I hope to start this up soon. I did have the chance to bake some reg'lar ol' Chocolate Chip Cookies for some guests we had coming through from Cedarburg. I also gave a try at making ANZAC biscuits, but instead of the golden coconutty flavor they ended up tasting more like oatmeal cookies. I guess just like things from here taste not so good in Australia, things from Australia just don't do as well here. Oh well, they tasted really good, just not 'ANZAC-like'...The chocolate chip cookies turned out really well, some of the best I have ever made if I do say so myself; chewy on the inside with a crisp ring around the edge. I have posted the pictures and recipe below!
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut (shredded coconut)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 125g (1 and 1/10 of a stick, so about one stick and a TBsp) butter, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons golden syrup (in the states, use 1 1/2 TBsp molasses and 1/2 TBsp water)
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 2 Tablespoons boiling water
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350 F). Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Sift flour into a large bowl. Stir in oats, coconut and sugar.
- Place butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until melted. Remove from heat. Combine bicarbonate of soda and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Stir into golden syrup mixture (mixture might become frothy). Add immediately to flour mixture and stir until well combined.
- Roll mixture, into balls. Place biscuits on each baking tray. Flatten to round, allowing room for biscuits to spread. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden. Allow biscuits to cool completely. Serve.
In baking them I also used a slightly lower oven temperature because they didn't spread quite as fast as desired (again I think due to the molasses). How long you cook really depends on how golden brown you want them to be, it is really hard to burn them they just turn different shades of golden brown until they (eventually) turn to char.
|ok not the best photography, I will try to be better about composition in the next post.|
Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe is originally the Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, however I often do my own editing because I like my cookies chewy with a few more chips than this recipe asks for, and I don't like nuts, so this is NOT completely just the recipe you find on the bag. It is DIFFERENT! The bag recipe is perfectly fine, but I find it is a little less efficient, and again I don't like nuts in my chocolate chip cookies. Also, because this recipe only makes a few cookies I ALWAYS double or at least 1 and 1/2 this recipe to make more. So, it is totally up to you how you cook them.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips (of ANY variety)
BAKE for 8 to 11 minutes or until JUST golden brown around the edge, and not shiny in the center. Cool slightly then best when served warm with cold milk.
|Perfectly round, perfectly done. Just perfect in general|