Saturday, December 26, 2009

The gift

At last, the present I have been waiting for, for many years, finally made it into my house (well, my apartment) this Christmas. Since the first time I saw the pink Kitchenaid Mixer in Williams-Sonoma, I was hooked. Had to have it, loved everything about it. I asked for it every single year for my birthday and Christmas only to be told that I should wait and register for it when I was starting my first home. I could buy it myself, I thought, but where is the excitement in that and I knew if I waited long enough, someone would get it for me and that would make it all the more special. So for years as an avid baker (or so I would like to think), I have pulled out my trusty little hand mixer, sufficient at mixing and also giving me an arm workout, and made breads, cookies, meringues, cakes, icings, wishing every single time that I had that pink Kitchenaid mixer. Why pink? Because it's cheery and I love pink. It makes me smile.

So, back to this boyfriend Ryan asked me months ago "what would you like for Christmas this year?" "Pink Kitchenaid mixer," I said jokingly (but not really jokingly, jokingly in that fact that I did really want it but knew it was too expensive of a present to seriously ask for). "Hm, is that what you really want?" he asked. "No, not really. I could always use more running stuff," I replied. (Short digression, in addition to my passion for baking and cooking, I also run, a lot. Currently training for my 4th marathon. Gotta stay in shape somehow with all of the eating I do.) Back to story, that was the end of it. Didn't ask for anything else and just assumed he would surprise me with something. Fast forward to Christmas night, he gave me my first present, still hiding the second one. First gift= "Down Home with the Neelys Cookbook"---YAY! I absolutely love watching Food Network and one of my favorite shows to watch is Down Home-they are precious and their food always looks good. Another cookbook to add to my many on the bookshelves-excellent. Second gift=very heavy, ripped off the wrapping paper and lo and behold, my mixer! (This is when I squealed, jumped up and down, gave him a big hug (after hugging my mixer) and opened the box to display my mixer on the counter) Pink Kitchenaid mixer + super fancy running watch with footpod + 2 new cookbooks (And a new pair of Toms)= best Christmas ever

Now, another thing about me, besides my love for my mixer and cooking/baking, I enjoy reading food blogs. I work nights in a hospital nursery, "Catching" babies and transitioning them, and on nights where the stork doesn't bother to drop off many babies or there isn't a full moon or bad weather, I have some down time to read blogs. I told myself I wanted to start my own someday and how much more appropriate could it be than to start one once I got my dream mixer. So, here goes.

Because I have so many cookbooks, I decided a fun thing to do would be to randomly pick a recipe each week out of one of them and make it. Flip open a book, close my eyes, point at a recipe and make whichever one my finger happens to land on. (We'll see how long that lasts) But in addition, I enjoy making recipes that I've seen on other people's blogs so I will be doing that, as well. Sadly, I am no master at picture taking and my apartment hardly has the lighting for good pictures, but I will do my best.

Last night I christened my mixer by making my favorite chocolate chip cookies. Not to toot my own horn, but I have been told that they are pretty good. Simple recipe off the back of a Tollhouse bag of chocolate chips, but my secret...add a whole tablespoon of vanilla extract and only cook for 8 minutes. Deliciously soft and chewy and amazing.

The recipe can be found here or on the bag of a Nestle Toll House bag. Simple.

Step 1: Mix ingredients. Step 2: Fold in chocolate chips. Step 3: Eat and enjoy!

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