Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cookie Day

I meant to take this picture earlier but a swarm descended upon the cookies and, well, you see what happened.

Yesterday was cookie day in the office.  Cookie day? you may ask.  What is this magical event of which you speak?  Well, I am just so glad you asked, my friends.

I love baking, and while I also love eating baked goods, I don’t make it a habit of eating an entire batch of cookies in one sitting (usually).  I used to make cookies, only to have most of them eaten by my jerkatron neighbors, who would actually stand outside our door and smell if anyone was cooking, but now, I have found a much better outlet for my baking.  Coworkers!

I wrote in my introduction bio for my job that I looked forward to winning my coworkers over with my delicious baked goods, and everyone thought I was kidding but I never kid about such serious topics.  It’s hit the point where, if I don’t have cookies out on my desk Wednesday morning, the crowds start pestering me about where the baked goods are at.  And I’m like, guys, I’ve got THINGS TO DO and PEOPLE TO SEE and WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP EATING MY GOLDFISH NEIL they are multicolored and I don’t want to share.

Well, yesterday I was having Cheezits for lunch instead of goldfish and you best bet that there would be a smackdown before anyone touched my Cheezits so I figured I’d better make some cookies.  So I made two different kinds, those oatmeal raisin ones I made a couple of weeks ago and the classic chocolate chip which I churned out in about 20 minutes from start to clean-up with my Kitchenaid mixer, thankyouverymuch.

Here’s the thing, people.  This was a very special cookie day because it was actually the last cookie day ever.  You see, some THINGS have HAPPENED recently.  Tomorrow is my last day at my current job in media sales, and I will be starting a new position on Monday working in PR.  I’m so very excited to join the team at Cornerstone Communications, a boutique PR firm specializing in wine and food clients.  You can check them out at!

Guys I just realized that like when you are typing on your Mac the writing will reflect in the toolbar on the bottom if it is close enough and how have I never noticed this that is SO COOL.

Back on track get it together Courtney: I’m really pumped to start this new job because it’s been my dream to have a full-time position in PR, and I love food and wine, but I am sad to leave the peeps over at my old place.  Them’s good people, for reals, and it’s going to be weird leaving.  Besides, it was my first real job post-grad, and it’s the only reason I was able to move back to Manhattan and get an apartment with a creepazoid from Craigslist (I’m just kidding Reece, I love you, even if you did leave a pot of water boiling on the stove for an hour just now <3<3<3) and I’ll always be grateful for that.  But I feel like this transition marks a period of new opportunities and change, and I am looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.

For the record, my coworkers say they’ll miss me too.  But I think it’s just because of the cookies.

Oh, and don’t worry.  I’m still staying on the dodgeball team, which was my first concern when I said that I was leaving.  Because I’m just so great at athletics (not) I really don’t think they would be able to survive without me.  Plus, I’m going to wear a bandanna.  See below.

Here’s to new opportunities, new transitions, and taking chances!



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Colds are the worst

Listen, guys.  Today is a pretty rough day for me because I was up all night with some upsetting news: I’m getting sick.  I know, it’s pretty terrible.  Don’t worry about me.  I’ll be fine.  No wait.  Do worry about me. Don’t. Do! DON’T LET ANYONE EVER TELL YOU WHAT TO DO!

Okay, I think that’s out of my system now.

But in all seriousness, I’m kind of the worst patient in the world anytime that I am sick, which I definitely get from my father, along with my short temper, fantastic sense of humor, and love of good music.  When I am sick, I tell everybody I know, feel like the world is going to end, and complain endlessly.  My poor (?) roommate of three years Andrea knows this firsthand and has never indulged my sicknesses even though I had bronchitis approximately fifteen times while we were living together and that’s probably not an exaggeration I think.  It’s not my fault that my immune system hates me, Andrea!  At the current moment she is calling me a drama queen because I am refusing to do anything after work except for laying on the couch and watching Hulu.

But seriously people I know that it’s just a sore throat, but have you ever had a sore throat?  There is pretty much nothing you can do to make it feel better.  It just hurts no matter what.  And when your throat hurts, you really don’t feel like talking or eating because that just makes it hurt worse.  Do you know what two of my favorite things to do are? TALKING AND EATING!  Why, cursed world, have you let me be befallen with such a weak immune system?  It’s all because of that damned tick that gave me Lyme disease in the eleventh grade and put me in the hospital for the last day of school so that I had to miss my Functions final. I really loved Functions.  Don’t judge.

At least I’m not doing a show right now, because shows + sore throats = no fun for all involved because you sound pretty terrible and it gets everyone else sick too.  No… show… withdrawl… cry… I miss you Mimes and Mummers especially Chris Ingrao I hope you’re reading this I love you come hang out with me.

Anyways, I should probably just get used to it because once the weather gets cold (which will hopefully happen this weekend, I love fall) I get sick approximately every other week with some sort of respiratory ailment.  And you should probably get used to it because, provided I don’t forget to blog like I always do, I will most likely be writing about it here every time I do.  And just like Andrea said that she will always react the same way when I am sick and complaining (unsympathetically), I will always react the same way when I get sick (complaining-ly).  ‘Cause that’s just the way it is.

Earlier today:
Me: I just want a nap! And I don’t have any soup at home!
Heather: I always want to nap. And buy soup on the way home silly! Every bodega carries soup.
Me: I know, I will, but I want everything I want to magically appear.

Is that really so much to ask?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Surprise Cookin' Stuff

I haven't had much time to update, seeing as I had a ton of really important things to do over the past couple days.  These things included:

1) Doing my laundry for the month (when you run out of certain essential items, it's really not a choice anymore)
2) Hanging up my laundry (there's a lot, do not underestimate this step)
3) Cleaning my room (it's JUST SO MESSY ALL THE TIME GOSH!)
4) Cleaning the kitchen (apparently our landlord doesn't like to pick up our phone calls all the time so we have to keep it as clean as possible to avoid mousies and roachies)
5) Decorating my apartment because right now it's just an off-white blueish gray zone of despair a little bit and nobody really wants that
6) Gymming because I bought this dang membership and now I'm going to use it!
6a) ^^^Also I have to catch up on season 6 of How I Met Your Mother which is on CBS on Monday nights and the premiere is next week and I don't have cable

I also had a ton of non-important things to do over the past couple of days:
1) Hanging out with peeps because I miss them when I'm in my basement apartment alone, sniff sniff
2) Watching The Office
3) Squealing about the Four Town Fair
4) Squealing about Homecoming
5) Willing myself not to get sick (okay I guess that's kind of important but it doesn't really take up a lot of time
6) Doing other things that are so unimportant I can't even remember them for my unimportant list

But in the meantime I have to talk a lil' baby bit about the dinner I made yesterday.  I defrosted some chicken so I was already to cook up some barbecue chicken and maybe some potatoes and veggies and have myself a good ol' time after work.  But then I was all I have this leftover coconut milk from my mushroom chicken and gee that might be good so I told Reece I was going to mix the barbecue sauce and coconut milk together and see what happened.  I think he was a bit skeptical.

BUT it was actually pretty delish and I added a few other things (although I wish I had used less barbecue versus coco-milk).  These things were: soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper.  Things I didn't add but could have: peanut butter, spicy chile sauce, uhmm maybe some sesame or sesame oil or something?

And guess what you have there?  You have a nice little off-the-cuff coconut thai-ish sauce.  Way to go, you kitchen master, you!  I would suggest that you go on Hell's Kitchen but I do not want to be responsible for sending you off to the wrath of Gordon Ramsay.

I just simmered the sauce for a bit, added it to a pan-cooked chicken breast when it was almost cooked through, added veggies, let all the stuff simmer together for a bit, and serve over rice.  When you don't have all day to plan out your meals like you used to (cry for the days of having 15 hours of class a week) it's a nice surprise to eat something that's not stir-fry or any variation of pasta.

Let's not talk about my weirdo eating habits on Sunday: rice-a-roni, a whole tomato, some popcorn, and ice cream.  That's it.  All day.  Someone send me an intervention.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies NomYum!

Today I was super exhausted at work for some reason, which couldn't have anything to do with the fact that I wanted to finish watching Project Runway and read a little bit before bed last night.  Since it was raining, I had to go grocery shopping, and I felt like I needed some time to relax, I decided to make dinner and do some baking.  I made chicken with mushroom sauce, as I once posted on my old cooking blog, which was a huge success since it was delicious and I now have at least two batches of leftovers.  Then it was time to make my first attempt at baking oatmeal raisin cookies.

I generally make cookies every Tuesday night to bring into work on Wednesday, but since I just have the loveliest of apartments, the water was out downstairs yesterday and I didn't know if it was going to go out upstairs too, so I decided not to risk it.  Needless to say, I was berated a bit at work today, but I'll show them ALL tomorrow by bringing in oatmeal raisin cookies and not sharing ANY of them.  Maybe a few.  NO, NONE!  Okay, all of them.  NEVER!  But then you'll have to go to the gym for hours and hours.  Yeah, you're right, that would really suck.  Might as well share.

So now that THAT'S out of the way...

Oatmeal raisin cookies have never really been my favorite since I'm such a chocolate fiend, but now that I like trying pretty much anything and everything, I've taken more a liking to them.  One of my coworkers made the request for these after two weeks of caramel-filled chocolate cookies and one week of chocolate chip.  And I believe there was a store-bought cake in there somewhere as well.  Clearly we can all see where I unload my baked goods onto unsuspecting victims.

All that talk is nice and good, but let's stop rambling, forget that we made plans to clean out the fridge, and get to baking!  I used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen because I really don't think you can go wrong there.

In a bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, an egg, and some vanilla.  I used bourbon vanilla because I'm fancy like that.  Also, it's all we had.  I like to play it by ear.  Cream all that stuff together and forget that your arm is sore because you did arm exercises two days in a row.

Normally I would tell you not to eat this and really be kidding to cover up the fact that I ate some of it but really don't eat it because there's a lot of raw egg in there, man.  Safety first.

Add in some salt...

...baking powder...

...and the cinnamon you just ran to the store to get because you forgot to get it earlier!

Also some flour please!  Mix it all up.

Does it look something like this?  Good job!  You're probably on the right track.

The recipe called for rolled oats, and then I got to the store and I was like, I have no idea what those are.  So I got regular oats.  I figured I probably couldn't go wrong...?

Add them in that there mixture, kids!  That's a lot of oats.  I hope you are not an anti-horse.

Because horses like oats so anti-horses would not like oats so... that's where that came from...

Please accept me.  Thank you.

Oh yeah, and some raisins!  Those are pretty important when you're making oatmeal raisin cookies.

So you mixed everything up without me even telling you to, right?  You're so smart.  Now your batter should look like this.  You're like a prodigy, I'll bet, aren't you??

After this the recipe says that we should chill the batter in the fridge.  But I say, why use a fridge when you can use...

...a freezer!  Go do some dishes or clean your kitchen or your fridge or something and stop being such a slob.  You're a girl.  You're supposed to be clean.  I am ashamed.

But don't worry!  Now your kitchen will be clean and I can forgive you.

Also, I have to remind you, I went grocery shopping today.  I froze seven packages of veggies, four turkey burgers, a package of cube steak, some chicken, and a serving of leftovers.  Please disregard how full my freezer is for only sharing it with one other person.  I appreciate that.

Let's try a different camera for this shot since I love my Droid 3, but the camera is always tinted blue.  Did you do all the things I told you to?  Good!  I'm proud of you.  Now you're ready to scoop out your dough.

If you're one of those kinds of people, you can make your oatmeal cookies into pretty little balls.  But if you're me, you can just scoop them into whatever lumpy shape you would like.  Mine were imperfect and a bit quirky.  JUST LIKE ME! 

The recipe says to line the baking sheets with parchment paper, but I just oiled them a tiny bit beforehand.  I wish that the batter had made more cookies just because I have many people fighting over them (it's acceptable to say if it's a fact!) but I suppose it wouldn't have been hard to double it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  The bottom will be browning a bit, but the top will still be pretty light.  Like...

...this!  Nommm.

Better picture focus!  Double nommm.


Hip edited cookie picture.  Must eat.

I'm not really sure that I'm the best person to review these cookies because I don't know what oatmeal raisin cookies typically taste like.  They were definitely oat-y and raisin-y.  I think next time I would probably increase the ratio of batter to oats and raisins just because I really love cookie batter and brown sugar, but they are very good.  I'll let you know what the reviews are tomorrow.

If you want the recipe, you can get it here at Smitten Kitchen.  But I'm going to have to warn you, you'll stay on the website forever.  Reece has already yelled at me for adding the Pioneer Woman to his Google reader when he was trying to trim it down, and this is one of those sites as well. 

Now I will go to bed an hour later than I planned to, just as happens every night.  Plus, I mean, I can't just leave this episode of Amazing Race unfinished.  They're ON THE MATTERHORN, for goodness sake!