Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you ever just feel like baking? If a weekend passes and I haven’t baked something, I always feel sad. Something about the weekend just makes me want to bake. I am pretty sure this comes from growing up and seeing my mom bake often. I always remember watching her bake a cake, brownies or cookies before heading off to work at the rehab center from 3-11.  It wasn’t that she was craving sweets, she just really enjoyed baking, trying new recipes, and sharing the finished product.

I definitely learned this from her, and I am very similar. I love to try new recipes and bake for friends, even if it’s something I don’t like! I always have a batch of oatmeal raisin cookie dough in my freezer – not for me, but for a good friend of mine, so I can throw some in the oven when she comes over. I just love baking, particularly to give away to friends – there is truly no better gift that I can give.  I know baking does not come easily to a lot of people, and I feel lucky that I learned to bake when I was younger.

Saturday night rolled around and I hadn’t baked a thing, so I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies! While I have a standard recipe I tend to use, I saw this on Annie’s Eats and wanted to try it.  (Check out her blog for better pictures and a ton of delicious recipes)! I started these at 9 and was enjoying one warm from the oven in less than an hour! It’s quick, easy and delicious. Try it soon, you won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy! 🙂

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Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

From: Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm

1 cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions.  Preheat oven 325°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.  With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined.  Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined.  Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball.  Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves.  Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.  Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 11-14 minutes).  Do not overbake.

*(I accidentally baked them at 350 F, and I think they took about 12 minutes. They are still delicious) 🙂

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Source: adapted from Blonde Ambition in the Kitchen, originally from Baking Illustrated

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New York City (Part 1) – Jul 2011

When we were planning our summer trip, Dave suggested we stay overnight on the East Coast before flying all the way to the West Coast.  It just so happens that my sister lives in NYC, and Qatar Airways has a direct flight to JFK, so we planned a 24 hour layover there before we headed out to LAX.

We arrived around 2:30 PM or so on a Friday, and breezed right through customs. We had arranged for a taxi for pick us up, so we called when we landed, and they came in about 10 minutes. We hopped in the car and headed to the Bronx, where my sister lives.

Unfortunately for us, we arrived on one of the hottest days in New York! It was 104 degrees! While we are certainly used to the heat, but we’re also pretty accustomed to air conditioning everywhere. We arrived at my sister’s apartment where she had made us fresh, delicious bacon sandwiches! It was the perfect thing to welcome us back to the US!

After eating, we just took some time to relax and get settled, and then it was time to head to Eataly, where we had reservations at the roof top beer garden! While it was really hot, it was still a really neat place! Eataly has a bunch of restaurants and shopping center on the main floor, but we wanted to do the beer garden 🙂

Here’s Dave and I with the Empire State Building behind us!

Here’s my sister and her boyfriend Allan 🙂

After a yummy dinner and a few beers, we were exhausted and it was time to go home for some rest!

The next morning we hopped on the subway and headed to a cute little place called The Smith. We met up with Aja, a good friend of my sister’s from Cincinnati who had just recently moved to NYC. I met her when my sister lived in Cinci, so it was great to see her again! We had great brunch cocktails, food and conversation! I had the best Eggs Benedict!

After that we headed back home so we could go to the airport to head to LAX. Little did we know, we wouldn’t be going anywhere that day 😦  We got to the airport super early, and were all checked in, and about an hour before we were supposed to leave, we were told our flight was canceled due to mechanical issues.

After a lot of waiting, we were told a new flight had been created for us and we were re-booked at 8 AM the next morning. So we picked up our luggage and headed to the information desk to find a hotel close by for the evening. We found a Holiday Inn Express that had a shuttle to and from the airport, and had a vacancy, so we booked it. They handed us some menus at check in, and we ended up just ordering a NY style pizza for dinner and spending the night relaxing.

We also stopped in NYC at the end of our trip, and that will be another post – too much to put here! Stay tuned for Part Two 🙂

Summer Vacation

Did you go on vacation every summer with your family when you were younger? We very rarely went on vacation, unlike some of my friends who go to go to the beach every single summer! I was always jealous of those friends! They were so lucky.

Summer in Doha is possibly one of the best times to be here (aside from the scorching heat)! Since the majority of the population are ex-pats, a lot of them head home for the summer. So Doha becomes a  ghost town, especially at the universities.

While I don’t have the whole summer off, and have to work hard during June/July for end of fiscal year, I was able to take a few weeks this summer to travel with Dave back to the US to visit friends and family, and attend a family reunion and wedding.

We decided to make a few stops while in the US, and I’m not sure that was the best idea! We flew from Doha direct to New York, then to LA, Montana, and then back to LA, NY, and Doha. Not to mention that I am an over packer, and had to drag my 50 lb suitcase everywhere! Pretty sure we won’t do that much traveling within the US in the future.

I’ll be breaking down the trip by city – since we did so many different things! It really was a wonderful trip, and a well needed break. We were lucky to see a lot of our families on this trip, and a big thanks to those that also traveled to see us!

For now, we’re back in Doha, getting over our jet lag and preparing for the start of the semester! It’s bound to be a busy one! 🙂 Hope you are all having a great summer, and I’ll try to post more about our trip soon!