Sunday, February 1, 2015

Winter and Wyatt

 Man, time flies! I always tell myself to update the good ol' blog, but never get around to it until a whole month later. Currently it's a blizzard outside, so today is the perfect opportunity to catch up. I haven't been doing a ton of baking since we traveled to Indiana for the holidays, and it's hard to bake something and bring it in the car with all our other crap, plus a dog! But on Christmas, I did make a breakfast casserole for the fam in my mom's kitchen, and it was so nice to have a huge kitchen with lots of counter space to use! I am really looking forward to the day I have a bigger kitchen. It will honestly make me less stressed when I cook and bake! 

I was able to sit and read while enjoying a french toast bagel with maple cream cheese and coffee while we were in Indiana at The Caffeinery. It was so nice to not have anywhere to be and relax.


This veal and beef ragu was delicious from Cafe Spiaggia, which is where former top chef Sarah Grueneberg worked for a while, and plus it's Obama's favorite restaurant, so that's cool. I've been wanting to go here for a while, so I'm glad I can cross it off the list! 
 

My friend Sharyn and I took a cake decorating class before Christmas, so we could maybe decorate something for the holidays (which didn't happen). I thought it was actually really informative! I'm not sure when the next time I will be decorating a cake, but when I do it will hopefully look semi-professional!



Here is another breakfast that I LOVED, and it's only a few blocks from our apartment at Cafe Selmarie. Cheddar Zucchini pancakes. It sounded risky, but tasted amazing. I want to go back for more, but they probably don't have it on the menu now since they always rotate things in and out.


One thing that I've been wanting to do for a while is see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and someone from work offered me a ticket for one of their Friday night concerts. Of course I accepted, and loved every minute of it! The theater is so pretty inside, and makes you feel like you've gone back in time. The orchestra is SO good, and it seems so effortless when they play.


We've been keeping busy with Wyatt, and he is such a baby sometimes but we love him anyway. He goes crazy in the snow! We took him outside today and he ran around and around and ate a bunch of snow.

  

We tried to see if he wanted to wear boxer shorts, but they didn't fit so well.


  

Wyatt and his best buddy Ruger loved playing together over the holidays, and he was so sad when we had to come back to Chicago.  


Monday, December 15, 2014

Biscoff Browned Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


I was pumped to do the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap again this year! It's so fun to try other people's baked goods from all different places in the US! I got the most delicious cookies from Liz, Kathi, and Sue! Thanks ladies!

And it's also fun to try a new recipe and hope that it doesn't turn out horribly since you are making 3 dozen cookies to ship out the next day and this was the only night you could bake them! Not that I'm saying that from experience.

I might have tried to make Biscoff Snickerdoodles on the first try and they were DRY, so I didn't ship those and instead made these delicious Biscoff Browned Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies! I'm kind of glad I messed up the first round :)

Since I had to brown the butter, these cookies were a little crispy, but had a good buttery taste unlike when you use room temperature butter. I also was really wanting to use Biscoff in a recipe because it is AMAZING and would like all the world to know. I eat it at least 3 times a week for breakfast.

As you can see, I'm not the best photographer, especially since I have to use my phone for pictures! Something weird happened with this picture, but I didn't notice until later when the cookies were all gone :( One day, I will get a nice camera and take a photography class so I can properly put pictures on my blog without looking like a newbie!

Wyatt had to sniff test the cookies of course, and don't mind the Popeye's trash on the floor.... 



Biscoff Browned Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Biscoff spread (also called Cookie Butter at Trader Joe's)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips


Directions:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook the butter, swirling the pan occasionally, until it foams and froth. The butter will begin to sputter and crackle. Allow the butter to become fragrant with brown bits beginning to form on the bottom of the pan. Once the bits are amber brown, remove the pan from heat and pour the butter into a small heatproof bowl. Be careful not to let the butter burn. Allow to cool until just warm, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and oats.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cooled butter into very well combined, about 3 minutes. Beat in the Biscoff. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Beat in the chocolate chips.

Drop 3-tablespoon sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown at the edges. Let cool on a wire rack.

Adapted from Handle the Heat and Cooking Classy.