Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a hankering for some chocolate chip cookies. Not just any chocolate chip cookies. Soft, delicious chocolate chip cookies. So I did a little pinterest trolling and came across this recipe from My Baking Addiction (sounds reliable, right?!). The photos got me hook, line and sinker. Baked them up last week and O.... M.... G. Did they ever deliver. YUM.

I'm not going to include the recipe here to force you over to My Baking Addiction to give credit where credit is due! I didn't make any changes to their recipe other than leaving out the nuts (I just wasn't in the mood for nuts in my cookies). Plus Jamie's photos are waaaaaay better than mine :)

And yes. I am still on the cell phone photo kick. I promise to quit. Soon. And those stupid corners are still there since I edited all my photos at the same time. But, I figured out what I did so now I know how to avoid it.

My starting point - I always lay out all my ingredients so I don't forget anything and make extra sure that I have everything I need before I start (although this is just my dry ingredients)...

Partway through - I always put things away as I use them too, so I can't make any mistakes...

 The recipe called for 4 ounce balls of dough. I really have no reference for that other than shot glasses (errrr...). So I just kinda guessed. I also didn't have parchment paper (which the recipe called for but even my pre-planning didn't catch). I improvised with this silicone baking liner and it seemed to work fine...

In the oven! Yes, I really need to clean my oven (although the annoying thing is that a lot of the glass mess is in between the two panes because "stuff" has dripped in through the door vents. My husband is not a clean chef)...

And done! I did let them cool on a rack first...

Passed the taste test... delicious!!!

These are soft in the middle and crisp on the outside. Baking time was 20 minutes for the first batch, but I cut it down to 15-17 minutes for the next two batches because I was setting them down onto a hot surface. I did six cookies in the first two batches and five cookies in the last batch. So, my cookies must have been a touch smaller because the recipe said I would yield 10-14.

In other news, I love my KitchenAid mixer - thank you Grandma and Grandpa (it was a wedding gift!)!! It makes baking so much easier than my little old electric hand mixer (which I did hang onto for small jobs).

You should definitely give these a whirl. The recipe is great!


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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lighting Heaven

So, I stopped by Design Lighting the other day to pick up the light bulbs I had ordered (read about that here), and couldn't help ogling some of the incredible lights that they have on display.

Have a little gander at this eye candy (cell phone photos again... eeeeeee, sorry! But truly, who carries their real camera when they run out for light bulbs?! Sheesh):

This was gorg (also mucho dollars). It was a mottled antiqued gold on the metal...

I loved this giant drum pendant. Photo doesn't do it justice, the metal was antiqued goldish-bronze. And also a small fortune, but so beautiful...

So many funky lanterns!

Pretty chandys...

Granted, this is a mirror, but an awesome mirror. It was $189...

Sigh. If only I had oodles of money and a house big enough to put tons of lights in.


Friday, June 08, 2012

Mango Bean Salad

So I had some mangoes courtesy of my parents (and their Costco shopping lol) that really needed to be eaten. I googled for some mango recipes, and decided to take a shot at this recipe from allrecipes.com (my go-to site when I'm looking for something!). I love it because I can search by ingredient if you have something you want to use, like I did today. And, I love reading the reviews from other people who have made it - often, they contain tips for making the recipe even better or other improvements. The Mango Bean Salad recipe looked easy, healthy and tasty - win, win, win.

So here was the recipe:
  • 1 mango - peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 (15 ounce) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

And you mix it all together and chill. How easy can it get?!

And to be honest... I didn't measure anything. Ha. I didn't really want to have half full cans of beans left to use so I used them all. Plus 2 mangoes, however much red onion I chopped up, loads of cilantro and about half the salad dressing (well, half considering I doubled the beans and mango - it probably was about 1/4 cup... I just slopped it in). I just didn't want to over power it considering it was pretty full of flavour anyway. 

The verdict? It turned out yummy! I would definitely make it again. Mine did look a little sloppy, but I think that's because one of the mangoes I used was overripe - mushy. Good, but no longer dice-able.

Here's how it looked with dinner (sorry about those stupid corners again):

By the way... that cilantro was harvested from our herb garden which is thriving! Yay!

Have you tried any new recipes lately? Successfully or otherwise?!


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Hello June

Living so close to an outdoor mall leads to spending time wandering through stores more often than I can afford. BUT, finding some fun stuff too :)


My latest book purchases from Indigo...

This super cute and divine smelling candle destined for my bathtub (from Indigo too)...

I am such a sucker for pretty displays. I would buy everything on these shelves just because it's colour coordinated and pretty. It may have been where the candle pictured above came from. Like I said...

 And you know it's June in BC when peonies are available (my absolute favourite flower, as evidenced at our wedding last year when we had over 500 coral and yellow stems in our arrangements. I had the best florist ever: Tricia at Alice Joy Events)

Yes, I filled my entire house with them. They smell divine. 

Apologies for all of the cell phone photos, but it's all I've had handy lately (that's my disclaimer to warn you that there's many to come in future posts!). And I have no idea why my photo editing decided to include the corners that I rounded and cropped. I am so photo-editing-inept. Sigh. 

What has June brought for you lately?!


ps. It's our first anniversary this weekend! I've scheduled a couple posts, and you can expect a re-cap of our special weekend to come :)