I got the One Bowl Baking cookbook for my birthday last year and it’s become one of my favorites. The best thing about these cookies is that you don’t need a mixer and they’re easy on your arms because they’re made with melted butter.
One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 30
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375˚ and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the sugars and salt. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir together until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Scoop out 2-tablespoon sized balls and arrange on the baking sheets about 2″ apart. Bake for about 9 minutes, or until the edges are just browning. The middles will probably not look done yet. Do not overbake!
Last year, my good friend Tara started learning to knit. (Pick it back up, lady!) Her husband wanted to get her some knitting “stuff” for her birthday and wondered if I had any ideas. Oh man, of course I did! I’ve been knitting for a long time and have built up quite the array of tools to choose from, but here are some of my favorites.
These are the best darning needles and the little case they come in is very helpful to prevent the immediate loss of said best needles.
2. Chart keeper
This is the best tool to keep things straight when knitting lace or colorwork from a chart. You attach the chart with magnets and use other magnets to keep your place. When you are using it, it stands up like a little easel, making it easy to check your place often. It folds in half, keeping everything nice and secure, for when you want to take your projects on the go.
These are my favorite stitch markers, especially the smaller ones included in this package. I find stiff stitch markers to be annoying, but these are pliable and allow you to transfer them from one needle to the other with ease.
I use both this physical counter and an app on my phone, depending on what project I’m working on and whether or not I have any physical counters left. This clicky type is way better than those where you have to turn the small dials and comes with a lock to prevent it from getting clicked when you put it in your bag. You can also use it for other things. Gavin used one to count his running laps when he lived in Chicago.
Interchangeable circular needles forever! I stubbornly love DPNs but for everything else, give me a circular needle – no straights! These are my favorite because the points are very sharp, the cables are extra-bendy, and the metal tips are super slick. I hate wood needles, but these do also come in various colors of laminated birch for those who prefer something stickier. I’ve had my set for about seven years with no problems.
Easter is hands-down my favorite holiday. It’s in the best season with the best holiday food and especially candy. The church services during the Triduum are some of my favorites all year, and we are reminded that Jesus has conquered death and we have nothing to fear. What’s not to like?
This year Gavin and I attended the Vigil mass at our parish again. It was just as magical as always, with the darkness, bonfire, candles, Alleluias, and baptisms, and I found myself crying during the offertory because the veil seemed unbearably thin and I was imagining our loved ones in heaven preparing to celebrate Easter with Jesus. Oh my goodness, how incredibly beautiful to think about.
On Sunday, we went out for lunch and ate barbecue at Sugarfire and then had my parents over for dinner. The weather didn’t really cooperate with the grilled meal I had planned, but it was delicious nonetheless. We had pork tenderloin with a wet rosemary-honey rub, scalloped potatoes, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, and sugar cookies.
This week I’ve been at work in our little yard, bundling more bush honeysuckle, spreading my weight (and then some) in manure, and hoeing up weeds. Watching the flowers bloom in turn and preparing for the summer bounties ahead makes me happy and hopeful. There’s just so much to look forward to in the spring.
I made Butter Chicken for the first time sometime after we moved into this house in 2013. Since then, it’s become a family favorite and been our alternative to take-out many times. It freezes beautifully and makes a great packed lunch for work. All you have to do is cook some rice, which we always have in the house. Done.
Ingredients (Serves 8)
- 2 onions, diced
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, shredded (or 2 pounds of boneless chicken, cut into bite-size chunks)
- 29 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups basmati rice, cooked according to package directions
- Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and soft.
- Add chicken. If using raw chicken, cook until seared on all sides. You may want to do this in two batches.
- Add tomato sauce and spices. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
- Add cream and stir. Serve over rice, topping with more cayenne for extra spice if desired.
To freeze, spoon into ziploc bags and lay flat in the freezer. To reheat, cut open bag (do not thaw) and place butter chicken in a skillet with 1/4 cup water. Cover and reheat over medium-low until heated through. Serve over rice.
I had to leave this Harvest cardigan at home during our trip to Colorado, but before we left I got a lot done! It’s going quickly – I’m almost to the bottom and then will just have the sleeves to finish.
I’m reading Murder on the Orient Express, my first Agatha Christie novel. As part of getting ready for our trip, I loaded a ton of library books onto my Kindle. That way no matter how long we’re stuck somewhere, I have enough to read without having to carry anything heavy. I’m sold! On our trip, I also read As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley, Run by Ann Patchett, and Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West. And I finished The Prodigal You Love by Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble, which was sitting unfinished with just part of the last chapter to go. Lots of reading!
Gavin and I spent last week in Colorado! The first half of the week we were skiing with his whole family around Avon. I had never skied before, so we went skiing ahead of time at Hidden Valley here in the St. Louis area so I could master the super-basics. The first day we still started too hard and I fell a lot on our first run. Fortunately Gavin went out and found the easier green runs and I wound up having a lot of fun despite my lack of skill.
saw the blue bear,
And we even saw a prairie dog.
Last month, I made my second Massdrop (affiliate link) purchase. I bought a fat quarter bundle of Doe by Carolyn Friedlander, which is another line I had been admiring for a very long time.
I know the low-volume prints will be super useful, but I also love the more saturated prints in the fabric line. The bright orange in particular calls my name!
I also won a pack of Liberty fabrics from Red Pepper Quilts. Each little square is 5×7″ so it’s just slightly larger than a charm pack. The fabric is obviously lovely, since it’s Liberty, but the variety of prints amazed me. There are so many different styles!
Breakfast burritos are one of our favorite breakfasts these days. I like them because they use up little bits of things we have left in the fridge and truly stick to your ribs. I often schedule them for the morning before a good day of hiking.
You can change up the ingredients based on what you have or what you like, even to the individual burrito. I didn’t use tomato in my guacamole because it’s not the right season, but you better believe that when we’re drowning in CSA vegetables this summer we’ll use them again. I don’t like sausage in my burrito but Gavin does, so I just add it to his. Like I said, they’re super-flexible!
Ingredients for 2 Burritos
- 1 small potato
- 1/4 red bell pepper
- 1/4 red onion
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- taco or fajita seasoning
- 2 breakfast sausage patties, optional
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 lime
- 1/2 roma tomato
- 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 2 eggs
- 2 8″ flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- 1 green onion, diced
- sour cream, optional
- Peel and dice the potato into 1/4″ pieces. Put it in a bowl and cover with a plate. Microwave until the potato is soft, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dice the other vegetables into 1/4″ pieces. Set aside a small amount of the red onion to use for the guacamole.
- Heat the oil in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potato, red bell pepper, and onion. Sprinkle with salt and fajita or taco seasoning, if desired. Cook the sausage in the same skillet. (We like the frozen patties from Costco that are pre-cooked and just need reheating but you could use any type of sausage.)
- Meanwhile, prepare the guacamole. Scoop out the avocado flesh into a bowl. Add the reserved red onion, diced jalapeño, and tomato. Top with the lime juice and season with salt. Mash with a fork.
- When the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are soft and have brown edges, beat the eggs in a bowl. Pour over the vegetable mix and cook, stirring occasionally, like you are making scrambled eggs. When cooked, remove to a plate. Cut up the sausage if necessary.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. Put one of the tortillas in the pan and let sit for 30 seconds. Flip over and top with half the cheese in the center of the tortilla. Let sit for about 60 seconds, or until the cheese starts melting and tortilla is pliable.
- Remove to a plate, top with half the egg and vegetable mixture. Top with toppings as desired and fold into a burrito. Repeat with the other tortilla and remaining ingredients.
In December I decided I needed a big, bulky, cream-colored cowl and spent several hours perusing all of the cowls in my queue and favorites on Ravelry. I wanted something simple and preferably knitted in the round. I wound up choosing the Annie Cowl, which is knit flat, but still met all of my other criteria.
I knit it up in some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Bare that’s been in my stash forever.
This VERY simple (maybe a little too simple) cowl knit up very quickly over the holidays, but it took me a few days to get around to blocking and finishing it.
I’m happy with the finished project. In a neutral it goes with just about everything and is very warm, which has been great the past few weeks as we’ve actually gotten some winter weather mixed in with a lovely spring.
I’m getting started on a selfish knitting project and it’s time for serious sweater swatching. For small or non-garment items I often just start and use that as a swatch (I’m lazy!), but sweaters require the proper swatching and washing and blocking and measuring. Time consuming, but I know worth it. I’m hoping my gauge will work out and I can start on a Harvest cardigan.
One of my reading goals for 2016 is to reread more of my favorite books after almost two years of only reading books for the first time. So I’m rereading Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin, which is an interesting read about habits and types of people. I pretty much love any book that categorizes people so this is right up my alley.
The Killer of Little Shepherds is about a serial killer and the start of forensic science in France. I read The Poisoner’s Handbook last year which is a very similar book about the birth of forensic science in America, so it’s been interesting to compare them.