Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Priorities, Priorities

I've posted time and again how important I think priorities are in a creative career. When you set your own schedule, you are the one responsible for what does or doesn't get done in a day. Every time you do something, you are subconsciously saying: "this is a priority."

I think it's pretty clear to readers of this blog what my top priorities are.


Want Company?

That's right. Cookies and tea. These two things have been at the top of my agenda ever since my art days. (that top one is a photo I took, because the only thing better than eating cookies is photographing them; and the bottom is my first colored pencil piece that I made into prints, because the only thing better than drinking tea is lovingly recreating it with pencils).

I'll confess I did a few paintings of tea and cookies. A few.

Want Company IIThe Novelist

Afternoon MunchiesCaffeinated Reflections

The Ultimate MotivatorTable for One

So I suppose it should come as no surprise to me that this morning, when I opened my inbox, I had an e-mail from a reader asking me for wisdom. Not on writing. No. She asked me for my recipe for cookies the size of my head.

I reckon she's talking about these.

Well, dear reader, here you go. One of my four recipes for chocolate chip cookies I have in my arsenal.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (cut it into tablespoons and microwave it for 30 seconds)
1 cup packed brown sugar (and I'm talking nice stuff, not the store brand. Come on, people!)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbs vanilla (again, nice stuff. Try this and you'll never spend $8 dollars on McCormick's again)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semi-sweet chips (I like the mini-chips for these)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. You can do this by hand, if you have Popeye arms, or use your handy standing mixer. (I KNOW you have a standing mixer. Everyone has one, along with a favorite pair of jeans and the dark secret of your first movie crush. If you don't have one, sell your couch and get one.)(Can't beat that great advice from a NYT Bestselling author, can you?) Beat in vanilla and eggs until light and creamy. Mix in flour until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips (really, when you're trying to make absurdly large baked goods, the mini chips are better for allowing them to hold together). Use a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop dough onto the cookie sheet, 3" apart. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until they're golden brown around the edges. They will get firmer as they set up because of the high butter content.

Hold up to your head to verify the size. The end!
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