Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the perfect cookie

A few months ago a read about a New York Times article on a few different blogs. The article was about the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I bookmarked the article and printed out a copy of the recipe. That was as far as I got.

Since then I have made chocolate chip cookies many, many times, but never the perfect chocolate chip cookie. While my sister-in-law was here this weekend we were going through my cook books and I pulled out the Times recipe and gave it to her.

It inspired me. Yesterday afternoon I made a batch of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It is still in the fridge cooling. We can bake our first batch this afternoon. I am going to make my cookies smaller, and therefore will have a shorter bake time.

I will report back.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from The New York Times, David Leite, and Jacques Torres

2 cups minus 2 Tbsp. (8 ½ oz.) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 ½ oz.) bread flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups; 10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups (10 oz.) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, preferably about 60% cacao content
Sea salt

Sift together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; then add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, and mix briefly to incorporate. Press plastic wrap against the dough, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. The dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator, and allow it to soften slightly. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Using a standard-size ice cream scoop – mine holds about 3 fluid ounces, or about 1/3 cup – scoop six mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, making sure to space them evenly. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and bake until golden brown but still soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto the rack to cool a bit more.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Monday, September 29, 2008


I am in the process of getting the outside ready for fall. The planters on the back patio are filled with mums. This week I plan to get our decorative pumpkins and mums for the front porch. I love this time of year.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

canned goods

My husband's four sisters were in town this past weekend. Several of them always bring coming-to-see-you gifts. My one sister-in-law brought tons of great bread (I LOVE good bread) and a bunch of gifts for the kids. Another brought a fun wallet clutch. My other sister-in-law, who lives on a farm (yes, another farm in his family, the other belongs to his brother) brought us tons of great stuff that she canned; poached pears and peaches, apple sauce, apple butter, cranberry sauce and dilly beans, along with potatoes from her garden.

The kids are going to LOVE all of the canned goods. They will be perfect on top of waffles, french toast, pancakes, oatmeal and for a special treat on top of ice cream. They all come in great jars that I covet and always find a second life for and were all placed in a great orchard box that I will use to display my cards in at fairs.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I thought I would share a shop that I have marked as an etsy favorite, vol25. Take a peek at all of the great prints when you get a chance.

Friday, September 26, 2008

art club

My oldest daughter started an art club with a few of her friends. Yesterday was the first meeting and was held at our house. For the craft we started to make paper mache pumpkins. I blew up balloons and taped a paper stem to the balloon and then the girls covered them with the paper mache. We will let them dry for awhile and they will paint them at the next meeting.

It was messy, but I think that they had a good time. You can find tons of recipes for paper mache on-line, just pick the one that works best for you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

snapshot of the country 04

Life has been crazy here. The kids schedules have begun to border on ridiculous.

I like this photo, you can almost hear the silence.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

snapshot of the country 03

There is no hustle and bustle in the country. I do not last very long there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

snapshot of the country 02

Everyone loves a roasted marshmallow, especially me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

snapshot of the country 01

The view from the house.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

fifteen hours

We took the kids to the country to camp at their uncle's farm. It was a short trip, we were only there for fifteen hours, but they were fun filled. The kids slept with their father, uncle and cousin in the AWSOME fort that their uncle just built, they watch a small firework show, roasted marshmallows, and got to see all of the animals.

If it was not so darn far away we would take them more often.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

stir fry

Last night I made the kids pork stir fry over white rice. For reasons I am not sure of, I hardly ever make stir fry for them, but while I was making it I thought I should make it for them more often. I use the recipe from The Joy of Cooking. and it is so easy to make. To make it you can use beef, pork, chicken or shrimp and whatever veggies you want. I think I will add some version of it to the fall/winter menu at least once a month.

Friday, September 19, 2008


You really can find just about anything you need on etsy. I was looking through my favorites and found these cool sparkle sprinkle flowers in buffet's etsy shop. The girls would love to use them when they do crafts.

photo by buffet

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I have gotten tons of paper for fall and holiday note cards. The last few nights I have been up late (the only time I seem to get any work done) getting new sets made.

Somehow the fall filled up for me business wise. I now have two craft shows, the trove barn sale and three house parties to do. I will also have two or three custom christmas card orders that I know of along with ours.

Perhaps this business might work out...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

houses part four

Moving away from dots for a moment and back to the house thing I have going on...

I love these felt pillows by mummy sam. Should I ever strike it rich in the card business I would buy a whole bunch of them. I must admit I am not sure what I would do with them, but I love the way they look all squished together.

photo by mummy sam

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I have a thing for dots and I am not sure why. I added some new sets to my etsy shop and the last two have been dots.

More dots to come...

Monday, September 15, 2008

about time

After a very long break, I added a new set of cards to my etsy shop. I am planning to add some more new packs over the next few days.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

wren handmade

I have been reading the wren handmade blog for a long time now. This week I read that that she just open an etsy shop.

Take a look when you get a chance, she has some great stuff, and is now marked as a favorite.

photo by wren handmade

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I had my first wholesale order (sorta). I received a message that the girls at trove decided to just buy all of the packs that I dropped off. At least now I do not need to worry what sells at the off site sale they are doing this weekend.

Very exciting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

craft pudding

Another etsy shop that I have marked as a favorite is craft pudding. I am planning on having a stamp made for each one of my kids to put in their stockings this christmas.

photo by craft pudding

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I have been getting a ton of work done inbetween the rest of life. The box for trove is ready and I am dropping it off today. I also have a lot of new packs ready for etsy. I am planning to get back to updating my etsy shop on a regular basis. Check the shop often!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


It is a house kind of week.

I have had leanne graeff's etsy shop marked as a favorite for awhile now. I thought it would be fun to have her do a print of someone's house if we ever need a house warming gift.

image by leanne graeff

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


The ladies at trove decor are doing an off-site sale this weekend and they asked me for some packs of cards. I have spent the last few nights trying to get some new sets together. I have a ton of new fall papers that I hope will sell well.

Monday, September 8, 2008

house party

I have been busy trying to plan what business stuff to do this fall. I am planning on doing two craft shows, the trove barn sale and right now I have one person in north jersey that is going to host a house party for me. I am not a great sales person, I am very low pressure, so I am having a hard time trying to decide if I should have a house party. What do you think?

I did find these really cute little houses by the little red door that I thought would be fun to give as thank you gifts for hosting clear pink house parties.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I make a ton of fresh pasta sauces in the summer. The kids love to help. I send them out to the garden with a bowl and tell them to get a ton of sun golds, plum tomatoes and basil. They come back in with everything that they pick and we put together this supper easy sauce and serve over whatever pasta shape you want.

fresh sauce
1/2 pint sun golds (grape or cherry tomatoes will work) quartered
6 plum tomatoes cut into small pieces
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large handful basil, chopped fine
3-4 tablespoons good olive oil
1-2 tablespoons aged balsamic
fresh pepper
kosher salt

throw everything together in a bowl and carefully mix together. let sit for a while so the flavors have time to develop.

cook pasta, drain and toss together with sauce. grate some good italian hard cheese over top.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I bought the pattern for this bag from pick up sticks. I was planning to make the bags to give as christmas presents, but I it looks a bit hard and I am thinking that I might not be able to get enough done to give out.

Perhaps just one for myself in a nice gray/black colorway?

photo by pick up sticks

Friday, September 5, 2008


I found these supper cute buttons in Retrosaria's big cartel shop. They would look so cute on the front of a little skirt for the girls.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I am in need of some new art. Since I am redoing the downstairs, I took down a few of the pieces that I was sick of. Now, I need to replace them. I found this great illustration "Little Boxes" by Michele Maule. It would be perfect in my "new" living room.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

back to school

This must have been when I was going into first grade, circa 1980?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

end of summer

We had a nice last day of summer yesterday. We went out for breakfast and then a walk on the canal. We came home and got all of the backpacks pack up with all of the supplies. Then we took the kids for a little picnic at the Princeton battlefield and had a fun game of kick ball.

It was the perfect day for a picnic and a last lazy day of summer.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Yesterday the kids and I made candles to bring to their new teachers on the first day of school. We have been collecting all of the broken crayons for awhile now, so we used them to make the candels. I am not one hundred per cent sure that they will work, but the kids had fun making them, and in the end it is the thought that counts, right?