Tag Archives: elementary school

Fried Chicken: A Valentine’s Gift to Myself

Valentine’s Day is kind of a crock, right?

Listen. That’s not some jaded/single/lonely perspective.

Though I am single. And truthfully, a little lonely. (Moving is hard.) But I’m not jaded.

I love love (particularly more than LP or Stowe will ever love love). But Valentine’s Day is a bit of a crock. Why celebrate your love on just one day? Is your love so wimpy that it can be contained to just one day?

And as someone on the internet said, in elementary school, the whole class was your Valentine. Why limit yourself to just one Valentine?

I’m a huge fan of the Galentine’s Day, made popular by my fictional best friend, Leslie Knope. A date with your best gal pals. Nothing bad about that!

Only the best day of the year!

Only the best day of the year!

But because moving is hard, I’m flying solo this Valentine’s Day.

I saw this Bon Appetit article yesterday on what their staff is cooking this Valentine’s Day. I’ll be honest, they all sound delicious. Fancy steak? Manhattans? Mac and Cheese? Macaroni and cheese is my spirit animal.

But this Valentine’s Day, I’m going to practice a little bit of self-love.

Ew. Not like that, sickos.

I’m going to make something that I love. Something special. A gift to myself.

My most favorite food in the whole world is fried chicken. So, fry chicken I will. I’ve only ever done it once and it was only ok. But if at first you don’t succeed, try try again, right?

I’ve got a few days to find the right recipe and the right accompaniments. Off the top of my head: mac and cheese, biscuits with honey butter, green beans. Accompanied by some bourbon. And some sort of dessert. But that’s just off the top of my head. Or whatever.

Valentine’s Day might be a crock but I’m down to celebrate love and fried chicken. I’ll happily share the love. But I’m not going to share the fried chicken.

As they always say, all is fair in love and chicken.

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A Cure for Ebola: Chocolate Chip Cookies

They say 10,000 hours is how many hours you need to do something to master it. 10,000 hours of harmonica? Master of harmonica.

This is why I’m so EFFING GOOD at sleeping.

I’m 29 years old and assuming I’ve slept around 8 hours a night, I’ve slept nearly 85,000 hours. NAILED IT.

In the culinary world, with the exception of eating (roughly 32,000 hours), I’ve only ever done one thing even remotely close to 10,000 hours. That is bake chocolate chip cookies.

I can’t approximate how many times I’ve made them in my life. I just remember that I started making them when I was in elementary school (Beaches Episcopal School, where you at!?!) and I really never stopped making them.

There is nothing more soul satisfying than a chocolate chip cookie. It’s comforting. It’s reminiscent of childhood and lunch boxes and Christmas and hugs and everything good in the world. A chocolate chip cookie is the antidote to every bad thing in the world. Chocolate chip cookies have healing powers. Chocolate chip cookies can cure ebola.*

*Cookies probably can’t cure ebola, but it certainly couldn’t make ebola worse. Please note, I am not a doctor.

I don’t do anything fancy with my chocolate chip cookies, but I swear to you they’re practically perfect every time. They’re puffy and chewy, yet super light.

I do have 2 things I do every single time that give me success.

  1. I use an ice cream scoop to form the dough. Every time you get big, beautiful cookies.
  2. I don’t overcrowd the pan. A standard sized sheet pan holds 5 cookies, staggered to give them room to spread. (This was very difficult when I only had a convection oven that fit a half sheet pan and only had one rack in it. Baking took HOURS.)
The Scoop Method

The Scoop Method

So if you want chocolate chip cookies that cure ebola**, try this recipe from my grandmother, Nestlay Tollouse.

**These cookies have not been scientifically proven to cure ebola.

Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies from the back of the bag, adapted from VeryBestBaking.com

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened | I almost always microwave it. Good for you!
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (one 12-oz. pkg.)  NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts | Listen, this is a personal choice here, but I think nuts in chocolate chip cookies are disgusting. Their texture gets weird. Eliminate them and focus on the perfection.

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Whisk ingredients together. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts (yuck). Drop by ice cream scoop onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet):Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

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