Les Miserables

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Les Miserables was amazing.   I forgot how incredible it is.  It was a joy to go with our nieces to their first show.  I think they liked it and I hope this is the first of many shows they go to.  I was really impressed.  This touring cast is really good.  I cried twice during the show.  That's when I know when a show is good, if I start crying.  It's amazing how well people can sing that you can feel it in your soul.  Oh and let's not forget about the sets.  The sets were amazing.  I just don't know how they do it.  Everything just comes together so seamlessly.

Here we are at the Fox's Lobby getting ready to go in.




Here are some pictures I found on atlanta.brodway.com.














I was smiling throughout the whole performance, smiling and crying.  Oh and Valerie was singing throughout the whole performance.  I think she really enjoyed it.  What do you think?  :)  I suggest everyone to see it when it comes to their city.  You won't be disappointed.  


Oh I made cookie recipe #1 last night, the Cook's Illustrated recipe.  The brown butter gave the cookies a interesting nutty taste.  They are really good.  Addison said, he was surprised they were that good.  JT said, they were great but no the best he's every had.   I would like to tweak the recipe and drain the brown butter before I add it to everything.  Sometimes the bits of brown butter taste a little bitter.  I would also like to add nuts and see how the nutty flavor from the brown butter works with nuts.




The New York Times cookies have to refrigerated for up to 36 hours so I will make those tonight but won't be able to bake them until Saturday.  I guess I will make Alton Brown's recipe tomorrow.


Talk to you soon,
Signature

On the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookies

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


So I have decided to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I have used many different recipes in the past but got an inspiration while reading other blogs to find one really great recipe.  I have researched and read other people's opinions and have decided to try these 3 recipes.  These 3 recipes are suppose to be the best of the best.  This week I will be baking these 3 recipes and have JT and Addison decided which recipe they like the best.  They have such a hard job.  :)

I will not be baking tonight because The Godfather, I, and his family are going to Les Miserable tonight. We are taking his nieces and we are so excited.  This will be their first time going to any play.  I will let you know how it was.

In the meantime, here are the recipes so you can try them yourself:


Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Cookies

Published May 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

MAKES 16 COOKIES

Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored. For our winning brand of chocolate chips, see related tasting.

INGREDIENTS


1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)

1/2cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)

3/4cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)

1 teaspoon table salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4cups semisweet chocolate chipsor chunks (see note)

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.


4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)

5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.



New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Jacques Torres


Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

INGREDIENTS

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons

(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS


1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.


Alton Brown's Chocolate Cookies - The Chewy


INGREDIENTS


8 ounces unsalted butter

12 ounces bread flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 ounces granulated sugar

8 ounces light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 ounce whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS


1. Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda onto a paper plate. Pour the butter into your stand mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.

4.Using the paper plate as a slide, gradually integrate the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is worked in, drop the speed to "stir" and add the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven.

6. Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-ounce portions onto parchment-lined half sheet pans, 6 cookies per sheet. 

7. Bake 2 sheets at a time for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven, slide the parchment with the cookies onto a cooling rack and wait at least 5 minutes before devouring.


Signature


The Braves and the Renassiance

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hello everyone!!!

I needed to take some time off.  I had to worst cold for a week so I have been recuperating and feeling sorry for myself.  I finally started feeling normal Wednesday.  Yes, that means I was under the weather for Easter but I still managed to bake two cakes and 36 cupcakes.  It's amazing what a Sudafed can do.

By the way, How was everyone's Easter?  Ours was wonderful.  We went to JT's aunt's house.  She lives on Lake Jackson and it's beautiful.  Th weather was great and is always nice to spend time with family.

While I was sick, The Chosen One also had a birthday.  I have been making Thank You cards for her but it is hard to emboss when you already can not hardly breath.  I have finally gotten most of them them done and am very happy how they turned out.  I am excited to send her a box of Thank You cards personalized just for her.

Oh I did do some cooking when I finally started feeling better last week.  I made 2 quiches, an Asparagus and Leek one, and a Ham, and Leek one.  I also made Poulet au Paprika, which Addison loved.  He said he liked it better than Rosemary Chicken and that's my usual go to Chicken recipe.  I guess we will be having more of Poulet au Paprika.  I did take pictures of all of this on my Instagram.

I finally used my anniversary presents last week too.  Did I forget to mention I had some new kitchen gadgets?  I have a new mandolin, and a new apple peeler/corer.  Thursday, Addison I got the apple peeler/corer out and put the peeler to work.  We love it!  It is so easy and it actually peels, cores, and slice the apples.  Since, we had all these apple slices I decide to make Apple and Blueberry Cobbler.  I used my Ad Hoc cookbook  for the cobbler recipe.  It turned out really good.

We also had the best weekend.  Friday, we went to Braves games.  The Braves won and Addison got really loopy by the second half.  I guess I had too much sugar.





Saturday, we had two birthday parties.  Saturday afternoon was The Godfather's nephew's party.  He is 7 now and I can't believe it.  The kids are growing up too fast and I am not ready for it.

Saturday night was Walker's 30th birthday party at the drive-in.  I know, he just turned 30.? I would love to go back and be 30.  I made bbq pork, cole slaw, and potato chips.  I slow cooked the pork shoulder in the oven while I was at the first birthday party.   The food turned out good and we had a blast at the drive in.  The only problem was the only movie I really wanted to see was "21 Jumpstreet".  In the first 10 minutes the movie ended up stopping and burning so it was ruined.  We ended up watching "A Cabin in the Woods" which was ok but I think way  too scary for Addison.  He needed up sleeping in our bed that night.

Sunday was JT's mom's birthday, Nana.  We all decided to take her to the Renaissance festival.  The Godfather, and the GUNCLEs went with us.  We all had a great time and it wasn't too hot to be outside all day.  The sun did get annoying at certain times.






This week I have just been looking for jobs, crafting, and taking Addison to all his activities.  It has been a very rainy week so we haven't really wanted to do much.  We have been eating leftover barbecue and just relaxing.  Addison has his state testing this week so I have just trying to keep him happy.  I know taking those state test can be annoying.  It's the last thing he would like to do all week.  But this year is different, the schools don't get their government funding from these test now so they seem to not be pressuring the kids to do well like they did before.  Also Addison is a smart kid; sometimes not the best standardized test taker but I believe he will do great.

Well, talk to you soon.  I leave you with some great letterpress invitations and announcements.


 A great outdoorsy wedding invitation found here on Invitationcrush.com


An infograhpic invitation found here on Invitation Crush


An incredible invitation for a destination wedding, found here on Invitation Crush.





 What an amazing birth announcement!! Found here on Underconsideration.com.


A fairy tale save the date found here, on Invitationcrush.com

Signature

It's our Anniversary!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It is JT and my anniversary.  Which is kind of funny, because we really don't do much to celebrate it.  We met on my birthday so we consider that our anniversary.  We believe we have been in love and together forever since we met on my birthday.  Our wedding day is still kind of a sweet story.  We did not have a big wedding, we went to the courthouse.  It was kind of a rushed wedding but not what you think like getting pregnant.  We had plans to get married but we did it sooner because we thought there something medically wrong with me.  We went to the eye doctor and he noticed I had a lot of swelling in my optic nerve.  He told me I need to go to a neurologist as soon as possible and get a CAT scan.  We asked him what could cause it.  And he said it could be a brain tumor, but probably something else. I was of course freaking out thinking I had a brain tumor.  JT was trying to keep me calm.  I was still in school full time so I only had school insurance and didn't know how much a neurologist would cost.  JT insisted we get married that week so I could be put on his work insurance and figure out what was wrong with me.  He told me I would have to wait for a big wedding and my health was more important.  So we went to the courthouse with all our friends and family and it was still magical.  A week later we went to the neurologist and got my scan and I ended up not having a brain tumor.  My body makes too much spinal fluid and it is causing the swelling.  The neurologist said I could start getting spinal taps but my swelling is not that severe so I should just take medicine and take care of myself.  Well, we were relived that I didn't have a brain tumor and I was going to be ok.






So that's my wedding story.  I still can't believe JT was ready to marry me even if I had a brain tumor.  Now that's love!   For better, for worse, for sickness,  even a brain tumor, but it's not a tumor (in my Arnold voice). :)



I leave you with this beautiful video of ballet dancers in slow motion.



via Swissmiss

Signature