Sometimes, simple is better. I decided to up my chocolate chip cookie game this past weekend by making chocolate chip brownie pillow cookies. Conceptually, this combination sounds awesome. In reality, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds especially as brownies and chocolate chip cookies cook for different times at varying temperatures.
Even though I made flat pancake brownie cookie crisps (cue the cereal commercial tag line: “Cooooooookie Crisps!”), it was still fun to make, time-consuming but fun. And it goes to show that even if one follows directions to perfection, things still go awry and that is absolutely normal and fine. Sometimes it’s nice to eat lopsided cookies and sometimes it’s nice just to let things happen as they will. But I think that I might stick to chocolate chip cookies in the future, for a little while at least.
If you want to give the BEST Brownie Pillow Cookies a chance, I recommend skipping dousing the baking soda in hot water in the chocolate chip cookie portion of the recipe and chilling the dough before baking after forming the stuffed balls of dough. Also, space your cookies accordingly or you’ll end up with fused cookies.
Running a bit behind the regular posting schedule but living life takes precedence and this past week, there was really no energy I wanted to expend on writing. I’ve started using Headspace, a meditation app that you can download on your phone, and I have to give it a full thumbs-up of approval. I love the reminders that the app sends for mental awareness, the broad selection in their library, and the funky happy videos. Its cheery and bright and an excellent way to maintain emotional health.
But to the point, I’ve finished reading “Early Riser” by Jasper Fforde. As a birthday present, I received a subscription to six months from Book of the Month, a service that presents five options and the subscriber picks one of that five. I chose “Early Riser” because it is very much out-of-the-norm for me to read dystopian themed novels but mostly, it was the premise of a society that hibernates during winters 40 degrees Fahrenheit below that peaked my interest.
Where to start? Well, for one, Fforde simply drops you into the world without much ado and that in itself was a little unsettling and bizarre. Living quarters are described in great detail, basic terms are reinvented in this world (i.e. “thumped” for “execute”), and characters are brought in with seemingly no reason and then actively play a new role shortly later. “Early Riser” is a highly imaginative book and I loved how the author was able to create a backdrop that was menacing, peculiar, and familiar to our current life. Most significantly, in this novel, he challenges social expectations and does so in a manner so deftly that a single word throws current perceptions off completely.
In all, it’s a fun, light read. While the world is really something unique and bizarre, the characters fail to inspire a connection. They exist in the book so briefly that it’s difficult to feel much for them when they suddenly disappear. I can’t decide whether this was a purposeful decision by Fforde or whether his interest wasn’t in the characters at all but the winter horrors he created to terrorize them. So do give it a try if you are looking for something to while away the hours but give it a pass if you are looking for something with depth.
You can purchase a copy on Amazon or borrow from your local lending library.
All opinions are my own and are not endorsed by any external party.
After an early dismissal from work and driving home in the snow, I set to work on a project I meant to complete before Valentine’s Day. Each year, I make paper valentines and mail them off to friends and family near and far. Unfortunately, this year, due to time constraints, the recipients for this year’s crafting project is a grand total of three.
While sitting on the carpet in front of the furnace, sipping tea and stealing bites of maple walnut fudge, and listening to the sounds of winter, I contemplated the people who’ve made some sort of impact, whether big or small, positive or negative, in my life. How do we choose those we keep in our lives or lose those who for one reason or another, go? Why do we need those that we need and does it matter? I hope so. Wouldn’t it make for a dreary existence if our lives didn’t have purposeful relationships that fed not only the mind but also the soul?
Perhaps all this snow and ice is making me overly introspective, and on second thought, that’s really OK too. It’s OK to wonder and think. Especially on snowy afternoons.
With the birthday weekend over, I’ve set a few intentions for myself this year. The first is mindfulness of the mind. The second is mindfulness of the body.
It has become more and more apparent that I need to remember to “live” life and not become caught up in the wheels of it, only to chase the hours down in hopes of adding time. So this week, I’ve started a 30-day challenge with Yoga with Adriene’s Dedicate. Every evening, after supper and tidying up the kitchen, I turn on the television, roll out my mat, and begin following the lesson for the day. Even though I’m only on day two, I can feel the practice doing wonders. I sit up straighter, I’m happier. It’s good.
Shortly after a shower, and such, I brew a cup of chamomile or vanilla tea and read. Lately, I’ve been reading Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space” which hammers in the understanding that we are really tiny in the whole scheme of things. Relativity is everything.
All this to say is this: remember to care for yourself in whatever small acts of love you believe best or as Adriene says, “Practice exquisite stillness.” It can be something as simple as a soft boiled egg with toast soldiers in the wee morning hours.