Saturday, December 8, 2012

Maple Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies, For Serious

Up until about a month and a half ago, Corey and I were vegetarians. For nearly five years, we dutifully substituted meat with their not-at-all-the-same soy counterparts. We embraced meatballs made of nuts, burgers made of mushrooms, and hot dogs made of... not entirely sure... Vegetarianism was easy for us and we were, for the most part, comfortable with our limited menu. 

As a side note: You know people care about you when they recognize the extra preparation required to cook meatless and they still want to have you over for dinner. It's touching, really. 

I'm not sure what it was that finally brought us back to meat or why now, but it was probably a mix of things. The creativity required to eat a balanced vegetarian diet had become tiresome and the reason I originally stopped eating meat was as blurry as my left eye. Something about factory farms or the rainforest or the quality of meat served in the "Bon" (the cafeteria at George Fox University). 

Most people who come off of a vegetarian diet probably do so gradually and cautiously. But there are few things Corey and I go about cautiously. We're more of the dive-in-before-checking-for-crocodiles kind of people. When we decided to eat meat, we were going to EAT MEAT.

Our culinary considerations changed from questions like "Is this made with chicken broth?" to "Can we add bacon to that?"

And it was a variation of that question (asked to Siri) that brought me to this recipe during my holiday baking preparations. What would happen if I added bacon to chocolate chip cookies? Something magical, I assure you.

Maple Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies

Recipe slightly altered from Shugary Sweets. 
WARNING: This recipe may aid to the clogging of your arteries. Moderation is advised. 

Ingredients (3 dozen)
   3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
   1 3/4 cup light brown sugar
   1/2 tsp kosher salt
   2 eggs
   1 tsp maple extract
   2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
   1/2 tsp baking soda
   1/2 tsp baking powder
   1 cup semi-sweet morsels
   4 thick slices bacon

Lay 4 thick slices of bacon on a small baking sheet lined with foil. Top with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on piece of foil. Cut into small pieces when cooled and set aside for cookies.
In mixer, beat butter with brown sugar for 4 minutes. Add salt, eggs and maple extract. Slowly add in flour, baking soda and baking powder. Fold in bacon and chocolate chips.
Scoop onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to sit on pan 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

And that's all there is to it! I would recommend making them on the smaller side. They are so decedent that less is more.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Milestone & Music Monday


This week Vivian started doing something new. Grabbing faces. She'll reach up and get a good grip of both your cheeks. She'll stare you down and squawk or coo. Occasionally, she'll pull your face close and try to get a taste of your nose or your mouth. Expect drool and lots of it.

It's pretty endearing. I just have to remember to cut her nails regularly.


I love this season and just about everything that comes with it - including the totally overplayed and absolutely cliche Christmas music. I can get enough! However, the CD I find myself listening to at this most wonderful time of the year isn't really even Christmas music. It's the soundtrack to Dan in Real Life, composed almost exclusively by Sondre Lerche, a Norwegian singer/songwriter. The whole CD is repeatable (aside from tracks 9 and 17, which I always skip) and it is my rainy day go-to.

Check it out!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Milestone & Music Monday

Each Monday I plan to share both a milestone achieved by Vivian during the past week and a song that I think is worth listening to. These two topics not only create a nice alliterative post title but also reflect two things that I look forward to and enjoy in my life.


They say time flies when you're having fun. They also say time speeds by once you have a kid. Considering both idioms, you can imagine just how fast time is going for us. We have been having a ball since we had our little Ball. It is just nuts that our little girl is already three months old today!

Yesterday, she rolled from back to tummy for the first time! Corey and I had been encouraging her through her frustrated attempts all weekend. She finally mastered pulling her weight over that awkward in-the-way shoulder. She was so proud and we were too!

She has since been repeating the roll over and over again: each time smiling and excitedly kicking in celebration.


I discovered the band Blind Pilot back in college when my roommate and I were looking for a show to go to in Portland. They were in line to appear in the city in a few weeks so we downloaded the album, 3 Rounds and a Sound, to get acquainted with their music beforehand. I became near obsessed with almost every song, listening to it on repeat for weeks. Unfortunately, the show ended up being at a 21 and Over Only venue and we weren't able to go. Sad.

The Portland-based band, led by Israel Nebeker, made themselves known by touring on bicycles up and down the West Coast. They later opened for The Decemberists (another one for my favorite bands) and appeared at some large festival events.

They had a way of capturing my imagination and left me interpreting lyrics to fit my own present circumstances. Now, I have an emotional connection and nostalgic reaction to the band as a whole. I still have the track order and the majority of the lyrics memorized from that initial album.

Here's a track from their latest album, We Are The Tide. Take a listen.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Hooplah

Last night was Halloween.

Growing up, my family didn't put much thought into the holiday. Aside from the Monster Mash on the oldies station, the five of us kids hardly noticed its approach. At the very last minute, we would sift through the dress-up bin and each come up with an uninspiring costume for the church's harvest party and a short jaunt of trick o' treating. We recycled the same nurse, shark, and angel so many times: deciding who was who based on how much we had grown since last Halloween. We would collect a stash of candy that would literally last us all year.

As candy became less of an incentive, I put even less effort into Halloween. After the age of 12, I think I dressed up just once (in college, as Sara from Tegan and Sara with my college roommate).

It wasn't until a couple years ago that Halloween became truly fun. Our good friends, Natalie and Marc, (long time Halloween enthusiasts) started throwing big parties with spooky food, colorful cocktails, and a highly anticipated costume contest.

in 2010, I pieced together costumes from thrift store finds and turned my husband into Edward Scissorhands and myself into his lesser known girlfriend, Kim. We took first place in the contest.

The following year, we took the first place title again as a zombified Abraham Lincoln and wife. Note: The hosts (Marc and Natalie) should have won with their legendary Link and Zelda costumes but they refused to be on the ballot.

Putting costume makeup on Corey is way too much fun.

Last night, our party-throwing friends didn't throw a party. They were a bit preoccupied with their brand new two-week-old baby, Edgar! We brought Vivian and pizza over to their house with other good friends, Jared and Sarah, who also have a baby (well, he's 13 months so not quiet a baby anymore) and another one on the way. The plan was to eat food, watch a scary movie, and maybe play some games.

We did eat food but that's about all we had time for between feeding, diapering, rocking, and soothing little ones. A different kind of party, to be sure. As one young trick o' treater observed, "there's a lot of babies in there".

The dads with the kiddos

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

An Autumn Stroll

Fall trees
The weather today is my favorite. Overcast. Breezy. [Deep Inhale] Ahh... I didn't want to see it go to waste so I plopped Bibs (Vivian) in the stroller and set out to show my little daughter the beauty of the season.

My plan was to walk down to the Roseville Library and then over to Shady Coffee & Tea where we would pick up a latte for daddy and head back to Consologic. I was going to show her changing leaves, bending branches, and shelves upon shelves of books.

Vivian in the stroller
Vivian fell asleep as soon as we got to the library. I guess a giant rusty building isn't all that exciting to a three month old. I managed to trip over my own boot in the library. I tried to play it off as a spontaneous skip/dance move but I don't think the crowd gawking from the computer lab bought it. I also managed to spill latte all over the back of my stroller while leaving the coffee shop - still haven't bought that cup holder (that should just come with the stroller). I also had to dodge a conspiring number of construction zones. I think they are repaving every sidewalk in the city.

Even with all the hiccups, it was a refreshing outing on this final day of October.