Saturday, July 26, 2014

Oatmeal Blueberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am taking a break from weeding to share this wonderful cookie recipe. I had everything set out on the counter, and made them quickly this morning. I like that this recipe doesn't make a million cookies. They all fit on one extra large cookie sheet. (the size the professionals use)

We are having houseguests next weekend, and I don't think I have weeded in a month. I needed a nudge. And my friend Paula dropped off some blueberries she picked, so I quickly froze a cup of them for this recipe.
Here is the recipe for the cookies, but you really need to go to the beautiful blog that shared the recipe. And to Monique's blog for alerting us.

To Print the recipe, click here.
Makes:  approx 22 cookies
In absolute urgencies, you can skip browning the butter and just melt it in the microwave inside the same bowl…  It doesn’t make a huge difference actually.
The frozen blueberries can probably be applied to other non-oatmeal cookie-doughs that need firming as well.  Due to the blueberries, these cookies have a higher moisture-content than normal oatmeal cookies.  So keep them uncovered in whatever container you decide to store them with.

Ingredients:  oatmeal cookie adapted from
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/113 grams) of unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (71 grams) of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (63 grams) of dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (101 grams) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup (136 grams) of quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 heaping cup (85 grams) of chopped semi-sweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup (125 grams) of frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven on 365ºF/185ºC
Melt the unsalted butter in a small pot over medium heat, and continue to cook for approx 5 min until the butter has turned clear and the milk solids are browned.  Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and let cool slightly for 5 min.  Then add the granulated sugar and dark brown sugar, and whisk until smoothly combined.  Add the large egg and vanilla extract, and whisk until thick and velvety.  Sift the all-purpose flour, salt, ground cinnamon and baking soda right into the bowl, then whisk again until smooth.  Switch from the whisk to a spatula, then add the quick-cooking oats and chopped dark chocolate.  Fold the mixture until evenly incorporated.  Add the frozen blueberries and fold again until even.  The cookie-dough will instantly firm-up as the frozen blueberries are mixed in.
Scoop about 1 1/2 tbsp of cookie-dough onto a parchment-lined baking-sheet, with about 1″ of space in between each.  The dough should be firm enough to shape with your hands.  Make round dough-ball for a taller/thicker cookie, or press it down into a disk for a thinner cookie.  Bake in the oven for 12~13 min, until the edges are set and the center slightly soft.
Let cool for at least 10 min on the baking-sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.  Or NOT.  These cookies will keep moist uncovered at room-temperature.
Joe was "weed whacking" and took down part of my clematis vine by accident. I sighed for a brief second, and then put the vine in a vase on the table.
Hope you are enjoying this summer Saturday!

Monday, July 21, 2014

MacKenzie-Childs On The Deck

My friend Miriam is enjoying the cheese board from Ann Thibeault that we gave her and Zack as a wedding gift last year. She has a knack for entertaining, and I just knew this was the perfect gift for them.

We went on a little vacation and missed the MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale this year. When we got home, I set a table for two on the back deck and enjoyed a cupcake.  

My personal shopper, Patti at Pandora's Box, had a fun day at the Barn Sale, and found one of the three items I wished for. They were not big items, just personal favorites of mine. MacKenzie-Childs has free shipping until the end of the month, so I'm thinking of ordering two items since I saved a ton by not going ;o)  Ha!?!?

Edit: Here are the three items that were on my Barn Sale wish list.  Patti was able to get the Floral Thermometer and I will love it!
 Picadilly Garlic Keeper
 Green Enamel Pitcher  -- this looks fabulous with flowers in it.
Floral Thermometer - I love this, and it will go right outside my kitchen window so I can see it every morning when I make coffee ;o)
Thanks for stopping by! I am joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mackenzie Childs Barn Sale 2014-Updated

This is the first year since 2008 that I will be out of town and won't be attending the Barn Sale. Not to worry, I have a personal shopper this year as I am only looking for three items. More about that after the sale.

MacKenzie-Childs is having their annual BARN SALE – Thursday, July 17th – Sunday, July 20th from 8AM to 6PM. Last year I attended the sale with over 15,000 people, some driving hours across the country and others even camping out overnight. I'm a big fan of the whimsical luxury home décor brand and items from ceramics, glassware, furniture, rugs, holiday and more are all up to 80% off. This is a wonderful event at the company’s gorgeous 65-acre estate farm in Aurora, New York.

EDIT:  Let the fun begin! I am vicariously attending the 2014 barn sale via Facebook and my iPad while I am away. Here are some photos Mac-Kenzie Childs posted this morning on their FB page. A fun event for sure!!!!

I wish this was my basket :-)

Yes please :-)

Cute shirts! If you are interested in previous Barn Sale posts on my blog, I have included the links here 20102011 and two posts from 2012 and here 2012

My favorite purchase at a previous barn sale is the table. The flower pot is in the Wallcourt pattern. Did you know that the Mackenzie-Childs story began in a humble studio run out of the basement of a Wells College dorm named Wallcourt? I love that. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Lavender Day

Have a seat and relax in the field of lavender. Yesterday, we attended the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival in Skaneateles, NY which had been on my list for over five years. 

Of course I bought lavender. Some for culinary purposes and some to make sachets for my drawers. You can see the difference between the two varieties.

The lavender market had a nice selection, and I knew I wanted to try the honey, fudge sauce, dryer bags, sachets and lavender oil. Joe will probably want to swat me for telling you, but he is in the tub soaking in lavender Epsom salts that I mixed with baking soda. It's good for drawing out toxins, lowers stress related hormones and balances pH levels. I'm next :-) 

The Drying Barn

I gave my mom the pretty yellow flower, and ate the lavender cookie all by myself.

What a charming sign. It motivated Mr. Mountain Breaths to make a similar sign at our camp.

I wonder if she catches any butterflies :-)
  The gardens were in full bloom and I couldn't resist.
Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Tabletops

I picked up a lovely book at the library, Tabletops by Barbara Milo. The tabletop above was taken in my home with the Waterlogue App on my iPad. I am joining Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

"Setting a stunning table need not be confined to special occasions. As renowned author and designer Barbara Milo Ohrbach brilliantly demonstrates, any meal can be made special with the proper visual approach. The ingredients need not be fine china and matching silver; the real key is to develop a creative look for your table." 

Whether you are having a party, sitting down with friends and family, or celebrating a holiday, the pleasures of eating at a beautiful table help to make the meal truly memorable. 

I am sharing a quick and easy tabletop, and it won't take more than 10 minutes. If your garden is overflowing with large hosta plants like mine, wrap your forks and knives in hosta leaves tied with ribbon. I also used a large hosta leaf as a placemat for a dessert plate.

We had coffee and dessert on the deck, and it didn't take any effort to set the table.

A close up shot of the fork and knife wrapped in the hosta leaf.

While I was photographing, Mr. Mountain Breaths came up with his tabletop version. Not kidding you, he did this on his own. Now you see why we get along so well.

Love the "heart" beet.

The centerpiece was made using  a casserole dish and flowers from my garden. In the book, the author discusses how to choose the right container for every event.

The hosta leaf looks like a heart in this photo :-)
Thank you for stopping by!