Discoveries: Cookies, Kale and Concerts

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I baked more cookies. But don’t forget that I also I cooked kale and went to an incredible concert. But cookies first. Trust me, it’s worth it.
This guy I met in my creative nonfiction writing class and I decided that because our class sat right on top of Valentine’s day dinner hour, we should bake cookies for everybody! That crazy kid wanted to make cookies out of a tube, but I insisted on making them from scratch, even though we were strapped for time. I’m a purist, what can I say?
I made some delicious discoveries about cookies and their content thanks to Baker Bettie (an awesome post I found on Pinterest, of course!), and the cookies we brought to class were PHENOMENAL, if I may say so myself!
She doesn’t share her perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, which is fine because that’s how she makes a living, so I thought I would share mine from Valentine’s Day. Because it really is that awesome.

Loryn’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c. butter, browned and set to cool
1c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 c. chocolate chips

You got this. Combine dry, cream wet, add chocolate, bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Presto.

We used the swirly chocolate chips! The white chocolate complemented the caramel-y butter very nicely.
Isn’t the basket adorable? I apologize for the cell phone pic but the basket is too cute to not share.

By now I’m sure you’ve guessed what the big deal is. Brown the butter. Who knew? The post says the butter makes the cookies taste nuttier, but in my opinion, it’s mostly a caramel flavor. And I love it. I’m doing it from now on, especially because it makes the wet mixture so much easier to stir.

This Saturday, the same guy and I went to go see Matt the Electrician, a folksy singer/songwriter whose music I hold very near and dear to my heart. And it was a house concert. I had never been to a house concert before, but now that I have, there is no other way I want to experience music.

Our hostess had an incredibly cute house, and knew exactly how to arrange it for the concert.

There were about 15 people and everybody was friendly. Many of the attendees were actually from out of town, which was surprising. Several people brought a dish for potluck, and it was all terrific. One woman and her husband brought crab etouffee, and our hostess made Thai curry. We brought roasted kale and parsnips, and even though I didn’t take pictures and the recipes can be found elsewhere, I thought I’d share mine anyways.

Crispy Kale (from my mom’s kitchen)

kale
olive oil
salt (to taste — be careful!)

1. Wash kale and rip into bite-sized pieces.
2. Toss kale with enough olive oil to just barely coat the kale (the leaves turn a wonderful shade of green) and salt to taste.
3. Spread out on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes (or until crispy), stirring every 5.
Kale cooks very quickly, put the pan close to the top of the oven and if it still needs time after 15 minutes, keep a close eye on it.

Roasted Parsnips

2 parsnips
olive oil
salt (to taste)
3-4 cloves of garlic, diced

1. Slice parsnips lengthwise, like oven fries.
2. Toss with olive oil, salt, and whatever else you want to add (we added a dash of cayenne).
3. Spread out on cookie sheet and bake at 450 for 15 min, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle garlic on top and bake for 15 minutes more, until they start to turn brown on the edges.

Two very easy recipes, very easily manipulated. As always, have fun and be creative!

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