April 18, 2010

lacy oatmeal nutella cookies

        As a child, I spent a good amount of time a few floors down in the apartment of my mom's best friend Lisa. Her daughter Anna and I were roughly the same age, and we passed countless afternoons pretending we were at the Zoo, and dumping all of her toys in the tub so they could "swim."Before they moved I had some pretty good memories there, from shattering their life size mirror as an infant to getting caught attempting to put mascara on my 6 year old friend. Lisa used to always make the most delicious, buttery, just something so perfect and not ordinary at all oatmeal cookies in the whole entire world. And who knows what was in them, since her kids were strictly allergic to dairy and eggs and nuts and unfortunately many other things, but you can't feel too bad, because they got to have those cookies in their house.
          Only after I grew to love cooking did I wake up one morning, and I mean this as literally as possible, the memory of Lisa's oatmeal cookies- no, drops, since they never ever flattened out (that was the glory of them, you see)- popped into my head. I bothered my mom to ask for the recipe for weeks and weeks until finally did she comply, and days later I got to baking.
           They flattened; and my face accompanied them as the image of the perfectly round and puffed cookies I snuck from the kitchen years ago (the truth finally comes out) faded. Maybe I built my expectations to high? Or, maybe it just wasn't the right recipe that she thought of? Of course I was so absent minded that when I saw the name of the recipe, "Lacy" Oatmeal Cookies, I was ignorant enough to think that the cookies had some long history and that Lacy was a person. And then my mom informed me, as I took them out of the oven, that Lacy, simply, is a type of cookie. Though they were good, I could not help but feel disappointed because I do love my cookies more on the ooey-gooey brownie side, and these were more crispy and delicate. So I dipped them in melted Nutella.

Don't judge.

April 11, 2010

easter bread, eggs, and the spring blues

I don't consider myself a religious person, but, somewhat shamefully, I have no problem celebrating the respective holidays or getting school vacations in order to do so. I proudly received a load of chocolate bunnies this past weekend in my personal celebration of Easter. Four, to be exact, if anyone (besides myself) is counting. Now that I'm on the subject of chocolate bunnies, I may as well tell you why I'm still getting them, being almost 16 years old. Like every child, my favorite part of Easter was the bunnies; and although I was never quite the believer in the "Easter Bunny"- I was the one who informed my older sister of the lack of such a creature at the age of 7 (not to mention Santa Claus), I fawned over those darned chocolate creatures in a box like, frankly, it wasn't going to be there tomorrow. I was a chubby child.

Unfortunately, I was constantly disappointed by the hollow bunnies; all of the chocolate fell into the inside of the bunny before I could bite off a piece. So this year, I was determined to find a solid bunny (the 3D kind, you know, not the kind that's flat on one side). I dragged my friends across Manhattan looking for this darn thing; I walked in and out of stores and picked up pieces of chocolate to feel if it was light (hollow) or satisfactorily heavy (solid). I even went into the Godiva store and suggested to the Chocolatier the creation of such a treat. Unfortunately I wasn't desperate enough to resort to ordering it on Amazon from a questionable company called "Olde Naples Chocolate," which for some reason I keep saying with a "Ye" in front of it.

My mom is an Angel. On Easter she ran excitedly from her bedroom carrying a bag filled with treats, and absolutely could not wipe the smile off of her face when I saw the solid, milk chocolate, one pound bunny all wrapped up and delicious. We named him Louis. He's disappearing by the day.

Although I don't usually spend Easter at my Grandma's house, she always bakes something good and tries to persuade us to abandon the other side of my family, rent a car, and drive to Staten Island and back on last minute. Instead of obliging, my mom and I made her favorite recipe for Easter bread, colored some eggs, and enjoyed the 90 degree weather (which I miss terribly, now that it's 60 and rainy, and I remember that it's not summer). The Weatherman must have known that I needed a week of some warm weather bliss.