As much as I love our home, it is a challenge to take pictures in it. It has a certain cave-like quality to it. We are surrounded by trees and the only time that I don’t fight the light in this house is when we are in the dead of winter, covered in snow, and all the trees have lost their leaves. I don’t share a lot of the things that I make these days because I struggle to get great pictures of it. (I’d even be happy with decent pictures.) So instead of fighting it (which I’ve done for the last year), I’m learning just to go with it. Not the easiest thing for me.
I made these delicious cookies last night and I was not going to share them because it is grey and my house is particularly dark today. But they are so good that I would be doing you a disservice by not giving you the recipe. So I did something that I would have never done before. I used my iphone and the side table in my living room and called it good.
I think that something as silly as this says a lot about where I am in my life right now. I’m over trying to be perfect and getting it right all the time. I set an expectation for myself years ago about how I wanted things to look and be, and that bar was really high. Sometimes hitting the bar is easy. Sometimes that bar seems so high that it is paralyzing. Instead of even trying to get halfway, I would just not even try. If I wasn’t sharing my 100% absolute best effort, it wasn’t worth sharing at all. By not trying or sharing all I did was frustrate myself even more. It is a vicious cycle.
The thing about being an artist (and you have no idea how long it has taken for me to be able to call myself that and not cringe and feel like a fraud) is that creativity is not something that I have all the time. I have a lot when I use a lot. But if I am not using my creativity muscle, it begins to atrophy. The less I use, the harder it is to have some. By not sharing – even work that is not my idea of shareable – is holding me back. From interacting with you, from allowing more creativity into my life, and being happy. Making stuff. Creating stuff. And sharing that stuff truly makes me feel fulfilled.
All that to say even in the darkest corners of my home, there are glimpses of light that are there for the taking. I just need to let go and use them.
Random side note – the books on my side table are four books that I am absolutely in love with right now.
Chocolate Chip Sweets is a collection of chef recipes using chocolate chips (obviously). But in ways that I might not have thought of.
Grandbaby Cakes from blogger Jocelyn Delk Adams is exactly the kind of cookbook that moves me. Family recipes that are to be remembered for generations to come.
Date Night In holds a special place in my heart because my husband and I went through some bumpy years and our dates at home played a big role into getting us through it. I love everything about this book.
And lastly Vanilla Table. Vanilla is no doubt one of my absolute favorite flavors and ingredients. This book is special. (And my mother’s favorite to browse when she is at my house. She loves this book.)
You can’t see it from the picture, but there are about 14 post-it notes in all of these books with things I want to make.
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 whole egg, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- Cream the butter, both sugars, and orange zest until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolk, egg, and vanilla beating well after each.
- Whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Add cranberries and white chocolate chips. Mix until incorporated.
- Scoop onto parchment lined baking sheets. Using a ⅛ cup scoop, scoop batter onto sheets.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely. Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.
Recipe adapted from the King Arthur Flour 2015 Recipe of the Year