I'll Never Write a Novel

The Memoir of a Personal Essayist OR Confessions of a Theatre Widow

Friday, July 24, 2009

On a Mission

So, I am taking on a new project. I am in search of the perfect chocolate cookie recipe. Not just any "perfect" cookie, but perfect according to my husband. I've been looking for a baking quest and he gave it to me on a platter-- well more on a cookie plate. He's imagining his ideal cookie and I intend to create it. After a great deal of research it doesn't look like what he's dreaming of is out there. Yet. More on his specs later, but for now I need your input on the right baking tools. I need the perfect baking sheet. I am thinking of the jelly roll pan from Costco paired with a Silpat. Am I right? I think this is what I see my Food Network pals using. Is there something out there I have never even heard of before?

Also, I need a hand mixer. I already have an amazing KitchenAid Mixer, lovingly packed away in storage. It won't be making the trip to NYC, so I need help finding a hand mixer and bowl combo that will do the trick. Thoughts?

I have been inspired to take on this challenge, looking for a new accomplishment to achieve, and have been doubly inspired by some other bloggers chat on this topic. Have you seen CakeSpy's history of the chocolate chip cookie? Hilarious and brilliant! And Bakerella's take on The Cookie reminded me of many awesome days of baking cookies with my sister Kate. Perfection. And in her most recent post Zesty Jenny hinted at a great recipe. Bring it on!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dreaming of the Hamptons

Well, Shoot! We have been planning for the last little while about our big trip to the Hamptons tomorrow. Ah, to go to the beach, see Little G play in the water, and just get away. But, it's raining. So the big cast and crew day at the producer's Hamptons house is delayed. We think we'll be on for next week. Oh, fancy day at the playground of the rich and famous, why must you still be so far away?

But, we'll make the most of it. It's been too long since The Dad Guy, The Girl (she is getting a little old to be "The Babes") and I have just hung out for the day together. I am actually really excited about it. I suspect there will be a trip to the bakery involved. Basically, I always make a trip to the bakery happen when I can. There are literally at least six ridiculously good bakeries in my neighborhood. Zagat rated, top-notch, old-school bakeries. It actually reminds me a little of being a kid when I would go to Beck's Bakery in Fircrest. Man, Adele Beck was a magician with flour, sugar and water. That place was the ultimate happy place. One bakery nearby even has a doll cake in the window-- just like my favorite birthday cake of all time. Did you ever have/see one of these? It's a Barbie wearing a dress made of cake and frosting. There is nothing dirty about it. It's so cool. Now, mine never had a Barbie in it. It was more likely a Flair Doll. I still got love for Flair. She didn't need to be Barbie. She was still an 11 1/2 inch fashion doll standing in her own right.

All that said, I do think that many of the bakeries in Astoria are like Beck's Bakery on crack. The sheer freshly-made selection is kind of crazy.

My daughter is learning the Way of the Pastry quickly. One day we were out strolling and she woke up from her stroller nap a little groggy. I looked at her and said, "How you doing Sweetie Pie?" Her eyes lit up and she looked right at me and said, "Pie!" She then insisted that we needed to go get pie. Seriously. So, off we went to Martha's Country Bakery, where I know mini pies are on the menu. I let her select. They were out of her first choice, blueberry, so we opted for apple. I thought we might split a little pie. I was wrong. That little dynamo ate the whole thing.

Early in the process:As Pie Time Progressed...
She honestly just about polished off the whole thing. I tasted a hint of almond extract in it and couldn't keep eating (little allergy issue). But she just kept going. That's my girl! One of her first phrases was, "Mama loves piiiie!"

I could go on and on about bakeries and baked goods, but it was a fun little afternoon and one of the highlights of our new digs. The Girl is in a really fun phase and I want to eek out every bit of it that I can. She's such a Daddy's girl so much of the time. He cracks her up constantly. Not surprisingly since, after all these years, he still cracks me up constantly, too. I am very blessed. Perhaps I should get a pie to celebrate.