Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ana's Awesome Double Chocolate Cookies

It's 12:48 am. I'm watching my fifth 'Friends' rerun of the night when I give up on the idea of sleep... I think to myself, "Well, if I'm not gonna sleep, I might as well have a yummy treat."
The only sweet thing left in the house is half a bag of semisweet chocolate chips. What to do?

The only thing you can do when sleep deprived and craving sweets, invent a cookie! What followed was a frenzy of activity that can only be described as divine intervention.

Without a recipe to speak of, I began mixing ingredients into a bowl. Granted, I've made many cookies in the past, and have a general knowledge of the basic necessary ingredients and proportions thereof, so maybe I was just working from experience.

The result was a deliciously gooey chocolate chocolate chip cookie. A perfect cross between a brownie and a cookie. It was soft and fudgy, but crisp on the outside. Awesome.

The recipe goes as follows:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup (perhaps a teensy bit more) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 a bag of semisweet chocolate chips (like 6oz? trust your judgement)

In large bowl, microwave the stick of butter for about 45 seconds or until it's semi-melted. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix. Add the egg and stir until mixed. In a separate bowl add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir with a spoon or flexible spatula until combined (don't over mix). Fold in the chocolate chips.

Roll little balls of dough in your hand, about 1" diameter, and place on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with hand. Bake for 8-10 minutes. You'll know they're done when they puff up and the tops look kind of dry. Careful, they're easy to over-bake. Let them cool for a minute and enjoy!

In case you were wondering... after my wonderful cookie adventure I ended up staying up until about 3:30 am.. turns out sugar doesn't really help you get to sleep.. who knew?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quarter-Life Crisis, Anyone?

There are times when I feel as if my life is nothing but one futile attempt after another at having some sort of  a 'real' life. Do you ever feel that way, or is it just me?

Upon further examination, the logical voice in my head (who I rarely listen to) told me this is simply because I'm in that "in-between" time... The time between college and career... The time between single and married... between being a young woman and a mother...

A feeling of disbelief followed this train of thought. My life is happening right now. It's always happening, every moment.. the idea that I'm somehow suspended in limbo for a few years after college seems unrealistic. Further, to think that my life doesn't really 'begin' til I have a career and am married with kids enrages me.

How come a life is only of value if we accomplish certain things? Who decided this? So my life won't really be worth living until I find some dude to marry and pop out a few kids? Until I choose some company to work for? Now I'm angry and confused.

Don't I matter just a little bit? Is my life not of value in itself? I have to go achieve some stuff in order to matter?

Maybe this quest for a 'real' life is nothing but a big fat illusion. Some fabricated notion to mask the fact that we're just afraid. Afraid to live our actual lives, full of uncertainty, and joy and sadness, and unbearable pain at times. Full of anticipation of things that may never come. Where our parents are insane and our boyfriends (or lack thereof) disappoint us. Where we disappoint ourselves sometimes. Basically, where nothing is perfect.

If we focus on chasing this 'perfect' life, this 'real' life, then we don't have to accept the life we do have. With all its imperfections and confusion.. where nothing is set in stone, and there's nothing we can do about it.

I think I found my answer. Accept your actual life. It may not be perfect, but at least it's real. It's happening right now! And even though things may suck at this moment, the beauty of it is, it could change any minute now... All you can do is put yourself out there and hope for the best.. Try.