March 24, 2016

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies--Perfected!

You guys--I kid you not, I have finally perfected these cookies!

"Baby, this is honestly the best you've ever made these cookies! They are PERFECT!" <---The exact words from my husbands mouth. (It's every wife's dream to be complimented by her husband on her cooking and baking, right ladies?!) After hearing those words I was insanely happy! :)

So yes, once again on an open Tuesday evening I decided to make my all-time favourite cookie recipe: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.
I make these little darlings at least once every 2 months (sometimes even once a month!), with the recipe doubled too. That's a whole 'lotta oatmeal!

These cookies were a huge part of my childhood, which probably explains my never-ending love for them. My Mom along with my two sisters and I would make these pretty frequently (sometimes together, other times separately). We always doubled the recipe, and always made them in a HUGE yellow bowl and mixed it all together with a big wooden spoon!

Those were obviously the days before everyone had a shiny Kitchenaid stand-mixer on their countertops. I, by the way, still do not have my Kitchenaid standmixer--but now that we have another full-time income, I see one arriving in the near future! (YAY!!) I just need to decide on the right colour that perfectly says "hello, and welcome to Jenny's kitchen). :)

Anyway, I find that these cookies are great for any occasion. For example, I like to eat them for breakfast or snack on during my commute to and from work. They're also great to pack into Jarryd's lunches to give him little delicious boosts of energy throughout the day.
Rather than just being cookies solely made up of sugar, these cookies have substance from the oatmeal and the--optional--nuts! Do you know what I mean?
And I already know what my avid blog followers are thinking right now, "Oh please! You already blogged about these cookies...". I know I did! I just haven't yet documented the process before quite like I did this time--as in, I took a TON of photos! (I was in a bit of an artsy foodie mood!)

Speaking of taking photos, everyday I am falling more and more in love with my Canon DSLR camera, mostly because this camera makes my cooking and baking look 10x better than my iPhone ever did. (If only I would have had this camera with me at culinary school, sigh!) Perhaps it makes my food look better than it actually tastes in real life? (Hmm...something to think about...)

With that said, are you ready to take off on this Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie baking adventure with me? Here we goooooo! :)
 A very good/GREAT thing to do when you're about to execute a recipe is to set up your Mise En Place (also known as gathering your ingredients and "putting them into place"). Check out that scrumptious mountain of butter!
 To create the perfect Mise En Place, you need bowls of all sizes. Normally when I'm doubling or even tripling a recipe I like to use my medium to large sized stainless steel bowls. But with this cookie recipe, I decided NOT double it and keep it as it is. These little glass bowls from DollarTree are PERFECT for smaller-sized recipes! (By the way, I spent a grand total of $2.00 for all 7 of these bowls! I highly recommend you do the same!)
Oatmeal, brown sugar, MINI chocolate chips (I used my sister's advice and used the mini this time--I will definitely continue to keep using the mini ones!), butter, eggs, butter, walnuts, extra vanilla, white sugar, extra salt, oh and more butter!
Just a close up of all the delicious goodness.
This super cute measuring spoon set was a Christmas present from my sister a few years ago. I think after she found out I wanted to start attending Culinary school she showed her support by buying my these. I LOVE them! They're made of (not from) china, and they look too pretty to use, but the secrets out-I actually DO use them!
Mixin' all the Mise en Place together as if it never truly existed... ;)
The signature cookie dough has been created!
A little macro-love for my macro-lovers out there. Mmm!
Can you tell I love those measuring spoons yet? Also, I bought a brand new baking sheet, which you can see in the photo above. I am SO glad I bought it because my old two baking sheets were just the worst. About a minute after going in the oven, they would instantly warp, and they were covered in black stuff that I just could not scrub off! They were just incredibly flimsy and not good quality at all. This new baking sheet on the other hand, is sturdy as can be, and baked the cookies so evenly! (Surprisingly it was only $8.00!)
I already said this in my previous Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie blog post, but this cookie scoop is one of the best kitchen gadgets I've ever purchased. For. Real. It makes the scooping of cookie dough WAY less messy...more like not messy at all. And you're left with the most perfect and uniform sized/shape cookie dough balls. I can't even say it enough how much I love having a cookie scoop.
A close up of the dough--you can see the walnuts and chocolate so clearly. ;)
And after a short 14 minutes in the oven...
This is making me hungry.
The kitchen looks clean in the photo, but believe me, all the mess was on the kitchen island. ;)
After taking them out of the oven, you never think that they're actually done baking because they don't quite look it. But the trick is to let them set on the sheet, on the counter for 5 minutes after you take them out. THEN move them onto a cooling rack.
Here is my cooling rack. :)

Friends, we have reached the end of our cookie baking adventure! It was fun, wasn't it? :) I hope I inspired you to make some of your own cookies--and if not, I hope I at least inspired you to eat some cookies. And if not that, I hope I at least inspired you to eat, eat something, anything!! Because food is the best!
OH! And I almost forgot--you can find the recipe HERE on To be honest, I don't follow the recipe exactly as I have my own secret variation of course. ;)

I seriously encourage you to make some of these cookies! They're SO delicious and so easy to make. (I'm pretty sure even Jarryd could make these on his own, yes, even Jarryd!) If you do end up making them, let me know how they turned out! I would love to hear about it! <3

March 12, 2016

The New Normal.

^Making new Saturday morning traditions, blogging, bagels with cream cheese, and COFFEE in my new mug!!

Hi blog friends!! Eeek! I miss you, so so much.

I have officially completed my first full 3 weeks of work and the accomplishment feels great {and so does the paycheck}. ;) My eat and sleep schedules have finally adjusted; now, I'm not saying I get 8 hours of sleep every night {because I DON'T and it tears me up inside!} but I find myself getting sleepy and ready to retire into the bedroom between the hours of 8 and 9 pm. *thumbs up*

Does anyone else ever feel simply inadequate when it comes to time management?! That, is my issue right now.
It's Saturday morning and the apartment is an utter mess. {I apologize, I feel like my messy apartment is all I blog about anymore!} And I JUST remembered now that I have to get some laundry done. BRB (that means "Be Right Back"--for those of you living in the stone age)...

OK I'm back! Where was I...? Oh yeah, the apartment mess. Literally every room needs to be cleaned up. It fascinates me--in the most annoying way--how quickly a mess can form. And there are only TWO of us living here. What is going to happen when kids come into the mix? Yikes. Perhaps I'll have my time management skills down by then?

The "new normal" right now is that I wake up at 4:50 AM, leave the apartment by 5:20 AM, arrive at work at 5:45 AM, leave work at 2:30 PM, and arrive home at 3:00 PM.
With that said, for 10 hours out of the day, I am away from home. {This feels like such a long time to me.}
If I do get home from work before Jarryd, then I gotta get dinner started right away. Then, we eat. And the last thing either of us wants to do after dinner is clean. Especially in my case because I am standing all day at work, all I want to do is sit down. Sit anywhere and everywhere!

When I was working part-time hours, I actually enjoyed cleaning. Makes sense right? I have more energy, and more time to turn up my music and make something fun out of it.

NONETHELESS, I have honestly enjoyed my new job. Really! I have definitely gotten into the swing of things, and I know my job well. I love love LOVE the routine of it all. My quirky personality just loves the organization of it all.

I hate to compare, but at my old job every single hour of every single day was a surprise. I can't remember if I have shared this on my blog before or not, but at my old job I struggled with SO much anxiety. Writing it out on here does not do justice to the feelings at all--in fact, seeing my words across the screen, they appear silly and elementary.

For those of you who don't know, at my previous job I was a cook at a hotel/resort/conference center. Sometimes I'd have to cook for over 200+ people on my own, which was a nightmare in itself. But it didn't matter how high or low the guest numbers were, it was the fact that I didn't know the numbers half the time. Nobody there understood though; when I'd tell people "Hey, I feel like I never know what is going on here!", I would receive a "that's just the way it is" laugh-it-off type of reply. It was the constant unknown that caused the stress and anxiety. I would have shifts where my heart wouldn't stop racing and I'd be unable to take a full, deep breath. I would take multiple trips to the bathroom just so I could be alone and close my eyes {and sometimes cry}.

{Can any of you relate to my struggle with anxiety at all?}

Perhaps I was just a lone routine-organizational-craving personality surrounded by thrill-seeking-challenge-craving personalities? Am I the only person on earth who loathes disorganization in the workplace? Whatever it may be, I am so thankful that God hears/heard my prayers at brought me to where I am now: a workplace where everyday pretty much looks the same. A workplace where I only have 5 coworkers {instead of 50+ coworkers whose names I can never get right}.

This job is a huge blessing in that we'll be able to pay off our debt in a quicker fashion! In comparison to most, our debt is quite small. But comparisons aside, we have debt and it needs to be paid off. I guess I'll hold off on the Target shopping sprees then, sigh... :P

Also, nobody tells you how quickly the two-day weekend goes by. Sure, they always say "that sure went by fast", but they never really tell you how fast. It's literally gone in the blink of an eye. I feel so deceived!

Anyway, do any of you full-time-jobbers/time-management-experts have life advice for this girl? ;)