Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This evening I baked "The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie." The recipe courtesy of Kim. Now she says she got the recipe from an online friend but my rule is: if I don't know your friend, it's your recipe.

It's a good thing they turned out. I've been having a problem baking. Cookies turn out more like scones so I threatened to swear off baking if these did not turn out well. No problem. They are DELICIOUS. The magic is the sea salt.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

2C minus 2Tbs cake flour
1 2/3C all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp coarse salt (or sea salt)
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 ¼ C light brown sugar
1C plus 2 Tbs sugar
2 Large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ c bittersweet chocolate (or any kind of chocolate chips that you like)*

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and coarse salt into bowl and set aside.
Using mixer, cream butter and sugars until very light (5 min).
Add eggs (1 at a time), mixing well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Drop chocolate pieces in and then press plastic wrap against dough.
Refrigerate 24-36 hours. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. (A couple of hours works.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, roll into balls and sprinkle lightly with coarse/sea salt.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown (for my oven 12-13 minutes).

I used my silpat. This is a kitchen tool I cannot live without. Never a burned cookie, biscuit, or even veggies ever again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Be Careful What You Say

Due to Kim A.s influence I've decided to published my list of things to do. Hers was 101 in 2010 but I'm modifying and taking a look at what to do for the final third of my life.

The first third (0-25/30 years old) is the beginning. Learning how to live, how to be a family girl, get an education – academic and the work related learning progression so you can be a functioning citizen as in get-a-job. Many find a life partner. I did married him at 23 years old. Too young, but so far it's working out okay. Many start a family. I did, all three were born before I was thirty. Too young and if I had to do it over again I would do it the same way just 3 years later.

The second third (+/- 30-60 years old) is the living of life. We built our family. Training and teaching the three to be productive, contributing members of society. We had a lot of fun along the way. Careers were built, a future and a hope. We lived like it really mattered. Sharing Christ in so many different ways. Bringing meals to sick families. Taking care of children (sometimes adult children) so parents could have break. Listening to hurting people, sometimes helping, sometimes just listening. Building baseball parks, teaching VBS, helping pregnant women, cleaning others houses and cars, moving young families into their new home, hosting dinner parties, knowing and loving our neighbors, sewing dance costumes, baking cookies, serving classroom teachers. Essentially living life in the 20th century with the end purpose of knowing that living and being while honoring God would/could/might result in His glory.

The final third (+/- 60 – ? years old) is the reflective time of life. There are still retirement plans to contribute to, but leading the way is now that 2nd third group of people's responsibility. Advice and counsel is the primary function. This can go easy or hard. If you think you are still cool you're not. If you think the polite attentiveness in conversation from those younger is agreement/understanding/awe, it's not. They could learn it the easy way—ask, but they won't. The world is brand new to them and we learn from history that we do not learn from history.

Well, many years ago I heard a preacher end his sermon by saying something like, almost all people start with passion, enthusiam and energy. Most do not finish well. And then he charged us to finish well. Throughout my life these words have come back to mind and I have lived my life differently because I wanted to finish well.

To that end here's my list of what is left to do. (BTW I am NOT yet 60 yo.) I will periodically update my achievements, possibly add to the list but my intention is to make public what I think I should do with the purpose of not letting the time slip away.


1. Find, execute, enjoy the ultimate chocolate chip cookie

2. Learn embroidered smocking and make 3 matching dresses

3. Take watercolor painting class

4. Resume gardening; learn potted techniques for current region

5. Annually read 10 books on a variety of subjects (spiritual growth, fiction, current management strategies, biographies, etc.)

6. Learn wine (history, vintages, regions, taste)

7. Participate in a book club (possibly on line)

8. Maintain at least a cursory knowledge of internet technology advancements (for example Twitter)

9. Daily walk 2 miles


10. Catalog “best” recipes

11. Create silhouettes of grandchildren

12. Participate in local community service projects/ministries

13. Weekly post on blog about subjects of a “timeless” nature

14. Continue to downsize/eliminate possessions

15. Participate in a Bible study

16. Write a letter a week

17. Create “I've Been There” book with notes and impressions


18. Climb Diamondhead

19. Watch the big surf on the North Shore

20. Visit Bishop Museum

21. Swim in the ocean at night (again)

22, Swim one mile in one session (resting between laps is allowed)

23. Travel to San Antonio, TX

24. Travel to SD to see Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills

25. Annually attend 2 live music performances (I'd like one to be Paul McCartney, but who knows)

26. Annual day of solitude for reflection, peace of mind, renewal with God

27. Annually spend a retreat weekend or day with close friends

28.Travel to South America (Peru, Argentina or Chile are the preferred locations)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So ...

Everybody's blogging again. Now that I use an RSS service I get the updates regularly and I like it. (Thanks Kim!)

Photos make it more interesting. But there will be none on this post.

I'm working on my list "The Final Third" -- things I want to accomplish in this final third of my life (a modification of Kim's 101 in 2010. Thanks again). I will be publishing this in the next few days mostly as a means to hold myself accountable--I desire to finish well. So, no flogging me or reminding, or "helping" me in ANY way. Thank you.

Also I like the idea of writing my reflections -- for me a better way of describing journaling. Anymore that's all anybody wants from me --reflections. I think that means I'm not in it any more, but I once was. As hard as it is to admit I think that's true. Also I'm ready to pass the baton.

To those 30-somethings in my life: It's your turn to make it better.