A cookie is worth a thousand… calories?

I’ve finally mastered the art of the chocolate chip cookie after countless unreliable, burnt batches these past few months. I always thought that a perfectly crafted cookie was the result of finely measured ingredients and… luck. I never knew how to get consistently delicious, evenly-baked cookies. Well I’ve learned the secret, and it only cost $21 at Target: an AirBake sheet and an oven thermometer.

My Dad was the first one to suggest that I buy an oven thermometer. I guess I’m naive; when the oven said it was cooking at 350, I assumed it was actually cooking at 350. So I tested the oven at 350, and I came back and it was actually at 450! I was probably a little too excited about the discovery. (We now realize that we’ve been scorching our pizzas at a whopping 575 degrees each time… no wonder the fire alarm used to go off every time we made pizza…)

The AirBake sheet is AMAZING. The cookies are evenly baked and not burnt on the bottom. Everything I could ever hope for.

Here’s what I did to make an incredible cookie, tested three times for quality control:

The recipe is stolen from here.

1 cup butter (room temp.)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar packed down
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla (I use real vanilla- none of this fake imitation stuff)
2 1/2 cups flour (modified from 3 cups)
1 tsp baking soda mixed in 2 tsp of hot water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (USE AN OVEN THERMOMETER!)

2. Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Add the water with the baking soda along with the salt. Stir in flour (do not over-mix) and fold in the chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop a tablespoon amount on the pan (I greased the AirBake pan).
3. Bake for 15 minutes (check it often, but try not to open the oven because it’ll cause the temp. to drop)
4. Eat and/or share them with others.

PS: I’ve had three cookies while writing this entry.

Here’s a hilarious video to round-off the cookie segment. Notice how uncomfortable Martha is… LOVE IT!


“You know what? Me have no idea what you talking about.”

A pound of love

It happened as I thought it would:  a pound of See’s chocolates later and I’m convinced I definitely gained more than a pound during the past two days of debauchery.

Let me re-cap my “cheat day” (which turned into “cheat days”) as of Sunday–

Breakfast was comprised of onion bagels, whipped cream cheese, fresh blueberry pancakes, cheesy scrambled eggs, coffee and chocolate truffles from TJ’s.

Then Dhiren pulled out the pound of chocolates from See’s, which made me unbelievably happy (though, not as happy as the gorgeous ring he bought me!!!) 

I love Valentine’s Day– the only day where you can binge on decadent chocolates  served in a big, pretty heart-shaped box (although now I realize that the heart alludes more to heartburn you endure later than love).  For dinner we went to El Torito, where I packed in about 8 freshly made flour tortillas (served with honey butter), 2 huge peach margaritas, a shot of tequila and fish tacos.  MMM.

I don’t regret it, but I definitely feel the mental challenge of climbing back “on the wagon.”  But tomorrow I’m beginning my fitness regime at Newport Beach–one hour of walking at 7AM and I’m planning my meals out now to avoid temptation and having to make any decisions:

2 eggs, tomatoes with olive oil and salt & pepper
15 almonds & a cheese
Arugala salad w/ 1/2 c. of Indian lentils
non-fat Greek yogurt w/ 15 blueberries
turkey burger and asparagus

I’m also going to sport my pedometer to make sure I hit 10,000 steps and up the water intake.  I’m determined to lose 2 pounds by Friday morning damn it and I need to meet my weekly goals in order to hit my target weight by my senior recital!

Phase 1: Day 3

Food Stats For Today:

Breakfast
1 egg, a little low fat cheese, spinach
Salad made with 1 1/2 c. arugala, 1 tbsp. Goddess dressing, a couple chunks of LF feta
1/2 c. LF ricotta w/ Splenda and vanilla
Coffee with TJ’s NF half ‘n half & a Splenda

Snack:
Almonds (15)

Lunch

1/2 c. vegetarian chile from TJ’s (highly recommended)
1 relatively large pc. turkey breast
Salad of arugala, green onions, 1 tbsp. Goddess dressing, cucumbers
1 Diet Hansen’s Tangerine Lime

Snack

5-7 sugar-free licorice

Dinner
2 1/2 cups of daal made by Dhiren w/ onions & cilantro

I weighed myself today and have already lost about 3lbs in 3 days.  I realize that sugar and salt causes you to retain added water, so most of this is probably a fluffy loss, but it’s still psychologically motivating.  I’m not going to weigh myself again until next weekend because it can become highly obsessive.  Anyhow, I always need to add a little somethin’ somethin’ to prevent this blog from taking the shape of a “diet blog,” which is is not.  It is a “food blog.”

Motivational moments of the day:

Walking 4 miles today at Newport Beach with Dhiren, and only complaining during the 4th mile as opposed to the entire thing.

Watching Dhiren eat this and not feeling sad:

Monica's left-over chocolate cake & Soy Creamy

Composing while eating cake?

Phase 1: Day 2

Artificial sweeteners= digestive hell.

But at least I resisted Monica’s double chocolate dulce de leche cake and lots of pizza at Christian’s birthday party today.   I ate about two pounds of veggies and guacamole.  I’m too tired to post my food intake today, so instead it’s Recipe Time with Danielle at Nummy Nums.

Before my diet I made delectable 6 layer “Dream Bars” for a potluck.  They came out really, really rich but were a hit.  I’m a messy cook though– I literally thought I was retarded at one point because I kept opening up the packages of chips and graham crackers and each time they would fly across the room everywhere.  This happened about 5 times total.

Heat up one stick of butter in a large 9×13 baking tray.  Once melted, top with 1 ½ cups of graham crackers.  Add a bag of chocolate chips, a bag of butterscotch (or any other type of melt-able chips) and 1 ½ cups of sweetened coconut.  Then drizzle one can of condensed milk over it and bake for about 20 minutes on 350 or so.  Enjoy the heart attack and indigestion.

On a more healthier note, last night I made myself a delicious turkey “burger” topped with onions, tomatoes and Goddess dressing along with some grilled, seasoned turkey-wrapped asparagus.  I actually really, really liked asparagus.

God bless the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine.  This whole meal took about 15 minutes.