Baking cookies in December

After November’s word madness, I decided to take a month off of writing. I slipped here and there, but for the most part I didn’t push myself. Baking took over my free time in December. At first I just wanted to try out some recipes I saw in Real Simple Magazine (didn’t work out because of #1 and another was a cut-out) and then some LUPEC members brought up  a cookie exchange (I baked maroons and gave them chocolate bottoms, nom-nom-nom). In my quest to find a fun yummy recipe I found many! I thought: hey, why not make cookies for some people I exchange presents with? So I asked my parents and a couple friends what their favorite cookies are. I’ve not baked many cookies in my life, so this was a bit of an adventure.

10 things I learned on my novice baking adventure:

1.  Do not use wax paper for a cookie sheet liner. It smokes and I wasn’t sure which side was which. Oops!

2.  Parchment Paper is one of the MVP’s for baking cookies. A liner that I reused a couple times and kept my cookie sheets clean. The cookies just slide right off.

3.  Freezing the dough before you bake for at least an hour aids in a plump soft cookie.

4.  Baking right after you mix the dough will yield a crisp flat cookie.

5.  If it is brown on the edges with a little color on top, take it out! It will finish cooking on the cooling rack. (believe me)

5. Do not try to whisk egg whites by hand to stiff white peaks unless you have the stamina and endurance to whisk forever! Use a hand mixer.

6. When in doubt drizzle or dip in chocolate. Always a win o/

7.  A three-tiered cooling rack is a must have.

8.  There is a three ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe: 1 cup peanut butter, 1 egg, 1 cup sugar. Dense and crisp.

9. Need all light-colored cookie sheets or all dark cookie sheets (decrease oven temperature). Don’t mix light and dark. Cool sheets in-between baking, too.

10.  I’m good at drop cookies. Cut-out cookies are my bane! I probably just need a better rolling pin…and practice…lol

There is still baking to do but essentially I’m done for the season. It felt like a good thing to do for the holiday season. I like cooking and baking. And I appreciate my friends that do it too. Especially, Jeanie, she is quite experienced with baking. She even sells her awesome cheesecakes! That’s how good her baking is.

Ta-ta for now.

The word count journey of November

I didn’t make my count of 50,ooo words. 36,714 was my end number.

Two major things this month I didn’t prepare for were Lily’s birthday and Thanksgiving weekend.

We painted Lily’s dresser with magnetic and chalkboard paint which took us about a week to finish (actually I still have some doors to finish, eep). I don’t know what I was thinking. Shoulda planned it out more. Painting, waiting for it to dry, another coat, wait, another coat, wait for four hours to 24 hrs, sand, paint with chalkboard paint (a pretty “bonbon” pink from hudsonpaint.com), wait three hours, coat, wait, coat, wait… I love the color (pic later). It was done in time for Lily’s birthday and slumber party (yes I really was exhausted after that, lol). Even though she has vandalized it since a little, chalking on it of course is allowed but there are scraps here and there. Better than what the dresser looked like before. I believe in letting a kid have one piece of furniture they can make their own but she made it so supremely ugly! Gross. So I figured I’d give her creativity a narrower channel : )

Thanksgiving weekend was very busy. I work retail so it was mighty exhausting. Customers were buying this year. Last year not so much.

So two weekends that were shot for writing. Maybe I should make this commitment to a word count in a non-busy month for me like January or February next time, huh? Eh I’ll probably always have something going on so it doesn’t matter which month, lol. Focus and discipline: must cultivate more. I think I did well overall. I doubt I’ve written 36K in a month ever (unless it was for academic purposes). I’ve stopped writing that particular story. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know about it until I started to write it. It was quite a learning experience writing that many words about one story even if I did resort to ranting about the story within the story, writing sex scenes, and the most horrid dialogue known to the writing-kind. But I just kept in mind this was about the word count and yet I just was increasingly disliking the story period, lol. Oh, well, there are tons of other stories and characters who want me to write them so poo-poo on that story that doesn’t want me to write it!