Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rattletrap Cookies (Dark Chocolate, Chia, and Cordyceps)

Yesterday I ran further than I think I ever have in my entire life.  I am quite stellar sometimes.  Yet within ten minutes after getting out of bed this morning, I had managed to take 800 milligrams of ibuprofen and have my feet stepped on by two small (and very unrepentant) children.  And though I was supposed to go running again today, as per my set-in-stone schedule, I instead opted for a very hot and very long shower, followed by a pair of very stretchy and very comfy yoga pants.  (It has been a VERY long past couple of weeks, alright?)

And so, after reading two chapters of Matilda to the girl, I sat down with the boy and we read Rattletrap Car.  (It's one of his preferred favorites, and for very good reason.  It's fantastic.) You know the book... a hillbilly family who just wants to go to the lake for a swim, but the car keeps breaking down the whole way.  Eventually, after using their wits and their beach accoutrements, they fix the car, make it to the lake, and have a downright lovely time swimming. Michael used to laugh at me for my fondness of the book, 'You only like it because you have a great love for hillbillies!  It's really not that great.' Pffft, like it isn't.

Anyway, as we sat reading today, my body feeling achy and tired from my stellar-ness, not to mention getting jumped on by a small child, I couldn't help but relate to the poor old rattletrap car.  'They didn't go fast, but they did go far. They made it to the lake in their rattletrap car...'  I didn't go fast (not really, anyway), but I did go far (just over 11 miles, thank you kindly), and the view of the lake was/is always one of the best.

As for the aptly named cookies... I am, oddly, looking forward to my run tomorrow when I am back in top form -- and most certainly hopped up on a few of these beauties.  I am shocked by how good they are.  Sometimes experimental (flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants) baking really does pay off!  I would say it was a day well spent.

(Quick disclaimer -- yes, cordyceps are quite nasty and incredibly revolting.  I've been trying to use them in food for the past several months to no great success.  They tasted bitter in everything, and the smell when cooking was like some sort of burnt chocolate.  I kept googling 'how the eff do I mask the hideous flavor of mushroom powder', to no avail.  I was trying to cover the flavor by creating the opposite flavor.  And then it hit me yesterday: if they smell like bitter and burnt chocolate when heat is applied, maybe add actual chocolate -- only a good sort of chocolate.  And there we are!  The flavor of cordyceps is gone!  I promise I could hand a cookie to either child and they would eat it, and then demand another.  Sometimes I am a genius.)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Maybe This Is Why I Don't Sleep Well Anymore

I dreamt last night that I was trying to walk out into the backyard, but walked smack into the sliding glass door instead.  And it really, really hurt.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


My favorite places in the world tend to be where the people I love best live.  And yet...

I am absolutely in love with Holmes Point.  It has become one of my favorite spots in the whole entire world.  This is where I take my two small ones hiking, play-grounding, and swimming in Lake Washington. This is where Emilia stood this afternoon, shivering in her swimsuit, and wishing she could just go swim out in the middle of the lake.  This is where yesterday Leo saw 'an animal' (a long shiny black beetle) while we were out hiking. This is where Leo exclaimed with the utmost jubilance when he saw the trail end and the grassy parking lot begin, 'I did it!  I did it hike!!!'  This is where Emilia screamed bloody murder one day last week when I pointed out a snake that happened to be a few feet away on the path in front of us.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lavender & Lemon Scones (How Absolutely Froofy!)

We went lavender picking at Woodinville Lavender last week.  It is the season for Folgate, apparently, which is edible, but not nearly as fragrant as some of the other varieties.  I've got a great big bunch of it in a vase, and every time I walk by, I hope to get a smack of lavender right across my face.  Instead, I get a soft, subtle, very lavender-y, and quite nice scent, really -- but only if I lean in.  On the bright side, it is perfect for culinary purposes.  I've got a list of things in my head to do with the stuff, but so far I've only managed scones.  (I would love to make lavender ice cream and lavender sugar cookies and maybe even infuse one of those oils I smear all over my skin with lavender and (if I only had the wherewithal) my own herbes de Provence.  But alas.)

Anyway, the scones are really incredible.

I've been reaching for this recipe ever since I got bored stiff with Julia Child's buttermilk scone recipe.  Julia's, while perfection itself, has become entirely ho-hum. I've started to prefer the heartier texture of yogurt in the recipe, I love the way they turn a beautiful golden brown in the oven, I love that they aren't too sweet, and I love that the lavender is more fragrant than flavorful.  The five-year-old begs for them for breakfast, and the two-year-old eats them with a big sticky smile (mostly because his is smothered with lemon curd on one half, and honey on the other).  But this is only after he has come to terms with the fact that he cannot actually have syrup for breakfast -- or blueberry muffins, for that matter.  (Every single morning it is the same thing; he climbs all over me in bed, and says as sweetly as he can muster, 'I want SYRUP!  I want BLUEBERRY MUFFINS!)  And there we are.

Sunday, July 7, 2013