Posted in Uncategorized

The Beloved Chocolate Chip Cookie

A staple. A favorite. A path down memory lane for many. The perfect sweet for any day whether it’s with a hot cup of coffee while snow falls outside or with a cold glass of milk while the sun beats down on your face.

Chocolate chip cookies.

I spent years trying to perfect the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. I prefer them chewy (although, I will never pass up a crunchy one as long as I have milk with it) and buttery and slightly crisp around the edges. Is your mouth watering yet??

I took a handful of my favorite recipes I tried, combined them with some changes, and came up with my personal favorite chocolate chip cookies ever. Eat them by the handful, dunk them in your fave drink, sandwich them with ice cream or buttercream. Gosh, it doesn’t matter they’re just SO GOOD.

Indulge and be happy.

 

Anastasia’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

2 large eggs (I use 3 if they’re much smaller than average.. sometimes local eggs are tiny!)

1 1/4 t. vanilla

2 1/3 cups flour (I use Sir Galahad AP. I buy it by the 50lb from Martin’s Country Store in Moira or Madrid, right next to the bakery, but if you can’t get out your door you can always order some with the link)

1 t. baking soda

1 1/8 t. salt (you can use less if you prefer- but I love chocolate and salt)

2 cups chocolate chips (I love milk, but semi-sweet is delicious as always!)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs & vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix til together. Fold chocolate chips in last.

I use my 1/4 cup scoop for these cookies, but you can drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls. Give them a couple inches apart until you bake the first batch and then you can arrange accordingly the next round. They’ll take somewhere around 10 minutes total & I always rotate my pans halfway through.

FYI: I use a convection oven at 320 and they take about 5 minutes on each side. Keep a close eye, because it’ll be a little different with regular ovens, but pretty close to the same time. These also made 24 cookies with my scoop. 

 

There ya go! I freaking love these. Hope you do, too! They’ll be in the case Saturday for my customers to devour.

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized

Spiders.. eek! Essential Oils to the rescue.

We always have a major spider issue in our apartment. Not really sure WHY, but it is beyond obnoxious. I don’t mind using the professional sprays, but with Ella crawling around I don’t really want her hands going near those chemicals on the base boards, you know? Yuck.

A bunch of you know I’ve gotten into essential oils and the oily world is just the best… I hope I never stray from it! It’s changed a lot for us and it’s also helped me cut down on the crap I put into our skin… especially Ella’s. My newest concoction? DIY Spider Spray. It smells incredible & seems to actually work so far.

Typically we don’t see spiders until the night comes and then we see one here or there crawling around by cabinets or wall corners. And these aren’t just daddy long legs… these are like massive things that resemble wolf spiders & the ones we see are like the size of a half dollar with it’s legs spread out.

NOT my kinda thing. So I whipped up a spray the other night. The scents I used are scents that spiders (and probably other bugs as well) really don’t enjoy on their “fingers” and touching their foods: peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and lemon. Smells out of this world delicious! Much better than the chemical filled sprays. Spiders die when they hit that stuff (which I’m not super opposed to, sorry spideys) but I just would rather they live peacefully and simply not come near me. Haha!

Vacuumed and swept and got the apartment super clean and sprayed the crap out of my window sills and base boards and everything else. The doors especially.. all around the outside of the doors, too. I wasn’t expecting it to work too well (sometimes DIY stuff just doesn’t cut it). Early afternoon (never see spiders EVER at that time of day) I see a spider booking it.. and I mean booking it… across the carpet towards the front door. I kinda freaked and smushed it (sorry, Spidey), but pretty encouraging! I don’t think it was a coincidence that the only time I’ve ever seen one of those babies running for it’s life during the afternoon was the same afternoon I used the new spray. Here’s the recipe I kinda threw together give or take a few drops of something… try it! If anything, it smells incredible.

Spider Spray: 

Glass spray bottle (glass is best so that the citrus essential oils don’t break down any plastic)

Distilled water (grab a jug at Walmart)

Castile Liquid Soap (this is the brand I use for so much stuff… I love it!)

Essential Oils*** such as peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and anything citrus like lemon or orange.

Add oils to the bottle. I used about 5 drops of each oil (you can use more if you want, just give it a sniff and do what you want to make it stronger! Add about a tablespoon of castile soap and fill the rest up with water. Shake it up and spray (and sniff) away! Literally it’s a GLORIOUS scent.

Brb I’m gonna go spray my apartment again. And then make a new batch!

*** I love Young Living essential oils, but alas I cannot afford them (even with the membership program they run.. I’ve crunched and crunched and I just can’t). We are working very hard towards paying off student loans and my oil budget is not much. I don’t ingest essential oils (I don’t think our bodies are meant to– personal opinion. I know people who do and they’re still definitely alive and 100% well!), so I don’t mind using brands that aren’t as seriously high quality as YL. I also am not a fan of MLM companies for many reasons. 

I use a few different brands for headaches, aches, cleaning products, and aromatherapy. I am trying a bunch! 

Rocky Mountain is one company I’ve researched a lot and found their quality to be  VERY satisfactory and their prices affordable. And the link in the recipe & here happens to be a set of literally only the oils I used for this recipe, but they are also some of my most used scents.

I also have noticed very good results with Healing Solutions. Their Doctor Kit I have LOVED and it has lasted me quite a while. I have noticed such a difference in our moods, sleep, and physical aches/problems. Another kit that is good is the Starter’s Kit.

NOW Foods essential oils are excellent as well especially for around the house. I’ve tried 2 scents that I found at the store, but when I am able to purchase a couple more I’ll be ordering some others online to try.

I also love ADK Aromatherapy. It supports local, the scents are wonderful, and the quality is excellent. They also take custom orders when they can if you have a scent that is not on their site! 

Posted in Health

Mondays & Shaun T

I will admit: I miss baking by the time Sunday morning hits. Which means waking up Monday morning randomly at 3am stinks because I’m not in the kitchen, but then I remember I can close my eyes and sleep for another 4 hours (or whenever I hear Ella talking to her bunny rabbit in her crib). So…. I don’t mind as much, ha. Also: I get to workout in the morning and what better way to start your day? Last thing I wanted to do this morning was do an intense workout and every 5 minutes I told myself that was good enough, but thankfully I finished and I’m always happy that I do.

People ask me how I don’t weigh a million pounds being in my profession. I’ll tell you how…. Shaun T, y’all. I love to run, but having a baby makes that super difficult. I can’t WAIT for warm weather when I can run with the stroller (although come on, it’s the most awkward thing to do ever. Not sure how fit moms make it look so flawless). So starting in the first couple months of Ella I turned to what I used to do a lot during my late teens and college years: Shaun T’s program Insanity. This set is the BOMB. I purchased this when I was 17 (I think that’s correct. I was a waitress/baker at Scoops in Potsdam at the time… day after my first workout I could barely walk and it was pretty hilarious to everyone watching me during my Saturday shift) and it was inCREDible.

Cool story: I started Insanity in late April 2011 and I went on actual runs maybe twice during the entire 2 months of the program. End of June came and a half marathon was taking place in Madrid so I decided to be crazy and run it. Keep in mind I ran literally TWO times in the couple months prior to this race, I only did Insanity. I ended up making my second place personal record (3 louzy minutes behind my half marathon PR) and was able to sprint nearly the last full mile and had energy to spare. This program builds endurance crazy well!

It’s on average 35-40 minutes a workout for the first month of the program and 40-50 for the second month. It’s all about interval training: work hard for 2-3 minutes, rest for 30 seconds… over and over. Burns calories mad well & you are able to rest your body in between which means you don’t burn out as fast. What I also love about Shaun T’s workouts is every time no matter how many times you’ve done it, you push yourself to the max. Which means you never technically “complete” the program for good… you just continue to push your limits and set higher standards each time you do it. I love that. Years later and I still enjoy working my butt off to Shaun T encouraging, pushing, and challenging everyone of us on the other side of his screen.

If you’re wanting to get your endurance up, toned, muscles in place, AND are looking for something fun.. give it a whirl! Totally worth the money. I bought this set 7 years ago and I still use it. Great investment! And if you want something that’s less time out of your day, I would highly recommend Shaun T’s T25 program. Currently on sale for almost 50% off, too… great price. I do this on and off with Insanity and I LOVE it. 25 minutes of working out and a couple minutes of stretching afterwards. I strongly encourage anyone to give either of these a whirl.

Set my Monday up for greatness- you should try it next week. Or sooner. Amazon ships within days. 😉

 

-Anastasia

Posted in My Life

Life Right Now

17862347_10212278499307791_7139121422968175302_n

Hey y’all!

After people asking me to blog about the bakery & life I finally decided to pick it back up. This blog was one I created while still attending Paul Smith’s College a few years back. I took off all of my posts except my very first one because it made me laugh.

BUT, I had a dream and it’s incredible to see how far it’s grown. God has blessed me beyond what I deserve!

This blog has been requested by many over the last 2 years. It will be a way for me to answer questions, share my personal life, share the bakery’s ups and downs, my favorite recipes, tricks, tips, & whatever else gets thrown at me. Why anyone would be interested in my little life is beyond me, but I am happy to share with those who will read! My daughter Eleanor Pauline is a tad famous around here (she came into the world with quite the flare and even shut the bakery down for a couple months because of the pregnancy complications and her health) and I am excited to be able to share more about her sweet self with you all. My life in Madrid with my husband, Aaron, and Ella Baby is more than I could ask for. This is my way of recording events so I can come back in years and reread the best days of my life so far.

Don’t smile TOO much at Ella in her new Baby Swing thanks to my grandparents! So perfect for the final arrival of SPRING.  =)

Today also happens to be her TEN MONTH birthday. Wow!

-Anastasia