Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February so far

I got a phone call from my mom today-
Me: Hello?
Mom: Did you guys have an earthquake? Did you feel it??
Me: Mom, this is Katie, you called the wrong daughter
Mom: No, I know this is Katie, CNN says there was an earthquake in Chicago

And yes, in fact there was an earthquake early this morning about 30 miles north/northwest of us, 3.8, and no, I didn't feel a thing. WEIRD.

Here are some normal things about Chicagoland-

The snow in our backyard and parking lot as seen from our balcony:

The car after the snow finally stopped. It's just a VW Golf but this makes it look like an XB:

Eden listening to her Daddy's study music:

Snow Day cookies (I didn't leave the house for 60 hours!!):

Trying marshmallow fondant for the first time:

The marshmallow fondant cake was for our neighbors and new friends. Eileen turned 25 on Monday and since we don't know her that well I figured a birthday cake was the way to go. I've had this tutorial for the fondant tagged for quite awhile and was really excited to finally try it out. I used a 6" X 2" cake pan and some neon food coloring. The fondant is REALLY sticky when you first start working it, but after about 8 minutes it's just like play dough and tastes a whole lot better. SERIOUSLY FUN. I got a bit crazy with some cupcakes until about midnight on Friday. Eileen and Blaise were sweet and brought it back to our house with ice cream so we could share it with them. It's so great having neighbor friends!

The chocolate cookies were made after my 48th hour of not leaving my 900 sq ft apartment. I was stir crazy and under some delusion that Eden would help me and it would be fun. Eden was too terrified by the mixer to enjoy herself and spent her 20 minutes of allotted Sesame Street time while I finished baking. THESE COOKIES ARE AWESOME. I think they are my new favorite, so here's the recipe:

Chocolate Mint Brownie Cookies
from Nestle Toll House Best-Ever Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
MELT 3/4 cup morsels in small, heavy saucepan over lowest possible heat. When morsels begin to melt, remove from heat; stir. Return to heat for a few seconds at a time, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, peppermint extract and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in remaining morsels and nuts. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE in preheated 350° F. oven for 8 to 12 minutes or until sides are set but centers are still soft. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


  1. Marshmallow fondant! Looks and sounds yummy!
    Aunt Anna

  2. I will have to try those cookies. Laura loves chocolate mint.
    Waiting on your next adventure....