Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Loving November!

Pumpkins carved during our streets' annual pumpkin carving get-together.

Last night was the warmest Halloween I have ever experienced in my past 40 plus years here in Northern California. It was absolutely gorgeous and after sharing some pre-trick-or-treat chili with friends, we headed out to enjoy the neighborhood.  Grabbing our glasses of red wine we had to dash to chase the kids and chat with the neighbors. I especially loved seeing all the older people who still decorate and enjoy the kids. We are grateful to have a neighborhood with lots of them.  With the balmy weather, (we were just in T-shirts), and the local wine in hand, it felt very decadent and we were saying how lucky we are to live here.

Couldn't resist posting this pic of the neighborhood kids with their creations.
This news flash...it's November!! One of my very favorite months and not just because my Dad and my oldest son have birthdays. November is filled with LOTS of school holidays and I love that! Things seems to slow down a bit after hectic October. I can't say I'm not happy to get the webs off if you know what I mean...

So welcome to my kitchen!  In honor of November, a bit of cookery for you. Though you might be in sugar shock right now, (maybe I should have rescheduled this post), here's my newest, most favorite version of chocolate chip cookies yet. I found this recipe in an old kid's cookbook with my youngest son. In their version, you melt the butter and refrigerate. Because I didn't really read the directions, (a bit of a bad habit according to my husband), I made it the usual way without the frig or melting and they were awesome.  To me, the best cookies are crunchy a bit on the outside and gooey inside.

Here's a few pictures and as you can see I had assistants. Not sure how much help they really were...!

"Cleaning" up for me. :)

Walnuts are my favorite and of course California ones are superior!

The only chips I use now. Guittard also happens to be a California company. Love them.

Very important in baking- do not over beat the dough once the flour is added or you'll end up with tough cookies.

Large drops...we're talking golf ball size folks.

They look a bit browned, but are chewy inside.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 C.  Butter
1 egg
1/2  C. brown sugar
1/2  C. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 1/8  C. flour
1/4  t. salt
1/2  t. baking soda
1/2 bag of chocolate chips
1/2 C. walnuts (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter,  sugars, vanilla and egg in mixer. Mix until fluffy. In a separate bowl sift together flour and remaining dry ingredients.  Add flour mixture to bowl and mix until blended. Do not beat.  Add chip and nuts as desired.  Drop heaping spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake until just browning,  9-11 minutes.

It's comfort food people! Get ready a chill is in the air today and I'm a bit excited!

On a glad to be done with October note, I'm on my third Almond Joy for the day! Not good. Got to get the Halloween candy out of here quick!  AAAHHH! There's a reason I buy the kind I don't like. Darn Trick-or-Treat bags. 

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