make sure to hop on over to adeline's daddy and check out all the other great vlogs!
if you've never read elle's blog, i suggest you hop over pronto! she is easily one of the funniest ladies in the mommy blogging world. her posts are always witty, insightful, and honest (sometimes painfully so). and you know what else? SHE'S NICE. like, really nice. like, doesn't leave mean comments ever kind of nice. plus her "little hummingbird" is just about the cutest thing on two feet. so skip on over to this is mommyhood and say hello!
for me, NOTHING takes me back to specific points in my life quite like music. there are certain songs that never fail to transport me back to a different time in my life. tonight i am drinking an exceptional beer and reminiscing while listening to those songs that define parts of my life. i thought i would share them with you.
CHILDHOOD. my childhood was defined primarily by 1970s AM classics. those were the albums my dad played over and over again on long drives. these songs remind me of the 45 minute drive to my grandparents' apartment, of my father, and of our old upholstered chairs with the giant, hot pink flowers.
ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL. this time in my life can be summed up in 3 words: BEN FOLDS FIVE. all of their albums, especially their eponymous first disc, have been extremely influential on me. my older brother used to work for their record company and introduced me to their music at the tender age of nine. they have been my favorite band since. thanks, big brother.
fun fact: i painted the lyrics, "go ahead, you can laugh all you want. i've got my philosophy." on everything i owned between the ages of 10 and 15.
HIGH SCHOOL. i had very varied musical tastes at this point in my life. i loved jeff buckley (again thanks to my older brother), the dismemberment plan, punk, and ska. bands like bad religion, leftover crack/choking victim (i stopped listening them after stza made fun of me at a show once), and less than jake ruled my life.
COLLEGE. i got to art school and realized everyone around me thought punk was passé and ska sucked. so i started listening to bands like neutral milk hotel, q and not u (i went to their last ever show and danced on the speaker), and bonnie prince billy. i also became super obsessed with they might be giants. i still kind of am. i sold out.
(couldn't find a good live version of this one. sorry!)
MEETING TRAVIS. i met travis early in my junior year. during this time, while i was falling in love, i listened to a lot of andrew bird and clem snide.
THE WEDDING. while planning our wedding i listened to a ton of motown, duwop, romantic music from the 1950s and 60s, and a lot of quiet company.
fun fact: i walked down the aisle to the above song.
PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH. i listened to a TON of josh ritter during my pregnancy and the early hours of labor. so runs the world away was my go-to album during this time. i also listened to the drums a lot. their music reminds me of summer in the best way.
since sylvie's birth my musical life has been dominated by sesame street and yo gabba gabba, so this pretty much brings us up to date. if you watched even one of these videos, then bless you. you have the patience of a saint.
sundays are for making chocolate chip cookies. especially rainy, quiet, work-filled sundays. to me, nothing beats that buttery, dark crispness with a glass of ice cold milk. i have tweaked my recipe over the last few years to yield my perfect cookie. they are thin and crispy, never cakey or chewy. i began with the classic nestle toll house recipe and made changes from there. the first big change is to cut the recipe in half. nobody needs 5 DOZEN cookies sitting around nagging to be eaten. the second change is to substitute whole wheat flour for the standard AP. this lends the cookie a tooth and depth of flavor that simply cannot be achieved with white flour. plus, a little extra whole grain never hurt anyone. third, i changed the ratio of brown sugar to white sugar. the ratio in the original recipe is 1:1, brown to white. mine is 2:1. this does 2 things. it adds an amazing deep, caramel flavor to the cookie and helps it to spread more during baking, thereby making the cookies thinner and crispier. fourth, i increase the amount of salt in the recipe by 50%. this is my general rule for almost any dessert. salt makes things taste more like themselves, even sweets. without further adieu, here is my recipe.
MY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup+2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. set aside.
3. beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. add the egg and beat well. working in three batches, add the flour mixture and beat well to incorporate. make sure each batch is fully mixed in before adding the next. stir in the chocolate chips.
4. using 2 tablespoons, round off balls of dough and drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet. bake for 10-12 minutes until thin and well browned around the edges. let cool for 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack.
easy and delicious! if anybody tries this recipe, please let me know how they turn out.
tonight we are planning to open the nicest bottle of beer we own, scaldis prestige cuvee speciale. we received this bottle as a wedding present and have been letting it age since while we waited for a special occasion. at over $40 per 750ml bottle, this is definitely a special occasion type of beer. after almost 2 years of waiting, the perfect occasion finally arose. if we don't drink it soon, we'll have to move it down to texas with us. that's as good an occasion as any! we have taken great care to keep this bottle temperature controlled, so it should be in wonderful drinking condition. i'm excited!
i was going to open it on thursday to serve alongside spice-rubbed pork tenderloin, roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus to celebrate the end of travis' graduate school career. but travis had other plans. all week long he told me that his last class of the year was on thursday night. he griped repeatedly about not wanting to go and missing steve carell's last episode of the office. on thursday afternoon he put sylvie in her baby bjorn, strapped auggie to his leash and set out for a walk while i did some things around the apartment. about 10 minutes into his walk i got a text from him with a video attached. in the video, travis was showing sylvie how to pick a wildflower bouquet. at the end of it, he told me to step out onto our deck (which is 3 stories up) and say hi. so i went out on the deck. he called up to me that he, in fact, did NOT have class that night. instead, he made reservations for us at our favorite restaurant to celebrate the end of our time here. i almost cried. i had been in a mopey rut all day. this surprise was just what i needed. i ran inside and got myself and sylvie dressed up. travis grabbed the nicest bottle of wine (a 1981 lopes de heredia viña bosconia gran reserva) from his cellar and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner.
do i have the best husband ever or what?!