Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Home is where the heart is

With the Holiday's coming up, we all seem to get a little more generous, share a little more, feel a little more and love a little more. Since my heart's still left in Africa but for now I'm physically here in San Diego, the cookies and I try to help out where we can. Here's a couple events we will be participating in throughout the next couple of weeks in which a portion of the proceeds are donated to help those in need in Africa. I'd love some help in spreading the word and of course to see some of you there!

Second Event:
More details soon to follow on this one but here's what we know so far:
Viewing of Invisible Children's Documentary and Fundraiser at Stingaree
Tuesday, December 9th
Doors open at 7pm - music, food and drinks, door prizes
8:15pm we will show the Documentary
9-10pm is the after party
Invisible Children will have a staff and table there to answer questions etc

Also, you I just discovered this and thought I'd share - a moving and touching depiction of the current situation in Congo...incredible....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

who gotta know when to fold them :(

I know I can say I gave it a fair try. The Cookie Chew and the farmer's markets just don't mesh. It's so sad becuase I LOVE the markets and the community of people that are there and of course all the locally grown delicious produce but it's just the way the cookie crumbles. I even tried doing cookie bins for a little bit where I had bins of different cookie cubes set up where people could mix and match to get whatever type of bite-sized cookie cookies they wanted and just pay by the ounce. We thought it would generate more of a market feel so people could munch on their bags of cookie bites while strolling the markets but it didn't quite catch on the way we'd hoped. Oh well we tried, we failed but oh did we learn. I'll miss you Little Italy Market Mercado even though I'll still be a consistent shopper every Saturday morn! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A basic ooey gooey but oh so yummy mess

Who knew it'd be 80 degrees on a Friday night in the middle of November? I guess that is why I moved here so I really can't complain unless I'm attempting to make a giant cookie ice cream sandwhich birthday cake for my loyal right hand cookie man, Jen's, b-day last weekend and you guys all know I'm not into making ordinary cookies... ever! We started our celebration at our new found second home and favorite neighborhood bar, Basic. They were so awesome in allowing me to use their kitchen to assemble my cookie concoction which created the biggest mess! As soon as the second layer of cookie went on the ice cream started gooeing and getting out that kitchen door trying to keep the candles lit was quite the task. Eventually the giant ice cream cookie cake made it out to the table with minimal drippage but only one candle was still going. we tried to re-lite but we were just wasting time and with that huge fan they have blowing in there we were fightin a lossing battle. So, with 2-3 candles going and quick rendition of your traditional happy birthday and a long winded blow, it was time to dig in! Someone silly, like me, thought it'd be necessary to track down some plates, forks and napkins so we could eat like civilized people but after 3 hours of Happy Hour already consumed civilization was the last of our worries. We all just grabbed a fork and DUG on in! And was it good!! Two Double Chocolate Walnut Bailey's Cookies with Rocky Road Ice Cream. I'm so glad I wore white. The next time I make it, I think I'd assemble it prior to serving and letting it freeze back in the freezer for a bit. But it's a definite keeper. Try it and let me know how it goes!
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons baileys
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs, vanilla, baileys, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in chocolate until well blended. Sift flour, salt and baking powder and stir in. Add chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. Cover and cool in fridge for 30 mins. Spread over rounded baking pan and bake in preheated 350° oven 15-18 minutes, or until edges are crisp. Cool for 1 minute; remove to rack to cool completely.
For the ice cream I used a Chocolate Rocky Road and it was fantastic! You can't go wrong wityh more chocolate and the peanut butter and chocolate chips were just total delicious crunchy added bonus.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Who's still pouring?

Welcome to the 5th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival! And what a festival it was! As you all know I love my girl Jen Cassel for always providing me the cookie hook up with all her crazy connections. Gotta love six degrees of separation right? In this case it was only two but it was sweet one! One of her old client's, Janene Roberts, had a vendor pull out last minute which resulted in an extra booth at the event that was dying to serve my cookies! Thanks to you both! A little plug for Janene, who's got a great book out right now all about "Wine Tasting in San Diego & Beyond". This book is perfect for anyone wanting to take an insiders look at wine tasting, all the local wineries and what's happening in the San Diego world of wine. She guides the reader from selecting wine and serving to having your very own wine party to all the ins and outs of wineries as far north as LA. Check it out www.popcornpressmedia.com/bookorder.html.
Anyway, you can read all the reviews of the event and who's who of who was all there so I don't have to tell you guys that it was so much fun and pretty amazing! The only part that kind of sucked is that I wish I could have left the table more to sample my share of all wine and food there but I was having a little insanity with all the cookie love! Lots and lots of cookie rave which always leaves me hopeful. But we'll see how "sticky" I really am and who remembers me in the next days, weeks, and months to come. If anyone has any ideas that would be much appreciated actually.
In the last hour I was finally able to get away with wine glass in hand a growling stomach that had to stare at everyone else's delectable sample plates for the last 4 hours! My two new favorite discoveries where Solare, who served this amazing mediterrean seafood grain that had this awesome sweet flavor I loved and Sweet Cheeks Bakery, that made the cutest little pumpkin cupcakes that were so good. Indigo Grill, who of course never disappoints, had yummy tamales and Flemmings with their 4 oz filets came very close to ending my 3 year drought of eating red meat. Unforunately, by the time we made our way around most of the wineries were down pouring :(. But one discovery I did make was Harvest Moon. Being such a sweet girl :) I love my sweet wines. They had a geverztraminer that was amazing! Mmmmm... it was so nice eating something other than cookies for a change :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chocolate Raspberry Martini Sundaes - YUM!!

As you can probably imagine, my cookie gut belly is kind of tired of me eating all my leftover cookies. A little self control goes a long way!!! Anyway, the turn out for the FCC Fashion Show event on Saturday was definitely fantastic and I had a fabulous time hanging out with super cool fashionable people (will post pics soon), but like always I had a crazy amount of cookies left over. I do believe it's always better to have more than not enough though right? With this weeks leftovers, I decided to make a cookie sundae instead to bring to Sunday wine and game night. I took the Chocolate Raspberry Martini Cookie Cubes, made a chocolate raspberry sherry sauce for them, warmed in the microwave, and served them with ice cream! OMG!! So GOOD! Here's the recipe: (I'm not sure of the measurements exactly but approximation is all good).
Chocolate Raspberry Sherry Sauce:
16 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 tsp Raspberry Extract
1/2 cup Raspberry Preserves
1/4 cup Sherry
1/4 cup Cream

Melt chocolate over double broiler, add extract, preserves, sherry and mix together, remove from heact and mix in cream.

Mix about 2 lbs of the cookie cubes with the chocolate sauce until they are all coated. To serve put about 1 cup of the cookie cube mixture in a bowl or martini glass ad heat in the microwave for 45 seconds. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I wasn't crazy fancy but if you want, you can save some of the chocolate sauce and drizzle it on top of the ice cream or garnish the dessert with a fresh raspberry or mint to make it oh so pretty.

Friday, November 7, 2008

12 days of Cookies

Since we're getting ready for the season of eating and for some reason we all seem to develop a small love of baking this time or year, I've decided to create 12 days of cookies - a collection of my absolute favorite cookie recipes I've tried, tasted, and in some cases tweaked until they're absolutely too die for! I'm thinking of sending out a recipe a day in an email blast, starting November 15th. Sign up for it on my wesbite in my contact us page!