Wednesday

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


Guys, I am going away this weekend and desperately need to delete pictures from my phone to free up space for more pictures - and if you know me, you know that almost all of the pictures on my phone are pictures of food. So what I'm saying is, I need to delete pictures of food so I can take more pictures of food.


I have very good intentions when I take pictures like this. I can't keep a good thing to myself - which is nice of me, don't you think? Whether it's a good show I've watched, a good book I've read, a beauty product I swear by or in this case an awesome gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe - I need to inspire at least one person to watch it, read it, buy it or try it. Like, now.


Which brings me to this picture of milk and cookies...





To you this is just another picture of milk and cookies - nothing special, they don't even look that good - but to me it's so much more. It's a reminder to never give up, to keep fighting the good fight, to have faith. Faith that a seriously good gluten free cookie exists. Okay, I'm getting carried away but anyone who knows what it's like to try and fail and try and fail when searching for the perfect gluten free recipe gets it. The day I made these cookies was good day, and I knew it was my duty to share the recipe with the world.


TIPS:


* You're going to want to make the cookie dough ahead of time and set it in the fridge to chill. The consistency will be softer than regular cookie dough, therefor harder to work with. You want to make sure your cookies hold their shape when baking and don't melt into one big cookie.


* Speaking of one big cookie, this cookie dough would make a great base for a fruit pizza or layered dessert.


* Roll the cookie dough into a log using cling wrap and freeze it. Whenever you need some quick cookies, thaw the log just enough to slice perfect cookie rounds and throw them in the oven.


* Why not add nuts or caramels or sea salt to the mix? I think any variation of these cookies would be bomb.


YOU WILL NEED:


2 1/4 cup of GLUTEN FREE all purpose flour like my favorite, President's Choice.
1/2 tsp of GLUTEN FREE baking soda like my favorite, Magic.
2 sticks of unsalted, soft butter.
1/2 cup of white sugar.
2 tsp vanilla.
1 cup of brown sugar.
1 tsp salt.
2 eggs.
2 cups of GLUTEN FREE chocolate chips, white or semi-sweet or both like my favorite, Hershey's.


In one bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.




In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, mix the butter, white sugar and brown sugar together on medium speed until fluffy. Turn your mixer down to slow speed and add the salt, egg and vanilla and mix together. Then add the dry ingredients followed by the chocolate chips and mix until all ingredients are well combined. Place mixture in the fridge to firm up and later, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop mounds of cookie dough 1-2 inches apart. I wouldn't take my time with this step, the more you handle the cookie dough the softer they get and again, you want them to keep their shape when baking. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. I take the cookies out of the oven when the edges are dark and the center is still slightly soft as they will continue to bake when removed from the oven.


You're welcome!


Rachel Emmilee
XO

Tuesday

10 Things Tuesday: 10 Things You Don't Know About Me







1. I have never watched a Star Wars, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings movie.

2. I think Sushi is disgusting.

3. The only thing I have ever barbecued was a hot dog, and that's after someone fired up the grill for me. Everything else is out of my comfort zone. 

4. I get my best sleep when I am wearing an eye mask and earplugs. 

5. I would absolutely love to go on a solo adventure to another part of the world.

6. I have clothes in my closet that are over ten years old that I still wear.

7. One of my biggest regrets in life is when my family went to Disney World with a large group, and instead of exploring the theme park with my Mom and sisters, I ran around with my new friends trying to impress a cute boy. 

8. I never, ever make my bed in the morning.

9. I don't fart around my husband and if I have, I was likely sound asleep.

10. I don't wear (or own) eye liner, eye shadow or nail polish.


Wednesday

Sh*t To Do By Next Summer



Source Unknown


I've always been the type of person who struggles to live in the moment without planning their next move. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am a true Gemini. Whether it's wondering what color to paint the garage while I try to relax beside the pool, or thinking of ways I can extend the deck instead of enjoying it for what it is, or visualizing how beautiful next years gardens will be instead of managing the gardens I have right now - I am always planning my next project. It's not necessarily a good thing. With me, watching a beautiful sunset over the mountain from our front porch rocking chair wouldn't be complete without a very convincing pitch to cut down a few trees for an even better view.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, either. I'm not lazy, I set goals, I don't mind getting my hands dirty and there are worse things I could be spending my time and money on, that's for sure. But this summer isn't even over and I'm already thinking of next summer and all that I could have accomplished if I make a list and set my mind to it. 

How many times do you catch yourself sitting around thinking I'm sure there's something else I could be doing right now yet your mind is blank? Well, having a list of short and long term goals is all you need to make better use of your time and money. This list may seem like a bit much, but I've got all year to get shit done.


So, here goes...


Create a fire pit. We've cleared an area near the pool so all we need to do is remove some roots, level the ground and fill it with whatever necessary to keep the weeds away. I think we can all agree that a fire pit is a summer must, so this project is high up on our priority list for next year.



Paint garage. We spend a lot of time out by the pool therefor I spend a lot of time cringing over the eye sore that is our garage. Only two sides are seen so only two sides need painting which will make the job a bit easier. I'll take a leftover piece of siding from the house, color match and plan a weekend around getting this done once and for all. 


Paint wooden table, chairs and glider. These wood pieces are all in great shape but desperately need a fresh coat of paint. All I need to do is set up a work station in our basement and I'll have the perfect project for cold winter nights when there isn't much to do.


Install outdoor lights on house. This is a job for hubby. We have all ten lights, we just need to install them before it's too cold to be outside without gloves.


Buy new patio furniture, hammocks and pool toys when they go on sale. Not exactly a project, but definitely a big expense. Buying patio furniture nowadays is like refurnishing your family room, have you noticed? Adding this to my list will remind me where I should spend a few bucks this year to save big next year. We have a lot of outdoor sitting areas that are being neglected because we simply don't have the patio furniture, so if we take advantage of off-season sales we can fix that problem and finally enjoy our outdoors to it's full potential.


Cut and trim. This summer I noticed way too many plants, bushes and trees that are overgrown and obstructing our pathways and our beautiful view. I'm asking Santa Claus for a hedge trimmer this year, mark my words. Before next summer, we should have everything cut back or cut out - and something must be done ahead of time to prevent the weed takeover that we're experiencing this year.  

Create a hammock haven and tea garden.  We have a beautiful shaded area that I'm dying to turn into a tea garden and hammock haven. We just need to level the ground and either lay some flat rock or build a small platform deck. With a table and chairs, a few hammocks and some solar lights it would make the cutest little hiding spot.


Work on the little extras for the tea garden. I'd like to make a sign, some DIY bird-feeders, paint some flat rock and a buy a step stool to reach my clothesline from that end. I'd also like to sew some new cushion covers. These little projects can be worked on inside all winter. 


Extend the front porch step to meet the side deck. This project isn't as extreme as it may sound, but it would take having to do some extra budgeting and hiring a carpenter. It's not a must, but if done eventually, it would really improve the look of our existing deck, add a few feet of sitting room on our front porch and it would hide a big section of our front lawn that we hate to look at.


Stain decks. Thankfully I have a lot of time to mentally prepare myself for this grueling project because it will have to wait until the snow melts. 


Clear property of fallen trees.  Nothing bothers me more than looking at all of the fallen trees around our property knowing I can't just pick them up and move them myself. This will be a bit of a tall order as it will also require some extra hands and maybe even some machinery. The bonus? It could pay off in firewood for the winter.