Tag Archives: Cookies

Another Seattle Trip

I made a quick trip to Seattle last weekend. The purpose was not a celebration or test new restaurants, but to visit a plant nursery. Swanson’s nursery carries an enormous selection of plants, and last summer I saw that they had plants that I was not able to find in Portland. So I told daughter Mindy that I would have to come back with the car (I had started to travel almost exclusively by train) and get plants this May. Between Mindy being busy and all, May was nearly gone by the time we were able to put a 4 day weekend together.

As for restaurants, we went to those that had always been our favorites; places like Fat Hen, Cactus, Skillet and Le Reve.

Before I left, I made a dozen Morning Buns to take to Mindy; they are her favorites, and I know how to make them consistently so I thought that would be a treat for her. She, however, out did me!! She had several cookie recipes that she wanted to try, and when I arrived, the last pan of cookies was just out of the oven and cooling. She had made a drop cookie, what I call a molded cookie, and a pan cookie.

The drop cookie started as a Browned Butter M&M Cookie, but she skipped the M&Ms and replaced them with chocolate chips. The author of that recipe suggested half M&Ms and half semi sweet chocolate chips because all M&Ms make the cookie too sweet.
Brown Butter chocolate chip

The molded cookie, which turned out to be my favorite, is called a Salted Caramel & Nutella Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookie. In making it, a small amount of dough is flattened into a disk, and a cavity is pressed into it. Then the Nutella and caramel are placed in the indention. A second disk of dough is placed on top and sealed around the edges. Finally, coarse salt is sprinkled on the cookie before it is baked. Mmmm good!
Double Chocolate stuffed caramel and Nutella

The pan cookie is called Carmelitas. It has caramel, semi sweet chocolate chips, and rolled oats in the recipe. These were Mindy’s favorites (after Morning Buns).

Each morning when we got up, we went walking. For the last several months, Mindy has been walking around Green Lake, and she wanted to explore a couple other parks. So after a first morning of warming me up with a walk around Green Lake, we took the next two mornings to explore other parks. First was Carkeek park. This park has many trails, and is on the side of coastal mountains. After about an hour of hiking, we discovered that we had ascended over 450 feet. There were trail markers that pointed to ridges, but we thought we were doing well without going all the way up.

The second exploration was at Boeing Creek Park, which runs into Shoreview Park; I didn’t figure out when we were in one or the other. Again, there is plenty of elevation on the trails, and we decided that we ascended about 480 feet in our hour walk. I think Carkeek seems more wilderness, even though there is a play area and several picnic areas while Boeing Creek is more closely enclosed by civilization.

While we stopped at another nursery before going to Swanson’s, they did not have much selection. They did have some interesting Hosta, but not the other plants I wanted so I didn’t buy from them. Swanson’s had more than I wanted, and I had to stop myself from buying too much. I did end up with a new Hosta, a Helleborus, and a couple containers of Japanese Blood Grass.

Decorative Turkeys for Thanksgiving

turkey 003

I saw these little guys in a video that Giada de Laurentis posted to the Food Network site; I haven’t been able to find it a second time. In it, she gave credit for them to a young boy in a hospital she was visiting; I believe his name was Kaden.

Anyway, I thought they were very cute, and decided to post them to my web site.

The hardest part of all this was finding the candy corn; one grocery manager said they only had it available at Halloween. I went to 4 stores before I found it.

turkey 010

Start with a Double Stuffed Oreo, and stick the candy corn in as the tail feathers. Once you have the tail feathers in, you will start needing your glue; I melted 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave which is more than enough for a couple dozen turkeys. Just remember, melt the chocolate slowly so you don’t burn it; not more than 20 seconds at a time with stirring in between.

Use a small Peanut Butter cup as the body; dip the top in your “glue” and place it toward the bottom of the tail Oreo. The head is glued on next; it is a Chocolate Malt Ball. The beak is the tip of a candy corn broken off; again, glue it onto the Malt Ball.

At this point, I let the turkey rest for a couple minutes to let the “glue” dry; it seemed fairly solid in the laid down position. Once it seems stable, the bottom/feet of the turkey are dipped in the glue and then pressed into the open Oreo. Giada used some of the double stuffed Oreos as the base, making the turkey stand in snow. I decided to get the mint Oreos so my turkeys are standing in grass.

The one step further that Giada took and I have omitted is that she made some red frosting and piped a wattle on the turkey; I felt that wasn’t necessary, and wasn’t quite in keeping in the assembly of the turkeys where the only help needed from an adult is in melting the chocolate “glue” and keeping it warm. I had to reheat my glue between finishing 13 turkeys, and then mounting them on the grass.