Guilty Pleasures in Paradise

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I wonder how long I can continue to use the excuse “But I just squeezed a watermelon out of a hole the size of a nostril (translation: I gave birth)!” before I have to return to a normal lifestyle and resume responsible, balanced eating. I have to admit that I’ve been stuffing my face with junk food that I normally (for obvious reasons) avoid for the last several weeks, using child birth as an excuse to justify my reckless and completely irresponsible behavior.

One of the junks that I’ve been consuming pretty much non-stop is chocolate chip cookies (and McDonald’s fries and ice cream and cheese and pizza and potato chips and …). I ate at least a dozen on my last baking spree, and I made more dough this morning just so that I have it handy when the urge strikes.

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Instead of baking all the cookies, I’ve decided to refrigerate the dough and make the cookies on an “as needed” basis this time. I’m hoping that this will help me control the portion that I consume … if I still have an ounce of willpower left, that is.

(This should be perfect since some believe that letting a dough sit for a few days can result in even better cookies.  Here’s a great NY Times article on this subject.)

Another bad habit that I acquired after the birth of the baby is mindless television watching!  Eeek. I survived so many years without having television, but my old habit has sadly returned. Between feeding the baby, changing diapers, and running around like a crazy woman, all I want to do during the down time is to sink my tired and sleep-deprived butt onto a couch and watch TV.  Movies are good but it’s rare that I can sit down for two-plus hours to finish a flick these days, so a show with 30 to 45 minute increment serves me perfectly.

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(Photos from ABC Family)

My newest TV obsession is Bunheads on ABC Family, a show that follows four (some very precocious) teenage ballerinas (hence the title “bunheads” because their hair is pulled back in a bun) and the relationship they form with an ex-Vegas showgirl who haphazardly comes into their lives, in a small, fictitious coastal town called Paradise.  I purchased the show on Amazon Prime (because I still don’t have cable) and watched the entire season in almost one sitting.  I’m officially addicted to the show.

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(Photos from ABC Family)

Sutton Foster plays the dancer protagonist and I am absolutely in love. I’ve been a fan of hers since I first saw her in the Broadway production of Les Miserable back in 2000 (she was the understudy for Eponine and happened to serendipitously perform on the show that night) and have watched her stage career blossom over the years. It’s refreshing to see her transition into mainstream (without selling out) in a wonderfully-written and important show like Bunheads. She, and the entire cast (which includes Jeanine Mason, the winner of So You Think You Can Dance, Season 5), are absolutely fabulous.

The unfortunate thing is that the show is in the danger of cancellation, only after one wonderful season. The fate of the show is still up in the air, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can continue to watch how life unfolds for Michelle (Foster), Bunheads, and all the whacky and quirky residents of Paradise.

Please don’t cancel this show!  Keep the Paradise alive!  I promise I’ll cut down on the chocolate chip cookies consumption to … um … every other day!  Deal?

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A Sweet, Sweet Gift

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A group of wonderful ladies from a collegiate hockey team that Kevin coaches showered us with heartwarming baby gifts – a handwritten card signed by the entire team and a Kate Spade Stevie diaper bag!

This was a total surprise. You should have seen my face when Kevin walked in with a giant Kate Spade box one night. I now carry this bag everywhere I go with Pon Pon because it makes me feel like a chic mom that actually cares about style … which, in reality, am totally not. lol

We are so blessed to have such great people in our lives.

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Now that things are starting to settle down a bit (translation: we can sleep for an hour at night now — yipee!), I was able to sneak into the kitchen for a few hours this morning to bake my favorite chocolate chip cookies for the ladies as a thank you gift!

I used the Neimen Marcus recipe and made four batches of these heavenly munchies. I don’t think I’ve made such a large batch before — the entire apartment and I smelled like butter all day!

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I stuck a Lavender and Olive sticker on the box for a little personal touch! I hope they enjoy the sugar rush after their game tonight!

The Perfect Cure: Chocolate Chip Cookies

cooking-cookiesThere’s an old Japanese proverb that says that, “stupid people don’t catch cold.” WTF? Well, I’m assuming that it means that active kids who played outside are typically more intellectually inept than those who stayed home and … read or something. Naturally, the latter would build up enough tolerance to fight cooties from being outside, thus making them unlikely to get sick.  I think I can credit my insecurities as a youth to this saying because I was one of those kids who never, ever got sick and because of that I always believed that I was stupid.

Well, either the proverb was proven to be full of shit (yeah) or I’m becoming smarter (neh), but I’ve been susceptible to cooties lately. This “turning 30” thing has really wreak havoc on my system, I tell you. For example, it takes me at least three days to recover from one night of wild fun (and by this, I mean going to a 10:00 p.m. movie), and forget losing weight. My ass gets bigger just by thinking about sweets. But what’s more frustrating than anything is that I get sick now just by walking past someone who’s coughing!  What is all that about?!?

After suffering this nasty cold for nearly a week, I finally felt good enough to get myself out of bed today and do something I’ve been wanted to do for weeks — baking.

marthaI didn’t want to do anything intricate so I went for the good old chocolate chip cookies, which give me enough satisfaction while providing guarantee results. I’ve tried many chocolate chip cookie recipes in the past but my favorites came down to  ① the recipe on the back of the Nestle chocolate chips, and ② Martha Stewart’s.
Although I wouldn’t call myself a fan of hers (she’s kinda scary), Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook is actually one of my favorite cookbooks. Everything that I’ve tried from this book has been successful, and I like the way the instructions are written. I used her recipe this time and the cookies certainly satisfied my sweet tooth.  This particular recipe called for more butter and less flour so the results were more crisp and less chewy, and I loved them.

Nothing cures cold better than a couple (or a dozen) of no frill, no nonsense homemade cookies, for sure.  Maybe I’ll save some for Santa too.