There are some milestones in life one never forgets
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and this weekend, I was reminded of the season we bought our first house
A blue two-story with a porch that sagged, a tree that grew in the middle of the driveway, and a forever list of projects that needed to be done. With an optimism only youth can bring, none of that seemed to matter the day our realtor gave me the key
Over time we bought some furniture, refinished hardwood floors, replaced plaster walls, hung wallpaper, stripped woodwork, had children, worked toward college degrees, and made memories
“Do you see it yet? Wait, no, we've gotta keep going. Down another block or so. Yellow with maroon shutters. It will be on your side of the street.”
As we pulled into the drive, I could tell it was hers. Somehow you just know
I've decided the best way to tour a new house is to employ an 8-year-old as a guide. Every space seems grand, important, filled with maximum potential for forts, Lego villages, and murals of the Titanic. Oh, but lest we forget about life's other priorities, like a cool space for practicing one's cello, an oversized sofa for movie nights, and course, a huge kitchen for having lunch.
Over squash soup and homemade bread, we popped the cork on the first bottle of wine in her new house and had a toast.
“Here's to you, my beautiful friend, for who you are and all that you do. Here's to you for dealing with difficult and coming out the other side. For knowing all of the cool places to go and things to do. For making the best mustard .. ever. For your incredible wit. For your Russian accent that makes me smile so.”
Here's to making new memories, and having a home filled with people you love.”
If anyone deserves to be happy .. it is you.
The first cookie eaten in the new house? It should be something special
I've made many cookies over the years, and these are one of my favorites. On any given day, this is the dough that will be in our freezer, at the ready for impromptu dinner party invites, gifts for friends, and when nothing but a cookie squelches a craving
They're barely sweet, buttery, nutty, and rich; with a healthy earthy taste that makes you feel good just for eating them.
~ Adapted from Blue Ridge Baker
- Dry Mix
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup quinoa flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- Wet Mix
- 8 oz unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
- 2 Tbsp molasses (not blackstrap)
- 2 eggs (large or XL)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk the dry ingredients.
- Measure the oats and the quinoa flakes into a separate bowl.
- Add the butter and sugars to the bowl of your standing mixer, and mix on low speed until the butter and sugars are just blended (~ 2 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on high speed for 1 minute after each addition.
- Add the molasses and vanilla, and mix well
- Add the dry mix to the bowl and beat on low until the flour is barely combined (~ 1 minute)
- Add the oats and 1 cup of quinoa flakes, on low. This is a crumbly dough that will come together when the balls are formed.
- On baking day, preheat the oven to 350° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
- Place the quinoa flakes into a shallow bowl. Scoop balls of dough about 3 Tbsp in size and roll them into the flakes. Place the cookies onto the baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between them.
- Bake the cookies for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- They will be evenly golden born. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cook
- (If you aren't going to bake the batter all at once, shape the remaining dough into balls and coat them with the quinoa flakes; they'll stick better.) They can then be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, or in the refrigerator for 1 week