I felt domestic the other day and baked some cookies and bread. The bread was out of necessity, the cookies is just indulgence.
Many years back, my cousin and I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. Since then, I probably make a batch of these at least 6 times a year. They are so soft and chewy and everything wonderful in life
Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix (The secret ingredient!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional – I never use these)
Directions (So easy!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.
Next, the BF brought over his bread maker and told me we should start making our own bread. Reluctantly, I agreed. Then I discovered how easy it is to do with a bread maker and your house smells FANTASTIC! We have a Black & Decker All-In-One Deluxe Automatic Bread Maker. Nothing fancy. I just use the white bread recipe in the manual it came with. Here’s a newer version of the one we have.
Basic White Bread
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp powdered milk
2 tbsp shortening
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/4 cups white flour
1 1/4 tsp yeast
1. Measure ingredients in the order listed into Baking Pan
2. Insert Baking into over chamber, twist to secure. Close lid.
3. Select: Basic Bread Setting
4. Select “Regular” or “Dark” crust (I always choose regular)
5. Press Start
And that’s it!!!! Total hours in bread maker is 3 hours and 50 minutes.
Last month, I spontaneously entered a 10K race. There was a race happening in the park I run in, so I joined the fun! It was great! The MEC Race Series is hosted by MEC (obviously). The entrance fee is very minimal compared to other races. It was chip timed (for those of you who want official times) and we got Clif Bars at the end. What else do you need? My favourite flavor is mint chocolate chip. What’s yours? The one downside was the delay in the arrival of the porta-potties. When they finally did arrive, the line ups were so long they delayed the race a good 30 minutes. I’ll definitely look into doing more of their races next year.
I did pretty well. My official time was 57:43.
A few months back, I mentioned that I bought my first home. I bought an 800 sq. ft. 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo.
I was a big fan of renting, even when everyone else was telling me I was throwing my money away. I saw it as paying someone to take the responsibility of home ownership for me. Renting was stress free and maintenance free. Just what I like!
I was renting a perfect little 600 sq. ft. 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo in my perfect neighbourhood for $1100 (+ $50 for Electricity = $1150). Unfortunately, I received a notice for a rental increase to $1275 (+ $50 for electricity = $1325). I live in a city with no rent control. I looked at rental listings but nothing could come near with what I had at the price I had. It was pretty sad.
Reluctantly, I started looking into buying a condo. I knew if I was going to buy property, it was definitely not going to be a house. I’m lazy and never mowed a lawn in my life. Lol. I’m not sure why people spend months looking for a house. From beginning to end, my search was 2 weeks long. Done and done in 5 easy steps
1. I went to the bank and got approved for a mortgage
2. I got a realtor
3. I looked at condos
4. I made an offer
5. I closed the deal and got the papers signed by my lawyer.
I was extremely satisfied with the whole first time buyer experience.
Stay tuned for a break down of my purchase and moving costs and before and after pictures of my condo
I’m in the midst of planning a 2 week vacation to Sochi, Russia and London England.
The trip was spurred on by the possibility of my cousin competing in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. How can I miss the chance to see that?
I went to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. It was a great time! However, planning a trip to the Olympics in your home country vs. planning a trip to the Olympics in a foreign country has been a totally different experience!
I’ll have to break this topic up into different posts because I have so much to write about.
This post will be about ticket purchasing for the Olympic events.
I’m not 100% sure, but I think residents of the host country get priority because I found it much easier to get tickets for 2010. This time around we signed up (in December 2012!) with the official Sochi Olympic website only to find out that each country has to buy through their designated ticket agent. CoSport was Canada’s.
I knew from my 2010 experience that tickets were going to sell out fast. So we had to come up with an action plan. This might have been going a little too far, but the group of people I’m travelling with made a list of tickets we wanted in advance and designated people to buy certain tickets. We also set up a conference line so we can all be on the phone together as soon as the tickets went on sale (February 2013). For the most part, we got what we wanted before events sold out EXCEPT we were short tickets for my cousin’s event. Who knew 500m long track speed skating was so popular! We managed to get a few extra tickets through a friend in Australia who bought through their ticket agent. We are still short a few tickets but we are hopeful that we can get some through the family and friends program.
I have tickets for:
- 500m long track speed skating: $290
- Moguls: $70
- Freestyle Skiing: $70
- Curling: $120
It’s ridiculous how much they charge people for these things. However, it didn’t come as a shock to me as they were around the same price for 2010.
More to come later…
Fall is here. While I was walking home from work, I heard a crunch under my feet. The sound came from a pile of dried fallen leaves! It’s hard to believe that summer is already over.
The arrival of fall means the arrival of a new course. I’m currently enrolled in a Master’s program through Athabasca University. It’s a total of 11 courses. The minimum requirements is 2 courses per academic term… and that’s what I’m doing. I don’t think I can handle more than one course while working full time. I want to take my time and enjoy and absorb what I’m learning. However, I do realize that if I want to complete this degree in this decade I should consider taking more courses a year
I had a great, lazy summer, but now it’s back to the grind. This is how a typical day is for me:
5am: Wake up
8am: Head to work
and repeat… with the exception of weekends, when I go for longer runs and socialize with the outside world
How do you organize your busy schedule?