July 21, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies, a bigger batch...

Let's face it, it is hard to beat the good old Toll House recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I have used it for years and really, I have not been tempted to try any other recipe. Until now. Someone gave me this recipe and it appealed to me in two ways. Basically, it is the Toll House recipe, the way that I make them, half butter, half shortening. Second, it increased those ingredients to make a bigger batch, ie. three cups of flour, instead of two and a quarter. I tried them and I now think this is the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever made. I know it is hard to stray from the tried and true, but I do not think you will regret trying this version. I use the larger cookie scoop and bake them for fourteen minutes...stick with the recipe time for the normal size cookie scoop. Don't they look amazing?

2/3 c. shortening
2/3 c. butter (not margarine)
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped nuts(optional)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix thoroughly first 6 ingredients. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop on greased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes about seven dozen. This recipe can be doubled.

July 20, 2010

Crochet covered stones...

Purl Bee has a lovely tutorial by Margaret Oomen of Resurrection Fern. She has graciously shared a beautiful pattern for a crochet cover for a smooth rock or river stone. Her art and nature studies are amazing as I am sure you know.  If you are not familiar with her blog, you must go over soon! I have not been lucky enough to purchase one of her gorgeous rocks (they are gone in an instant) in her Etsy store, but I do own this wonderful print.

When I couldn't find any more appropriate stones, I decided to try her pattern out on a couple of maple limb slices my husband cut for me. It worked perfectly, and even gave me a nice flat surface to display my little birds. I love how it looks on the pebble mat in the porch.

I also found these nifty ideas from Design Sponge DIY's for using wood slices,
embroidered and buttons!

This pattern is fairly simple using basic crochet stitches. Give it a try! I am going to try and find some nice big stones when we go hiking later this summer (my outdoorsy son will be home visiting from SC). After all, a name like Stony Brook State Park is bound to have just what I'm looking for!