I have a confession to make. Deep breaths. Ready? Okay, here we go.
I STINK at cleaning my house. I am horrible. It’s disgraceful, really. Sure, sure – I can PICK UP the house. That is, get the clutter out of the way so no one sees it (Hm. Here’s a drawer that still opens and shuts – must need more crap inside.) and clean up the obvious glaring messes (Oops. There’s a pile of petrified shredded cheese on the kitchen floor again…) But when it comes the actual roll-up-your-sleeves, put-your-back-into-it, elbow-grease cleaning, I just kind of….ignore it. No, I mean I forget about it. Yeah, yeah…forget. Since I’m so busy…and stuff.
Until I look around one day and think…Holy cow, this place is disgusting. Nothing can remedy this nastiness except…an entire day off work devoted to cleaning. A vacation day. To clean.
That sounds wrong. So, so wrong. I’m a little ashamed of it myself. 😉
Enter our bathroom. Now, don’t get me wrong – the bathroom is on my regular Saturday cleaning schedule. Every Saturday morning, I do my quick sweep through where I change out our towels, wipe down the counters and sink, scrub the wayward toothpaste splatters off the mirror and clean the toilet. About once a month, I go crazy and wash the rugs and sweep and mop the floor. I mean, I don’t let us live in complete squalor over here, but I’m ashamed to admit how much time goes by in between shower/tub cleanings and grout scrubbings. It’s a little bit sick.
So early last week, I’m surveying the bathroom and it’s hundreds of white subway tiles (note to self: TOO MUCH TILE IN THE BATHROOM. NEVER AGAIN!) and I’m thinking…ew. I can see little specks of dust on my tiles and grout. There’s some pretty gnarly hairballs jammed into the corners and there was some definite black and pink moldy, mildewy gunk building up in the tracks of the shower door. Time to roll up my sleeves, put my back into it, slather on that elbow grease and clean the stupid bathroom.
So that’s what I did. Took the day off on Friday and spent the better part of the entire day cleaning the bathroom. Save for the half hour or so I had to get the heck out of there after the bleachy fumes started to make me a bit wobbly. I went through every drawer and cabinet and purged a bunch of old junk. I scrubbed and scoured every tile, every surface in that little room. I chiseled moldy, mildewy junk off the shower door, cleaned every inch of that tub and shower up to the ceiling. I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed every single crevice of those textured tiles on the floor. You could serve dinner on my toilet it’s so sparkling clean in there now.
I always feel extremely satisfied after I do something like that. Now, if I just kept up with it a little better I wouldn’t have to spend ENTIRE DAYS doing it but…meh. Job well done, anyway. I’m gonna go ahead and give myself a pat on the back. ::pat, pat, pat:: Ah. Nice. Good job, Self. Way to git ‘er done. 🙂
After all that, I decided to reward myself with…COOKIES! YAY for cookies! I wanted something classic and comforting after all that hard work, so when I saw my latest copy of Midwest Living (my favorite magazine!) hinting at the Midwest’s best chocolate chip cookie recipes hiding inside, I knew exactly what I wanted make. Of course, I turned straight to their number one pick!
These.Are.So.Good. Oh my. The recipe hails from Lindsay’s Chocolate Cafe and Coffee House in O’Fallon, MO, which after trying these cookies, I will have to stop at the next time we’re in the STL area! Mmmm. They are chock full of chocolate, oats and nuts. Crispy around the edges and chewy on the inside. I loved all the different textures going on in these babies. Mmmm. Truly a most perfect and wonderful cookie!
What intrigued me most about these cookies was the addition of a grated milk chocolate bar to the batter. I’m not sure it added any more chocolate flavor so much as a nice chocolatey marble. It really gave the cookies a nice color.
Looks like little chocolate centipedes! Ah! They’re trying to escape! 🙂
LINDSAY’S CHOCOLATE CAFE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: (Recipe Source: As seen in Midwest Living, March/April 2010)
- 2-1/2 cups regular rolled oats
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 12-oz. pkg. (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
- 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
- 4 oz. milk chocolate bar, grated
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. Beat butter in a bowl with an electric mixer on a medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat on medium speed until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer, then stir in any remaining flour mixture with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in chocolate pieces, nuts and grated chocolate.
3. Drop dough from a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons) 4 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets or baking stone. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 9 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Yield: about 30 cookies. (These can be made smaller, if you prefer. Expect to get about 60 if using a standard cookie scoop)
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