The Cookie Monster


Bella's been gone for five months now. Annie mopes around, but seems to be mostly okay. Cookie is a pocket beagle that is available for adoption.

Seemed like a good idea to try!

Meet, Cookie! Kris calls her the Cookie Monster.

A bite of heaven


Shirley stopped by today. She's in the middle of week two of three weeks between end of school and beginning of real life. I'm more than a little frustrated that the project I'm on has me working 10+ billable hours a week, which translates into about 12-14 hours of actual working, given I can't bill some of the research hours.

With Shirley here, and Kris coming home mid-day to work, we had a house full with six beings all moving and working and breathing and living in the house today. The girls spent most of the day underfoot and expecting to be fed, instead of their usual sleeping. I sear, that Bella is sometimes incredibly hard to resist in her cuteness.

Shirley brought over premade cookie dough, enough for six cookies. For the record, even though I didn't take any picture, it was three cookies of pure heaven into my belly.

Examples of my baking prowess


Tomorrow's Master Gardener class is actually a tour of various Master Gardener projects. We're to head out some time this week to see the different projects and report back in small groups next week.

I'm heading out tomorrow with my mentor group, and Mom is going with me. I'm not sure we're going to spend the whole day touring projects, but we'll tour at least in the morning.

The group is doing a potluck lunch. I've been dying to make some of Shirley's peanut butter cookies, which she had made for me like six months ago after I helped her move a couch. Since I'd lost my sense of smell, most peanut butter cookies taste like cardboard. These, now these I could taste.

And I wanted some.

So, I told Mom we were going to make some tonight. We had dinner and watched the most recent episode of Heroes before starting on the cookies at 9:00 at night.

Only to realize the recipe calls for the dough to chill for 2 hours in the middle.

2 hours.

TWO hours.

Yeah, I'm not staying awake that long, I thought, we'll just chill them in the freezer for a few minutes, they'll still turn out.

Ten minutes of chilling, one minute of dropping balls of dough onto the baking sheets and twelve minutes of cooking later, I pulled the two dozen cookies out of the oven.

Now, for the record, they taste wonderful. Mom ate three lickety-split, and she doesn't eat cookies very often. I downed two before accidently dropping one on the floor and dodging out of the way of the doggie feeding frenzy.

So, they taste good.

They just look like little piles of doggie puke:

Maybe I won't take them to the potluck tomorrow.

As you would treat others


Doyle and I went out to P.F.Changs for lunch today. I was in the mood for something different than our usual Murphy Street fare, having surprisingly tired of the amazingly tasty food around us.

When I offered P.F.Changs, Doyle agreed, and off we went.

As at the end of any lunch in an American Chinese or American faux-Chinese lunch, we received a handful of fortune cookies from which we expected to receive millions by playing the lottery numbers on the fortune, or sue the company for providing incorrect numbers. Or at least some short, clever witticism.

I grabbed the closest one to me once I realized they were there, and opened it. My fortune:

Now, I'm not exactly sure this is a fortune, so much as a comment on, well, perhaps my personality. Ignoring the sentence-ending "in bed" that seems to work with every current fortune cookie saying these days, I started thinking about this "fortune" I'd received.

It was suggesting that I:

  • hate everyone around me struggling through the tortuous years of adolescence
  • be annoyed at a person the first time he fails when trying something new
  • expect perfection from all my friends
  • ignore any physical pain they may be having and tell them to "suck it up"
  • want them to always be productive because sitting around watching television or playing computer games is clearly a waste of life, when there are problems to solve and things to build and cures to find

I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to be treating my friends as I treat myself. If I did, I'm fairly certain I would have very, very, very few friends.

Doyle commented that they probably meant the usual platitude, "Treat others as you want to be treated."

I think I'll stick with my next fortune instead:

... in bed.

Shirley peanut butter cookies

Book page

Shirley's peanut butter cookies


    * 1 cup butter, softened
    * 1 cup white sugar
    * 1 cup packed brown sugar
    * 2 egg
    * 1 egg yolk
    * 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    * 1 (18 ounce) jar peanut butter
    * 2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1 cup chopped peanuts


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, yolks, and vanilla; mix until fluffy. Stir in peanut butter. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Finally, stir in the peanuts.

    Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

  3. Roll dough into walnut sized balls. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven.

    Cookies should look dry on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to cool completely on a rack. These cookies taste great when slightly undercooked.