Another week has flown by, in which Jonji and I have continued to get more comfortable as LA residents. We are both feeling better about driving in a constant state of traffic, and are also coming to terms with the heat. He has already started getting back into the swing of being a student, which means studying every night and doing lots of reading. I have been reading too, although my reading material has consisted of slightly more entertaining sci-fi fantasy books that I read when I was in middle school—they haven’t lost their appeal!
We got to experience the LA ocean water this week, thanks to a med student outing at Will Rogers State Beach. The rumors are true—the water here is much warmer than Santa Cruz water! I would have stayed in the whole afternoon, except that I ingested a ton of water and almost lost my swimsuit bottoms due to the large swell. After that I stayed on the sand and showed off my tank-top tan.
Two majors events have taken up my spare time in the last week, the first being the move-in of a colony of ants. The ants decided to hit me where it hurt the most: my kitchen. I have been in a full on battle with these little critters—no one is allowed to mess with my space! A colony of ants is like a many-headed monster, which produces a new head every time you cut off one. Fighting one is possibly one of the most infuriating situations in the history of the world. Jonji has been laughing at my efforts, which is probably warranted, as I have been stalking the counter space with duct tape in hand, waiting to patch up holes and fight any ant who threatens the pantry. I also acquired a good-sized gash on my forearm, of which I have no recollection getting. THESE BATTLE SCARS (that’s for you, Bailey and Matt). In short, I have been at war for four days straight and, fortunately, I think we’re winning.
The second major event: we got a kitty! Her name is Arielle, and she’s four years old. We visited her yesterday at one of the adoption events lead by Stray Cat Alliance, where one of the volunteers told me that she had been living with the adoption agency for two years. She’s a gorgeous calico, with a two-toned face and lovely green eyes. She loves to be pet and brushed, and purrs loudly during such activities. In the less than twenty-four hours we’ve had her, she’s mainly stayed in her cat carrier, but she has appreciated attention. I am fully confident that she will warm up to us in the next few days.
(This photo is from VisualLightBox.com, taken off of the Stray Cat Alliance website. I would have taken one myself but she has taken a liking to the underside of our dresser for the past eight hours.)
Another exciting development: I made my first batch of chocolate chip cookies in the new place! I feel like I should explain to my oven that that batch was the first of MANY batches to come. You have been forewarned, oven.
Everyone needs a default cookie recipe. Oftentimes this means a good chocolate chip cookie recipe because, after all, who doesn’t like good old chocolate chip? My mom gave me the following recipe, and so far I have yet to find one that beats it. I only like chocolate chip cookies when they’re warm and the chocolate chips are gooey and oozing out of the cookie. If you’re like me, either eat them all right out of the oven or warm them up in the oven when you’re ready to munch on one. However, watch out: eating one right out of the oven can feel like chewing on molten lava.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 12–16 cookies
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 – 2 cups chocolate chips*
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and mix until just combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet mixture and mix together. Do not over mix. Add chocolate chips and beat until incorporated.
Shape dough into balls and place onto a cookie sheet, leaving 2–3 inches between each. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes.**
After a minute or so out of the oven, place cookies on cooling racks.
Serve with milk or with nothing at all!
*If you like your cookies chock-full of chocolate use the two cups. If you prefer more batter, use 1.5 cups.
**If you need two baking sheets, rotate sheets after 6 minutes.