46 days. A month and a half. 6.5 weeks… this is how long we’ve been without a kitchen – since the North Minneapolis tornado smashed our house. Having never had to deal with renovations before, I’m constantly amazed at how long things are taking!
It’s coming along – we have a new ceiling and walls in there now – just one more mud/tape and some sanding, and then they’ll be ready for paint/etc. Then we should have our new floor by the end of this week, maybe early next week. After almost 7 weeks of drama, it sounds like we’ll finally have our walnut tree hauled out of the yard and off to the mill sometime today – YES! That’ll be a huge relief – I’ve been terrified that we’d end up losing it to rot, insects, or whatever. That would be absolutely devastating, for the loss of that gorgeous tree to be a complete waste. So… keep your fingers crossed that today is the day!
Ah, yeah… kitchen. So now that we’re finally seeing progress – and are thoroughly sick of eating restaurant and convenience foods – I’ve been thinking: What should our first meal from the new kitchen be? Should we go fancy and celebratory? Something simple, as to not mess up our pristine new kitchen? Go the other way, and do something super complicated that uses a ton of dishes, just because I can? Comfort food?
So – like I tend to do – I took to Twitter and Facebook to ask what YOU would do. If you were to go 2+ months without a kitchen, what would you cook as your first meal back? The most popular answer by far? COOKIES.
Me, I’m sorta leaning towards a roast turkey, with all the trimmings. It’s mostly healthy, definitely comfort food… and it’s the sort of home cooking that’s impossible to replicate with any restaurant meal. Salty, crispy skin… MMMmmm…
But…you guys want cookies! I happen to have photos of a lot of my cookie recipes, and no ability to make/photograph anything more seasonally appropriate quite yet.. so let’s have a week of cookie recipes!
This recipe was always popular when I’d make it personally for Christmas gifts, and eventually professionally in my holiday cookie trays. It also formed the basis of the Chewy Mint Chip Cookie Mix, which was a popular flavor before I discontinued the non-caffeinated mix flavors. It’s fudgy, soft, chewy, and rich… SO tasty.
Chewy Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies
2 cups flour
3/4 cup good quality cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup Andes mint chips*
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, set aside.
Cream together sugars and softened butter. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth. Slowly add dry ingredient mixture, mix until fully incorporated. Add mint chips, stir just until evenly distributed.
Roll dough into 1.5” balls, and place on un-greased cookie sheets, leaving 2″ between cookies. Flatten slightly.
Bake for 13-15 minutes. Cookies will puff during baking, be soft when removed, and will flatten and set when removed from the oven.
Cool on cookie sheet for about 2 minutes, until cookies are set. Move cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 24 large cookies
* If mint isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute whatever other chips you’d like – chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter… even M & Ms or nuts!
| On the afternoon of May 22, 2011, North Minneapolis was devastated by a tornado. Twisted recounts the Porters’ first 11 months, post disaster. Rebuilding their house, working around the challenges presented by inadequate insurance coverage. Frustration at repeated bouts of incompetence and greed from their city officials. Dealing with issues such as loss of control, logistics, change, and over-stimulation, as an Aspergian woman.
Subjects covered include: Opportunistic “Vultures”, gawkers, new friendships, a bizarre gingerbread house, unique decisions made with the rebuild – including an internet-famous kitchen backsplash, “Tornado Claus”, contractor drama, water balloons, DIY design and work, music, sensory overload, and details on how to cook jambalaya for almost 300 people, in the parking lot of a funeral home… should you ever find yourself in the position to do so. Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.