Remember how I said my last post wasn’t about resolutions? It wasn’t. I did try and make some goals or resolutions for myself this year, though. Or at least for this semester. I’m really trying to go out and do things, as a way to make myself feel more settled, and maybe encourage myself to begin to feel more content here. So, I’m trying to go to classes at the gym. I’ve never been a big gym-goer; I’d much rather be out running, breathing in the clear air, out cycling with the wind in my hair, or hiking with the pine needles quietly crunching under my boots. I’m still trying to do those things, but I really wanted to take yoga, and so I did my first class this week. It was sort of arduous, and I’m incredibly sore in places that I haven’t been sore since I was dancing regularly, but it was very enjoyable, and I’m definitely going back next week.
I am also trying to make sure that I find people who want to go hiking with me, or want to get out and explore the area. It’s not the most beautiful place I’ve lived, and I frankly hate the lack of seasons. At the moment, however, I’m pretty fond of being able to hike and also feel my feet and hands, so there are certainly pluses! This weekend, I’m going out and trying rock climbing. I’m pretty terrified not of heights, exactly, but of falling. This is pretty ironic since I’m the daughter of a geologist and reformed rock climber, but there you have it. Still, I’m giving it a chance. I’m hoping that these changes will make things here feel more positive. I’d really like to make this work, at least for the next two years, so it’s worth putting in the effort.
And when I’m not feeling super ambitious about anything else, I’m still pretty happy getting to cook here. My kitchen is minuscule (I’m not sure I’ve really talked about that…), but there’s enough space to bake, and that’s all that really matters for me. Sirius is absolutely my helper dog – he’s always interested in whatever I’m making. I think he’s mostly hoping that it’s something for him (he’s a total glutton), but it’s so nice to have his companionship. He and I are both trying to get back into our routine here. It was so lovely to be home with my parents and Webster, their dog, and their lovely backyard (where Sirius got to run as free as he liked, sniff everything, and get into all sorts of trouble). Not having their company is a tough transition back, but we’ve got each other, so that’s also good.
Meanwhile, classes have started again, and while I felt incredibly ambivalent (and frankly, downright negative) about most of them, going to class has piqued my curiosity again, even if just for the moment. I’m working on figuring out what I’m going to do for the summer, but I’m also trying to live in the moment and appreciate when things feel good.
Speaking of which, these cookies – these are good. It’s an unusual mixture of flavors, and I didn’t really think I liked molasses until I wandered across this recipe. I know that many of you are on food resolutions, and that’s awesome. But maybe think about rewarding your awesomeness with these cookies, because they are totally worth it. (Plus, molasses is supposed to be really good for you, so it’s like a health food, right?)
Chocolate Molasses Cookies (adapted from Averie Cooks)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsulphered molasses
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt*
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips**
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in another bowl, mix butter, egg, sugars, olive oil, vanilla, spices, and salt until smooth. Gradually add flour and baking soda until the dough begins to form a pebbled texture. Add the chocolate chips until the dough comes together. Cover the dough and refrigerate for two hours to several days. If you’re on a tight schedule, you can also freeze the dough for about thirty minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Combine the coating ingredients in a small bowl. Scoop cookie dough into balls approximately one inch in diameter, and roll in the coating. Place on cookie sheets, and bake eight to nine minutes, or until just set.
*You can increase the amount of salt in this recipe to your taste. I am fond of increasing it to about 3/4 tsp, because I like the savory balance it lends to an otherwise very sweet cookie.
**I generally use a mixture of milk and dark chocolate chips/bits/chunks, but I also like using semi-sweet and dark chocolate. I’ve never tried white chocolate, but expect that it would also be incredible.