SMiLes by Meg

Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

Happy Christmas Cookie Season! Every year, I dedicate one weekend to spending all of my time in the kitchen baking at least 5 varieties of cookies to put in tins and give out to friends and families. This year, that weekend will be next weekend, but when my roommate and I decided to host a Gingerbread House Party this weekend, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to get a head start. Because I’ve already posted my gingerbread cookies, which I was using for my house base, I decided to throw a new variety of cookie in the mix: salted chocolate

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Baking is amazingly therapeutic. If I’m stressed out, it calms me down. If I’m upset, it cheers me up. If I need some time with friends, it has a way of bringing them together. I can tailor the recipes I choose to the mood I’m in. Day already going pretty well? A short recipe with a quick result makes it even better. Day going pretty rough? I turn to something more involved that I can get lost in.

Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t think anything wears you out like hiking up a mountain in the snow. Getting up early, layering up, climbing, and slide-walking back down really take it out of you. Though I do think I’m officially a winter hiking convert.

Best Banana Bread

I’m pretty sure my roommate buys bananas exclusively so that I’ll turn them into banana bread. They sit in our fruit bowl, largely untouched, until there are only three left and they’re all brown. At which point I don’t really have a choice in the matter, since my banana bread recipe just happens to call for exactly three overripe bananas.

Salted Caramel Mini Cheesecakes

OK, now it’s Christmas season. I went Black Friday shopping for the first time in recent memory. I’ve been listening to Straight No Chaser’s Christmas albums on repeat for two days. I have a full box of decorations ready to be set up around my apartment. I’m planning my finals studying strategically to allow plenty of time for Christmas shopping.

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Greetings from Dublin! Well, actually, I’m writing this on Friday while sitting at my kitchen counter in Massachusetts. But, ever the planner, I wanted it to be ready to just hit “publish” because on Saturday I’d be flying to Ireland and England for a trip with my mom! So, as you read this, I am either at Guinness learning how to pull a pint, or, if you happen to be reading later in the week, hanging out with the wonderful Cate Laporte-Oshiro at Oxford, who I haven’t seen in far too long.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was both an amazing and absolutely terrible idea. I’ve had Serious Eats The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe saved on my Pinterest for literally about 3 years. In that recipe, Kenji, who runs the food lab (a science person’s dream baking blog) painstakingly adjusts every ingredient in chocolate chip cookies until he arrives at his ideal. And I finally gave it a try.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

It’s officially Christmas cookie season. That means, for the next couple of weeks (probably through New Year’s) it will be all Christmas cookies all the time. This year, I’m going the slightly nontraditional route with my tins, including some new recipes and experiments, but if you’re looking for some classics, here’s last year’s selection: Gingerbread Men Dream Cookies Butter Cookies Anyways, this week’s recipe was definitely an experiment. I had seen it on Pinterest and thought they looked amazing. Also, I needed to make something that would keep for a week since I’ll be making the rest of my cookies in

Pretzels

This past Thursday was Report Card Night at school, which means that we had a half day before having to come back to meet with parents in the evening.  Whenever this happens, a group of teachers uses it as an excuse to go out for lunch.  This time, we decided on Red Robin (mostly because I was in the mood for a burger).  Two of us got there a little early and were starving, so we ordered an appetizer of pretzel bites while we waited for our friends to arrive.

Sea Salt Brownies

In school on Friday, a student asked me what I do over the weekends.  I realized that when I was a student, I, too, had a hard time imagining my teachers existing outside of the classroom.  Did they just do biology experiments all weekend?  Did they sleep at their desk?  Did they have a life?