Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How To Buy Friends: A guide to baking your way to popularity

Robert started a new job last week. He'll be working as an Assistant Buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue. Exciting right? Definitely. But enough about Robert. This is my self-serving blog, not his. I'm not sure quite why, but for some reason I am determined to be popular with Robert's new office mates - hopefully, more popular than Robert. And I know as well as anybody that the best way to bribe/buy friends (aside from joining a sorority or fraternity. Don't hate. It's the truth.) is to cook for them. Now, today is St. Patrick's Day, but since I really can't stand foods with themes (or board games, which I know have nothing to do with this) I decided to bake my favorite cookies. MOLASSES AND GINGER COOKIES. They're super sweet and spicy (golf claps for that alliteration) just like me. Most importantly, they're easy to make and are sure to win me tons of friends whom I don't know and probably will never meet, but hopefully they'll read my blog and one of them will decide to make me an internet superstar so that I can retire at an inappropriately young age and raise children...well...adopt children and then send them to boarding school until they're 18. Don't judge. We all have our dreams.

Molasses and Ginger Cookies


• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup margarine, softened
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1/4 cup molasses
• 2 tablespoons white sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

The Pumpkin That Changed My Life

It rained today in New York - probably because the last few days were warm and sunny and a bunch of overzealous New Yorkers decided to tromp around Central Park wearing awful cargo shorts like it was the middle of summer, and in doing so ruined all hope of an early (and warm) spring. Take it easy, New York. Take it easy! UGH! I am of the opinion that God is mostly spiteful and when he notices we're having too much fun, too early on in the season, he thinks of ways to spoil things. And considering his apparent and much-talked-about omnipotence, a day full of rain must have been easy to cook up. Of course, none of this has anything to do with anything except for that because it rained I decided to do what I always do on rainy days when I don't have to go to my day job and change the lives of kids on the Upper East Side: think about food, cook food, and eat food. Don't worry. I don't digest. As a dancer, I'm totally opposed to digestion - haven't had anything to do with it in years. (Maybe I should have issued a bulimia joke warning before that little zinger. Sorry. Kind of.)

On today's menu were Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Um...for serious...these changed my life. Don't get confused though: I'm not going to move to some God-forsaken rural town, grow pumpkins, live off the grid, and wear organic cotton BUT I'll definitely be much more aware of the needs of pumpkins everyone. Each One Teach One right Precious? What? Anyway. These cookies are DA BOMB! Yep! Hello 1995! DA BOMB!!! As you may know, since you're obsessed with my blog, my goals in baking/blogging are two-fold: total shameless self-promtion, and becoming the most popular person in Robert's office...including Robert. I'm pretty sure these cookies are going to give me an advantage. They're completely moist and full of flavor. Like me. EW!!!! (Sorry for that one mom.)

p.s. If you're feeling depressed and you tend to eat your feelings like I do, then these are just the ticket!

Here's the recipe:
Adapted from AllRecipes.com


• 1 cup canned pumpkin
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1/2cup brown sugar (just cuz everything tastes better with it)
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil (used instead of butter to make the cookies incredibly moist)
• 1 egg
• 2 cups whole wheat flour (ya know? To make them healthy)
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoons buttermilk (yep buttermilk. My favorite compound noun.)
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups dark chocolate chips


1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips.

3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Moving. I've decided I really hate it for a number of reasons. First of all, the prospect of having to collect everything you own and pack it into a bunch of boxes completely overwhelms me and makes me want to sit in a corner and cry. Besides, not everything fits so neatly in a little box. Packing Robert, for example, proved to be a tremendous challenge. Sure...he may be quite thin, but his height was tough for any standard box to accommodate. Secondly, I've learned I'm a total hoarder. Somebody please send my info to A&E because I think I'm perfect for that show. They could send a camera crew and film me crying as someone attempts to pry my hands away from the newspapers and birthday cards I've been saving since the 80s. (By the way, this is totally true. I have been known to save - and display - old birthday cards.) The conversation I have in my head goes something like this: "Geoff. Seriously, throw away the card. Your ninth birthday was a long time ago." "No. No. No. You might need it one day. Just keep them...all of them. The whole stack. And the other stack. And the other stack. And the other stack" Jesus! I save birthday cards?! Who am I? Susan Boyle? Nightmare! Okay, the other thing I realized I cizz-ant stand about myself/moving is that I found out I'm a total slob. I found dustballs that had substantial weight. Like I could have wrecked my biceps in the gym lifting these disgusting pieces of yesterday's memories. Gross right?

The only redeeming factor in this whole moving nightmare is that the apartment is A-to-the-MAZING!!!!! I'm obsessed with it. It's taken me like three hours two write this entry because I keep getting distracted by the place. Literally, all I want to do is sit in the living room and stare at it. I'm obsessed. Like if this apartment were the movie Single White Female, I would 100% be Jennifer Jason Leigh to it's Bridget Fonda. Does that clear things up? And the kitchen people! The kitchen is truly wonderful. Okay, don't get it twisted. It's not going to be featured in the pages of Martha Stewart Living, BUT it's mine and it's bigger than the old one and has so much cabinet space. I can't even fill it! I'm sure I'll probably have to resist blowing all my money (all tens of it) on appliances I think I need, but really don't - namely, that huge-ass pasta maker that Ina Garten has convinced me is totally normal to own and easy to use and that I can't live without. I think I'll probably sleep in the kitchen tonight, just cuz I feel like it gets lonely when I'm not there.

I've included a bunch of pictures of the new place. It really is a great apartment and I feel lucky to have found it. It's funny: a couple months ago when Robert and I were really getting ready to start looking we used to mention to each other how amazing it was to think that somewhere in New York, there was some apartment - probably occupied - which would one day be ours. And now we have it and we love it.

Don't worry. The baking will continue as soon as I'm done unpacking my belongings - including Robert. Ew. Gross.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This Happened Yesterday. No Joke.

My cookies were too sexy for my oven and they blew the damn thing up! No...for serious...we had an electrical fire the day after I brought you my Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies. Dems was sum good eats!!! Don't worry though, the team of Robert and Geoffrey handled the situation like pros.

It all went down like this:

I called over to Robert who was sleeping soundly in our bed a la Marie Antoinette. "Robert!" I said "The stove is smoking...like a lot!" Robert leapt to his feet. Well first he removed his fitted eye mask, which somehow always ends up dangling on his arm like a pocketbook come morning. THEN he leapt to his feet, ran to the kitchen and removed the lid of the stove. Sidenote: We found a ballpoint pen underneath. That's weird right? Like, how does a pen get under there? Neither of us have thumbs, so we don't bother keeping pens in the house. We wouldn't be able to hold them anyway. Back to the story! Actually, that's kind of it. The things stopped smoking. Oh...then we put the lid back on. It was now a lovely shade of poop brown. So I went to town with a spray bottle of bleach. Robert said that was a bad idea but I'm really brave! And I don't like stains. So...We survived. Thank God. It was touch and go there for a second, but we made it through. The only sad thing is that I'll never get to cook in my little kitchen again. Loretta, our dear sweet super (landlord, for all you west coasters), unplugged the whole unit. She thinks it was never properly installed. But I have a different theory. I think it happened because - and I left this out earlier - this morning, while trying to boil water, I spilled about two cups worth of water on the stove, while the burners were on. And then a cloud of smoke bigger and scarier than the one that is currently kicking ass and taking names on Lost, arose from the depths of the oven. Ooops.

Don't tell Loretta. I mean it.

It appears as though the universe is going to make this blog incredibly easy to fill by sending me minor catastrophes. What's next? How's that for incentive to stay tuned?

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Name Is Geoff. I Like Baked Goods & Self Promotion.

A couple days ago, my sister texted me something like this: "You should totally start a food blog!!!!!!!" (She LOVES exclamation points.) The text went on, "You should start a food blog and call it Things I Bake On Tuesday."

You see, my boyfriend works five days a week, I "work" four days a week, which means I have one day off without him. Normally, that would mean sitting on my ass wishing he were with me. I'm kidding. Kind of. Instead, I decided to take each Tuesday and do two of my favorite things - baking and eating. And since it's 2010 and all the young cool kids are communicating through Facebook, I decided to post pictures of my treats. Soon, I was a HUGE internet star - and not in the creepy Jenna Jameson way. (I just lied to you. I haven't become a huge internet star...yet.)

You see, I'd really be lying if I didn't tell you that part of the reason I finally decided to start this here blog is because I'm pretty sure it will blow up and become the biggest thing in food since Wheat Thins. Basically, I'm convinced it will turn me into an internet sensation. Again, I'm kidding. Again, kind of.

In all seriousness, my hope is that it will make you laugh a bit and convince you that if I - a broke, out of work (but full of talent and ambition, in case any casting directors are reading this) actor - can whip up yummy food, so can you. So enjoy and read the first post - Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies while you're at it! (that's for my sister)

Namaste and God bless...if you're into that kind of thing.


So...This is the first in the "Things I Bake on Tuesday: Monday Edition." Things have changed folks. I don't have Tuesdays off for the next few months sooooo it looks like baking will have to take place on Mondays.

Does that rock your world too hard? I hope not.

Here's the deal with this week:
I really love to bake. I'm also kind of broke - and by kind of, I mean REALLY F-ING BROKE! So I decided to take a bunch of ingredients I already had and create CHOCOLATE WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!!!

You see folks - you don't need fancy ingredients to bake cookies a girl scout would envy. All you need is yesterday's flour, a half a bag of white chocolate chips that have been in your freezer for like a month, and a sweet tooth.

Until things get going (read: Until I become a HUGE Broadway star), and the checking account starts to grow, I'm going to be the most badass budget baker in the world...or at least on 87th street between 1st and York.

Want em?

Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1 cup butter - THAT'S TWO STICKS PEOPLE! TWO!!!

2 cups white sugar - I used one cup white and white cup brown just cuz I'm equal opportunity
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cups white chocolate chips

MIX IT ALL TOGETHER AND THEN BAKE IT I'm kidding. Stop worrying.

Here's what I did.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in the white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are set. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. While the cookies bake/cool, lick the mixing bowls clean. Go ahead. I won't judge.