peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hello Lovely Readers:) 
Today Joeycake* brings you some fun Friday games!  

These are actual things people said to me this week:

1. "Everything about you smells like french fries right now."
2. "Are you eating healthy?  I hope you're doing a lot of dancing!"
3. "Your husband's an Aries?  Yikes.  You know, Hitler was an Aries."
4. "Wow!  Walking lunges?  You're so brave!"

Now match-up who said what:

A. Drugged-up Homeless Man
B. Half-awake Husband
C. Nosy Neighbor
D. Chatty Facialist

(*I love saying that when it's actually just me.  Like there are teems of us "here" at Joeycake throwing around ideas with each other and pitching stories to bring to you.)

[Answers: 1-B, 2-A, 3-D, 4-C]

Ok.  Now guess which of these things I didn't experience this week:

A. Walking around for 20 minutes looking for my sunglasses when they were on top of my head.
B. Passing Teri Hatcher running on the hiking trail while an overweight paparazzo tried to keep up with her.
C. Seeing a girl wearing an (ironic?) eyepatch while making out with her ass-grabbing boyfriend.
D. Eating a minimum of 5 cookies after every single meal.

That was a trick question. All of those things happened for reals.

Ok. Now here's a multiple choice...

These cookies contain:

A. Peanut Butter
B. Chocolate
C. Oats
D. All of the above activating the Trinity of Cookie Deliciousness.

That was too easy.

I know I always say this but these are so good! Especially if you like getting peanut butter in your chocolate. Or chocolate in your peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1t baking soda
1/4t salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (packed) cup brown sugar
1 cup extra chunky Skippy peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 1/2t vanilla extract 
7 oz. semisweet (or dark) chocolate chips or chunks

Whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and honey. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.  Gradually add the flour mixture bit by bit until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Roll rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until cookies are puffed, slightly brown on top and still very soft to the touch. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks.

Have a...

A. Happy
B. Sensational
C. Fun
D. Meaningful


Yay, games!


chopped greek salad with feta vinaigrette

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Do you have stress dreams? I have the classic actor-variety that reoccurs. I'm in the wings, about to go on stage and I have NO CLUE what I'm supposed to be doing. All I know is: I'm on! Wasn't there preparation? Proper rehearsals? Couldn't someone have told me about this yesterday? Nope. I'm shoved out there in a panicky fit and an ill-fitting costume not knowing an iota of what is expected of me. Usually it's Les Miserables (perhaps because this was my Most Favorite Show of All Time when I was a musical theatre performer) and I'm on that infernal turntable not knowing when or how to step off. Figures that it's the show of my dreams, I always think to myself, and I'm gonna royally blow it.

It's torture.

And then (Mercy!) I awaken, sweaty but relieved to no end.  

I had a dream the other night that I made a feta vinaigrette for the blog. Seriously. Now I'm dreaming in recipes. In my dream I put the cheese inside the vinaigrette and it was nothing short of brilliant!  Revolutionary, even! As I remembered it in my half-awake state I felt an urgent sense of duty to bring it to the people (that's you). And then I woke up for real and realized combining feta with some oil and vinegar was not that big of a whoop.

It was the exact opposite of a stress dream. In the Feta dream, I was a GENIUS! A dressing superstar!  And then I awoke to realizing I wasn't all that.


I wonder what it all means?


This dressing isn't gonna win any fancy genius awards but it is seriously delicious. Tangy and salty and herby and creamy.

And isn't there something fun to a chopped salad?  It's so confetti-esque.....

I do have to hand it to myself though: I think it was a definite stroke of genius to add garbanzo beans to the mix. Who knew they'd be amazing with all of those Greek-y flavors?

Chopped Greek Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
serves 4 as a generous side salad

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1t dried oregano
1T lemon juice
2T red wine vinegar
3T canola oil
3T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste.

Throw all ingredients in a blender, mix til creamy and set aside.

1 cup (2 small) chopped Persian cucumbers
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (squeezing gently after chopping will remove most of the seeds easily)
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2T finely chopped Italian parsley
3/4 cup garbanzo beans (I used canned, drained)
Heaping 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
2-3 cups arugula

Chop all your goods (except the arugula) and mix in a bowl.  Divide the arugula into 4 plates, top with the chopped mixture and drizzle with dressing to taste.  Serve as is or add grilled chicken (ooh! Or grilled lamb chops!) for more of a meal.

I hope you'll find it super dreamy.


more RC craziness: I Got An Audition!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Runyon Canyon Monday!

#9--------------------------------------------->I Got An Audition!

Thanks for all the RC props, everybody:)  And for spreading the giggles.


P.S.  Links to all the RC videos are on the right side of the blog.

cool stuff, vol. 4

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hey there Lovelies,

How are you?  It's super Sundaycozy over here--the hot, late summer we've been having has finally given way to overcast, chilly mornings.  I love it so much it thrills me.  The weather is generally so mild in Los Angeles that the only way to tell the seasons are truly changing is by the cups at Starbucks.  So I'll take all the fall chill I can get!

It's been a bit sparse here lately on Joeycake.  I've got a lot on my plate these days.  One of those things is preparing for an evening of comedic one-act plays raising money for breast cancer research.  It's called SNAPSHOTS and we open this Wednesday, 9/28 for 5 evenings in Hollywood.  It's such a talented and lovely group of actors, writers, directors and producers involved.  If you're in Los Angeles, come out and see it!  You can check out who's involved and find all the information here.  If you do come, please find me after and say hello:)

In the meantime here's some cool stuff for you...............

This ad campaign is fantastic!

Make your own ice cream cones.

Celebrities who look like historical people.

You suck at parking.

Learn how to steal like an artist.

Obama's elf.

I'm halfway through this book and loving it so much.

I know it's a month away but.......spooky Halloween cocktails!

Can not get enough of these two talking dog videos:)

Crazy about these boots for fall!

This is what you look like right now.

Happy weekend!

P.S.  A couple yummy recipes and a new Runyon Canyon vid coming your way this week!

lazy sunday

Monday, September 19, 2011

Can we pretend it's Sunday still? Imagine we slept in and the bed was extra toasty because there's a slight snap to the morning. Let's get up when we're good and ready. No rush.

How about some muffins? Pretend we whipped up the Brown Sugar Zucchini Bread and then instead of a loaf, we divvied up the batter into muffin tins and baked at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center came out clean. Pretend we sprinkled a boatload of sugar on the muffin tops before baking but called them nutritious since 'Zucchini' is part of their name.

Pretend we got a home-grown orange from a friend (Alison!) and it was the juiciest one we ever tasted...

And we had oodles of time to snuggle this sweet gal...

And pretend she's gazing at us with love in her eyes when it's really about the muffins...

Done! They're not much to look at but they're warm! They're crunchy on top! They're perfect.

Pretend we had seven more and called it breakfast.

Happy Sunday Monday:)

chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yesterday I:

*Vacuumed up my body weight in dog hair.
*Didn't get a job I absolutely should've gotten really would have enjoyed.
*Was yelled at by a guy after he cut me off in traffic.
*Stepped over the eyesore that is my neighbor's discarded mattress more than once.

I also encountered in my travels:

*A homeless man wearing a Dunkin Donuts box as a hat.
*A lady with ginormous acrylics pushing two small dogs in an expensive baby carriage.
*A teenager sitting next to me in the carwash-waiting-area eating a salad that smelled like raw hot dogs.
*A hipster wearing a rice paddy hat with a straight face.

I also:

*Shared a sweet smile with a stranger.
*Had lunch with a new friend that feels like an old one.
*Felt such a full and grateful heart for people in this business who extend kindnesses.
*Magically brought an orchid back to life for the first time (!!!!!)

Life is a mixed bag, no?  Kinda spicy and sweet.

Despite the craziness, I'm happy to say I'm in a place right now of going with the flow. I'm surrendering to it all: the lovely, the ugly, the silly, even the mundane. Saying yes to all of it. Because you need the mundane to measure the exciting. And the sorrow to measure the joy.

So far so good. Cookies certainly help the going-with-the-flow-ness. Don't you find that to be true?

Sometimes you need a cookie:

*To celebrate the good.
*To sugarcoat the bad.
*Because you need something to depend on when people are wearing donut boxes as hats.

I am very biased in the field of cookies. I haven't met too many cookies I've not made fast friends with. That said, these cookies might be my Most Favorite Cookies of All. So that's saying a LOT. If you like autumn and ginger and molasses and dark chocolate, you will fall in total lust with these. They are a little spicy, a little sweet, a little dark and a lot complex.

Like life rolled up in a cookie.

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
yields about 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups plus 1 T all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 T cocoa powder
1 stick (8T) unsalted butter
1 T minced fresh ginger
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t boiling water
8 oz. great quality semi-sweet chocolate (I love Ghirardelli dark chips or the Whole Foods brand 70% cacao mini dark chocolate chunks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for rolling in before baking)

Combine the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa powder and mix well.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the brown sugar, butter, fresh ginger and salt (I like putting the salt in at this point so it can dissolve).  Add the molasses and mix to combine.  In a small bowl, combine the baking soda with the boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Bit by bit add half of the flour mixture, then the baking soda/water combination, then the second half of the flour mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, mix again until all flour is incorporated and then add the chocolate and stir to combine.

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

Heat oven to 350.  Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Bake 2" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies crack slightly.  Cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Happy Thursday

more RC craziness: Brown Swan

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Monday, Lovely Readers!

#8 is UP!---------------------------------> Brown Swan

Hope you enjoy and pass it on:)


P.S.  Links to all the RC videos are on the right side of the blog.

cool stuff, vol. 3

Thursday, September 8, 2011

OPI is introducing Muppet nail polish!

If you like Bill Murray and Betty White, you'll love this.

I want all of these back-to-school supplies for adults.

This is so true.

Sing like no one is watching!

Wonderful advice from Anne Lamott.

Oven-fried truffle and parmesan chips....yum!

Did you know that Starbucks has a secret menu?????

Brilliant responses to moronic grafitti.

Happy Thursday, lovelies!

scenes from the gap

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Somebody needs to learn to stick their neck out once in a while.

Happy Tuesday:)

lemony mint green beans

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I was a horribly picky eater as a kid. And green beans received the majority of my contempt. I have kid memories nightmares of the slimy, grey canned green beans that my parents forced on me. I'll never forget sitting alone at the kitchen table, one light shining on me interrogation-style with a plate of those (now cold) nasty night-crawlers while the rest of my family were having a ball watching TV. I could hear them giggling and having the time of their lives as I suffered, choking down my required allotment by swallowing them like pills with my lukewarm 2%.  

If you feed kids canned vegetables, no wonder they grow up hating them. They're gross. And no wonder they freak out and sneak off to Carl's Jr. when you make them become an overnight vegan.  My return to vegetables was flinchy and tentative. Delicious toasty croutons wooed me into trying caesar salad. Pasta and marinara sauce smothered spinach ravioli. When I finally, skeptically, tried actual green beans again they were pretty good. And much easier to swallow this time around. Thank God for that since I had no milk anymore to help wash them down.

These are NOT the vegetables from your midwest 1980s childhood. These are crunchy, fresh, and zingy.

And, btw? A total crowd-pleasing, dinner-party hit.

The best news of all? No milk required.

Lemony Mint Green Beans
serves 4

When there's no good-looking fresh mint, I just skip it and just use lots of lemon, butter and freshly ground pepper. You could also toss in some toasted pine nuts if you felt like it. Also? This makes an awesome Thanksgiving side dish.

1 lb. green beans, washed and trimmed
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 heaping T finely chopped fresh mint
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil as you trim the beans. Blanch them for 5 minutes and drain*. Return the pot to the stove and heat the butter and olive oil. Toss in the beans, zest, juice, mint. Toss and coat thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

*If you choose to do this ahead of time, plunge the blanched beans into a bowlful of icy water to stop the cooking. After a few minutes, drain onto a kitchen towel. Wrap up the beans, stick them in the fridge and continue the recipe when you're ready to serve.

Happy Labor Day weekend:)
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