This year I did a very naughty thing and if I get coal in my stocking, I’ll know why! I was at Salon 191 looking through a magazine, waiting for Jen, and I ripped out two pages when I thought nobody was looking. Yes, I felt guilty, but what I ripped out impressed me so much I just couldn’t help myself.
I started watching Fixer Upper an HDTV show hosted by Chip and Joanna Baines, a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Then I saw their magazine Magnolia Journal at the salon, from a past December issue, actually, in which Joanna had written an introductory letter and she had let Chip write the closing letter in “Chip’s Corner at the back. She spoke about anticipation and Chip spoke about hope—two very important things to have this time of year.
Joanna said, “Anticipation makes us wait and it can serve as a bridge between where we stand today and what lies ahead.” Chip said, “Hope doesn’t have to be pinned to some specific thing and hope is valuable because it cultivates the ‘not knowing’, allowing thoughts to wander toward the what-ifs. Those musings are what lead us to a place of hope and expectation for what might lie ahead… and because what ends up fulfilling us isn’t found in the outcome of the things we wish for, but in the hope that we discover along the way.”
This Holiday Season let us all anticipate and hope for a bright future for ourselves and for all mankind.
Here is a great Chocolate “CHIP” cookie recipe that I know Chip Gaines would enjoy! It is called “brittle” because it’s a big slab of crisp chocolate chip cookie that you break into irregular pieces after it bakes. Package in a cookie jar or in a decorative tin for a festive and sweet twist on chocolate chip cookies.
Pecan-Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle
1 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup melted and slightly cooled butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, also toasted
(Combine pecans and coconut on a sheet pan and toast in 350° F. oven for just five minutes and cool before use.)
Combine first five ingredients and set aside. Stir together butter and next three ingredients in a large bowl; add flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Stir in chocolate morsels, pecans, and coconut (dough will look crumbly).
Press dough evenly into a lightly greased 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan, pressing almost to edges. Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until lightly browned and cookie “slab” seems crisp. Cool completely in pan.
Break cookie into pieces. Enjoy with a big glass of milk!
Jean Hecker is a full-time travel agent at Magic Carpet Travels and a part-time foodie. She has a BA in Home Economics Education from Rowan University and enjoys exploring all facets of the food and restaurant industry.