This week at the PA house, this was happening:
It was my first oh-my-gosh-I-own-this-place-and-can’t-just-call-the-management-company moment, but all I could do was laugh about it (okay, and let’s be honest, freak out and cry a bit) and have a parade of contractors come in to figure it (a sneaky little leak issue) out and fix it so I could move on with my life. It gave me great opportunity to practice my “he’s not as vicious as he looks” deadpan.
Gets ’em every time. Oh, that’s ME laughing at my own joke? Oh well.
Still, I wouldn’t be ME if it didn’t stress me out at least a little, so I kept up with my usual methods of stress management – mostly yoga and swimming lately – but I also decided to try what seems to work for other people and I took to the kitchen.
My favorite roommate was always baking…correlation to her being my favorite?! I don’t think she was necessarily stressed out, but being in the kitchen just made her happy. One of my good girlfriends from high school used to tell me how relaxing it was for her to chop carrots.
I don’t quite get it, but it was worth a shot, plus it’s not Christmas season until there are Christmas cookies! These M&M Peanut Butter Cookies are a favorite of mine year-round, but instantly become Christmas cookies with Christmas M&Ms (Easter cookies with Easter M&Ms, Fourth of July cookies with Fourth of July M&Ms…you get the idea).
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. peanut butter
3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 and 2/3 c. flour
3/4 c. quick cooking oats
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. M&Ms
Cream butters and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Gradually mix in dry ingredients. Add M&Ms. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.
After freezing my tail off at our last GOTR practice on Thursday, I stopped by the store for the M&Ms and milk, of course, but when I got home (and out of my nice warm-up bath) I realized I was missing brown sugar! Since it was still cold and potentially rainy outside and I was cozy inside, I didn’t want to go to the store again, so I looked up how to substitute what I did have – amber agave – for the brown sugar.
The recommendation was 2/3 of the amount of called for brown sugar (using math in every day life…Mr. Garibay would be so happy). There was debate on whether or not to reduce the total liquid – a definite yes if subbing it for white sugar, but since brown sugar is a little wet anyway, it could go either way. I decided to just keep the other ingredients the same and the cookies did come out a little too moist, so perhaps next time I’d use just the egg whites…or just remember to pick up brown sugar!
As for whether or not it soothed my soul, I’d give it a thumbs up. While it didn’t dry up my leak, I did enjoy being in the kitchen and focusing on a recipe and having my house fill with the lovely smell of freshly baked cookies.