It was only one year ago that I sat here, hugely pregnant, with no idea what the next year would bring. Who has any idea what to expect their first year as parents, really? You never quite “get” it until you actually birth the kid, so like the blind leading the blind, I stepped into the ranks of mothers everywhere who have zero clue as to what the next few weeks (and months, and years!) would bring.
Honestly. I’m still blown away by how crazy it is to be a parent. All the registry lists and articles and books and advice-givers in the world can’t prepare you for this kind of total life change.
At first, the the early days, I tried the super-mom thing. I was really, really bad at the super-mom thing. I felt guilty whenever my sink was full of dishes and my husband and I slept on sheets that hadn’t been washed in two weeks. I felt guilty when the baby didn’t sleep, and when she slept too much, and when she ate too much, and when I didn’t eat enough, and when I lost touch with friends and when I tried making new ones and failed at it (though I eventually got much better at it), and on and on and on. They tell you not to let the small stuff get to you, to let the laundry pile up, to appreciate every moment of having an infant in your newly-rocked world. But when you’re wired a little on the intense side, as I tend to be, that kind of life change, the re-working of the way your brain operates, it takes a bit of time. And in the end, I had to come to the conclusion that I can’t do it all (shocker, right?) so I took a step back and let things just be for a while.
Hey, remember this post? Where I confessed about how I struggled with this same issue of perfection, and my father gave me a stern talking to? Yeah, I didn’t listen. This is a long road I’m on.
I stepped back from this blog for ages because the idea of it not being a “perfect” place was just too overwhelming for me to handle. It had long been a source of pride for me, but not being able to keep up with it like I’d wanted to made me depressed. Between taking care of the baby, being a supportive wife to my husband, staying in touch with family and friends, all.the.laundry., and carving out moments in time for myself, this poor little corner was severely neglected. After this post, I had to give myself a bit of time away so I could finally figure out what I wanted it to be.
What do I want it to be? Not much. Nothing special. Well, special to anyone other than me. I’m not doing sponsored posts for a while. I’m removing my ads (some only as contracts allow), I’m slowing things down, I’m not going to focus on perfect photography and the perfect post and a perfect site. I realize as I type these words just how truly good it feels to let it all out, and to not hold myself to any standard of perfection. So friends, I hope you’ll still stick around for a not-as-pretty looking site, with maybe not a newly photographed recipe every time, and and not a standard of excellence that I don’t know if I can reach. And maybe, for a while at least, this can just be a place that documents the strange little trip the Big Man and I have been on in the last 11 months (!!!??) since our little Peanut exploded into this world.
So with that, I present you with my coming-out party, after nearly two months of quiet: these bomb-diggity Chocolate Dipped, Crushed Peppermint Sugar Cookies. I made them for the awesome Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, which I’m proud to be involved in for the second year in a row. Proceeds from sign-ups go to help Cookies for Kid’s Cancer, and I’m waiting with bated breath as to how much money we raised this year. I’ll blast it on social media as soon as I know!
This year, I had the immense pleasure of sending one dozen of these cookies to these badasses:
Jenn at Not Starving Yet
Steph at Steph’s Bite By Bite
and Susan at That Susan Williams.
And the even BETTER pleasure of receiving THESE:
Buckeye Cookies from Tracy at Pale Yellow
Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti Two Ways (chocolate and vanilla!) from the adorable Amy at Club Narwhal
and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Meike at Love and Joy
None of the cookies lasted too long, I can assure you of that. Totally worth every stinking calorie. And I’m so honored to be in the company of bloggers who made these cookies, who helped contribute to such a cool cause.
And, my lovely nerds, if you can forgive me for my utter silence and stepping away from this space for a few months, and try to keep an eye on this little corner of the web, I promise I won’t just up and disappear again. It won’t always be pretty and it definitely won’t be perfect, but I’ll give what I can. In this holiday season while we count our blessings, I’m thankful for a space where I can be myself, even if that’s sometimes a struggle.
Happy Holidays, nerds.
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon, heaping, Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2oz cream cheese, warmed
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 2 tablespoons almond extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cream cheese, butter and oil. Lightly whisk in the egg, milk and almond extract into the butter mixture. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients to the wet until the batter is combined.
- Roll the batter into a ball and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for one hour.
- When the dough is chilled, either bake as drop cookies or roll out and cut with cookie cutters. If making drop cookies, drop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly press each ball down with the bottom of a glass.
- Sprinkle with sanding sugar if desired prior to baking.
- Bake at 375*F for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies have lightly browned at the edges.
- Once the cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate. Using a small spatula, "dip" the end of each cookie in the chocolate. Sprinkle each cookie with the crushed peppermint. Let set for at least two hours so the chocolate can harden.
- Store covered in a cool, dry place for up to one week.