Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Paper

So, it finally happened, I was able to write about my obsession, chocolate chip cookies. It didn't help that I was on a no treat diet while writing this. Goodness, looking up the info, and the delicious pictures of cookies, I almost died of mouthwatering and lusting. Ha ha ha

The prompt for the paper was to tie yourself to an object, using history and facts of the object. The catch? There also had to be a deep meaning.... Most challenging part for sure. But with some help from my amazing father, I think I might have conveyed something that is sort of deep... oh who knows!!! Well, here is my paper. Chocolate chip Cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Superman has his kryptonite. Achilles has his heel. Bill Clinton has his Monica Lewinsky. Eve has her apple. David has his Bathsheba. Sampson has his Delilah. Werewolves have their silver bullets. And I? I have chocolate chip cookies.
In my life, nothing compares to the scent nor the taste, the feel nor the sight, of a warm, fresh, gooey homemade chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. The smell, tantalizing. I see it; that cookie, crisp at the edges, soft in the middle. The angel on one shoulder whispers, “Lauren, you know you are trying that new diet. You have worked so hard and done so well this week, don’t let that THAT little thing ruin you.” Then comes the shouting from the other shoulder, that mischievous voice I know so well, “Go for it, girl. You’ve earned it. Take a deep draft of the sweet soothing smell. You know how it will melt once it hits your tongue, the oozing chocolate, the sweet and sugary butter crunch all around. It will make you very happy. Why would you not eat it?” I bite into the cookie. Yep, the little devil was right, totally worth it.
It’s hard to believe the creation of something this “powerful” was an accident. Bakers back in the 18th century would bake a small amount of cake batter in order to test the temperature of the oven (Mann). Instead of wasting the batter, it was baked again along with the larger cake, and would come out crispy. These little test cakes were called "koekje", meaning "little cake" in Dutch (Davidson 212).
Chocolate chip cookies are part of my “weakly” routine. It is a family tradition on Sunday to make chocolate chip cookies after dinner. When I arrive home after my Sunday walk, I smell them, those delightful creatures ready for me to eat. As I enter, I see my step dad hard at work, placing the last of the dough on the cooking sheet. There is a fresh steaming batch on the counter right now, just released from the heat of the oven. I grab one quickly, not even minding as it slightly burns my hand. I place it in my mouth and let the sugar dissolve, the chocolate ooze, and a smile come quickly across my face. I look over and smile at my step dad. We share the same passion for our family’s Sunday night tradition; chocolate chip cookies just seem to bring us closer sometimes. It’s hard to grow close to someone who is not your own father but the warm cookie helps break down many barriers.
My hero, Ruth Wakefield, is credited with the creation of the “chocolate chip” cookie. Ruth Wakefield graduated from the Framingham State Normal School and worked as a dietitian. She lectured on food for a while, then, with her husband, bought a tourist lodge called the Toll House Inn. She created the recipes for the meals served to the guests at the Inn. She became notorious for her delicious deserts. One of her very favorite recipes to make was “butter drop do” cookies, in which she used the unique ingredient of baker’s chocolate. One night when she was making the butter drop do cookies, she realized she had no more baker’s chocolate. She decided to substitute the missing ingredient with a cut up bar of semi-sweet chocolate. Ruth thought the chocolate would melt completely, but to a lovely surprise, the small pieces only softened (Bellis). Thus was born, the powerful chocolate chip cookie.
It’s another Sunday, chocolate chip cookie day for the family. It is my turn to bake the cookies for the day. I neatly place them on the sheet and wait for them to rise in the oven. Soon I smell the cookies. As soon as the timer begins to buzz, I approach to retrieve the latest batch of heaven. As I enter the kitchen, my mom looks over and tells me to run a plate over to the neighbors before I eat a cookie. Apparently, while we were on vacation, the man across the street plowed the snow from all our sidewalks and driveways. Our driveway is pretty long and quite a feat to plow. We also have a lengthy sidewalk surrounding the outside of our home. What a lucky man, a whole plate of the purest goodness in the world for only four hours of work. I run the plate down the street as fast as I can, trying to get back home before the rest of the waiting cookies cool. When I reach the neighbor’s home, the family smiles and takes the plate from me. I can hear the little kids asking to eat the cookies as the door closes. I run home and burst through the doors to grab my chocolate chip cookie. As the cookie hits my mouth, I not only taste it, but feel it. Something is very wrong. I spit the cookie out, appalled at the taste. “What happened?” I ask my dad. Turns out I used salt instead of sugar. Why couldn’t my mistake be as good as Ruth’s? And those poor neighbors who have to suffer in my blunder. Probably won’t see any volunteer snow plowing for a while.
I know I should go down and tell them what happened. I wonder what they will say when they taste them. I hid my face when I saw them in the street the next day. To my surprise, they never said anything about the bitter cookies. Could it be that the gesture of giving chocolate chip cookies overshadows all mistakes?
Another thing that makes chocolate chip cookies so wonderful is the cookie dough. This treat is even irresistible before it is cooked. Most are told never to eat cookie dough because raw eggs may contain the bacterium called Salmonella enteric. This disease can cause sickness, and perhaps even death. Despite all these warnings, because of the common weakness for chocolate chip cookies, cookie dough eating is still rampant in North America. Does cookie dough really cause these widespread poisoning deaths? According to a CDC study, the risk of being killed by baking is negligible. Only about 70 Americans died of Salmonella from raw eggs in the year 2000, and they expect those numbers to stay around the same in years to come (Schroeder).
Yet another Sunday, I find myself in the kitchen while cookies are baking. Patience, patience, patience. I can hear my mother saying these words to my brother and me as we wait for the chocolate chip cookies to bake. I stand strategically between the bowl and my mom so my brother can sneak a quick sample of the unbaked cookies. The dough tastes so divine. Whether in my ice cream cone, or rolled in tiny balls covered in chocolate known as “Cookie Dough Bites”, cookie dough gets the best of me in any form. I love the crunch it makes as the uncooked sugar particles munch in my teeth. It is so hard to wait for my favorite treat to bake. It seems like torture to sit around while the aroma of those delicious morsels enters my nostrils. I have even seen my mom and step dad sneak a sample, being too impatient to wait for the cookies to come out. Seems no one wants to wait when it comes to chocolate chip cookies.
There is a new fad that has evolved around cookies. It is a diet known as the Hollywood Cookie Diet. The concept of the diet is to replace breakfast and lunch each with the special “diet” cookie. Testimonials rage on the website such as, “I lost 5 pounds in 3 days on the Hollywood Cookie Diet,” and “I lost 42 pounds! My doctor loves the Hollywood Cookie Diet” (Hollywood). Seems the whole world loves the idea of eating cookies to lose weight. Could it be possible that a company is making my weakness into something to help solve a worldwide problem of obesity? Maybe this weakness is much more widespread than I ever suspected.
So many agree, there is nothing like the sweet splotches of chocolaty goodness in a sea of butter soft crunch. The question comes to my mind, should I overcome this weakness, or let it overcome me? Maybe the knowledge of this “universal” weakness can be used as a strength. Is a plate of cookies really worth four hours of hard labor? If they are chocolate chip cookies, definitely. So if everyone loves chocolate chip cookies whether cooked or dough, and will risk even death to get a sample, why not use it to accomplish great things? Get roommates or siblings to do chores, calm the angry neighbors, get teachers to give A’s on papers? The possibilities are endless. And that’s how the cookie crumbles.

Works Cited

Bellis, Mary. History of Chocolate Chip Cookies - Ruth Wakefield. About.Com Inventors. Web. 17 Sept. 2010

Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1999. Print.

"Hollywood Cookie Diet." Hollywood Diet Store. Sunset Health Products, 2009. Web. 20 Sept. 2010.

Mann, Thea. The History Of Cookies. Life 1,2,3. Web. 17 Sept. 2010.

Schroeder, Carl M., et al. Estimate of illnesses from Salmonella Enteritidis in eggs. Center for
Disease Control and Prevention. 2000. Web. 17 Sept. 2010.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Nightmare on the Big 13

Last year I went to this huge haunted house in Salt Lake and had a blast. I decided to become a fan of it on facebook. When I did, they asked if I would like to enter a contest to try and win free tickets. I said, "what the heck" and entered to win. And guess what???? I totally did!!!! ha ha ha! i won four free tickets to Nightmare on 13th Street. Tickets run for $20 a pop, so I won a package worth $80!!! It was so fun!!! I don't think I have ever laughed that hard in a haunted house. Granted my eyes were closed 75% of the time, it was still a blast!!! I love the people I went with, loved the haunted house, and loved the free part!

LDV Retreat 2010

Its hard to believe that it has been a year since the last LDV retreat. This time we didn't go as far as bear lake, but had a delightful time in a near by stake center. We enjoyed a delicious meal, heard some wonderful thoughts from leaders, played some wild games (shuffle buns, piligamy, 1 through5), and met many new people. It was great seeing the returning members as well as meeting the new ones. These kids are spectacular. It is really neat to be with that many people that are trying to be the best they can be and are so caring and loving. My goodness, do I fit in???? Ha ha ha

Bryce and me... love this boy
Some cuties
My folder partner and the secretary of LDV. Amazing girls

Ahhhh, Erin Edwards, how i love you!

Car ride listening to "The Lion King" blasting as loud as possible! Crazy kids!

Taneesa and Lauren :)

Picture Time!!! This is my wonderful roommate Taneesa. I love this girl so much and have had such a fun time thus far living with her. Here is a list of ten things I love about Taneesa.
1. Her smile- always helps me to smile
2. Her cute clothes- I love to borrow!!!!
3. Her Listening to me- It means so much to have someone I can trust
4. Her caring- she always wants to help and if I'm feeling down will listen to me.
5. Her mad dancing skills- Your love is my drug
6. Her Michigan Accent- She says so many words so cute.
7. Her cleanliness- she keeps our apartment and our room looking nice
8. Her man voice "yes!"- that cracks me up, she can always make me laugh
9. Her opinions and advice- I always find them so valuable and keeping me straight
10. Her love- I can always feel that she loves me and she eminates love to all those around her.
Love you Taneesa!

A Special Friend
By Janice Lovell

A special friend is someone to treasure,
That someone to be with always a pleasure.

There to help when life gets too rough,
A friend by your side when the going is tough.

Someone to listen, a shoulder to lean on,
A friend's always there when others have gone.

Will laugh with you, cry with you, no matter what,
Faults and shortcomings don't concern her a jot.

So, to my special friend, I thank you each day
And know that forever by my side you will stay.

Through good times and bad times you'll always be there,
My tears to ease and my laughter to share.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chili's Anyone?

After an LDV performance, we headed to Chili's with a bunch of friends. It took them about an hour to seat our group of about 22, but the wait was for sure with the bottomless chips and delicious avocado ranch dip. It was so good to spend time with such great people and make tons of new friends!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

So, ya wanna see the new crib?

Here are some pics from my new apartment. Speaking of apartment, Taneesa just killed a HUGE spider with my shoe! After she wacked it once, it jumped toward us, and then she wacked it about 5 more times. Its dead now. No worries :)
OH, my bed. Which is finally fixed thanks to a friend that lives down a few apartments. Notice that this bed is the same one Zoey from Zoey 101 has... ya, I'm that cool.
Kitchen. Yes, a bit messy, but spotless now from our saturday clean!
Living Room. See that master piece on the wall? Two words for you, 1. Electric Tape, 2. Scrapbook paper. Not bad, huh???
Beds, with my darling room mate serving as a delightful model :)
My desk.
And the crazies I live with! Love em!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ice Blocking

Really? Who ever thought it would be fun to lay your stomach on a freezing peice of ice, and go down a mother steep hill for fun??? Lets just say, I failed. Perhaps making it down 10 feet is a feat, doubt it.

For real, can you feel my pain!!!!!!

So what, I'm still a rock star

Oh, are you having a bad day? Well, me and my wonderful room mate Taneesa have found the cure. Turn up "Your Love is My Drug" as loud as possible and sing at the top of your lungs. But don't jump on Lauren's bed.... cuz the legs break and then I have to sleep lopsided! Gosh Taneesa... ha ha ha! Love that girl! Love this apartment! Love Life!

Sunday Game Night

Since moving out and such, on sunday we have begun a traditional game night. So fun seeing some great people and playing some fun games. Here's a pic from our first night :)

Summer BBQ

Taneesa biting into the puss burger. We called it that because the burger was stuffed with cheese. When you bit into, it squirted everyone. Let's say, "ghetto gourmet."
JB and Tanner prepare for the bacon wrapped asparagus and home made potatoe chips. Yummm!
Chips anyone???
I love this girl with my whole heart!

Ya, Taylor, you can cook for me anytime :)

Home Ward BBQ

This summer I stayed in my home ward and was called to the nursery. Goodness gracious, I love those babes! I went to a ward BBQ and it was so cute seeing them point at me to their moms, wave at me, and give my hugs. One of my fav's, Nya, came and played with my for quite some time. We made a ball out of a napkin and a hair elastic and played catch. What a cutie! I can't wait to have babes to play with all the time!!!

Pickleville: check mark

Last Friday I finally had my last Pickleville show. Lets just say, it was my favorite yet. There is nothing like doing a show full out for the last time. My neck was sore from all the terrible faces I was making. Since it was the last night, I did a nice shimmy for the audience instead of my usual spin. At the end, I brought out a huge plant for my bow, and acted like it was something someone had given me and kept saying, "Thank you", "Oh, stop it, your too kind." "Thank you!" while stroking the gigantic bush. I'd say I'm gonna miss it, but 27 shows feels pretty fulfilling :) I'm happy for new things and new adventures. Heres some fun pics I got from the beginning of the season and during it.