Spring! Where Did You Go?

You’d think that after years and years of living in Illinois, I would finally understand that spring in Illinois means, well, that not much has changed since winter. Yes, the calendar has changed. Yes, the Cubs are playing again (except not today – so much for a home opener). But, winter has a mind of it’s own in the Midwest. Some years, we get 70 degree temperatures in January. And some years, it’s still snowing in April.

Remember when I shared a post last week about how our flowers were slowly starting to grow? (You can find that post here.) Well, take a look at how our flowers looked this morning……


Yep. It looks like spring has taken a bit of a detour. At least for a few days. The forecast is calling for 70 degree temps by Friday. Let’s keep those fingers crossed!


Winter, Winter, Go Away

I love the big tree in our front yard.  It looks so nice in the summer.

Winter, go away! You're ruining my tree!

Winter, go away! You’re ruining my tree!

We have a deck and I am so looking forward to sitting on it this summer with a beer in my hand.

Winter, look what you've done to our deck!

Winter, look what you’ve done to our deck!

Summer means time for hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. And we have added seating with the picnic table in front of the garage.

Winter. You are such a jerk.

Winter. You are such a jerk.


Snowtorious B.I.G. and Da Blizzard of 2011 – Or, I want cookies

When I was little, snow days meant a day full of hot chocolate, watching tv all day long, and getting to eat whatever we wanted out of the fridge. Now that I’ve grown up, snow days mean frigid temperatures, walking the dog when he doesn’t want to go outside any more, and digging the car out of the snow drifts. This winter will live on as the year in which Chicago was hit by Snowmageddon, Sno.M.G., Snowtorious B.I.G., Snoprah, Da Blizzard, lots of snow. It also is the first time in years that I had a real snow day. In fact, I had two real snow days in a row.

Ryan and I dug out the car Wednesday morning and then a snow-bulldozer finally came to our street around 4pm.

To give you an idea of what the snow looked like in our neighborhood:

Our backyard - there are trash cans somewhere out there

I only saw one car trying to get to work on Wednesday. They ended up giving up.

Puck had a pretty good time. And then he jumped into the backyard and was swimming in snow. He likes playing in snow until it is over his head.

Don't worry. Ryan eventually found the trash cans.

When it was announced that I was going to have a snow day on Thursday as well, I decided to make my second snow day as productive as my first snow day.  Snow day number 1: cleaned out the fridge, did dishes, did three loads of laundry, did some knitting, and then mopped the kitchen floor.  Snow day number 2: bake cookies.

However, snow day number 2 had a few speed bumps.  The biggest speed bump was buying a new battery for our car because the battery that we had did not like cold temperatures.  In fact, when there was a cold temperature the car would decide not to start.  By the time that we got back from the dealership with a new battery in the car, I was not in a mood to bake.  So, the cookies had to wait one more day.

On Friday, I finally got around to baking the chocolate chip cookies that I (and Ryan) had been wanting for days.  I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe from my copy of Martha Stewart’s Cookies.  I love looking through this cookbook.  The pictures are beautiful and all look delicious.  At some point, I may attempt to bake my way through this cookbook like I am doing with my copy of Baked.

I made these cookies before and they turned out wonderfully.  This time was just the same.

The dough is yummy by itself.  As I was enjoying spoonfuls of the raw cookie dough, I could hear my mom’s voice telling me not to eat raw dough because of the raw eggs.  But, I just couldn’t help it.  I couldn’t stop!

Yum! Yum! Yum!

When the cookies came out of the oven, they were quite puffy and had expanded quite a bit more than I had remembered.  I was a bit worried.

Puffy cookies

But when the cookies cooled, they flattened out just a bit and became nice and chewy on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside.  This, is a great cookie.  It’s a great dessert to end blizzard week 2011.  I discovered, as I finished this blog entry, that it’s also a great breakfast item.

Dessert. Snack. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner.