This 10-year-old girl from Toronto has the most incredible, soulful voice I've ever heard. It's kind of mind blowing! She just signed a record deal with Simon Cowell. But I almost feel sorry for her – she's going to get crazy famous, and undoubtedly lead a pretty messed up life because of her fame. Because let's be honest, what young celebrity ever turns out normal?
I'm fortunate to have a husband who indulges my frequent bouts of nostalgia. I can always go for a good reminisce, and he's always right there with me. He's recently been working on a project for our patio: Building a wooden planter from scratch. He finished it this weekend. And he named it "Yew Street" after our old apartment's address. Coincidentally (or not), the bushes that he planted are yews. A nostalgic pun—this man truly holds the key to my heart.
I haven't had many baking exploits in my life—mostly just seasonal impulses to make cookies shaped like things. But last night I wanted to bring a snack to a gathering of friends, so I whipped out the apron and got domestic. Not wanting to alienate the sweet-lovers or the savoury peeps, I found a diplomatic solution: salted chocolate chip cookies. You can believe me when I say the cookies are good, because technically this a third-generation recipe, pinched from two bloggers before me (Kyla Roma and the originator, Sweet Savory Life). It's like survival of the fittest; the shitty recipes fall to the wayside and the good ones get passed on and morph into even better versions of themselves. Speaking of better versions, I might try this next time with peanut butter chocolate chips.
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz all-purpose flour (if you don't have a scale, it's roughly 2 and 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. smallish-medium coarse sea salt (table salt is a no-go, the sea salt is what gives the cookies their unique flavour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
16 oz (2 1/4 cups) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Parchment paper for the pan (only use wax paper if you want your cookies to suck and the paper to burn)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, light, and fluffy – approximately 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed. Check out the pictures on Sweet Savory Life.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
4. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until cookie batter is fully incorporated.
5. Finally, add chocolate chips until well distributed. The cookie batter should be somewhat thick.
6. Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough or use a medium cookie scoop and plop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown.
7. Remove from heat and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes. Pick up the parchment paper with the cookies still on top and transfer to a cool non-porous surface. Allow the cookies to cool on the paper for at least 3 minutes before serving.
Don't waste your time putting them on a platter like I did, you're going to eat them really quickly!
In 2008 Vanity Fair published an article called Who Says Women Aren't Funny? It's about the new generation of comediennes who are writing as much of the material as they are performing it. While giving it a re-read this evening, one line in particular caught my attention—it had a tinge of irony.
Only last week, I learned that Lorne Michaels offered Jennifer Aniston a spot on SNL at the same time as she was contemplating playing Rachel on Friends. Both comedic gigs, but very different types. SNL isn't the most subversive humour in America (well, maybe?), but it certainly pushes the boundaries more than Friends. But the main difference is that the players on SNL are expected to come up with original characters and sketches, and contribute to the show as writers. And Friends, of course, is a standard sitcom with its own set of writers separate from the cast members.
In the article, the writer is making the distinction between the great comediennes of the past and the new group of women blazing their own trail in comedy—women like Tina Fey who write the material, not just perform it. And in creating this distinction, the writer says the actresses in the past "were great comic actresses on-screen, but they had about as much to do with the joke writing as Jennifer Aniston or Courtney Cox did on Friends."
Funny that she singles out Jennifer Aniston, when Aniston herself very well could have been one of those trail-blazing women. It makes me wonder what kind of comedic chops she's been hiding that Lorne Michaels offered her a job. And it made me think even more about how different the world would be if Aniston had taken the SNL gig. Seriously. Think about it.
Would Friends have been same? How would it have shaped SNL? Aniston would have been around for Adam Sandler's time in the sun. What would that collaboration have looked like?
And what about the "cool" Rachel bob that defined a generation of women's hairstyles? What about the influence she had on Brad Pitt, and subsequently, Angelina Jolie? Those are three pretty powerful people—in the real world and in Hollywood. It's unsettling (and fascinating) to think about how much a 20-something actress's decision could shape so much of pop culture and the world.
We really want to get a puppy, but we can't decide which kind. We've come to terms with the idea of our furniture and belongings being permanently covered in a thick, impenetrable layer of fur, and narrowed it down to two very hairy breeds. Both are active without being hyperactive—they definitely need their exercise but wouldn't be upset with condo living for the first few years of their life. They're both mid-sized—neither large nor small. The only kind of petite dog Luc likes is a puppy, and a big dog is just too much to handle.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Rumour has it these little buggers are pretty big shedders. Moreso than most. We've fallen in love with fluffy dogs, but we're concerned that this guy might be pushing it? The other concern: a shorter lifespan of about 6-8 years and more health problems than the average dog.
Duck Tolling Retriever
Every puppy has his quirks, but apparently duck tollers do this strange thing where they scream when they're excited. A dog screaming. We might actually get one of these just to hear what that sounds like. Our secondary concern is the duck toller's energy levels and general inquisitive nature. He might get a little bored without a backyard and start destroying our furniture.
What say you, Internet friends? Should we get a bernese mountain dog or a duck tolling retriever? Any dog recommendations or advice?