December 2, 2014:  Cookies, Snow Monkeys, And Exercise Accessories!

We interrupt the previously scheduled blog post for this important announcement. Monday, December 15th will be the very first Dark Matter cookie exchange. Participants are required to make a half dozen cookies for every other baker in the exchange “plus a half dozen or so extra for the rest of the (lazy) office to sample!”

I’m in!  Or, rather, Akemi will be in!  But I’ll on hand to assist and come up with the concept.  Maybe 70% Madagascar chocolate chunk cookies?  Or 80% dark chocolate with SOMA caramelized white chocolate chunk cookies?  Or bourbon-laced pecan cookies?  I think we can only make one kind.  I’ll have to consult the official rules and regulations tomorrow.

December 2, 2014:  Cookies, Snow Monkeys, And Exercise Accessories!

That’s it.  The post-season match ups are set!  My Snow Monkeys snagged the #2 spot and will take on desean’s dedouche in first round action next weekend.  Meanwhile, Tio’ s Petunia Power meets first-place powerhouse Clueless while Rob’s Landsharks battle it out with Lawren’s The Fighting Hyphens and Ivon’s Running Dead take on Thobias’s The Mighty Merkins.  It’s going to be an exciting weekend of action on the field.   And an equally exciting week of preparation which will necessitate I cancel all non-fantasy football-related business until the championship.  Wonder who I’ll be meeting in the semis?

December 2, 2014:  Cookies, Snow Monkeys, And Exercise Accessories!

And finally – Come on!  I have enough trouble completing a workout as it is!

23 thoughts on “December 2, 2014: Cookies, Snow Monkeys, and Exercise Accessories!

  1. Dude…you know, if you grab behind your neck to “pull” you can hurt your neck and pull some of the muscles/tendons that radiate down.

    SO…be careful You do not need injuries!

  2. Cookie exchange? I love that idea. In fact, as one of your blog posts you should post Akemi’s final recipe so that we can try it! (Actually, I was going to ask you guys (i.e. Akemi) for a good Christmas cookie recipe anyway!)

    I love your new personal trainer. Make him bring it, Lulu!

  3. Also, it’s snowing on the blog! Now I now for sure that Christmas is not far…

  4. Oooh, mmm, cookies! Such wonderful choices!
    I’m gearing up for neighbor cookies. I stick to family friendly munchies, as many have little kids and fancy cookies are not the best choice. I also have tons of fudge making ingredients. I make good fudge. I am keeping an eye out for affordable maple sugar so I can make maple butternut fudge, but dang, that is pricey stuff!

  5. Good job Lulu! I think she needs a whistle. :p

    A cookie exchange; so much fun a d good eats as well. 😀

  6. I’ve never heard of a cookie exchange. What a great idea! Although my workmates are not bakers so I fear I’d be exchanging cookies with myself!

    I have a great recipe for triple chocolate cookies. They have so much sugar and chocolate in them that we nicknamed them “Brain Ache Cookies” because you get a headache if you eat too many of them!

    Good luck with the Snow Monkeys! I still have no idea what fantasy football is but I think we should run a Blog Regular league next year so I can learn. What web site do you use to run the competition?

    That’s an interesting medicine ball you’ve got there!

  7. I think that you are on Lulu’s bed. That might be why she’s using you for. comfort.

    Definitely cookie exchanges are all kinds of fun. What are you going to do with all those cookies you are going to get?

  8. Yum, cookies! Christmas, my favorite time of year, and yes, more cookies and fudge and yummy. Lulu, what a great picture, I can see who is in charge. 😉

  9. White chocolate cookies! Seriously though, you can do anything with cookies, be a bit imaginative with what you use lol.

  10. You guys have so much fun! There are so many cookies that I love. Here are a few: These pecan tassies are like little pecan pies. You can add your own variations. I like to add mini-chocolate chips but I bet bourbon would be a great addition too.

    Two of my favorites are chocolate chip cookie variations (basic cookie recipe with ½ butter, ½ butter flavored shortening) with a few extras: 1 cup blanched slivered almonds, bittersweet chocolate, dried cherries, semisweet chocolate chips, rolled oats and dark brown sugar (instead of light). Then I do another version with bitter sweet, semi-sweet chips and a cup of toffee bits.

    These lemon tea cookies are excellent:

    I make these every Christmas for my elderly friend “Raspberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies”. They have such a delightful fruity flavor:

    I have a chocolate snickerdoodle cookie recipe that I found an old recipe book, also. Basically, it’s a chocolate cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar. They are awesome! I posted the recipe on my twitter feed (@jertam).

    As you see, I can go on and on.

    Love the picture with Lulu! Sometimes I incorporate the cats into my exercises. They make great weights. Except for the wiggling part. 😉

    When they submit their cookies, have them give recipes. 🙂

    Das: I liked “Blue Labyrinth” and I think it will lead to interesting plot paths in the future.

  11. Joe, I have a few questions concerning the shows budget and the decision to do production in Toronto. Sorry in advance for my potential misuse of the industry terminology! 🙂 1) When you were out selling your show, did you have estimated production budget numbers to provide at that time? Or, is the production budget decided by the network that desires to broadcast the show? 2) For the decision to produce in Toronto, how was that decided? Is it based on industry knowledge that Toronto is (x) amount cheaper than Vancouver/LA/etc? Or, do you take the production requirements of the show and send them out to “bid” to various studios? Or, is it simply based on who you end up in business with? i.e. Company A only does business in Toronto, Company B only does business in LA, etc.

    In then end I can safely assume that it was all based on the best bang for your $$, but I am mostly interested in what information was used to make that decision and how it was derived.

    Also, in your opinion (and my assumption that Vancouver is getting too expensive to produce shows in), do you think if SGU would have been produced in Toronto that the cost of the show would have been lower and thus would have been able to continue on based on the average ratings it was getting during season 2? If so, was any consideration made to relocate production?


  12. Yeah, your cookie exchange should be cool, but it won’t top the cookie madness at Pittsburgh weddings. If the table isn’t near collapsing at the union hall then you shame the bride and groom, there must always be so many cookies that you can’t possibly make a dent in the mountain unless you want some calamitious side effects like I had after comibing too many cookies with too much open bar.

  13. Here’s the recipe for Brain Ache Cookies (a.k.a. Chocolate Choc-chip Cookies):

    1 1/2 cups (185g/6 oz) plain flour
    3/4 cup (90g/3 oz) cocoa powder
    1 1/2 cups (345g/11 oz) firmly packed soft brown sugar
    180g (6 oz) butter
    150g (5 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
    3 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup (175g/6 oz) dark chocolate chips
    1/2 cup (90g/3 oz) white chocolate chips

    Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
    Grease 2 baking trays and line with baking paper.
    Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl.
    Add the sugar.
    Combine the butter and dark chocolate in a pan.
    Stir over low heat until melted, then add to the flour mixture with the eggs and stir until combined.
    Stir in all the chocolate chips.
    Roll 2 level tablespoons of the mixture into balls.
    Place on the trays, allowing room for spreading.
    Flatten slightly, then bake for 12 minutes.
    Leave for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
    Makes about 25 cookies.

  14. And here’s another recipe I love. They’re kind of like Amaretti. A really simple recipe that easily scales with how many egg whites you have. It’s how I use up the egg whites after I’ve made ice cream. It’s also gluten free!

    Basic quantities for about 10 cookies (multiply for desired amounts or depending on how many egg whites you have):

    100g icing sugar (plus extra for rolling out) (The finest, powdery sugar you can get. Whatever it’s called in your country.)
    100g ground almonds
    1 tsp honey
    1 egg white

    Mix the icing sugar and ground almonds together in a large bowl.
    Add the honey and egg white(s) and mix until you have a smooth, firm dough.
    Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
    Preheat the oven to 150C.
    Lightly grease two baking trays (or line with non-stick baking paper/silicone).
    If you’re making multiples of the basic quantity, divide the dough into a number of pieces to match the number of egg whites. It makes it easier to roll out in batches.
    Now comes the sticky bit.
    Dust a work surface with a generous quantity of icing sugar and roll each piece of dough into a rough sausage shape.
    Slice each sausage into 10 equal pieces.
    Lightly roll each piece into a ball. You want a nice coating of white icing sugar on the surface of the ball.
    Place on a baking tray, allowing for spread
    Bake as-is or, press your thumb into the centre of each ball to leave an indent and fill the indents with jam/jelly, creme patissiere, flaked almonds, etc.
    Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
    Cool for 5 minutes on the tray then move to a wire rack.

    Apologies for the metric. Actually, no, I don’t apologise for the metric. Get with the rest of the world, USA! 😛

  15. I hope you will post the recipe for either the best cookie or the recipes for all of the cookies entered would be great too. Lulu is so precious. Looks like she’s got you down in a wrestling hold.

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