Check!

Woke up feeling refreshed, amazed at my continued existence, and the ability to experience this gift of life?

Check.

Fed the cat, brewed some tea, spent some leisurely time reading other blogs?

Check.

Made dessert for my dinner party while folding two day old laundry on a conference call planning a major presentation, kissing BF good morning and goodbye while scraping burnt egg from a pan and realizing that my first dessert attempt sucked terribly and I had to make a new one pronto?

That's a face you want to wake up to every morning.

Oof! And check.

I wanted to try a twist on a pumpkin cake for my dinner tonight, so I attempted to create my own recipe: mini pumpkin cakes with chocolate chips.

They looked great, they tasted great, they smelled great…

…and they would make great rock replacements. I texted BF at work and asked “Does anyone need a paperweight? Or a doorstop? I have 24.”

Needless to say, I was bummed. My morning filled with little “checks” suddenly had a big fat empty space where “make delicious revolutionary dessert” was supposed to be marked off. In hindsight, had I put “make rocks” or “invent industrial strength weight,” I would have checked those off with a flourish.

Normally, I would have hidden this failure entirely. I would have pretended as if perfectly tasting (and weighing) baked goods simply fly out of my kitchen at warp speed on a regular basis. I would have skimmed over this mishap in favor of broadcasting, loud and clear, a new, successful recipe. But today, in honor of embracing the experience of life, all the experiences, including failure, I’m sharing it with you.

I did manage to make a good dessert, and share it with my friends. It was not fancy. It was not whipped up with ease from gourmet items just lying around my kitchen. It was chocolate chip cookies.

I wish I could give you the recipe, but that belongs to Robin Robinson, and can be found in her book 1,000 Vegan Recipes, which I talked about here. What I can give you, however, is the best recipe I’ve found for dealing with those moments of unexpected results, of less than stellar outcomes. Of, quite simply, failure.

Oy to Joy

Ingredients:

  • A sense of humor
  • Forgiveness
  • Acceptance
  • Laughter
  • Bravery
  • Gumption

Directions:

  1. Admit that you failed. Accept that it happened, that it happened before, and will happen again. It’s okay – and all a part of the process!
  2. Forgive yourself. No one is perfect. That’s the beauty of life.
  3. Laugh at yourself when you deserve it. Mix with a generous sense of humor, and the failure can turn into an enjoyable experience (much like, dare I say, this blog post?)
  4. Go forward with bravery. Have the gumption to try again tomorrow. Or, if your dinner party is in a few hours, now!

Behind every mountain of success lies a valley filled with failures. But without those failures, reaching the top of the mountain wouldn’t be as sweet.

The chocolate chip cookies were simple and delicious. On their own, they’re perfect: slightly sweet, chocolatey, and very chewy. But they’re at their best when shared with company. And really, isn’t the point of all good food, the very best part of slaving over a hot oven and millions of mixing bowls, is getting to share it with those you love?

That’s something I’ll check on my list.

With all that being said, I don’t plan on deviating from my cookbooks for awhile 🙂

 

Had an amazing day where I experienced life to the fullest, enjoyed each moment for what it was, and was in awe of all the wonderful things I can be grateful for – friends, food, and love?

Check.

——-

Whew! It’s been a couple o’ serious posts up in here. Let’s try something lighter tomorrow, shall we? Current forecasts indicate that Joy will be making vegan pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving…stay tuned!

No Lie

Sometimes, I am full of exaggerations and jokes. Today, I am not. No lie.

1. I had three readers visit my page! Three! Welcome! And I thank you by not posting for two days. I am a jerk (and I wish I was lying).

2.BF is still sick. Very, very sick. We spent 3 1/2 hours at the clinic on Monday, and he is on bed rest until further notice.

3. In an effort to make BF Feel better, I made Potato Leek Soup.

Spud buds - stripped of their dignity

Leeky love

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that remarkable, and you should be happy that I forgot to write down the recipe. Fortunately, BF has no taste buds at the moment, and he thought it was delicious (and I accused him of lying…bad girlfriend).

4. In an effort to make up to my co-workers that I had to throw my responsibilities out the window for a day, I made them cookies. Delicious, chewy, chocolatey cookies.

No lie.

Joy’s “I’m Really Sorry, Co-workers” Cookies (AKA Peanut Butter Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies)

I don't have a picture of the finished cookies...but here's the finished PLATE. That good, people.

Makes 14 – 20 small sized cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. applesauce (can use an oil like canola, as well, depending on your preferences)
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (or another type of nut butter)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. vegan chocolate chips (depending on how chocolatey you want them!)
  • 2/3 to 1 c. soy milk (you can use regular milk as well – just be aware that the cookies will no longer be vegan or parve if you do)

Favorite PB. No hydrogenated oils - just peanuts and salt!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the applesauce (or oil), peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry – the dough will be crumbly and you’ll be doubting my sanity. It’s ok – I promise!
  5. Add the milk to the dough 1/3 c. at a time. Depending on the ingredients you used, you may need more or less milk. You know you’ve hit the right consistency when the dough can be easily scooped using a fork or spoon, but is NOT runny.
  6. Now comes the exciting part – fold in your chocolate chips.

    Makes life worth living

  7. Scoop dough by the spoonful onto your baking sheet. Bake 15 – 18 minutes, until cookie tops have set. Remove and allow to cook thoroughly before transferring to storage*

*You can skip this last part if transferring cookies directly to mouth 🙂

The cookies were a hit with the coworkers, and I hope they are for you, too. Or maybe you three lovely people who clicked over to check me out? (Hint, hint)

The rest of this week will, hopefully, not be so crazy. I’ll do my best to be back with more posts, jokes, and perhaps even a non-cookie recipe. There will also be an awwww-inspiring post coming along this weekend. So stick around! I can say that, whether three or three hundred readers, I’ll always do my best for you.

And that’s no lie.