Guest Submission: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a fun and simple recipe to follow for a delicious dessert that satisfies both the chocolate chip and peanut butter lovers.

Ingredients

1 cup sweet unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sweet creamy peanut butter (do not use reduced fat versions – I use Jiff or Peter Pan brands)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar or 1 cup light muscovado sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Wet Ingredients: Cream butter until smooth, then add peanut butter and both sugars. Beat until all ingredients are well combined.Next, add in egg and beat well. I always like to throw in a dash of vanilla to add a bit more depth, I usually throw in a teaspoon or so.

Dry Ingredients: Stir in flour and baking soda gradually until combined. Add in chocolate chips, apply liberally (I love chocolate).
Using a meatball scooper or a spoon, scoop out small portions of dough and drop onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Make sure to leave a two-inch gap between each cookie.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until cookies are firm around the edges. Make sure you don’t overbake them.  If you wait until they are brown on top, they will be too hard.

These will keep about 3 days stored in a cookie tin (for crisp cookies) or an airtight plastic container (for softer cookies). But if any of you are like me, they won’t last a day.

Guest Submission: Grandmother’s Canned fruit

I’ll never forget sitting in my grandparent’s kitchen while family all around laughed and conversed with one another.

I sat, a young observer, watching life whirl around me. I sat with an empty bowl and spoon, waiting for grandma to notice. Of course she did.

She swooped down on me, earrings jangling, “Dear you have no food! What’s wrong?”

I looked up at her, trying to hide the sheepishness form my face. It didn’t work.

“I was hoping to have . . . To have some of your pears.”

She smiled and gave me a wink, “Of course you can!”

I watched her disappear into the cellar.

Enveloped by sights and sounds I waited.

“Here you are dear boy!” Grandma said, appearing at my side.

A trickle of clear juice and pear halves slid into my bowl with an aroma of mouthwatering sweetness.

The first bite was delicious, superb.

The second followed quickly by the third and fourth.

Grandma gave me a kiss and laughed her way into the party while I devoured her hard work.

-M.D.

Guest Submission: Nana’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Growing up, my mother made the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They were huge. Each one had to be the size of a grown man’s hand. And they were always soft, even when the outside layer crackled when you bit into it.

As an adult I’ve still got this childhood obsession with this cookie. I’ve gone through quite a few recipes, and they always turn out to be a bit more like nothing the cookies she made. That is until I pulled out my old standby: Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. In there is a classic recipe for that so coveted oatmeal cookies. If you follow it, you’ll find yourself owner of some wonderful cookies. But not the cookies.

So I played around with it. I don’t use eggs in my cookies so I played around with flax-seed, less liquified butter, and varying types of chocolate chips.

In the end I created something that roughly equates to my perfect cookie memories.

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, softened (not totally melted, it makes the cookie spread out too much)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (not optional, you have to)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (not optional, you can throw in a dash of cloves if you’re feeling spicy)
2 tbs of flax-seed/ 6 tbs of water mixed (or 2 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats

1 cup of chocolate chips

Now when it comes to chocolate, I love to have it balance out the sweetness of the cookie with a rich dark flavor. I use about a half cup of semi-sweet and a half cup of dark chocolate chips. Then I throw in a few more handfuls just to be safe.

*Important* To make these chocolate chip cookies, don’t forget to add the chocolate chips! I use a blend of semi sweet and dark chocolate flavors. I’m a kind of dark individual and really enjoy my chocolate to give me more than just fluff.

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (It never fails that I forget this step and have to sit and watch the oven heat up.) Prep a 9×13 cookie sheet with parchment paper, silpat.

Cream butter and sugar until it’s fluffy. You’ll know when. Then add flax-seed mixture and vanilla to the bowl, mixing it until all combined. For me the best results come from mixing all the ingredients together with a large fork, or wooden spoon. But if you don’t want to work out your arm please use an appropriate hand or standing mixer.

Next add in dry ingredients, baking powder/soda, spices, and flour (you can just dump them into the same bowl, cut down on dishes). I wait to add the oats until everything comes together, seems to put less stress on your tools*. Add chocolate chips to desired level of goodness and mix until combined.

A trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen for bakery worthy cookies is this: Ball up dough to double the size of what you would normally do and then break the ball in half. Place both parts with broken side up. I usually fill a 9×13 cookie sheet with a baker’s dozen. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes and enjoy some beautiful cookies. This recipe should yeild about 48 cookies, depending on the size you like them to be . . . or how much cookie dough you eat.

*If you have a mixer, please please please please change the whisk paddles to cookie paddles. You and your bank account will thank you later.*

Guest Submission: Layers of Grief

About this time last year, I became very aware of a grief that I carried in my soul.  The central source of the grief was a lie about myself that had been engraved on my heart.  For months, I ignored any true feelings and lived my life in a state of denial.  Obviously, I wasn’t ready to work with the grief yet, but I knew that anger was around the corner and was going to be disastrous when it finally hit.

It was early July when the anger arrived, and with it, a list of 45 reasons of why.  Loss and pain in black ink on a lined white page.

Quickly, it became apparent that I needed a project to turn my grief into something productive.  I chose a recipe and got to work.

I measured, folded, smoothed, chilled.  Layer after layer.  Butter, dough, butter, dough.  Emotions escaped as I pounded and rolled cold pastry into a rectangle, wider and wider, my bamboo tapered rolling pin leaving rounded impressions on the dough as I transferred sad thought after sad thought to the dough mat.

Triangles of dough were carefully rolled, tucked within themselves, and baked until they were golden brown.  Once cooled, my fingers dug into their crust, breaking the glossy exterior into a million shards.  Exactly the way I felt.

-Anonymous

November on The Ink Owl


Hello and welcome to November on the Ink Owl. This month’s theme for November is Food. And I have to admit, I love food. Who doesn’t? We’ve had a bit late of a start on the month, but have a nice variety of submissions, some stories from friends, anonymous submitters, and a few writers/bloggers from around the globe. I am ever so grateful to all who have submitted their work and I can’t wait to share what they have created! So without further ado, here’s to our guest writers on The Ink Owl. Happy reading!

-M.E. InkOwl

 

By The River Running

Don’t you understand honey?” She said, trying to sound helpful. “They’re taking it all down all of it all the trees the river the forest, they’re already bulldozing it down.”

I ran, bushes and leaves slapping against my legs. A bird took flight from its hiding place, calling out with an ugly voice.

Raven.” My mind stated as the black wings disappeared beyond a stand of trees.

Behind me my grandmother’s apartment shrank behind the usual hedges of scrub oak and lilac.

I ran on, heedless of the noise and destruction I was causing. The trail wound it’s way up and over a small hill. For a flash I could see the green tops of trees leading off into the distance, ending in a long line of roofs

My thoughts returned back to what my mother had said, “It doesn’t matter anyway, Michael, Grandma is moving somewhere else, a better place.”

“But what’s better than this place?” I growled between taught jaws. It wasn’t fair. None of it was, especially for grandma. She was different, always had been. But now they were taking her away from this, from her home where it was safe to be different.

I continued on, now slowing my pace, daring someone to catch up with me pull me back inside.

As trees passed me I again heard my parent’s voice. “Now Michael it’s alright, this move will be good for grandma, they’ll take good care of her.”

Ahead of me some vines hung low over the path and I swung out at them, dashing greenery aside.

Why move from here? It’s perfect for Grandma. She doesn’t-” Thoughts suddenly derailedmy steps faultered and I tripped, almost sprawling head first into a bubbling stream.

I stopped for a moment, realizing just how deeply I was breathing, ears burning in my eyes. But the silence was too complete, my ears rang from it.

Something was not right. I stopped and scanned the forest where I stood. Large trees spread wide overhead, while the elevated path I stood on made up the river bank. Everything was normal, everything except. . .

Something swung in the gentle breeze, lazily circling in and out of view. It looked like a woven basket.

I walked up to the grizzled bush and pulled vines away. Something large swung out toward me and I leapt back in shock.

“What the?” I said, feeling my stomach twist. A woven form half the size of my body hung from a tree. Vines wrapped around most of its twisted limbs securing it to one side.

“Are you some kind of voodoo doll?” I asked, realizing that if a reply came from the woven form I’d most likely need to change my pants. There was no answer, just the sound of vines rubbing on branch. My attention focused beyond the vine. My eyes went wide. Nothing could prepare me for what I saw beyond the swinging form.

A small clearing sat to one side of the stream and path. A makeshift leanto sat between two trees, various objects and trash lay scattered about the space.

A fowl smell of rotten trash filled the air, making my neck tingle.

Maybe it’s a homeless person’s home.” I thought, trying not to panic.

Wind blew through the clearing picking up leave and trash, and throwing fetted air into my face.

I coughed and gagged, covering my nose and looked around. That what when I saw it, saw them. Dozens and dozens of twisted woven forms hung from the trees, swinging the wind. Their knobbled forms tossing this way that, faceless heads turning to look at an intruder, at me.

Dread fell upon me like thick oil. I did the only thing I could, I ran.

And I never looked back.

-M.E. InkOwl

Nonus Naeniam

Gleeful are we, three sisters of darkness,

Come dancing now to thee.

The signs are crushed, and wards are broken,

Draw near our time has come.

For now, we have, the Greenwitch fair,

Far innocent that was hoped for.

And now with her, the dying begins,

Our mission here is ending.

Come forth from wells deepest sprung,

This world awaits consuming.

We spill our powers upon the ground,

Your shadow now forthcoming.

-M.E. InkOwl

Chip, Crack, Crash

Chip, crack, crash.

We break the ice, jagged and clear.

Washing our hands from blood through the years.

Chip, crack, crash.

Our work here will never be done.

Eternal frost and broken bones.

Chip, crack, crash.

We are buried beneath an unending load.

Backs bent, skin slick with sweat and liquid ice.

Chip, crack, crash.

A mountain falls, consuming our unholy obligation.

For bodies we cover in ice and stone.

Chip, crack, crash.

We keepers of the dead,

Never forget our commitment to The Stone.

Chip, crack, crash.

Guest Submissions Needed

I’m going to be doing daily reminders about this now because I need more submissions! Please for the love of food, send me your posts about food. Any genre, any style, just make sure it fits within specified guidelines. Now is your chance to have your blog and writing featured! Read more to know what’s what:

Submissions must be about food. They can be any genre of writing as well.
Entries must contain no less than 50 words, no more that 1700 words.
Photos are a must, even if they are taken from the internet (please give credit).
Please list your website or blog so I can give you credit for your work and answer these three question for your author bio:
1. Where are you from?
2. What started you writing? (Why do you like to write?)
3. What is your dream for your writing?
*Pictures of yourself for the author bio are encouraged.*
**Pictures and content submitted with graphic language, violence and/or pornograpahic nature will not be accepted**
***Please give credit where it is due, I do not accept copyrighted work***
Send submissions to Michael.erickson512@gmail.com no later than November 1st.
I love forward to your submissions! Feel free to share, reblog, or ping this post as much as you can! Thank you!
-M. E. InkOwl

Carmine Octavo

Let the blight and rot come forth,

Beneath this Yew Wood deep.

We bring forth a pestilence and plague,

With our hands so keen.

For now as we gather strength,

Our quarry rears it’s head.

Cover them with torment unending, as the sickness seeps in deep.

For we will prevail in our dark pursuits,

We Witches of the Wood

-M.E. InkOwl