From the moment Daughter #1 was born, I knew that motherhood was no smooth road. It was a road filled with a number of crazy bumps, twists and turns and all ones that I didn't think I was capable of handling at the moment. Right after Daughter #1 was born ( 48 hours after), Husband announced that we would be leaving Hong Kong (a place I loved) and moving to Seoul, Korea (a place that I was very apprehensive about.) Post-partum and completely exhausted, I further exhausted myself with tears, hysterics and the kind of crying that gives you hiccups and you can't stop. I was beside myself. My body ached, my heart ached, and my eyes ached because they were swollen shut. In the midst of this was a tiny baby who was sucking the life out of my breasts (rather painfully at first) and I just didn't have the ability to deal with the move.
When Daughter #1 was four weeks old, Husband and Mother (mine) took off to Korea and left me alone with a newborn in Hong Kong, a country where I had no family or relatives. The two of them went to find a home, and given my misgivings, Husband promised me whatever I wanted, within reason. I asked for an apartment with an OVEN, which is not standard, and one that had a good sized kitchen. Husband fervently promised that he would do all that he could and Mother also promised me that they'd find our new family a nice place. They set out to help make a rocky road less painfully bumpy and I was grateful.
Add two additional children, and the craziness that comes with raising several children at once, and for sure the road of motherhood has not been a smooth one. It's been bumpy, filled with potholes and unexpected turns and has rarely been smooth. But I know I wouldn't change it. I know that every single trial, every single difficulty and every single challenge has made me stronger and less afraid for the challenges to come. I hope that through this bumpy road of motherhood, I will continually be better than the person I was before. I'm not a good person on many days, but overall, I pray that God molds me into the mother He so created me to be.
"But he knows the way that I take; when he hast tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:14
These cookies are my nonsensical tribute to my motherhood. The road has been rocky, but in the rockiness is sweetness and goodness. I'll take these cookies along to make the road smoother, throwing a few of these under the car if necessary, and will try and enjoy the ride. The cookies are chocolaty, studded with pecans, white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips and cranberries and the overall experience is just yummy cookie. Down these with a glass of milk and the road may not appear to be as bumpy. (If it still is, I prescribe two more cookies taken with another large glass of milk.)
Preparation note - how I chop my nuts...
Place desired amount into a freezer ziploc bag (don't overstuff...you want lots of room)
Use a heavy utensil to smash them into bits (a fry pan or a sauce pan with a few gentle whacks would also work - or a rolling pin) You can take out a moment of frustration on the nuts (not too much otherwise you could break the counter or pulverize the nuts)
TA-DA! Chopped nuts!
Rocky Road Cookies
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!
Makes 5 dozen
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans (or almonds or walnuts if you prefer)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside until needed.
Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well. Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing on low (otherwise you’ll splatter it everywhere.) Mix until just combined. Add in both chocolate chips, cranberries and chopped pecans.
Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a rounded tablespoon or a small scoop. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Prescription: when the road is rocky, take a stack of these down with a glass of milk.
Gifted these for my neighbor (who has been super duper helpful in recent weeks) - idea from Sillie Smile