... is probably the best word to describe these cookies.
And I'm not talking about of the kind of "special" that marks a milestone (though being back home in South Carolina after 2 years of Christmas in LA might count).
The "special" I'm referring to here is more due to the fact that when I set out to make real Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies in my parents' kitchen, I discovered they didn't own one measuring spoon.
That's right: no tablespoon, teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon- nothin'!
My mind was boggled, but I completed the task nonetheless.
Using a full size working oven also took some getting used to...
The final product wasn't half bad... though I almost forgot to add the eggs since I was so busy reminiscing with my sister over a bowl of half done cookie dough whilst listening to Janet Jackson tunes on a mixed CD from our high school days.
Not only did these puppies contain genuine butter,
I also added some crushed peppermint to the top for a little holiday flare.
(Mortar and Pestle: new #1 on my holiday wish list)
Earlier today, the whole fam enjoyed breakfast at a Columbia classic:
The Gourmet Shop.
While they're known for their chicken salad and my old favorite was a near perfect turkey pesto sandwich on homemade baguette, they also make to die for salads with authentic vinaigrette,
croissant + raspberry rhubarb preserves,
Oh, the coffee.
Post-breakfast, we roamed aimlessly about the retail side of the shop
"Died and gone to a heaven where everything's so close, yet so far" is more like it.
After a day full of errand running and eventual lunch of leftover brown rice and lentils + sauteed broccoli,
we made our way out into the arctic blast 38 degree temps to find a Christmas tree,
came home and got to untangling the never ending supply of lights...
It's so funny: I always took the amount of Christmas decorations my parents had for granted. It wasn't until Alex and I started shopping for our own supply that I realized just how expensive they are, and how many years it takes to build up a vast and varied collection... T'was quite delightful digging through boxes upon boxes of accumulated memories this evening.
A couple of snacks along the way served as great ornament-hanging fuel
And before we knew it, the tree was up
and dinner was decided upon.
Keepin' it simple, we chose pasta.
Since I'm not a fan of red sauce (call me crazy), I dipped out to the grocery store for a few staples (almond milk, bananas and cinnamon) and picked up this cheap fix:
to add to a lovely dinner of togetherness, laughs and carbs.
Trust me when I say: this was the most normal shot of the sister I could capture. And believe me, I tried ;)
After dinner, we hung out while the cookies baked,
then finally called it a night.
Rest is essential, as tomorrow night is the big debutante ball.
Tuxes, champagne and true Southern charm await.