Sunday, December 19, 2010


... 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,

And coffee...

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.


  1. It is amazing how $$$ decorations are, huh? My husband & I did no decorating our first year married and then went out after Christmas and bought a bunch of stuff like 80% off to use the next year and in the future. Best idea ever.

    Oh, and I'm more in awe they have a mortar and pestle but no measuring dishes. LOL

  2. Post-Christmas decoration sale=amazing idea! i thought of doing that for halloween costumes this year... they're so ridiculously overpriced in the days leading up but come nov 1, the prices plummet by 75%!

    i'm going to buy my parents measuring spoons. TODAY! ;)