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My Favorite Ending to a Hike

September 25, 2010

They’ve been draining the considerable amount of water behind the Villa Park Dam for weeks…so, lately, at the end of a hike through Santiago Oaks Regional Park, this is the reward for dusty bare feet: a nice soak in the cool current of Santiago Creek. (I was attempting to do a self-portrait with timer when a friendly family of hikers offered to help out.)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2010 12:33 pm

    Looks so refreshing! Thea, It was a pleasure to meet you at Melinda’s house in Santa Barbara and I’ve been enjoying your blog. I also enjoyed your oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and would love to have the recipe if you don’t mind sharing.

    • September 30, 2010 4:57 pm

      Thanks for the note! Here’s the recipe:

      Chocolate-Chip-Oatmeal-Walnut Cookies

      Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

      Measure the following into a biggish bowl:

      1 cup flour
      3 cups quick-cooking oats
      1 tsp salt
      ½ tsp baking soda
      1 cup walnuts (ground up or chopped—I use a little human-powered grinder)
      1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

      Mix all of the above with a spoon, set aside.

      Now measure the following into a separate, bigger bowl:

      1 egg
      3/4 to 1 cup of Crisco (different brands and/or quantities give different results…I never measure this except by “eye”)
      ¼ cup water
      ½ -1 tsp. vanilla
      1 cup packed brown sugar
      ½ cup white sugar

      Using some kind of an electric mixer, mix this second batch of ingredients for about 30 seconds or until the well-gooey stage.

      Next, dump the dry mixed ingredients (from the biggish bowl) into the bigger bowl o’ goo. Apply the electric mixer until it seems uniformly delightful. (The batter will be pretty stiff.)

      Drop by tablespoons (or just form loose globs with your hands) on two large cookie sheets. (It makes 24-30 cookies, depending on how big your globs turn out.)

      Bake 11-15 minutes at 350 degrees (again, depending on how you like them…shorter cooking time = softer cookies. More shortening = flatter cookies…etc.)

      Remove from baking sheet when done and cool on wire racks.

      Eat as many as you can before they cool completely. Freeze some too…they are great thawed for a few seconds in the microwave. Try putting vanilla ice cream between two cookies for a substantial sandwich.

      If you must, share a few.

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