Yesterday, I finished my first year as a dance Dad. I have one week off before I trade my dance Dad chauffeur hat for my camp counselor t-shirt. I will relish this calm logistical calendar week.
But summer will also bring the nagging parental worries of how much to nudge them to read or practice and how much to just let them take a break. How much of that school year momentum should we keep? There will be no flash cards. I’m not a complete zealot. But should there be some time set aside to read? Or work on math or Spanish?
Summer or not, there is always so much to do and the kids remain so bad at most of it. Where does a parent draw the line? How do you know where to help, when to help, what to handle for them, what to tell them doesn’t matter and they don’t have to worry about?
I guess I have a whole summer to try to figure it out.
These simple, one bowl dark chocolate sugar cookies are a simple twist on the classic confection that come together quickly and offer a satisfying double hit for either a chocolate or a cookie craving.
I was on the hunt for a cookie recipe to bake for a neighborhood block party. I wanted something easy and quick but offered something a little unique. Something that went beyond the usual chocolate chip contribution.
I’m not usually a proponent of using box mixes. It’s often just as easy to mix up the ingredients yourself and skip the shelf stabilizers and other weird chemicals. But sometimes, life intervenes. You need a hack. You need chocolate funfetti cupcakes fast.
Okay, faux croissants, but so simple and easy to make and so rich and chocolaty that unless you’re living in Paris, you probably will forgive the nomenclature miscue because you are too buys chewing these rich, decadent breakfast (or really anytime) treats. Using store bough puff pastry dough (really, who makes there own at home?!), whatever chocolate you have in the pantry, and a little egg wash, you can have these from fridge to table almost in the time that it takes to brew a fresh pot of coffee.
One thing that I really had to work on during homeschooling this spring and now, into the summer, is making sure I didn’t completely slip into a habit of constant negative feedback for the girls. We are around each other so much that if I stopped and recorded our ‘conversations’ they would mostly consist of me saying things like: Stop doing that. Don’t touch this. Turn off Netflix. Vacuum up the unicorn sprinkles. No. No. No.
The negativity comes from a good and well-meaning place (here is where Ce would roll her eyes). I want to keep them safe. I want to show them how to be better. I really want a clean floor.
But I realize the constant barrage can eventually flood their feedback systems and come out not as encouragement but nitpicking criticism. For all my good intentions, that is not the way to have a healthy relationship with kids.
So this Saturday, with Michelle away most of the day, I challenged myself to be more positive. Let the little things go. Find some Jedi ways to say “Yes” even when I really mean “No.” I needed to engage with the slime rather than try to hold it at arm’s length.
I still insisted on sweeping the floor. If you give glitter one inch….
Such a no-brainer idea. Why make a bunch of small, insignificant individual chocolate chip cookies when you can make one giant, warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie pie? Warning: it’s probably best to make this with other people around. I am not liable if you eat the whole pie yourself.
If you want to make it even more decadent, you could add some frosting.
Easier than a cake. Easier than a pie. It’s a cookie. In a pie dish.
I was in a hurry and knew it was risky but did it anyway. What happened? Grainy ganache. The cardinal sin of frosting!
Would the brownies taste good without the frosting? Sure. Would they be decadent and delicious? Perhaps. But they certainly wouldn’t be quite as luxuriously self-indulgent.
Could I throw out an entire batch of ganache? Hell no.
Could it be saved? Maybe.