My friend Jackie is an absolutely phenomenal singer and I got to go watch her perform for the millionth time last night (which was infinitely better than the Oscars, mind you). Unfortunately the videos I took were kind of shoddy, but you can visit her personal site here, or the band’s site here… and I love this Youtube video here and this one here as well! Her personal style is very Norah-Jones-esque, though her stuff with the band is more rock. Here are some pics from her performance last night…
I’m pretty much her groupie… I was her first fan on Facebook (claim to fame right there!) and I go to all of her performances that I can get to (some are at bars, aka not for little ones like me who are still 20).
What gets me most about watching her perform is the sheer passion with which she does each show. She owns the stage. She belts out the notes in the most fantastically melodious voice. And most importantly, you can tell by the look on her face and the way she moves that she’s loving every second of it.
There’s something mesmerizing about that kind of passion. Something that makes me inherently smile. My friends are all talented in a myriad of ways, from singing to dancing to photography to making websites. And even in the cases where I know little about the subject, I’m content to sit there and listen to them babble for hours, simply because I find it gratifying to listen to them talk about something they clearly care about.
Personally, I’m still discovering my passions. I know my eyes light up when I talk to anyone, or listen to their stories. I know my heart jumps when I learn about how the kidney processes waste products (lame, I know, but it is what it is!). I know my brain pumps up when I learn some minute detail about why we each work the way we do. I know that nothing makes me happier than knowing I helped put a smile on someone else’s face. And I know the smell of my own freshly-baked cookies gives me one hell of a rush.
I’m also still working on finding a way to make all these passions cohere in some way. Medicine? Maybe. Counseling psychology? Perhaps. Scrapping the extra years of school and just opening a damn bakery? Who knows?
For now I do a little of everything and enjoy what I can.
And, of course, along the way I bake cookies.
These cookies went with my sugar-free banana bread, though they are decidedly not sugar free. They’re based on a Levain copy-cat recipe, and as such are supposed to be about 4 ounces (aka huge)… but I always make small cookies. At any rate, they were dark, fudgy, and delicoius, and I was told that I should sell my cookies.
Tempting, let me tell you. (though I really wouldn’t know where to begin…)
Levain-style Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 36-ish smaller cookies; recipe from here
2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1 cup white chocolate star-things from the Asian market my family friends took me too… Just ‘cuz they were cute!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat together butter cubes and sugar until well blended and fluffy. (The original recommends using a stand mixer, but I don’t have one!). Beat in eggs one at a time until well-incorporated, then mix in vanilla and cocoa powder until well mixed.
Gently stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Roll into balls and flatten slightly, then place onto lightly-greased cookie sheet and bake for around 9 minutes or until edges are set (if you want to make the massive cookies, check the link for instructions!)
Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove and enjoy with a big ole glass of milk (dairy or not!).
Now THAT’S worth being passionate about! ;)
What’s your passion? You know I wanna hear ALL about it! :)