passion [and cookies]

28 Feb

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.

Including a little photography here and there… though I’m an amateur!

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
2 eggs
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! :)


18 Responses to “passion [and cookies]”

  1. Jess February 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    those cookies look great!

  2. kat February 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    My passion is jesus, being a good wife, sports, and good food :)

  3. whatkateiscooking February 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    I feel very passionate about sweets :) Those cookies look amazing!!

  4. leighbakes February 28, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    I’m at the very same point in my life right now: figuring out my passions and how on earth to make them come together into something I want to devote myself to forever, or at least for a long time. Good luck with figuring out yours. In the meantime, just do what you love–bake like crazy. :)

  5. hippierunner February 28, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Let’s open a bakery together! My passions are running, being fit, cooking and more!

  6. Tara March 1, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    Your friend looks so happy singing. My best friend is a musician/singer too, and I love to prompt her to talk about music because you can hear the passion in her voice. It just makes me happy listening to passionate people.

    I want to find star chocolate chips! I love chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips. Best combo!

  7. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) March 1, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    It looks like your friend is a great singer and that she really enjoys it! And yay for you for being such a supportive friend! :D

    My passion is definitely riding my horsey! (and some blogging ;)

    I hope you get to follow your passion to a dream job! I’m sure you would be good at anything (especially the bakery – and I would be your first customer ;)

    And, as always, those cookies look AMAZING!!!


  8. Jess@HealthyExposures March 1, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    Jackie is phenomenal!! Her voice gave me chills. Props to the guitar player, too – I love the beat in the beginning, when he…knocks on the guitar with his hand that probably has some musical name but I would have no idea about that :P
    I’m at that “but how do I make it all FIT?” point in my life, too. Photography, business, cooking and baking…but what do I want to DO?!

  9. Sophia @ Raven Waves March 1, 2011 at 4:58 am #

    The cookies look great!! I love seeing people who are passionate about what they do for a living. I’m still trying to figure it all out. I love reading, writing, helping people and sports. Not sure how those all fit together, but one day they will!

  10. Kristina March 1, 2011 at 5:15 am #

    Ohhhh get a youtube vid of her up here!
    Those cookies look yummy!

  11. Jenny March 1, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    Wow how awesome to have a fried who sings so great. I love watching people perform, too bad none of my friends sing lol And amazing cookies as always! :)

  12. movesnmunchies March 1, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    i can tell your friend has a wicked voice just from those pics.. shes got the swagga! my passion is probably exercise.. also just being happy..i know that sounds lame but its true.. i also have a passion to help others :D
    it used to be basketball cuz thats aLL I EVER DID. but no more- ive grown up!

  13. runyogarepeat March 1, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Those cookies look delicious!
    My passion is health & kids – I would love to work in public health or with children in some way to improve health, nutrition, exercise, and more. I’d also love to combine that to work with children in developing countries. Just thinking about it makes me so excited & passionate!

  14. whitney March 1, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Yum cookies :)


  15. fashionfitnessfoodie March 1, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    I love when you can see the passion in someones face when they sing like christina aguilera, mariah carey and whitney houston to name a few!
    My passion is food by far… baking, cooking, experimenting, eating – anything and everything!

  16. This Italian Family March 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    What cool pictures! I love that your friend is doing what she’s so passionate about. :)

  17. MegSmith March 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    This was a fantastic post to read and see! I really enjoyed the pictures. If you decide to leave school to open a bakery I am right with you okay? :-) You say the word and I’ll bring my baking school notebooks and you and I will be millionaires (not that you would need my help but I sure would love to join)!

  18. kissmybroccoli March 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Girl, I totally feel you on the fascination with physiology. I loved learning about the all the different body systems and how they combine together to keep us alive, healthy, and functional. It was that fascination that got me curious about a career in the medical field! I love my job as a CAT scan tech…though it would be nice to own my own bakery! Hit me up if you need a business partner!

    I’m still discovering a lot of my passions, but I know that I have an intense love for healthy eating/cooking. It’s not just a love of food. It’s so much more. I get so excited when I learn new things about foods…their history, culinary implications, health benefits, etc. The grocery store is like my own personal playground! I could spend hours in a Whole Foods!

    I am also learning a lot about photography and can feel a bit of passion brewing for that. I’ve always had a love for art…taking pictures of food is becoming MY art!

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