July 19, 2014

Grandma + Naked Janice

Some people are great at learning their lessons.

I am not one of those people.

Remember when I posted about walking around my house naked?

Guess what I was doing a few days after writing that?

Walking around my house naked.

I was in dire circumstances: I had no clean clothes left to wear because I'd procrastinated on doing laundry a little too much.

No pants, no underwear, and definitely no tops.

Since I was pretty sure going to work the next day naked would be in violation of company policy, I went downstairs to do my laundry.

I even took off the clothes I was wearing, 'cause, you know, if you're going to wash your clothes, you might as well do ALL your clothes, right?

So there I was, stuffing my clothes into the washer in my birthday suit, when I hear footsteps padding out of the next room. My grandmother's room is right next to the laundry room.




No such luck.

My grandma sees me and the first words out of her mouth are:


And, I was like: Sure, Grandma, er, let me put on some clothes first.

Gma: No, that's okay, just write this down for me.

And I obliged.

Now I triple-check before walking around naked.

July 7, 2014

Green Tea Cookies

I have a little story to tell you guys.

About a month ago, I was really excited to share a new recipe with you all.

So excited that I posted a photo on Instagram:

The recipe was done. Its yumminess was ready to be shared. I just needed some pretty photos to go along with the post.

But, for the life of me, I could not get these cookies to look green in my photos. They all ended up looking brown and lame. Not enticing at all.

I knew my photography skills weren't great, and I had a lot to learn, but still, it was getting absurd. I took hundreds of photos and deleted them all. Made batches and batches of these cookies because I kept eating them in my stressed out state.

In a determined attempt to get at least one useable photo, I spent hours on the internet, reading up on whatever I could about food photography, looking at other food blogs, and trying a bunch of different things.

Using a background color that will make the green pop:

Changing the white balance on my camera to get the yellowish-brown hues out of my photos:

Getting up close and personal with the greeness:

And then, before I knew it, four weeks had passed and I was still getting nowhere. I panicked, wondering how I let that happen.

Then I groaned at myself with frustration. Because: I was letting the pursuit of perfection defeat me again.

Anyone else familiar with this self-sabatoging enemy?

Sanity came back and I realized: Janice, people don't eat pictures. It doesn't matter how perfect the photos are. Just put the recipe up already!

So, here I am, in all my imperfect glory, sharing with you, a recipe for green tea cookies that I love.

I've made it for my family and I've made it for my friends, all of them love it too.

A note about this Green Tea Cookie recipe: it works best with a specific type of butter, European-style butter.

European-style butters have a butterfat content of at least 82% and it makes a marked difference in the taste. I've tested this recipe with regular American sweet cream butter and my testers (ahem, family) weren't fond of it at all.

You'll need butter, sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, matcha, vanilla extract, and an egg.

Also, lemon juice.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.

It's always at this point in the cookie-making process that I wonder if I really need to make cookies. 'Cause I sure would love to eat that sugar-butter by the spoonful.

But, so far, I've been able to convince myself that scarfing down a whole bowl of butter and sugar would be bad for my health.

If you've also convinced yourself of that, continue and add an egg.

Beat until smooth and pretty. As opposed to smooth and ugly.

Add vanilla, salt, and baking soda, and mix well. Then stir in lemon juice (which is not pictured because I forgot to add it until the end).

Add flour + matcha.

Combine until just crumbly, you don't want to overmix.

Scoop batter onto a lined cookie sheet using a small scoop.

Or, on a whim, use a mini-muffin pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

If your cookies are puffy when you take them out of the oven (picture left) and you want to deflate them, slam your cookie sheet down on your counter (picture right) before letting them cool.

Green Tea Cookies
Makes 36

  • 1 stick unsalted butter = ½ cup = 8 tablespoons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons matcha
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Or alternately, line a mini-muffin pan with mini cupcake liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Try not to eat this mixture with a spoon.
  5. Add in egg and beat until well-combined.
  6. Admire the pretty yellow color.
  7. Add vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Incorporate well. Stir in lemon juice.
  8. Mix in the flour + matcha until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, dough should be a little crumbly.
  9. Scoop cookie dough onto baking sheet or mini-muffin pan with a small cookie scoop.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Butter should be at least 82% butterfat. European-style butters work best.