Drippy Cookies

This morning I decided to cook blueberry pancakes, eggs, sausage, and oven-roasted potatoes for our Valentines Day breakfast.  Standing at the griddle, I turned to B to ask him how he wanted his eggs prepared.  His response?

“Not burned.”

Needless to say, he got to cook the eggs. And they were perfect, as usual, dammit.

I’m actually a pretty darn good cook, and B will agree. He goes to school and brags to his buddies over his leftovers, and he flatters me with praise every time I put a homemade meal in front of him. Since I left my job, in addition to the regular meals we rotate out I’ve had time to experiment with Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, and Mexican recipes so that I’m actually developing my ability to taste something in a restaurant and whip up a batch by guessing at the flavors of the dish. (Last night we were relieved when the Thai coconut curry soup, which gave off an alarming odor during cooking, developed into a tasty near-identical version of what we used to eat in a restaurant in San Diego.)  In the past few weeks we’ve had shepherd’s pie, beef pot roast with vegetables (an oldie/goodie), Cuban picadillo, Greek chicken with onions, lasagna, Vietnamese rice noodle salads, apricot chicken with quinoa, Greek lemon chicken soup, coq au vin, etc. etc. and they all turned out well!

But despite my culinary prowess, some of the most basic food items still frustrate me every time.

My chocolate chip cookies always either end up puffy and cake-like, burned, or drippy, so that they bake like crepes. My omelettes always turn into scrambles (which are sometimes very tasty, but when I set out to make an omelette I want to make an omelette, for crying out loud!)  I just called out to ask B to help me write the list of “failed food items” and he promptly disappeared into the next room shouting “Loaded question! I know better than to answer this!” so my list will stop there at least until I can recall the other dishes that I now either avoid mentioning in our kitchen or command B to cook for me.

B would rat me out tell you that the reason for my failures is twofold: I don’t measure ingredients, and I commonly employ terms like “boil the sh*t out of it” in my instructions. While with most dishes the first part of his explanation is mostly true, I measure ingredients for those dishes that I know I will struggle over (like the chocolate chip cookies,) so his argument doesn’t hold up when 95% of my cooking endeavors end in success. As for the boiling thing, well, that’s true. If I were to write a cookbook, the measurements would be vague and the cooking instructions would either delight or totally offend. Though in my opinion, one can’t express a direction any clearer than “boil the sh*t out of it”.

So if you get an invitation to join us for dinner sometime, you should look forward to it. Unless drippy cookies and burned eggs are on the menu, in which case you should run like hell in the other direction and ponder what made us dislike you so much.


8 thoughts on “Drippy Cookies

  1. susan j!

    this post cracks me up.
    i can’t do rice. for my life. and i just don’t know why!!!
    but i am amazing with yeast breads, and tend to measure – or not – as you do. so i figure it balances out.


  2. stocktoc

    Rice is a …sticky… one. 😉

    I’ve learned to follow the directions with rice, and I still just have to accept that sometimes it ends up the wrong texture. (It seems rice can turn out thousands of different ways each time you cook it!)

    Have you tried quinoa? I’m a recent convert. It’s much easier to cook than rice, and it provides a lot of good nutrients. Also, Minute Rice has saved me several times in the past.


  3. John Bevers

    your blogs are awesome wookie girl…

    so my cooking two cents…

    with the cookies I would say experiment with the butter/margarine that seems to be where I have seen trouble with how the cookies come out. If your using stick butter I would whip it and let it warm up a little before mixing it with everything else. basicly want something not to hard and cold but not liquidy and hot. I usually use the soft margarine in the bucket seems to be about the right consistency. at the very least this is a variable that can be played with and make sure you measure the flour don’t want to much or to little of that.

    the omelette just takes practice and I would recommend getting an iron skillet or something similar that has no sides so you can get under the omelette easier.

    The whole rice thing is annoying as hell I gave up trying to figure out how to make different size portions i stick to 2 cups of rice and 3 cups water comes out the same for me pretty much every time just means I have alot of left over rice in my fridge when I cook for one.

    hope to get to your skill with the other foods without needing a recipe. I’m a measure everything kind of cook right now.

    have fun cooking…


    1. stocktoc

      John! I’ve missed you, my friend! Who’da thought a blog about cooking would bring you out of the woodwork! 🙂

      We recently added an iron skillet to our kitchen, and I haven’t yet tried an omelette in it… but now I have renewed hope. (BTW, LOVE the iron skillet. I cook in it all the time!)


      1. John Bevers

        Yah missed you also. Finally realized that there is such a thing as focusing to much on school and career. So trying to remember what having a social life is all about again. 🙂

        I really enjoy cooking and just couldn’t resist commenting. I miss having my own kitchen I used to do the whole experimenting with new recipes thing. I know shocking from the guy with the big bottle of BBQ sauce.

        In my family I learned to cook and my sister learned to burn Cup 0′ Soup.


  4. purgyladies

    This is my favorite. Congrats on broadening your culinary… expertise? 🙂

    When we first got married and I cooked 99% of the meals, it was either some form of cut up meat (because cooking a whole chicken breast was far too complex) or some form of pasta. Almost always, one facet of it was burnt, overcooked or just plain awful. I can’t even begin to explain how funny it’s been to progress in cooking and have Nathyn say things like “at least it isn’t burnt.” I also rarely measure things, or I pretend I am Rachel Ray and will pretend I can eyeball the amount… I think that’s how you’re supposed to do it anyway. 🙂

    Omelets I actually learned from watching the omelet maker lady while we were on vacation at Disney World. What she did was put the minced/chopped stuff in with the eggs, and let it sit in the pan for about 30 seconds. After that, lightly tilt the pan and with a plastic spatula, pull the egg so that the non-cooked egg goo seeps into the bottom of the pan. It’ll completely cook if you just leave it alone, and then turning it over with the spatula you can brown the other side… Voila! Omelet.

    Choc. chip cookies, however – IMPOSSIBLE. Buy the mix. 🙂


  5. So eggs – cook ’em low and slow to keep them from burning (this is my method, and coincidentally, why I am unable to make fried eggs without them turning into charcoal and styrofoam). I have also never mastered a true omelet – but a fritatta gets very close in texture and is a lot easier (you basically just have to not stir it too much).

    As for cookies – having the butter the wrong temp can affect how much they spread – you never want it melted, only slightly soft. And if you think the batter is too watery when you’re mixing it, sticking in the fridge for 20 minutes before you scoop and bake can help.


  6. Pingback: Greek Lemon Chicken Soup «

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