pretzel bites.

pretzel bites.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the year my family grew...

this year my family grew a lot. and i'm not just talking about my incrediblyperfectdeliciousamazingwonderful son, though of course he counts. i'm talking about sisters! i grew up sandwiched between jake and joey, and i liked to fancy myself a tomboy, which i wasn't at all, though i did hit a homerun while playing on an otherwise all-boy baseball team when i was 12. the fact that i'm mentioning this accomplishment is evidence of my long-lasting pride. but other than (sort of) keeping up with the boys in baseball, and coming up with the single greatest kick-the-can hiding spot anyone on 31st place had ever seen (the dogwood tree on our lawn!), and being a mean four square player, i was much more interested in all things girlie than all things boyie. i had a barbie dream house and i loved it. my favorite halloween costume wasn't just princess. it was princess getting married. my favorite kind of movie was the kind that ended in a wedding. (okay. it still is.) i longed to wear makeup and dangly earrings. i pined over the beautiful, poofy, frilly white dresses i saw in department stores. i hoped and hoped and hoped the cutest boy would ask me to the annual valentine's day dance... you get the idea. the only thing i didn't wish for was sisters. i never felt the need. my brothers were enough. as crazy as they drove me, and as downright mean as we could be to each other, they provided me with enough fun and excitement and hilariousness that i never coveted the bonds of sisterhood others had. and, after all, sandwiched between two brothers automatically made me the princess, a throne i never even had to compete for.

but now i'm 30. (oh yeah, i turned 30!) and i'm married. and i have a son. and now there are just so many boys, i'm ready for some girls. lucky for me both jake and joey got engaged this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my brothers are getting married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
but remember, jake and joey aren't just any brothers. they're the best brothers. two of the most brilliant, hilarious, creative, and wonderful people in the world. so you can imagine i had fairly high standards for their ladies. it turns out they managed to find two exceptional women to marry. two exceptional women who elicit their greatest strengths, who bring light to their eyes and true joy to all their endeavors. two exceptional women who bring out the very jakeness and joeyness of jake and joey. these women make my brothers happier than i have ever seen them. so, in truth, it wouldn't actually matter whether or not i like these women or would have chosen them as friends or sisters. that i happen to love and admire and enjoy them both is a terrific blessing i'm grateful for.

i don't have the time or words right now to do my soon-to-be-sisters-in-law justice by writing about them both. i have a seven-week-old, after all. but i will try to write just a little bit about hannah, who will be marrying joey this october, and whose very existence is proof that sometimes your perfect partner is not your opposite, but rather a mirror image of your own self. they are so similar in so many ways, including their very understanding of and outlook on the world, that i sometimes wonder how the two of them will get anything done. i am entirely convinced that joey and hannah's apartment will never be fully put away. that together they will buy pieces of magnificent art that they will leave sitting in their living rooms in boxes for months on end. years, maybe. that after painting their apartment they will leave the painter's tape stuck to the door frames and ceiling for who knows how long because their brains are both too full and occupied to remember that when the painting is through, that's when it's time for the painter's tape to come down. that they will talk about buying bookshelves for ever and ever and ever while their books sit in piles on the floor. stuff like that. but none of that will ever matter because joey and hannah were meant to find each other and marry.
hannah is one of those rare, magical people you just want to be around always. not just because she is kind and lovely, though she is wonderfully kind and exceptionally lovely. but you want her next to you because she makes everything funnier and more interesting. her mind is bafflingly quick and witty, and though i used to worry that an intellectual match for joey might really just not exist, her brilliance could actually exceed his. and just like with joey, when you are next to her you must be quiet and listen hard or you'll miss the fabulous world commentary she's mumbling under her breath. hannah is the kind of person you have an immediate friend-crush on, and i actually fully believe that she is completely capable of doing most creative things better than most people in the world. she is also the kind of person you wish only good things for. good and happy and wonderful things. joey things. and joey found hannah and hannah found joey and the world is actually a genuinely better place because of it. it helps that hannah's very beautiful and has the greatest hair known to man. oh, and she writes hilarious and insightful and fun and wonderful music. the kind of music you'd think a person like hannah would write. so there's that, too.

on top of having an extremely serious full time job, hannah also has her very own album called you're the pacific. trust me, you should buy it. a few weeks ago she had an album release party at a very trendy bar on the lower east side. the whole thing was wonderful and charming and fun and josh and i brought rapha with us and he wore his coolest onesie and slept through the whole event! (yes, we brought our baby to a bar. but now that you know a little bit about hannah you know there was no way we were gonna miss her album release party!) she actually had raffle tickets and prizes! josh won! joey asked me to bake a batch of cookies for the party, which i think he was sort of joking about, but it was a request i took very seriously. if chips are delicious in a bar, then wouldn't cookies be? i made two kinds of cookies, my go-to chocolate chocolate ones and these delicious cookies-and-cream cookies that have been really popular when i've made them in the past.

i used this recipe, which i obviously tweaked. i figured it would be better to actually incorporate the oreos into the cookie dough instead of just rolling the cookie dough in the oreos. i think i figured right.

ingredients for the cookies-and-cream cookies:
1/2 cup softened butter
3 ounces cream cheese* (it should be softened, but if you forget to soften it like i did you can throw it in the microwave for about 25 seconds)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips and/or white chocolate chips (a combo is best!)
1 cup oreo cookie crumbs
*since there's no egg in this recipe and since oreos are accidentally vegan, you can easily substitute tofu cream cheese and make a vegan version of these cookies!

to make the cookies-and-cream cookes:
1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and crush the oreos. you can do this in a food processor if you have one, or by putting them in a plastic bag and hitting the plastic bag with a can of something until the cookies turn to crumbs.
2. cream together the butter and cream cheese, then add the sugar and vanilla.
3. slowly add the flour and cookie crumbs until everything is combined, then stir in the chocolate and white chocolate chips.
4. roll the cookies into two inch balls and spread them out over a parchment lined cookie sheet, then bake them for 12-15 minutes, until they start to brown every so slightly. they will cool and be terrifically creamy and crispy all at once!
these are such a cinch, it's actually possible to make them while wearing your nebworn in some kind of newborn carrier... trust me... i did it!
i am so completely grateful that joey and hannah found each other, that they make each other as extremely happy as they do, that they decided to get married, that i get to be hannah's sister-in-law, and that rapha gets to be her nephew, and that hannah released such an awesome album and had such a fun album release party. so grateful, in fact, that i'd be honored to bake cookies for every single gig she ever has.