Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Bread & Wine

Growing up in Grand Rapids, MI and currently living in Chicago brought me a little closer to Bread & Wine with mentions of my favorite restaurants and recipes I've always wanted to re-create. For instance, the Gaia Cookie in Grand Rapids ranks at the top of my list for "best chocolate chip cookie" and every time I have one I'm always guessing the ingredients with my Mom. When I saw the recipe for these cookies in the Table of Contents of Bread & Wine I immediately flipped to the recipe with a big smile on my face to finally uncover the recipe.

Gaia Cookies: (I cut the recipe in half because let's be honest I would have eaten all of these)

1 stick of butter (I recommend unsalted butter)
3/4 cups of brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped dates, raisins, dried cherries or cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix well. Add flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mix well. Add coconut, walnuts, chocolate chips, and dates or other dried fruit. Mix until combined. Drop tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or Silpat), 8 per sheet. Refrigerate for a few minutes so the dough doesn't spread out too quickly while baking (this is my new secret for baking cookies). Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Makes 1 dozen cookies.

I also made the Goat Cheese Biscuits from Table Fifty-Two (a must visit restaurant if you're ever in Chicago) and the Green Well Salad from The Green Well in Grand Rapids.

I don't typically use this blog as a place to dive into my personal life but making a recipe from Grand Rapids and Chicago was a chance for me to remember what I love so much about each city. Some of you reading this know I've been wrestling with the decision to continue following my dreams here in Chicago or move back to my hometown of Grand Rapids in pursuit of new dreams. When I moved to Chicago two years ago I had a vision for how I thought Chicago would bring me closer to my personal and professional goals, but I lost sight of this vision when things weren't lining up the way I wanted. To tell you the truth I think I was afraid of creating a life for myself here and apart from everything familiar in Grand Rapids. My mindset of Chicago was a "second home" or a "temporary"solution that was ultimately preventing me from creating a home and roots of my own in this city.

So I'm officially staying in Chicago for a least another year because I feel like my story here is still being written (although many of you know these past two years could already be made into a New York Times bestseller or Emmy winning TV sitcom). I'm challenging myself this year to recognize Chicago as my "home" and create more of a connection to this amazing city.




  1. Glad to have you here for another year :) Cheers to making Chicago a new home.


  2. Great review of a lovely book! Sounds like you can relate a whole lot with Shauna's Grand Rapids/Chicago connection. I am originally from Racine, WI just on the other side of the border from Chicago and miss the windy city quite a bit. Looking forward to reading more about your Chicago adventures.


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