Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
The sleet is coming down freezing as it hits cars and walkways. So, it's time to bake cookies and these are the best cookies ever.
Chocolate Expresso Chews. Got the recipe some years ago from Diane F who lives nearby and make them periodically for special occasions and today with winter taking aim, is special.
Preheat oven to 325
1 cup walnuts 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided. I use Gharadelli’s
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped Use Valrhona or some other 70% chocolate bar 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon finely ground dark-roast coffee beans or Instant expresso powder 2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine 2 cups chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
Spread walnuts on a baking sheet; toast in oven about 6 minutes, just until they start to darken. Watch carefully; nuts burn quickly. Turn off the oven. Let nuts cool, then chop coarsely.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs, sugar, ground coffee and vanilla on high speed until thick ribbons form and the mixture has doubled in volume. This part is very important, getting the egg mixture increased in volume
By hand, stir in melted chocolate until thoroughly combined, then add dry ingredients, chopped walnuts and remaining 1 cup chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Overnight is ok too, but it will have to soften just a bit before putting them on the cookie sheet.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking sheets.
Make golf ball-size scoops of dough, spacing them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Dough will be very dense, use 2 spoons. Don’t try to use your hands, it’ll be messy. Bake, in batches, 10 to 12 minutes; the tops will crack, but the cookies should be gooey inside.
Let cool on the baking sheets for some minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you try taking them off too soon, they’ll crumble.
The nice thing about this dough is that it freezes well, you can make the cookie balls and freeze them in freezer bags to take out and bake a few at a time whenever you have a craving for them.
Since the 2006 storms which saw limbs take down power lines, Ameren has contracted with tree trimming companies to clear overhanging branches from power lines. Last week the tree guys were back, spending every day along the lines from DeMun to Dartford which is the line behind our house.
They were back today, working way up high even in what is now a cold rain.
One guy stays on the ground as a spotter and a collector of branches which fall.
While the other goes way up high. How high?
This high. Way up there.
One thing about this, the company really did put forth a concerted effort the past few years to get those trees away from the lines. Ice may bring the lines down, but limbs won't.
9 o'clock on Sunday night. Suddenly explosions. What is going on? Has the ice storm come early and popped the power lines so soon?
No, a 20 minute fireworks display clearly visible from our back yard. Who does this? Probably Wash U but why?
Equals snowmagedden for St Louis this week. Weather looks to bring a day of ice and 8 to even a foot of snow on top of that. Depending on which station you listen to, the area will be crippled or paralyzed.
San Antonio held its annual Stock Show and Rodeo today featuring a Longhorn cattle drive through the streets of downtown. Katie and Charlie happened to be in San Antonio this weekend and captured the fun of the cattle drive on film.
Here they come.
There they go. Thought Texas had more cattle.
Here's a short video they took with the Longhorns mooooooving. Some had a bit of giddy up others more of an amble. Pamplona it's not.