Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies and The Oregon Coast


Time really does fly. It doesn't matter that we gained an hour by "falling back" there still doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to do everything on my "to do" list. My solution-toss the list. I tossed all lists,watches and alarm clocks for the past week. J and I went to the Oregon Coast and stayed in Neskowin. It's about 12 miles north of Lincoln City and about 8,000 people removed. A small quiet community on the beach with nothing but a post office, a little grocery/video store, a laundry and a sweet little cafe called Hawk's Creek. When we go away we generally do one of two things, one-jumping in feet first and surrounding ourselves with the culture and life of the city or two finding a quiet little place with minimal people/activity and recharging our souls. This trip was the latter.

We ate when we wanted to, slept as long as we liked and walked the beach endlessly. The weather was typical Oregon Coast, raining like crazy one minute and sunshine blue skies the next. Our little Hailey loved the beach-she ran and ran until we thought she couldn't chase her ball any longer-her tongue and face covered in sand and yet all she wanted to do was chase the ball some more. We think she was storing up runs on the beach for the long winter ahead.

The ride down the coast was beautiful. The hillsides were glowing a beautiful shade of gold through McMinnville-the wine country south of Portland. The blueberry bushes looked like little iridescent red burning bushes and the apples were as red and sweet as I can remember.

We also made a "nut" stop on this trip. We stumbled on Schmidt Farms in McMinnville and I felt like a little squirrel loading up on nuts for the winter. But I couldn't resist. Fresh picked hazelnuts-$15 for 10 pounds and the same for walnuts. They crack the shells for you and you get the mindless lovely job of sorting the nuts from the shells. For $1.50 a pound I totally enjoyed the mindless shelling-daydreaming of beaches in the South of France.

Hazelnut Trees

We also made our usual stop at the Otis Cafe where they have the molasses bread that we have become addicted to ! It's dark and sweet and wonderful warm slathered with sweet butter. Seek out the Otis Cafe on your next trip to the Oregon Coast-you won't be sorry-try and get there for their breakfast-especially the Cinnamon Roll French Toast-need I say more ?

No Photoshop here-the storm coming in created this eerie pink glow on the water

It was J's birthday this past weekend so we headed out for a little b-day dinner. It was during the peak of one of the rain storms that we headed out to Pacific City and our favorite brew pub-Pelican Pub and Brewery. If you love artisan brewed ales you have stop here. And always have the cheeseburger-the best on the coast. J had it with grilled onions, jalapeno cheese and grilled mushrooms on fresh baked ciabatta-cooked to juicy dripping perfection. I had the mahi mahi fish chips with a side of their crisp crunchy salty fries-heaven. Well worth the soaking we received running from car to restaurant. Then back to the condo to settle in for some storm watching and beach walking. Our time ended too quickly-we took the long way home hoping to prolong it but all vacation time comes to an end .

Another shot just before the storm, I love the intense colors on the water

My heart longs for the pounding surf and I feel a need for some comfort food. Nothing fancy just something basic sweet and simple..chocolate chip cookies. I'm stealing the recipe from Molly over at Orangette. Go and visit for the recipe for these little babies and you will understand why she calls them her favorite chocolate chip cookie now ! I added my freshly roasted hazelnuts to the mix. Add a glass of cold milk and life is still good , even if it's not on the beach !

Thank you Molly for finding and publishing this recipe-these are excellent chocolate chip cookies.  Just barely soft in the center and crisp and crunchy along the edges.  I added 1 1/2 cups of my just bought hazelnuts to the recipe I found at Molly's blog Orangette.  Don't forget the ice cold glass of milk-perfection !

PS. Check out the new blog I started .  Come and join me baking all the wonderful sweets from Baked Explorations. Buy the book and join the fun.


mike said...

Ah.... I miss Seattle (so close to Portland and the coast)!
What great cookies to take advantage of whole wheat flour - they look terrific. Thanks so much for heading up the BOSM project - great fun!

Elaine said...

Hi! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a lovely comment. I am really looking forward to the Baked bake along.

The photos of your trip are gorgeous! I will have to try this chocolate chip cookie recipe - they look yummy and the hazelnuts were a perfect addition. Lucky you to have freshly picked hazelnuts for the nutella scones! :)