to change

I shall start this post with a recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit.  

Lemon basil cookies 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Sanding sugar (optional)
  • ingredient info

    Decorative sanding sugar has large, crunchy crystals; available at specialty foods stores and beryls.com.

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Place flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, butter, basil, both zests, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until large, moist clumps form. Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between your palms to form balls. Place on a large baking sheet, spacing 2″ apart. Lightly dust the bottom of a flat measuring cup with powdered sugar and press cookies into 2″ rounds, dusting cup bottom with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Sprinkle tops of cookies with sanding sugar, if using.
  • Bake until edges are brown, about 14-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.

Let’s keep that recipe in mind as we continue, okay?  

Change and lemon basil cookies seem like an unlikely pairing, but lemon basil cookies are the perfect analogy for change. 

When you first hear of lemon basil cookies, you are intrigued.  They seem strange, foreign, unlike anything you have ever tasted before. You know that lemons taste good in baked goods, like in lemon-poppy seed bread.  You know that it adds a soft citrus taste.  You are okay with the lemons; you know their flavor; they are predictable.

But then basil joins in.  Why would anyone put an herb in a cookie, you think.  Basil is for cooking, not baking.  You can’t comprehend the blending of these two mediums.  Then you look beyond the title and go deeper into the recipe. 

It’s from Bon Appétit.  That means it is hard.  Bon Appétit has recipes for fancy foods that only professional chefs can make.  You, a simply amateur baker on your best day, are intimidated by the recipe.  So you put it away and pull out a familiar chocolate chip cookie recipe instead.  It’s the one you always make.  It makes decent cookies, edible but not prize-winning.  You aren’t out to win any prizes, so you are okay with the mediocre cookies.  You wouldn’t want to waste your ingredients on the lemon basil cookies anyway.  What if they turn out badly? Your time and ingredients would  have gone to waste on cookies that would just be thrown away.  

You make the chocolate chips, but you always remember those intriguing lemon basil cookies.  Then one day, most likely a Sunday when you are feeling extremely bored, you make the lemon basil cookies.  You take a chance.  You “waste” your ingredients.  You take a risk.  

And it works.  

So that’s the end of my lame, little cookie tale.  

I hope that some readers see how change can be like making lemon basil cookies.  You are scared.  You’re content with what you have now, but you feel like there could be something better.  You finally decide to take a risk-that’s the critical step right there.  The risk is everything, the split second that it takes to say “I want better than this” is when you can actually change.  

So take the risk.  It’s going to be scary in the start.  You are going to wonder if it is worth it.  It is worth it; trust me.  

 

to jam (in secret)

 

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I just wrote a post on my other blog a few seconds ago, but I really want to write something for this little corner of my world because I just do.  I had this post thought out about Easter, but Easter was a week or so ago, and I don’t want to write about that today.  Maybe next year. So here is my post today.  A post about jamming. As in jamming hard to music.  This post may take 1 of 2 routes.  The first is that I delve into how therapeutic music can be and then discuss some of the artists that have really helped me get through things, weather they by finished my math assignment to things much more serious.  But I’m not in a very deep reflective mood today, so we will save that rambling for a different day.  You now have something to look forward to.  The second route is where I discuss my music that I just like to jam out to when no one else is home, my music that I am ashamed that I listen to because most of it isn’t even music, my guilty pleasure music.  So here it goes.  A list of all my songs that I hate that I love.  

1. Cheers by the lovely Rihanna- There is something about this song that makes my skin cringe, I’m not sure what it is, maybe that fact that the song just sucks? Oh, yeah.  That’s what it is.  But there is also something that I love.  Well, multiple things.  

  1. This line: I got my Ray Bans on and I’m feeling hella cool tonight.  I don’t even know what hella cool means.  Does anyone??
  2. She’s singing about celebrating life, which I totally agree is something that we should do.  
  3. I love how everyone is screaming at the start of the music video.  I can’t watch that part without laughing.  And then she rolls up.  And the party starts.  
  4. It’s so easy to learn the words to.  And incredibly catchy. 

2. E.T. by Katy Perry- I think I first started listening to this song because I love the movie ET, which I realize has nothing at all to do with this fine gem of a song.  The reason why I listen to this song now is because of the beat.  So predictable.  I don’t think it changes during the whole song. 

3. Feel Again by One Republic- I love it, and I am not ashamed.  I don’t really love the song itself, but I love what it is saying.  I love how it is talking about being alive again, because being alive for the second time is aways better than being alive the first time.  

4. No Creo in el Jámas by Juanes- I’ve listened to this song since 8th grade, thanks to my spanish teacher.  It’s kind of like Feel Again, in the sense that it’s a hopeful song.  The title means I don’t believe in never.  And I don’t believe in never.  

5. Never Shout Never (the band)- You gotta love this little guy. All of his songs sound the same, and I don’t think any of them are longer than 3 minutes.  They are all short little love songs, and there are all insanely catchy, or maybe all songs are catchy in my mind.  That’s much more likely.  His music is like listening to a rom-com.  It’s not very deep music, but it’s sweet and you want to like it, but there is a layer missing.  

6. I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz- I didn’t want to like this song; I swear that I didn’t!  I had accepted than Jason was a one hit wonder with I’m Yours, and I was ready for him to go away. Then this came out.  What really got me sold was the album cover.   The key to my heart is simple design (there’s the secret, boys). And then the lyric video came out.  And it had to do with the mail.  As hard as I tried to let Jason move on, I just couldn’t.  Well played, Jason, well played. 

And that is my guilty pleasure music.  I promise you that I listen to actual music as well, but we can save that for a different day; gives you something to look forward to.  Now go listen to some actual music, not the “music” that I listed above.