Cookie Monster

Continuing the food theme this week! In addition to being a noodle nut, I am also a cookie monster. I like just about all desserts but a good cookie is my favorite. I did tons of baking from a young child through my 20s. Looking back, I think it was not so much about enjoying the process of baking but it was a way to have cookies around! Mother would buy Fig Newtons and Almond Windmills growing up because she did not like them and did not want to be tempted to eat them.

Back in the '60s and '70s, my grandparents collected Christmas cookie cookbooks from Wisconsin Electric Company. They have the best recipes and I still have the cookbooks today. Every year for Christmas we would make three cookies which not only tasted great but looked great together - poppy seed cookies with chocolate candy melts on top, raspberry meringues with mini chocolate chips and chocolate crackle cookies. When searching for these books I found one of the ones I have for sale on Etsy for $12.00. I so highly recommend these cookbooks!

These days, I do not have time for baking so I have to get my cookie fix by buying them. The cookies at Mariano's are good and the gourmet Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cookies at Jewel are incredible, I cannot have them around or I will eat them instead of meals.

I keep hearing about Crumbl cookies which sound to me like the Sprinkles cupcakes concept applied to cookies. Sprinkles cupcakes are amazing, I had my first one in Dallas when we were there for the Roller Derby World Cup years ago and I picked up a few more when I was passing through Chicago's Gold Coast for some reason. There is a Sprinkles location just a few minutes from the Scottsdale home, I have not been there yet but it is on my (long) list of food to try next time.

I am not a TikTok fan, I think it is for people who have no attention span but little videos have been popping up on my Facebook feed with this girl who rates Crumbl cookies with either her mom or dad by her side. She states the cookie name, gives it a brief summary and rates it from 1 to 10. Mom or Dad often disagree and give their rating. They are very entertaining!

When I looked up a Crumbl Cookie location near me, Schaumburg was the closest. I went to join their Facebook page and decided to look at the reviews. I found a a number of people say their practices are not sanitary and gave examples which I will not get into here. This was a big turnoff combined with some of the video reviews saying certain flavors had an artificial taste.

As happens when one expresses interest in something on Facebook, similar items pop up in the feed. I kept seeing ads for Taylor Chip Cookies which is located in Pennsylvania. I have never ordered food through the mail because we can get so many great things locally but these cookies looked incredible and I decided to place an order for "research purposes." I ordered a choose your own dozen box with Brookie, Lemon Lavender, Loaded Peanut Butter, Oreos & Cream, Peanut Butter Fudge, Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl, S'mores, Salted Caramel Pretzel and Snickerdoodle including duplicates of the ones that sounded best. The communication was great all the way through and the package was delivered on Saturday as expected. I was home when it arrived so I was able to take it in the house right away.

It just so happened that I had finished lunch and had not had dessert yet so the timing was perfect. Upon opening the box I saw that one of the cookies was broken but it was not a dealbreaker, I was not planning to serve them. I decided to try the Salted Caramel Pretzel first and was so disappointed to find that the cookie was stale. It had huge chunks of pretzel in it which normally would have been great but the pretzel was super stale. Over the next couple of days I tried three other varieties as well and found that they were all stale. These cookies cost a lot at $82.44 for the dozen with tax and shipping and for a premium price I did not expect them to be stale.

I am not normally a complainer, I never even send food back at restaurants but I sent the company an e-mail since they were closed Sunday and also Monday for the July 4 holiday. I understand that the cookies take a couple of days to ship (in my opinion they should offer overnight shipping) but these cookies tasted like they had been sitting out for at least a week. Next week I will post an update as to how the company handled things.

Kuochun and I just loved the cookies from Chew Chew Cookies in Galena when we were there last December. They offer shipping but I am not so sure that I will try food shipping again. I am a person who does not even like to carry food out from a restaurant because it gets cold by the time I get home.

Turning to jewelry, I was able to make a little dent in my pending jewelry pile in anticipation of our sales next week. We have a sale in a wonderful 1928 5-bedroom Tudor mansion in Evanston in the same neighborhood where the top two executives of the company where Kuochun and I used to work lived. Evanston has always been one of the top locations for jewelry sales historically and I sold quite a bit at our recent sale in the Prairie style mansion. However the cash wrap could only accommodate two medium size cases there. There should be more room for me this time, I am hoping for two large and two medium cases. I priced some really unique pieces that have never been shown and plan to price some more before it is time to send the cases to the sale. Tentatively I will focus on vintage sterling silver from Mexico and other countries, interesting new costume jewelry and Tucson Gem Show finds in Evanston.

On Friday evening we picked up a gem of a Park Ridge sale for next week. The home shows so well and the furnishings and decor were put together very tastefully. I would like to send higher-end vintage costume jewelry for sure and we will see how much room there is for anything else.

Thankfully Kuochun is still catheter-free. He is not yet 100% but it has only been a week and a half since his procedure. We are both very grateful that he does not seem to be retaining. He will be back to the urologist's office in about three weeks for a follow up. Kuochun felt confident enough to schedule the cardiac rehab that he was not able to attend before due to his bladder issues and will be starting in about ten days. He gave photo work a try, visiting our two upcoming sale homes in Evanston Thursday but found it to be too much. I am hoping rehab will help him get back to normal again.

Mother is hanging in there, I have been taking her to rehab for her knee three times per week. However Friday's session was cut short because her leg got very red and swollen. I had to rush over to pick her up and take her to the hospital for an ultrasound to be sure there was no blood clot. Unfortunately I was all the way at home because Mother was having her house cleaned and I took Vivi with us. Vivi gets along great with the house cleaner but we have never left her alone with her. I know Vivi would feel sad if I did not take her. When I dropped Mother off she actually cried watching her go into the building. Both of our girls are quite sensitive! Thankfully the ultrasound came back clear so we swung around to pick up Vivi from my house and then took everyone home. Mother has two more weeks of rehab and then she will be on her own.

I have someone who would like to visit home base and see the jewelry next Wednesday but with everything going on the best I will be able to do is set up some tables in the garage and line up some cases and trays of whatever is priced that is not already out at a sale. Maybe if I can get things looking decent enough I will open up the garage to some more weekend appointments.

All the extra furniture to go to Scottsdale is still in my garage but things are getting closer to my being able to get it all shipped out there. I need to double check with the contractor but believe the project to cover up the popcorn ceilings on the first floor is complete. I had scheduled the new kitchen appliances to be installed next Tuesday but the air conditioner quit working less than two weeks after I had it serviced and it came back with a great report. The company did come to check it out and a coil broke and they were going to see if it is still under warranty. The holiday is putting a damper on this process so I may need to postpone the appliance installation a bit. They definitely cannot do their job when it is 91 degrees inside the house! The super hot time in the Phoenix area is quickly approaching, they are anticipating high temps in the 110s later next week. Once the air conditioner is fixed and the appliances in place I will be ready to have the decorative wallpaper installed in the kitchen and front hallway. This is really going to add some spice to the design!

This is the wallpaper which will be installed in the front hallway. There are three sections which correspond with the three openings and planters in the bedroom above. The scale of this wallpaper is huge! It came from Wayfair and my designer used it in a bathroom for another one of her clients... my opinion more color was needed to better tie this wallpaper in with the floor and fixtures. I would have at least done different floor tile and painted the cabinets a color. Anyway, that was their choice and this wallpaper is going to look amazing in my hallway!

This is the original design board for the kitchen. Along the way some tweaks were made but we kept the amazing concrete terrazzo countertops for the kitchen island and backsplash I found from Concrete Collaborative. The wallpaper with the bold design of gold florals over a black background will be installed part of one wall which is to the right of the stove. A space was left on this wall for art. Because of the open arches which surround the living room, both wallpapers will be seen from there.

Back to reality now, see you next time!