House and Home

Creating a Fashion Accessory Wall Rack

When we moved into this house four years ago, I hated everything. The finishes were old and date, wear and tear on paint and fixtures was obvious and it just didn’t suit our style. Slowly but surely we have started to put our mark on this house. From smaller projects like painting, to larger projects like bathroom renovations, its slowly starting to feel like a house that reflects us.

Everything big and small needed to be updated or overhauled. One of my biggest bones of contention was the master walk in closet. It looked like it had been picked up at a garage sale. I couldn’t adjust the fixtures so some of my clothes were hanging on the ground. It looked very unsturdy, like it could collapse at any second and it was just plain ugly and a terrible use of the space. We called in California Closets to do a new set up for us and it was amazing!

Once the set up from California Closets was in, I started to wonder what to do with the one wall that didn’t have any fixtures. The size of the closet didn’t allow for fixtures on all 4 walls. One of the shorter walls had room for something but I wasn’t sure what.

It began to dawn on me, that short wall would make a perfect space for hanging accessories, mostly scarves (which I have a ton of). I just wasn’t sure how to make it happen without having to drill a million holes for individual hooks.

I started searching for some type of fixture that would hold multiple hooks, fit my space and would be inexpensive and easy to hang on the wall. It took a lot of time but eventually I found something at Ikea. The “Lurt” rack was a white piece of wood with holes in it that were compatible with any knobs from the Kitchen cabinet collection. I bought two Lurt boards and 12 cabinet knobs, mixing two different styles because I couldn’t make up my mind! Links to the Bagganas knobs are here and here.

Total cost was around $50 Canadian which was in the range of what I wanted to spend. Put it all together and now my dead wall space is filled and I have easier access to my scarves. It can also be used for blazers and bags and I like the versatility it offers.

I made a video of how the whole thing came together. You can watch it here.

Finished product. Love the look.
House and Home

Quest For The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

When working from home (before I lost my job) and social distancing looked like it was going to be a long term reality, one of the things I decided to do was embark on a quest to find the best Chocolate Chip cookie recipe.

I had a recipe I had been using for years and wasn’t very happy with it. With my last job giving me a lot of access to books and recipes because of that, I decided to start going through them and trying different cookie recipes to see if I could do better than what I had. The other reason I decided on embark on this quest was for comfort and stress relief. Cookies make everything better was my thinking and what is more comforting than a chocolate chip cookie?

Its been a few months into my quest now and I have amassed quite a few different chocolate chip cookie recipes. Some came from my recipe books, some from baking aficionado friends and others from people on social media who left comments about their favourite. Its to the point now where I have had to start a list to keep track of recommended recipes I have yet to try. That is why I thought I would a blog post about it. Quite a few people are interested in which recipes I am trying and what my findings are. I am going to document all of it here for you. Plus at the end I’ll list all the recipes on my “To Try” list and update this post as I make them.

To start I made my original recipe I’ve been using for years. I wrote it out by hand, presumably from a website and have been using it at least 10 years. I’ve had it for so long I don’t even remember where I got it from. I thought it was from Simply Recipes but I can’t find it there. I will type it out at the end of this post so its visible for comparison sake. I’ve always struggled with this recipe. I think there is too much flour and have tried reducing it. If you make the recipe as is, the cookies don’t flatten enough for my liking and end up tasting kind of dry. Changing the amount of flour to less resulted in the cookies being flat as pancakes which also isn’t ideal. So a new search began.

The first new recipe I tried was from the book “Magnolia Table” by Joanna Gaines. The recipe was surprisingly simple with ingredients most regular bakers would always have on hand. I liked the specific instructions regarding how long to mix ingredients in your stand mixer and at what speed. I followed everything as instructed and the cookies turned out well. This recipe uses only brown sugar, no granulated sugar, which was a first for me. Underestimating how much sugar was required to what I had left, I was a bit short so I may make these again to see if it makes a difference. Despite that, the cookies still turned out great. Already this was an improvement over the recipe I had been using.

Next I tried the recipe on the package of Chipits chocolate chips. This one was my least favourite. I made it twice, one day after the next. I was so unhappy with how the first batch turned out, I made it again the next day with some modifications. I increased the amount of flour, decreased the baking temperature and time. With those changes the cookies did turn out much better but I wouldn’t make this again.

The third recipe I tried was the Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie. This was a suggestion by a friend of mine. This one is touted as the classic chocolate chip cookie and I have to say so far out of all the recipes I had done until now, this one was the favourite. Recipe as is was great, no changes needed. Baking time and temperature were perfect. It was easy to do and the cookies were so chewy! I made this one twice so far as well because they were sooooo good. I made them without the nuts since I wanted a classic cookie. Next time I make this I will add nuts.

After a bit of a break, we were getting cookied out and I was gaining a few pounds, I decided to try a recipe that was suggested to me by a twitter follower. He liked it so much he did a blog post about why it was his favourite. The recipe comes from the powerhouse brand, Company’s Coming. You may remember their establishments at your friendly neighbourhood mall back in the day. I sure do. I have a cheese ball recipe from them that was introduced to me by a friend years ago and I still make it. All that to say very good things come out of Company’s Coming.

As of now, this cookie is by far the best one yet. Interesting to note this recipe also uses only brown sugar and one ingredient I don’t normally associate with cookies, cornstarch. The entire list of ingredients combines for yummy goodness. I have made these twice as well. The second time I added walnuts. My oven tends to run hotter than than what its temperature says so I found taking these cookies out of the oven after 9 minutes worked perfect. One batch I left in for 10 minutes and they burned.

A few weeks ago Doubletree by Hilton released the recipe for its chocolate chip cookies guests receive upon arrival. Several friends tagged me on this one and thank you. I made this one a few nights ago and its not bad. I was surprised by some of the ingredients in this one as well. Oats in chocolate chip cookies? Lemon juice, cinnamon? I had some reservations and they turned out to not be true. These cookies are quite good. I would place them 3rd on my list of top favourites. The oats give the cookies a different texture and look. I like the lower baking temperature at 300 degrees and the longer baking time. Often I have found one minute can make a difference between chewy cookies and crispy cookies so I appreciated having more time to control that. This might be another one that gets made for a second time so I can add walnuts. As is though, very good.

I would like to add I’ve taking to making my cookies on the smaller side. When you are eating several in a day (I’m trying to cut down I swear), calorie wise it helps if they are smaller.

Those are all my completed recipes to date. The list of potential recipes to make at a future date is below. If you have any recipes you think I should try, send me a note and I will add it to the list.

Martha Stuart Chocolate Chip Cookies

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Crush Cookies

Melt in your Mouth Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Chip Butter Crisps

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan) – Fraiche Food Full Hearts

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies – The Perfect Cookie

Everything Chocolate Chip Cookies – The Cookie Book