Leave the grocery store frozen cookie dough behind in favor of something fresh, homemade, and much more flavorful. Making cookies from scratch is much easier than you may think, and if you follow a few simple guidelines, it doesn’t take much extra time, either. Here are some quick tips for making wonderful-tasting cookies at home.
- Don’t skimp on ingredients. If a recipe calls for something unusual or specific, it’s likely because it’s important.
- Always use pure forms of base ingredients. That means unsalted butter, large eggs, and pure vanilla extract.
- Use parchment paper instead of cooking spray. Parchment paper creates much less mess to clean up, and it prevents your cookies from burning.
- Adjust baking times to your unique preferences. If you prefer soft, chewy cookies, shave off a minute or two. If you like a crunchy cookie, add an extra minute.
- Place cookies approximately two inches apart. If you place them too close together on the baking pan, your cookies will melt together and lose their nice, round shape.
- For bar cookies, make sure you use the pan size indicated. It can be difficult to adjust the cooking time depending on the pan size, so it’s always smart to go with the size that the recipe specifies.
If you’re looking for the perfect spot for a morning meeting or to catch up with friends, Los Angeles’s many independent coffee shops are charming alternatives to the large chain options. Here are just two great indie coffee houses in the L.A. area.
Balconi Coffee Company
Located in L.A.’s Sawtelle neighborhood, Balconi Coffee Company is an art-filled coffee shop with bright red walls and comfortable seating. Balconi uses a unique siphon process to brew each roast, and though it takes a bit longer than typical brewing, it’s well worth it once you take that first sip. Regulars love the Almond Essence latte, but the menu also includes a variety of more traditional espresso drinks as well. Whether you prefer black coffee with subtle undertones or a milky latte to wake you up in the morning, Balconi Coffee Company's baristas can craft it with true expertise.
Spring for Coffee
Spring for Coffee sources all of its beans from high quality roasters to ensure the best tasting cup, and it offers a wide variety of brewing methods and equipment to meet each customer’s individual preferences. The shop itself is located in bustling downtown Los Angeles, and its interior is very quaint and cozy. The long wooden bar features a few pastries in addition to its coffees, and the stylish, comfortable outdoor seating is perfect for a sunny California afternoon.
CarStories.com is counting down the Top 10 most liked, shared, tweeted, and clicked on posts from 2014. Every day, between now and the first of the year, we’ll reveal in order the most popular stories of 2014.
CarStories.com is the Petersen's daily output of car news, interviews, exhibit and event information, and everything else from around the automotive world!
"CarStories.com is counting down the most liked, shared, tweeted, and clicked on posts from 2014. Every day, between now and the first of the year, we’ll reveal in order the most popular stories of 2014."
"CarStories.com is counting down the most liked, shared, tweeted, and clicked on posts from 2014. Every day, between now and the first of the year, we’ll reveal in order the most popular stories of 2014. CarStories.com is the Petersen's daily output of car news, interviews, exhibit and event information, and everything else from around the automotive world!"
You may feel like it’s difficult to purchase gifts for tech-savvy friends and family—especially if you’re not particularly tech-savvy yourself—but luckily, these convenient websites have you covered. Here are three top shopping sites with foolproof gifts that techie loved ones will appreciate much more than a new scarf.
Although Brookstone is known for its massage chairs and alarm clocks, it also carries a number of technologically advanced products that you might not even know existed. From laser projection virtual keyboards to app-controlled robotic pets, you’ll find a number of gifts that are both fun and functional.
For the more serious techie, Scientifics Online’s Tech Geek section offers levitating, magnetic and even robotic gifts that you won’t find anywhere else. There are also modular robotics construction kits that will provide hours of enjoyment for anyone interested in technology. Despite its high-tech inventory, the site’s gifts also span a wide variety of price ranges.
The tech section of Gifts.com is the ideal place to find tech-savvy gifts that the recipients can use every day. Shop things like wearable pedometers, wireless Internet radios and record turntables that will look great with a bow on top.
Chess is often considered a sophisticated game, beloved for its strategic, logical thinking and the seemingly endless possibilities in each match. If you want to learn how to play this great game, these fun and interactive websites can teach you how to play:
Packed full of everything you need to know about the history, rules, and pieces in chess, Chess.com is an all-inclusive resource for all of your chess needs. Here you can read up on the strategy behind the game and learn how each piece moves, and once you feel confident you can even play chess online against the computer or other players.
This is an incredibly detailed website describing all aspects of the game of chess. It lists the basic rules of the game, what each piece does, how to set up the board, and a few key strategies. For the more advanced player, Chess Corner also describes popular tactics like forks, pinning, and skewers, and it even offers puzzles to help you determine which is the best move in a variety of situations.
Two national parks line the Sierra Nevada mountain range, just a few hours drive away from the San Francisco Bay Area. While some may say the parks rival each other, both offer an array of their own breathtaking landscapes and famous landmarks.
Known primarily for its waterfalls and granite cliffs, Yosemite National Park is about a four-hour drive from San Francisco. An average of 3.7 million people visit the park every year, and most spend their time in a small, seven-square mile area of Yosemite Valley. It's home to the popular rock-climbing destination El Capitan, which is beloved in part due to its year-round accessibility. There are also three Giant Sequoia groves located within the park.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is located east of Fresno, California. At the park's Redwood Canyon, you’ll find the largest grove of giant sequoia trees in the country, which grow on average to an astounding 200 feet tall and 23 feet in diameter. It is home also to the General Grant Grove of sequoias. Beyond the groves lies Kings Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the United States. Visitors to the park enjoy year-round horseback riding, camping, and hiking throughout the glaciated valley.
Flax seeds have been buzzed about quite a bit lately among healthy eating communities, but most people don’t know much about these tiny superfoods.
Here are a few interesting facts about flax seeds if you're considering adding them to your diet:
- Flax seeds are full of beneficial nutrients. They're loaded with a laundry list of good-for-you nutrients, including healthy fats, fiber, protein, and omega 3s. They’re also full of vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and lignans, which can help to prevent against cancer.
- You may notice that your grocery store carries both golden and brown flax seeds, but both contain the same nutritional benefits. Which type you choose depends on your own taste.
- Like many other foods in Mediterranean diets, flax seeds may help to prevent against many chronic diseases. They may reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as the risk of hormone-dependent cancers.
- There are many ways to eat flax seeds. Whether you add ground flax seeds to your baked goods, sprinkle them on your salads or use them to top your yogurts, you can incorporate them into your diet without much effort.