Archive: January 2012   |   View all recent posts
January 27, 2012
Filed in: Personal

YAY! Cookies!

I've always been excellent at eating cookies. Don't be jealous. I just have a natural talent for it. But learning to bake cookies took a bit more effort.  
 
I started baking chocolate chip cookies when I was a sophomore in high school. It wasn't any sort of fancy recipe; I think it was the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips. I do remember rushing home during my lunch hour to bake a quick batch of cookies to bring back to school (after all, cookies made my afternoon classes way more fun). Or sometimes, I would bake cookies for dinner. Yep, a totally healthy and complete meal :) 
 
I went through a health food phase in college, but I still wanted my cookies, so I tried making them with every type of low-fat, no-fat, no-sugar, wheat-flour combo ever. That experiment didn't yield any lasting results. Moderation, perhaps, was better than eating 20 low-fat cookies at one time. 
 
As I grew up, I tweaked the recipe and started using better ingredients. No more Blue Bonnet margarine. No more Nestle chocolate chips. I learned that refrigerating the dough overnight produces more caramel-y, delicious cookies. A cookie dough scoop means each cookie bakes evenly.  
 
Now, about 15 years after I started making these cookies, I'm ready to share my super secret cookie recipe! I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Heck, you could even make them for dinner tonight!  
Shawna's Chocolate Chip Cookies 
 
This recipe yields a chewy, chocolatey cookie. 
 
2 cups all purpose flour (I use King Arthur Flour)  
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp salt (I use Morton's Kosher)  
3/4 cup brown sugar 
3/4 cup sugar 
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened (I use unsalted organic butter)  
2 eggs 
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (I love vanilla, so I use a full tablespoon. Call me crazy. Nielsen-Massey is the best!)  
1 package (12oz) chocolate chips (I use Guittard)  
 
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. 
 
Then, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir the flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside. 
 
In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the sugars and butter until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix well. Stir in the vanilla.  
 
Add the flour mixture into the sugar/butter mixture in small batches. Mix in those tasty chocolate chips.* 
 
Drop batter in spoonfuls (I use an Oxo small cookie scoop so they are all about the same size) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges are nicely browned. Do no overbake (or do, if you like crunchy, sorta-burned cookies!). 
 
*At this point, I cover the top of the bowl with some cling wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight. If you are feeling impatient, then you can certainly omit this step and still have tasty cookies. But chilling the dough overnight will give you extra-delicious cookies. I swear.
January 23, 2012
Filed in: Weddings

Liz + Scott

On a cool, blustery day last November, we made the big trip (!) to Thompson to capture the lovely wedding of Elizabeth and Scott. We'd never photographed a wedding in Thompson before, so we were excited to explore a new place (even if this new place is only 6 miles from our town).  
 
When we arrived, it started to snow/rain. Uh-oh, I thought. But Liz, in her fabulous blue open-toe shoes, said, "I'd love to go outside, Shawna" when I asked her if she maybe, sorta, couldn't, wouldn't mind heading over to this great barn area for photos. So we bundled up and headed out!  
 
I love that Liz and Scott were so willing to freeze (just for a bit!) outside so we could snap photos of them. And then, even the wedding party came and froze their behinds off for some photos too. That's what we call true friendship, blog readers. True friends :) 
 
Here are a few of my favorite photos from Liz + Scott's big day ::
These draped, monotone carnation spheres were elegant and simple. I loved this look!
After the ceremony, Kory took the limo with the wedding party and I sped to the Alerus Center. It looked amazing! Flowers and decor by Sadie of Sadie's Coutour Floral and Event Styling (she's amazing!)
January 20, 2012
Filed in: Weddings

Liz + Scott's photobooth

I thought we'd start this weekend right with some fun (and funny) photos from Liz + Scott's wedding photo booth. We love a great photo booth, of course, and Liz + Scott's family and friends really delivered :)  
 
More photos from Liz + Scott's wedding will be here on Monday. Yippee! 
 
Happy weekend, friends!
We also put a slideshow together from all of the photo booth photos. Check it out here ::  
 
January 11, 2012
Filed in: Personal

Road trip

Matt, my wonderful boyfriend of almost eight years, dreamed of going on a road trip. He talked about driving west from our land-locked state of North Dakota all the way to the Pacific coast. Then, he might drive south along highway 1 to Los Angeles. He would have no itinerary. No real destination. Just a chance to drive and listen to about 4,509 podcasts. I dubbed this his "man trip." 
 
Well, this summer he finally got the chance to make his road trip dream a reality! He drove from North Dakota to Seattle, then from Seattle to LA. For the final leg of his trip, he drove from LA to Las Vegas, where I met up with him and his shaggy beard. (Yay for cheap flights from Grand Forks to Vegas!). We then spent some time in Vegas, Zion National Park, and Denver before heading home. 
 
We stayed at the Cosmopolitan our first night in Vegas and had an awesome view!
After two fun days of relaxing (and shopping!) in Vegas, we hit the road to Zion National Park.
I snapped this photo for my mom. She adores cows. (Hi mom!)
Zion was breathtaking.
We hiked "the Narrows," which involves dunking yourself into cold river water repeatedly.
This is my "thanks for taking a photo of me, boyfriend" face.
After our fun adventure in Utah, we drove to Denver (to go to the My Morning Jacket concert in Red Rocks) then raced home so we could both get back to work :)
January 9, 2012
Filed in: Weddings

Natalie + Leo

Happy Monday, blog friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend :)  
 
Today I'm excited to show you the fun and colorful wedding of Natalie and Leo. They tied the knot in Northwood, ND at Draxton Farm. It is no secret that we adore Draxton Farm. It is the perfect backdrop for vintage-inspired weddings (or really, any wedding at all!). 
 
Natalie has such a warm, welcoming personality and Leo is a a down-to-Earth, charming fellow. I can see why they get along so well :) Despite a slightly rainy day, we had a wonderful time running around the farm (in galoshes!) with Natalie, Leo, and their friends and family!  
 
Here are a few of my favorites from their big day :: 
 
Love isn't a strong enough word for how I felt about Natalie's shoes. They are so wonderful!
Oh hey, still love these shoes!
Another shoe photo. I just can't stop.
Page 1 of 2
Blog Archives

2014:

Jan

Feb

Mar 1

Apr

May

Jun 2

Jul 3

Aug

Sep 1

Oct

Nov

Dec

2013:

Jan 3

Feb

Mar 4

Apr 2

May 1

Jun

Jul 2

Aug

Sep 1

Oct

Nov

Dec

2012:

Jan 7

Feb 4

Mar 3

Apr 1

May 2

Jun 2

Jul 2

Aug 1

Sep 1

Oct

Nov

Dec 2

2011:

Jan

Feb 5

Mar 3

Apr 1

May 2

Jun 11

Jul 2

Aug

Sep 6

Oct 3

Nov 7

Dec 2

2010:

Jan 10

Feb 5

Mar 14

Apr 7

May 10

Jun 3

Jul 22

Aug 11

Sep

Oct 3

Nov 3

Dec 3

2009:

Jan 12

Feb 10

Mar 13

Apr 9

May 15

Jun 7

Jul 16

Aug 9

Sep 10

Oct 9

Nov 15

Dec 23

2008:

Jan 9

Feb 8

Mar 10

Apr 7

May 16

Jun 10

Jul 12

Aug 13

Sep 16

Oct 21

Nov 8

Dec 8

2007:

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug 5

Sep 11

Oct 18

Nov 9

Dec 10