Thursday, January 26, 2012

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's no secret that one of my weaknesses is chocolate chip cookies; I even shared my favorite recipe on my e-zine, The Waking, here. It's the most commonly whipped up on a whim treat in my home. In fact, I could probably throw them together with my eyes closed (I know it goes to show just how much I've made them...don't judge me! ;)) But I recently discovered a recipe that takes chocolate chip cookies to a whole new level...I woke up to the wonder that is brown butter. I had read all about putting brown butter in recipes but had never tried it before... now I have this crazy urge to put it in everything! With its nutty, caramel like flavor the sky's the limit really. :)

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies -



(Recipe found @

I found this recipe for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from one of my favorite bloggers, Sheena Jibson, of The Little Red House (which you should check out by the way, it's all kinds of awesome). She has made several things with brown butter and her amazing photos are always so tempting, so when I saw these cookies I knew I had to give 'em a shot. It's a pretty basic cookie recipe except for browning the butter, which is very easy.

All you do is melt butter in a skillet and stir until it starts to foam up. Then after the foam subsides, is when the magic begins as you will start to see little brown flecks appear in the bottom of the skillet. You continue to cook until it reaches a brown caramel color with a nutty aroma. After you let it harden in the fridge for a little while it is ready for use! I wasn't sure how it was going to affect the taste of the cookies, but it gave them such a delish caramel, toffee like taste. I couldn't believe how much it jazzed up the flavor!

This is officially my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and will definitely be the go to from now on. Hope you'll give 'em a try!

2 sticks of butter (1c), at room temp
1/2 c white sugar
1 3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 lb chocolate chips/chunks
1 cup chopped pecans

To brown butter:
Heat pan on medium heat. Cut butter in to pieces and melt in pan. Stir continuously. Butter will foam up. After foam subsides, small brown flecks will start to appear in bottom of pan. Continue stirring, until butter has reached a nice brown color, and nutty aroma. Turn the heat all the way down. Pour into a bowl and and refrigerate until solid again.

Cream the (solid) brown butter and the sugars until mixed well. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Continue mixing while adding the eggs one at time. Make sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla. Mix well for a few minutes until batter it light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Combine the flour, soda and salt in another bowl. With a whisk, stir to combine. With the machine on low, slowly add the flour. Mix until just combined, taking care not to over mix. With a spatula fold in the chocolate and pecans.

Drop by spoonful onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes. They should be lightly golden on the outside but still look gooey on the inside.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This Is How Love Looks To Me

When real love is being poured into us it should propel us out of our self absorbed state so we can pour that love into others. It shouldn't change who you truly are but just make you into a better version of yourself. Real love will help you to love God, family, friends, strangers, and yourself better.

This Is How Love Looks To Me

Some people paint love in a selfish light. With brushstrokes of a narcissistic plight. A shallow feeling between two people, meant to keep to themselves and no one else. Pushing people and even God away cause after all "all we need is each other" we say. Oh this is how love looks to me. Oh is this how love was meant to be?


I want a love that affects everything in its wake. A love that gives back more than it takes. A love that is big enough to encompasses more than just our own feelings. I want a love with the power to change things.

Some people live love like they’re in solitary confinement. Abandoning family, friends, even themselves so maybe they can find it. An elusive smoke like entity, you think, “If I don’t chase after it the chance will pass by me.” Oh this is how love looks to me. Is this how love was meant to be?

{Repeat Chorus}

Oh so wrapped up in our own love that we can’t see anything outside of us. Head stuck in the clouds so high that we are blind to the people below the sky. With both feet off ground we’ve lost all ability to hear a sound. Oh but Love without you is a lonely love. I can't settle now for anything less than what I know is you’re best.

{Repeat Chorus 2x}

© Krystal Celeste

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lemon-Chicken Bisque

If you're looking for a hot meal to warm you up on a cold winter night, look no further than this tasty Lemon-Chicken Bisque! It feels like comfort food, but because of the vegetables in it, it also feels healthy. It's a little more involved than some of the other recipes I’ve made, but trust me, it's so worth it. And for those of you who don't like soup, this bisque is a nice alternative. Rich and creamy, filled with rice, fresh veggies, shredded chicken, and a touch of lemon. Top it off with a sprinkle of chopped green onions and devour!



(Recipe found @

7 cups chicken broth
1 cube chicken bouillon
3/4 cup uncooked regular rice
1/3 cup diced carrots
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 ½ cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
3 large eggs
5 Tbs fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
lemon slices for garnish
sliced green onions for garnish

1. In large saucepan, combine chicken broth, bouillon, rice, carrots, celery and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice and vegetables are tender. Stir in chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in 2 cups of the broth; cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in lemon juice and 2 cups of the thickened broth mixture. Slowly add egg mixture to the rest of the broth mixture in the large saucepan, stirring constantly. Heat gently until soup thickens enough to coat a spoon, stirring frequently (do not boil). Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish each with a lemon slice and a sprinkle of green onions.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Who Is Responsible For My Joy?

“A lot of times, people make other people responsible for their joy: "You're not making me happy, you're not doing this, you're not doing that." I found out just in the past two or three years that my personal joy is not somebody else's responsibility. It's my responsibility.” – Joyce Meyer

Do you ever stop to wonder to whom or to what you depend on for your joy and fulfillment? As a Christian it would be so easy for me to say that I always look to and depend on God alone for my joy, peace, and happiness… that I allow him to be my all and all. If I wanted to be super duper spiritual I would tell you that, but truth is, I’ve come to realize that I unfairly assign that job to those around me.

Before I go any further, let me warn you that these are just random thoughts that I wanted to share. I in no way have any of these things figured out. But that’s what we crazy bloggers do, right? … We figure things out on a public online forum for complete strangers to read and judge :/.

I’m blessed to have a really amazing family. I’ve always had close relationships with my family and I’ve always been the girl who enjoys spending time with my family. I even have a really close cousin who’s always felt more like a sister to me. These are the people that have walked with me through everything, they know me better than anyone, they have made me smile, made me laugh, made me feel very happy and secure. This is what I’m used to; these close connections are all I’ve ever known. But these people, as great as they are, are not responsible for my happiness. It’s simply not their job.

Yes, I love them and I need them (I always will) but they are not responsible for my joy and happiness; I am. They are only human and do not have the ability to fulfill and complete me.

We humans are fallible and sometimes, without even meaning to, we’re going to hurt each other. Sometimes we’re going to get busy with our own lives and forget to be there for each other. So if we place the responsibility of our happiness on a person we are always going to be disappointed, bitter, and angry.

Now this is not to say that we don’t need each other and that we shouldn’t depend on and be there for each other; we should. God designed us for relationship, to allow ourselves to know and be known. The older I get the more beauty and value I see in community. In having people in your life that you can be completely honest and vulnerable with, to share your heart, your struggles, your life with…all of which I am still so desperately bad at as I tend to be a very private person. These things are so important. But I just think there’s a difference between depending on someone and being co-dependant on someone; between someone who makes you happy and someone you depend on to make you happy.

I think it’s death to any relationship or friendship when you start to selfishly look for what you can get out of it. In my opinion, the worst time to get into a romantic relationship is when you’re unhappy or lonely… because in most cases, you will soon be looking to that person to fulfill all these things inside you that they were never meant to fulfill. As cliché as it sounds, we all have a God sized hole inside of us that only He can fill. But a lot of times we start looking to our significant other, friends, or family to fill these holes and needs inside us; and when they don’t, we get angry with them. Or we end up sucking them dry by wanting constant attention and contact with that person. It’s an unfair burden to put on someone.

As beautiful a sentiment as Coldplay’s song is; nobody can fix you. If you had issues to take care of before a significant other chances are you’ll still have to face them after. Because he may be handsome and sweet and he may really love you; but he can’t fix what’s broken in you. We all have our issues that need to be taken to the foot of the cross daily, and if we don’t, we may not have any healthy relationships with anyone. We can jump from relationship to relationship, marriage to marriage, friendship to friendship looking for something that is not even found in a person; but only found in a daily personal relationship with Jesus.

When we are unhappy and lonely where do we go? What or who do we turn to when our joy has run dry and we feel empty and alone? I would like to tell you that I always run to God but this is not true. I have found that when I’m going through something I tend to shutdown and neglect spending time with God. Which makes no sense because I already know that things just get worse when I do this. I know that I need him. I know he’s the only one who’s going to give me the peace and joy I need regardless of my circumstances. Yet I stay away when what I should be doing is running to Him.

There is only one who can fulfill us and complete us. There is only one who can give us joy unspeakable and full of glory. There is only one who offers peace that passes all understanding. And that’s Jesus. He’s the friend that sticks closer than a brother. He wants to be your all in all. He wants to fill that emptiness and take away the loneliness. And if you look to him for your joy, peace, happiness, if you look to him to fill all the emptiness inside you; I promise you will never be disappointed.

And really, I’m writing this blog as a reminder to myself. I want to go to God and God alone for my joy, peace, and happiness. I want to go to Him alone to heal what’s broken inside me, to fill the empty spaces, to fulfill and complete me. I want to let Him take care of the issues in me now so that I don’t carry them into my friendships and relationships later. I want to enjoy friendships and relationships but always know that my it’s my responsibility to go and look to God for my happiness and joy. 

Because whether we know it or not, what we are really needing, craving, and crying out for is Him.

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” - C S Lewis

Monday, January 9, 2012

Feature on singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow


It may be because I’m a complete music lover, but it seems like there’s a new song I fall in love with every week! And because I can’t keep something this good to myself, I simply have to share it with you guys! This weeks pick?  “If I Had a Boat” by Irish singer/songwriter, James Vincent McMorrow. You may have not yet heard of him but trust me, you will!

This song totally captured my heart upon first listen. It’s what I would call a “slow burn” song, in the way that it starts out soft and builds to an epic chorus and James’ passionate and soulful vocals. It’s the kind of song you have to listen to with your eyes closed… yes, that’s the rule, don’t break it! ;)

This is the first track on his debut album entitled, “Early In The Morning”, which was actually released in Ireland in 2010 to critical acclaim. Now we in America are just getting to know and experience this Irishmen’s talent. James recorded this album in an isolated house by the sea over the course of 5 months. The whole album is a self recorded and played project. I loved this quote of James explaining where this album came from, “This record was borne out of my desire to create something singular, take the simplest of chords, wrap them in washes of melody, so lines come in, they drop out, everything ebbs and flows as the songs move towards their inevitable end.”

In 2011 James opened for none other than The Civil Wars…yes, I’m featuring another artist that opened up for that dynamic duo! Which is actually where I first heard of his music, as The Civil Wars raved about James. And you might as well know that I do tend to find out about most of the music I love from other artists as well as blogs I read. And I’m so glad that I found James’ hauntingly beautiful music and I cannot wait to hear more from him in the future!

For more info on James Vincent McMorrow: