Birthday Goodness (and the Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe)

In response to All Migraineurs Are Different — So Stop Judging Me!, a reader (who happens to be my mom) commented that I share with you my frustrations and failings, but not what I do manage to achieve. I was ready to dismiss it as just my mom being a mom, but then another reader of no familial relation backed her up. Sadly, I realized that I don’t share my accomplishments because they are so often miniscule. I compare myself to “normal people” and come up way short.

I’m trying to overcome my feelings of inadequacy and share the good with you. This is made a little easier since cyproheptadine is reducing my head pain and the fatigue that has drug me down all summer suddenly lifted on Monday (fingers crossed that it lasts!). Also, today is my birthday. This week has been less about accomplishing and more about having fun. And eating foods that aren’t on my migraine diet, though only ones that I’m pretty sure aren’t triggers for me.

Here’s my week in food!

Salted Caramel Ice Cream — My first time making caramel was successful thanks to the fantastic tips from David Lebovitz. The ice cream is superb. Now I want to try making caramel candies. Can anyone recommend a good recipe?

The Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookies — These really are perfect, especially with a couple tweaks.

  • After rolling the cookies into balls, refrigerator for 36 hours. (If the dough is too soft to form balls, refrigerate it for 20 minutes and try again.) This step is a must. From the famous New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe, it allows the dry ingredients to fully absorb the liquid, resulting in a better texture. Either bake or freeze the dough after the 36 hours is up; it starts to dry out if left in the fridge too long.
  • Use a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat flours or all white whole wheat flour to add a little depth and nuttiness.
  • I vary the cookie size depending on the recipient. However, the ideal size about the size of a golf ball (3.5 oz), according to the New York Times and me.
  • Use real, unsalted butter and real vanilla. And be sure to use dark brown sugar for the fullest flavor.

Yellow cupcakes from Baking Illustrated are in the oven as I type. I haven’t made this recipe before, but Baking Illustrated has never let me down.

Quinoa Porridge — My new migraine-diet-friendly favorite. Quinoa mixed with a little plain rice milk and sugar, then frozen in 8 oz. canning jars to pop in the microwave for an easy breakfast. When I want dessert, I add some more sugar and call it pudding.

Happy birthday to me! Hope you have a lovely weekend full of delicious food and as little head pain as possible.



Testing My Limits With Cookies

In my struggle to decide if I’m sick enough for the couch or giving into the pleasure of reading a little too soon, I’ve found the million dollar question: Can I bake something?

As much as I love to read, baking will always win out. If I feel well enough to bake, I will do it. Because I always, always want to do it. There are plenty of times that I want to bake and have to talk myself out of it because I know I’ll totally wear myself out. But if I am physically capable of it, I will.

So I ask myself if I want to — and can — bake. If the answer is yes, then I know I’m well enough to do the minutiae of life. Sometimes I’m even clever enough to choose to baking over minutiae.

Community, Coping

Kerrie’s Life: Taking a Break

The last six (or 12 or 18…) have been tough. I’m physically and mentally exhausted from being sick, my dad being sick, and life’s general requirements. I’m taking a break. A two-month break to be exact. Hart has a sabbatical from work and we’ll be on vacation from now until mid-July. We both desperately need to get away and relax.

I couldn’t leave The Daily Headache in a lurch, of course. I’ve written and scheduled a lot of posts for the next couple months. Megan Oltman of Free My Brain From Migraine Pain and Marijke Durning from Help My Hurt have graciously volunteered to manage the blog while I’m away. Forum members Deborah and MJ will make sure everything runs smoothly there.

What’s that? You want to know where I’m going? A week in the South Pacific to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary is the first destination. On the way home, we’ll stop in Phoenix to visit family. We’ll spend June in Alaska. Our best friends will be here the first 10 days of July, then Hart’s sister and brother-in-law are coming for a week. It will be busy, but we’re good at doing nothing on vacation!


Happy Birthday to Me!

Most important news: Tonight’s my first post-stimulator yoga class!

As of 7:34 this morning, I am 30. Hart’s working, so we had a great dinner last night and I’ll have dinner with friends tonight.

I went to Top Pot, a local “gourmet” doughnut shop. I’ve always wanted to try their Boston cream doughnuts, but they never have any left by the time I get there. Oh my yum. I sat in the sun and enjoyed the fabulous doughnut and a latte.

My totally self-indulgent trip to England was my birthday gift, so I forbade Hart from buying me anything. He apologized last night, worried that I would miss having something to open. I convinced him not to worry — going to England was, obviously, the best gift I’ve ever had. The crowning glory is that I (legally) downloaded my favorite show and now listen to it all the time.

Today has been great so far and the last year was fantastic, even with my headaches. Here’s hoping next year brings the same.