Rant & Rave

Rave: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies According to Science (& Me)

Happy Sunday! I am here to share with you how easy it is to make the best chocolate chip cookies…

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Happy Sunday! I am here to share with you how easy it is to make the best chocolate chip cookies right from your kitchen. Cookies that are very much indeed #MadeInUtica (or wherever you live) with a recipe that is proven by science.

I am no scientist but I am pretty good at the Internet. I have toyed around with variations of this advice form NPR on The Science Behind Baking Your Ideal Chocolate Chip Cookie. I’ve done the work. Here it is.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (or butter alternative) – softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • large eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

P.S. I hate nuts in cookies. But maybe buy some if that’s your thing.

  1. POUR yourself a beer. You deserve it. Today it was 80º in the middle of October.

2. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in bowl. Just stir ’em up.

3. BEAT butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. On low, or you’ll likely make a mess.

Finally, stir in morsels. Lots of morsels. I guess this would be where you’d add nuts, but I hate nuts in cookies so I skipped that.

FREEZE batter for 30-60 minutes. This gives you thicker, less crispy cookies. The longer you can last, the better the flavor. You could even leave the batter overnight, but I don’t have that kind of willpower.

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

DROP rounded teaspoons of batter onto ungreased cookie sheets. Keep batter in freezer in between rotations.

BAKE for 10 minutes or until the tops just start to get tan. Light pans should stay in a minute longer than dark pans. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Rant & Rave

Rave: Uptown Revival

We’re not much for running press releases here at Made In Utica, but this is one I couldn’t resist.

We’re not much for running press releases here at Made In Utica, but this is one I couldn’t resist.

I first got the tip that the Uptown Theatre was coming back on Twitter from our good friend @peteforgets:

Uptown

Of course this is a lead worth following up on. Like many of you, my childhood was spent with $2 Tuesday films at the Uptown. I watched it progress from movie theatre, to show venue… I’ve been able to experience celebrations, film fests and raves. And for the past few years… nothing. I’ve spent many nights at the Green Onion Pub wondering with bar staff what’s to become of the majestic and historic theatre. I’ve wondered what I would do if I had the money to recover the Uptown. How South Utica would transform. And now, like many others, my mind is at ease.

According to a press release, “Uptown Theatre for Creative Arts, Inc. (UTCA), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Utica, NY announces its acquisition of the Uptown Theatre on Genesee Street in South Utica. Restoration work will begin in the coming months and a reopening date has yet to be determined.

UTCA will revive the theatre as a space for live performances and movie screenings, with a new emphasis on community involvement through collaborative workshops and classes.”

One of the founders Devin Mahoney is a former Utican who has lived in Los Angeles for over a dozen years. We’re told he’s had success writing for shows such as Scrubs and Better Off Ted. And now, his homecoming comes with high hopes.

We can surely say we’re excited to have someone #madeinutica spearheading this project.

Conversations with two partners show an invested interest in involving the community. One founder says, “We’ll need help and support from the community, and we welcome everyone/anyone who believes in the theater’s importance as a historic landmark and the renaissance of Utica.”

 


Devin told us, “Utica was bottomed out when I left almost 15 years ago and I’ve been more and more impressed every time I’ve been home… But we’re gonna need all the help we can get.”

Stay tuned as more info develops. And you can sign up for updates and involvement opportunities at utcany.org or on Facebook!

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Rant & Rave

Rave: Broadway Utica Makes My Heart Grow Three Sizes

Allow me to RAVE about Broadway Utica. I am a 31 year old woman who can recite every word to…

Allow me to RAVE about Broadway Utica.

I am a 31 year old woman who can recite every word to Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas with my eyes closed. That fact aside, I never turn down a chance to see a Broadway Utica show when possible. I made it to three last year,  and this year The Grinch was my first of the season. And as expected, it blew me away.

Broadway Utica is something to be proud of.

This organization makes my heart grow three sizes, as Dr. Suess would say. Here’s my short list why:

#1. No detail is unfinished. They bring in top notch productions. Amazing sets, crew, sound. Freaking SNOW fell down upon the Stanley Theatre seats tonight.

#2. They bring out the crowds. Tonight was the production’s first sold out crowd! Every show, without fail, is packed.

#3 They give back to the community in amazing ways. Their Youth Ambassador Program integrates local high school students into the theatre (#BEYAP). Broadway Utica and Director Derek Clark also supports The Q Center for LGBTQ Youth in our community. Last summer,  $12,000 was raised for the cause.

#4 They continue to grow. Today they celebrate their 60th Birthday and they aren’t stopping!

Broadway Utica gives a big city feel to Utica. The Stanley Theatre is a gem in itself, and it’s a great way to get out on the town and support the arts! So please, if tickets are still available, go check out How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical on Wednesday!

And support the amazing Broadway Utica lineup for the rest of the year, before all the good tickets are gone.

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Rant & Rave

Rant: Terrible Dog Owners

I need to RANT about dog owners who think it’s okay to euthanize their dog. I’ve been considering getting a…

I need to RANT about dog owners who think it’s okay to euthanize their dog.

I’ve been considering getting a dog. By that, I mean I’ve been stalking every shelter/rescue organization in the area. Yesterday, Adirondack Save-A-Stray out by Glens Falls posted a photo of a dog, possible shepherd/lab mix, whose family is planning on having him euthanized. What! Apparently he “loves his family and is very loyal” but had an altercation in the home with another dog. The shelter can’t keep him because his bite quarantine conflicts with insurance policy (different rant for a different day). The shelter is doing the good work of trying to find him a new home. But to this family: Shame on you.

It’s bad enough when a pet owner changes their mind and returns a pet to a shelter. But to resort to euthanizing an animal because you don’t know how to handle him is the lowest of the low. A pet is an obligation, a promise that you are breaking. You suck.

Someone help get Good Boy Zeus a new home. At the very least, head over to the Adirondack Save-A-Stray page and share the story.

Rant & Rave is the Made In Utica op-ed blog series – Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Whenever-We-Feel-Like-It Rants & Raves. Don’t get us wrong, everything we do is op-ed – we’re a resource, not a news source – but we’re just shining some light on things happening in our community. Have a Rant or Rave story idea? Send it our way: hello@madeinutica.com

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Rant & Rave

Rant: This Is Not About A Bike Ride

Confession, I am so nervous about the Ride for Missing Children. Confession, I get nervous about a lot of things. I…

Confession, I am so nervous about the Ride for Missing Children. Confession, I get nervous about a lot of things. I got nervous about receiving an award last month, about the Utica Passport Release Party two weeks ago, about closing on my first home last Friday.  These all turned out great, and nerves don’t really hold me back much anymore. I know that my nerves are a motivator to do well, that the Ride will be everything I have it built up to be and then some.

I’m #95 in line!

One thing I thankfully don’t have to be nervous about is coming home after the Ride to a missing family member. I have ten nieces and nephews, six of whom are 13 and under, that I love and care for like they are my own. Baseball games and dance recitals, manicures and Girl Scout cookies and moving up ceremonies and office art and overnight sleepovers. My family is CLOSE. I can’t imagine.

You probably know the Ride has about 500 riders and you might guess that there’s hundreds of volunteers.

But did you know that there are 50 families of missing children who will be travelling to Utica for Ride day, seeking comfort, spreading hope?

The Ride for Missing Children is a very emotional experience, and even more so for these families.  Some are with us “quietly”, others openly participate as Speakers at our ceremonies or meetings. We are also honored to have recovered missing children with us, some may be known to us and others may wish to remain anonymous. Some of the families are “Searching” or “Left Behind” – their loved ones are still missing. Some of the families have recovered their loved ones. In some cases the child was recovered deceased, and in other cases the child was recovered alive.

And on Ride day, 50 riders get to ride with purpose for those missing children, for those families.

I was asked to be a Designated Rider for Trenton Duckett, Missing.

I’m not here to recount the long, unfortunate tale that involves a child taken from his bed and his mother taking her own life. You can read about that yourself. I am here to tell you that Trenton’s grandparents, Beth and Jerry Eubanks have not given up spreading awareness.  From Lockport, NY they support all the local rides and Beth is also a member of Team Hope. “When the world says give up, HOPE whispers and says try one more time,” Beth wrote in a letter to riders.

Age-progressed photo of Trenton

This is not about a bike ride.

I’ll have dinner with Beth and Jerry and talk about their grandson. I’ll wear a photo of him over my heart while I ride. I will seek them out throughout the day, checking in. I’ll be wearing sunglasses to hide teary eyes. But I know that like most difficult things it will be rewarding, too.

I’m so much looking forward to the 2017 Ride and riding for Trenton. And on Ride day it would be great to see you out there supporting and following along.

Ride

  • Tune in to Talk of the Town 100.7fm for my call-ins at 7:40 and 9:20ish
  • Check social media tags at @cnyride and #RFMC
  • Follow our instagram story @madeinutica for updates from the route
  • Cheer us on! A great place to watch is the journey up Genesee St to the Ride’s end at the New Hartford Rec Center

 Oh and by the way – my donation page is still up and running 🙂

Come on, I’m in like 11th place!

Ride Day Info:

The 21st Annual Ride for Missing Children-CNY is taking place on Friday, June 2nd. This annual event promotes awareness and hope in the plight of missing and exploited children across the country. What started with seven men in 1995 has grown to include 500 riders, 150 volunteers, 50 family members of missing children and thousands of spectators and supporters across the Mohawk Valley. The Ride is the biggest annual fundraiser for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children – New York / Mohawk Valley (NCMEC-NY/MV) branch. The Ride will go approximately 85 miles to 15 schools before ending at the New Hartford Recreation Center.

Click here to see the the full route and maps.

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