Eating the elephant one bite at a time...

I always thought that it would be very easy to keep a beautifully clean apartment once I started living by myself.  Perhaps if I were still on an undergraduate schedule (that is, one with longer vacations), I could set aside a whole day every month to thoroughly clean everything.  Such a day is impossible on my current schedule, so I think I may need to give myself a piece-by-piece cleaning schedule and just do some 30 minutes of work every day.  While I don't like the thought of this, I like the dirt and dust less, so we'll have to see if I can have my apartment nice and clean by the weekend.

A part of this problem that doesn't allow me large blocks of time to clean is that I've been spending a lot of time at the gym this summer, particularly in the outdoor pool.  My summer goal is to swim 3 miles every week.  I haven't kept to this perfectly, partly because it took me a couple weeks to get back to my usual pace and distance, and partly due to traveling a little, but I hope I can fit in another 17 miles before the fall semester begins.  Or, of course, I could try to push a little harder and swim more than one mile each time I go to the pool...

In the meantime, I keep chipping away at my cookie project:

105. Vanilla Malted Cookies
Here is another simple but impressive cookie.  Basically, malted milk powder and vanilla seeds are added to a very buttery dough, which is shot out of a cookie gun to result in a product that my advisor thought were store-bought.

Vanilla seeds are altogether too expensive, so I added 1.5t vanilla extract instead.  I suppose that, for a particularly discerning palate, there is a difference in taste, but I don't really expect that kind of refined taste in the non-bakers with whom I share these cookies.

Nevertheless, the vanilla flavor is strong, and the malted milk gives the cookies a rich caramel flavor, and they disappeared so quickly that I can only suppose that my coworkers liked them very much.  I'm also a big fan of using the cookie gun - oh, okay, so it's actually a cookie press - because it's so much easier than using cookie cutters.  It's kind of a shame that only a couple recipes in my book call for such a device.

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