Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Very Valiente Holiday Season

A very Merry Christmas to my readers; I hope you had a great day and a joyful holiday season. This is my first Christmas in New York, the first one away from my family since I was living in Savannah in 2004. I've been missing my family and friends in San Antonio a lot lately, and the holiday season made the ache just a bit stronger.

I absolutely LOVE traditions, I think probably because I like repetition and steps (because I love efficiency). Since the Yankee and I became a couple, I've been thinking up all kinds of traditions we could have, for everything from birthdays to holidays. I love having inside jokes, wearing matching clothes, and having things that we "always" do. This year I tried recreating the always delicious hashbrown casserole from the Cracker Barre, in an attempt to stake out a Christmas Tradition. It's supposed to look like this:

Instead mine looked like this:

I couldn't find GF Cream of ANYTHING soup at my grocery store, so I tried to improvise by making a pot of gravy. I also couldn't find frozen hashbrowns so I shredded my own potatoes. It turned into a grey, pasty faily. Only the cheesy parts tasted good. I might try it again sometime, if I can find all of the ingredients. The Yankee suggested just keeping it simple with eggs, bacon, and pancakes. He has good ideas like that.

Growing up, we always got a visit from Santa, gifts from Mom and Dad, gifts from various extended family members. We didn't go to church on Christmas Eve, unless we were visiting someone who did. The Yankee grew up celebrating no holidays whatsoever, as his family members are Jehovah's Witnesses. When we started dating, we had many long talks about how to compromise and create our own traditions.

We settled on no Santa (or Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, or any other mythical creature- but that's another blog), one Christmas tree with religious and family-themed ornaments, and exchanging three gifts (because Jesus got three gifts). This year I confess that I broke that three gift rule- I think perhaps because I am always trying to make up for the 20+ years that the Yankee didn't celebrate anything.

We don't really have many traditions started yet. We still have plenty of time yet, and no real deadline. It's been a great day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Very Valiente Take on Church, no Christmas, no Church at Christmas time

A few confessions before we get started and then I promise only 4 paragraphs of writing.
The Yankee and I are not good at going to bed "on time" or even at a reasonable hour, even if we have something important the next day.
I love love love Christmas and I love going to church.
I get migraines, which I find to be completely BS.
The Yankee and I share a love of dry, cynical, offensive, and crude humor. We do this in the privacy of our own home 99% of the time, with occasional leaks around the edges. This may or may not be a recurring theme in future blogs.

We have not gone to church regularly since we moved to New York since 2009. We've had bursts when we went every Sunday and stretches when we didn't go at all. However, we were involved in a small group since April of 2010 and we've just joined one here. There is something about the communcal experience of eating together and having regularly scheduled human interaction that - and the Yankee put this best- really feels more like how the Corinthians did "church." For them, it was a community and a life style- not something that occurred once a week. It was certainly this way in San Antonio, and we hope that it will be here in New York.

Going to Church in December
I've had a migraine for 10 days now. The kind that gets sharp for a few hours, dulls down a bit, then feels gone- only to reemerge when I get out of bed or stand up. So we've been planning to go to church for a few weeks now and haven't- last week because of this migraine and this week because of this migraine+the Yankee is sick. My favorite time to go to church is during Christmas and Lent, because I love hearing sermons that remind me of the "uglies" of Christmas and Easter. It's so easy to remember the high points of the story, without remembering how badly a young Jewish woman would have been treated if she's been engaged, gotten pregnant, and said it was God in her womb. 

The thing is that I really WANT to go to church right now. And then my alarm goes off and I struggle with wanting to go, but not wanting to get up, get dressed, go to church, etc. And then I stand up and my head feels like a fiery knife is slicing through my brain stem and it's too easy to decide not to go. I want to go see people and hear a sermon. I've missed being actively engaged in the word of God, pondering and seeking, and learning. Even though I am terribly introverted and it takes a lot of work to talk to people, I want to meet the body of our church and recognize faces and stories. But I am in my pajamas, struggling with whether or not I really could have made it to church this morning (which started about 3 minutes ago).

Christmas and Life
So NY is in full-swing Christmas hustle and bustle. We just got our tickets to see the Rockettes, shopping is almost done, and we have a nicely-scented beast of a tree in our living room. I miss my parents so badly this time of year, as well as our Care Group in San Antonio. This group was my "people." When good things or bad things happened, when something funny happened- honestly, when life happened, we couldn't wait to share it with our Care Group. Christmas is my mother's favorite time of year and my father's favorite time to complain. He grouses about putting up lights, and then spends the day making it all perfect (he's sweet to my mom like that). My mom does an over-the-top Christmas that I just love. I miss these two groups a lot.

The End- these four sentences does not count as a paragrah.
So we're in a new group and do want to go to church, but haven't. We're in the middle of Christmas, missing our people. The Yankee is sick and I am migraining. Stay tuned for my next post; I shall be writing about how the Valiente Family does Christmas and later doing a retroactive post in which I compare and contrast how the Yankee and I behave at parties.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Very Valiente Life in New York

My friend Whom I Will Call Raw Sugar asked me for a lengthy email about life in New York, which I happily sent. I do love to write about myself, after all. Several of my friends and family members have been asking about the protests and Ground Zero. It's interesting living here because there are all these cool places to go and eat, but we have things like work and groceries and bills to think about in the middle of it all. On the weekends, we still have to do our laundry and buy groceries (which means carrying them all home, BTW), so it's actually hard to make time to do all the amazing things we want to do. It takes us about 45 minutes or so to get downtown- which also means it takes about that long to get home. So it's tempting to think we could just dash off and browse the Met, but that's not always easy. For example, today we are going to Target that is a mile away and that means some complicated subway planning OR a mile walk there and a mile walk home, carrying whatever we buy (great for budgeting purposes though!).

We try to do one fun thing a week; this weekend we went a super fancy steak place. One of my co-workers had some coupons for The Capital Grille so we most definitely made reservations and were on our way. Unfortunately, our subway stop was closed and we ended up in Brooklyn. The train we needed to take wasn't going back to Manhattan so we had to ride further into Brooklyn and double back. When we got out and tried to find a cab in Chinatown, the driver didn't know the area and we had to Mapquest and guide him there. When we finally got to Wall Street, we drive right past Zuccoti Park and saw all the protesters. The dinner was amazing and then we set off to find our way home.

On our travel back to a familiar subway stop, we passed the protesters again. It looks like a Gap commercial. It's like a bunch of hipsters on a camp out, with one or two wierdos who do things like kick the barriers and taunt the cops. It wasn't a ruckus or a shenanigan at all. Pretty peaceful. We also passed Trinity Church and saw Alexander Hamilton's grave and then walked by Ground Zero. This is what people ask me about the most.

Right now Ground Zero is still a very large and active construction zone. I am not sure if there are parts that are open, but from where we were, everything is gated and there are cranes and cameras all over. It looks like it's going to amazing to see once it's done, though.

We went to the Museum of Natural Science and in one afternoon we got through half of one floor! We did go to the MoMA, but modern art isn't really our thing. We went to Columbus Circle, which is all hustle-and-bustle and you're just as likely to get run over as you are to get a cup of coffee! I was in Starbucks and saw this guy and I kept thinking, "hmm, he looks like someone famous," and then I realized, nope- he didn't look like someone famous, he just WAS someone famous. And I can't remember who he is or what he was in!

It's in wholly wierd and bizarre to live in a place where there are protesters that are getting national coverage! It's so bizarre to pass Washington Square every day on my way to work and know that part of "When Harry Met Sally" was filmed there. It's unreal that my favorite place for dessert is Cafe Lalo, which is the coffee shop from "You've Got Mail." It's also refreshing to feel cool, crisp fall weather and not feel like I need to soak it up because it will be gone in a week and 100 degrees plus humidity will return.

Life in NY is cool and strange and a bit too anonymous. I miss my parents so much sometimes that I get teary. I miss my Care Group and girlfriends constantly and I think about them no less than once a day. I wish we had a church already. It's not exactly "home" yet, but I think it will be soon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Very Valiente Household Discovery

Moving to New York is an adventure. We knew it would be. We anticipated an adjustment as we figured out the subway and the people, as well as the idea of having EVERYTHING delivered (which we very rarely do). There are a few things that aren't necessarily NY-specific, but most definitely aren't found commonly in the south.

Our building is like the ones you see in the movies- you come into a very small doorway and buzz the apartment of the person you're visiting. For some reason, I felt very shy about using the speaker. We ordered lunch and I asked The Yankee to answer it.

Confession: not once have I ever lived without central air- unless I was a baby and that doesn't count. It kind of hurt my heart to think that I'd have to BUY and air conditioner and install it myself. My inner princess doesn't care to buy items to compensate for a deficiency in a building that I don't own- hey, I SAID it was my inner princess!

So each room but the bathroom has one of these. There is no thermostat. If it's anything like our shower, our home will go from Igloo to Inferno status within about 3 seconds of turning this on. And while we're talking about air temperature, why isn't there a heater in the bathroom? You know what I predict? I'll be shaving in December, get out of the warm hot scalding shower and immediatley get goose bumps, thus negating the shaving efforts. Poor Yankee...

I have been pestering the Yankee about curtains since we got married, but we never really needed them, since we had blinds (the Yankee has an inner princess too, apparently). So when we selected out apartment, we decided to buy curtains before we moved so we I could enjoy a naked house as soon as we moved in. See my last post for a list of reasons this was a bad idea.

So naturally we forgot to bring a measuring tape while we were apartment shopping. Since I grew up military, I decided to improvise and use body parts to measure. So the windows were the distance from my fingertips to my breastbone. The window in the picture was two of those lengths, plus a small divider in the middle the was about the size of my hand. Well... you can see the value of a measuring tape in this story, can't you?

So there are a few other things that have been surprising, and I'll be sure to record them as they come along. Subway highlights include having to change lines completely as the police investigated a suspicious package and broken water mane that doused several lines at lunchtime on Monday. The lines weren't repaired until way after lunchtime. Thankfully I work from home- the Yankee was not so lucky, unfortunately.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Very Valiente Crap Alert

We are here in New York! This is an exciting place to be. Currently I am sitting at my desk, looking out across a park, and feeling a breeze that is gettng colder and colder and as cold front moves across the Tri-State Area.

So the move went pretty well. Sort of. Actually no, the moving part itself was pretty much crap. It rained, we took too much stuff on the plane, some of our items got destroyed by the movers- it was a rough couple of days. In my next few posts, I will relay some of our adventures and lessons.

I always overestimate the amount of allowable space and have and under estimate the weight of items. I cut wrapping paper too small, I grab a hand basket at the grocery store and end up struggling under the weight of 25 items when I should gotten a cart. We knew we could both check 2 50-pound bags and carry on one small bag at Southwest. We also knew our items would take awhile to get there, so we had a pile mountain of stuff that we were taking with us. I didn't want to pay to ship a box, but as we started packing our stuicases, we realized it was inevitable.

We had planned to take blankets, sheets, towels, and air mattress, and clothes for a few weeks with us. We had an apartment and didn't want to stay in a hotel, so we were trying to bring "essentials." By essentials I mean 25 hangers, a coffee press, every.single.piece of clothing we own, and a few other things for fun.

We bought some space bags so we could fit everything into four bags. We bought a 4 piece luggage set. We made stacks. FAIL. Everything DID fit, but zippers broke and when we plunked the items on the scale at the airport. three of our bags were overweight. This left me doing a scramble to re-allocate items into bags and left the Yankee and I carrying a LOT of crap onto the plane.

We landed in NYC to a lot of rain and an hour-long line to get a cab. The Yankee waited with out TEN BAGS while I waited in line. We finally got a cab, got home, and were in bed by 3 am. We borrowed an air mattress from my parents, and it turns out we took the twin mattress, not the queen.

Because I'm somewhat of a Crazy Girl sometimes, I scheduled an interview at 10 am the next day. That interview led to a referral to another agency and a trip down to Wall Street. Stay tuned: this referral paid off BIG TIME.

So that's adventure number one. We now have to PAY to send two suitcases and an air mattress back to my parents. Stay tuned for the story of the Arrow Mayflower movers and why you should never ever use them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Very Valiente Blog Analysis

So right now I currently write have three blogs. One is and will remain private because the contents of it seem to make people want to tattle on me to my husband. One I started when I was freshly-single that’s basically about how fantastic my life it (and yes, it is FANTASTIC). The third is a blog I started when the Yankee and I got married. I was pretty good about updating it at the beginning of the year; it’s been a slow summer with very little to report.

I love to read blogs of all kinds. I love NieNie, MckMama, my girlfriends’ blogs, and Penelope Trunk, amongst others. Penelope Trunk is an edgy woman with highly-functioning Asperger’s who writes about getting your head out of your back pocket and keeping your career on track (and some juicy details about her own life). One of her tips for would-be bloggers is this (taken from her actual blog):

Pick something that seems good, and if it isn't, try again. Don't get hung up on topic. As in dating, you'll know when you've found one that's the right fit. There are some obvious things, like pick a topic you have a lot to say about, pick something that interests you, pick something that will help your career. This is great advice, but you already know that if you look for a perfect match you'll never actually go on a date.

So I thought about what I really want to write about. I think about blogging all the time, but either I think it will be lame once I write it down or I worry that it will get all long and rambly (as my speech patterns do).

So here is the list of stuff I thought I could write about and the reasons I chose not to:

1. Gluten Free living- it’s been done, there are THOUSANDS and I consult most of them for my own cooking, so that would be a rip off for sure!

2. My career field- I am by no means an expert in human resources and still need a mentor, so this was off the list pretty fast. Besides, it could easily turn into me ranting about my work environment, which is a surefire was to get Dooced and tank my career in a hot second

3. How much I love my husband- I have a feeling I am the only person interested in this topic

So I started this particular blog so I could write about my family, mostly because those are the blogs I enjoy reading the most. I don’t write blogs because I want to one day monetize them and end up the next Heather B. Armstrong. I write because things are on my mind and I like to share things that are on my mind. So I’ll continue only one blog- this one- and leave the other two alone (and private) and continue to share the comings-and-goings of the Caliente Valientes- because we are pretty damn Caliente AND pretty damn Valiente. I hope you enjoy reading about us J

A Very Valiente Relocation

La Familia de Valiente is moving to New York City! The Yankee and I are moving in September so that he can pursue his dream of being a hot shot attorney (which, by way, he will be fantastic at).

It’s been the Yankee’s dream to move to New York for many years. In fact, the night we met, he told me he was moving to NY about four minutes after we met (and about 3 minutes and 49 seconds after he forgot my name). It’s something everyone who knows him, knows about him. So this spring, we put the plan in motion and started job searching.

In July I started interviewing with a company for a really fantastic job that I was simply not qualified for. That was the only really big “hit” we’d gotten and we accepted that our not living in NY was hurting our job opportunities. My employer graciously offered me an opportunity to continue my work remotely; at that time, we decided it was time for Phase II: find a home! So we booked our tickets and a hotel and set off to find an apartment (which we did).

So now the cat is out of the bag at work for both of us. The Yankee has put in his notice and I have been working with my manager (who, by the way, is fabulous) to transition me out of my current role and into my new one. Our apartment is a cardboard city and we’re trying to pare down our pantry items.

So we depart the Lone Star State for the Big Apple in about 2 ½ weeks. Our apartment is fantastic- a huge kitchen and hardwood floors! I had been seeing apartments with teeny-tiny kitchens that were simply scary to me. Will my various food sensitivities, the thought of not cooking my own food is like contemplating a career as an extreme skateboarder or fighting a zombie war.

So moving to New York is kind of like moving to another country. Here are some major differences:

1. Public transportation: riding the bus in San Antonio takes three hours to get anywhere. In NY, it’s just what you do. Owning a car is not only unnecessary, but also a tremendous pain.

2. Air Conditioning: not once in my life have I not had air conditioning. In NY, we have to buy window units. This hurts my heart.

3. Language: walking down the streets of NY humanizes the phrase “melting pot.” You hear snippets of Spanish, Russian, Yiddish, and English with various accents.

4. Money: first, Texas does not have a state income tax; NY does. Things are exponentially more expensive in NY, but the cost of living is allocated very differently. Weather: watch the news, you know what I mean.

I have moved every 2-4 years of my life, so relocating is not one bit scary to me. It is scary to predict how removed I will feel from my good friends. Life will continue without me, and that’s hard to watch through Facebook and blogs.

I am really excited about embarking on this adventure with my very best friend, the Yankee. Worst case scenario: we are mugged and killed. Next-to-worst-case-scenario: we lose all our money and move back to San Antonio. Best case scenario (and the one I am betting on): we live happily ever after.

Monday, February 28, 2011


I miss pizza. I really do. I have been "off' pizza for a few years now. I decided to totally eliminate dairy from my diet and then cut out gluten- which basically eliminates 2/3rds of a pizza. Pizza requiers a soft, stretchy dough. This consistency really, really needs gluten and i haven't found anything that can duplicate the texture. I've tried three different kinds of pizza mix: King Arthur, Bob's Red Mill, and Pamela's. I do not recommend any of them.

Here's the Frankenpizza that came from King Arthur

The taste was okay, but it didn't reheat well at all. The texture was the closest to real pizza I've had so far but the dough was really wierd.

I didn't take a photo of the Bob's pizza. it was flat, sour and soggy.

Tonight I tried making Pamela's.

This brand came highly recommended by two non-GF eaters. It was AWFUL. The dough was pretty easy to handle and it looked really good, but it was just terrible. I think the sauce was too thin and soaked the crust, or maybe it just didn't cook through. The crust was sweet at first and ended sour.

The Yankee couldn't really stomach it, poor guy.

He gave it a fair chance and in the end, here was his dinner (looks a lot like Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza, doesn't it)?

Snow Day

So this post is outdated, but I'm a busy gal so don't heckle!

A few weeks ago we were experiencing out short burst of winter. This is a small span of time in which we can all pull out our coats and scarves and nod in agreement with the rest of the county as they exerience cold. This winter has been noticeably warmer than our already warm winters. And then all of sudden the streams of air aligned over San Antonio and insanity came. In one week we went from near 80s to snow. Overnight we got almost an inch or so- but in San Antonio we don't have snow plows and people don't get much of a chance to learn to drive in the snow. We also have lots and lots of bridges- more bridges than I normally think about until they are all sheet of ice.

The Yankee's employer and my employer both gave us a noon reporting time. We carpooled and left an hour before we had to be to work. It normally takes us both between 20-25 minutes- that day it took about an hour and a half. Halfway to work, the Yankee got a call closing the office for the day. I did not. It was a long drive that led to a very long day. Enjoy two the photos of the light accumulation that closed the city.

Delightful Chocolate Cake

This cake is absolutely and undeniably delicious. Two layers of chocolate, raspberry filling, chocolate frosting. Here are my lessons learned from this gem:

GF can be pretty expensive. This cake has 4 cups of almond flour and a few cups of agave syrup. Those two ingredients, in those amounts, cost over $15. This cake is for special occasions.

Do not buy generic frosting! I used Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines for this cake. A few weeks ago I bought store-brand frosting that had wheat in it and I was sick for about a week.

Cakes this dense should be made into layer cakes. Even in small discs, the middle collapsed- probably because of the liquids that the agave adds.

Take this cake when I really want to impress people. Because it totally does.

Monday, January 31, 2011

My One Word

Have you heard anyone chattering about One Word? Maybe you’ve seen it on Facebook? Here’s the idea: instead of writing a resolution for the year, you select one word and drill all the ideas behind your resolution into a single goal, a single focus. Here’s an introduction from

Our resolutions seldom work because they focus on the type of person we want to become rather than who God wants us to be. Many people do not see God at work in their lives simply because they don’t know what to look for. So, what if our hopes for the year centered on who God wanted us to become instead?

It’s okay to want to be a better you—and the New Year is a natural time to start. The question is, how? My One Word replaces broken promises with a vision for real change. When you choose a single word, you have a single focus. You are moving toward the future rather than swearing off the past.

With My One Word, you’re right where God wants you: in His hands. And it’s not an extreme makeover we’re talking about. This year, the goal is to see His work in one area of your life.

Here are the steps behind the idea of choosing your word:

1. Think about what kind of person you want to become: For me, this is a bit too broad for goal setting. I normally like my goals in bite-sized chunks. But, it’s some else’s idea, so here we go.

2. Identify the characteristics of that person

3. Simply pick a word: boil down the broad concept of your ideal image of yourself into a one-word focus

So then you can go to My One Word and join and post you word, as I did. There are also links on Facebook. For me, Mrs. Kate L. Valiente, my word for 2010 is PROACTIVE. I feel like I need to write that in all caps to make it really stand out.

I’ve written many blogs and essays and journal entries about the idea of excellence in my life-a concept that’s eluded me, sadly. I’ve pursued health, expertise, and religion in various ways with the end-goal of excellence in mind. It’s a pretty high target that a person can never really hit in life but one that I’m still pursuing. One piece of the puzzle that I’m constantly lacking and bemoaning is motivation to actually get moving and reach my goals. I don’t exactly know how one manufactures motivation in his/her life but for me, I find that some days I just have to make myself get moving, whether I feel like it or not. That, in my opinion, is proactive. Proactive means heading a problem off at the pass, attacking it before it attacks you, finishing a project before the due date—in essence, it means to GET MOVING and to stay in motion. Whether I feel like it or not, whether I want a nap or a cup of coffee, even if the only think I want to do is snuggle on the couch under a blanket and read all day, PRACTIVE in my life means I just DO IT.

So that’s my one word. Published for all to see. And by “all” I mean the handful of people who read my blog J

Oatmeal - Raisin - Cranberry Cookies

Energized by the pumpkin bars, I went back into the kitchen the next day to try another new flour. This blend is by a brand called Namaste and it's called the "Perfet Flour Blend." On the back of the package there is a recipe for these cookies.

The problem with flour blends when you're eating GF is that when there is a off-taste, it can be hard to detect what's making it taste wierd. This blend has rice flour, potatoe starch, tapioca, and xanthan gum, among other ingredients. How in the world would I know what makes it taste bad?

So here are the cookies:

The look pretty nice huh? I'm quite proud of my ability to make cookies approximately the same size. Symmetry makes me happy, what can I say? They were overall pretty good. While they were fresh and warm, thee was this kind of sourness to them. That's a pretty common complaint from GF foods- either a gritty, dry texture or a sour kind of taste. Once they cooled, they tasted even better. Here's my face, contemplating the taste of the cookies:

And here's me, thinking they taste okay. Not great, but not bad either. All in all, I was pretty happy with the cookies. I added cranberries, instead of just raisins to add some antioxidants. I used oil instead of butter, too.

Overall, I'm a pretty happy girl.

Pumpkin Bars

After the amaranth disaster, I got pissed. Pissed at Gluten. Screw gluten. I don't begrudge any person I know the opportunity to eat gluten-y things, not even the Yankee. But I am NOT going to eat things that make me sick and I am certainly NOT going to eat gross things either! Forget that business! Surely the fools at Bob's Red Mill tasted that recipe and surely someone commented how it tasted like the bottom of a boot!

So I went back into the kitchen and made Pumpkin Bars. These bars have almond flour and agave nectar in them- making them quite pricey per bite. When I took them out of the oven and let them cool, I kept dancing around the dish, waiting to taste them. I cut off a tiny square and I got goosebumps and tears- this time because the bars were like cake! Cake is literallly my favorite food. I ate it at my wedding and got really sick right after. Before that, it had been months since I'd had cake.
I ate most of the rest of the pan pretty quickly, except for the pieces I gave the Yankee and my parents. Here's a photo of a remnant of the bars:

And here is a vey happy Mrs. V:

These bars were completely delicisious. And now I am a happy girl.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Amaranth Flour

Tonight I tried making Carrot-Raisin cookies. I found this recipe on the back of a package of Amaranth Flour that I received from my mother for Christmas. It's been pretty hard to find recipes in which to use this kind of flour; since this recipe was on the back of the package, I gave the goons at Bob's Red Mill the benefit of the doubt and tried it.

Preparing for this recipe involved two trips to Sun Harvest for arrowroot flour (I couldn't find this at five HEB's OR Whole Foods) and an investment in a small bottle of agave nectar. Please allow me to digress and say that EVERYTIME I went to HEB for about a month I looked for arrowroot and I made two trips to Wholoe Foods, assuming I'd surely find arrowroot there. I bought the agave and ended up getting organic agave because I figured I should at least buy the douchiest version of the douchiest food I've ever purchased.

So I made the cookies. The flour smelled funny and I should have taken then as a sign of things to come. The batter blended well and scooped nicely. The cookies made the apartment smell like carrot cake, which is officially deemed Delightful in my book. Here's what the cookies looked like after taking them out of the oven:

And here's what my face looked like after tasting the cookie:

Pretty pricey mistake. This failure made me cry big alligator tears and then I sobbed into the Yankee's shoulder for a bit. I'll write a little more about that once I've managed to bake something tasty.