I'm not talking about a new iPod, tablet, LCD tv, diamond ring, or touch screen cell phone.
I'm talking about sleeping in on a rainy morning, hearing your favourite song at the perfect moment, a drink of ice cold water on a hot day, the sound of someone you love calling your name, a familiar smell, putting on a pair of pants straight from the dryer, or biting into a big juicy hamburger on a Summer's afternoon.
Yeah, I miss that - I miss biting into things. Sounds funny, but I'm not kidding one bit.
I'd love more for my Nonno Sam to look at me and say "Hi Beautiful!" one more time, but biting comes in at a close second. Remember Nonno Sam? He's the cutest man in heaven.
Hold on. Let me back things up for you.....I rang in the New Year a little differently this time around. I decided to be brave and show 2012 what I'm made of! I didn't fight a bull or tackle a black bear, but I decided to go forward with a dental procedure called a gum graft. It involves cutting, stitching, swollen gums and my two front bottom teeth. Apparently my braces from when I was younger moved my teeth to new places where there's not enough bone strength to support them, so this procedure serves to reinforce those teeth.
In a nut shell, I am summoned to mostly soft foods for the rest of the week and no biting with my front teeth for at least a month.
Oh, I miss biting! The sensation of sinking your teeth into an apple, a sandwich, a banana or a brownie - it's worth more than you'd think.
No solid food for a week? Talk about being brave! This is the hardest thing I've ever done. Pffft. Two Thousand and Twelve will be a breeze!
All I can think about is how much I want to chomp down on these oatmeal cookies studded with dark chocolate and dried cranberries, but instead I'm just staring at them with thoughts of chewiness running through my head. What was I thinking baking cookies the day before oral surgery? It's pure torture.
When you take a bite into one of these gems, think of me and be grateful.
Chewy Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup old-fashioned large flake rolled oats
½ cup quick-cooking oats
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup best quality semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup dried cranberries
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Stir in oats and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter with both sugars by hand using a wide rubber spatula until well blended and the mixture looks like wet sand. This will take 1 or 2 minutes. Stir in egg and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Add the flour mixture and stir it in gently until it is mostly incorporated but a few streaks of flour remain. Add chocolate chips and dried cranberries and fold them into the dough until evenly combined.
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the dough in the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This step is important to let the oats hydrate and soften up a bit, and to promote even browning during baking.
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Roll 1.5-oz portions of dough into balls and then flatten them to form round disks. Place them on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly golden around the edges but still slightly gooey in the center (they will set as they cool), 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet. Transfer cookies individually to a wire rack to cool completely.