We don’t have a ton of time on our hands—what with spending most of our days rubbing down our Twitter timelines and making friends at the bar. But every once in a while, a FADER family member will find the time to explore something delicious, talk about what it is and explain how easy it is to make. This week, Samantha Rhodes writes about her go-to relaxation recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
I grew up driving around in the back seat of a banana yellow Dodge Caravan listening to deep dance jams. My mother, making the best of her time while my father was on the road, drove my two brothers and I around, to the far reaches of Los Angeles. Mostly we ran errands: once a month to Costco, occasionally to the ice skating rink in Granada Hills or the Q-Zar lazer tag center in Chatsworth for birthday parties.
But for a brief period of time, my mother was into a form of dance called West Coast Swing, which in mid-nineties california meant partner dancing to music somewhere between hip-hop and disco. A sort of Strictly Ballroom for suburban moms combining steady 4/4 beats with flared mini skirts, crop tops and scrunchies. We started driving out to Long Beach on Friday Afternoons to a bar called The Moose Lodge, where about fifteen people would meet up during happy hour and take over the dance floor. The place was mostly empty. My mom would set my brothers and I up with a basket of chicken wings, hoping we'd stay put for an hour and a half. We invariably found the light-up dance platform more interesting and took to dancing or simply stomping around to the music. West Coast Swing is still around—they probably dance to Gaga and Timbaland instead of Technotronic or Salt-n-Pepa now—but my time with it in '95 left me with a deep and lasting attachment to dance music.
I don't have a recipe for chicken wings with spicy mustard dipping sauce, but making cookies while listening to West Coast Swing is my favorite way to relax at any time, anywhere. The recipe below couldn't be easier.
Mother's Day Chocolate Chip Cookies:
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Stir together peanut butter, egg, brown and white sugar, baking soda and salt.
Fold in the chocolate chips. Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. I put mine on parchment paper, but a greased baking sheet would do just fine.
How to West Coast Swing:
She will always start with the Right foot.
*She starts on a down beat, counts one or three of a measure.
*She has a rhythm pattern of six beats (to start): double (walk walk) a right triple and a left triple
*She will walk forward forward on the first two beats of every pattern.
*She will step 3 times at the end of each pattern, the Anchor Step.
*He will always start with the left foot.
*He will vary his first movement according to the location of his partner.
*He will vary step two depending on the direction of the pattern.