Extra Soft Ginger Cookies

Before listing the ingredients to this sweet indulgence, I must say this semester was a lot of fun. The most memorable event was our trip to Pennsylvania Avenue to film a movie. Film-making is a very complex activity but we made the most of it. I wish each of you the very best of luck in the future. I retrieved the original recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. The nutrition facts are listed below the recipe. Enjoy the cookies!

2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour (I usually sift the flour but unsifted flour works well too.)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup butter (1  1/2 sticks of softened butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons of sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in the 1 cup sugar. Add egg and molasses; beat well. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, using about 1 heaping tablespoon dough for each. Roll balls in the 2 tablespoons sugar to coat (I normally place 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl. I roll the ball around in the sugar by twisting my wrist. Make sure the ball is completed coated in sugar.) Place balls about 2 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 8-10 minutes or until light brown and still puffed. (Do not overbake.) Cool cookies on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. 

Nutrition facts per cookie: 
138 calories
6 g total fat (4 g saturated fat)
24 mg cholesterol
114 mg sodium
20 g carbohydrates
0 g fiber
1 g protein

Daily Values:
5% vitamin A
0% vitamin C
4% iron

Only in art school

my cookie art i made for myself and then promptly inhaled like the piggy i am!
MCB's cookie he made for himself

MCB eating his own cookie creation

even our security people joined in on the fun!
MCB with the "special" cookie I made for him, I better get an A
the writing guy, Casey Smith, who knew he was so dang funny!
and a slight resemblance to George Clooney, no?
some high school kids that came on a tour to our school


Bff Farolyn! Will you post your fabulous cookie recipe???


Cookie Bust

So yesterday's cookie bust was pretty fun. I enjoyed watching people decorate cookies (those who actually PARTICIPATED). I am not quite sure what I expected to see when people decorated their cookies, but I thought it would be a little more interesting. From what I observed, a lot of people put and even amount of frosting on the cookie, but then didn't get very creative with the decorating of sprinkles, etc. I saw a girl do a spiral on her cookie, or just layer on tons of sprinkles. Which is fine, I'm not quite sure what I expected to see. I thought I would see more artistic expressions on the cookies. Maybe some more imagery...I enjoyed watching Joseph Orzal and his friend (guy #2) decorate their cookies. When guy #2 was covering his cookie with vanilla frosting he said, "hey, this is like gessoing a canvas!" I liked how he connected decorating the cookies with creating art in his studio. Joseph and guy #2 finished decorating their cookies and when Joseph wasn't looking Guy #2 stole Joseph's cookie and made one large cookie sandwich. They each took a bite out of it and it was pretty hilarious. That was the kind of fun I wanted to see yesterday. I'm glad those two enjoyed it.

The cookie bust for myself was a bad idea. I had like three cookies and came to an aburpt sugar crash. I almost fell asleep at the table and had to go walk around. Sigh. To me, bein preggers makes me very sensitive to sugar. So if I have too much I get jittery or have an awful crash. What is this baby doing to me?!? hahaha.

To my surprise when I came back everyone had left the room but Mark and Elana. Mark had waited for me to come back. :) Nice guy!

Anyway, the cookie bust was a success! I enjoyed it and believe they should be mandatory at the end of each semester. In the future, I would recommend making more posters for the event. I made the one for the entrance, but I think having more would have been helpful.

I hope everyone has a great end of the semester! It was wonderful working with everyone and I hope you have a great summer. :)


Cookie Bust

So I was kinda irritated at today's cookie bust if you guys didn't notice, and this is probably why I am not more involved in collaborative art. Not you guys (my classmates) but at the other participators. People were coming in there and just taking cookies (some of them 3, 4, 5, 6 cookies) and NOT DECORATING them and just taking them and leaving. Excuse me but I did not get up at 5 am this morning to make cookies so you can have lunch. That's why I wrote on the white paper "You must decorate to eat the cookies". Am I just overreacting ? I don't think so. I mean dang people, we are in an art school, there's blank cookies and decorating supplies galore are you really going to be a selfish cookie monster and take all those cookies? Then I am going to label you as uncreative and boring. LEave them for someone who  will participate in the art making and go to the Clara Barton cafe next door and get your own cookies. 

This is why I am not all up in collaborative art. I feel like I have no control. I want to be able to tell people that "HEY! you better decorate that cookie if you want to eat it".  When people don't decorate there cookies I get upset. I want to ask Tiravanija if he gets offended when people come in to his makeshift restaurant and bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and just leave a beautiful bowl of Pad Thai untouched. Things that make me go hmm . . . 


CityVision Collaborative Work: Fail

Still not much luck getting the students in CityVision to collaborate successfully. I had hoped this week we could get them to bring all of their ideas into one beautiful catalyst, but nope. The volunteer instructors who were working with them found that the conversation was going around in circles. James (an urban planner) had to step in (I was working with two girls on a power point) and just tell the kids how they would place their buildings on the site. He gave them a certain amount of space then allowed them to work individually on a building.

I'm not sure why I have so much difficulty with this group. My students this summer were great. They were always eager to participate, worked very well together (some too well, but you know teenagers...) and LISTENED to instructors. I feel as though this spring group is always interested in putting up a fight against what advice we have for them. This is a challenge for me. I feel as though I need to re-evaluate my classroom management skills. Maybe they aren't as sharp as I thought they were!

My problem is getting them to work as a team. Each student seems to have his or her own agenda. It's rather sad. There are a handful of team players on my group who are eager to work hard and I feel as though something gets taken away from them.

Maybe Farolyn needs to hook me up with classroom management ideas! Sounds like her experience from Laurel working with her large number of students may have given her some good experience.

Cookies tomorrow! weeeeeeee.....

Crazy video

So I was lurking the internet trying to find inspiration for a blog tonight and I found this crazy youtube video.

It is a collaborative art project. The video itself plays for 1 minute and 45 seconds in total. The song that narrates the video I find VERY annoying. Sigh. However, it is kind of cool. If you have a youtube ID just log onto the website and when the video plays click on the video to add a comment. The options after you click on the video allow you to choose a text box, type in text, then choose a color for the text box. Pretty sweet I think. I tried it twice. If you watch it my quotes show up pretty fast under "Mandeesa5".

Enjoy. Try not to shoot yourself in the head from the annoying song.


Cookies !

I AM SO EXCITED TO MAKE COOKIES THIS WEEK !!!! and justify it by being able to say I am working on my final project !

I make these cookies from scratch every christmas for all my friends. THey taste sooo good but it is a really involved process that I don't think I will have time for this week. 

I will find some other easier to do ones, and easy to decorate ones and we are going to have some cookie fun ! WOO WOO !

Here is a video of a cookie lab for an art foundations course in color. But non art majors take this class and supplies for this class have gotten expensive. THe professor solves this problem with this cookie color activity! THe one girl talking about passion is  crazy, don't mind her. 

Even thought I was not there for last class I am glad to hear that my presentation on Tiravanija and relational aesthetics was an influence on deciding our final class project. I have learned a lot about not only collaborative art, but contemporary art in general through this class that I wasn't exposed to before, it has even influenced my thesis topic that I am proposing. Eager to end the semester with some yummy cookies!


Collaborative Cooking

Community Portrait Project

The project was anchored in Wendy Ewald's fall semester class Collaborative Art: Theory and Practice of Working with a Community. Both the campus community collaboration project and the Practice of Collaborative Art Class culminated with the large-scale public works mounted across the Amherst College Community and an exhibition at the Mead Art Museum. The exhibition includes a catalogue being published in 2009 highlighting the complete semester long experience.

Community Portrait Project Enlivens Campus written by Amherst College student Terry Jarrett. Below are excerpts from the article. Click here for full article.

"Thanks to the Collaborative Art: Practice and Theory of Working With a Community seminar, six 12.5 by 30 feet triptychs with both photographs and oil pastel portraits have been put up across the campus, as well as in the Mead Art Museum. Each triptych has a portrait or photograph of a student, a professor and an Amherst staff member and includes a corresponding quotes."

"A lot of work went into turning these 18 faces into meaningful art. With the help of Artists-in-Residence Wendy Ewald and Brett Cook, the seminar students dedicated two weeks to interviewing their muses and creating the base work for the art. The seminar also met frequently over dinner in Valentine Hall to discuss the social and educational realities that they each faced, and wanted to represent through the art."

"On Sept. 28 the seminar helped coordinate a public celebration on the Valentine Quad. At this celebration all Amherst community members were invited to help color in the triptychs. There were also musical performers and local food in Valentine Dining Hall."

SnickerDOODLE- "to scribble frosting and sprinkles absentmindedly."

Collaborative Cookie-Making: Drop In and Decorate Cookies for Donation was organized by two friends: an artist/experienced baker and "bake-o-phobe." Family and friends are invited to decorate cookies. Once complete, the cookies are wrapped in a cellophane bag and given to an emergency shelter for Latino families. Click here for more information.