Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Coconut M&M Cookie Bars

This is a picture of the awkwardly cut Coconut M&M Cookie Bars I made for Thanksgiving. Very simple, and the red and green M&Ms make it kind of festive. This is a very coconutty recipe, so you should definitely enjoy coconut if you're going to make this. The recipe comes from Satisfy My Sweet Tooth. I love making cookie bars, because they're so easy.

Coconut M&M Cookie Bars (adapted from Satisfy My Sweet Tooth)

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups M&Ms (red and green for a holiday feel)
Note: I didn't measure the coconut and M&Ms, and just added them by sight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9x13 glass pan.
Melt butter in medium saucepan, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, cream together melted butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt and beat until combined. Blend in flours. Finally, mix in coconut and M&Ms.
Pour into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.
Cool completely before cutting and serving.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mini Cinnamon Muffins

I bought these really adorable mini muffin pans a couple weeks ago at Home Goods, and I figured a holiday is a great day to bake. It can be hard for me to find the time and the energy to bake. And I don't think it's that baking is terribly time consuming, unless you're making a bread. I think it must just be a combination of clean-up and the fact that I don't really eat baked goods. Anyway, so these muffin pans were cute, and I was going to make mini apple muffins, but seeing as how I didn't want to peel and core apples, I found this recipe instead (through FoodGawker, of course).

I substituted whole wheat flour (because I didn't want to open our white flour and hey, this is healthier, anyway, right?) and almond milk (because we don't keep regular cow's milk anymore). I thought the muffins were pretty good, maybe a little too dry (because of the whole wheat flour or the almond milk or perhaps overmixing?), and I would probably add a little more cinnamon and maybe a little nutmeg too next time. Also, they came out perfect looking. I was quite pleased with the lovely round muffin tops.

Mini Cinnamon Muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup almond milk
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease mini muffin pans or line with mini cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Melt butter in the microwave, about 30-40 seconds.
In another bowl, beat together the butter, eggs, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
Drop the batter into the pans, about a tablespoon for each muffin.
Mix together sugar and cinnamon for the topping and sprinkle mixture over the top of each muffin.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until muffin tops bounce back or a toothpick comes out clean.

Breakfast Potatoes

I am a really big fan of three-day weekends. I decided to do a relaxing/super productive Labor Day, part of which included making a good breakfast at home. Normally during the work week I have a scrambled egg or a bowl of cereal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I eat at my desk when I get to the office. However, since I had today off, and that giant bag of russet potatoes, I decided I would make some breakfast potatoes and an egg after this morning's session at the gym. I've always made skillet breakfast potatoes before and I'm never satisfied with them, so today I decided to do them in the oven. Best decision ever. I didn't have to keep an eye on the potatoes, and I could just let them bake while I showered and folded laundry. Such multi-tasking! It was a perfect weekend breakfast, and I have leftover potatoes that will probably be terrific for breakfast tomorrow too! Win!

Breakfast potatoes
3 russet potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1/2 of one giant onion
black pepper
Cube the potatoes. Cut the onions into wedges. Dice the bell pepper.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, and add onions and potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Toss together and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, tossing once at the 10 minute mark.
At 20 minutes, pull out the baking sheet and add the red bell pepper and toss together. Stick back in the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes. Serve with an over easy egg on top.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tuna Melt & Fries

It was just me for dinner tonight, and it's slim pickings in my fridge this week. I'm not really a huge fan of tuna salad, but it's cheap and easy to throw together. I used some leftover tuna salad from Tuesday night, and made a tuna melt. To make my meal a little more fun, I made some homemade French fries.

For my tuna salad, I mixed a can of tuna in oil with diced green bell pepper, a little mayo, a little Dijon, and some ground black pepper. I've almost given up dairy (haven't dropped butter yet, and still indulge in cheese occasionally), but I'm doing a pretty good job. For this tuna melt, I used two Veggie Cheddar slices. It doesn't melt as well as real cheese, but it's not a bad substitute, in my opinion.

I sliced up a russet potato for my French fries, tossed them in olive oil, garlic powder, and Frank's red hot sauce. Baked for 15 minutes or so, and then broiled for a few minutes at the end to make them crispy. In other news, I've been on potato overload this week, and I think after this week, I'm going to have to avoid white potatoes for a couple weeks. Note to self: Don't buy a giant bag of potatoes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

No BS Cookie Dough

Some friends of B and I's hosted a dinner last night, and while I was in the kitchen watching the wife through together an impromptu tziki sauce (yum), I noticed a funny little note taped to the inside of her cupboard. For her (now) husband's birthday she had given him a batch of homemade cookies every month for a year, with little month pull tabs to count off every time the batch was made.

And that made me think... I love cookies and wish that I had a good go to recipe that was simple and didn't require a lot of ingredients, so that whenever the mood struck me I could just whip up a batch.

This morning I set off to my local coffee shop, which has the best vegan cookies I've ever had (ok, the only vegan cookies I've ever had), and while I didn't get one (they also have the best breakfast burritos I've ever had, and those always win out) it got me to thinking what I would want my go to cookie dough to taste like. And then I remembered a time that I made honey based cookies instead of brown sugar based cookies. And then I was sold on my go to cookie dough.

I'm not a big fan of brown sugar. I think that it is a really over powering flavor, and also I hate that it dries out so fast and makes it had for me to keep a stock pile for on the fly cooking. So here's a new recipe for cookie dough for you all to try.

Please note that when your reading the recipe I've included measurements of everything because... we'll baking is a science... but I didn't exactly follow all of them. As our cooking together experience goes on you'll learn a few things about my measuring techniques, especially that I don't like to measure some ingredients (like extracts, spices, anything especially tasty, ect). So I'll include all measurements for those of you that like to stick by the rules, but will also indicate when I think you should just pour till it feels good, for those of you that like to blaze your own path.

No BS Cookie Dough

2 1/2 c. Flour
2 Eggs
1 tsp or till it feels good Vanilla Extract
1 c. White Sugar
2 tbs Honey ( I used clover, but bet any would be good)
1 1/4 c. Butter (I used salted, as this is what I had. But if I had used unsalted I may have added 3/4 tsp Salt)
6 0z or till it feels good Your choice of Mix Ins ( I used M&Ms to beat a craving, but you could use just about anything, as the cookies have a very soft taste and wouldn't overpower nuts, fruit, chips, ect)

Preheat oven to 380. Cream together butter, sugar and honey. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add the flour and baking soda. Mix in your mix ins.

Place teaspoon sized balls of dough about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart (these cookies don't spread much, so don't be too worried about it). Bake for 10 minutes, rotating 1/2 way through.

Yields about 50 small cookies.

Monday, August 8, 2011


There are those in this Internet world that don't believe that cheese makes everything better.

To those I say, please leave this blog. Please leave now.

Carrie is right to say that we've been away for too long, cooking but not blogging. Cooking glorious things and then scarffing them down before we could take a picture. But that's all about to change.

I've got pretty lofty plans for Christmas for the fam this year, and they include a pretty little book with a whole bunch of glossy pictures of food that would make your mouth water. And it turns out that it's already August, so... I should probably get started on that.

So here we go. Let's get to cooking.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

My friend Katy is visiting for the week, and I took her to the Sunday farmer's market where we found squash blossoms! We picked some up to experiment with and made it to go along with last night's dinner. We stuffed the blossoms with either goat cheese or an herbed havarti and for a few of them I added a little bit of prosciutto. Then we dipped them in an egg wash and rolled them in corn meal and fried them each blossom in a inch or so of olive oil for about 15-30 seconds, each blossom. They turned out delicious! The corn meal gave it a nice crispy crust but then it was soft inside, and the goat cheese ones were especially, deliciously gooey. The blossoms were a little more than I would spend on a regular basis, but definitely an interesting curveball to throw at a (small) dinner party.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Coconut Milk-Chile Corn on the Cob

A couple weeks ago I made coconut scones, and then I had all this leftover coconut milk. So of course, I went straight to FoodGawker, as I always do, and found this recipe for corn on the cob cooked in coconut milk seasoned with chili powder. Done. I love corn on the cob, and it's summertime so it's delicious right now. I picked up a package of already husked corn from Trader Joe's, marinated the corn for about an hour in about a can of light coconut milk, some heavy dashes of chili powder, a little salt, a little black pepper, then popped it in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. It was a hit with me and my roommates. So if you're getting a little bored with your boiled corn on the cob or grilled corn on the cob, I highly recommend this recipe.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Food Find: JaxKitchen

I do still exist, and Sarah Michelle does too. And sometimes I even cook. And I she sometimes does too. But I didn't make the items in this picture above. That's a Snack Slate from JaxKitchen, where I ate a few weeks ago with my friend Vanessa. This was the most delicious little board of food ever. And dinner was pretty good too, but the Snack Slate was probably my favorite part of our meal. I'm hoping I'll make it back to blogging recipes and my cooking adventures soon. JaxKitchen is a local Tucson restaurant, and it's also got a sister restaurant called The Abbey, which has delicious corn hush puppies with a pepper jelly.