White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

It’s been a long time since I’ve baked cookies.

It was high time.

There is a moderate demand for desserts in this house.

And chocolate chips were on sale.

So, I searched the internet for a cookie recipe.

And found one for white chocolate chip cranberry cookies at Baking Bites.

What goes in:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 heaping Tablespoons white chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips

What goes on:

Melt 4 Tablespoons of white chocolate chips over very low heat. My white chocolate got kind of glommed up and didn’t really melt that well. It all worked out in the end.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.

In the bowl of a mixer (or a separate bowl if you use a handheld mixer), cream butter and sugars until combined. Add egg and vanilla and continue to mix.

Add melted (or partially melted, as the case may be) white chocolate to the sugar mixture. Make sure the chocolate is not too hot. You don’t want to cook the egg or anything. Is that what would actually happen? Better safe than sorry.

Once the white chocolate is combined, with the mixer running, add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, slowly.

Now add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries, mixing slowly to incorporate.

Drop 1 inch balls of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy! These are good, fluffy, chewy, with a taste of white chocolate in every bite! The tart cranberries provide a nice little zing to keep things from getting too sweetsy.

I can’t stand it when stuff gets too sweetsy.

Dessert was greatly appreciated by the members of this apartment and the one next door.

I Love My Salt Shaker

I like salt. I always salt my food. I often pepper my food too. Nothing is better than pepper in soup. Soup needs a lot of pepper.

So it stands to reason that I have a cute salt and pepper shaker who never leaves the table.

Here he is:

Isn’t he cute and happy? We hang out at the kitchen table together a lot.

Here he is ready to add some pepper to my soup:

Just swivel his little head into an inquisitive pose and out comes the pepper!

Swivel it back the other way and salt comes out of his beak.


His eyes look a little creepy in salt pose though, so I usually swivel him back to his cheery blue eyed, closed mouth look.

So cute!

Just thought I’d share my buddy the salt shaker with you!

Apple Oatmeal

We had a delicious breakfast today.

Oats!

I recently saw a recipe for Apple Pie Oatmeal on Oh She Glows and today seemed like a good day to try it.

Except the recipe calls for applesauce and when I pulled our applesauce jar out of the fridge I noticed it was a little green.

Not green like apples. Green like mold.

Ick.

So, this is a modified recipe. No mold.

What I had:

  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

What I did:

Threw away our disgusting jar of moldy applesauce.

Peeled, cored and chopped apples.

Combined oats, apples, chia seeds, water, and cinnamon in a pot over medium heat. Covered.

Once bubbling, removed cover and whisked.

Cooked about 7-10 minutes. I forgot to watch how long. I cooked until it was a nice gloppy oatmeal-y texture.

Took the pot off the heat.

Stirred in brown sugar and vanilla, covered and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until G got out of the shower.

Served with a splash of vanilla soymilk.

Ate.

Warm, sweet, slightly tart from the apples, satisfyingly mushy from the chia seeds and oats. Good stuff. Hearty! I’m ready to take on the day! And take out the trash!

 

Lunch Date

It’s fun to go out for lunch.

I love cooking. And I love cooking in the middle of the day – I think I like lunch even more than dinner. But sometimes it’s nice to stroll through town and get some great food at a restaurant.

Today we went to a favorite, Guanaco’s Tacos Pupuseria, a lovely Salvadoran restaurant a few blocks away.

I had a vegetarian taco, a pupusa with spinach, cactus and zucchini, and fried yucca.

It was all delicious. Fried yucca tastes like the best hash browns you could ever wish for.

So good! And definitely not something I could/would make at home.

That’s why it’s nice to go out for lunch.

Can’t Get Enough Quinoa

It’s true!

It’s good stuff, and so versatile. Today I made a sweet potato, black bean and quinoa dish for lunch.

Super healthy, super tasty.

Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans with Red Quinoa and Lemon Yogurt Dressing.

What you need:

  • 1 cup quinoa (I used red quinoa)
  • 2 cups peeled sweet potatoes, chopped into cubes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • olive oil

Peel and chop sweet potatoes into bite sized cubes. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and cinnamon. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.

Make the dressing. Whisk yogurt and lemon juice together, adding a pinch of salt.

When the sweet potatoes are tender, add them to the cooked quinoa. Rinse and drain a can of black beans, add to the quinoa mix. I saved about 3/4 of a cup of plain quinoa out of the mix, to use later. This is up to you -if you want more quinoa in your sweet potato dish, use all the quinoa you cooked.

Add cumin, salt and pepper to quinoa, sweet potato, black bean mix.

Serve with lemon yogurt dressing.

We ate this warm, but I’m sure it would be very tasty cold too. You could also toss the whole thing with the dressing, but I like to add as I go.

Just another take on mixing vegetables with quinoa!

A Homeland Treat

So, yesterday I wrote a post for the Real Time Farms blog about rutabagas. You can see it here if you want. But today I’m going to tell you a little more about one of the recipes I made during rutabaga research.

The pasty.

Believe me, you want to know about this.

Or perhaps I’m blinded by regional pride and fond memories of childhood. Sorry.

If you want to learn more about the history of pasties, read this wikipedia article. It’s very informative.

I made a very plain, meat-free pasty, and I’m going to share the recipe with you, but I’m excited to try variations in the future, adding different veggies, maybe cheese, herbs. Lots of possibilities.

But here’s the classic. Adapted from here.

What you need (baby, you know I got it):

  • 2 carrots
  • 3 small potatoes or 2 large
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 1/2 onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold water

What goes on:

First make your dough. Fear not. I, who cry over pie crusts, made this dough successfully with only minor rips.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour and shortening with a pinch of salt and mix together till resembles coarse crumbs. You can use forks, knives, hands, pastry cutter, what have you.

Add in cold water and combine further, rolling into a ball. Still the mixing bowl with the ball of dough into the fridge.

While that’s chilling, chop your vegetables. Chop them pretty small, so they cook evenly and quickly.

Toss them in some salt and pepper.

Now, take out your chilled dough. 1/2 hour is fine amount of chillin’ time.

I made 5 small pasties with this recipe. You could maybe make 3 large ones. It’s up to you. I like small little bundles of food, but do what feels right.

So, separate your dough into how ever many small balls of dough.

On a well floured surface, with a well floured rolling pin, roll out your balls of dough. I found it easier to squish them with my hand first, and then roll. The crust doesn’t have to be super thin and if it tears, just patch it up. Don’t you tear up over it.

Once you’ve rolled out a rough circle of dough, fill one half of it with a handful of veggies and then fold the other half over, crimping the edges with fingers or a fork.

Repeat and then use a spatula to transfer your dough pockets onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 65-75 minutes, checking the brownness of the bottom at about 60 minutes.

Serve warm with ketchup! That’s the traditional way to do it. So fancy, I know.

Anyway, this is super easy, pretty darn fun, hearty and tasty and you can get creative.

Enjoy.