Tag Archives: cookies

Smoking

10 Apr

Not to brag, but around these parts, and parts of Central California where I spent many years, I’m known for my cookies.  Yes, in the scheme of things, I realize this is a sad, pathetic talent to be known for.  I have a husband who is an accomplished artist, a son and daughter who are incredibly creative and talented.  I cook.  Specifically, I bake.  This is not impressive.  But if you are hungry, I can provide you with tasty treats. I bake most days of the week and have since I was a teen.  So, I am pretty committed to my gigantic KitchenAid mixer.  In fact, as ridiculous as this sounds to those of you who don’t enjoy time in the kitchen…If my family was safe and I had five minutes to grab stuff out of the house before it collapsed, it would probably be the photo albums, hard drive with photos, kid art and KitchenAid.

Until the event I am about to disclose, I didn’t even know just how radical my KitchenAid mixer was… I knew it was heavy, beastly even.  No joke, this bad daddy weighs over thirty pounds.  Now you know why I do 100 push-ups/day…I need to be strong enough to hoist this baby onto the kitchen counter and back into the cupboard.  Princessenpointe didn’t weigh 3o pounds until she was over two years old!  I received my KitchenAid mixer as a gift for Mother’s Day about a decade ago, so I did no research, information gathering, etc.  I only knew it could mix a quadruple batch of Snickerdoodles and  whip just about anything else into smithereens in seconds.  But, now I know it is a Professional 6.  This is one of the bad daddy models.

I know this because I was mixing whole wheat pizza dough the other day and the KitchenAid started smoking…smoking as in big plumes of smoke spewing from the back and from the front.  I was out back watering the plants while it mashed my dough for six minutes and when I came inside,  the kitchen was smokey.  Does this make the pizza “electrically fired?”  It’s a new take on “coal fired”…only instead of firing the dough in a coal fired oven, you fire the raw dow in a broken down KitchenAid.  EEEEK.  I was afraid to unplug the cord from the electrical socket.  Mind you, both Princessenpointe and Princelightningbolt were nearby and neither noticed the smell or the smoke.  So, if you invite them over to your house, be sure your smoke detector has new batteries because they probably won’t notice that your house is burning down.

Long story short, my KitchenAid is at the repair shop getting new motor parts.  I lasted one day without it and had to borrow Mrscooksalot’s extra.  This extra mixer is a bitty, bitty baby compared to my bad boy, but it will do until I get mine back.  I’ve made some macaroons in it and they are delicious, but I still feel like something major is missing from my life.

Look closely…there is a little plume coming out of the front of the mixer..this is all the smoke that was left after I freaked out for a few minutes, unplugged and thought to go get my phone for a picture…Next time I will be quicker to get the shot.

Image

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Food is Love

12 Mar

While working away on the elliptical machines the other day, Mscooksalot and I discussed the new study showing how food shows love in our culture.  No big surprise, right?    Since way before we had little ones, I have cooked and baked as a way of showing my love, appreciation, support.  What makes someone feel more loved than fresh baked cookies, piping hot with melting morsels inside?  The olfactory experience alone makes one feel warm and cared for.  I always make lunches for my family (yes, to the mortification of my friends, even my husband) every day.  I feel this is a loving way to send them out into the world each morning.  They hopefully feel a little love when they see what I’ve made and I have the benefit of knowing they have a nutritious meal while they are gone.  But the study also points out that this idea of showing affection through food can lead to obesity.  I’m not sure on this one.

First of all, my family is not the slightest bit overweight.  Secondly, I kind of think the study has gotten it all wrong.  Food created and cooked in a kitchen at home is almost always more healthful than snacks or meals purchased pre-made or from restaurants.  There is not much love shown by going through the drive through anyway.  When we cook at home, we generally use fresh ingredients and much less sugar and salt than packaged food or food from a restaurant. When cooking at home, we also don’t use preservatives.   In fact, I think if more of us took the time to prepare fresh meals as a way of showing love, we may have less obesity.  A dozen donuts does not make my family feel loved, but some homemade, hot granola muffins sure do.  Maybe it is our definition of “love” that has become skewed along with our hurried culture.  Treating your family to ice cream is nice and fun, but it does not show love in the same way as preparing a family member’s favorite dinner recipe.

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Here are some of my family’s favorites.  I cook them as a way to show them love.

Sirskatesalot’s PB Choco Chip Cookies

1 c. margarine or butter

1 c. peanut butter

1 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

3 c. flour

1 c. milk choco chips

1 c. semi sweet chips

1/2 c. sugar for garnish

Mix butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and eggs.  Stir in flour and soda.  Mix in chips.  Drop by heaping scoops onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Wet the bottom of a water glass with water and dip in garnishing sugar.  Gently press down on cookie dough to flatten slightly.  Bake 350 for 12-14 min.

Princessenpointe’s Favorite Cauliflower Cheese Soup (From Williams-Sonoma Vegetarian)

2 small heads cauliflower

(I add 4 peeled potatoes

2 tbsp. butter

1 large onion chopped

1 clove garlic, minced (I use two)

4 cups vegie stock

1 tsp. dry mustard

pinch of fresh nutmeg

1 1/2 c. milk (I use fat free half n half)

2 c. shredded sharp cheddar

fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

Cut  1 cauliflower into 1/2 inch florets.  Fill saucepan 3/4 full with water, salt lightly and bring to boil.  Add florets and simmer 10-12 min. until tender. Drain well.  Set aside.  Cut second cauliflower into two inch pieces and set aside.  In soup pot, melt butter, add onion and garlic and sauté.

Add stock, reserved raw cauliflower pieces (and chopped, peeled potatoes if you choose), mustard and nutmeg and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until cauliflower is soft, about 30 min.  Remove from heat.

Working with 2 c. at a time, blend in blender until smooth and light.  I use my immersion blender in the pan.  Once all soup is pureed, stir in milk, bring to simmer.  Add cooked cauliflower florets and cheese.  Stir for 3-5 min. until cheese melts.  Season with your favorite spices and salt and pepper.

Serve topped with extra cheese and garnish with green onions.

Princelightningbolt’s Granola (loosely based on Dahlia Bakery’s granola)

2 c. oats

1 c. steel cut oats

1 c. shredded coconut

1 c. chopped pecans

1 c. chopped almonds (if you have time toast first)

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. sunflower seeds

1/4 c. sesame seeds

3 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 c. olive oil

1/4 c. canola oil

1/4 c. orange juice

1/2 c. pure maple syrup

1/4 c. honey

2tsp. vanilla

Dried fruit of your choice

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl.  Stir together wet ingredients.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir to coat.  Spread on two, large, greased baking pans.  Bake 300 for 50-60 min. stirring every 10-15 minutes.  Cool in pans on wire cooling rack.  Store in airtight container.  Serve alone, on yogurt, with milk, etc.

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