Welp, I intended to write a blog post with photos of all the beautiful plants that are sprouting in my yard. After all, the schools in my area on are “spring break” this week, so it seemed perfect!
But…now it’s snowing. Some spring break.
So instead, I decided to make cookies!
I made two different kinds of cookies – peanut butter and double chocolate. The PB recipe comes from my mom, though I experimented by using sucanat/rapadura instead of normal brown sugar (it worked great, by the way). The double chocolate recipe was COMPLETELY made up, and it turned out really well! I want to make it one more time to tweak a couple of details before sharing (okay, I want to make it one more time because I didn’t actually measure things and want to make sure the amounts I wrote down are accurate before publishing the recipe. I’m not good at measuring things. I’m much better at throwing stuff haphazardly in a bowl with a spoon or possibly my fingers).
These are my FAVORITE peanut butter cookies. They are not soft and chewy like most peanut butter cookies; they are more crispy and crumbly and wonderful. They taste like peanuts and sweetness and it is amazing.
As a fun bonus, these cookies also happen to be gluten and dairy free, making them a favorite when I am bringing dessert to a function where somebody has food allergies (excluding peanut allergies, obviously…).
The Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookies. Gluten & Dairy Free
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: 1 dozen. Double or triple or quadruple the recipe as needed.
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. Sucanat/rapadura (or brown sugar)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit if you are using store-bought or salted peanut butter. I use peanut butter that is literally just ground up peanuts, so I need to add salt)
1/4 c. peanuts, chopped fine.
Mix the stuff together. I like to use my hands and then lick my fingers. You can be more civilized if you want to, although I don’t recommend it.
Roll into 1″ balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. I recommend butter, but if you want to keep it dairy free, you can use coconut oil instead.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until just starting to brown on top.
Let cool on cookie sheet before removing. NO REALLY. LET THESE COOL. They will finish baking on the sheet. If you try to eat them right when they come out of the oven, they WILL fall apart. Of course, this may not be a bad thing – you can pretend it was an accident and have an excuse to the eat the whole cookie before taking the batch to your party or family dinner or wherever!
Sweetener: I used whole/un-ground Sucanat in this batch, and it turned out REALLY well. I did notice that the cookies appear less brown than they do with regular brown sugar, but I did not notice a taste difference. You can use brown sugar if you don’t have Sucanat. I wouldn’t use white sugar though, because you’ll be missing those molasses-y notes that give it so much delicious flavor. You may want to reduce the sweetener slightly if you are using Jiff or Smuckers or another peanut butter that already has sugar in it. Or you should question why your peanut butter has sugar in it, and go buy better peanut butter.
Size: The cookies do NOT spread out when baking, probably because they don’t have butter in them. They do flatten out, but basically the size and shape you make the dough ball is the size and shape you are going to get.
Substitutions: I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t make these with almond butter/almonds or cashew butter/cashews, although I haven’t done either. I ADORE peanut butter, so I doubt that I ever will. Just know that the flavor of the nut really shines through, so only make it with almond butter if you really like almonds.
I think it’s time to share a recipe on here. A FABULOUS recipe for a 1-skillet meal filled with Indian spices, chicken, and delicious, nutty-tasting, protein-filled quinoa.
However, I really can’t take credit for inventing this recipe. I made a Mexican version of this, which is also very good, and my (now ex) husband used that as inspiration to make an Indian dish. I actually think his is better, though that may be because Indian food is my all-time favorite. Continue reading “Indian Inspired Chicken & Quinoa”
One of the biggest design changes of our new kitchen was the breakfast bar.
Our house is a typical 1950s dwelling, with a closed off layout. I really like the modern trend toward an open floor plan, and we decided to open up the house by adding a breakfast bar between the kitchen and living room. The bar stools will be on the living room side, helping to combine the two rooms and providing additional eating space. The eating space is actually pretty important, since we only have a small dining nook in our kitchen.
We determined that the wall was not a structural wall, which made our planning much easier. We wanted to reinforce the wall anyway, just in case we were wrong, and used this site to plan our actions.
[UNRELATED KITTEN UPDATE 3/19/2019, 5PM: I took the kittens (read about getting kittens here) to the vet and they are NEGATIVE for nasty kitty viruses, like leukemia and aids! Yay! They do have an upper respiratory infection, so they came home with antibiotics. They also have coccidia, a type of parasite that isn’t treated with normal dewormer. Conveniently, the treatment is antibiotics, so there’s just one medicine for the little babes! The vet also gave us an immune boosting supplement (lysine), which they don’t seem to mind taking. Bella is a little underweight, but we are free feeding the little things as much kitten food as they want, and they’ve been going to town on it, which is great. The vet said we can introduce them to our adult kitties as soon as the URI clears up (no more than a week, probably). Expect a blog post soon!!!]
Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, but my family did not go out to the bar or wear green (I think I might’ve been wearing green actually, but it wasn’t on purpose). Instead, we did something much more exciting…
We rescued two little baby kittens. Two little precious parcels of cuteness.
And I do mean rescued.
By the way: I normally schedule blog posts to come out about a week in advance, but this is an INTERRUPTION OF REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING BECAUSE KITTENS.
I already told you that making your own salad dressing is one of the easiest and best things you can do to avoid vegetable oil (read why you should be avoiding that here.) I thought it was high time to share a recipe for one of these salad dressings – specifically, my husband’s favorite…the balsamic vinaigrette!
Nowadays, it seems like most people have ice makers in their fridge, with no need for those old, plastic (or silicone) ice cube trays. But if you still have some old trays, don’t throw them out and contribute to landfill waste! Use them instead!
A Note On Sustainability
If you decide you want to use ice cube trays for some of the reasons listed below, but don’t actually have any ice cube trays, I’d STRONGLY recommend buying silicone ones instead of plastic ones. Silicone is very plentiful (unlike the fossil fuels used to make plastic) and can be recycled. It’s also a healthier choice, since it can’t leach toxins into the food the way that plastic can. Since ice cube trays are kept cold, there is a very minimal toxin risk, but if you’re buying new, it’s better to be safe than sorry. That being said, if you don’t have the budget for silicone trays, at least buy plastic ones used – at a garage sale or thrift store. You’ll save money and prevent waste.
[This is the 3rd part of a kitchen renovation series. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, or keep going if you only care about painting and lights]
In the early winter of 2018 – approximately nine months after we put in the
stove and vent hood – my husband and I decided to paint the kitchen. We didn’t paint the whole kitchen at this point – we figured we’d be damaging walls when we tore down cupboards and fixed electrical outlets so there was no point. However, we did want to paint the dining area of our kitchen. The eating space in the kitchen flows into the stairwell that heads to the basement, so there is a lot of surface area that would need a coat of paint that was totally separated from the main renovation area. We figured we’d paint that early to get it out of the way before we ripped everything apart. It also provided a nice motivator, since the dining area looked fantastic, while the rest of the kitchen began to look increasingly more dreadful.