Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lime Coconut Cookies


Lime Coconut Cookies

I really liked the lemon cookies so I decided I had to make Lime ones to match. 

1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup white sugar

whip together

3 eggs
2 whole limes, juiced
zest of two limes
1 tsp vanilla

add to butter mixture in parts

2.5 cups flour
.5 cups cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Add in three parts

1 cup coconut
blend in.
scoop out dough into powdered sugar

bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until done.

Which recipe is your favorite? Lime or Lemon? maybe we should make orange cookies sometime soon.




Sunday, December 8, 2013

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies


Classic Vegan Oatmeal Cookies.
1.5  cups brown sugar
1 cup demerarra sugar
1 cup vegan vegetable shortening
mix

egg substitute equivalent to 3 eggs
vegan vanilla
mix in one egg at a time

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
mix in (split into several parts to add in gradually)

1 cup oatmeal
mix

extra demerarra sugar in bowl
scoop out cookies into sugar 
bake at 325 for 12 minutes or until done.

One of the best things about vegan cookie dough? safe to eat all of it without danger of food poisoning. Also I can feed the kids all the cookie dough which they love.
If these cookies end up a little burnt substitute white sugar for demerarra sugar.
These cookies won't flatten as much as a traditional cookie so shape them how you want to cookie to be and if you cook until they look just like your traditional cookies they will be burned. I usually take them out after 11-12 minutes even if I normally would leave them in and they turn out perfect.
The first time I made these I don't know if the planets just aligned correctly but they were some of the best cookies I've had. If they have trouble sticking together add more shortening.

It breaks my heart to see things suffer. I used to try to volunteer with dog rescues to help them have a better life and better conditions and I still hold a special place in my heart for people who are working to help abused animals.  At the same time I do not love the squirrels that used to dig up the bulbs I planted in my back yard.  I don't think I could hunt an animal and kill it. Sometimes that makes me think I shouldn't eat them at all. In an ideal world I think I would be vegan. One of my closest friends is Vegan and sometimes I make her cookies. She is always very nice about it even if I don't think the cookies are as good as they should be.
I HATE most of the chocolate chip products that are out there for vegan consumers. They just don't taste good. One of the biggest problems if you want to make vegan products is trying to make them taste the same as non-vegan ones. There are a lot of delicious foods that are animal products free but don't expect something that isn't milk to taste like milk My favorite vegetable shortening is Vegan and it doesn't taste like butter but it makes the most delicious sugar cookies and whips up really nicely when you cream it with sugar. The best whip in a shortening I've ever seen.
I practice different tastes with vegan and allergy sensitive cooking not only because I feel like I should be able to reduce my negative impact on animals. It's also because I want to be good at making cookies everyone would enjoy and that means knowing how to make several different kinds of cookies.  I think it is good to try to figure out ways to cook so that people with dietary issues and concerns can still participate. I have a child with a dairy allergy so every week I make one kind of cookies with no dairy. That's fairly easy since vegetable shortening is great to bake with. I also have friends with gluten intolerance. Much trickier. Especially since almond flour seems very expensive. I've decided that a lot of experimentation is the way to improve the cookies so here is one of my favorite vegan cookie recipes.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

S'mores Cookies

 S'mores Cookies



One day one of my co-workers told us all that she made s'mores cookies. They were FANTASTIC. Incidentally, that same co-worker is also fantastic at braiding hair. She taught me how to do a starburst crown braid which you can learn on the cute girls hairstyles youtube channel. I had no idea how awesome Youtube was for pretty much every question I've ever had. My new years resolution this year was actually to learn how to do my hair better so this was perfect. I still can't really braid my own hair but I did braid my daughters hair and I was proud that she didn't fuss.
These cookies are actually some of my favorite I've ever had.  I recommend them to everyone. They are a little bit tricky with kids because you have to take them out of the oven to add the graham crackers and marshmallows so be aware that if you child is too young to control themselves or always wants to touch things out of the oven it would be best to wait until after bedtime on these cookies.



1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
cream for at least 2 minutes
3 medium eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
mix in 1 egg at a time
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
mix dry ingredients together and add in at least three parts
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
mix in semi sweet chocolate chips
bake 5 minutes
add at least 
7 teddy grahams
bake 5 minutes 
add approximately
7 mini marshmallows and chocolate on top. I used mini hersheys
cook until they are done (3-5 minutes)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

Peppermint Red Crinkle Cookies

I love most uses of powdered Sugar. Because it is Sugar.So in my quest to find more ways to fill the world with powdered sugar I like to roll cookies in it. These cookies are an adaptation of a traditional crinkle cookie. It started when I was at our grocery store and saw a product that I needed to buy for cookies:Andes Mints Peppermint baking chips. Now that I've tried them I want to go buy Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark and go cookie crazy. When I say cookie crazy I might mean eating half of it myself.


1 cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup sugar
Mix together three minutes medium speed.

3 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla
15 drops red food coloring (optional)
Add wet ingredients together than mix in one egg at a time. More food coloring can be added until you get the desired color.

 3 cups of flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
have dry ingredients together and mix together with a wire whisk. Split the mixture into three smaller bowls. Children need to add each part of the cookie recipe in parts and it's easier with a separate bowl.

1 bag Andes Mints Peppermint Candies
Mix on low speed.

1 cup powdered sugar 
Drop cookie dough in powdered sugar and roll around until coated.
Refrigerate one hour and bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.
Tell your daughter you can't make green cookies until next week.




So close to Christmas Decoration time...


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sugar Cookie Sunday

Sugar Cookie Sunday


  Based on the cookie recipes I've seen online I should name this recipe the best sugar cookies ever that your mom made super soft.  But the other day I made some sugar cookies. When I say the other day I could mean a few months ago or yesterday. In this case both are true. I made sugar cookies yesterday for Cookie Sunday but I didn't have time to finish the recipe posting.
One of the best things about yesterday was that I met up with some of the lovely ladies from Feminist Mormon Housewives. They came to be my visiting teachers. And I wanted them to stay all night and tell me everything about their lives and I wanted to have better food to invite them over for dinner and I wanted to go hiking with them. So overall it was really positive except I SLIGHTLY BURNED THE COOKIES. I have been making cookies for over a year every Sunday and THIS is the first burned cookie Sunday? That did NOT make me smile.
I burned the second batch that was chocolate cookies with kit kats and white chocolate chips. 
First I made sugar cookies because they are always popular. I had some circle sprinkles so I thought I should make cookies with them. That is really the BEST use of sprinkles ever. Sprinkles and sugar cookies are also fantastic because it is much less work than making cute shapes and rolling them out and frosting them with more beautiful shapes. That is also wonderful but sometimes I just want sugar and sprinkles.

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Sugar Cookies
Notes on ingredients:

To make these cookies vegan:
1 cup crisco or vegan Vegetable shortening. Crisco has some fantastic baking sticks that have one cup and I recommend them. I don't like washing crisco out of my cup measure. For this Recipe I don't like to use the butter flavored Crisco. My favorite brand is spectrum organics which is also vegan. These cookies are very easily vegan.
Use organically sourced non GMO sugar 
Use your favorite egg substitute. I use Ener-G egg replacer. I've had a lot of success if I mix it up in a mixer before I start making the cookies and let it sit, then mix it again.


Sprinkle Sugar Cookies


1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening

mix for thirty seconds, then whip for at least two minutes.

2 jumbo eggs
1 tsp vanilla

mix in one egg at a time

1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3.5 cups white flour or cake flour

mix in three parts

1-2 packages sprinkles of your choice

spoon dough into a bowl of sprinkles and completely coat with sprinkles. refrigerate for at least an hour.
Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees

eat a lot. like a billion million.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Happy Cookie Sunday!

Today I just made one of my favorite type of cookies. The first thing I realized was that I was pretty much out of brown sugar. Which is a life threatening disaster when you are trying to make cookies every week. Last week I ran out of butter though and luckily a friend brought me some. I have tons of butter this week.

SO... I improvised a little. Also almost out of peanut butter. and milk. and all types of food because I haven't gone grocery shopping this week yet.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who keeps putting it off.

I LOVE peanut butter M&M cookies. I like making them little and eating a ton of them. I ate three of them today. I use a little ice cream scoop to measure out my cookies. I can fit 15 cookies onto one cookie sheet. Also I should mention that I have favorite cookie sheet brands and I feel pretty strongly about it. The Williams Sonoma Goldtouch nonstick pan is one of my favorites. I also like the Calphalon kitchen essentials series but I think I got it at bed bath and beyond and I have no idea what specific cookie sheet it is. If you just get really cheap crappy cookie sheets then your cookies might not cook as well. I use aluminum foil to line my cookie sheets. So I don't have to wash them. I've tried parchment paper and one of the silpat liners but I haven't tested those as much.



Peanut Butter M&M cookies
1 stick of margarine
1 stick of unsalted Tilamook butter
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
cream sugar and butter for at least 2 minutes

1 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
mix

2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla 
mix

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
blend dry ingredients. I used a whisk
mix with other ingredients in at least 3 parts

1 bag mini M&Ms 
1 bag milk chocolate chips.
mix
chill at least one hour
scoop onto pre lined cookie sheets
bake for 10 minutes at 350degrees




Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lemon Drop Cookies

Lemon Drop Cookies


Today I typed out roughly a million recipes for cookies. give or take. I've been making cookies now every Sunday for almost 11 months.
So I have some recipes saved up to post later. Sometimes I make cookies and try something new and it fails miserably. I don't even eat the cookies on those days. It was an interesting day today. I went to church and it was the wrong building and I couldn't find the right one. That wasn't embarrassing at all.



I also made lemon cookies with lemon pudding.

Recipe for Lemon Cookies:
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup margarine (or crisco or other vegetable shortening)
cream 2 minutes

2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 medium orange
 mix in one egg at a time

1 small lemon pudding packet (I used instant)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups flour
mix dry ingredients together and add in at least 3 parts

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in flat bottomed bowl

preheat oven to 350
scoop out and drop in powdered sugar.
roll in powdered sugar
freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for several hours.
bake around 14 minutes
remove from sheet.

optional: dip in powdered sugar again when hot and also after they have cooled.



I should explain something about how I cook.
The first step to cooking to to clear all your kitchen counters and clean them off. with a food safe kitchen cleaner.
Then gather the ingredients for your recipe and the measuring scoops you will use. I measure out all the ingredients before I start. Then I add them to bowls in the order they will be added to my dough. the sugar and butter go in the main bowl right away since they are first. The eggs and vanilla (and in this case orange zest) get mixed together in one bowl. There is a separate bowl for dry ingredients mixed together. If it applies, there is another bowl for chocolate chips.
As I measure out ingredients I put them away. I always know if I have salt in my dry ingredients because the salt will be back in the pantry. I hate having clutter. I also like to clean the dishes as I go. Today I made bread and by the time it was in the oven all the bowls and the mixing bowl were clean.

There is nothing worse than a dirty cook, and kitchens with children get dirty enough anyway. Today while I was cooking my little one threw candy bars behind the oven and also dumped three or four cups of water on the floor. That floor gets wiped down a lot but still manages to look like a tornado hit.

I found a cute little poster that sort of reminds me of how these cookies make me feel. It's on etsy HERE. Next time I'm going to add lemon juice. The cookies have a kind of lemon bar feel.

Happy Cookie Sunday!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Taking Halloween Pictures

Today Little Mr. was walking around in my gray UGG boots and growling. He was crushing all the toys he encountered like a little tyrant. He loves wearing huge shoes. I didn't quite remember if my other kids used to do that.
I wanted to take a picture but I didn't have my phone and I was about to try to go get it.  There wasn't time though. So I decided to just sit and watch and not worry about my phone. Or rushing to see the next thing my friends were doing online. I have seen so many people who got family Halloween pictures and have an adorable matching themed outfit. I probably should have made costumes since I sew. I wanted an adorable professional photo in the fall leaves surrounded by buckets and wearing hand sewn candy bar costumes. I didn't really have time to stage that, or make that. We did it last year but I missed the last weekend when the weather was good.
Then I wanted to write it down so I could remember the picture I didn't have of him in my shoes.
Yesterday was Halloween, a day I LOVE. except I was super overwhelmed at the prospect of three children alone at Halloween. I had no costume so I called my friend and asked her if she had something I could borrow. When I arrived at her house she pulled out her storage bin full of costumes. It was AMAZING. I don't even own one wig and she owns more than three. For example I borrowed a Marge Simpson wig. She asked me weeks ago if I wanted to go trick or treating together before I even  realized I was dreading it. Then she brought them to my work to do the trick or treat. I don't know if you are aware but everyone at my work had a bucket of candy and the kids got to come around and fill up their buckets. Also, we had donuts and trail mix and water. My little spiderman and peacock and dragon had quite the haul.
On the way home I realized I was in trouble. I wanted to go to bed, not pass out candy to a million kids. So rather than cancelling trick or treating like I wanted to do when they were screaming in the car I decided to walk around our small neighborhood.
http://instagram.com/p/bwgog6ijl6/

Whenever we walk together or go hiking it usually looks something like this. The Peacock runs ahead and Spiderman falls behind and Dragon can't decide where to go but sort of doesn't want to be carried. The only difference tonight was that Mark was ahead of me. That my friends, is the power of candy. Little Mr. decided he wanted to attack a few people in the legs since he was a dinosaur. He let out a great rawr as he grabbed a monk by the legs and wouldn't let go. Then Mr. Dinosaur had to go walking on his hands and feet while growling about the universe. He took a pause to roll on the ground and pretend he was asleep. He walked into people's houses and tried to visit their pets. He stomped in puddles.

Spiderman never once asked me to carry him. Well, actually he did once but he didn't throw himself on the floor when I said no. My kids got great candy. They got almost as much as they got at the company party. They saw their friends. Little Mr. almost understands that we aren't visiting each person's house to stay and eat candy.
I couldn't take pictures. Dragons are hard to control when they have eaten candy for two hours straight.I have a few pictures from yesterday and most of them are pretty blurry. Just a little dinosaur who is the craziest happy one when he is full of sugar and a peacock running far ahead. So this year I won't have pictures. I will remember though.

http://instagram.com/p/gMHWw9CjgY/

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Butterscotch Caramel Cookies

Butterscotch Caramel Cookies

While I was at Target the other day I walked by something that seemed like it might be wonderful in cookies.
Kraft Caramel Bits.
Have you ever seen them? I hadn't. They are tiny little balls of caramel. just about the size of a chocolate chip. I guess they are for melting but you know what? I thought they would be good in cookies. So I bought them. Then I decided to make butterscotch cookies because my daughter loves Butterscotch cookies. (she hates chocolate chip cookies which I find totally incorrect.)

So I made them.

1 stick Margarine
1 stick unsalted Butter
1 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used dark brown which I rarely do)
cream together 2 minutes

add 3 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla
mix in eggs one at a time.

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt ( I didn't level it on account of the unsalted butter)
mix in at least three parts.

1 bag Kraft caramel bits
1 bag butterscotch cookies.

Bake at 350.

My thoughts-
The caramel bits sort of exploded out of the sides of some of the cookies which I didn't love.  But my daughter told me I was the best mom ever and that she loves me forever so go figure.
My mother updated me that unsalted butter was the way to go because it doesn't store as long as salted butter so normally when you look at the butter on the shelves the unsalted butter will be relatively new whereas the salted version can sit quite a while without going bad.
So of course I bought unsalted butter because my mom put the fear of salted butter in me.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Night Shopping For Fakesies

Today I am planning to go shopping. Online. Sometimes while other people go out I like to look at awesome sales online. and Facebook. It's a special kind of shopping. The kind of shopping where you don't spend any money because you don't have any. Sort of like all the clothing items ever posted on pinterest. On account of not really being super rich, for example. But I might post some of the things I would buy.

Right this second Fabric.com is having a sale on Minky fabric and I would buy this fabric for my little one. It's the 

Kaufman Minky Cuddle Boy Toys Aviator Teal 

They have such great customer service- if anything doesn't work or gets damaged they take care of it and have some of the best fabric prices around. I love fabric.com
Ok I already made a blanket with it but I really feel like it's a fabric that would catch on with boys. 

I posted my blanket on Instagram. 
Then in my Etsy shop HERE.
one of the neatest things about making things you love is that if no one likes it maybe someday I keep it. 

Next I would go get Mark a new car seat since his was lost is a freak post divorce car repossession accident. 

And duh. It would be This Batman Car seat from Amazon.com.


Then I clearly need to go look for some children's shoes.  Maybe ones like the adorable shoes that my son's aunt Kathryn and Uncle Peter gave him. Luckily I only ever want to buy shoes on sale at Nordstrom. I love buying shoes. I have not been buying very many shoes lately, or even pretending to want to buy them online.
Naturally my productivity has had an unbelievable spike.
But if I was buying shoes online or maybe just browsing for twenty or so minutes online today I might get some adorable ones from See Kai Run.
See Kai Run is one of my favorite children's shoe brands.  Once I won a pair of them in a blog contest and IT ROCKED! I am not doing a giveaway of shoes right now. You could imagine though.

Finally I would buy an adorable art print I found online today and Pinned on Pinterest.  (P.S maybe follow me on Pinterest? thanks!) I wouldn't necessarily say it's for boys but I might put it up at work and I work with boys. Close enough? I know some people who are "bloggers" and some of what they do makes me envy them less. They are human like all of us, so we sometimes mistake the brand with humanity. 
It's important to remember that maybe those people online in their beautiful engagement photos do have a better life. Maybe they don't. Who cares. It shouldn't destroy my life. Even Martha Stewart outsources though, so once you have an army of assistants start comparing. Emily McDowell is an amazing artist. 

Overall a very satisfying night of shopping. What did you fake buy online recently?

xoxo




Friday, October 18, 2013

Cookie Sunday

Every Sunday Something Magical Happens in my House.
We make cookies.



A Short History of cookie Sunday.
To understand cookie Sunday I should probably explain a few things about myself.
1. I am a single mom
2. I am Mormon
3. I used to blog about Sunday Thoughts.
4. I like eating.

When I grew up I think my mom made bread on Sunday. She also helped us make our school lunches.
which normally contained ginormous cookies I could easily trade for a Nutty Bar at my leisure. 
Also we didn't really get to watch awesome shows on Sunday. And we didn't really go to friends houses. And we didn't play outside.
I always felt like Sunday was a huge "dont." Don't go crazy and Don't go shopping and Don't watch TV.

Then I had children. These children asked me what we should do on Sunday. This Sunday dilemma is one of the first realizations of how arbitrary parenting was. I don't actually care if you watch TV all day on Sunday. Sitting in church discussing what to do and not to do and when you would consider your Ox in the mire and hearing stories of cars miraculously producing gas to the family wouldn't have to spend money on Sunday got mixed in with really really wanting to order pizza on Sunday. Like more than I would normally even consider eating pizza.
Then I became a single mom and my world sort of fell apart. 
One of the things I realized was most helpful for me was to have a schedule. To know what I was doing so I didn't just sit on the couch and cry all day. I realized I wanted to be actively in control of my life. I didn't want to blame other people for the bad things that had happened to me or for my circumstances. I didn't want my life to be a great big list of "Don'ts." To me Sunday just seem like a bunch of questions I couldn't answer.
I thought I should take a different approach. I would try to build traditions of things that we "did" on Sunday. To distract my children from my existential breakdown about their television habits and keep me from throwing away all their electronic devices. If Sunday was to visit the sick and afflicted and help the needy and build family time I would do that.
So we make cookies. Every Sunday. for over a year now. We bring our cookies to our neighbors. Or a friend that needs cookies. Or people visit us and we eat cookies. Or we take them with us when we hike the Y. (that's another good Sunday activity- haul my children up the mountain.) I bring cookies to work on Monday.
To prepare for the kids helping I split the ingredients into bowls. One bowl for each egg and vanilla, one bowl for the sugar, three bowls for the dry ingredients (I split them into three separate additions because that's what my mom taught me) one bowl for the chocolate chips.
One child dumps in a bowl and the other one starts the mixer. Then they help eat the dough while we are baking the other cookies. Then they run a plate over to the neighbors. Then they eat cookies.


I'm trying to make a point of being more proactive about the type of person I want to be. If I want to be religious I need to have something to show for it. I happen to have lots of cookies to show for it. they are something I make on Sunday. Something I am DOING rather than just a list of rules.

Cookie Sunday is the most fantastic religious decision I've ever made.


Recipe for the pictures:
Preheat oven to 350
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 stick margarine (I used Imperial for this recipe)
1 stick salted butter
cream 2 minutes

2 extra large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
add eggs 1 at a time

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Giradelli this time- brand has a HUGE impact on the taste)
stir together- add to other ingredients in at least three different parts.

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

I am always experimenting with how many chocolate chips to add.
Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil.
scoop out cookies with an ice cream scoop.
refrigerate at least 5 minutes before putting them in the oven.bake around 12 minutes. 
Check your cookies. then if you are me add 2 more minutes.

The total cook time depends on the size of your cookies.
every week I try to make the cookies just a tiny bit different so I will post what I think. This recipe is pretty classic and easy.
I hope you can make it for Cookie Sunday this week!
xoxo



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