posted by on baking, Holidays, homemade

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I’ve been holding off on posting this recipe. It’s something from my childhood that always reminds me of my mother and Christmas in Nebraska.

Growing up, mom would go all out. Cut-out sugar cookies, her famous rum balls (if you want this recipe, you’ll have to ask her – I’ve never been a fan – a subject for another time), and the crème de la crème – the peanut butter cup cookie. Trust me. It won’t get any better than that – unless you a) hate peanut butter or b) heaven forbid, you’re allergic!

I guess at some point I’ve come to realize this blog was just as much, if not more, for me than my six or seven readers. So, here’s another recipe to add to the archive. I hope you love it as much as my family does.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup softened margarine
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg

Beat the above ingredients until smooth.

  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Peanut butter cups (if you can find them, the dark chocolate ones ar—–

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until well combined.

Roll into balls and place in mini muffin tin and bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-9 minutes until the tops are lightly brown. Remove from the oven and press your peanut butter cup into the middle of the dough.

**Place the muffin pans in the freezer for a few minutes so the chocolate won’t melt**

No Easy Buckets

Apr
2012
17

posted by on baking, basketball, Colorado, homemade, taking the long way

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It’s easier than ever to make something quickly and inexpensively from a box or mix. I don’t care what anyone tells you, they are no competition for my family recipes I’ve collected over the years. I’d rather torture myself and make everything from scratch. I’m a control freak with a lot of things, so there’s something about being able to choose what goes into whatever I’m baking that I love.

“No easy buckets!” is a phrase the boyfriend and I often yell out when we’re watching our beloved Denver Nuggets play basketball. It’s fitting for my baking habits, too.

When I read this paragraph from Rina Rapuano’s article “No Ordinary Bake Sale: Simply Made From Scratch” it reminded me of myself.

“Unfortunately for me, like the famous Ms. Stewart, I rarely take the easy way out. I have been known to torture myself with mile-long to-do lists, and short cuts just aren’t my style. Because of this persistent (some might call it annoying) personality trait, I mainly gravitate toward recipes that rely on pantry and refrigerator staples. Buttermilk biscuits? Forget it. I’ll scour my cookbooks or do an online search until I find a recipe that uses regular milk — and I’ll stick with that recipe loyally.”

Check out the rest of the article here.

(article from NPR’s series Kitchen Window)

posted by on baking, gripes, high altitude, homemade

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One of the first things I remember my mother teaching me to bake is the forever-loved chocolate chip cookie. After moving to Denver this was another favorite that failed to turn out due to the high altitude. It took a long time and a lot of compiling of recipes to come up with this version that worked beautifully in the land of 5280.

What you’ll need:

  • 2½ cups flour – *add 2-3 tsp. water to the flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter (I use margarine), softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao bittersweet chips) 
  1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda & salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the butter, sugar & vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until combined.
  4. Gradually beat in the flour mix.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir in the chips.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

**Just to compare to my “high-plains” version**

You use ¼ cup extra flour &  2/3 cups of both types of sugar instead of the normal 3/4 cups. More flour, a bit of moisture (the water to the flour) and less sugar is a general rule of thumb when baking anything in high altitude.

posted by on design, typography

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I’m not sure when it happened. I suppose one day I woke up and instead of seeing street signs and advertisements on billboards out in the middle of corn fields, I saw typography, kerning and design. Lots of bad design at that.

The boyfriend shared this article with me today. He’d be the first to tell you that shopping, hell even driving around, can be pretty interesting when you live/hang out with a designer. You know what I mean if you’ve ever met one of us.

For those that aren’t so savvy in design here’s A Non-Designer’s Guide to Typefaces  & Layout.

article courtesy of Adam Dachis & lifehacker.com

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Apr
2012
02

posted by on baking, portions

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Found this gem on Pinterest…It’s the best cookie recipe I’ve found in a while.

What you’ll need:

  • 2¾ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract (you know I used 1!)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I’ve been using these reusable ones & they’re great!)

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Gradually add in the dry ingredients until well-combined.

Roll the dough into 1″ balls and then roll in sugar. Place on the baking sheet.**

Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let sit on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes & transfer to cooling rack.

**At this point, you can freeze the rolled and sugared dough and then transfer to a freezer bag to store for later baking. Perfect for those watching portions! Just take the balls out of the freezer, place on a baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes.**

Crustless quiche

Mar
2012
26

posted by on baking, Colorado, cooking, homemade, leftovers, quick, vegetable

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Mini quiches served with home fries

When I was in Eastern Colorado, I lived with a co-worker and friend of mine for a short time. Her husband was an amazing chef but she was the one that taught me how to make her “garbage” quiche. Use whatever leftovers you have in your fridge. You can choose either fresh or frozen veggies, just make sure to sauté them to soften them up before mixing them in with the other ingredients. Also, if you decide to use any meats, make sure they are all pre-cooked.

Anything can be thrown into the mix and the amounts of the ingredients for the filling are really up to you. Often times, I use up whatever leftover pizza cheeses and toppings I have from the night before to make a quick quiche the next morning. The possibilities are endless!

I’ve also prepped all the ingredients the night before. Just pour the egg mixture into your pie pan or crust and bake in the morning! Over time I’ve skipped the crust (which you can make yourself or use pre-made roll out dough) and gone crustless which is equally delicious!

What you’ll need:

  • 5 eggs
  • onion
  • frozen, chopped spinach – thawed and drained (I use about half a bag)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • lemon pepper
  • garlic
  • basil

Chop up & sauté any hard vegetables first (peppers, onions, etc… you need to soften these up before mixing with the eggs). Set aside to cool.

Beat eggs with milk, oil & cheese. Add any seasonings.
Add in spinach and any other vegetables and/or meats you may have (aka the “garbage”).
Add cooled, sautéed veggies.

Pour mixture into 8″ or 9″ pie plate. This time around I divided the mix equally into 12 muffin pans to make mini quiches. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and golden. (muffin pans took a little under 20 minutes to bake)

posted by on vegetable

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For those with a need for a visual: Day 4 of the green onions (remember to keep fresh water in the glass)

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