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Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

Posts Tagged ‘family

Sugar Dish Me Moved!!

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So… by some default of my own (because i am the complete opposite of techno-savvy), some of – actually A GOOD CHUNK of – my traffic keeps landing here at WordPress.com.

And I’ve made SOOOOOOOO many new things since those Whole Wheat Strawberry Muffins.

I moved Sugar Dish Me and it would make me so so happy if you’d make the jump with me (if you haven’t already).

To see allllll the new goodies CLICK THIS LINK!!!!

And when you get there you can subscribe at the right-hand side of the page.

Here is a quick look at a few of the things you’ve been missing (you can click the photos for the recipes)…






If you’re already following at the new site THANK YOU!!! I appreciate you so much! I really truly do.

And if you’re new here, I look forward to hearing from you!!

Until then…

~Heather

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Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

November 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Cheez-Its, From Scratch

with 15 comments

homemade Cheez-Its
This weekend is for snacking. And loafing. Because the weather is garbage. It’s all rainy, but not cozy up with a book kind of rainy (I just looked evuuureeewhere for that clip from The Office where Phyllis rattles off all the rainy day cliches but NBC is holding it hostage). Today was an ugly, cloudy, it-looks-like-rain-but-it’s-really-only-going-to-storm-for-about-5-minutes, 9000% humidity, extra frizzy-haired, and the little boys won’t go outside kind of rainy day.

So I have decided to be a complete couchy potato, eat snacks, only cook things in the crock pot, and immerse myself in all the new fall TV that’s happening.

What are you watching? Looking forward to? Missing?

making homemade cheez-its

I am definitely missing Desperate Housewives. Sooooo sad.

But Bones is on again- looove Bones.

Caught up on Modern Family the other day- still hilarious. But I think the amount of time they devote to talking about Modern Family on GMA is a little bit creepy.

turn out the dough

The Office is in its last season- the kids and I still like to watch this one together, but we miss Michael Scott. Parks & Recreation is entering into its 5th season, and Amy Poehler always takes the cake, though I haven’t jumped into that show just yet this fall.

So with all this lazy couch surfing and TV watching going on, I decided to make us some snacks. Cheese crackery snacks to be exact.

cheez-it dough

These cheese crackers taste almost EXACTLY like Cheez-Its, but without all the preservatives, of course. And because they’re orange I felt like the color was sort of appropriate for fall when all things pumpkin take center stage (Note: there is not any pumpkin in these crackers).

Speaking of pumpkin… I decided to give the Dunkin Donuts Iced Pumpkin Latte a whirl today. Except that I think the girl that works at our Dunkin Donuts must HATE coffee. Because in the three times I’ve visited the only location near us (which by the way is actually just a sad little drive-thru window stuck in the back of a gas station) and an ordered iced coffee, what I’ve actually been handed is a giant cup of sugar and milk poured over ice. The exception today was that my sugared milk was pumpkin flavored. AND I actually asked her to go easy on the sugar because my teeth still hurt from the last time I attempted a DD iced coffee (at least 3 months ago). Sorry, Dunkin Donuts. That was your last chance.

making homemade cheez-its from scratch

These cheese crackers are nothing like the DD sugar milk garbage. They WILL NOT dissappoint.

baking cheez-it crackers

baked cheese crackers

What are you watching this fall? What’s your TV snack of choice? Does your Dunkin Donuts suck as much as mine does?

Homemade Cheez-Its (from THIS recipe at Creative Noshing)

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

4 ounces grated parmesan

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard ( I actually used a little spicy mustard from the fridge… worked just fine)

2 tablespoons hot sauce (I went with Texas Pete) OR 2 tablespoons water (if you don’t want spice)

Pre-heat the oven to 375. You can prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, but i found it unnecessary; didn’t even grease the cookie sheet.

Put all the ingredients in your food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs have formed. Add the hot sauce (or water) in a little at a time until dough forms.

Lightly flour a clean work surface and turn the dough out. Divide it in half (makes it a bit easier to work with) and roll the dough out. I left mine sort of thick (see photos) because I like it when homemade stuff looks sort of rustic. Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into squares, and then poke that signature “Cheez-It” hole in the center using a toothpick or skewer. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough. Line your crackers up on your prepared baking sheet; they won’t expand like cookies so there’s no need to leave gaps in between.

Bake for 10-12 minutes; they’ll be just a tad bit golden.

Eat ’em warm or let them cool.

Enjoy!

cheese crackers from scratch

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pies

with 14 comments

carrot cake whoopie pies

Growing up, my sisters and I had a favorite book. I’m not sure my brothers ever cared much about it, though I KNOW it lived in the giant book basket that was perched next to the hearth, and I’m sure my mom must have read it to them. My mom read us lots of books.

Anyway, our favorite book was called Fanny and May, by Jon Buller (and NO, this has nothing at all to do with the giant loan conglomerate Fannie Mae, though they should probably read it and learn a few life lessons). Pleeeeeease tell me you’ve read this book.

If you haven’t read this book, you need to find it and commit it to your everlasting mind… stat. Download it to your kindle, search it on your nook, read it on your iPhone. I don’t care if you have no small children in your life. It’s THAT crucial. I promise.

In this book, a sugar obsessed elephant named Fanny lives with her mom and her little sister, May, in a house made of CAKE.

That’s right. I said cake.

So in the story, published in 1984 because that year helps this next part make sense, Fanny and May’s mom (also an elephant… a very fit elephant) marches through the cake house in leg warmers, a leotard, and a fuzzy headband and says she is heading out to aerobics class. If I lived in a cake house I guess I’d probably have to take like 17 aerobics classes a day, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in a leotard. My mom used to rock the leotard/leg warmer/fuzzy headband look in aerobics class at the Y when I was little. That’s because she is infinitely cooler than me.

carrots for cookies

Okay, so the elephant mom is heading out to aerobics class, and the last thing she says to the girls is, “And don’t eat the house!!!!”

Ummmmm… I don’t know about you, but if I told my kids not to eat the house made of cake while I left for an unspecified amount of time, I’m pretty sure they would do exactly the opposite.

set up to bake carrot cake cream pies

When mom is away, elephant girls will play! It wasn’t long before cakey cravings got the best of Fanny and she just had to lick the house frosting.

flours and oats

May tries to tell Fanny that licking the frosting is a sliiiiiiiipery slope. Very slippery. Because only a teensy percentage of us possess the willpower to have just one tiny taste of some kick ass frosting (though I’m wondering… does house cake stay fresh? Does the frosting melt in the sun? Does it freeze like wedding cake? What kind of foundation do you build it on? So many questions…).

Of course, Fanny does not listen to May. If she did this would be a really boring story.

beat the butter and sugars

Fanny tempts fate, licks the frosting, licks some more frosting, has a bite of cake, and then CAN’T STOP EATING THE CAKE.

Before she knows what has happened, Fanny eats the whole house.

And then May is all like, “What’d you do that for, Fanny? Why can’t you be more like me and exhibit some freaking self-control? Mom is going to kill you.”

beat in the eggs

Fanny starts to worry, though thinking back, I’m not sure how she wasn’t in a sugar coma. Maybe elephants metabolize cake better than I do?

So here’s the best part of the whole story: Fanny’s like, “Whatever, May. You’re such a goody two-shoes. What kind of elephant girl doesn’t WANT to eat a house made of cake? Gah.”  And then! She jumps on her skateboard and heads to the wishing well. In case you couldn’t tell, that’s my favorite part.

dry to wet ingredients

When Fanny gets to the wishing well she waits in line for a while, hoping she can fix the problem before her mom gets done working out. There’s this creepy man in line right in front of her and when it’s his turn, he throws his coin in the wishing well and does the WORST THING EVER.

He says, “I wish for there to be no more wishing well!” Then he cracks up laughing in Fanny’s face.

I mean, who does that?! I suppose, in the real world, someone would probably commandeer a wishing well and ruin the fun for the rest of us. There is no way a wishing well could ever exist peacefully in the center of a small town. But I still think it’s a pretty crummy thing to do to a little girl on a skateboard, for crying out loud.

stir in carrots

Poor ‘ol Fanny makes her way back home, dreading the conversation she’s going to have to have with her mother.

bake.

P.S. Before I finish with storytime here, I’d like to note that the above photo is a very clear picture of What Not To Do when making these cakey little cream pies. DO NOT shape, smush, or flatten out the dough. Just let it be weird and rounded and ugly. You’ll be glad I warned you when you make these.

carrot cake oatmeal cream pies

When Fanny arrives home, her mother and sister are busy baking new bricks of cake to rebuild the house. The mom was pretty nice about it. Probably nicer than I’d be if my kids destroyed our home. Maybe she had really good insurance? At any rate, I always felt sort of bad for Fanny. We all know what it feels like to totally lose control and eat the whole house.

Moral of the story? You can’t have your house and eat it, too.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pies (adapted from THIS recipe at Cookin Cowgirl)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats, divided

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cloves

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

Pre heat the oven to 350. Butter a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Beat the butter and sugars together until they are fluffy and smooth- this takes about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, continuing to mix until they are just combined. Blend in the vanilla.

Using 3/4 cup of the oats, make oat flour. Just pulse the oats in the food processor or blender until coarse crumbs are formed.

In a large bowl whisk together the oat flour, remaining oats,  all purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. Using a sturdy wooden spoon stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Then fold in the shredded carrots.

Drop the dough by the rounded tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet. Do not try to flatten or shape the sticky cookie dough – you want the cream pie sandwiches to be fluffy and this dough has a tendency to spread in a tasty but not-so-pretty way.

Bake for 10 minutes and then let the cookies cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Cream Pie Filling

The Pioneer Woman says that marshmallow fluff tastes EXACTLY like the filling in a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie. That would be a great shortcut if you have it on hand. I used vanilla buttercream because I was out of cream cheese (a sin, I know). The original recipe calls for a cream cheese filling, which I bet would be amazing, considering cream cheese and carrot cake are practically best friends. So the cream cheese option is what I’m including for you here:

8 ounces cream cheese

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar **Note: Again, I haven’t tried the frosting part of this recipe, but if it were me, I’d cut the sugar and the cream cheese in half.  Annnnd I’d sift the powdered sugar. If your frosting seems too thick, add heavy cream a teaspoon at a time until the consistency is where you want it. Okay. I’m done.**

Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in the vanilla. Then beat in the powdered sugar. Beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Spread a bit onto the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich the frosting between another cookie.

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Sugar

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

Cheesy BBQ Veggie Sliders

with 22 comments

easy veggie burgers
This weekend was all about amusement.

Saturday night brought the demolition derby type of amusement, complete with mullet-sporting spectators, loud cars, lots of mud, and my 9-year-old thrilled to pieces over some car with the word “renegade” spray-painted on the side.

And then on Sunday there was this: rollercoaster!

Soooooooo many rollercoasters. I am a thrill-ride junkie. I love love LOVE a rollercoaster. It’s been a few years since we’ve made it over to Paramount’s Carowinds (which is, like everything else in the civilized world, about an hour from here) because it is usually pretty pricey, the heat is unbearable, and the lines are way too long. But! Our dear friend Pat, who is too adorable to even try to put into words, really wanted the boys to do something fun this summer – her treat. We waited until the summer was hanging on by a thread and picked yesterday to indulge in all things too fast, too high, and too much fun.

Armed with a 12-pack of Coca-Cola, a pile of peanut butter sandwiches, and a box of those chocolate Hostess cupcakes with the curly-cues across the top, we made our way to the amusement park, dead-set in our rain or shine mentality. It was a torrential downpour all the way up the road… I was beginning to fear I’d have to placate the children with a movie I couldn’t bear to sit through (to give you a good idea of what I mean, Evan thinks that Air Bud makes for quality viewing material). But when we pulled into the park the downpour turned to drizzle and eventually just… stopped.

As a result of our fearless drive through the hurricane-force sheets of rain, we were able to ride every rollercoaster in the park at least TWICE without waiting in one single line all day. That was a very sweet gamble.

So it’s been a few years since I’ve been on a rollercoaster, and though I am ever unafraid, I have to admit that the Intimidator rattled me. It was the first stop of the day because we just knew that bananas long lines would happen at any minute. Rather than work our way up to the tallest, fastest, longest coaster in the southeast, we just jumped in with both feet. Eyes wide open.

There are no shoulder harnesses.                                                      YIKES.

diced red onions

But ohhhh so worth the scary.

Chad, my little brother, and I spent a good chunk of the day convincing the children to get on rides they had dubbed “too high” or “too scary”. Evan quickly established that his comfort zone involves lap belts and hills, but absolutely no loops. He actually buried his face in his hands on his first go of the Goldrusher, a train ride I very affectionately remember riding with my parents when I was very super small. Five I think.

making veggie burgers

Andrew totally resisted his status as son of a thrill-seeker until …he didn’t.  When he finally got it, he was all-in. You have never seen a kid more excited or more fueled by pure happy adrenaline than mine after his third trip round on the scariest rollercoaster I’ve ever ridden.

Heart-warmingly adorable.

chick peas, black beans, BBQ, sliders

The only thing we didn’t do yesterday is eat greasy amusement park food. We by-passed every steak ‘n’ hoagie, every single cheeseburger. We did not eat even one giant soft pretzel. There were no $7 Dippin Dots or $9 soft drinks in fancy souvenir cups. Halfway through the day we marched out to the parking lot, ate our picnic lunch, and marched right back in. That’s not to say I wasn’t totally enticed by the smells of Cinnabon wafting past, but I’m the mom that brings a purse full of candy to the movie theater. And I’m okay with that.

veggie-ful

I did, however, bring thoughts of fair-like food home with me. So I indulged today, but I healthed it up a pretty good bit.

These Cheesy BBQ Veggie Sliders are HANDS-DOWN the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. What’s better is that they’re itty bitty, so you can have two.

Cleverly smashed into these lovely little sliders are chick peas, black beans, carrots, spinach, caramelized onions, cheese, and BBQ sauce. Ohhhhhh yeah.

Topping these with more cheese was an important decision. In my opinion, there is no such thing as too much cheese.

More veggies on top of the unreasonable amount of cheese.

veggie burger sliders

If they had sold these tiny veggie burgers at Carowinds, I might have been tempted to splurge. But I think I’m glad I waited to gorge myself on park-ish food today, in the comfort of my own home, where Chad is the only person that might point and laugh if I smear BBQ sauce on my face.

Cheesy BBQ Veggie Sliders (modified from THIS recipe at How Sweet It Is)

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

just a dab of butter

a pinch of kosher salt

15-16 ounces of cooked, drained, and rinsed garbanzo beans, black beans, or a combination of both (see note at the bottom)

1 medium carrot, grated

1/2 cup cooked greens — spinach or kale both work well, OR you can use thawed frozen spinach- just be sure to squeeze allll the water out

1/2 cup grated colby jack cheese (or whatever your preference)

2 tablespoons BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet & Spicy)

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

a dash of onion powder

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

More cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and BBQ sauce for topping the finished sliders

8 whole wheat dinner rolls

Place the red onion, olive oil, butter, and kosher salt in a small saute pan over medium heat. Caramelize the onion, stirring it around in the butter and oil occasionally. This should only take a few minutes.

Meanwhile, put the beans in a large bowl and start smashing them with the back of a fork. You could use a food processor to pulvarize the beans, but I like this rustic sort of texture, PLUS the chunks of beans seem to help the patties stay together. Add the grated carrots, greens, and cheese. When the onions are good and caramelly dump them in. Continue smashing everything together with the fork. Mix in the BBQ sauce, honey, pepper, paprika, and onion powder. Keep using the fork to combine all the ingredients evenly. Then mix in the flour.

Using about 3 heaping tablespoons at a time, form the mixture into 8 equal-sized patties. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes (this just makes them easier to handle- it’s not completely necessary).

Heat a large skillet on medium high. Coat with just a dab of oil or non-stick cooking spray and add the patties just a few at a time so you have room to flip them (they will be a little bit soft; I like to cook 3 at a time so that there is room for my spatula in the skillet). Cook them for about 3 minutes on each side – you’re just browning them and trying to heat them through.

Slice the whole wheat dinner rolls in half, burger-bun-style. Drizzle a little more BBQ sauce onto the bottom half of each mini bun, Place the cooked veggie sliders on top of the BBQ sauce. Then top them with cheese while they’re still HOT! so it will melt. Stach each slider with lettuce, tomato, and red onion slices, finishing with the top half of the bun. You can hold them together using frill picks if you’d like.

**Note: To make 8 regular sized burgers or 16 sliders, use 1 (15 ounce) can of garbanzo beans (chick peas) and 1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, and then double the rest of the ingredients. You could use all of one kind or the other, but the combination of the two beans was great for flavor AND color. If you aren’t doubling the recipe, you could certainly still use half of each can and save the rest of the beans for another dish OR you could do like I do (if you either plan ahead or have a bit of extra time) and soak & prepare dried beans — I just measure them by scooping them out of the big pot with my liquid measuring cup. All beans do need to be drained and rinsed, of course. Even those you cook yourself.**

veggie burgers

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

My Son Hates 7th Grade

with 36 comments

no-bake oatmeal cookies
My oldest son is in the 7th grade. That sounds really strange to me when I say it out loud. Because I can remember the 7th grade, and it doesn’t seem far enough away for me to have a kid that’s 12. But anyway.

Andrew, my biggest little boy, is right smack in the center of what I totally remember as being the most awkward, emotional, and unfriendly years of life… Middle School. Errgh. He’s lucky because he’s super-dee-duper cute. I had snaggleteeth. He wears pretty cool clothes (which I think must be easier for boys except for those unfortunate few that are shoved into too-tight Wranglers and velcro sneakers). I’m pretty sure I dressed like a loser… my sisters were too little back then to tell me what on earth to wear. He’s got a sense of humor, and a handful of friends, so in comparison to MY middle school world Andrew is doing pretty doggone good.

But he still hates 7th grade.

Everyday he comes home and tells me so.

It started with our open house/school supply disaster.

making no-bake chocoate peanut butter cookies

We went to the open house. The teachers actually gave us the time of day (which is more than I can say for any of them last year). We were feeling pretty good. I asked each teacher the same question: “Is there anything specific he will need for your class?” The overwhelming response was, “Nah. Not really. Just a binder. Some dividers. Pencils and paper– standard stuff.” We were super prepared for allll a that thanks to my sister, aunt AND elementary school teacher extraordinaire, who went crazy on school supplies and bought every single thing on every single list the schools had provided on their websites.

So Andrew headed off for his first day of 7th grade armed with an awesome 3-inch 3-ring binder, enough dividers for each of his 8 classes, pencils, paper, and a brand new book bag. He returned home with a list of demands from nearly every single teacher, all wanting their OWN binder, 42,000 dividers, pencil pouches, etc. I was so completely overjoyed to have to traipse around Wal-Mart on the first day of school with every other parent in our town trying to find supplies that sold out weeks before. I mean, what mom wouldn’t be?

Let’s not forget the part about the currently unavailable and previously unrequested school supplies being a test grade.

I wrote a very nice email letting the teachers know that we know they wouldn’t make these requests lightly and that we were trying to accomodate, but that I can’t be the only parent running up against this wall, blah, blah, blah. It was super carefully crafted; eggshell-worded. Because Lord knows I do not want my kid to get off on the wrong foot with his teachers. Buuuut my plan backfired. Because the only two teachers that responded were snarky beotches. Also Andrew overheard these same two ladies gossiping about us. Rude.

The principal was nice. She gets a gold star.

making no bake oatmeal cookies

Of course I drove in circles until I found every last school supply listed. Because I want my cutie boy to do well. It took me 3 whole days.

In the meantime Andrew discovered that none of his friends from last year are in any of his classes. He has the worst (and latest) lunch. He isn’t allowed to take his book bag to class and since we now have like 79 small binders instead of just one big one he has to try to go to his locker in between each block (there is no such thing as “1st period” or “5th period” anymore; now they are called “blocks”. lame.).

He has the bottom locker.
The bottom locker sucks.

This whole process has made him tardy 3 times in a week. Three tardies = Silent lunch.

chocolatey no bake cookies

In 6th grade there wasn’t much homework. My little one, who was in 3rd grade last year, always had more homework than Andrew did. I warned him that a light workload wasn’t doing him any favors… not that he could have done anything about it. And now he is paying the price. It’s sort of stressing him out.

So every day Andrew comes home from school and tells me that 7th grade sucks. I hate that. But I just keep reminding him that we are gonna get through it. HE is gonna get through it.

When your kids start to get big there’s really only so much you can do without making it worse. I’m trying so hard to help. And even though it’s sort of considered the un-cool thing to do, my help involves trying to pack Andrew’s lunch.

Late, friendless, silent lunch needs cookies. And if you smash all the good kinds of cookies into one, single, bake-free bar, you get these.

Today when Andrew came home he told me he still hates 7th grade. BUT! He got 104 on his spelling test last week. And he’s got a good grip on his math and science classes. And he made a few friends on the school bus.

So maybe it’s not all bad. And as long as there are cookies something is good.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip No-Bake Cookie Bars (from THIS recipe at Brown Eyed Baker)

Ingredients

3 cups old fashioned oats

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or mini chocolate chips

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

To Make

Line a 9 X 13 pan baking dish with parchment paper or foil.

In a large bowl, stir together the old fashioned oats, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stirring peanut butter into oats is a good workout. Set the oat mixture aside.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Stir frequently and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.

Pour the hot sugary butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture and stir until the oats are moistened completely. The chocolate will melt. Dump the whole sticky wonderful mess into the prepared baking dish and press it out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon.

Press in the remaining chocolate chips.

Let it cool completely. It needs to set up for at least an hour before slicing.

I cut these into 1 X 2 bars and wrapped them individually. We stored them in the fridge and had them in lunches and for snack all week!

chocolate chip & peanut butter cookies

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Have a Cookie

with 23 comments

moist, chewy chocolate chip cookies

Do you want to eat this cookie?

I do.

IN FACT, I would eat this entire plate full of cookies right now if three cookie monsters who will remain nameless (ahem… you know who you are.) hadn’t beat me to it. They even demolished my secret ziploc freezer bag stash that was cleverly stuffed behind two loaves of bread and a roll of parchment paper. Apparrently I’m just going to have to be a bit more clever. Game on.

These were first day of school/after school snack cookies. For some reason, school turns the cookie monsters into the hungriest small people to ever roam the earth. They come through the door like ravenous little dinosaurs and if there isn’t a snack waiting they will rummage through the cabinets and devour all the cereal, raisins, and pretzels. Then they move on to the fridge and start putting dents in all the apples, yogurt, and cheese.

I draw the line at cheese. Don’t even think about it.

sticky batter & chocolate chips
My executive decision was to start this school year off right. Tee-totally prepared with a platter full of these big fat chewy chocolate chip cookies, and more for lunches later this week. And some more for Mommy’s secret chocolate chip cookie stash because sometimes she needs a little pick-me-up and almonds just don’t cut it (Dear Food Editors at All Women’s Magazines: please stop pretending like almonds and kale are going to satisfy all of our needs. Have you ever even had a cookie?!).

The little boys were thrilled to pieces with their chocolate chip cookies. And I didn’t even mind when they each traipsed past the plate six more times to “discreetly” snatch extra cookies while we sorted through giant stacks of school papers to be signed and they cranked out spelling homework. I wear the Irresistable Cookie-Maker Badge with pride. I gave the go-ahead after dinner when the plate of cookies started calling to them, because sometimes food talks to me, too.
baking chocolate chip cookies
I’m pretty sure I had a whole entire conversation with this cookie dough.

deliciously chocolatey chewy chip cookies
This batch of cookies DID survive Monday night. I managed to pack them away in little boy lunches and wrap a few for Chad to take to work. I had one before lunch.

Maybe it was two.

And after that … it’s a mystery (albeit not a very difficult one).

I suppose I should blame the author of this recipe for my cookies’ disappearing act. They were titled “The Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”. And indeed, they were.

amazing chocolate chip cookies
Still, though… someone around here owes me a cookie. Or 12.

The Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (modified from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 egg, plus 1 yolk

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

To Make

Pre-heat the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter and sugars until combined. Mix in the vanilla, egg and extra yolk. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Then stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by the heaping tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are a pretty golden toasty brown. Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

warm cookies

cookies and milk

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

August 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm

7 Things to Do When You’re Stressed

with 19 comments

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Or lemon cake. Or lemony blueberry muffins.


The last week has yielded, for me, a metaphorical 5-gallon bucket of lemons. In order to maintain a level of relative calm in this sour hurricane of a storm, I have adapted a few practices that have made it bearable; things I do when I’m stressed that I really thought I should share.

#1 Find an ink pen and doodle all over a pad of paper while you spill all your guts to your mom (or your sister, or your best friend, or all of the above) on the phone. Acceptable doodles include all manner of hearts and swirlies, the names of all your loved ones, including your cats and dogs, and polka dots.

#2 Clean something. I know that this does not sound nearly as fun as drawing swirlies with a hot pink pen, but mindlessly scrubbing things lets you focus on a simple task while exerting an unreasonable amount of force on inanimate objects like bath tubs or ceiling fans. Plus the results are totally satisfying. Tip: avoid cleaning products that boast “Scrub Free!!!” or “Works like Magic!!!” labels. These are not going to help you.

#3 Bake bread. I find baking to be waaaay theraputic anyway, but baking bread is simple and it can go on for awhile. Slapping dough down on your floured table and kneading your little heart out is a super duper stress reliever. And when the baking is done you have big thick slices of warm bread to slather with blueberry butter. THAT is comfort.

homemade honey wheat loaf with blueberry butter

#4 Find the Kenpo X video from the P-90X work out series, put on your sweats, get a big bottle of water, and then pretend to punch the daylights out of the source of your stress. It’s like pillow punching, except you can work on your fitness. And you’ll feel like a badass. Oh! And if you keep it up you’ll look like a badass, too. Perks.

#5 Give yourself a pedicure. Soak your feet in warm water, epsom salts, and a little milk. Make a scrub with some kosker salt and a few glugs of olive oil. Pick the happiest nail polish… your favorite summery pink or red, a girly soft pinky white, a juicy melon color, or go crazy with stripes of green and blue. Whatever you do, stay away from navy or brown or deep dark purple. Save those for November. Right now you need pretty colors and peep toe shoes. Yes yes yes.

olive oil scrub

#6 Go to your favorite coffee shop. Order your favorite drink. The full fat version. Indulge in baked goods. Curl up in one of those huge fluffy arm chairs with your beverage, tuck your feet under you, and just BE.

#7 Hug the ones you love the most. Hug them tight. Don’t let go.

me & my babies; Andrew's been eating blue candy. Can you tell?

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

August 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm

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