Saturday, June 25, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I'll start this post with a warning. These cookies come out entirely too tasty and they are entirely too easy to make. The recipe is even incredibly simple to memorize because there are no 3/4 measurements or even 1/3's. There are dangerous waters ahead but I'll share it anyway. I think the main appeal of this cookie to most people is that it is gluten free. There is no flour in it at all. I on the other hand love them because they have peanut butter in them and taste delicious. Gluten or no, they work for me.

The recipe is from Emeril
Ingredients
1 cup creamy peanut butter (try to use one with no sugar added)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.

2. Divide the dough into 24 portions of about a tablespoon each, roll into balls, then plane about an inch apart on a cookie sheet. Take a fork and flatten the dough with a crisscross pattern. Bake for about ten minutes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Toad in a Hole

As I continue on in my experiments of cooking for one I remembered a trick that a friend once told me that happens to be one of the best ways of preparing an egg. I think that over the course of this blog I have made it very apparent that I absolutely love eggs. I have been tinkering with going vegan and I know that there are plenty of egg substitutes for a vegan diet. I’ve made scrambled tofu before and I like it. In baking, the egg can be replaced with flax meal or other fake egg products. The one thing that couldn’t be replaced though—as far as I know—is a plain old egg with a just cooked white and a runny yolk. See Huevos Rancheros, Eggs in Purgatory and this very blog post for delicious examples of eggs with no vegan alternatives. Those are what I would truly be missing. I love this recipe (though really with only three ingredients it’s more of a technique…) because it’s so whimsical and simple. It also gave me a much needed excuse to use my extensive collection of cookie cutters. Essentially it’s a piece of toast with an egg fried inside of it. It ends up being so simple and good. I can sense that this technique and I will be friends for a good long time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yummy Granola Bars


I’m sort of a peanut butter fiend. If there is any amount of peanut butter in my apartment I can just sit with that jar and eat it with a spoon. I’m working on my recovery though. I try to use it up in snacks like these (and delicious peanut butter cookies) as soon as I can. I also try to buy peanut butter where the ingredients are only peanuts and salt. This way when I eat half a jar mindlessly in front of the TV one night, I don’t have to feel too guilty. Another love I have is that for portable snacks.  I’m always packing lunches for work and school so any snack that I can throw into a bag quickly is ideal for me. It also helps when the portable snack in question is delicious like this one. The goo that holds it all together is just peanut butter, agave nectar and some applesauce. I don’t know how I feel about agave nectar normally. I don’t like it in my tea and by itself it tastes really strange to me (I know that you aren’t supposed to eat it plain but I just wanted to try it before I used it in a recipe). Mixed with peanut butter and baked though it tastes very good and I can brag that my granola bars have no sugar in them. All in all I would say that they are pretty healthy actually.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mini Rhubarb Crumble

I made a strawberry rhubarb pie a while ago with a friend to watch Pushing Daisies which I have discovered is a completely adorable show and it always makes me want pie. It was a good night but I was left with one awkward stalk of rhubarb. I thought I would eventually have to throw out this lone stalk of rhubarb, but then I got creative. I decided to make a rhubarb crisp for one in a little ramekin. Now I’m feeling slightly like a genius and that this fruit crisp for one may become a trend in my kitchen. I have this problem with dessert in that I like making it. So when I’m craving a cookie (a frequent occurrence), I make the recipe for four dozen or so cookies and then even though I wanted a cookie, I end up with dozens. I am not strong enough to have only one at this point. With this tiny fruit crisp though, I crave dessert, I make it, then I eat the one small portion it makes and I’m done. It’s a pretty pathetic side note but I think I deserve a little credit for including fruit in my dessert choice too. O and that crunchy crust on top? It has some whole wheat flour in it too… also a lot of butter, but still I think this route is way better than my normal cookie binge.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tahini Carrot Salad

 I decided that there must be life for tahini outside of hummus otherwise I would have a large jar of tahini sitting in my fridge used only once a month or so for the rest of my life. I found this recipe that along with tahini included some of my other favorites like maple syrup and curry powder. It also has a bit of lemon juice in it which I think creates some sort of chemical reaction with the tahini and it turns it into a rock. There was no more stirring after this point. At this point I had to shake it up with the rest of the ingredients. Hopefully it works out a bit better for anyone else attempting this recipe. Luckily, it didn't affect the taste at all. This makes a really nice salad or you can add tofu and just make it a meal like me.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spinach Strata

I had quite the adventure this weekend because despite being completely overwhelmed by finals and school, I agreed to help my friend cater a movie shoot she was doing. For twenty people. So I had quite the stressful adventure putting this together. I decided the best way to feed so many people would be a strata, even though I had never made one before (it should become apparent at this point that I am frequently responsible for my own stress). But I was very excited by the concept of a strata as I am about all brunch-y sorts of food. It's basically a savory bread pudding quiche hybrid thing. Boy o boy is it easy and tasty.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hummus

 I have realized recently that hummus is an amazing snack. It's so useful for everything and incredibly easy to make. So here is my second recipe I've put up recently involving a bunch of ingredients thrown into a food processor and whirred away to produce an incredible versatile condiment. Eerie similarity of my recent cooking habits aside, I love me some hummus.There is something so easy and amazing about all dips and hummus really takes the cake here. You can dip veggies (though I do this rarely), pita chips, and pretzels (I do this frequently) into it but it can also be used as a spread like on sandwiches or as a sauce for pasta or pizza. It's phenomenal. Can't say enough about hummus.

I would also like to use this opportunity to make an advertisement for tahini. I know a lot of people that don't like it much in their hummus and I will admit that it is kind of weird. I put it in the fridge and it separates into thick on the bottom and oily on top. It's impossible for me to stir without getting it everywhere and all over the container. It's relatively expensive and something that you can't use in much else unless you get creative (though I have proof that I've used it before and I like to mix it with honey then eat it just like peanut butter). Now that I have bashed tahini, I will say that I think it makes hummus extra special and creamy. I definitely think it's worth all of its flaws.