Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles

These cookies were born out of necessity. Because I wanted cookies and I ran out of butter.

RAN OUT OF BUTTER?? Yes, I ran out of butter. But I still wanted cookies. Now, the fatty in me would normally just reach for the Crisco and move on with making the cookies. But the other fatty in me happened to catch the cream cheese sitting on the fridge shelf, just next to the empty butter space.

Ding! A light went off. My mom makes a pastry crust that calls for a mixture of cream cheese and butter. What if I substituted cream cheese for the butter? The other fatty in me agreed; it just might work!

So I looked up my sugar cookie recipe and straight up substituted the cream cheese for the butter. Flour went flying, cream cheese got... creamed. Little creamy dumplings were coated in cinnamon sugar. It was beautiful.

They come out of the oven with a crackly cinnamon/sugar coating, but the insides are soft and rich and, well, a little bit creamy. Not like any other cookie I've had before.

Hubs had a couple before asking what I did different. It's a subtle difference from a normal snickerdoodle, but it's there. Dare I say they're a little more elegant-- as elegant as a humble snickerdoodle can be. These would be great for a baby/bridal shower. Or, a random Saturday when the fatties inside of you clamor for cookies.

Gluten Free Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles

2 c. GF flour mix
3/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

For the outside:
2 T. sugar
1/2 T. cinnamon.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the cream cheese & sugar with a hand mixer until it is well-mixed and starts to get a little fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until you get a cookie dough.

Scoop out little balls of dough and roll them around in a small bowl with the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the outside.

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes. They won't spread much, so flatten to the desired thickness before baking.

Makes close to 2 dozen small cookies.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Clever leftovers: Burger Edition

It's easy to go overboard when grilling. It's like spaghetti; you always end up making enough to end world hunger.

At least, that was the case at our house this weekend. Even after taking burgers to work for lunch the next day, there were STILL burgers in the fridge.

Burger, you were delicious, but I'm tired of eating you.

So today, I made leftover burgers into chili. For CHILI FRITO PIE. Because I had a random craving.

Burgers turned Chili:

-4 Leftover burgers, chopped or crumbled. Cheeseburgers work verrryy well, too.
-1 can of beans
-1 can of tomato sauce
-chili seasonings:
     (This kit is GF, or make your own...)
2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. salt

Mix it all up in a pot until it's hot, and serve over Fritos. Yeah!

P.S. Other ideas for leftover burgers:

Spaghetti Sauce

Baked Ziti

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken with Pineapple and Sweet Peppers

I cannot even tell you how much I love crock pots. They are just friggen wonderful.

Here we have chicken legs cooked in the crock pot with some pineapple and sweet peppers. All amounts are relative, and crock pot recipes like this are pretty forgiving. Go nuts.

Pineapple & Sweet Pepper Chicken Legs:

chopped sweet peppers
wine- red or white, 1/4 cup or so, just to keep the chicken moist.
salt & pepper
chicken legs- stand them up with the bony side pointing up.

Set it to low when you leave for work in the morning (or leave a note for hubs), and when you get home you'll have dinner!

Thicken with a bit of corn starch before serving- 1/4 c. water mixed with 1 T. corn starch, then mix that into the crock pot. Oh and please, pick out the bones before you chow down. The meat should just fall right off.

Serve over brown rice with slivered almonds on top and a bit of fresh parsley.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips

It has been too damn long since I've made cookies. Sure, I've had cookies [I mean, come on], but store bought are just never the same.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips- you just can't beat a classic.

3/4 c. peanut butter (this time we had crunchy)
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c. GF Flour mix (1/3 c. each brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, pinch of xanthan gum)
1/4t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
enough chocolate chips to make your heart sing

Cream the peanut butter & sugar, add the eggs and beat in. Stir in the flour, leaveners, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop onto cookie sheet and sprinkle with sugar. The world won't cringe if you don't use that raw, chunky stuff. Regular old sugar is fine.

:: Now. A bit about fork marks. I'm a peanut butter cookie traditionalist. If there are no fork marks, I immediately consider the cookie sub-par. However, fork marks and chocolate chips don't mesh. So it's forgivable, just this time.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, until the bottoms start to brown around the edges and the centers are set. Let cool before enjoying.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

This weeks' Menu

For your inspiration...

Mon- Pineapple Pepper Chicken + rice + broccoli
Tues- Shrimp Alfredo Pasta + peas
Wed- BBQ Ribs + corn
Thurs- Crock Pot Roast Chicken + mashed potatoes + green beans
Fri- Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Sat- Salmon + quinoa
Sun- Not a clue = Out to Eat!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

This week's Menu

Now that we're kind of settled into the new house, it's time to resume the meal schedule.

For your inspiration, this week's menu.
We used up all of our meat in the deep freeze over the last month, so now we've got to stock up again: Any time anything is on sale, we buy two. This week's menu is based on last week's meat sales, and summer produce. Salads are making an appearance again with every meal, because we gotta get those veggies in. It's actually nice to be eating salads again. After eating like crap for so long, it feels good to eat something good!

Contemplating buying a tomato plant, but I don't wanna kill it... Hm.

Mon- Crock pot beef + pasta
Tues- Leftover beef made into soup + cornbread
Wed- Sausage + pepper rice + mixed vegetables
Thurs- Crock pot chicken + mashed potatoes + green beans
Fri- Leftovers + booze
Sat- Salmon + quinoa
Sun- bbq ribs + beans + corn on the cob

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Grilling fish on lemon slices

I first saw this somewhere on Pinterest. I'm pretty sure it came from this blog. This idea is brilliant! We've tried to grill fish before, with somewhat disastrous results because it stuck and ultimately fell through the grates. 

The solution:
Grill the fish on a bed of lemon slices. Duh! So simple! So genius!

The fish cooks perfectly without getting burned or stuck, and everything gets a nice lemony flavor.

Serve with a big helping of greens, because we haven't really eaten vegetables around here in a while... moved into the new house and starting to eat normally again!