Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This and That

For the first time in the seven months since he's been working from home, my husband and I had an actual lunch date at a restaurant! We both had work appointments in the same neighborhood and a miraculous break in the middle. We went to Honeygrow, and it was good. I didn't love love love it but I liked it a lot and would definitely go back to try more. I had a lemon-tahini stir fry but the salads looked amazing too.

I tried this recipe for pork chops with apples and onions and it was good. I used boneless of course, and it does take forever, but we enjoyed it anyway. "We" is of course the grownups in the house.

I am in a little bit of a panic--Two Fat Als, one of my go-to websites when the boys were small, suddenly popped up with a spammish ad. I freaked out, worrying that I wouldn't be able to find my favorite recipes of theirs. They are still available but I am still more than a little concerned about how something from the spam site ( moved in to my Blogger feed if they didn't disconnect it.

This is the recipe for the amazing cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 - 10 oz. bag toffee candy bits
1 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/3 cups sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the first mixture. Mix the almonds, coconut, toffee bits and oatmeal together in a large bowl, then mix them by hand into the dough. Drop dough balls (about 2 tbsp per ball, about 2 inches apart) onto a greased cookie sheet (or one lined with parchment paper). Bake for about 10 minutes, let cool, and serve.

Note to E: We found your favorite heath bits at the Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut!

And this is for the cranberry blondies:

My mom sent me this recipe yesterday, and it reminded me so much of Starbucks' cranberry bliss bars that they required immediate baking. The Starbucks bars were my favorite cranberry dessert bars until 20 minutes ago, when they were eclipsed by cranberry and white chocolate blondies. Lara describes the bars as festive, rich and scrumptious. Good adjectives. They tasted ridiculously good.

So here's how the baking went: we made one batch, thought it looked like not enough batter, and decided to double it. Except we only increased the size of the pan by a little, and had to bake it for a lot longer. So we can't say if the baking time is correct, but if you double it, add about 20 minutes to the original time. Bakes easy, goes down easier. Easiest with milk.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely topped

Line a 7x11 or 9x9 baking pan with tin foil, and spray with non-stick oil. Preheat to 350. Beat the butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla and continue mixing. Mix in baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour. Beat in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with the fresh cranberries, and press down with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until knife comes out clean.

Please know: I am not at all trying to plagiarize, I am happy to give credit where credit is due, and all credit goes to Two Fat Als. But these two desserts in particular are huge family favorites and I will cry if I lose them. So here there are to be preserved from whatever spammity thing is happening over there.

Still on Hiatus, but This

How Cooking for Others Can Be Selfish. From the indispensable Tipsy Baker.
I'm not quite there--my kids are too little, I can't be--but in Taco Tuesday and Wednesday Spaghetti, I can hear myself whispering Yes. My job is to fill those bellies with the most nutritious food we can both stand. Yes, I am grateful not to be my mother, coming up with a different impressive meat-starch-veggie meal every night and avoiding what my father had for lunch that day (a good trick, when they both worked in different places, though to his point, usually she was fine if she avoided ham and cheese hoagies for dinner). And Yes--I'm done. I want this to be at least a little interesting and am failing even at that. So barring interesting--allowing them to thrive despite themselves.
Back to making more pumpkin muffins.