Saturday, November 27, 2010

What happens during snow storms.

It snowed here, in the Northwest, and when that happens everyone freaks out and hides at home. It seems silly, people put chains on their cars when there's no snow on the roads, but when the sky dumps snow and ice all over the place there are no chains to be found!

It did snow a lot, and the roads were like ice rinks, so I stayed home a couple days, not that my work was open anyhow, and cooked like a mad woman.

I had to start by cleaning my house well. There's nothing more enjoyable than sitting inside my nice clean house all warm and snugly with a nice cup of mulled wine or hot tea. I look out at the suckers who have to bundle up and go places, and think to myself, ahhhhhh.

With my husband around for a day, I decided I would cook a great breakfast. I made hashbrowns, eggs and bacon. Hashbrowns are easy to make if you follow a few simple rules: when you grate your potatoes, put them between two clean towels and then roll up the towels and step on them. You want to squeeze out all of the moisture from the potatoes. This method is clean and easy.

The other rules is easy: add more. If you think you have enough oil, add more. If you think you have enough salt, add more. If you think you have enough pepper, add more. The simple truth is that hashbrowns aren't good for you, because to make them properly you need more grease, salt and seasoning than you think. I used bacon grease in mine, I also like mine pretty crispy, so I turn them more often than most, but it seems to work out just fine. I let them crisp up, then turn them to expose more potato to the crisping of the bacon grease. I suppose I didn't use a ton of oil, but I did use more than I would if I were making potato latkes or potato cakes. I can't really tell you how to make them, because we all have different pans, different size graters and different ideas of what makes good hashbrowns. I can tell you that you should dry the crap out of them, cook them over medium high heat, and be generous.

The other thing I made was cookies. I love cookies, but not all cookies. I don't like oatmeal in my cookies at all. And to be honest, I firmly believe in one type of cookie, the chocolate chip. I however do understand that other people make different types of cookies and many of them are good. I don't mind the occasional snicker doodle. Ginger snaps are nice sometimes, and those nefarious girl scouts sell many types of insidious cookies. I was looking through a healthy cooking magazine that will remain nameless, and I found a cookie recipe. I should have known better.

I have for a long time known, because I've tried to make them, that cookies aren't healthy. You cannot make a healthy cookie that tastes good. I mean you can make them so that they're not bad, or alright. However they will never be fantastic, phenomenal or mind blowingly good. If you don't want to eat a bad for you cookie, don't eat cookies. Dessert in general is meant to be a treat, and shouldn't be compromised because we think that cheesecake can be good for you. Cookies, cake, custards, these things should be heart stopping bad for you and taste divine.

Anyhow I don't know what these people were thinking, they have a cookie recipe, that's supposed to be light and they put two cups of sugar into it. Along with the normal two cups of flour, I was kind of shocked. Most cookie recipes call for 1 - 1.5 cups of sugar. I'm not saying that some don't call for a full two cups, but when you're trying to cut down on calories, isn't sugar one place to look? A cup of sugar has 770 calories in it. I usually cut down sugar in my cookies to one cup, just because otherwise they're too sweet for me. I mean, it's a generous cup, but I don't need equal parts sugar and flour to make kick ass cookies.

They also had paltry amounts of peanut butter, added other oils, took out one egg yolk (yeah, save those 50 calories!), and instead used two egg whites, what's the point? You save a calorie per cookie? BUT YOU HAVE ALL THAT SUGAR? I fixed it. I fixed the recipe. I liked where they were going, but not how. Now, mine is not a health cookie, it's just a peanut butter cookie with milk chocolate chips, but it's kind of like eating a Reese cup. Mmmm. Reese cup.

When I make cookies I do not use all natural peanut butter. I use Jiff, on a normal, I'm gonna make a pbj basis, I use organic ground peanuts. No hydrogenated oils, and no sugar. Just peanuts and salt. I think this has to do with my child hood, we always ate Adams peanut butter at home. Delicious. At my grandmother's house we did that too, but she put butter on her sandwiches and Jiff reminds me of that horrible combination. Cooking is different, use Jiff, and if you want they make a natural one, use a no stir peanut butter.

Peanut butter chocolate cookies.


1 C. organic sugar
1 Tbs. molasses
2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/4 C. buttermilk
2 farm fresh eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. milk chocolate chips


In a bowl, combine with a mixer until smooth and creamy sugar, molasses, peanut butter, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Mix together the flour and leavenings. Stir into the peanut butter mixture until combine and then stir in the chips. Heat the oven to 350, shape the mixture into 1 Tbs. balls and pat down on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 14 minutes, remove to cool on rack or tea towel. Repeat with remaining dough, makes about 36 cookies.

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