Saturday, September 22, 2012


   I have a few secrets that aren't really very secret. I am going to share them with you all, as well as these cookies I made, because I'm awesome. Ready? GO!

  1. I like to hump things. For instance, while Brandon is playing Pokemon on the emulator on his computer, I like to hump his arm. I have had to quell this urge since having Cooper, as I realize that it is not appropriate to teach your toddlers to hump random people and objects, but when he is gone, I get my dry-hump on full force.
  2. I have been to a couple bars, but I do not drink. This has led to some interesting discussion, and I once ordered a root beer float. Sadly, bars do not generally carry ice cream or root beer. I mean, I have a glass of wine at home, or a fruity mixed drink when I'm out, but nothing more than that.
  3. Every time I go to my best friend's house, I inexplicably start craving Chinese food. Not even good, authentic Chinese food, but the cheap mandarin chicken and pork fried rice at the greasy looking place in the Fred Meyer's parking lot. I crave it so bad everything else just tastes sub par, which is funny, because they have some good freaking food for meals at their house. I guess Morgan does too, because the evening after she had her daughter, that was all she wanted.
  4. I play WAY too much League of Legends. It might be a problem.
  5. Sometimes I like to bake things using ridiculous other things just to see what I can make. That is the case with these cookies. They are delicious.
  6. After I've made a few batches of cookies, I usually give up and use the remaining dough to make one GIANT cookie that no normal person should ever attempt to eat all by themselves, especially after eating an entire boxed dinner alone because Brandon made mac 'n' cheese for himself. Still, I am brave enough to make that attempt.
   So these cookies... These cookies are what happens when your neighbor asks you to bake cookies using whatever ingredients you can find between your two pantries, while you're already hungry, and on the mutual understanding that you are a sugar addict. We have been calling them Crackhead Cookies, because they are both highly addictive and a lot out there. There are some things I wanted to add that we didn't have, so I'm going to include them in the recipe, and if you don't like it, well, shut up and put this cookie in your mouth.

Crackhead Cookies
  1. 1 cup room temperature butter, or do what I do because normally I'm too forgetful to take it out and get it to room temperature, and throw it in the mixer on med. speed until it's soft. Remember, these cookies are to be thrown together willy nilly. It's not about perfection. And I need an excuse to not pull out the butter like a good baker would.
  2. 1/2 cup dark brown sugar.
  3. 1/4 light brown sugar
  4. 1/4 white sugar
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 2 cups flour
  7. 1 cup ground super crisp gingersnaps. I used the cheapest tub of them. You know, the ones you can buy in the big plastic barrel at Walmart? Those are great. Throw them in the food processor. I didn't even actually measure the exact amount. I estimated how many would make a cup of powdered gingersnap and threw them in with the flour and other dry ingredients and let the processor run until I had a nice even texture of flour and slightly courser gingersnap evenly mixed. Also, please note I am replacing flour for my cookies with ground up cookies. This is either sick, or awesome. I haven't decided.
  8. 1/2 t baking soda
  9. 1/2 t baking powder
  10. 1 T salt. I know it looks like a lot. Trust me. It's good.
  11. 1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
  12. 1 cup bittersweet mini chocolate chips
  13. 1 cup mini marshmallows, cut in half
  14. 3 graham crackers, broken into pretty small chunks, like dime size-ish. It's not supposed to be consistent, so if some are smaller and some are bigger, it's cool. I used a knife and my cutting board and tried chopping them. It was fun and effective, but it looked a little silly.
  • Cream the butter and sugars until extremely light and fluffy. More than you've creamed butter and sugar for cookies before in your whole life. I have a stand mixer, so this was easy. I set my Kitchenaid to medium speed and let it run while I did the rest of the things.
  • Mix flour, powdered gingersnaps, baking soda and powder, and the salt. I did this in my food processor. I basically set it to grind and let it run while the butter and sugars creamed and I did other things.
  • Chop the toasted walnuts after they cool. I always burn my fingers trying to do it right after I pull them off the heat. This is a mistake.
  • Add eggs to the butter and beat well. They should be fully incorporated and everything should be evenly mixed. Scrape that bowl, baby!
  • TURN MIXER TO LOW (unless you're like me and love having flour exploded at you and coating your whole kitchen, because I ALWAYS forget to turn the speed down) and add flour. I'd say add it slowly or in parts, but I'm not going to lie, I did not. The cookies were great. It's not important this time. Make sure the mixture is even. 
  • Mix in walnuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham crackers.
  • Let chill for a minimum of 3 hours, or the marshmallows will make a mess all over the cookie sheet when you bake them. Trust me on this. It needs to chill. NEEDS. If you get too impatient, just eat the dough. It's yummy. I'm not telling you to eat raw eggs, but I'm saying I did. I do not regret it.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease the cookie sheet or use something non-stick for the marshmallows. Non-stick aluminum is fantastic in this capacity, but alas, I was out.
  • Make doughballs, roughly 2 T, though to be honest I just eyeball it based on how big I want my cookies. Sometimes bigger is better. Do yourself a favor though, and any marshmallow sticking through the dough? Yeah. Cover it with dough. Space cookies 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart and bake for 9 minutes.
   I think next time I make these I might incorporate some toffee or something in them as well. Anyone reading this with a favorite random recipe that you came up with in a moment of sugar-craving-induced desperation, please share it. I love that stuff.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This is not dessert.

   Today I was hungry. And I was also feeling like it was a fall sort of day. Every fall it somehow becomes imperative to make comfort foods. So what if it's still too warm for soup? Last week I made alphabet soup which we ate for days. This afternoon I realized I had everything I needed to make some of my awesome chili, except beef. Usually I would use steak or even ground beef, but it's so expensive here that we don't buy it often anymore. We live on chicken. Meaning the only meat I had handy was, well... chicken.
   Still! You can't keep a good woman down! I pulled out some dried beans and got them soaking, and boiled them for a good 3 hours. Gotta get them puppies tender before you add the stuff to the chili, because the beans take at least eight times as long to cook if there's anything in the water other than salt.
   Towards the end I made a mighty error in judgement. I am a pussy. I apologize for the language, but when it comes to spicy food, I'm easily the biggest baby. There is a reason for this, but no one seems to gather that maybe I'm not just a girl about hot food. It literally burns me. So when it came time to chop things for the chili, I had the dilemma of how hot to make it. I figured one jalapeno in the pot would be good enough, and without thinking, I started chopping it and removing the pips. I cut it up nice and small in about 30 seconds flat, and then moved onto the garlic and onions. Halfway through the onion I started to feel the burn. I looked down, and my fingers were ON. FIRE.
   They were bright red, the skin was peeling away, they were swollen and glossy and they hurt so bad I wanted to cry! They still burn, hours later. I did everything I could think of to stop the burn, but even after the capsaicin was off my hands, the nerves were still fried. It feels a lot like a bad steam burn now, and the raw skin from where the top peeled away is hyper-sensitive.
   The whole time I was cooking, any time I got near heat my fingers screamed at me. I'm a complete dolt.
   Anyway, when I say this chili is good enough to suffer minor chemical burns for, I mean it. It's that kind of comfort food. I'm not saying be an idiot and hurt yourself, but I AM saying that next time I'll have Brandon chop the jalapenos, and that this time, it was worth it because this chili is damn good, and super good for us. It's going to be tasty on chili dogs for Cooper's playdate Friday. This recipe was made in my mini crockpot, which serves 4-6 hearty bowls.

Burning Love Chili

1 1/2 cup dried beans, soaked for at least 2 hours, I used pinto, but really, use what you want or have on hand. Chili isn't picky.
6 cups water
3 Tablespoons salt
1 whole yellow onion
1 or 2 jalapenos for desired heat
4 cloves garlic
2 small chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
powdered chipotle
smoked paprika
lemon pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 cup frozen corn

Cook the beans on high in the crockpot for about 3 hours with the 6 cups water and 3 T salt. They should be boiling the majority of the time.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and get out a small baking dish for the chicken. Coat the chicken heavily in chipotle, paprika, salt, and lemon pepper, and roast for 15-20 minutes. Let cool and dice or shred.

Chop onion, remove pips and mince jalapeno and garlic, and cook all in small amount of oil over med-low heat with a pinch of salt until soft and onions are caramelized.

Once beans are done, mix the tomato sauce and corn starch in a mug, and then pour mixture into beans and remaining water. Add cumin, oregano, black pepper, onion mixture, chicken, corn, and chopped cilantro to taste. Let cook for an hour on high until nice and thick.

The chili will thicken substantially as it cools and any leftovers will thicken even more over night. I actually like chili better the second day.

Serve with cornbread, rice, crispy tortillas, nachos, or over cheesy hot dogs. Really just do what you want with it. Chili is magic because it's good with so many things.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Shameful confession time.

   Our internet has been back on for a while now. While it was off we were going crazy from boredom. See, it wasn't just our internet, but also our TV and phone. For over 2 weeks. The only movies we had were Cars and Finding Nemo, which Cooper wanted to watch CONSTANTLY. I'm still hearing them in my sleep.

   All that aside, I haven't posted a single thing since our life was reconnected. I know, I know. All that gumption was gone just like that and I'm a little ashamed. I ended up having things to do. Like take my son to the park and make a new friend, and bake cookies just for fun, and go on a LoL binge for the last 3 days while Cooper was with his grandparents, and watch some awesome movies and some not-so-awesome ones which were still worth watching at least once. Any parents out there know that What to Expect When You're Expecting was AWESOME, but to any non-parents out there I can imagine it was cute but not great. It made me cry.

   That being said, I'll try to update with more recipes. Brandon and I both got some exciting news about jobs, and we've been crazy busy, but I'll do my best. Cooper comes home tomorrow, but maybe I'll post something easy, like MEGA SOFT SNICKERDOODLES. Seriously. Brandon says they are so soft it's like eating clouds of cinnamon-sugar flavored nothing. They are really fluffy and good. Right now, however, I owe my man some snuggle time while we eat the papas he fried up and watch a movie.

   Side note, after watching the movie, Brandon and I had a serious talk about the future. Now that I'm making progress with school, even if it is temporarily put on hold while my financial aid gets untangled, and we both have jobs, we're thinking we want a year or two of not just financial stability, but an opportunity to save, and then we want to have more babies. We don't want Cooper to be too much older than baby number 2 (we're hoping it'll be a Penelope, since we can't agree on another boy name and Brandon wants a girl soooo bad) but we definitely want to be done with diapers for Cooper and be able to support everyone more comfortable than we are now. We decided that if we're ready around the time Coops is 3, we'll give it a shot, and if not, we'll get Cooper a puppy for his birthday. I don't want to be training a puppy while pregnant or taking care of a newborn. But as much as I love Ray, I think we need a big dog. Maybe a giant schnauzer.

   Night world!