May 27, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Well folks, it appears that this week didn't quite live up to my expectations as far as productivity. But don't worry, I'll be back after the holiday weekend in full force. I'm going "home" to hang out with my best friend and relax and unwind. I already have some great new ideas and recipes, so please stay tuned!

before the frosting

You didn't think I could leave you without a taste of what's to come did you??? I hope this picture gets you hungry for more. Enjoy the holiday weekend, stay safe, unwind, and I look forward to catching up with you next week.

May 21, 2010

"Magic" Monster Cookies

the perfect cookies

Yes, I’m still alive, and no, aliens haven’t kidnapped me. I could say that I’d won the lottery and was plotting how to spend my winnings, but I’ll be honest. The past month or so has been super stressful and busy. I know you probably don’t care about my personal strife, and all you really want is good stories, recipes, and photos, so I’ll spare you the downing details. I’m trying instead to focus on rainbows and puppies and cupcakes.

No fear, I am trying my best to get back to entertaining my two readers full-time. I know that I promised a fun breakfast food recipe, but you’ll have to wait another week or so. I do have a fun recipe today though, and it’s one of my all-time favorites.

halfway done

There’s a funny and timely story to go along with these cookies however, so let’s start with that. I first made this recipe, courtesy of Bake or Break, when Captain America was training with the Marine Corps. I wanted to send him and his roommates something that would hold up well in the mail. Needless to say the recipe was so good I couldn’t stop eating them and was literally removing more from the package as I was sealing it up. Let the addiction begin.

One day since I moved back home, my mom was looking for a recipe to make to bring to her clinic. She’s a nurse and the doctors (and nurses) love sweets. I suggested these same cookies b/c we had most of the ingredients. They were a hit, but since they make so many she kept some at home for us. One day she had one before she went for her swim workout, she was training for a triathlon, and she said that she had the best swim to date. And it was all because of that cookie! We laughed but agreed that they held some sort of special power. She froze some and would eat them occasionally before a workout.


This brings us to Sunday, when my mom and her friend Heather raced in their first triathlon, and of course she made monster cookies the day before so she could fuel up. I am so proud of her! She finished, even though she had a slight issue on the swim. So if you are training for a big race, or just looking for an amazing cookie, I highly suggest these. The recipe makes quite a few, so be prepared to be baking for a while. Or, simply freeze the dough to make more later. Enjoy, and congratulations again Mom!

Monster Cookies
3 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 & 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter (I use creamy since I don’t like crunchy)
4 & 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup mini M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease/spray/line baking sheets. Combine eggs, both sugars, vanilla, corn syrup, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add melted butter. Next add peanut butter, oats, and flour and mix thoroughly. Stir in the chips and M&Ms. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes to allow the oats to absorb the butter.
Drop the dough onto baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Note: I’ve made these cookies in all different sizes. If you choose to make a larger size, hence the word “monster”, I suggest flattening the dough slightly before putting the cookies in the oven. These cookies do not spread much!

all the ingredients

May 07, 2010

I Eat On My Vacations

snow on the front gate

After our trip to Disneyland, I had three days of work, and then we were off again to the cabin. The cabin is owned by my grandparents, but they are incredibly gracious with it, and everyone has a key, and everyone can use it. It’s also one of Captain America’s favorite places as well, and he was the one who had initially requested the visit. My favorite thing about going to the mountains is I don’t have to do anything. Except the dishes. Our cabin is minus a dishwasher. But it does have avocado green appliances. I bet you thought those were just for movies.

I had planned a pretty simple, and extremely unhealthy menu for the trip. Going to the cabin requires some strategic planning on my part. You want your meals to be simple, and not require a lot of fancy cookware. Because we just don’t have it. The cabin is where the family’s kitchen things go to die. Or really, it’s more like an old folks home. I use it as my excuse to eat the food I wouldn’t normally eat. I mean pasta or baked potatoes are much easier to cook than say pan grilled chicken with mango salsa. Let’s just say the fewer ingredients needed, the better.

First thing Thursday morning, I headed to the grocery store while Captain America finished up some work he had to do before we left the internet possessing world. I really should not be allowed to grocery shop by myself. Especially on an empty stomach. Among other things, here are some of my purchases:

1 lb. yogurt covered pretzels
12 pack of beer
sharp cheddar cheese
hot pepper cheese
cinnamon toast crunch
frosted flakes
lil smokies
cinnamon rolls (2 packages!)
crescent rolls
frozen chicken tenders
peanut butter cookie dough
chocolate chip cookie dough

See where this is going? After a mini lunch of our Cheesecake Factory leftovers (friend mac and cheese bites for me, chicken parm sandwich for Captain America) we headed north for the mountains. Of course, at the one and only descent sized town between us and the cabin, I needed Wendy’s. A frosty, fries, and a jr. bacon cheeseburger kind of need. It was delicious. The dog thought so too. He ate a few fries. No frosty though. He’s already had one bout with chocolate and we don’t need to go through that again.

When we were about 15 minutes to our destination, it started snowing. I love snow. A LOT. I took it as an omen to eat whatever I wanted the next 4 days. And I did. That pound of yogurt pretzels…completely gone. Cinnamon rolls, both packages…gone. Cinnamon toast crunch…pretty much ate the entire box alone. Cookie dough…both raw and cooked. Ritz Crackers…at least two sleeves.

it's snowing!

I do admit that I overbought and we didn’t eat everything, so at least there’s that. Other than eating we watched a ton of movies, mostly bad, and watched some sports and of course the Derby. Stupid Captain America picked the winning horse, while my choice came in somewhere around 10th. While the cabin doesn’t have internet, we do have cable, so we aren’t complete shut-ins. We went for a walk with the dog, and went to a goat farm that makes cheese and fudge and stuff. I must say that I was pretty sad to leave Sunday morning, but I am glad to be back in a house with a dishwasher.

I wish I could have used the time away from my day job to bake for you guys, but the altitude doesn’t do any favors to baked goods, so stay tuned next Monday for something new. I’ll give you a hint…it’s for breakfast!

May 05, 2010

Eating My Way Through Disneyland

The Star

Sorry for my extended absence…I thought that I could vacation and write, but being lazy and watching movies and eating my weight in yogurt covered pretzels managed to consume me the last 10 days. Oh and that pesky other half that was here managed to do a pretty good job of preventing me from blogging. Well, him and a lack of internet.

As for my other half, I've made the executive decision that he needs a good code name. If you are a fan of the Pioneer Woman like I am, you know she refers to her hubby as Marlboro Man, or MM for short. I’m not against calling him by his first name, but really, every good boyfriend needs a nickname. I think I will go with Captain America, or CA for short. Yup, it’s perfect. It goes with my Old Navy shirt that reads "My boyfriend is a super hero" with Captain America in the middle. Yes, I own that, and yes I am that cool. And yes, he only likes to take self portraits, anything else he considers torture.

Main Gate

Almost 2 weeks ago now, I drove to California to pick up Captain America and head to Disneyland. Other than his flight getting cancelled, getting another one, having to pick him up at LA instead of Orange County, missing dinner plans with one of my dear friends, and his luggage being lost for 3 days, it went off without a hitch.

At least the actual Disneyland portion was fun. I had high hopes of documenting my mega-consumption of their many delectable treats, but alas, photography was lacking on our adventure. So instead I thought I would give you a little rundown. Please feel free to criticize, but I’m sure it’s only because you are jealous.

A Pre-Mouse Breakfast
Breakfast was served at the hotel for free, which was one of the reasons that I picked it, so we started off on the right foot. Well, I’m not sure right is the correct thing to say. I started with half a crumb donut and some generic cheerios. That and a handful of yogurt covered pretzels. Captain America managed to eat the other half of my donut, two more donuts, a waffle, juice, milk and an English muffin.

Morning Snack Time
After a ride on Winnie the Pooh, I insisted to stopping into the candy shop behind Splash Mountain. I really wanted some fudge, but got distracted by the giant Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, so I went with it. Captain America got an oreo brownie the size of my hand. In our minds, 10am is the perfect time to eat sweets. Morning snack of champions.

Captain America let me be the tour guide since he was a Disney virgin, so I chose a burger place in Critter Country. He got the bacon cheeseburger and fries, while I decided to be healthy and skip the bacon. And hey, I got Coke Zero, that’s healthy right? I swear the highlight of his day was seeing two cats when we were eating. He’s a huge cat person. I ate my entire burger, which was pretty darn good, and should have been for the price, and most of the fries. What can I say, I can eat.

Afternoon Churro Session
My favorite food at Disneyland hands down is the churro. For some reason they are so much better there than any place else. All day I wanted one, and finally I caved and went for it. Of course Captain America joined me for a tasty afternoon snack. I really wanted to go back from seconds, but decided I shouldn’t completely bust the buttons on my jeans. Oh, but before the churros and after the burgers, I did eat a candy bar.

chris and his churro

me and my churro

Dinner Time
Captain America wanted to change into pants around dinnertime, so we headed back to the hotel. He suggested we order pizza to be delivered to our room via the restaurant advertising on the back of the hotel key. This was a huge risk for me. Besides the fact that we had no menu to go off of, just a phone number and three specials, I am kind of fussy about pizza. I went with it though, and we ordered a pepperoni and sausage pizza and two orders of garlic bread. Turned out I was pleasantly surprised. The pizza was pretty darn good, and we ate a lot. Please don’t be surprised at this point, you really should know me by now. Like that song…If you don’t know my by now…yeah don’t know any more of the words. But by the end of dinner, there was no garlic bread in sight, and not a lot of pizza left either.

The Night Cap
Now for the letdown of the evening. After we went back, watched the fireworks, and rode the remaining rides on our list, I really wanted ice cream. As we were walking back through Main Street, we walked into the ice cream parlor and it smelled like heaven. Freshly made waffle cone heaven. But the line was long, and Captain America was cold since he had no sweatshirt since he had no luggage, and I didn’t want to make him wait 30 minutes for a scoop of ice cream. So I figured we’d just stop at one of the little convenience stores that were between Disneyland and the hotel and I’d get a pre-packaged ice cream sandwich or something. But then when we got there, Captain America said he didn’t want anything, and then I started to feel guilty and so I didn’t get anything either. BIG MISTAKE. So instead I went back to the hotel and ate Cheez-its and more yogurt covered pretzels. So there.

* * * * * * * *

And that pretty much covers our day. I could tell you about all the wonderful things I ate on the way there, and on the drive back, but I will choose to avoid that embarrassment. I will say that I did get my ice cream cookie sandwich on the way home though. I think it had over 30 grams of fat. And it was the best ice cream sandwich cookie I’ve ever had.

On another note, please stay tuned on Friday for installment number two…The Cabin. Affectionately know as “How I ate my way out of the snow and into a diet”.