Really Good Oatmeal Cookies [recipe]

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Ah, oatmeal.

It seems that people either love it or hate it with a passion.

I’m a fan, but oatmeal can be a divisive subject within my family.

Dad: OK, I’ll eat it because it’s a fresh, hot breakfast.

Mom: This is so healthy for you – it’s whole grains and is good for lowering your cholesterol

Younger Sister #1: Eh, not oatmeal again. It’s not my favorite.

Younger Sister #2: I think I’m going to eat waffles with whipped cream for breakfast instead.

My grandma: (nodding her head) I love oatmeal. I eat it with salted egg and dried fish for breakfast and it’s almost like Chinese rice porridge.

So, you see, even within my family everyone has their own reaction when they see a pot of oatmeal sitting on the stovetop in the morning. To each their own, I suppose.

I might do a future post about some of my favorite *healthy* oatmeal toppings, but for now, here’s an oatmeal cookie recipe that can please everybody except those people who really can’t stand chocolate, dried cranberries, raisins, and sugar. Continue reading “Really Good Oatmeal Cookies 

Egg Roll Cookies

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My family has a semi-strict rule against purchasing kitchen appliances that only serve one purpose. For example, a cherry pitter or a kiwi knife or a panini maker are absolute no-goes because they take up valuable cabinet real estate. If the device or appliance has only a single capability, we believe that more multi-purpose paring knife or just a good ol’ frying pan can do the trick. Continue reading “Egg Roll Cookies”

Weekend Cheesecake [recipe]

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Let’s talk guilty pleasures.

Okay, yes, in reality there should be no such thing as a “guilty pleasure” because we eat decently healthy 80% of the time, leaving us room to splurge about 20% of the time (the 80-20 rule) without feeling an ounce of guilt.

I don’t follow that suggestion to an absolute “T,” but I do try to eat healthy most of the time and save the not-so-nutritious stuff for special occasions.

All that goes to say that I am a dessert connoisseur — probably not in the way you were thinking. Yes, I always consider my options (and who doesn’t love options?), but I look for quality. If I’m going to have dessert, it better be worth it.  I’m not a fan of a low-fat diet food ice cream sandwich with unpronounceable pseudo ingredients. I want the  real thing made with cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla bean.

Continue reading “Weekend Cheesecake

Marcy’s Jewish Almond Cookies

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Believe it or not, we’re on the verge of entering a new year. It’s crazy to think that 2014 has zoomed by and in just a few hours, when I write the date I’ll have to scribble “5” on top of the “4” I’ve grown used to. It’s a struggle until February when 2014 starts to feel like the long-lost past.

Can you tell that this was supposed to be a Christmas cookie post? Okay, sorry, I am most definitely late to the (cookie recipe exchange) party.

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Nonetheless, if you’re having a major freak-out right now about what you’re bringing to the upcoming New Year’s Eve party tonight, I’ve got you covered. These cookies might have been perfectly timed for Christmas, but with their dusting of snowy powdered sugar and fragile almond bits in the middle, you can enjoy them at any moment of the year. Continue reading “Marcy’s Jewish Almond Cookies”

Cupcakes in Moderation

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Or so they say. P1050204

Now, of course I’m exaggerating. In this case, the desperate time was the reality of having to go back to school. Most specifically, it was starting junior year, the year every single person I talk to says is the hardest year of high school. 

It’s a bit of a shock to transition from sleeping in until 11 a.m. to waking up before the crack of dawn (or at least while it’s still dark). 

I found myself dreading Monday morning. 

My solution to counting down the days until school began was to whip a batch of Kara Lind’s Chocolate Cupcakes. 

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If you’re not familiar with Kara’s Cupcakes, it is a business started by Cupcakes Wars second place finisher Kara Lind. Kara’s cupcakes are fluffy and light and some flavors are paired with a heavenly cloud of butter cream frosting. I’m lucky enough to go to a school that has a Kara’s right across the street which makes it the perfect place for a minimum day sugar rush. 

Of course, I was overjoyed when I’d found out that the recipe for these chocolate cupcakes was out and I could make them at home. 

Let’s just say that was a perfect way to end my summer. Of course, you can’t go wrong with cream cheese frosting following the recipe I used for the banana cake

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Enjoy! 

Bethany 

PB&J Thumbprint Freezer Cookies

P1040874 I love cookies but I don’t love the way our convection oven is like a heater. Especially during the summer, I want to satisfy my sweet tooth quickly and without too much unnecessary sweat.

But crisis averted! With these PB&J freezer cookies, you only need a microwave and a freezer or fridge. If you prefer not to microwave, the binding ingredients could be melted in a saucepan on the stove.

These cookies are a twist on that classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. One of my best memories of PB&J was in my 6th grade English class. The goal was to teach us young middle schoolers how to write clearly. After we each wrote instructions for the steps to create a sandwich, the teacher got her hands dirty and made the sandwich exactly the way she interpreted our instructions. Suffice to say, my classmates ended up with open-faced sandwiches, peanut butter or jelly spread on the bread with bare hands, or no sandwich at all. Mine turned out to be a decent sandwich besides the fact that I had forgotten to clarify the need to remove the plastic knives. My sandwich had a few plastic knives smooshed in the middle. At least mine was edible.

No worries, though. I guarantee that these cookies (and the cookie dough) are 100% edible!

P1040860  P1040863  P1040866  P1040870 Continue reading “PB&J Thumbprint Freezer Cookies”

Scrumptious Banana Snack Cake with Light Cream Cheese Frosting

Imagine you’re invited to a weekend brunch or lunch and you need to bring a quick dessert. Something light yet sweet. Enter banana snack cake with a sheet of cream cheese frosting. Within a mere 90 minutes, you can whip up a cake that serves a group of people and makes them beg for more. At least that’s what happened at the brunch I attended.

Continue reading “Scrumptious Banana Snack Cake with Light Cream Cheese Frosting”

Chinese Flan

We were driving up a one lane road in search of our friends’ house. It was the first time we’d ventured up there and little did we know that this family literally lives on top of a very steep hill. Unfortunately, the dizzying feeling of carsickness soon came along. That’s when I started staring at the road’s median strip and maneuvering a pretend steering wheel.

As my sisters and I attempted to combat our minor carsickness, this flan sloshed around in the trunk. It seems to me that flans are rather picky about the conditions. They are rather delicate custards, and let’s just say that they don’t fancy hairpin turns.

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Even though the flan experienced a bit of trauma during transportation, fellow foodies (family, friends, neighbors down the street) will give you a thumbs up after a single bite. Continue reading “Chinese Flan”