Monthly Archives: November 2010

Post Thanksgiving Almond Cookies

Thanksgiving is over. Boo hoo! Our Thanksgiving was eventful, to say the least. First of all, Snoqualmie Pass was treacherous and involved a lot of me “white knuckling” the car door and making whiny scared noises. Luckily, my boyfriend is a brave man and drove the whole way and calmly told me to keep it together and everything would be fine. When we finally got over the pass we high tailed it straight to the ferry. We always have such good ferry luck! We never ever check the ferry times before we leave, but we always end up getting there right when they’re loading the cars on and barely have to wait 10 minutes. We got out of the car, went upstairs to find ourselves a sitting spot on the ferry’s lovely vinyl benches that I love so much. We discussed how horrible the pass was, how awesome it was that we didn’t get in a car accident, and how we have perfect ferry timing. We then descended back down to our car, put on some Marvin Gaye, and car danced our way off the ferry. Which Marvin song were we listening to, you may ask? ONLY THE BEST DANCE SONG EVER MADE! I love this song…

We thought the scary driving part of our drive was over, and boy were we wrong. The minute we got off the ferry we noticed it was eerily dark. We then noticed that the traffic lights weren’t working. They weren’t even flashing yellow “yield” lights, like a normal broken traffic light. Oh no, there was NO POWER on Bainbridge Island at all. They apparently had a “bad” winter storm the night before. Now “bad” on the west side of the cascades means roughly 2 inches of snow. Oh and some wind. I’m not saying they’re pussies…..okay yeah, I’m saying they’re pussies. Get it together west side. Not only was there no power any where to be found, but people were driving like they had a pregnant lady in the car that they were rushing to the hospital. Consequently, these people ended up in a ditch. You deserve to be in a ditch person-that-can’t-drive-in-snow. Slow it down.

Finally, we arrived to our destination; Jon’s parent’s house. They also had no power. They hadn’t had power for over 24 hours (!). It was freezing cold, but luckily they had a fireplace, lanterns, a wind-up radio and plenty of blankets. We all huddled up in a corner next to the fireplace, listened to the radio and proceeded to entertain ourselves with lots of wine and shadow puppets. We also attempted to play a game of LIFE, which turns out to be the most confusing game on Earth and gave up shortly after breaking it out. Here’s proof that we were huddled into one corner of the house. (this picture doesn’t really do this story justice, the flash ruined showing how dark it really was in there).

We did have a really fun Thanksgiving break though. We had a huge feast and all fell into a deep food coma after eating copious amounts of turkey and stuffing. We also got to go visit my college roomie, Kayce, for a night which was really fun.

Okay, on to the recipe of the day! Almond cookies. My inspiration for making this came Thanksgiving day. After dinner we all sat in the living room and watched Kung Fu Panda. There is a part in the movie where the Panda (the KUNG FU panda) gets high up on a shelf to steal some almond cookies, and Jon’s dad exclaimed that he loves almond cookies. I had never had one before so I did a little research and came up with this. Here’s what you’ll need:

2 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 cup lard (because lard is JUST what you need after Thanksgiving)
2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp almond extract
2 dozen whole almonds

First, sift together all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Dump in your cup of lard.

Could the word LARD be any more disgusting? Ugh, just say it out loud. Lard. And could they make this container look any older? It looks like I’ve had this in my pantry since 1986. That makes it seem even more gross.

Now, cut your LARD into your dry ingredients with a couple of forks until it resembles corn meal.

Close up of what the “corn meal lard concoction” should look like.

Now, add your eggs and almond extract. Stir to combine.

This dough is going to be fairly dry and crumbly. That’s okay, it’s actually what you want. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and roll your dough into 1 inch balls. Place them on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart from each other.

Press a whole almond into the top of your dough balls and shape the cookie into a circle. The dough is dry so it might crack a little, but just form it back together.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. Make sure you eat one while it’s still warm. You’ll be happy you did.

You could make a few batches of these and give them away as Christmas presents, they’re really that good.


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Pot Roast!!

I’ve been having to stop myself from buying anything and everything to fill the empty walls up in our house. There are so many empty, huge walls and I never thought of the fact that I would eventually have to fill them up with something because staring at a huge white wall just isn’t appealing to my eye balls. The white above my mantle has been haunting me since June. I would just stare at it’s stupid, boring whiteness and loath it. I knew I wanted a mirror, but are you aware of how expensive a cool looking mirror is? Pretty expensive. And I just couldn’t justify spending money on a mirror for myself when I have about 900 presents to buy for people for Christmas. And then I went to Pier 1 yesterday with my Mama. If you are searching for a big pretty mirror in Yakima, run to Pier 1 right this minute. They have quite a few mirrors on sale that they’re trying to get rid of. Don’t even finish reading this blog post, go now. First of all, my lovely find used to be $150. It was marked down to $90, which I was willing to pay. It had a big scratch on it though, so I guarded my precious mirror while my Mom went to go find someone to see if they had more in the back. The girl informed us that it was the last one of it’s kind, but since there was a scratch she could give me 20% off AND she would fix the scratches with a wood pen for me! Sold!

Now that is a lovely mirror, if I can say so myself!

On to the food! Do you enjoy a good braised meat? If you say no, then you obviously don’t know what the eff you’re talking about. Enter the Braised Pot Roast. Here’s what you’re going to need:
1 (3-4 lb) pot roast
Olive Oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
3 large carrots, cut into chunks
4 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
2 red onions, quartered
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves pulled off stem and coarsely chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, hand crushed
1/2 bottle of wine (2 cups)

Place your dutch oven over medium-high heat and cover the bottom of pot with olive oil. While that’s heating up, liberally season both sides of pot roast with salt and pepper.

(sorry all the pictures for this blog are really fuzzy and terrible)
Once dutch oven is hot, place pot roast in pan and brown on all sides. This step takes a little bit of time, so while it’s browning mince your garlic and chop your rosemary. Place into a small bowl and give it a good drizzle of olive oil.

After your meat is browned…

pour your wine into the pot. Next, add your tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions and sprig of thyme and pour your olive oil/rosemary/garlic paste over everything. Place in a 350 degree oven for about 3 hours, checking on it every so often to see if it needs any basting.

After it’s done roasting, take out of the oven and place the meat on a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes. Place all the vegetables on a plate and cover with foil, leaving only the juices in the pot. Place on a burner over medium-high heat and reduce for about 15 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. If you would like your sauce thicker you could add a couple tablespoons of flour. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes.

I know this isn’t the prettiest picture in the world (especially with that weird juice schmere on the front of the plate) but I promise you this is one of the best beef dishes I have ever made. Super tender and really flavorful. Now go forth and buy new mirrors and make delicious pot roasts!

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Oatmeal Schmoatmeal

Would you like some oatmeal cookies? Well, you can’t have any of mine. But feel free to make your own.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 cup butter (or, if you have vegan margarine leftover from making vegan pumpkin cookies, you can use that….I did)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3 cups oats
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup secret ingredient (Heath toffee bits)

Cream together your butter, white and brown sugar in a large bowl

Add your eggs one at a time and cream them in, too.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.
Slowly add the flour mixture to your wet ingredients a small amount at a time.

Once combined stir in oats. Then add your yummy ingredients (raisins, pecans and Heath Bits! Mmmm….heeaaathhhh biiiittsss)

Spoon small mounds of cookie batter onto your cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until just golden brown.

I gave some to the neighbors (my brother and his girlfriend, Sarah) and I’m going to give some to my parents today. This recipe made 2 dozen cookies and that’s too many for just Jon and I. But the rest of you can’t have any, because I already gave away as many as I’m willing to part with. Make your own oatmeal cookies!

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