Cookies and Presents

I hope y’all had a lovely Christmas.

Did I really just say y’all?

Uh yeah. I guess I did.

I think I was trying to channel my inner Paula Deen.

I ♥ Paula Deen.

I’m a firm believer in using REAL BUTTER when you cook or bake.

And Paula is the Queen of Butter.

You know, if that were an actual title you could hold.

I want her to be my neighbor. She could live on whatever side Nigella isn’t living on.

Nigella and Paula as my neighbors would be incredimazeballs.

Snickerdoodles

In high school and college I was OBSESSED with Friends. My sisters, friends, and I watched it religiously every Thursday. Seriously, was there anything better? Every now and then I still find myself referencing or quoting Friends.

Some of my favorite scenes from Friends:

When Phoebe finds out about Monica and Chandler.

The Roommate Game.

Enunciation with Gary Oldman.

Unagi.

Thanksgiving Football.

I get obsessed a lot. I think it’s kind of a problem. Especially my obsession with Nigella. I really do want her to be my neighbor. But since the probability of that happening is one in a billion, I’ll settle for making her snickerdoodles.

I substituted the vanilla for almond extract.

I’m a bit obsessed with almond flavored sweets.

What is your favorite scene from Friends? 

Snickerdoodles

Yield: 24-30 cookies

Ingredients

  • (adapted from Nigella)
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1/3 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
  4. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon on a plate.
  5. With your hands (or a small cookie scoop) roll out walnut-sized balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on parchment lined or greased baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. When done, let rest on baking sheets for one minute then transfer to wire racks to cool.
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I Heart These Cookbooks

So I’m totally bummed. My kitchen won’t be finished for AT LEAST another week. But once it’s in complete working order I will be baking and cooking like a mad woman. If you’ve got any recipes you’d like me to feature on my blog, please feel free to send them here.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite cookbooks. I get a lot of my recipes from the internet but these books get used quite often.

IMG_8241The Joy of Cooking

I LOVE THIS BOOK! My husband bought it for my birthday last year and I have to say, if you own only one cookbook, make it this one. It has practically everything in it and even a whole section called “Know Your Ingredients.” I go back to it time and time again for inspiration and to get some culinary education.

IMG_8252Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast

Okay, so you all know that I love Nigella. And I really do wish she was my neighbor. I absolutely adore her cookbooks too. This one is filled with simple, yet delicious recipes that could be made almost any night of the week.

IMG_8254How To Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking

Yes, another Nigella cookbook. Tons of great baking ideas and not just for sweet stuff. Savory pies, tarts and breads as well. Seriously Nigella, we should be neighbors. We could have tea together, talk about cooking, and perhaps even bake some brownies. You know, fun stuff.

IMG_8249Martha Stewart’s Cookies

It’s Martha Stewart. Do I really need to say anything else? Gorgeous photos. Yummy cookies. And there’s even a section dedicated to beautifully packaging these goodies. Gonna use some of her ideas for Christmas gifts.

What are your favorite cookbooks?

Meatloaf Meatballs

Meatloaf is on the top of many comfort food lists. I think that’s because almost everyone ate it as a kid. It reminds us of home and our childhood. A time when there were no bills to pay, no 40 hour work weeks, and no kids to drive us insane to take care of.

I’ve made Nigella’s Mini Meatloaves before but this time I put my own spin on it. Can you guess what I added? That’s right. Bacon. Smoky, slightly salty, almost sinful, bacon. Did you know that today is International Bacon Day? Yeah, I had no idea either. I think you should celebrate by making this. Or by watching Footloose.

IMG_7866A meaty smile.

IMG_7894

 Muffin tins are not just for baking sweet stuff.

IMG_7911

 Try it. You’ll like it.

Meatloaf Meatballs

Yield: 12 meatballs

Ingredients

  • (recipe adapted from Nigella)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • ¼ cup steak sauce (such as A1)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix together with your hands.
  3. Divide and roll the mixture into 12 equal sized balls. Place in a 12 cup muffin tin sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
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Tuesday Tidbits

1. Watched the season finale of Game of Thrones last night. What. The. Heck.

2. For the longest time I thought these were 5 pound weights.

IMG_7859They’re actually 3 pound weights. I’m a wimp.

3. I saw this the other day. Totally gonna make it.

4. Went to Target on Sunday and didn’t spend more than $100 this time. Progress. Or maybe I just didn’t have enough time to browse.

5. Here’s a sneak peek of Thursday’s post.

IMG_7825 6. My four-month-old nephew now weighs the same as my one-year-old. He’s not super big. My daughter is just really petite.

7. My cousin is looking for a pretty (a.k.a. not ghetto) wedding ceremony site on Oahu that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Any suggestions?

8. Sometimes I wish Nigella Lawson was my neighbor.

Hope you all have an amazing week!