Delicious Snickerdoodles

A few weeks ago, I realized I eat salads pretty much every day for lunch and for a minute that depressed me.  When you work in an office full of people who buy delicious smelling take-out everyday, eating a salad with some sort of protein, olive oil and lemon daily gets a bit depressing.  Really it’s all a question of comparison.

But then I remember all the reasons I eat salads: health, tastiness, cost-effectiveness and of course, vanity– salads keep me in shape.

But that got me thinking: if I were a “naturally thin” person would I eat out all the time? Would I still go to crossfit?

I posed this question to my friend and her response was “But you love salads! You ate them every single day in school.”

Umm yeah, no.  I’ve deluded myself (and led others) to believe that I love salad.  I like salads just fine, but I don’t love salad.  I love cookies. And pie.

But I make myself eat salad.  Because being an adult means doing things you don’t love in the name of health.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  So I eat a ton of vegetables and I go to crossfit.  I genuinely enjoy crossfit but I also genuinely enjoy my bed at 5:20am when my alarm goes off.

Vegetables and exercise are important.  But let’s also remember that women cannot live on vegetables alone (although I know many try).  Sometimes we just need a dang cookie.  So I have one for you today.

This isn’t my recipe, but it’s a recipe that is awesome so I have to share it with you. If you’re looking for an awesome snickerdoodle recipe, look no further.  I’ve got you covered.

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Delicious Snickerdoodles

adapted from All Recipes

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Cream together butter, shortening and 3/4 cup sugar.  Beat until fluffy.   Add egg and vanilla and beat another minute.  Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and beat until just combined.  

On a plate, combine 2 tbsp sugar with cinnamon.  Roll dough into walnut sized balls and roll into cinnamon/sugar mixture. Repeat until you get 24 dough balls delicioussnickerdoodles2

Lay dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet a few inches apart.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Remove from baking sheets and allow to cool.  Serve and enjoy!  This will make about 2 dozen cookies.

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Remember that vegetables are healthy eats are super important in life, but there’s also room for cookies.  So don’t forget to have one of those occasionally too.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie?  I recently discovered this Molasses cookie with Apricot Chunks from Blackmarket Bakery that I’m in looooove with. I must try to recreate it soon.

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Salted Almond Joy Bark

With Christmas and the New Year on the horizon, I have two goals for today:

1. Clean out my closet/dresser of unwanted garments

I have too much stuff.  I have clothing I don’t wear and even more that doesn’t fit.  One of the fantastic things about lifting weights is that my body shrank.  It’s great! But it means that I don’t own any pants that fit me.  So I want to clear out the stuff that doesn’t fit me any more, because there’s no room in my shoebox of an apartment for clothing that is too big or old.
2. Bake Christmas Cookies for gifts

I love baking and Christmas is the perfect time to bake treats and give them away.  So today and tomorrow will consist of Christmas baking.  I had my recipes all planned out, but then yesterday when I arrived to Crossfit, Allison told me she had something for me.  She handed me a lovely tin filled with homemade salted chocolate coconut almond bark.

At this point it was nearly 6am and not an appropriate time to eat chocolate.  So I put it in my car, got my butt kicked during the WOD and went to work.  I have this rule during the holidays (since there are so many treats floating around) that I’m allowed to have a sweet treat AFTER lunch.

This means waiting til I have a nutritious (or semi-nutritious because yesterday my boss took us to Umami Burger for lunch and that’s clearly NOT nutritious) before enjoying goodies and also cutting down on how much I eat.  I have a hard time stopping once I start, so I found it’s better for me to just start later.  But anyway…

So I waited until after lunch and had a piece of Allison’s delicious bark.

OMG

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OMG

It was awesome.  Let me just tell you, I gave some to co-workers and to Jesse, but the reality is I ate it mostly myself.  Today, as of 2pm… the bark is gone.  As in, I finished it all after lunch today.

Because this bark was so amazing I wanted to try to make it on my own and give it to my loved ones.  I’ve decided to rename it Salted Almond Joy Bark, because that’s sort of what it reminded me of.

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Salted Almond Joy Bark

from Sweet Potato Bites

10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips  (or chocolate chunks)
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup Roasted Coconut Chips*
Coarse Sea Salt

First, prepare your pan by lining a cookie sheet with parchment.  Set aside.

Next, pour chocolate into a microwave safe bowl.

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Microwave 30 seconds then stir.  Microwave another 30 seconds and stir, repeat until chocolate is melted and smooth. You can also do this in a pan or double boiler, but I’ll be honest, the microwave is a million times easier.  It’s also idiot-proof.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my chocolate seize when using a double boiler, because water in chocolate (steam included!) might cause it to seize.

Because of this, I take the easy route and use the microwave.  Once your chocolate is melted and smooth, pour about 3/4 of the chocolate into the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Using a spatula, smooth until it’s a tiny bit thick (if you like your bark thicker, leave it thicker, if you want it thinner, spread it more).  It doesn’t have to be perfect because you’re going to cover it with stuff anyway…

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Sprinkle chocolate with coconut and almonds.  Take the remaining chocolate and drizzle it overs the coconut and almonds.

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Sprinkle with sea salt (be generous! That’s seriously the best part!) and refrigerate or freeze until firm.

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Once the chocolate is completely hardened (it took about an hour for me, if not it’ll start to melt when you touch it), break the bark into pieces.

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Store in an air tight container in a cool spot for up to a week.

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*I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips, but if there’s no Trader Joe’s near you, you can just use toasted coconut.

This stuff was seriously amazing.  The salt really takes this from normal tasty chocolate bark to something out of this world.  Everyone that tried it loved it.  I’m really excited to share this with others along with Orange-Pistachio Biscotti, Molasses Cookies, Chocolate Mint Cookies and maybe another cookie or two.  Any suggestions?

Are you giving Christmas Cookies this season?  If so, what are your top cookies or treats to gift?

Molasses Cranberry Cookies

Christmas season is in full swing!  Normally, I’m not that into holidays. But I’m not sure what’s wrong with me this year, all I want is a living room with a Christmas tree.   If you remember back when I told you about where Foodologie happens, you’ll remember that I live in a studio that is teeny-tiny.  That means I have zero room for a Christmas tree.   So because I can’t be festive in my living space, I have to find other ways to make the most of the holiday season.

First, I bought a Christmas dress. A new dress for Christmas is a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember.     Anyone else do that?

I’m thoroughly excited about it.  I also bought myself another dress, because… well…

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Christmas present to myself?  (P.S. When will I get over sending my friends pics of outfits I’m thinking of buying?)

In addition to my Christmas dress, I’ve also been thoroughly excited about cookies.  So cookie making has been happening, starting with these:

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I don’t know about you, but I love chewy molasses cookies with lots of ginger.  They’re pretty much the best, as are these cookies.

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Molasses Cranberry Cookies

adapted from Blue Ribbon Cookies

1 stick of butter + 2 tbsp (10 tbsp total)1 cup sugar (plus extra for rolling)
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mace
1 cup dried cranberries

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in molasses and egg until fluffy.  In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Just before ingredients are combine, fold in cranberries.

Chill dough for a few hours.

Once you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F.

Form dough into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool  and serve!  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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I took these to work, shared with friends and a boyfriend. They were gone pretty quickly.  I’ll definitely be including these in my Christmas Cookie Gift Tins.   I have a few other awesome cookie recipes coming up, because seriously… I’m obsessed with cookies right now.

What about you?  How are you preparing for Christmas?  Do you have a Christmas dress yet?

Persimmon Crumb Cake

Hi Everyone! I’m in Peru probably avoiding altitude sickness is Cusco and on my way to Machu Picchu, but before I left, I made something to share with you.

I have some pretty awesome co-workers.  Once brought me a bag with 15 persimmons.  Isn’t that amazing? I love persimmons but $$$ and let’s be honest… the rent is too damn high to be eating persimmons all the time.

First, I used the persimmons for pancake topping.

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But sadly, he gave me persimmons just before I left for Peru so I figured a great way to give back (and use up the persimmons) was to make a delicious treat with them. If you’re looking for a wonderful afternoon tea fall crumb cake… this is the one.

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Simple and delicious.  And I have to confess, that I ate two pieces of this when I brought it to work.  It was great with a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

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Persimmon Crumb Cake

adapted from Real Simple Sandi Rose’s Blackberry Crumb Cake

Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup (heaping) sugar
2 tbsp butter

For Cake:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
4-5 persimmons, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Make crumble topping by combining all ingredients.  Use your fingers to work it together til it becomes the texture of coarse crumbs.  Set aside.

Next make the cake batter.  Beat together oil and sugar.  Continue to beat and add eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each egg.  Add dry ingredients as you’re beating in the dry ingredients, stir in the milk.

Pour batter into a 9inch square pan (I actually used a 9inch deep pie dish, because that’s all I had).   Sprinkle with chopped persimmons then the crumble topping. Note: some of the persimmons might sink because the batter is pretty watery, but that’s ok!

Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.  Allow to cool completely, dust with powdered sugar (optional). Slice and serve!

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Definitely a winner. Perfect for afternoon tea or when you have guests.  And the best part, if you don’t have persimmons you can pretty much sub out any fruit: apples, pears, peaches, berries, even probably bananas?

Either way, make this and have it with a large cup of coffee or tea.  I did.  It was amazing. Do it.

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So while I’m in Peru, I don’t have time to share all this goodness with the social media world.  Do me a favor.  Tweet it. Pin it. Facebook it. Tell the world about the magic of persimmon cake!  In the meantime, I’m going to hike a mountain and eat some guinea pig (well… we’ll see)…

Also don’t forget The Refugee Auction is ending soon! Don’t miss out on your chance to bid on some Foodologie treats just for you!  Check it out here!

Peanut Butter Bacon Rice Crispies

I’m going to go ahead and let you know that after this post, all you’re going to want in life is a rice crispy treat.  If there’s bacon in it, that’s going to be an added bonus.  But rice crispies are going to be on your brain and I’m not even sorry.

The past few weeks have been the most insufferably hot weeks ever.  It’s like I forgot that I grew up in a desert-like region where 100F+ is normal during the summer.  100F in Costa Mesa is hell (without AC).  As a result, I refused to turn on the oven.

Frying bacon on the other hand, no heat could stop that.

When I was trying to think of what to make for dessert for a potluck, I could only think of making something that did not involve turning on the oven.  So of course I had a brilliant idea, and I made it a reality

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The world can pretty much thank me for this.

Peanut Butter Bacon Rice Crispies

3 slices of thick cut bacon
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Company Crunch Time)

4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups puffed rice cereal

In a large pot, fry bacon.  Once cripsy, remove from pan and pour off the majority of the grease (it’s ok if some stays on there).  Allow bacon to cool completely, then chop.  Add peanut butter and marshmallows to pot and melt on low heat.  Once melted together, add rice cereal and bacon.  Stir to combine.  Press into a 9×13 baking dish lined with parchment paper.  Allow to cool completely, slice and serve!

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These were tasty.  Next time, I’ll drizzle some chocolate on them, because I’m intense like that.  Also because peanut butter, bacon and chocolate are an awesome combination.   Did you forget about the Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Mousse and Maple Candied Bacon?  In case you did, here’s a reminder…

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Peanut Butter and Bacon is absolutely a thing.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you should.  And seriously, this couldn’t be an easier way to do so.  No baking, just a bit of stirring, pressing and slicing.

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Get on it.

What’s your favorite sweet bacon combo??

White Chocolate Wonderful Ice Cream

This week has included a lot of eating.  Jesse and I have our birthdays within a week of each others, which means a lot of celebrations happen at one time.  Now I like to think of birthdays as more than just your birthday.  It really should be a week long celebration.

We started on Monday with an outdoor movie at the Segerstrom Center.  Like any good girlfriend/foodie, I had to pack a picnic…

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I tried to include healthy things, because sometimes we all need some balance.  But see that PB&J chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s.  OMG delicious.  Also, those mason jars are filled with wine (the movie was Mulan, adult grape juice is totally acceptable).  Wondering about the sandwich…

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Turkey and Cheddar with spinach on a pretzel roll with lots of dijon mustard.  Epic.

Wednesday was Jesse’s birthday for real (you probably remember my ridiculously cheesy blog post.  You’re welcome.).  We went to the Boiling Crab for dinner, where I ate an entire pound of shrimp on my own.  I also made him a creamy pumpkin pie

creamypumpkinpieBecause on your birthday you should get what you want, even if it means pumpkin pie in July.

So as you can tell, there’s been a lot of eating.  But while I’ve been busy eating and celebrating, I’ve also been doing other types of photographing.  Did you know sometimes I take pictures of people?

IMG_0568Needless to say, I haven’t had a lot of time to make things and photograph them for blogging purposes.  So while I take a break before making more exciting new things that I can blog about, let me tell you about something I made a while ago… Remember the Peanut Butter Throwdown?  Oh yeah you still have a few more days to enter the giveaway

Well I was super excited to made dessert for that gathering.  And thus this was born:

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White Chocolate Wonderful Ice Cream

1 cup White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy (a few minutes).  Add half and half and whisk until combined.  Transfer to a saucepan, turn flame on to medium/low.  Continue to stir until mixtures starts to thicken (about 10 minutes).  Lastly, stir in white chocolate wonderful peanut butter and stir until combined.

Keep stirring until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Then chill for bit until mixture is cold.  Put in your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.    Just before ice cream is done, drop in white chocolate chips.  Freeze for a few more hours to set, then serve!

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I had to give this away for fear that I would eat the whole thing in a day.  True story.   It doesn’t matter how sugar loaded I am, there’s always room for ice cream.  Don’t you think?

So go ahead and make this.  Think of me and the fact that my birthday is on Tuesday.

Also, Don’t forget to enter the Peanut Butter & Co. Giveaway to win 6 free jars of Peanut Butter!  Click here to enter!  Don’t be a meany! Share it with your friends so they can get some peanut butter love too!

Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar

It’s almost summer, you know what that means?

Summer means that everyone and their mother is making strawberry shortcake.  Why don’t you take a ride with me on the strawberry shortcake wagon, but with a twist of Foodologie.

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That’s code for take something sweet and put it in a jar.  I love things in jars…

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Pies in Jars

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Birthday Cake in a Jar

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Coconut Curry Stew in a Jar

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Cocktails in jars: Strawberry Basil Gin and Tonic

The list goes on really.  But aside from the hipster-y “cute” factor of a jar, I find them to be extremely functional.  They’re sturdy and portable.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped jars, thrown them into bags.  They just don’t break.  It’s great.

So let’s go back to strawberry shortcakes.

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They’re one of those appealing desserts because they’re simply delicious.  Everyone seems to have a way to make them.  Some people use biscuits, some use pound cake, others use angel food cake.

I like to use plain yellow cake (specifically this recipe for Moist Yellow Cake from Epicurious).  It’s lighter than pound cake but denser than angel food cake.  It’s really just all sorts of amazing.

Here’s what you need:

That’s a pretty short list of ingredients for such a fantastic dessert.  The beautiful thing about making them in jars is that they’ll pretty much look cute no matter what you do.

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Wash and slice your strawberries.  Remember these are going in jars, so you want to cut them into small pieces.  Toss with sugar and lemon juice.  I eyeball the sugar, about 1/4 cup for every cup of strawberries.  If you like them sweeter, add more sugar.  Remember this is all about how it tastes best for you. Let the strawberries sit (macerate, if you want to get technical) for 15-20 minutes so they let out all those wonderful juices and you get strawberry saucy goodness (yes, saucy goodness is a legitimate culinary term).

Next whip your cream.  I don’t like mine too sweet.  I add a few tablespoons of sugar for each cup of whipped cream, and about 1/2 a tsp of vanilla.  Once your whipped cream is mixed, transfer it to a ziploc bag.

Now you can assemble.  Take your cake and break it up into little chunks. Place some in the bottom of your jar, next put a few spoonfuls of strawberries in there, press down with a spoon.  Next the whipped cream.  Cut off a corner of the ziploc bag so you have a piping bag of sorts.  Pipe some whipped make sure to get it one the edges so it looks nice.  Then repeat (be sure to press down the cake so more fits in there!).  Depending on how big your jars are and how thick your layers are, you might be able to do 2 or 3 layers.

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Serve or put a lid on them and take them to go!

I wish I had eaten these on a picnic in a park or on the beach, because that really would have added to the full effect of it all.  They’ll just have to go on the menu for my next picnic.

What’s your favorite summer dessert?