Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

I've been really inconsistent in my posting days. So recently I decided to post every Monday and then one other day in the week. That seemed like a reasonably low bar. Apparently not low enough as Monday came and went and this post only got half-written.

Fall, my friends, is here. Oatmeal cookies feel like fall to me--the spices, the oats, the oven on. The coconut adds a touch of sophistication and I LOVE it. I think it's the best oatmeal cookie recipe I've found. Enjoy.

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
adapted from Averie Cooks
Makes 12-18 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes per batch
Cost: $2.00
egg: .10, coconut oil: .50, brown sugar: .10, white sugar: .05, vanilla: .10, coconut: .25, oats: .05, flour: .10, chocolate chips: .75

Note: The source for this recipe warned against using more chocolate chips than this recipe calls for. I thought she was crazy. Nope. She's right. If you use more than it says your chips will fall out of this slightly unusual dough. So just follow the recipe already.

1 egg
1/2 C coconut oil, melted into its liquid state (though you don't want it hot for the recipe or your chocolate chips will melt as you mix them in)
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1 C sweetened shredded coconut (do NOT pack it in--just lay it loosely into your measuring cup)
1 C old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick)
1 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 C chocolate chips

Combine egg, coconut oil, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.

Add coconut, oats, flour, and baking soda. Stir.

Stir in chocolate chips. You'll notice that they're going to fall out of this dough. Just fold them in or grab the dough and knead those chips in till they stay. This is a slightly odd dough--crumbly-ish, but oily. Just trust. It will all work out.

Scoop cookies onto cookie sheet. You may want to squeeze them into balls to ensure those slippery chocolate chips don't keep trying to fall out.

Now here's where you have to delay gratification: You've got to chill these for several hours. Otherwise (at least this is what the source recipe warned), these will spread like crazy. So chill them. (Note: I did NOT do this on the cookie sheet. I just balled them up and put them in a bowl.)

Preheat oven to 350. Bake 9-ish minutes. The coconut can burn, so err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking.

Cool these for a few minutes and then enjoy.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dumb Easy Dinner: Pizza Crescents

This is the first installment of my Dumb Easy Dinner series--which is not to promise that I will post Dumb Easy Dinner posts on a particular day of every week or any such promise that I probably can't keep. It is to say that sometimes (okay, maybe often), I post recipes that are just too easy and awesome to pass up. From now on when I post them, they will have the lovely introduction/heading of "Dumb Easy Dinner." Now isn't that nice.

I may even, if I am gripped by loads of enthusiasm and energy, go through my own blog and highlight some of my past Dumb Easy Dinners (although--note: They were not called "Dumb Easy Dinners" because that is a new thing I am starting as of today. Thank you.)

Today we begin with these Pizza Crescent Wrap Ups that were a super ridiculously huge hit in our house and took all of 5.5 minutes of work for me (of course I scientifically measured the time it took by using precise scientific instruments, like guessing). They are not a whole food. But they're not total junk either. Especially if you dip them in a nice healthy marinara sauce. If you do that, then you can feel fully that you met the vegetable requirement for the night. If you serve a salad with this (even if it is a salad-from-a-bag), then you can consider yourself a bonafide Really Good Person. And that in less than 10 minutes of prep time.

If the idea of such an easy dinner is repulsive to you, then make them for your next party as an appetizer. 

The other intensely awesome thing about this meal is that it can be popped into a lunch box the next day and possibly compete with Lunchables for coolness.

(Look, it's just like those Pinterest moms.)

Pizza Crescents
adapted from Taste of Home
Makes 8 rolls, which will serve 2-4 people--not counting teenaged humans (we need to double or even triple this amount)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time 12-14 minutes
Cost: $2.00 (that's $.50-1.00/serving)
crescents: 1.30 (Aldi prices), pepperoni: ..40, cheese: .30

1 package refrigerated crescent roll dough (the tubed stuff; yup--not a whole food)
16 round slices pepperoni
1/4-1/2 C mozzarella cheese

Unroll your dough and lay out the triangles.

Sprinkle cheese on each triangle. Put two pieces of pepperoni on each triangle.

Roll up as you would if you were making crescent rolls.

Bake according to the time requirements. Err on the side of too blond instead of too brown if you're going to err at all.

Eat with a little dip of marinara sauce thereby.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Honey Oat Bread--Secret Recipe Club

This month for Secret Recipe Club, I had Cindy's blog, "Hun...What's For Dinner?" She had a ton of recipes, but the ones that attracted me most were the breads. Maybe that's because autumn is here and I'm ready for some hot-from-the-oven loveliness. The bread I finally settled on was this Honey Oat Bread. It seemed virtuous, but not overly so--which is really nice in a bread. And I'm so glad I picked it. Truly it's the perfect autumn loaf. It's just a little sweet, just a little earthy. I absolutely loved it. I made it to go with a homemade bowl of soup and found I liked it best with butter and honey. Enjoy!

Honey Oat Bread
adapted from Hun...What's For Dinner?
makes 1 loaf bread
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Rise time: 90 minutes
Cost: $1.20
honey: .50, roller: .10, whole wheat flour: .20, flour: .20, oat bran: .10, other stuff: .10

1 C warm water
1 T vegetable oil
1/4 C honey
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 C rolled oats
1 C whole wheat flour
1 1/3 C bread flour (or all-purpose, though you might need a tiny bit more)
1/4 C oat bran (optional, but I used)

Combine water, oil, honey, and yeast.

To this add oats, salt, and whole wheat flour and oat bran.

Then add the rest of the flour in 1/2 C increments. When it gets too difficult to stir, turn it out to knead. Knead it for 5-8 minutes or until it doesn't stick to your hand, but is still soft and pillowy. [Note: For bread maker instructions, see Cindy's blog post.]

Let rise in bowl--45-60 minutes.

Shape into loaf and put in smaller loaf pan (7x3 1/2 inches I believe). Let rise again--about 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until top browned and is about 180 degrees on an instant read thermometer.



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