Monday, August 6, 2018

Spinach Enchilada Lasagna

I promised better pictures this year. It was a dirty lie. I'm sorry. This isn't, to be fair, an easy food to photograph, and my good camera is currently out of commission. But, well, I did my best. 

Don't be discouraged by ugly food. This is a creamy delicious simple meal that is great for a crowd. It's basically a vehicle for cheese. but, you know, there's a layer of spinach, so we tell ourselves it's dinner.

Spinach Enchilada Lasagna
adapted from allrecipes
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Cost: $5.50 (this is about $.45-.90/serving)
tortillas: 1.50, sour cream: .50, salsa: 1.00, cheese: 2.00, spinach: .50

Note: The original recipe called for corn tortillas and this is so delicious like that. But Kip prefers flour, and that's good too. I also like it with half corn and half flour. You get the flavor of the corn and the texture of the flour.

Note #2: You'll notice the cheese has a wide range for measurement. Kip loves this super cheesy. I feel when we use too much cheese, it takes over all the flavors, and it's like eating a pan of cheese (not that there's anything wrong with that...). So decide which way you want to go with this.

Note #3: I'd bet (though it is untested) that this would work just fine in a crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. 

1 C sour cream
1 C green salsa (green enchilada sauce works as well)
1 bunch fresh spinach
2-4 C Monterey Jack cheese
1 package corn or flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together the sour cream and green salsa. Spread a bit on the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.

Layer tortillas, sour cream/salsa mixture, spinach, cheese. Repeat until sour cream/salsa mixture is gone (2-3 layers), then top with a layer or tortillas and cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter

I always think, "You know the last thing I need is another cookie recipe on this blog."

I'm always wrong. (I mean, obviously; who doesn't need more cookie recipes on her blog?)

But at this point in my cooking life, I basically have my cookie groove on. I've got my favorites. I've got some snobbery towards cookies. It's hard to surprise or impress or convert me to new recipes. But every once in a while something comes along that just does. This is one of those cookies. When my sister-in-law introduced me to them, I thought they'd be good. But they were better than good. They were rich and delicious and buttery and full. They had a crisp-ish outer part and a delicious melt-in-your-mouth almost creamy interior.

Also, I thoroughly messed them up the first time I made them and overcooked them by, well, a lot because I mis-set my timer and then forgot about them. (I like to do this for, um, scientific purposes, so that I can deliver you the best fail-proof recipes possible). Anyway, I way over-cooked them and they were overdone (like, almost twice the cooking time) and I thought all was lost. Nope. They were a little crispier on the outside, but the middle was still amazing and not overdone at all. They were the best "burned" cookies I've ever eaten. Note: They didn't actually taste or look burned at all.

I hate to call them my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe because they've got peanut butter in them, so they shouldn't count. But somehow they still feel like my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe anyway.

After all, you'll notice that I didn't call these "Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies." They're not a peanut butter cookie that you add chocolate chips to (though those are good too). They're a chocolate chip cookie that you add peanut butter too. They taste more like chocolate chip cookies and have more the texture of chocolate chip cookies, but the peanut butter adds something to them. it makes them richer, with a more full flavor. Yes, you can taste the peanut butter. Yes, it matters. But somehow it still doesn't take these out of the chocolate chip cookie category for me. Hopefully, you can make them your newest greatest go-to as well. (Just don't forget so fully that they've got PB in them if you're friends with people who have allergies.)

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter
adapted from Very Best Baking
makes 24 cookies
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 7-10 minutes
Cost: $4.00 (that's $.17/cookie)
butter: 1.00, brown sugar: .10, white sugar: .05, peanut butter: .50, flour: .15, egg: .10, other ingredients: .10, chocolate chips: 2.00

3/4 C butter, significantly softened
1/2 C brown sugar, packed (I prefer dark, always)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat together butter, brown sugar, sugar and peanut butter until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients until incorporated, but for heaven's sake don't beat the poor thing to death. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop onto a cookie sheet.

Bake for 7-10 minutes at 375 degrees. The edges should be set, the center soft. (But, like I say, if you screw that up, they'll still be good). Allow to cool a few minutes before you try to pick them up. If you pick them up right away they may fall apart--not that I know from experience or anything. I mean, I'm a totally patient person.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Natural Gatorade


Guys! I seriously love this stuff. I drink it all the time after workouts and now crave it. I hope I can push my addiction on to you.

Below you'll find the original post with, erm, "recipe."

I guess I better confess and say that I can't exactly call this natural Gatorade because what is Gatorade exactly? It's like watered-down Koolaid with electrolytes mixed in, right? And this isn't really an natural version of that sugared, electrolyted drink. What it IS is water that's been pimped up with some natural electrolytes. 

That's right. I just told you that today's recipe is water. Maybe I should feel embarrassed about the state of my lameness, but the truth is that this drink is really very lovely and kind of addicting. I find that I now crave it when I've been out in the heat or had a really hard workout or both (nothing better after hot yoga). You get the hydration and the electrolytes without drinking a lot of sugars and/or sweeteners and food dyes. 

And I do feel that it has more oomph and helps me recover more quickly than plain water. Sometimes after a hot or hard workout, I get headaches and this seems to help with that. I'm not going to call it a miracle tonic, but maybe it kind of is. 

And is it dumb easy? Yes

And is it super cheap? Yes. ($.25 at its highest price compared to the $.99 of Gatorade)

And is it tasty? Surprisingly. 

Half the time when I take a swig of Gatorade, I want to spit it out. It just tastes so fake and almost thick to me. This natural Gatorade is just so refreshing. Note: If you drink Gatorade because you like sweet, red/blue/purple/orange drinks, then you won't get that sweetness from this drink and you might find that disappointing. This isn't sweet. It's a barely flavored water, but what it lacks in sweetness, it makes up for in refreshingness (totally a word). 

Now I'm going to warn you: In this drink I'll instruct you to add salt to your water. And you'll go, "Ew, gross. Who puts salt in your water?" Um, you do if you drink any type of Powerade or Gatorade or probably any other number of processed drinks (Gatorade checks in with a whopping 11% of your daily sodium intake--270 mg). But that's not the point. The point is that we're going to add salt, but this still won't taste salty. It's just a pinch. Even alone in the water, you probably wouldn't notice it, but with that lemon, it's actually a really nice complement. Just be sure to mix it in (or you'll get a somewhat nasty last swig of water). Also, you MUST use a natural salt. First of all, it supposedly has more benefits (the naturalists will tell you that iodized salt is really just a processed food), but perhaps even more importantly--it tastes better. There's not that little hint of iodine that you can sometimes taste in regular table salt.

Natural Gatorade
Cost: $.28
lemon: .25 (I can usually get my lemons for cheaper, especially from somewhere like an Asian market), salt: .03

2 C water
1 pinch (or 1-2 grinds) natural sea salt (I used pink Himalayan because I had a tiny sample from a market, but any natural sea salt will work)
juice from 1/2 lemon or lime

Mix it all together. Be sure to get the salt dissolved and mixed in (just stir it a few times) or you will taste a big swig of saltiness at the bottom. 

Drink it. That's right. It's not the rocket science of recipes, but try it. I'd love to hear what you think of it after a workout. If it works for you, leave a comment below. 


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