Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

May 12, 2014

Make-it-work Monday: Homemade Tacos

 

I used to have this little code that I would text to my housemate/co-chef Vinny. I would say something like “taco tuesday?!?” but I would really mean something like “I am exhausted and starving and have been working for 12 hours and have no plans of what to make for dinner can you pretty please with extra cheese make tacos tonight?”

Lo and behold I would walk in the door to the spicy smells of cumin and ground beef, finished to perfection and waiting for us to devour while watching Friday Night Lights/Dexter/So You Think You Can Dance. So two points here: tacos are a great comfort after a busy day and Vinny is basically the best friend ever.

Now I am the chief taco maker, although the Mr. is pretty handy on taco night too. The reason they are a great Make-it-work Monday choice is that they are quick, pretty cheap, and adaptable.

1. Meat: They are great with ground beef or ground turkey (healthier choice). Either of these meats can go straight from the freezer into the skillet in a pinch, although it’s obviously better to thaw first. I used to use El Paso taco seasoning packets, but recently have started making my own seasoning (see below). This is a) more delicious b) lower in sodium and weird ingredients and c) cheaper.

2. Toppings: I usually chop up some tomatoes and lettuce (ice berg, romaine, whatever I have on hand) and then grab some cheese and sour cream and taco sauce/hot sauce for the Mr. For cheese, I really do like to buy the “taco” pre-shredded cheese… so sue me. I buy a big bag and then freeze it in little ziplocs – ready to pull out on any taco night and it will melt right away. Or you can grate some cheddar – whatever floats your boat. Feel free to add any other toppings that come to mind – like a little avocado or beans or whatever.

3. Vehicle: I usually use 6-8 inch flour tortillas. Right before serving, I heat up a dry skillet and flip flop the tortillas on the pan until they are warm. You can also microwave them, although that makes them a bit more limp. I have also been known to use taco leftovers in taco salad. Just flip flop the whole idea and fill a bowl with romaine and then dump all the above mentioned items on top. Serve with chips if you have some handy.

It may not be glamorous, but its dinner! MAKE IT WORK!

Taco Night with Homemade Taco Seasoning 

makes about 6T (enough for 3lbs of meat)

2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons corn starch

Mix all ingredients together and store in glass jar in your pantry!

To use, brown ground beef or turkey in a skillet. Drain off excess fat. Add 1/4 cup water and 2 Tablespoons of seasoning mix and stir. Cook a few more minutes until mixture thickens.

Heat tortillas and assemble tacos with meat and whatever toppings you fancy, like cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Enjoy with a Corona and a best friend.

 

June 28, 2012

Cookie Therapy

Some days, you just need a chocolate chip cookie.

Other days, you need a really really big chocolate chip cookie.

Although it took about two weeks to eat this thing. And I had two strapping lads to help me out, as well as various guests who were forced to take a foil-wrapped slice home in their pocket.

Because once you decide to bake an 18″ cookie cake, there is no turning back.

You haul out the flour tin and the KitchenAid. And two full bags of chocolate chips.

Because this cookie cake isn’t fancy. It isn’t about perfection. It’s simple two full batches of chocolate chip cookies, recipe straight off the Nestle bag, spread into a humongous pan, and baked at 375.

But just barely baked. Because according to my housemates, who are self-professed cookie cake connoisseurs, a dry cookie cake is a travesty. I hauled this baby out of the oven while it was still jiggly in the middle.

But topped with a scoop of mint ice cream on a hot hot summer day with a side of good company? Perfection.

 

October 22, 2010

A Girl’s Best (Cookie) Friend: The Snickerdoodle

Note: I am now publishing a weekly column in the Skidmore Newspaper! For those of you who aren’t so lucky as to go to Skidmore, on Fridays, I will be posting my column as is!

SkidNews, Oct. 22, 2010

My dear new readers. There are 3 things you should know about me before we get started. 1. I like to bake.
2. I like to have adventures.
3. I always, always have room for dessert.

About a year and a half ago, these three things collided, resulting in an explosion of butter, sugar, and flour, and A Sprinkle In Time was born to the blogosphere. Now, I am no expert, just a girl who likes to share good eats with her family and friends.  It has certainly been a journey over the past year—my computer keyboard has seen its fair share of dough, batter, and chocolate splatters, and my family is always complaining that I will make them all fat, but it has been absolutely fun and delicious.

I wanted to start by introducing you to my best friend in the whole cookie world.  I present you with the snickerdoodle. Not too adventurous, I know. But they are simple to make, and they are universally loved by all. There is something just a little more exciting than your average sugar cookie, but these guys are not too extravagant or flashy. They have a little crunch, and a little chew. A little sugar and… a little more sugar. Friends, this right here is my go-to recipe. The one I always turn to for that last minute baking request. The bake sale, the group meeting, the family gathering.  You know, the one you forgot about until an hour ago.

One tip for you smart cookies who decide to try these out. Don’t skip the cream of tartar. Now as we get to know each other a little better, you will learn that I am the queen of lazy substitutions when I don’t have an ingredient on hand. However, cream of tartar seems to be the key secret ingredient for an excellent snickerdoodle, so pop over to the Chopper and invest in some.

So, I hope you are ready to set off on a new chapter of baking adventures with me. It may not always be pretty, and it might get a little messy, but I promise you it will always be yummy.

Snickerdoodles
Adapted from PopularCookieRecipes.com

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup butter, softened

• 1 cup sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

• 1 large egg

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

• 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

• 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds or by hand with a fork.  Add the 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended.  Mix in flour until ingredients come together in a ball. Cover and chill for 1 hour. (Eco-friendly tip: instead of using plastic wrap, try putting your dough in tupperware or covering it with another bowl!)

Combine the 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat. Place balls of dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are just barely golden. Makes about 30 cookies. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. I dare you to eat less than 10 in one sitting (oops!)