Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Grandma Ethel's Snickerdoodles

Of all the cookies in the world, snicker doodles are one of my least favorite.  Sure, they are way better than gross, flavorless, crumbly shortbread cookies, who can only redeem themselves if they are saturated in chocolate, but compared to a good chocolate chip or peanut butter?  Please.  

However, my grandma made these snicker doodles for me when I was a kid and being the nice kid I was, I ate them.  
So she made more. 
So I ate more.
So she made more.
So I ate more. 
You can see where this went.

Once, during my high school years, a few friends stopped by.  
A few high on the marijuana friends stopped by.
And my grandma had just made me a fresh batch of these cookies, of which I was MORE than happy to share.
Now, two teenage males can eat a lot.  Two teenage males who had just smoked a solid amount of pot?  Can eat several dozen cookies, much to my grandmother and my delight.  
Which they did.

Once I was on my own, I was able to stop snickerdoodling.

Several years past.
No snicker doodles.
Whenever people would discuss snicker doodles, I would make sure they knew I did NOT like them...just in case they ever decided to bestow upon me a cookie basket, they would know what would not fly.  
Neither would a fruit basket.
A basket stuffed full of Starbucks cards?  

Once enough time had passed, I revisited the idea of snicker doodling again.
I had found a 3 x 5 index card with the recipe written in my grandma's old lady penmanship and decided I'd make them just to see if they were how I remembered. 
They were.
However, this time I shared them with self proclaimed cookie connoisseurs who were NOT high.  
They. Loved. Them.
As in INSANELY loved them.
They also thought I was nuts for wrinkling my nose at them.
If you're looking for a "perfect" snicker doodles (not my adjective, but that of several who have tried them), give Grandma Ethel's recipe a try.
Just don't expect me to try them.

Snicker doodles

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  
If you have a convection oven, do it to 375.
--2 sticks of room temperature butter.  It has to be room temperature or the sugar won't get all creamy with the butter and it'll end up chunky and weird.  Room temperature. Got it?
--1.5 Cups of Sugar
Beat together until all fluffy and pale.

While this is happening, mix your dry ingredients.

Rather than use a sifter that has a small opening, and in my case, rust, I like to use one of these strainers.  Sure, you won't be spinning the sifter wheel, but what are you? Six?  Get over it.  My way is better.

--2.75 cups of flour
--2 Tablespoons (yes, TABLESPOONS) cream of tartar (wtf is this stuff, anyway??)
--1 teaspoon  baking soda
--1/2 teaspoon salt
Notice I'm doing decimals AND fractions?
  I'm clever like that.
Dump the dry ingredients in a bowl, using the brilliant and somewhat scientific method I have shown above.  

Now, go back to your sugar and butter mixture, which should be all fluffy.
--2 eggs, one at a time and do what those chefs say and crack your egg into a little bowl before you dump it in because you really don't want to go hunting for egg shells in your cookie dough.
--1 teaspoon vanilla

As your mixer is sloooooowwwwllllyyyyy mixing, add your dry ingredients, a cup or so at a time.
  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  
Did I REALLY need to say that?  Oh.

Take a small bowl and add 3 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon or so of cinnamon...you're making cinnamon sugar which you will coat your cookie balls with.
Heh heh.  

Roll your cookie dough into little balls, about the size of your big toe.  
What?  A golf ball or ping pong ball would be too big and I'm assuming you don't have mutant feet and that your human feet will provide you with a good gauge for your dough ball size.  
But I could be wrong.  
If I am, maybe you shouldn't wear sandals.

So roll each little ball in your cinnamon sugar mix and plop it on your cookie sheet that you've lined with parchment paper.

Squish them nicely so they look like little discs.

Once you've made them all, survey the damage.

Practice your fellatio technique on your fingers.

Pop the cookie sheet in the oven. 
Bake for 9 minutes.
  I only have one cookie sheet, so I tell myself my cookies cook 'more evenly' if I just bake them one sheet at a time.  If you have more than one cookie sheet, count yourself lucky. 
While these bake, check on son.

Who is clearly enjoying the process of atrophy.

Once your cookies are done, they will look like this

Then, because you didn't make these for yourself, they will look like this

Note: cheese cake pan held a blue cheese cheese cake that sounds gross but is over the top delectable and will probably make it's way into my groovy cookbook.

Seriously, everyone loves these cookies.
I don't know why, but they do.
Try them and let me know what you think.
And if you feel badly that I only have one cookie sheet, feel free to send me another one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Asian Noodle Salad

This is one of my all time favorite salads.  
It's cheap, it's easy and it makes an assload.  Yes, assload is a term.
  I made this for a pool party a few weeks ago to rave reviews.  
My daughter hates it...but she has shitty taste in food so we won't worry about her opinion this time.  
Or the fact that every time I make it she gets a big bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios for dinner.   

Asian Noodle Salad
---1 package linguine, cooked. duh.  Cool it with cold running water.  Don't be a dipshit and just soak it in cold water because then the water will just get warm and the noodles will keep cooking and then it will taste like mush and you'll try to blame me for the fact you made a boner mistake during the noodle cooling process.
---3 different colored bell peppers.  Or the same color.  I like variety.
---3 green onions, chopped pretty fine so people don't get huge hunks of onion when they are inhaling salad.
---1/2 bag baby spinach.  You can get just a bunch of spinach and chop it up, which is what I did today, but it brought me back to my days of slave labor rouging spinach as a child and since I didn't enjoy that flashback, I will be choosing the bagged spinach from now on.  But that's just me.
---4 Persian cucumbers.  I like these because you don't have to peel them, they are crisper (or is it more crisp?) and taste better than regular cucumbers.
---1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded.
---1/2 head purple cabbage, shredded.
---1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped.
---Handful of bean sprouts

Minus the noodles, it'll look a little like this at the grocery store:
You will feel quite healthy buying this. 
To the point you will justify a Slurpee.

Chop up  your vegetables.

Pretty, huh?
Except the purple cabbage.
  It kind of looks like a brain.

Boil & cool your noodles.  
As noodles cook, comfort daughter, who is sobbing. 
Because her brother keeps calling her an "angus burger with fries." 
Don't try to figure this out.  Just don't.

Make your salad dressing:
---1/2 cup soy sauce
---1/2 cup olive oil
---1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sesame oil
---half of the juice in one of those fake plastic limes.  Or you could use a real lime and squeeze the juice if you're so inclined.  I like the convenience fake fruit provides.
---1 jalapeno.  Or 2.  Not 3.  
---1/2 bunch cilantro
---3 heaping teaspoons of minced ginger from the jar.  I know I bought a ginger root.  Just never you mind.
---3 cloves of garlic or one big teaspoon of the 
crushed garlic from Trader Joes.  
Which you had to do a Where's Waldo thing with 
because your spice drawer is out of control. 
Five points if you spotted it within two seconds.  
Put all of this in your blender and liquefy.  This makes a TON of dressing but I'm of the firm belief a salad without enough dressing is about as stupid as fat free mayonnaise or one pat of butter on a stack of pancakes.  Don't be an idiot.  Make. Enough. Dressing.  

Toss your cooked noodles, chopped vegetables and tons of dressing together in the biggest bowl you have.
Serve yourself some deliciousness.  
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and dry roasted peanuts.

 As you enjoy your creation, read daughters suggested chores list and correlated pricing.  

Wonder if the Honey Nut Cheerios people have been putting kiddie crack in their cereal because she's clearly on something if she thinks you're going to pay her $18 a week.  

Enjoy your salad...but eat it with a bib because the combination of vegetable juices and dressing might make you splatter some on your white shirt as you stand over the sink eating it like a ravenous lunatic. 
But that's just a suggestion.