Cookie Jars

did your mom ever play the “who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?” game with you? mine did, but we didn’t actually HAVE a cookie jar.

my sister recently visited to spend some quality time with the LO and the beach. while she was here, she made us some cookies. i love to bake cookies as well, but we don’t own a cookie jar.

growing up, my own mother would just put the ones that weren’t eaten right away into whatever container would hold them all (usually an empty ice cream bucket of which my parents have dozens).  around christmas time, the cookies were usually all thrown immediately into the freezer until we made our cookie trays to bring with to grandma’s house or where-ever we happened to be celebrating that year.  the freezer is safer than the kitchen countertop with 4 kids and 2 adults meandering around.

we DID have a canister on the counter with sweets in it, but i prefer cookies to sweets; you can eat a lot more cookies before you get sick than you can with sweets.

this whole post boils down to this: i want to have a cookie jar! will you help me find the perfect one?

our kitchen/house is decorated with lots of colors you’d find in nature: browns and beiges, greens and blues. we’ve got copper and oil-rubbed bronze metals going on with our light fixtures and some other accents.  overall, there’s no theme, but we’re going for a slightly nautical, slightly cozy woodsy cabin feel.

do you have a cookie jar? what does it look like? what cookie recipe do you use most often to fill it up?


note to self:

if there are no semi-sweet chocolate chips in the house, butterscotch are NOT an acceptable substitute when making chocolate chip cookies.

we recently ran out of chocolate chips while i was whipping up a batch of cookies. we have a couple of bags of butterscotch though. it seems whenever my mother comes down to visit, she adds to my sweet treat ingredients collection.

last time (which was at the beginning of august) she bought cornflakes and butterscotch chips so that we could make cornflake cookies (one of our favorites in this house). we never got around to making them while she was here.

the time before that, she bought rice crispies cereal and peanut butter for scotcheroos. and (that’s right) never got around to making them.

i just looked in my pantry, and i have a box of cake mix that expired in february of this year. i’m sure it’s still good, but Hubs probably won’t let me make it. why? because having cake in the house is too tempting for him. you see, although he had gotten back into the swing of things after the LO came along, up to and including running a half marathon very recently, he hasn’t been very good about exercise lately (excluding the half marathon of course, though that’s more like lunacy than exercise to me).

time will tell. for both of us. but until then, i have some baking to do!

Limey Chow

when some family visited last month two months ago (wow, time flies!) they left some lime juice in our fridge. we also nabbed a couple fresh limes from the local grocer recently for a couple cuba libres (that’s rum and coke with lime). with all this green goodness on hand, i figured we’d try this recipe for “lemon buddies” from smashed peas and carrots, but with lime instead of lemon.

the change of citrus was also inspired by some key lime white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies we had on our mini-moon (that’s mini honeymoon – and it’s kind of a long story). the Hubby liked the cookies a LOT, so we gave the lime buddies a try and made a half batch.

the only problem: i can’t cut recipes in half worth a darn! i always forget to halve something, or i accidentally quarter it instead. in this case, i forgot to halve the amount of lime juice called for. DOH!

surprising lime buddies

that's his surprised face

Hubby doesn’t seem to mind though, cuz they’re not as sweet with so much of that tart lime juice in them!

i might make a batch of the classic lemon buddies as well, and we can have “sprite buddies” or “sierra mist buddies” — whichever you prefer. hopefully next time i won’t forget to halve the juice!

how good are you at making half-batches? 

Uh Oh!

these last few pounds of baby weight may never come off.  (actually i have no idea how many i have left to lose, but i know my pre-baby pants still don’t fit.)

why? because i just found an AMAZING and quick and doesn’t-dirty-too-many-dishes recipe for BROWNIES!

after dinner i wanted something chocolatey. we don’t really have many sweet treats in the house in an effort to shrink my post-baby waist and keep Hubby’s waist where he wants it to be. i do have a box of brownie mix sitting in the pantry, but then i remembered a recipe i’d found online for brownies from scratch.

Erin, over at Domestic Adventures, shared her recipe a while back. i, having only just discovered her awesome blog, didn’t see the recipe til now.

making the brownies took no time at all last night! the recipe helped use up some cocoa powder that’s been sitting in the pantry, unused, for who knows how long (i don’t remember buying any). and the added bonus of making these over the box mix i already had sitting in my cabinet is that i could cut this recipe IN HALF! i think that’s part of what sold the Hubs on allowing me to make them.

oh, boy! were they delish, especially fresh from the oven and accompanied by some vanilla ice cream. YUM!

go make some, you’ll wish you’d never seen this post! Hubby certainly wishes i’d never laid eyes on it.


Cooking History

in the past, this has been my pattern in the kitchen:

xkcd: Learning to Cook

xkcd: Learning to Cook

only since becoming a stay at home (almost) mom have i been working to change that to this:

Julia Child's Cooking Certificate at the Smithsonian

Julia Child's Cooking Certificate at the Smithsonian

but some days it still feels like this is the result of my cooking:

hot dog mystery - artwork by drywell available on Etsy
hot dog mystery – artwork by drywell available on Etsy

and i’m pretty sure that some days Hubby wishes this is what our house was like:

xkcd: Stove Ownership

xkcd: Stove Ownership

previously to this whole stay-at-home-almost-mom gig, my “cooking” skills consisted of reading and following instructions on a bag/box. but there were a few staples i could make that didn’t involve instructions:

  • grilled cheese
  • tuna salad
  • tuna noodle (my dad’s recipe)
  • “homemade” mac n’ cheese (another of dad’s recipes)

but none of those really involve seasonings.  that’s probably why i actually took the time to learn how to make them!

i also have a handful of recipes from my parents that we’ve adapted to use in our house that DO require me to read the instructions.  but at least these are instructions in a hand-written cookbook instead of on the back of packaging:

  • chili
  • lasagna (without ricotta)
  • bulgogi (korean bbq beef — SOOO good!)

now that our little girl is here, who knows how much time i’ll get to devote to improving my cooking skills… i’m sure Hubby’s hoping for more improvement; i am too. but really, i want to spend as much time with our little girl as possible.  so that’s all for this post!