Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No Good Guacamole Goes Uneaten

Last night Rob and I went to see Wicked. By far one of the best musicals I have seen live. This is the last week it's playing in Chicago so it was a must see. After watching a green witch running, dancing and singing about, it inspired me. I had a taste for....guacamole. If you like simple, this recipe is for you. I want to start by saying that guacamole can be easily adjusted depending on your specific taste. For example, if you don't like tomatoes just don't put them in. If you like a lot of onion then use more onion. It's all up to you. This is the way I like it, so you can start from there then add or subtract any amount you desire.


3 avocados
1 lime (juice)
1 plum tomato
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbs chopped white onion
1 tbs finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp salt


Pit, peel and mash the avocados in a bowl until they are chunky. Add the lime juice and salt. Chop the remaining ingredients one at a time and add. I prefer the garlic, onion and cilantro to be finely chopped. Dice the tomato and stir all ingredients together. Cover and put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I think that it tastes better the second day so make it the day before if at all possible. Then eat it with these. They are the best tortilla chips ever! Serve this when guest come over and let me tell you, you'll be so popular:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I've been doing a lot of baking and cooking during this cold, dark, snowy, cold (...did I mention cold?) winter. Tomorrow the forecast is grim. It will be -30 F with the wind chill. It wouldn't be so bad if I could be magically transported to work, but I commute via train. So I am out in it: a ten minute walk to the train, then I wait. Fifteen minutes for a train at least and this is not the subway, the trains are above ground. Hence the name 'EL' train (stands for elevated). Then I need to transfer to another train where I usually wait yet another ten minutes in the COLD. By this time I pretend to be in a nice warm happy place until some scary person starts talking to me about gambling or something illegal. I ignore them and they go back to clipping their nails. After I transfer trains and arrive at my stop I still need to walk 3/4 of a mile to work, in the COLD. Can you sense my bitterness about the cold? Maybe? I feel better now that I've gotten that out of my system and now I can get back to what I originally intended to do which is talk about baking cookies, peanut butter cup cookies. Perfect after a cold snowy commute.


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk
40 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped of course (unless you like the taste of paper and aluminum)


Helpful hint: (if you are of legal drinking age) it's fun to drink while you bake. It makes everything taste better and you feel less guilty eating spoonfuls of batter.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. With a spoon or mixer, cream the butter, white sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter until well mixed. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add flour mixture in intervals while mixing. Take a tablespoon and scoop enough dough to make little round balls (hee hee) about the size of a walnut.

Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch and a half apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. While baking, you need to get ready and unwrap your peanut butter cups. This process is monotonous so to make it more exciting do this: unwrap two peanut butter cups, eat one...unwrap three peanut butter cups, eat one and so on. As soon as they come out of the oven quickly press a peanut butter cup into each cookie like so:

Peanut butter cup pressing courtesy of Rob

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. It takes a while for the cookies to set and for the peanut butter cup to harden back up. But if you're impatient like me eat them right away, they're so good warm. And even better after you've been out in the cold.