Sunday, December 25, 2011

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Candied Bacon

Yesterday I dipped sugared bacon in chocolate. No biggie.

These cookies were a hit at our friend's open house yesterday night! Just be careful - the bacon is well disguised in the chocolate, so give your vegetarian friends a heads up. Despite the bacon, know this cookie is sweet, not sweet/savory.

It's been a cozy Christmas over here so far, including toad in a hole, a pot of coffee, Christmas music on spotify, and youtube yule logs. Todd even surprised with a Christmas stocking like his family does! Can't wait to skype with them later!

Food for Todd in front of one of my favorite homes at Winterhaven

Happy Holidays from Food for Todd!
Thank you for reading, and we wish you a beautiful holiday surrounded by loving family and friends!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Candied Bacon
From How Sweet It Is, makes about 20 cookies 

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup brown sugar 
1/4 cup white sugar 
1 egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
4 slices cinnamon-sugared candied bacon (mix 3T brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Pull bacon through mixture and pat lightly. Heat oven to 375. Lay bacon strips on wire rack sitting atop a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes, maybe slightly longer depending on how thick your bacon slices are). 
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dip candied bacon slices in melted chocolate and let come to room temperature while preparing the dough. If needed, stick them in the fridge for a few minutes. 

Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars together in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy – about 3-4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until combined. Add flour, baking soda and salt, mixing until just combined and dough forms. Crumble bacon and fold it into dough. Drop tablespoon-sized dough balls on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sweet Potato Beer Fries

Todd and I had a family business meeting tonight.  Seriousness.  

We discussed important things, like visiting Chicago in the summer and Michigan in the winter, going to lindy-hop events (Camp Hollywood505 Stomp, & ABQLX), paying for Bar exam prep courses (already!?), and LIFE goals (have you ever read Getting Things Done?).

To keep things interesting, I made sweet potato beer fries.  

They were good - sweet, salty, and great rosemary flavor.  The only problem was that they weren't crisp enough.  I figure I crowded my sweet potatoes too much...

Note: if you don't want to use oil, you could use egg whites to get the seasonings to stick.

Note 2: you might also experiment with broiling to finish off the fries.

Sweet Potato Beer Fries
From The Edible Perspective
3lbs sweet potatoes
1 bottle brown ale beer
3T olive oil
2 large garlic clove, minced
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
1t salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.
Scrub potatoes.  Leave skins on and cut into fry-like shapes (thinner fries cook faster).
In a large bowl, soak the cut fries in one bottle of beer.  Let soak for 15 min, tossing 1-2x.
Drain beer and toss with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, until well coated.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lay fries on pan in a single layer.  Use two pans, if needed.  You don't want to layer your sweet potatoes.
Bake for 45 min to 1 hour (I did 1hr., 20 min.), tossing every 15 min.
Add more salt and pepper, as you wish :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa and Herbs

But before this, came this - 

Packages = best mail ever, right?

Todd's parents have a tradition of giving the kids an ornament every Christmas, so that when they start their own families, they'll be set with a bunch of meaningful ornaments.  Since we put up a tree this year, Todd's mom sent some ornaments special to us!  Todd had fun unpacking them :)

Dinner tonight was acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and herbs.  

His & Hers:

Quinoa, which I believe smells like broccoli when cooked properly, is a complete protein that is also high in fiber and magnesium.  It looks a little like couscous, but it doesn't contain gluten. 

The dish comes together easily and has a lovely presentation, making it a great side dish to serve for company.

I might add that this meal went over really well, both on the blog where I found it and here - it's 9:30 p.m., Todd and I just got back from rehearsal for the gig tomorrow, and Todd is digging into the quinoa for round two - my pride is swelling ;)

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Herbs
From A Couple Cooks, serves four

2 large acorn squash (about 2 1/2 pounds each) or 4 small acorn squash
2 cups quinoa (white, red, or mixed)
1 pound leeks (we used 2 medium leeks, about 1/2 pound each)
1/4 cup fresh sage
1/4 cup fresh thyme
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1/2 cup walnuts
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

1 Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut each squash in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over the cut side (or 1/4 tablespoon over each if you use 4 smaller squash) and season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet, and roast for about 20 to 35 minutes, until slightly browned and easily pierced with a fork. (The time will be less for smaller squashes; test with a fork after 20 minutes; if the fork doesn’t go all the way through, cook a bit longer.)

2 Make the quinoa: add two cups of quinoa to a saucepan then pour three cups of water on top.  Add a couple pinches of kosher salt.  Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Take off heat and let sit for five minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

3 Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop off the dark green stems of the leeks, then slice them in half length-wise. Place each leek half cut-side down on the cutting board, then chop it into thin slices (resulting in half-moon shapes). There will be dirt in between each layer of the leeks, so when you’ve finished chopping them, rinse them thoroughly in a colander. Remove the leaves of the thyme, and chop the sage leaves. If not already chopped, roughly chop the walnuts (we usually place them in a bag or towel and hit them with the back of a spoon).

4 In a skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the leeks, and saute about 4 minutes, just before they begin to brown. While you saute the leeks, toast the walnuts – place them in a small skillet and toast over low heat, until slightly browned. (Make sure to watch so they don’t burn!)

5 When the quinoa is done, stir in the sauteed leeks. Then add the fresh sage, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Taste, and add more salt or pepper to taste, as well as a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

6 When the squash are done, spoon quinoa generously into each half. Top with walnuts and serve immediately.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Weekend in Pictures

Cake!  The band put on such an awesome show at the Rialto - the lead singer really engaged the audience, and they played a lot of our favorite songs.  Love the vibraslap!

Salad beast with apple cider vinegar, stone ground mustard, lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper.

Big Love Season 5 available for download on iTunes!

Plan for the rest of the day includes errands, rehearsal for the lindy-hop performance next week, some law school stuff, and maybe a recipe... Have a wonderful Sunday!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Break time (for at least a few hours)

Hi Bloggies!  
I'm up early for body pump, and it's looking to be an amazing, exam-free day! 
Evidence exam was on Monday, so it's finally time to take down this beauty - 

 the Federal Rules of Evidence in flowchart format.  Todd graciously allowed me to decorate our house with it the entire semester =D

Agenda for the day:
- Body pump at the gym & cardio
- Fill out paperwork and get fingerprinted for internship next semester
- 2 writing assignments
- Dance practice tonight - sounds like we'll be swing dancing for a church performance next week...

Have a wonderful day, all!

Recent Finds:
Interpreting the Constitution in the Video Era (radio segment on Fresh Air)
Joy the Baker fried pickles - Lord, help us!
15 Hair Tutorials
Ladies Charleston Performance at Lonestar Champs