Transitory Friday obsessions and other musings.

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Friday things!!

1. I made these cookies. Again. For the second time in a week.

2. I’m finally not sore. It took me like four days to recover from my last set of workouts Monday-Wednesday, but hey. It was worth it! (Even though that involved being in ridiculous pain trying to hand people things across the cash desk or reach my arms over my head, but whatever. Reaching and handing are clearly unnecessary activities… riiiight?).

3. It is unbelievable how many times people come into the store asking: “sooo… my friend’s aunt’s cousin had these pants…. annnd they were, umm… black… do you have them?” … Really?!

4. My car’s back shocks are currently making the noise of the van’s horn from the movie Little Miss Sunshine. You know, like MmmmEMEMMEMMRMMBmmmbbBMBMMBMMM (that is exactly what horns sound like, by the way) everyyyyy time I go over a bump. I think it’s time to get this looked at…

5. I find this hilarious. Courtesy of Memphis Minnie’s bbq… om nama porkaya hahahah!

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6. Errrmeerrgeerrrddd my peanut butter jar is half empty. Someone rescue me.

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7. Kombucha. With chia. I’m obsessed.

8. I also made grilled pineapple and black bean quesadillas, with avocado and mango chutney. They were a winner, so you get a picture. I’m too lazy to post what barely counts for a recipe, so just chuck some pineapple on a grill pan and call it a day.

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Anyway. Without further ado, you should make these cookies! They’re stupidly easy and full of nutrients, without requiring an extensive list of ingredients or weird kitchen appliances. One bowl, one spoon, and maybe your food processor. Easy money. Gluten free+ lower in sugar+ higher in protein+ whole grain+ antioxidants from the chia+ mental well being from overall deliciousness= happy human.

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Absurdly Simple Peanut Butter-Chia Cookies

Yet another pb cookie recipe, I know I know, but hey. You can NEVER have too many peanut butter cookie recipes in my book. PB+chia is totally a power couple! Especially easy ones you can whip up when you desperately need a cookie. The recipe is ever so slightly modified from Cooking Uncorked, here! I got 15 cookies out of mine–you could easily have more if you made them smaller (though why you would ever do a thing like that is beyond me).

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Lezzzz do eeet:

  • 1 c oat flour (I pulverize a cup of oats in my food processor until fine)*
  • 1/3 c rolled oats*
  • scant 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1.25 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 c organic chunky peanut butter
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c chocolate chips

*gluten free if needed for a gf cookie

Preheat the oven to 350 and rustle up a cookie sheet.

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Process oats into flour, if needed. Combine dry ingredients… in a bowl. Chuck in everything else. Lick spoon and pb-measuring cup. Ensure that there is no smidge of peanut butter left uneaten (heaven forbid). Clean spoon. Use your well defined and nicely muscled biceps to stir everything together. Drop by heapingish tablespoons onto the cookie sheet. Lick spoon, lick bowl. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is! Let cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet, then move to a cooling rack (or your mouth).

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Gluten Free Gremlins

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More gluten free goodness!

I revamped my FAVORITE cookies to be gluten free and vegan! (no really. These are actually my favorite peanut butter cookie. EVER. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made them—Kira can attest, I swear: these are what probably got me through my thesis last year. For reals. AMAZING. You see? So many capital letters must mean they’re fabulous).

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AND I did it without needing to buy anything extra special or expensive. Always a priority for me, as OH HEY student loan payment that deducted yesterday. Pshhh. Student loans. RUDE. Doesn’t the government know I have more important things to be paying for now that I’m finished with school? Ugh. ANYWAY. These cookies are cost effective and tasty! And I get to fling chia seeds all over the kitchen when I make them (not saying that happened or anything, or course not). And then the little seedies get to take up residence in my stomach with my symbiotic gremlins, and make them happy for several hours. Which means that in turn I’m happy. Wait. Pause. If it’s a symbiotic relationship I have with my gremlins, shouldn’t I be getting something out of it besides stupidly loud noises from my midsection?

Anyway. Make these cookies! They will make your gremlins happy (Don’t try to deny it and pretend you don’t have them, I know you do) with their healthy fats (pb), whole grains (oats and buckwheat), and mini seed nutrient powerhouses (chia), and chocolate (because chocolate makes everything better). And if your tummy is gluten sensitive, hooray! Buckwheat is naturally gluten free (despite having wheat in the name), and has a great nutty flavor. These cookies aren’t super sweet as posted, so increase the sugar a bit if you like a sweeter cookie (I’d say up to a 1/2 c).

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Peanut Butter Buckwheat Cookies

The original recipe post is here, if you don’t have a sensitive tummy or are vegan. Yield: 15 decently sized cookies.

  • 1.5 c rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten free)
  • 1/2 c buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp butter-type-stuff (I use soy free Earth Balance; whatever you like is fine), slightly melted
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c organic peanut butter (mine has salt)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water
  • 1/4ish c chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a smallish bowl, mix together flaxseed and water, and let sit for about 5 minutes to create a flax “egg”. In a bowl, whisk together oats, buckwheat, baking powder, and chia. In a larger bowl, beat butter and applesauce with the brown sugar until lighter in color and fluffyish. Beat in peanut butter, vanilla, and flaxseed mix until combined. Working in batches so you don’t kill your hand mixer, beat in the dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chippies. Drop by the heapingish spoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet—-I like to flatten and shape mine slightly, as they don’t spread (this also means you can get the whole batch on one cookie sheet, WIN). Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly golden.

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Eye-level with a cookie is the best place to be!

mmm, chocolate cooookies!

Once again, the weather gods are totally bonkers. I think they just like to mess with tiny humans for sport. Like, I’m sure they find it hilarious when I go trudging through some nasty weather after class, only to walk into my apartment and have it become immediately sunny. The roof is steaming, haha! Snow? Again? Is this really necessary?? And yesterday it was so incredibly windy, I thought if I wore a hat large enough I might lift off the ground like the Flying Nun (except not a nun. More like a flying Pilates-enthusiast in my yoga pants). Gusts up to 50 miles an hour?! Ridiculous. This weather is even more insane than usual, even by Salem standards. Sheesh.

So what do I do? Make cookies! Natch. When the weather gets icky, baking is always a good strategy. Especially when it leaves you with excellent snacking cookies, healthy AND delicious. Come to the Dark Side. I have cookies! Ha. I was getting irritated by the lack of snacks I had around, so these happened. Besides, I need more things to put lemon curd and biscoff spread on, in order to convey them to my mouth so I don’t feel silly eating them out of the jars. Not that I really let that stop me. But life is more fun with a cookie, obviously.

These have all kinds of healthy benefits! Full of fiber and cholesterol-friendly :) (as in, NO cholesterol, and only healthy fats + plant-based saturated fats, which are okay for those watching cholesterol!) They clock in around about 200 calories, making them a great pre (or post. or both) workout snack. The chia seed has made a cookie comeback, after several weeks (gasp!) of disuse… and we already know all about chia’s crazy antioxidant capacities. These cookies also feature healthy coconut and olive oil fats, as well as unsweetened cocoa powder for more antioxidants! Besides all that, apparently cardamom has great nutritional benefits too! I didn’t know this, but it helps digestion, contains lots of vitamins, minerals, and essential oils, and is another source of antioxidants! Those sneaky free radicals don’t stand a chance.

This recipe supposedly made 28 cookies. Psh. I made 11. Mine are perfectly sized ;) I don’t stint when it comes to cookies, especially when they’re good for me!

eye-level with a cookie. (the best place to be)

Chocolate Chia Cookies

Adapted from Vanilla and Spice, here! These cookies are really tasty: a little like gingerbread, as Kira pointed out. We both really liked the cardamom flavor in them, and they’re soft but chewy on the inside. Mmm. Makes somewhere around 11 or 12 2-3″ cookies.

  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom (seems like a lot, but it’s not overwhelming)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c chia seeds
  • 1/4 c light coconut milk (any milk bev you have on hand I’m sure is fine, I wanted to use up some leftover coconut milk. I am SO GLAD I did)
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, that is tablespoons)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c chocolate chippies
I like to play with my food!

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cocoa powder, and chia seeds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together milk bev, applesauce, and vanilla. Add wet into dry, add oil, and then stir to combine. I found I needed to add a few tablespoons of water to make the dough come together. Fold in chocolate chips as you combine wet and dry.

Form into little balls and place on the cookie sheet—I kind of shaped mine and flattened the tops a bit. This dough is really easy to work with, extra bonus! Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until the tops feel firm when lightly touched. Mine were done at 12!

Apparently it’s decided to be sunny this afternoon… I’ll guess I’ll just have to eat my cookies and enjoy it :)

see? there I go again. Cookie towers are more fun than blocks. You get to eat the pieces that fall off!

Potassium deficiency ain’t got nothin’ on us!

cookie cantilevering

Wait.

STOP THE PRESSES!

Kira and I had… wait for it… TWO DEAD BANANAS in the apartment this morning.

This might seem unimpressive, or rather unextraordinary, under normal people’s circumstances, but let me explain. It is ridiculously hard to keep us in bananas. Here’s the deal: we shop for foodstuffs on Sundays… and buy upwards of TEN BANANAS. For two people. And they usually last us until about Saturday… with no dead bananas leftover for baking purposes. Which is sad, as baked banana things are suuuuper tasty. But seriously. The amount of bananas consumed in the Nerdaerie is astounding. Potassium deficiency ain’t got nothin on us!

So. Since I discovered this bonanza of potassium-rich goodness sitting in our adorable hanging fruit basket, I decided that cookies needed to happen! Natch. Besides, cookies are more fun than thesising on a Saturday morning. (Even when the bunnies are helping out on the thesising front, cookies still win by a long shot…besides, then when I actually do buckle down and work, I have cookies to put in my thesis cup! ha.)

the bunnies are helping me thesis!

These cookies are, like a lot of my cookies, good for you! I love having snacky-type cookies around, so I feel like I’m getting nutritional benefits out of my dessert. Enter the banana cookie! Bananas: excellent source of potassium, fiber, and prebiotics for calcium absorption. Raw almond butter: mufas! (monounsaturated fatty acids: healthy fats), and cholesterol-lowering properties. Oats: whole grains! Cinnamon: helps control blood sugar spikes. Coconut: all kinds of good things, including good fats. PLUS, these cookies have no added sugar, are vegan (with vegan chocolate), and are friendly for those of my peeps dealing with genetically high cholesterol (which really doesn’t seem fair).  These cookies have no cholesterol, so feel free to indulge :)

And besides all that goodness, these cookies are fab. Soft, and like Kira said, almost like a macaroon. Tasty, just like a Saturday morning should be! I may have start buying an extra bunch of bananas, just to let them spottify on me for baking purposes… too bad Kira and I would have to hide them from each other to keep them around longer than a few days!

natural light, look at that!

Banana, Almond Butter and Oat Cookies

Adapted from A Full Measure of Happiness, here! I got 14 cookies. Of course, I put a Hayley-type spin on these…I’ll give you one guess. Yep. CHIA SEEDS! How did you know?!

Rustle up:

  • 2 dead bananas (mine were spotty brown)
  • 1/2 c nut butter (I used crunchy raw almond butter for these)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • very scant 1/4 c canola oil
  • 1 heaping spoonful of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 c rolled oats
  • 1/3 c shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (I think I would add more next time)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 c chocolate chips
mmm, oaties.

Preheat the oven to 350! Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

In a largeish bowl, mash up your banana, and then mix in nut butter, vanilla, and oil until thoroughly combined. In a smaller bowl, stir together oats, coconut, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and chia seeds. Mix dry into wet, and stir in chocolate chips (these are some low-maintenance cookies). Drop by the spoonful onto your cookie sheet: I crammed all of them onto one, since they don’t spread, and was able to fit 14. Bake for 12-14 minutes (I took mine out at 14ish), until lightly browned on the edges.

Eat. Feel virtuous :)

bunniesss! hehe.

I think I may have chia seeds stuck to the bottoms of my feet…

playing with my food again...

okay. I have to admit I was skeptical at first.

I mean, really.

When I first bit into one, they were borderline CRUNCHY. And we know how I feel about that. Hippy-granola crunchy birkenstocks with socks and legwarmers? Totally acceptable (acceptable to the point of being part of my normal wardrobe. plus yoga pants, naturally). Crunchy cookies? SO NOT.

But.

Then.

magical floating cookie! (is a tad overexposed on the top bit, oops)

I took a another bite. And the chocolate was warm and melty and gooey (Let’s be real, warm, melty gooey chocolate on ANYTHING makes whatever it is that much better) , and the honey-peanut butter duo tangoed warmly over my palate, reminding me of Vati’s pb/honey sammies (Just thought I’d practice my florid writing style). Warm out of the oven, these have excellent flavor.  Definitely acceptable. Not my favorites, by far, but good, in their own kind of oat-y, crunchytastic way. Besides, there’s always room for improvement. It might have helped a bit had I not burned the bottoms (not exactly sure how this happened) and flung chia seeds and oats all over the kitchen. Spastic baking? Check. Sorry, Kira… there may in fact be chia seeds stuck to your feet tomorrow. A maybe a stray oat or two. Oops.

On another side note, I think peanut butter cookies might be my thesising fuel of choice. It seems to be working… 1/3 of the way there, with 28 pages deemed excellent by my advisor, wheee! What a perfect excuse to eat more cookies… not as if I actually needed one. But really. The amount of chia-peanut butter-oat-coconut cookies I’ve consumed over the last few weeks/months is rather staggeringly impressive!

cookie cantilevering... someone's gettin' fancy!

Oaty Peanut Butter and Honey Cookies (With CHIA!)

Of COURSE they have chia seeds in them! Because chia is fab. Allll the time…in EVERYTHING! Ha.

Adapted from Visions of Sugar Plum, here! I got 11 cookies. Because I made them MASSIVE. I don’t do things by halves, clearly. What fun is that?!

Scrounge:

  • 1 1/3 c rolled oats
  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 c peanut butter (chunky natural, as per usual)
  • somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c chocolate chippies
cookies viewed through the mystical swirls of the tupperware... which is no longer empty!

Preheat the oven to 375 (perhaps 350 would have yielded slightly less-burnt-bottomed cookies? Something to try) and lightly grease your cookie sheet.

In a smallish bowl, stir together flour, soda, chia seeds, and oats*. In a larger bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together Earth Balance, applesauce, honey, peanut butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Add in egg and vanilla. When combined, beat in flour mix (if it flies around too much, stirring is perfectly acceptable) and chocolate chippies (*I stirred in oats last and had trouble getting them all to incorporate—I would beat or stir them in with the flour next time).

Form cookies of desired size and plop down onto baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden on the tops. I might try reducing oven temp or baking them for slightly less time. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, and then move to a wire rack for consumption  ahem I mean further cooling.

uhoh. Chocolate evidence.

Once again, I dream of quinoa!

innovative picture taking!

I did warn you…

But nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Nor were you expecting this particular form of quinoa, I’m sure. Although knowing me… you probably shouldn’t be surprised.

So guess what?!

I win!

I found a way to combine QUINOA and PEANUT BUTTER! Just like I told you I would. And guess what else? This also includes CHIA SEEDS! Wheeee! All of my favorite foods, all rolled into one. All we need is goat cheese (ew. no thanks, not in this case. See? I told you I was fickle… goat cheese can’t expect me to be its one and only, there are too many other distractions!). I’ll give you one guess what form this deliciousness comes in…

COOKIES!

Yep.

COOKIEEEEESS! Of course. Lately, would you expect anything else? I thought not. And besides, I was getting concerned about my peanut butter consumption for this week (that jar was looking a tad full, heaven forbid I shouldn’t meet my weekly jar quota)… but I just solved that problem. I should have no problem getting though the rest of this jar by Sunday, when we shop again, since I’m apparently a peanut butter eating machine. I don’t even think I ate this much of it as a kid! Whatever. It’s good for me :) As are these cookies! They’re whole grain, from the oats and quinoa, and they have the added benefits of chia seeds. Plus, they have healthy fats from peanut butter, and unrefined sugar (they’re sweetened with honey). What’s not to love? The tupperware is happy to be full once again.

I'm officially the cookie monster

Peanut Butter Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 12 decent sized cookies. Adapted from here! They’re definitely interesting cookies: not your typical cookie, since you can totally tell you’re eating quinoa. If it doesn’t bother you, go for it! I think they’re good for a change, but the pb-chia ones are still my reigning favorites :]

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper.

Rummage:

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (1/2 c dry, cooked with 1 c water)
  • 1/2 c natural peanut butter (I used chunky, of course!)
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c chia seeds
  • scant 1/2 tsp salt (my peanut butter is salted already)
  • 1/3 c chocolate chippies
floating coookie?!

Stir together quinoa, peanut butter, and honey in a largeish bowl. Once combined, add in oats, salt, and chia seeds, and mix to combine… getting a bicep workout in the meantime. Once combined, toss in your chocolate chippies. Form into balls and drop onto the cookie sheet. I find that with peanut butter cookies, I have to push the chocolate chips in later, since they don’t want to stick to the dough. Flatten a bit, before they go into the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes (mine were done at 18), or until golden brown.

These are particularly good when grooving to Paul Simon…

I could easily have an affair with goat cheese.

goat cheese=food of the gods.

So yesterday, after doing MEGA brain pushups (thanks, thesis), I. Was. STARVING. Because researching and finding sources takes a lot of brain power, despite being assisted by the wonderful goddess of research, our research librarian Doreen (LOVE  HER!). But. All this came to fruition, and I now have a much beefier works cited. Hooray! Moving right along…

Besides, it had been a long day, due to a computer virus (who invents these, anyway?!) that derailed my initial thesis plans… and it was Wednesday… and this week needs to be OVER! But thankfully it almost is because tomorrow is FRIDAY, wheee! Anyway. Suffice it say that I was so in need of some delicious dinner with my roomie.

Which is why this happened.

YUM.

And I am SO GLAD it did.

I mean, really. How can you go wrong with goat cheese?! Answer: you can’t. Like I’ve said before, if I could marry a food, goat cheese would totally be it. But I can’t say I would be entirely faithful in that relationship… I do have an ongoing (and very committed fling) with peanut butter. And chia seeds. See? Picking one would be waaay too hard. There would have to be significant bribery involved, if I was to stay with just one food.

But this. This is a match made in gastronomical heaven: goat cheese and sweet potato! Just trust me: it’s aaaa-mazing. And on pizza?! Send me! Besides, I was even able to sneak some chia seeds into my pizza crust, which meant that three of my favorite foods were all being pally together. Gastrowin! Besides, like I said, I was bloody starving, which meant that something along the lines of a sock would have tasted good, had I cared to try it (I didn’t. For the record).  But this pizza… mmmm. So good. So good that Kira and I had no trouble polishing off the entire thing in one sitting. Because we’re awesome like that. Like bosses!

mmm, beta carotene, antioxidants, and goat cheeseee

Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Kale Pizza (With or without sausage)

Makes 1 pizza! Served 2 massively hungry girlies in their 20s. Adapted from here.

The dough Kira and I used is the same as the last time I posted pizza on here. I had kind of a failed rise, since our apartment was probably a bit chilly for the yeasties… next time, I’ll let it rise in a warm oven. But I liked the way this one turned out, very much like a flat bread pizza.

For the dough:

The same recipe as before, here! Except this time, I added about a tablespoon and a half of chia seeds. Excellent choice, I will definitely be doing this again.

For the pizza!

  • 1 monster-sized sweet potato
  • 3 tbsp soymilk (or regular)
  • 1 tbsp dried sage (fresh if you have it! I didn’t)
  • 1 c chopped kale
  • 1/2 a large onion
  • 1 chicken sausage, browned and cut up*
  • one small log of goat cheese (5 oz), to your cheese-y preference.
  • olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
  • one pizza crust (no… really?!)

*Vegetarian without the sausage! It would be good either way.

waiting to be eaten

Preheat the oven to 400. While the oven is heating, roll out the pizza dough super thin, and place it on the cornmeal dusted baking sheet (or whatever you’re using). Brush a light bit of olive oil over the crust.

Cook the sweet potato. I like to do mine for 4-5 minutes, depending on size, in the microwave. Roasting is fine too. When cool, scoop the lovely orange insides into a small bowl. Mash! Add in soymilk and sage, and a bit of salt. Keep mashing, until smoothyish and combined. Spread this evenly all over the pizza crust, and then lick the bowl clean. You know you want to…I might have…

In a saute pan over medium, heat olive oil. When oil is hot, toss in onions, and saute until they begin to caramelize. Mine was about 15 minutes. When the onions are mostly done, dump in kale, and saute until soft and wilted.Brown a sausage, or two, in a small skillet. Chop. Add to kale/onion pan.

Spread onions/kale/sausage, and goat cheese over the sweet potato goodness. We used probably about 4 ounces of cheese, somewhere close to 3/4 of the log. Up to you, depending on your cheese preferences! We like cheese, and this was perfect. Insert pizza into oven, and bake for about 12 minutes, until kale is looking crisp and the crust is nicely browned on the edges. Devour, preferably while hot. Which means you should just eat the whole thing, clearly… what good is such a small piece for leftovers?!