Now that I have all that past experience out of my system, I feel better. You can’t say that I’ve never shared anything beyond recipes.
Here are more things that I can share: it’s Friday (surprise) and I’m pretty happy (bigger surprise). I’m not sure why, but part of it could be that spring should be coming and we already have plans, spanning spring to New Years. I love plans that involve camping, traveling, family/friends and food (and I include drinks with the food).
List-making is big with me, I make lists about lists, and my list for seasonal veggies and fruit dishes is growing. I have recipes for things that I definitely consider more for warmer weather- not that I care that much about when to make what but it helps to keep my excitement up thinking about these recipes. The local farmer’s market couldn’t open fast enough for me (which is supposed to be in May).
I love walking over, about 5 minutes away, with one of my reusable grocery bags and a small amount of cash (which is more than enough). I try to come back with not only fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey and poultry (probably more) and a bouquet of $5 flowers. Those are the only flowers we purchase. I do not like bouquets that are typical and overpriced. Plus, you haven’t lived until you’ve taken the cute snapdragon flower and made it talk to someone, like a puppet. I’m pretty sure that is one of Greg’s favorite warm weather things that I do, up to a point, because I tend to talk with the blossom a bit too much. (Ok, sometimes I remind him to do a chore or two with it, which can annoy even a monk.)
When my heavy coat can be left behind and a light sweater or jacket is sufficient enough for the weather, that’s when I will shed my Minnesota winter blues. There’s still plenty of time and I’m not even going to let myself know that winter is probably still here for a while…it could be May before the snow disappears but I need to bring this around so I’m hopeful again…we have plans! I did it; I’m cheery again with things to look forward to, people to see and places to go. I’m singing the words as I type-just imagine the singing from Elf with Will Ferrell…I wish the voice of Zooey Deschanel as Jovie. (I think that’s a cute name.) Yeessss! I have a habit of saying it like Oprah, even though I never meant to… and in the midst of saying it, decide to add Liz Lemon on the end, like in the episode of 30 Rock with Tina Fey.
Since I’m feeling so jovial, I want to share one of my childhood favorite cookies. No, it’s not sophisticated nor complicated, it’s not even baked-anyone catching my drift? No-bake cookies! I’ve heard these called all kinds of things but I’ve always known them simply as no-bake cookies. They include peanut butter, cocoa, oatmeal and really only a few things more and placement in the refrigerator for an hour. (I usually can’t wait that long and eat them in gooey form.)
I first encountered this cookie in 4-H at a meeting in elementary school. Then, they came up again in middle school, for that required class, home-ec, and that’s really when I began making them on a frequent basis. They are just too easy. I, at one point, had this recipe memorized-I know, gee, what a fatty.
I also know that I might be made fun of in the food world for even sharing this and run the risk of not being taken seriously. But I say back off to those leaning this way because these are great and I bet if you have children, they would love one (and I bet you would as well)…just be sure not to give them too many if you promote a balanced diet (they have a lot of butter and sugar). Be sure to have wax paper, aluminum foil or parchment paper on your cookie sheet…and make room in your refrigerator.
Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies
Makes 20 to 30 cookies
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp cocoa (or chopped chocolate)
1 stick of butter
½ cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups oatmeal (any kind works, cereal works in a pinch)
In a large pot bring to a boil the butter, sugar, cocoa and milk, stirring until combined. Boil for a minute and remove from the heat. It’s hard to mess these up so don’t worry about doing it exactly-just be sure the ingredients are combined well. Then stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a cookie sheet, covered with wax paper or parchment paper (aluminum foil works too), drop the mixture by the spoonful to the size you would like and cool in the refrigerator until hard and chilled-maybe an hour. (If you are impatient, as I am sometimes, eat them gooey, i.e. only in the frig for a short period of time.) Enjoy my beloved childhood and adulthood cookie!