Saturday, 27 February 2016

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 35

This weeks cookies are brought to you compliments of John's mom (not because she made them but because she supplied the zucchini for them).  They are also brought to you by Kitchen Treaty because it was the first site that popped up when I put "zucchini cookies" into a Google search.

The recipe called for half white flour and half whole wheat... she mentioned that you could really use any flour though and although I was skeptical how great my multigrain flour would be in cookies I went with it anyways (you can occassionally feel the bites of grain when eating them but it's not so bad).  John's mom gave me yellow zucchini... I'm not sure if there is much of a difference (you can clearly see that the original recipe used green zucchini though because you can see green in the cookies - perhaps the yellow zucchini makes these appear to be more appetizing?)  Other than that I don't think I changed anything about this recipe.

While mixing the dough for it I found it really dry and so I quickly added a little extra zucchini to it to moisten it up... I'm guessing I probably just hadn't mixed it enough yet to realize that it wasn't going to be that dry though... because once I added the extra zucchini I found it to be a little too moist.

Anyways, the cookies turned out so whether it really was too dry before I added the extra zucchini we'll never know.
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

The verdict is... THEY'RE GREAT!  They are nice and light like some kind of delicious cake.  I would definitely make them again... 10/10!

Last week I made some fairly simple Peanut Butter Cookies (and you probably already have all 3 ingredients in your house to make them!)

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Peanut Butter Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 34

I feel like I'm starting to hit a good stride with all this cookie baking... I'm finding too many recipes now that will go far beyond my 52 weeks.

Anyways, yesterday I only worked a half day (the afternoon half) so I made the dough for my peanut butter cookies in the morning and baked them after work.  I stopped on my way home to pick up a present and some cards for John's sister because she is getting married next week and while at the mall I also picked up some Time Hortens for myself (if only my oven would have preheated a little faster I may have been able to enjoy my coffee with my cookies).

Anyways, the recipe is super simple because it only requires 3 ingredients (I was humming and hawing over which one to make but then I thought "well... they say the fewer ingredients the better something is for you"... I'm not sure if that's the case here (it probably isn't) but I stuck with this one.  If you have peanut butter, sugar, and an egg around you can make this recipe (which I found on the back of my peanut butter jar - by Kraft

The only thing I changed about these cookies was that I didn't actually use Kraft peanut butter... well I did... but the amount probably equaled a couple of tablespoons which wasn't nearly enough.  I'm assuming using a different brand of smooth peanut butter did not affect the taste all that much though.

The verdict?  Dare I say that they were a little too peanut buttery?  The other recipe I was contemplating using included flour in the recipe.... I think it would have been better... maybe I'll still make those ones another time.  These ones I'm giving a 7/10... there's something better out there!

You know what might have made these better?  If I would have actually won something on my Tim's cup.... I'm officially 0 for 2 now (which isn't bad at all).  I'm fresh out of gift cards for the place though... so this may the end of my non winning streak.

Last week I made some Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies that were pretty delicious

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Valentine's Day

I'm not one for making a big deal about this day.  Shouldn't we all be showing the person that we love that we love them every day?  BUT... I told John earlier in the week that I had come up with a good idea to do for it so I would take care of planning this Valentine's Day and he could start working ahead to next year (or you know, think of it February 13, 2017... whichever).  

But first...

I've rarely had a date on Valentine's Day so it has been a long tradition that I go out for a girl's night on (or around) Valentine's Day.  Why should all the couples get all the fun?  The girls I hang out with on this date have changed over the years (because people run off and get married) but the good times continue.  So on Friday, myself, and a few friends got together for dinner (and they had dessert - I didn't because I had an obscene amount at the classroom Valentine's Day party I was subbing in) hung out and caught up.  It was fun.

Then on Sunday, February 14th I of course woke up not feeling so great.  Why oh why am I always getting sick when there is a holiday (Monday was a holiday)!?!  You know how when you get sick there is usually one day that is worse than the others?  Well I wasn't willing to risk Monday being the more sick of the two days and postponing.... so the show went on.

When thinking about what we should do I thought about what John would want to do.... or what he likes to do.  

"Well... he likes camping" I thought to myself and so the plan began.

It was a pretty simple set up.  Hotdogs, chips, s'mores, carrots, and pickles (or you know... what I'm assuming is typical camping food) and of course... my fireplace.  I was a little nervous about someones marshmallow going up in flames (and they did... multiple times... those things are highly flammable!) and burning something important (such as my condo) so I put a pitcher of water by the fireplace (which we didn't end up needing... we just blew out the marshmallow fires).  I also took a couple of cushions off the couch and put them on the floor in front of the fireplace to make it more comfortable (then I covered it with another blanket so that we wouldn't get any ash or anything on the cushions.

I didn't get him much... 
While picking up the groceries for the indoor camping experience I took a wander down the candy aisle at Walmart thinking that they usually have some of their Lindtt chocolate on sale.. the only ones that were on sale were the dark chocolate varieties which just so happen to be his favourite.  So I bought him one and told him to open it before we made s'mores because he might want to include it with his (and he did).

I'm pretty sure he had a good time (and I enjoyed how incredibly simple it all was)...we called it a night early on because I wasn't feeling the greatest but at least the day wasn't completely ruined (by my illness... or you know an out of control fire or anything).

Hope all my readers, whether single or happily taken had a great Valentine's Day!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 33

Confession:  I've made these cookies before.... so you can probably gather that I like them.

You can find the recipe on Just a Pinch Recipes

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly except that I wasn't planning on making these this month but then I saw my bag of Craisins in the cupboard and I knew I had oranges in the fridge and pecans in the cupboard and so... I made them.  The only thing I changed was that I was planning on using the pecans in my cupboard for some breakfast for dinner at the end of the month and so instead on only using pecans I used just a little over half of the called for in pecans and the rest I used some chopped up walnuts that I'm not sure why I bought.... or why I have 2 bags of them. I also didn't measure the orange zest (I used one orange worth of orange zest though).

What more can I say than I enjoyed them (I brought some to life group on Wednesday and some more to a girls night on Friday and everyone else seemed to enjoy them too... at least I never heard any complaints).  These aren't amazing by any means though... I would never say they were my favourite kind of cookie or anything... but they are good for what they are so they get a 9/10


Last week I made some Jam Jam Cookies that I think you should also consider

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Jam Jam Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 32

Last week I mentioned how I was making some classic Mennonite food for my friend and his family.  So on Sunday I spent all day making meatbuns (because the dough takes a while to rise), soup, and jam jam cookies only to be so wrapped up in transporting the soup over there that I completely forgot about the cookies that I had made that afternoon in the fridge.  No one fret though... the cookies got delivered on Wednesday instead.

Why jam jam cookies?  When I was thinking about cookies that my grandma would make these ones were the first that came to mind.  I probably should have searched for someone that had my grandma's recipe... but I found one on Mennonite Girls Can Cook and figured if it wasn't the same recipe it had to be very similar (I mean they looked identical to the ones my grandma would make... or at least identical in the way I remember them).

The thing is... the recipe called for lemon zest.  I wasn't so sure about this lemon zest but John and I had to go out and get ingredients for the soup so I told him that if we went shopping right after church I would include the lemon but if we put it off to later I would omit it... turns out we went shopping right after church and so I included the lemon.

I also can't be sure of what kind of jam my grandma would use in her cookies.  I used some homemade strawberry jam I got a wedding I attended this past summer and some store bought stuff I had in my fridge.

The outcome... I thought they were a little sweeter than what I remember (now, keep in mind I haven't had my grandma's jam jam cookies in a number of years) and the cookies were slightly harder than what I recall (I probably should have taken a minute or so off the cook time because mine were a little smaller).  But definitely still edible and definitely still Mennonite.  If I happen to make these again though... I think I'll either omit the lemon (I don't think my grandma included that) or track down my grandma's actual recipe.

I give these ones a 7/10

Last week I made some Cinnamon Caramel Cookies

Friday, 5 February 2016

Leaving Time - A Book Review

My apologies, I thought I posted this a while ago and then I come to realize I must have just saved it... whelp, I finished the book (and another one in the meantime) so here are my long overdue thoughts on "Leaving Time" by Jodi Picoult

Well, what can I say, I always like Jodi Picoult books.  I think she is a fantastic writer that clearly does a lot of research when writing her novels.  I like that you can't predict the endings to her novels (well, maybe you can, but I can't).

There were a few parts that I thought made the book less credible though (but because it is a fiction book can it really be credible at all?).

The first was when Serenity and Virgil went to that house and the water started pouring down inside the house.  I thought that if this book were a movie this would have been one of the deleted scenes... I didn't see it as having much purpose to the story at all (I guess when you get closer to the end of the book it kind of does.... but not enough that I thought it needed to be included).

I'm not one to support cheating on a significant other and so I obviously didn't LOVE that part of the book... I find it a little sad actually that something like this has to be included in a book in order to make it more exciting and to sell copies.

But mostly the part that I didn't like was that in the end you find out that not only was Virgil dead all along but also Jenna.  How disappointing.  The fact that Serenity could see them as their spirits or whatever throughout the book just made it seem a little (or a lot) far fetched to me.  Did they really have to die in order for it to be a great book?

Honestly, here is how I thought it was all going to turn out.  Eventually, Jenna was going to find out that her grandmother died a long time ago.  She was going to question whom she had been living with all these years only to discover that it was her mother all along!

But if there is one thing I know about Jodi Picoult's books it is this:  They don't always have a "happy ending" and you cannot predict the endings anyways, so my prediction was obviously not going to happen.

Despite not liking certain parts of the book I still enjoyed the read and I will definitely be continuing to read Jodi Picoult books in the future.