something to believe in

theres a few things i believe in. not a ton, but a good sturdy 5 or so things that i firmly stand behind.

1. not taking yourself too seriously. if you can’t laugh at yourself, it makes you kind of a douche when you laugh at other people.

2. exercise. if that one needs an explanation, you might be an idiot.

3. comfy shoes. you know when you see that girl wearing crazy high heels and you just want to give her the sneakers off your feet? yeah, thats NOT hot.

totally irrelevant, but hilarious. click to enlarge. (TWSS)

4. pandora. i get it, spotify’s supposed to be cool right now. im ok with not being cool.

5. a dependable set of go-to recipes.

So far, i’m still working on the last one. but i have nailed down a couple really really good recipes. heres my criteria for a go-to recipe.

if this many ingredients are needed, its not happening

-not a lot of ingredients. if i have to go to the store and buy 12 different spices that im never going to use in any other recipe ever, it ain’t gettin’ made in my kitchen.

-doesn’t use 9 different pieces of kitchen equipment. lets be real here, no one wants to spend an hour doing dishes in order to enjoy one meal.

-not a lot of hands-on time. if i have to simmer a soup for a couple of hours, no worries. but one of the main reasons ive never made puff pastry (besides the pounds of butter involved) is because it a lot of work. and lets be honest, there are less lazy people out there when it comes to cooking. like Smitten Kitchen. if you DONT love that blog and you DO love food, you may be a crazy person.

-healthy. i love cookies and cakes and pizza and other unhealthy things as much as the next person, but i also know that it doesnt make my body feel good. so i figure out how to make these things healthier, while still super tasty.

*side story: i was on vacation with a big group of friends a couple of weeks ago, and told them all i was going to make cookies. of course, they were super excited about it. who doesn’t love freshly baked cookies? and then i made a mistake. i told them that they were VEGAN. long story short, they were a little hesitant to try them.. and then devoured 3 batches in 2 days.

this is what we do on vacation.

so far ive got about 3 or 4 nailed down. go to soup recipe is either butternut squash soup  or sweet potato chili (inspired by Gina’s recipe). for veggies i love my brussels sprouts  or more recently, kale with golden raisins (thanks Ana!). and for cookies…. oh god, the cookies!!! i have this blog to thank for inspiration- Kirsten’s Kitchen.

in the last month or so, i’ve gone through pounds of whole wheat pastry flour, cups of sugar, and almost 5 bags of chocolate ships. ive made every variation on this cookie you can imagine… from regular old chocolate chip, to oatmeal white chocolate chip to snickerdoodle to cranberry pumpkin spice to chocolate cookie sandwiches. and they’ve all been AMAZING.

so partly because i love you, and partly because im hoping for once someone will make ME these cookies, i present to you…..

The amazing technicolor variety cookie.

oatmeal cranberry chocolate chip

(no joke, someone proposed to me the other day because of these cookies. dont worry, i said no)

Basic Ingredients:

-2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (up to half can be subbed for old fashioned oats or almond meal)

-1/2 cup brown sugar

-1/2 cup regular sugar (or turbinado if you like the crunch)

-1/2 tsp salt

-1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda

-up to 1 cup add-ins (chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts)

-(for oatmeal cookie varieties add 1/2 tsp- 1 tsp cinnamon)

-1/2 cup oil (i prefer vegetable or safflower, but melted coconut oil works and adds a coconutty flavor.. olive oil will make your cookies have a distinct olive oil taste)

*up to half the oil can be replaced with pumpkin puree or applesauce. if using pumpkin puree add 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice and dried cranberries. trust me on this.

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/8-1/4 cup water (start with 1/8 and work your way up.. the more water you add, the more your cookies will spread)

Preheat oven to 350. mix dry in one bowl. mix wet in another. mix together. use a tablespoon measure to drop balls of dough on greased cookie sheets (i like to flatten the balls with my hands, but it is not necessary, they just wont spread out a bunch when baking). Bake for 9-10 minutes. they will not seem done, but trust me, they ARE. let cool for at least 7 minutes, if you can wait that long.

lucky you, now you have something else to believe in. your mad baking skillz.

youre welcome.

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