Tag Archives: recipe


Seems like we are growing accustomed to this whole ‘school’ thing.

We’ve taken the bikes to school every morning this week but it’s still 90° by afternoon and too hot to pick her up (my limit is 85°). There’s been no struggle to get her out the door, and Ellie’s usual assessment of her day has been upgraded from ‘fine’ to ‘great’ (‘fantastic’ is the highest rating).

We blow each other kisses at lunchtime so that we can make it through the rest of the day.

I’ve sorted out what days which housework happens so that I don’t have to spend hours at domestic activities and that there is time left for work each day. Sweeping the whole house, for example, occurs on Monday and Friday (I do the kitchen and den again on Wednesday – Truman sheds like you would NOT believe). Sweeping is rewarded with a little bitty mug brownie.


Shown in a FiestaWare tea cup.

Brownie in a Mug
(also delicious in brownie batter form)

Get yourself a microwave safe mug and add the following ingredients in the following order:

1 T. oil
1 T. some kind of milk (almond today)
2 T. AP flour
2 T. sugar
1 T. cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Stir! If you’d like your brownie cooked, pop the mug in your microwave for 60-90 seconds. You’ll have to experiment a little since all microwaves are different – underdone is far far better than over done.

Ellie and I like ours with a spoonful of peanut butter on top. I’ve also sprinkled chocolate chips on top and I suspect one of those caramel squares stuck down in the cooked brownie would melt into something divine.

Three Things

  • First, Ellie’s Halloween costume is finished! (except for the hook on the jacket – I’ll do it when Lady Bird gets out of my lap)
    I cheated and ordered the wings

    Not pictured: Crown and wand.

  • Second, I haven’t had a Butterfinger in three years but I don’t miss them anymore because oh my oh my oh these are SO GOOD. You’ll need a candy thermometer, and don’t tweet that you are making candy while the sugar is on the heat.

    Butter Finger Candy
    I love you, CLARYN.

    1 c. creamy peanut butter (not the natural kind)
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    ¼ tsp. salt
    1 c. sugar
    ⅓ c. light corn syrup
    ½ c. water
    ¾ c. chocolate chips (Ghiredelli semi-sweet are dairy free)
    1 T. shortening

    Grease an 8-inch square pan.

    In a small saucepan, stir together peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Warm all that over low heat until it’s melty and then keep it warm.

    In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, corn syrup and water.

    Cook sugar goo over medium-high heat just until it reaches 290 degrees, under hard crack. Don’t tweet. Don’t get bored. Don’t look away it will surprise you!

    Quickly stir in peanut butter until well mixed.

    Dump in prepared pan, QUICK IT’S ALREADY COOLING!

    Let cool on a wire rack (or cold stove eye) for about 8 minutes. Don’t try to eat it yet (HOT).

    Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between until molten chocolate is achieved.

    Pour the chocolate over the top of the peanut butter candy part and spread it out to coat. Put it in the ‘fridge so it will set more quickly. Cut it into bars and eat every last crumb before you think about taking a picture. Wonder how soon is too soon to make more…

  • Third thing: I’m sure you noticed that New York City had a LOT of water in it yesterday. New Jersey isn’t much better and there is a lot of surrounding area with storm trouble. I’m sure you’ve already donated to the Red Cross and the Humane Society or other disaster relief organizations if you feel so inclined. But you know, there are a lot of fiber farms up that way who are going to need a little help getting trees off of their fences and patching roofs and the like. So, maybe take a minute to consider doing what knitters do best: find those farms and buy some yarn. Tell them no rush shipping, you can wait. But they’ll know you’re thinking about them.
  • Oh. Heavens.

    I’m not going to write back to all 80 comments I have on March’s Mindful Fiber post. That’s a lot of comments. I appreciate and have read every one. It would take a really long time to write back to every one.

    But I’ll make it up to you with a recipe.

    Peanut Butter Cups


    Makes 12 mini-muffin size cups of yum.

    for the peanut butter part:
    1/4c. faux butter (I like Earth Balance)
    6 T. peanut butter (the stirring kind sets best, but use what you have)
    6 T. graham cracker crumbs (mashed by hand or in a food processor)
    2 T. sugar

    for the chocolate part:
    1/2 c. chocolate chips (Ghirardelli semi-sweet are dairy free)
    2 T. some kind of milk (soy sets better than organic dairy)

    other stuff:
    mini muffin pan
    mini muffin papers

    Here’s what you do:
    1. Melt the faux butter in a small pan. Add the PB, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar and stir it all up. Once the mixture is melty and gooey, you can set it aside and tend to the chocolate.
    2. I put the chips and milk in a microwavable container and microwave for 35 seconds. Then I stir until blended. You could also melt everything in a pan on the stove top.
    3. Now it’s decision time. Do you want the chocolate on the bottom or the peanut butter on the bottom? I like the chocolate on the bottom because they come out of the wrappers more easily. But the chocolate on top is definitely prettier. Plus you can sprinkle a little bit of salt on top for extra yum.
    4. Made up your mind? Divide whichever goes on the bottom into your muffin papers and follow that with whatever you are putting on the top.
    5. Into the ‘fridge!
    6. Wait. It takes a few hours for them to set. Lick all the pans while you are waiting.
    7. Eat them all at one time and then feel ill and bad about yourself!
    8. Repeat.

    Hiya, Cupcake

    I’ve got stuff to do today to stay on track. Seriously. I do.

    But first let me tell you about these cupcakes.


    I made minis – The best looking ones are in Ellie’s lunch.

    I’ve been looking for an eggless replacement for my yellow cake recipe for two years. It’s been on my mind more often lately because of monsters like these. Sorry for the Fox News link, but at least it doesn’t have the undercover video. I’ll tell you all about where eggs come from one of these days, but not today. There’s no time today because you need to make these cupcakes.

    New Go-To Cupcake*
    makes 12 regular cupcakes or 36 minis

    Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line it with little paper cups.

    1 1/4 c. flour
    1 t. baking powder
    1/4 t. baking soda
    1/2 t. of salt
    1/2 c. granulated sugar
       Whisk these together in a bowl. It’s the lazy way to sift.

    1/4 c. brown sugar (I’m pretty sure this is the key.)
    1/3 c. oil
    1 c. some kind of milk (I used soy.)
    2 t. vanilla
       Whisk these together in another bowl. I actually whisk them in a 2 c. measuring cup because I am LAZY and don’t like to wash anything I don’t have to.

       Pour the wet into the dry and whisk until relatively smooth.

       Fill each muffin cup 2/3s full – it comes out perfectly. You can get 36 minis out of the same amount of batter if you don’t lick the spoon. And bake 24 minutes for the regular size and 12 minutes for the minis. You’l know they are finished, because they will be beautifully golden and nicely rounded on top.

    Now make the frosting. This cupcake is an all-purpose wonder. I’ve put straight up buttercream on top, floofy chocolate buttercream and most recently, salted caramel buttercream. *swoon*

    Buttercream Frosting all Kinds of Ways
    Makes enough for one batch of cupcakes. Doubles easily.

    The gold standard is:
    1/4 c. Earth Balance in the stick (Organic Valley’s Butter is also a winner)
    1/4 c. vegetable shortening
    2 c. powdered sugar
    1/2 t. vanilla

       You’ll need an electric mixer to get this good and fluffy. Beat the Earth Balance and shortening together until it’s a little lighter in color. Then start adding the powdered sugar 1/2 a cup at a time, beating until each addition is mixed. Beat in the vanilla and add food coloring if your child is obsessed with pink. For a more floofy frosting that you can pop in a pastry bag and squirt out like clouds, beat in a couple tablespoons (GRADUALLY or you’ll get accidental frosting soup) of your milk of choice. If you manage to have leftovers, store it in the ‘fridge for later.

       For chocolate add: 3 T. cocoa powder and 1-2 T. some kind of milk
       For salted caramel add: 1/2 t. caramel extract or a big spoonful of caramel sauce and 1/2 t. salt (maybe more depending on how much you like salt)

       You can also substitute 1/2 c. cream cheese (Tofutti’s vegan version works great if you can get it) for the shortening.

    Now frost those cupcakes. And eat them up.

    *This is an edited adaptation of a recipe from Vegan Cupcakes take Over the World. I haven’t actually seen the original recipe so it is possible that I put it back how it was supposed to be.

    With Relish

    We’ve got a rainy rainy rainy Labor Day Weekend* happening here. So I made Black Eyed Pea Relish while listening to the weather radio tell me all about the various watches and warnings. Want some?

    eat your veggies

    Also known as: Alabama Caviar, Black Eyed Pea Salad, Black Eyed Pea Dip

    For the dressing you’ll need:
    6 T. balsamic vinegar
    1/4 c. olive oil
    2 T. sugar
    1 t. salt
    1/2 t. black pepper

    Whisk all that together in a 12 cup (ish) container with a lid until the sugar is dissolved.

    2 cans (or four cups) of prepared black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
    1.5 cups of chopped bell pepper, I’ve got red, yellow and green pictured, but I tend to use all green since that’s what I grow
    half a purple onion, diced – about 1/2 c.
    half a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

    Toss the veggies and dressing together, put on the top and refrigerate it overnight. Don’t bother tasting until it’s been in there at least four hours. Serve with saltines.

    I’ve seen this with corn. As much as I like corn, it’s better without. I’ve also seen it served with tortilla chips. That’s just wrong.

    *Lee is a Depression but it’s still going to rain forever.

    Around and A Round Recipe

    Round things look good in twos.

    dish rag rag

    A Pair of Dish Cloths.

    They taste good in twos too.


    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Too good not to share.

    My New Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

    You’ll want your hand mixer for this one – it’s tough to get the flour incorporated with a spoon. We’ve made these two times in the past two weeks.

    1/2 c. unsalted butter or Earth Balance
    1/2 c. sugar
    1 t. vanilla
    3/4 c. and 3 T. all-purpose flour
    1/8 t. baking powder
    1/2 c. chocolate chips

    Preheat the oven to 300F.

    Beat up the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat some more. Put in the flour and baking powder and beat patiently. At first you’ll think it’s going to be a crumbly mess, but stick with it. Everything will come together. Stir in the chocolate chips (with a spoon).

    Divide the dough into 6-8 golf ball size balls. Arrange on a cookie sheet and gently squish with your hand (Ellie’s favorite part after eating all the chocolate chips) to about 1/2″ thick. I like to sprinkle the tops with kosher salt.

    Bake them for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and delicious on the edges. Let them cool on a wire rack.

    These are crispy cookies made for dunking.

    Recipe: Cheddar Biscuits


    I made these up for dinner last night. Ellie ate FOUR so I felt like I needed to share right away.


    Leftovers for breakfast.

    Cheddar Biscuits
    Makes about a dozen.
    Preheat your oven to 425.

    1 c. all-purpose flour
    1 heaping t. baking powder
    1/4 t. garlic salt (don’t be a hater, garlic salt has a purpose)
    1 T. sugar (trust me)

    Put the above in a bowl and mix well. Cut in

    1/4 c. butter (or whatever – I used organic butter because I had it)


    1/2 c. shredded cheddar (I used Cabot Extra Sharp)

    and toss well. Stir in

    1/2 c. + 2 T. milk (I used organic 2%)

    Your dough will be wet – don’t panic it’s a drop biscuit. Scoop it out in rounded tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking pan (or a cookie sheet you trust although there is enough butter in these that you should be OK) and pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Watch for golden brown and delicious to emerge.

    Eat up!

    Note: I think a little melted butter brushed on top would only improve them, but they certainly don’t need anything else to be yummers.