Monday, November 24, 2008

Recipe Review--Post Punk Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was drawn in by this recipe for chocolate chip cookies at the Post Punk Kitchen (PPK), and decided to give it a whirl.

I followed the recipe fairly closely--I used olive oil instead of canola because we didn't have canola, and soy milk instead of almond milk. I did not use tapioca flour, again because I didn't have it, although I read later that I could have probably substituted corn starch for it. I may have used slightly more chocolate chips than originally called for, as I was just finishing up a bag.

The cookies turned out pretty well, and looked remarkably like the ones on the PPK blog. The chewy texture was nice and even my partner, who does not like chocolate, enjoyed them. During the baking process, the greasiness of the dough was overwhelming--it was hard to escape just how much oil went into this recipe. If you're looking for a decent vegan chocolate chip recipe, I would recommend this one, but if you're a vegetarian or omnivore, I would recommend a recipe that uses butter and eggs instead. Halfway through the recipe I found myself asking why I was making these vegan cookies when I had butter and eggs in the fridge. Overall, it was nice to have some cookies on hand and the adventure served as a reminder that vegan isn't always better for vegetarians.

Monday, November 17, 2008

College Newspaper Collages

I worked at the student newspaper throughout college as both a writer and an editor, and have been saving a huge stack of papers from that time period. As part of my ongoing efforts to declutter, I decided to create some collages of some of the papers and get rid of most of the rest (I do have separate photocopies of some of my favorite articles, cartoons, etc.) The collages represent a variety of my favorite articles, headlines, ads, etc., and will hopefully be better appreciated than a stack of papers in the file cabinet.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weeknight Cheater Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole

I love a good sweet potato casserole. When else is a vegetable practically a dessert? Plus, I find that its just as delicious as a cold leftover as it is warm fresh out of the oven.

However, the thought of roasting sweet potatoes and spending lots of time on the topping makes them seem an unlikely candidate for a weeknight dinner. Until I decided to try a weeknight cheater version.

Instead of baking the sweet potatoes, I pierced each one a few times with a fork and microwaved until they were done (my microwave has a potato setting, if yours doesn't, you can try 2-3 minutes at a time). While the potatoes were cooling a bit, I preheated the oven and gathered my topping ingredients. I scooped each of the sweet potatoes out of its shell and mashed a bit with a fork before placing in the pie dish. Then, I topped with sweet corn flake cereal (Trader Joe's honey bunches of oats type) which I crushed with my hands and some pre-crushed baking walnuts. I zapped some butter in the microwave to melt it and stirred some brown sugar into the butter before drizzling over the top. Then I baked for 20 mins at 350. Pretty easy, and very worth the minimal effort.

*PS--isn't the spoon rest adorable? I got it from Texas Ceramics on Etsy (

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Weeknight Cheater Recipes

Since I plan on running quite a few of them, I thought I should say a word about what I'm calling "Weeknight Cheater Recipes." These are recipes that are about as healthy as what I'd make on a weekend, but involve a few cut corners. They don't involve all of the steps that I would perform in an ideal world, but they get a decent meal on the table when time is limited. Let me know what you think and if you have suggestions!