Archive for June 20th, 2011

June 20, 2011

a day at the track

 

Kin and I were at Trader Joe’s over the weekend doing our usual shopping for the week.  Have you ever noticed how chatty the cashiers are?  Is this something new they told everyone to do, or are we the lucky shoppers who get grilled on our nightly plans?  Well, our cashier asked us what we were planning for Father’s Day and I told her we were going to the races with our dad.  To me, I have only known “going to the races” to mean one thing.  Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.  In fact, there is a picture of me around 9months old laying on a blanked while my family was “at the races”.  I never really gave much thought into what other people perceive as “going to the races”.  Cars?  Dogs?  Horses?  Cars of course.

My dad’s two favorite hobbies are going to the races and going sailing.  Possibly because both can be done while drinking beer?!  Well, it just so happened that Father’s Day was on the weekend of the June Sprint Car races, so that’s what he wanted to do and Kin and I happily obliged (as well as the pup, Crosby who was brought along and is obviously extremely photogenic).  I figured a day sitting out in the June sun would be nice!

Although the weather did not cooperate.  I spent the day under cover with plenty of blankets.  Not so much sun for me…  But it was still a fabulous Father’s Day outing :).  Hope you enjoyed your day, dad!  Happy Father’s Day again!

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June 20, 2011

cookie monster

Cookie baking has been my thing for quite a few years now.  Shortly after the Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook came out, I received it for a birthday present and I was instantly hooked.  All of the photographs were beautiful and all the cookies looked absolutely delectable.  The weekend after that birthday, I set out to bake my first batch.  I decided to bake the good ol’ standby, chocolate chip cookies.  Easy, right?  Well, Martha has not one, but three recipes for various chocolate chip cookies.  How was I to choose?  Well, I didn’t, I made them all to be able to try the cookies side by side.  And don’t worry about cookies going to waste, a few friends got a nice box of cookies mailed to them and our freezer was well stocked with the rest.

Needless to say, chocolate chip cookies are my favorite and I have not baked them for awhile.  Wheat flour has not been the kindest to me lately and baking with gluten-free flours still intimidates me.  Well, I decided to get over my fear of gluten-free cookies and bake some cookies on Saturday.  Lucky enough for me, I was able to find this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen which utilized oat flour instead of wheat.  And as I am an oat fanatic, I had the flour on hand!

Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 3/4 cup oat flour (I weigh out all my flours for baking on a kitchen scale to avoid dense cookies/muffins, etc.)
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted Earth Balance (could be substituted for oil or butter)
  • 1T ground flax
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1t vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (dairy-free) chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 375*.

2. SIFT together the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Oat flour is clumpy so this step is crucial!

3. In a small bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and make sure it is completely combined.

4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and then mix in the chocolate chips.  You do not have to worry about over mixing gluten-free flours (which is one redeeming quality), so mix away until it is well combined.

5. I used a small cookie scoop to make my cookies.  The first tray I simply scooped and baked, the second tray I flattened them out with my fingers since the cookie does not spread.  All the pictures I posted are of the cookies flattened slightly since I prefer that, but it is entirely up to you.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes (the flat tray took 8, the regular scooped tray took 10).  Remove from the oven and let cook for a few minutes before putting them on a cooling rack.

Whether or not you are trying to avoid wheat or you want to try something new with cookies, this recipe is fantastic.  The cookie itself tastes just a little oatey, but the flour is finely ground so there are no chunks of oats.  Although adding a few old fashioned oats would be a nice addition if you wanted to change it up.  Don’t have oat flour?  You can purchase it (mine is from Bob’s Red Mill) or you can grind up old fashioned oats or oat groats in a blender.  It might be a little different texture, but I think it would work.

And by the way, Martha’s cakey chocolate chip cookies were my favorite, but this one might have it beat :).

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