Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Monday, September 28, 2009

Long time, no post, right?! Well... I have been so busy at work I can't even find time to go to the groccery store! Now, with all the quick fast food dinners my rear no longer fits in my pants, Ay Yi Yi!
It was time for gluten-free, sugar-free, low calorie cooking intervention! This recipe came from Paula Deen and I decided to use Splenda instead of sugar in hopes of fitting into my pants again this week... big mistake. The Splenda aftertaste was overwhelming (which is a nice way of saying "gross")!
Peanut Butter cookies are Justin's favorite, and these are soft and chewy and very peanut that even a word?! You could probably get away with a low fat peanut butter, but I have to admit, Justin is a peanut butter snob. Only Peter Pan Creamy for him! I can't wait to try them again using sugar instead of Splenda!

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar (I used Splenda, but will use sugar in the future)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the above ingredients in a mixing box until fully incorporated. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Press crisscross pattern on cookie dough ball with tongs of a fork. Place in oven at 325 degrees for 7-9 minutes.

Ham and Bean Soup

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I work with a wonderful man named Terry who turned 63 last week! Terry is one of those teachers I just watch in awe, the effect he has on kids is like magic! Terry reminds me of my grandpa, who I miss so much! Since I met Terry he's called me "Care Bear", I love that! I told Terry I would bring soup in for his birthday and asked what soup was his favorite. He said "Ham and Beans"... ham and beans?! I'd never made it before but it was actually really easy and cheap! The soup was ok on it's own but it was awesome with crumbled cornbread!

2 ham hocks
2 cups great northern beans, washed, sorted, and soaked overnight
8 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
Salt & pepper, to taste

Wash beans with water and soak them overnight. Drain the soaked beans and combine beans, ham bone, water, garlic, bay leaf, and onion in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Turn to LOW and cook 8 to 10 hours longer, until beans are tender. Season with lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper, to taste. Remove ham bone; chop meat and return to crockpot. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes

Monday, September 7, 2009

I am down to one post a week, yikes! These first couple weeks of school are so time consuming and draining! For the sake of my starving family I hope to be back to regularly cooking/posting very soon! The highlight of my week was Shalee's birthday! Shalee is our wonderful school registrar who mentioned last year that her favorite dessert is cheesecake! I saw these cheesecake cupcakes in Martha Stewart's Cupcakes over the summer and thought it would be the perfect birthday dessert for Shalee... the cheesecake loving gal who "cowbell dives" into our box of chocolates throughout the day :-)

Martha Stewart's Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes Recipe
Makes 30 Cupcakes

42 cream-filled sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped
2 pounds cream cheese (32 ounces), room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.
With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I love egg salad sandwiches! There is just something about an egg salad sandwich for lunch on a sunny day, it makes me want to start a new book! That's right... most women want the beach and a margarita but I'll take a book and an egg salad sandwich any day (Justin says I am a 60-year-old woman trapped in a 28-year-old's body)!
There is a wonderful documentary I saw a couple years ago called "The Teachings of Jon". I've never seen it on TV since so I finally broke down and bought a copy. It's about Jon, a man with down syndrome who LOVES egg sandwiches. Ok... the documentary isn't just about egg sandwiches, here's the trailer. It's a wonderful documentary, I can learn a lot from Jon... not to mention he has great taste in sandwiches ;-)

6 eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon relish
pepper (to taste, optional)
lettuce (optional)
6 slices whole wheat bread

To hard boil eggs – Gently place eggs into a single layer in a sauce pan. Add just enough water to cover the eggs completely. Put on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Just as the water reaches a rapid boil remove from heat and tightly cover with a lid. Let the pan site for 17 minutes. Transfer eggs into a bowl with cold water. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes and peel.
Finely chop hard boiled eggs. Place chopped eggs in a medium bowl. Mix in mayo, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix in mustard, relish and pepper. Put egg salad onto bread slices, top with lettuce. (Makes 3 Sandwiches)