Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mint M&M Chocolate Cookies

Winter as a collective whole has pretty much been devoted to food.  We figure if the weather is going to be cold and the sun goes down earlier, we might as well claim it's dessert time and keep the house warm through ovens.
This right here.  And US40 being shut down
The holidays in the US are luckily closely themed in colors, I'm guessing to let it slide if the decorations for Christmas were buried under a pile of snow for Valentine's Day and are just starting to peek out for St. Patrick's Day.  Sidebar: isn't great how we can also stay warm through all three with some bar tending skills?  This also means that you are presented with the opportunity to save some money when stocking up on discounted merchandise from last season.
Hey girl hey!
It also means some poor soul will have to eat the color that is not currently in season.  Free pour for them.
Someone has to sacrifice.

Ingredients - Cooke recipe adapted from Raspberry Chocolate Cookies by Heat the Oven to 350
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
3/8 packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/8 tsp mint extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 + 1/8 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 + 3/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Approx a cup of mint M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and raspberry extracts and then the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.

 Combine the salt, cocoa, flour, baking powder and baking soda and gradually stir into the creamed mixture.  Add M&Ms!

Shape dough into 1 1/2 T sized balls.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until the cookies..
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy the various tastes of the season(s)!


"Let's Cook" Kitchen Towels

There's a lot of debate around Valentine's Day/Lupercalia/Singles Awareness Day.  Countless arguments, infographics, quizzes, guides, and stock photos for and against the holiday have been thrown around.  Either way, it's a great excuse to drink.  AND for 2014-15, it's on the weekend.  Round on the house!

And it's a great excuse to give away gifts.  To everyone you love/like/like like/appreciate/tolerate.  Of course it's really because you want to try making something new.  If you're like me, I can't keep everything in my house because there's just too much.  I enjoy the process of making much more than the realization that I now have a bunch of bottle cap castings lying around, or another bag.  For the required trips to the craft store to get more supplies.  Or to Kroger.  Those gas points aren't earning themselves.

The Breaking Bad train has so left the station that it's stars are using it as a vehicle to step into their next roles.  Sidebar: can't wait to see Need for Speed, hopefully a pure racing movie that gets a video game franchise right.  I decided to share the love of cooking with both Heisenberg and my special someone with a kitchen towel.  Have to have some way to wipe all the evidence off your hands.

Let's Cook Kitchen Towels - following directions from DIY Screen Print by My Calico Skies
Embroidery Frame - mine was 9 inches
Mod Podge
Fabric Paint
Bar or Tea Towel

The tutorial is really good; I highly recommend following it!  Draw out your picture.  You can see my Heisenburg poking out from the back of the materials picture; I went for the iconic hat, sunglasses, and goatee.  Trace it onto your stretched frame.  Fill in around picture with Mod Podge; you don't have to slather on the glue, but it does need to be a fairly thick layer.  Let completely dry.
The shiny areas are the Mod Podge
Fill in ay holes where the glue didn't 100% fill.  Place the screen where you want your picture. I ironed the towel after folding it into 3rds to more easily see where the center of the towel fell.  After you're 100% sure of placement, lay down the paint.  There's no going back now!
You can slightly see the ironed lines on the sides of the frame.
Spread out the paint all over the open areas.  Make sure you cover all the areas with a thick coat of paint and run your scraper over the areas where there's no mask.  After you've provided significant coverage, carefully lift the screen.

You may want to fill in some spaces where there was spotty coverage or leave it rugged.  Heisenberg was a rough man, he'd approve.  Take extra paint and letter "Let's Cook" on the bottom

I also experimented with Sharpie if your lettering skills are about as awesome as mine.  I went free hand because I wanted to keep this "gritty".

Now, go whip something up.  We've got mad chemistry bro.