all-american snickerdoodles

June 30, 2011
I clearly remember my first experience with snickerdoodles.  Upon introduction, I was immediately disappointed that these so-called "snickerdoodles" didn't contain an actual Snickers candy bar.  However, all disappointment vanished with the first bite.  These cookies are of the soft-and-chewy variety, the way all cookies should be in my opinion.  A lightly sweet sugar cookie coated in a warm cinnamon-sugar mixture can't be topped. 
These cookies are a definite All-American cookie and should make an appearance on your table for this July 4th celebration. 
Just as I remember my first experience with snickerdoodles, today will be another day of firsts for me.  I'm headed out to see my newest niece for the first time via ultrasound.  Bleeee!

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1¾ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
  1. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt; set aside. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together butter and 1½ cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  
  3. Add eggs, and beat to combine. 
  4. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.
  5. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 1-2 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; Set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup sugar and the ground cinnamon.
  8. Form balls of the dough and roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar.
  9. Place balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (about 10 minutes,) rotating the baking sheets after 5 minutes.
  10. Let cool about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to rack to continue cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

mom and pop farms

This afternoon, I made my lunch courtesy of mom and pop's garden.  Among many of the yummy veggies grown in the yard of their East Texas lake home, their summer squash and bell pepper are my favorite.  They brought me two different varieties of their bell pepper, the typical green and an oddly-colored black bell peppers.
I used their bell peppers and squash to make my Asian-inspired spinach and veggie salad.  I sauteed the vegetables in sesame oil with some ginger, white pepper and garlic and added tamari sauce to complete their cooking.  These cooked veggies topped a bed of fresh spinach and green onions and let's just say... it disappeared quickly.

Asian-Inspired Spinach and Veggie Salad
vegan, gluten-free
2 small (or one large) yellow squash, chopped
2 small (or one large) bell peppers, chopped
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Heat a skilled over medium-high heat and add a bit of sesame oil.  Add chopped bell pepper and squash.
  2. Add spices and let cook evenly on all sides until lightly brown.
  3. Once done, add tamari and let cook an additional 30 seconds.  
  4. Pour on top of spinach and chopped green onions.
  5. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.