Tag Archives: cookies

merry christmas eve

24 Dec

Merry Christmas Eve!!

This morning I slept in and then headed out for a quick walk/jog around the neighborhood. It felt good to get my blood flowing.

Afterward, I enjoyed a bowl of cereal and soy milk.  I wanted to add banana, but the bowl was really shallow, and there simply wasn’t enough room!

Kashi Go Lean Crunch mixed with Shredded Wheat n Bran

For lunch I had an Amy’s bean and rice burrito plus a few of Jonathan’s curly fries.  Today I’ve popped a few too many chocolate covered almonds in my mouth.  They taste so good going down – I love those things. Every year Jon’s grammy has chocolate covered almonds and chocolate covered cashews…and every year I eat one too many:)  It’s become my yearly tradition. haha.  When I have been eating super clean I find that even the smallest bit of junk food makes me stomach feel edgy.  Sometimes it’s just worth it though. sometimes.

Hopefully I’ll be able to settle it for dinner tonight! The family is getting fried fish from a local restaurant that everyone loves, so I’ll be baking some sweet potato rounds and some broccoli.  That should do the trick:)

We’re getting ready to head to a candlelight Christmas Eve service, and I’m so looking forward to it.  I haven’t been to one in a few years, but I really love them.  I’m hoping for lots of hymns and Christmas songs ’cause I haven’t had enough of those this year.  And also looking forward to a little down time spent focusing on my Savior.  Definitely hasn’t been enough of that!

Before I go, here’s the gingerbread recipe I promised.  If you’re looking for an ultra soft, perfectly spiced gingerbread that is just right for cookie cuttering, then look no further!

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
recipe found here


Ingredients

  • 1 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 EnerG Egg Replacer egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream together the Earth Balance and sugar until well combined.
  • Add in “egg”, molasses and vinegar.  Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl combine all the remaining ingredients by sifting them together.  Organic cane sugar tends to clump together, so it’s very important to sift it in with the other ingredients.
  • Add dry mixture into Earth Balance mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Place dough in the refrigerator and allow it to firm up for about 2 hours.
  • After dough has become firm, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Flour a large, hard surface and rolling pin before rolling dough out to about 1/4 inch thick.  Use cookie cutters to cut dough into shapes before placing them on a greased baking sheet and baking for 6-8 minutes.  Do not overcook.  Cookies will become more firm after being taken out of the oven.

Decorate with colored icing or enjoy plain with a hot cup of tea – a perfect Christmas treat:)

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!

What are you doing to celebrate this Christmas eve?

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party at the mccoy's

15 Dec

Yesterday I played hostess for Jonathan’s team-members from work – they all came over during lunch for their annual Christmas party.  I love hosting people at our house, and it doesn’t really happen that often for some reason.  Maybe that’s why I like it?

Anyway, I spent about 5 hours Monday night making the infamous sugar cookies that had actually begun to feel like a thorn in my side.  I wasted so many batches of cookies, and in the end I went with a tried and true recipe that was posted on Jenna’s blog a couple weeks ago. The funny thing is that it’s almost exactly the same as another recipe I had found on a different blog awhile back (Jenna adapted it from there) – I guess it was meant to be!

Once I found said recipe, I thought it would be smooth sailing the rest of the way.  That is until 9:30 pm, when I realized that I was 1/2 cup short of Earth Balance. Nooooo!  It’s unbelievable how many trips I made a across town in order to finally accumulate all the ingredients necessary for these cookies.  The thought of making one more almost killed me.  Besides that I didn’t think our main grocery store in town carried it, and the health food stores were all closed.  Sigh.

So I called Food Pyramid, crossed my fingers while I waited on hold about 3 different times, and then begged the guy on the other end to “puh-lease tell me they had Earth Balance.”  Praise the Lord, they had it!

So by the time I got home, I already had invested an hour in cookie making, and there wasn’t even any dough mixed up yet!  It was about 15 minutes after that that I realized these cookies have to chill in the fridge for an hour before being rolled out.  It was just not my night.

Finally, with a lot of time and even more hard manual labor (rolling out that dough is a challenge!) I finally came out with a decent sugar cookie at about 1:30 am.  The only part left at that point was the decorating.

Let’s just say I am a very amateur decorator.  As in, I’ve never done it before. It’s funny how this little fact didn’t really cross my mind until 1:30 am Monday night, when I began mixing up the icing.  Honestly, the icing part came out looking pretty bad, but the cookies tasted great and by the time I got them all tied up in their little bags, the icing wasn’t that noticeable.  Next time I might would try a different recipe….this one was a little bit thin and soft…but after a little fridge time it hardened up enough and ended up being okay.

Vegan Holiday Sugar Cookies

originally and only slightly adapted by Jenna from here.  I also made a couple slight changes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar sugar
  • 2 whole egg replacements (Ener-g brand)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (Tofutti brand)

Directions

  • Cream together the Earth Balance and sugar.  Add one “egg” at a time as you continue mixing.

  • In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  • Slowly add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the vegan cream cheese and mix only until combined.
  • Allow dough to chill for one hour.  Note: the dough will be very crumbly!  This is normal.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove dough from fridge.  Knead the dough on a floured surface so that it begins to stick together.  This is the part where you need some serious arm muscles.
  • Divide the dough into two or three sections.

  • Roll one section out to about 1/4 inch thick.  Use cookie cutters to create shapes.

  • Repeat with other sections of dough.
  • Bake for twelve minutes or until light brown around the edges.
  • Decorate with pretty (or not so pretty) icing!
  • Cookies may be stored in a tightly sealed container or placed in the freezer for up to 2 months.

For the icing (recipe found here):

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp almond or soy milk
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Next, beat in (by hand is okay) corn syrup and almond extract until icing is glossy and smooth.  Divide icing between bowls and add drops of food coloring until desired color is reached.

After cookies are decorated, place them on a cooling rack and put them in the fridge until icing hardens.

For the main meal, I made vegan chili (yes, again), but I used a different recipe than I have used in the past.

This was hands down the best vegan chili I’ve ever made or tasted.  I put a little more time and effort into it, and it showed.  I don’t know what everyone at the party thought, but the husband and I are seriously loving it.  If you need to make a vegan chili, don’t hesitate to try this one – it’s fantastic

The World’s Best Vegan Chili
adapted from this recipe

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can low sodium diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannelini/navy beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet.  Add onion, bay leaves, cumin, oregano and salt and saute until onions are tender.  Next add bell pepper, garlic and green chilies and mix thoroughly.
  • As vegetables are cooking, combine crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, beans and corn to crock pot.
  • Stir in vegetable mixture and then add chili powder and black pepper and stir until combined well.  Allow to cook on low for several hours.

The cookies and chili weren’t the only thing that ended up being a success, the party was pretty fun too!

Let’s be honest though.  In the midst of my hosting duties, I really spent a lot of time holding this pretty baby, Sophie.  She’s my husband’s boss’ baby girl, and she is an absolute doll.  I really wanted to just keep her…but unfortunately it didn’t work out:(

All in all we had a great time.  I was so happy that the cookies finally were a success. I’ve put so much time and energy into them, and it felt so good to see the finished product.  Now I just need to make a couple more batches…

This week has been crazy so far and is only getting crazier!  I’m trying to finish up last minute Christmas shopping this week because we’re having Christmas with my family on Sunday.  Then next week it will be off to south Texas to see Jon’s extended family!  It’s sad that this season has to pass by so quickly – I can’t believe it’s already almost here!

What is one thing you’re hoping to get for Christmas this year or the one thing you’re most excited about giving?  I know it’s not about the gifts, but it’s still fun to give…and receive!

a cookie kind of day

20 Aug

So, today was just a cookie kind of day.

I woke up this morning and went to PiYo and then came home to do some more PiYo.  I teach my second class one week from today.  eek!

I am also going to go ahead and get my yoga certification.  Yay!  I signed up for the course on September 11th – 12th just outside of Dallas (sis – I need to crash your place that night:).  I’m getting certified for level one yoga through YogaFit, and then we’ll see where I go from there!  My first official PiYo class (not subbing) will start the week before that, as will the yoga class I’ll be teaching.  So, I’ll be teaching one yoga class without my certification.  oops!  I plan on just making it very PiYo-esque  for the first class.

Anyway, so after PiYo-ing it all morning long, I decided cookie making was definitely in order for the afternoon.  The husband’s boss is going on maternity leave (today was her last day), and Jon and I adore her, so I though I’d make her some cookies to kick it off right!

“You Got Peanut Butter in My Chocolate” cookies from Eat,Drink and Be Vegan
wheat free and vegan

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I used pure cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp spelt flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2-2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar (or more maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup organic canola oil
  • 1/4-1/3 natural peanut butter

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a bowl, combine sugar, chocolate chips, and salt, sift in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and stir until well combined
  • In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, agave nectar, vanilla and oil until well mixed.
  • Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined (do not overmix).
  • With a knife, cut in peanut butter into batter, but just a little, so peanut butter remains in chunks and swirls in batter.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray).
  • Scoop rounded tablespoons of batter onto baking sheet evenly spaced apart.
  • Bake for 11 minutes (no longer, or they will dry out).
  • Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 1 minute (no longer), then transfer to a cooling rack.

My only advice is to go make these cookies right now, then go buy this cookbook and make everything else in it too.  It’s that good:)

I also made a batch of Super Charge Me cookies, but we’ll save those for later!

Jon and I are going to go see Eat Pray Love tonight, and I’m so excited!  The last couple times we’ve planned to see a movie, we’ve ended up bailing at the last minute, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we actually make it there. I’m only halfway through the book, so I’m committing a major faux pas by going to see it, but o’well!

I’ll see you guys tomorrow!

Have you seen the movie or read the book?  What did you think?