This Election Day, Let’s All Eat Our Feelings

I was going to email this recipe to my mom, because that’s what I do when I’m eating lunch and really patting myself on the back mentally. Then I remembered I have a blog I can brag through, so you’re welcome, world. Also, it’s Election Day, and almost everyone I know wants to puke for one reason or another, regardless of political affiliations. Why not stuff our faces with gooey, sweet, buttery dessert instead?

Sorry there are no pictures to go along with this recipe. Like I said, I was just going to email it to my mom and I rarely need to send photographic evidence of my culinary prowess.

If you ever feel like eating apple pie but also don’t feel like actually making apple pie you can try this apple crisp recipe I did spontaneously last night. Though now that I think about it, it’s probably barely less effort than apple pie. It just seemed like nothing because I already had the knives and cutting boards out and the oven already heating because I was cooking spaghetti squash and roasting tomatoes (which by the way turned out ah-mazing). Anyway, so I was going to make cookies because I was in a dessert kind of mood but I also didn’t want to do the cleanup and the waiting that can go into my shortbread cookies and also I’d just bought several apples at the farmer’s market and it’s fall so it’s like apple pie season, right?

But I didn’t have any pie crust and I was not trying to make that from scratch after all the hard work I’d already done cutting a spaghetti squash in half (guys, it’s really hard, okay?). So I basically was like “excuse me, Google, can you tell me what delicious desserts I can make with apples that don’t involve pie crusts?” and Google was like “duh, I know everything.” (I could have asked Siri but I’m not really talking to him right now [yes, him. I changed the voice option to male and British and I used to have him read me my texts but then my husband got jealous and sent me rude texts that Siri then read, and it’s really uncool to have your own phone call you smelly in a sexy British accent]. Google, on the other hand, is always so helpful. Probably because I don’t have the thing where Google talks to you, and I just Google things the old fashioned way by typing them into Google. Okay, at this point I should probably get some sort of endorsement deal for the number of times I’ve mentioned Google, right?)

Moving on, I found a recipe for apple crisp that had been adapted from a peach crisp recipe, and I think it was on allrecipes.com but I don’t know for sure so I’m really really sorry to whomever is not receiving the proper credit for this recipe but I just don’t feel like getting back on the Google right now, especially since I’m not even getting paid to talk about Google.

It goes like this:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup white sugar (I think I’ll try trimming this down to like 3/4 cup next time…but it hasn’t been tested yet so proceed at your own risk)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups apples, peeled and sliced (I used 2 big Granny Smith apples and a decent-sized…Honeycrisp, maybe? I don’t remember I just started grabbing up apples without reading the labels — other than the Granny Smith which we all already know are poison-apple-green)
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease 8×8 pan
  2. Layer in your apple slices. Eat a few because they don’t quite fit or because you feel like it (or because they fell on the stove top and your husband won’t eat the dessert if they’re included because he doesn’t trust that heat kills germs and besides, the stove top is actually pretty clean right now anyway, Charlie).
  3. In a large bowl, sift (or whisk) dry ingredients.
  4. Cut in butter. Okay, so I just remembered this was actually weird and difficult because I’ve never “cut in” butter before — I mean what even does that mean? I used my awesome brain power and context clues (the recipe said I could use two knives to do this) to kind of wing it. I just plopped my butter into the dry mixture and started slicing and dicing and sort-of-stirring until it was a crumbly sort of mixture.
  5. Sprinkle (or use my method: dump & spread) over the slices in the pan.
  6. Bake 40 minutes (until the crust is golden around the edges)
  7. Let it sit for a hot second and taste-test a small piece because apples get really dang hot and if you take too large a bite you will scald your entire mouth and throat and complain all night, Charlie.

Oh, and for my fellow Americans, don’t skip out on voting today! It’s super important, because what even is a democracy if the people don’t get a say, however tiny you might feel yours is? If nothing else, give yourself license to complain for the next four years by making a choice today. And then reward yourself with this dish.

Also bonus recipe because that spaghetti squash is still making me irrationally smug:

https://ramblingsofawildcard.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/dinner-so-easy-my-husband-could-do-it/

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A Crisis Averted

Remember when I was pity-partying over my lack of chocolate chip cookie skills? My sister-in-law just shut it down with a life-saving recipe.

Okay, that’s a tad dramatic, but having a good cookie recipe up your sleeve is pretty much crucial for things like making friends, impressing co-workers, or surviving the winter. 

When I told my husband his sister sent me a recipe to try, his eyes widened with excitement and his voice took on a reverent hush: “Nina is a great baker!”

Fall has arrived in our neck of the woods, bringing with it the blustery wind I hate and the blushing leaves I love. With football on TV, it just felt like a cookie day. Armed with the recipe my sister swears by, annotated with her own tips, I took a deep breath and opened my heart to the chance I could make a perfect chocolate chip cookie after all.

I was not disappointed. If you are struggling to find the *perfect* recipe (and if your definition of perfect is golden outside, fluffy, chewy, not-cakey inside), let Smitten Kitchen rock your world.

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This guy is so happy to become my delicious dream-come-true!

The most reassuring bit of advice from Nina: The cookies will still look gooey when you take them out at 11 minutes, but they cook more on the sheet. Also, if — like me — you are in a rental with a standard, inexpensive oven, don’t beat yourself up if they don’t come out perfect every time. It’s the oven’s fault!

Thank you, thank you, to my lovely sister — and to Smitten Kitchen, the source of this great recipe. My husband has already eaten about half the batch.

Adult Milkshake

Every so often, it hits me that I’m an adult. Yes, I go through my life acknowledging I’m a grown up with bills and a job and responsibility and all that boring adult-stuff. But once in a while, I remember being an adult means I’m my own boss.

Last night, I really wanted ice cream when I got home. And I racked my brain for quick dinner recipes I could throw together that would make it acceptable for me to then have dessert.

Then I remembered: I’m an adult. I can have ice cream for dinner if I want.

Also, my husband was at a work happy hour and would likely want actual dinner when he arrived home. So basically, I was just killing time with a little ice cream.

The only real problem was the ice cream we currently have is sub-par flavor-wise. It was a sad day when I combed through the ice cream aisle at the grocery store only to find all the flavors and brands acceptable to both my husband and me (my husband will only eat ice cream from cartons that have the plastic seal on the outside and remember, I had that mouth surgery so I can’t have anything with nuts or super chewy chunks yet) were covered in a layer of frost. And I wasn’t trying to eat crunchy, freezer-burnt ice cream.

Did you know Yuengling makes ice cream? Me neither, until I saw the cartons at Harris Teeter. Apparently they started selling ice cream to keep their family business afloat during Prohibition. And they are ah-mazing at making ice cream. They should be even better known for their mint chocolate chip than they are for their beer.

So, I was at Giant (it’s slightly more convenient to stop here on my drive home from work than the Teeter) about to tearfully give up on my ice cream quest, when I spotted a 2 for $3 pint deal for none other than Yuengling ice cream. I was so pumped. In that moment, it didn’t matter that the only flavors were root beer float and black & tan. I grabbed one of each and went on my merry way.

Of course I got home and thought w-t-f, why would anyone want ice cream flavored like the delicious beverage it can help create? That’s pure laziness. I was ashamed of myself. At least the black & tan is a chocolate-caramel swirl.

Obviously, I still tried it. I mean, it’s still ice cream. And root beer floats are possibly my favorite way to enjoy ice cream.

I’ll say this for Yuengling: their ice cream is dope no matter how weird the flavor. Still *highly* recommend them.

My husband is a traditionalist when it comes to ice cream. He’s not into “birthday cake” flavor or “strawberry cheesecake” and he felt the same about “root beer float.” So it’s up to me to finish that bad boy. And I mean, it’s good, but it’s not eat-an-entire-pint-in-one-sitting-good. (Also, I try to follow the serving size. I might have two servings in a night if I’m feeling particularly feisty–or adult-y–but I try).

A lot of things came together last night to make for a pretty delicious concoction on my part. I had the weird ice cream flavor. I had a hankering for cold, creamy goodness. My husband was at a happy hour. I wanted my hour to be happy, too. The obvious conclusion: add some alcohol.

I love butterscotch. My husband does not. If I’d known that this winter, I wouldn’t have bought such a large bottle of butterscotch schnapps for my hot buttered rum recipe. But I didn’t, so I did, and now we have a ton of the stuff. I figured it couldn’t hurt anything tossing a splash of it over my two heaping scoops of root beer ice cream and half-cup of milk. And while I was adding liquor anyway, might as well throw in some vodka to give it a real adult-kick.

This ended up being a little too much liquid, so I dug out the last of our freezer-burnt chocolate ice cream, avoiding the biggest ice crystals, and got a big enough scoop to mix in and bring the consistency back to a nice, thick milkshake.

The improvised recipe is below, but if you’ve ever made a milkshake by stirring your ice cream till it’s super soft, you can handle making a drink like this. Unless you’re not 21, in which case get out of here and come back when you’re old enough to complain about not getting carded.

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Adult Milkshake – Root Beer Float

  • About 2-3 big scoops of Yuengling Root Beer Float flavored ice cream (we don’t have an ice cream scooper. It was lost sometime around when we moved just before the wedding, and I haven’t gotten around to replacing it, so we use regular spoons. It makes gauging scoop-sizes difficult, but otherwise works fine)
  • Enough milk to cover 3/4 of the scoops in a glass (~1/2 cup)
  • Splash of butterscotch schnapps
  • Shot of vodka (we use Tito’s)
  • 1 scoop chocolate ice cream

Stir the 3 scoops ice cream with the milk until it reaches desired consistency. Add the alcohol and stir immediately to mix well. Stir in chocolate ice cream until smooth and enjoy.