Thursday, May 29, 2008
So, I Mentioned Honey Cookies...
I like to bake often for the guys at the studio and the guys here so that they always have a good healthy treat to go to when they need a little sweet hit...because seriously, we all get those needs from time to time! So, I was off looking for something different to bake for all of my guys. They seem to prefer cookies and mostly the ones that are kind of simple in flavor (not boring, but simple). I often check out Cookie Madness for ideas because she is always testing new baking recipes. I have tried a few of her recipes and they have all been well received! So, the other day, I came across this recipe for Honey Cookies. I thought it looked like a good option to try and I happened to have everything on hand. How could you go wrong...right. Well, I baked them off and realized that they looked nothing like the ones in her picture. That really bummed be out. I was getting a little worried that these were not going to make it to the studio and were going to visit the trash. They baked off really thin and soft. They also got really dark (not burned, but darker than hers) around the edges and the bottom. So, I decided to roll them in the sugar, then freeze them and then I would bake them off. Still the same thing happened. In the meantime, the illustrator got home and as I turned my back for a second, I noticed quite a few cookies were already missing. Either some mystical force came down and stole my cookies or the illustrator really liked them. Well, I can assure you there was no mystical force other than the one coming from the cookies pulling them into the mouths of the guys in the house! They were a huge hit! They were soft and chewy with a little burnt sugar taste coming from the sugar coating. So, this got me thinking...why were mine so different. I went back to her site and looked at her tips page. It was just as I had suspected...she bakes on much lighter pans than I do and I use no stick spray on mine (she does not)--I know most cookie recipes say not to, but I don't always follow the rules. The cookies were taken to the studio and gone within an hour! Can you believe that...I thought they were going to be trashed! Then I started to get demands for the little pieces of heaven...so I made another batch. This time (the one in the picture) I baked them on the same pans, but with parchment paper and no spray. It worked like a charm, but get this...they were preferred the first way. Who knew??? I guess that goes to show you that sometimes mistakes can turn into something great and that you should always try something new!

Honey Cookies
(adapted from Cookie Madness)

1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 TBSP oil (I used half light olive oil in the 1st batch)
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP Splenda Blend for Baking
1 eggs
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour (half AP and half white whole wheat)
Turbinado sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, stir together oil, sugar,sugar blend, eggs, honey, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Mix well, then stir in the flour, stirring just until it is mixed in.

Shape the cookies into balls about 1 inch in diameter and roll them in Turbinado sugar. Place 2 ½ inches apart on ungreased (or greased) or parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. They should be nicely browned around the edges, crackly and golden.

Makes about 3 dozen.

*I think these would be really good with a filling. Maybe cream cheese(nondairy, of course) sweetened with a little honey.

**I also want to try this recipe with other liquid sweeteners. Maple syrup or agave would be interesting!



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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:05 PM   14 comments
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Honey Cookies...Yum!

I had to post this picture because I could not leave you with the SOS! I will post the recipe on this one soon (hopefully that will keep you coming back for more)...
posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:50 PM   2 comments
Memorial Day The Right Way
So, we thought we would do Memorial Day a little different around here this year. The illustrator and a friend of his decided that we would go military style with SOS (shit on a shingle) and play some military games on the Xbox. Those of you who know me, know that there was no way I was going to eat SOS, but I do enjoy a good culinary challenge. Not that the recipe is challenging, but it did encourage me to look into some rather interesting war time foods. I am not a history buff, but I love reading about the history of food. I find the origins of how we started eating certain things so interesting! There are so many versions of SOS. This was definitely a recipe meant to use what you had on hand that would give people a lot of nutrition in an inexpensive way. I can completely get on board with that philosophy! That is exaactly how I feed my family all the time! I found that people used chipped beef, ground beef, sausage... and put it on just about anything too...bread, biscuits, crackers, potatoes...

I was also looking for a good dessert that was from war time and found some really good looking recipes (mostly that had to do with dense spice cakes), but I made my go to Cinnamon Bread instead because I knew it would get eaten (and because I use it like crack to get my way with people) . I am saving the other recipe for when I see my father-in-law because it is right up his alley! Now, I know the picture is not that appealing (in fact it is rather appalling), but it is what it is so you have to just deal with that part! The guys loved it and that was all that mattered. I have to admit that I had to consult my mother-in-law on the how to of this recipe. I love getting recipes from her...when it comes to cooking...it is mostly by sight. I admire her for that. I have way too much of the baking technique in me and I really use measurements for everything. I guess you can call it a kind of OCD! Oh well, I had a base recipe that I went by and then with the encouragement of my mother-in-law, I got through it with flying colors! I even made it low fat and low calorie!

SOS (Shit on a Shingle)
2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1/4 cup butter (I used Light Smart Balance)
1/2 cup All Purpose flour
4 cups skim milk (or nondairy unsweetened milk)
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef (I used my electric skillet as my mother-in-law suggested and it worked perfectly). Remove browned beef from the pan. Add Smart Balance to the pan and melt. Add flour to Smart Balance, cook until a paste forms (roux) and turns slightly brown. SLOWLY add milk and whisk. Whisk until mixture thickens slightly. Add beef back to the gravy and cook to desired consistency. Serve on whatever starchy vessel you have available!

Although this is not really my cup of tea...so to speak...it is essentially the classic sausage and gravy, but uses ground beef. I would like to try it soon with some soysage and homemade biscuits! I will let you know how it turns out!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:11 PM   1 comments
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Sneaky...
First off, I want to thank everyone for continuing to check out this blog. I know I have not been the best little blogger lately, but things have gotten busy around here and sometimes the things you love to do the most are the things that you don't get to do as often. It is a shame, but you do what ya gotta do! So, thank you to everyone that has left a comment and kept coming back for more. It is really nice to know you are out there!

Now, for the good stuff. I have been thinking about this recipe for quite a while and the kids were completely on board for helping with the eating of these gems! Miss Veggiegirl is who we have to thank for these S'more Muffins. I was a little worried that I would be busted for the whole wheat flour, but no one said a word. In fact, even the illustrator gave it a big thumbs up and he can always tell if there is a lot of whole wheat flour in something. So, I highly recommend these. I only made a few changes...1)from Jay, my oldest more chocolate chips (I doubled it and he wanted more!), 2)oh yeah, I used cocoa and dairy free chocolate chips and 3)I used white whole wheat flour. So, dare I say these were healthy and in such a sneaky way! Shhh...don't tell!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:49 PM   4 comments

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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