Saturday, March 29, 2014

Weekend Reading

Spring green

Happy weekend! It's raining here, which is super duper exciting and wonderful. It's not enough, but it's more water than we had yesterday. I feel lucky I got to enjoy it on my day off. I even braved the farmers' market. 

Speaking of water, we haven't had any water related crisis this week, which is also wonderful. What's new with you?

This feels like an eye roll

Onto links - please comment with any good reads or recipes you've found recently!

Last time it was bourbon and Girl Scout cookies, this week it's craft beer pairings

Small batch Strawberry Kiwi Jam

The editors at The American Scholar magazine have decided on the best sentences in fiction and nonfiction

Another win for evolution (sad that we need one) and another strike against big corn- pesky worms have evolved to eat bioengineered corn.

An absorbing article about a father reaching his autistic son through Disney from the New York Times Magazine.   

A funny infographic to solve debilitating grocery store decision-making.  

And speaking of pancakes, can someone make me these Espresso Banana Pancakes? pretty please?

For more interesting links, check out all weekend reads here

Friday, March 21, 2014

Oatmeal Rasin Cookies - vegan

Oatmeal Rasin Cookies (vegan)

The other night, I'm not sure what woke me up first. It could have been the sound of water, or it could have been my husband's loud and sustained cursing. I managed to rouse myself, put on my glasses, turn on the light, and make my way to the closet with the towels before Mr Official Taster started bellowing my name and the word "help!" I honestly don't think he could form full sentences.

Oatmeal Rasin Cookies - vegan

If you were to come over to my house, you would walk through the front door into a small entryway. The open, hardwood stairs would be immediately in front of you. Halfway up, they turn 180 degrees on themselves so that the top half of the staircase goes above your head as you stand there in my entryway. At the top of the staircase is a tiny bathroom. 

Do you see where this is going?

vegan Oatmeal Rasin Cookies

Yes, indeed, the toilet overflowed sometime around midnight, and due to it's proximity to the open staircase, said water not only flooded the tiny bathroom, but it also came down and through the stairs. And when it does, boy does it get everywhere. Once we stopped the multi-story waterfall, not only was there a large puddle on the floor of the entryway, but there was water on the walls, the railings, the stairs, our shoes, the leashes, and all the assorted stuff that tends to pile up by your shoes and keys until you get tired of it being there and clean it up. It's cleaned up now.

We used literally every single towel in the house, and when we were done mopping up with them, I started a load of wash before I headed back to bed. Unfortunately, I had trouble falling asleep because it turns out that washing machines use water, and every time the rhythm, cadence, or type of water sound changed, my mind went hyper alert trying to figure out if that was a good water noise or a bad water noise.

Oatmeal Rasin Cookies, vegan

Eventually, of course, I was able to fall back asleep. However, Thursday morning was a little rough, and boy was I glad there were cookies for breakfast. 

Oatmeal Rasin Cookies - vegan

We’ve made versions of this both of the last couple of weekends, and if I were you I would skip or dial back the cinnamon if you choose to use chocolate chips so the flavors don’t compete too much. This recipe yields us about 20-25 cookies.

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
3 Tbsp water or nondairy milk
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp nondairy milk
1 C flour (we used white whole wheat)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 C quick oats, uncooked
1/2 C raisins or chocolate chips (see note)
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
zest from an orange, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine flax seed and water or milk. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the oil and sugars. Add in the flax seed+water, vanilla, and faux milk and whisk until smooth. Do the same with the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Finally, beat in the oats and zest, if using. If you add chocolate chips or dried fruit at this point, I would fold them in with a spoon rather than a hand mixer or whisk.

Drop cookies two inches apart on a greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper or silicon baking mat). To reduce spreading, refrigerate dough or dropped cookies for 15 minutes or so. Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on your preferred crispiness level.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Weekly Reading

Good morning

I know it's no longer the weekend, but rather Tuesday night. But surely you're going to want something good to read when you need a break. So really, my lateness is a service. You're welcome for that.

Mr Official Taster and I made cookies together and I managed to photograph them before we ate them all. So I'm hoping to get up a post later this week. Thank you for bearing with me.

That's right. It's granola o'clock

Also, I made this today after work, but it was too dark to take any pretty pictures. I'm hoping to be able to later this week. I'm such a tease.

On to links!

There's a new campaign afoot to #banbossy. I like it. I like it a lot.

Pretty, pretty cookies

Kiss of Light Margarita. What a wonderful name!

It's not exactly new news, but The Daily Show highlighted the double standard in health insurance

Make a swanky new resume

Are you a reader? Probably if you're, uh, reading this. Here's an easy way to get free or very inexpensive ebooks

It's Girl Scout cookie time! Be all hipster cool and pair them with bourbon

And speaking of the Girl Scouts, along with some other folks, they're making a difference for displaced Syrians

This cold noodle salad with creamy peanut sauce sounds very yummy.

I made these single-serving frittatas and they worked out really well. Easy to reheat for breakfasts or lunches.

In our house, we have a very teeny-tiny half bath that needs some sprucing. I'd like to paint the ceiling a similar blue to this one and leave the walls white. Mr Official Taster thinks I'm nuts. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Good morning. I love our light

You've probably noticed a decline in the frequency of posts over the past couple of months. I've noticed, I've felt guilty, and yet, I didn't have more that I wanted to write or to share. The truth is, I've been bored out of my skull lately with food (and, to be fair, house projects as well). I'm not cooking dishes that excite me or reading recipes that inspire me. I haven't done much food reading, and hardly any of that has made me think, "What if I...instead, and..."

A #cookingcure breakfast

And so, Short & Sweets has languished somewhat, and I've been content to post the occasional muffin cupcake recipe and Weekend Reading. I my real life, I've been knocked over twice since Christmas by very bad colds, interviewed for and won a job I wasn't sure I wanted, and have been immersing myself in The West Wing. I'm finally feeling all the way better, the new position is working out and means I won't be sleep deprived all the time (I hope), and The West Wing is still pretty great and still pretty relevant. And I should probably not fall into it for entire afternoons.


I'm slowly coming out of hibernation, and I hope you'll be patient. I began with Last Night's Dinner. I've started to work my way through a pileup of food and cooking magazines, I'm remembering blogs that inspire me, I'm going back through my archives here and remembering recipes that were so exciting and so delicious that I couldn't wait to share them with you, and I've also been loosely following along with The Kitchn's Cooking Cure. The last item has surprised me. I like going through the steps more than I thought I would, and it's made me think about my meals and plan for them and really look forward to them. So this afternoon, after a morning of Spring cleaning, I'm making a double batch of Romesco Sauce for dinner and leftovers and also Frittata Cups for breakfasts and lunches.

Tulips were on sale

I'm sure others of you out there in cyberspace have had similar phases. What have you done to get over them? What inspires you on a daily or weekly basis to keep cooking? to keep trying new things? to avoid relying on take out? Have any recipes really caught your eye lately and/or turned out really well? Please share them!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Steel Cut Oatmeal Round Up

Baked Steel Cut Oats with Strawberries, Bananas, Almonds, and Chocolate
Baked Steel Cut Oats with Strawberries, Bananas, Almonds, and Chocolate
I woke up this morning with the clear notion that I wanted steel cut oats for breakfast. This is not normal for me, so I guess the craving was my body's way of telling me I need more...fiber? my life. I enjoyed mine with maple syrup and fresh strawberries (oh? no fresh strawberries? Be jealous of us Californians!), but I also looked around for some further inspiration. Et voila, here are some of the best that I found.

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