Yo 2011, smell ya later

How was your Christmas? Was Santa good to all of you? Did you eat any poinsettias? I didn’t, although it was tempting. There’s just something about knowing that there’s a toxic plant in your house that makes you want to eat it… Although, I just Googled it and apparently eating poinsettia leaves won’t kill you or give you super powers or anything. It will just give you a headache. Bummer.

The last Spoonlighing food of 2011 is peanut butter pie. It’s made with peanut butter, cool whip, sugar, milk, and cream cheese. How can that not be totally delicious? Duh.

Since this is the last post of 2011, I feel like I should reminisce on this past year. The ups, the downs, the friends I lost, the wonderful times I had… but that’s boring. So let’s just look at some pictures of food, shall we?

Peanut butter…yum.

I ended up using the Kitchen Aid stand mixer because things were a little chunky and no one wants a chunky peanut butter pie, right?

Seriously, this recipe is so easy I dare you to find anyone who wouldn’t want to make it. And if you do find them, let me know so I can step down as Laziest Person In The World.

I haven’t tried any of the pie yet since it’s still in the fridge, but it looks delicious. I’m sure that this is the perfect thing to eat if you’re playing 8 games of Words With Friends and losing every single one. Not that that’s happening to me… *ehem*…

So, goodbye 2011. On to bigger and better things. True story.

Peanut Butter Pie

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups ground graham crackers
1/4 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Combine all the ingredients together and press into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes

Pie Filling

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
8 oz cool whip

Beat together cream cheese and sugar. Mix in peanut butter and sugar. Fold in cool whip. Cover and stick in fridge or freezer and chill until firm.

Please excuse me while I ramble about chocolate and tuxedos…

I made you some food, because I think you’re awesome.

I’m not entirely sure what I made, but all I know is that it’s edible and delicious and I might eat all of it by myself. Om nom nom.

It’s been kind of a weird day today. I was up until 1 this morning, which is wayyy past my bedtime, and I’m a little tired. Why was I up so late, you ask? Why, I was being my social butterfly self and I was par-taying, of course. HA. I wish. Actually, I was at a benefit dinner for my church. In addition to playing violin in the church orchestra during the dinner, I also helped run the coat check, ordered kids in the children’s choir around, ate food (shocker?), and told attractive people that they looked really good in their tuxedos. And by people, I mean one person. And by attractive, I mean really, really attractive. Fact.

So since I’m a bit of a space cadet today, I wanted some coffee. And Kahlua. Because Kahlua is delicious. Did you know that in England you can drink alcohol if you’re over the age of 5?  There’s your random British trivia for the day. You’re welcome.

I’m not entire sure how I found this recipe, or even what it’s supposed to be. Cake? Bread? It tastes a bit like the muffins from Bread Company/Panera Bread. So maybe it’s a bread muffin? Breadin? *sigh* My brain hurts.

Dear Kahlua, why do you taste and smell so awesome? It’s a valid question. Sincerely, Me.

The original recipe said to add dates into the batter. But I knew that couldn’t be right. I mean, who willingly eats dates? So, when it said “dates”, I assumed it was just a typo and that it actually meant to say “chocolate chips.” Because next to bacon and Dr. Pepper, chocolate is God’s gift to this earth. I love chocolate. Which is why I will eat all of this bread stuff by myself.

And now I’m just awkwardly sitting here, eating my breadin and thinking that if I were a dude, I’d totally wear a tuxedo all the time. I really need to go to bed.

Chocolate Kahlua Bread

Adapted from here

1/4 cup softened butter (1/2 stick)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
3 tablespoons Kahlua
1 egg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Then add the coffee, Kahlua, and egg.  Mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the cinnamon, baking power, baking soda and flour.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the Kahlua mixture of deliciousness. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Grease an 8 x 8 or 9×9 pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes, checking after about 25. The cake/bread/whatever is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Join me in Stalker Sunday :)

How to participate? Glad you asked. Even though I mention how to in every other Stalker Sunday post. Short term memory loss, much?
1) Take a picture of food you made off of a blog/website.
2) Send it to me at thespoonatic(at)gmail(dot)com including the name of the concoction you made and the name of the place you got the recipe from.
3) Eat the food you make. Duh?

How was your Monday night? I met 8 celebrities. I think I win.

Last night was amazing. No, amazing. Let me reiterate: AMAZING. I went to see my favorite band, Honor Society, in concert. And I told the drummer I thought he was awesome. It was a pretty fantastic, if I may say so. Are you ready for my official Honor Society Rock The Red Kettle Tour 2011 review? Yes? Lovely. I apologize in advance for the icky phone pictures. I wasn’t about to lug my mom’s nice camera to the concert…

First let me clarify exactly who Honor Society is. Alexander Noyes, Michael Bruno, Andrew Lee, and Jason Rosen make up the man band from New Jersey. Man band? What’s that, you ask? It’s the same thing as a boy band, but three of the four members in the band are 32 YEARS OLD.  Blech? The lead singer, bass guitarist, and lead guitarist are all 32. Luckily the drummer is 26. And super happy. And adorable. But their style is very rock/pop, like a boy band. I first found out about them because they opened for the Jonas Brothers concert I went to three years ago. *sigh* Yes, I was a JoBro fan. Back in the day, I was pretty sure Joseph Adam Jonas and I were going to get married. That is, until he broke up with Demi Lovato, crushed her soul, and then flaunted his new girl friend in her face-thus, sending her to rehab. Stupid Joe Jonas. But moving on…

The night started off by me and my friend standing with a bunch of snooty teenage girls for an hour because the opening band started late. I mean, they must had fallen asleep or died or something since that’s the only reason to start an hour late, right? Word of advice: never try to be funny when you’re with uptight 17 year old girls. The friend I went to the concert with tried with dire consequences. All I’m going to say is that some people don’t like you creepily looking over their shoulder, and they’ll let you know it. During the hour of standing, some lady was going around telling people that if you bought anything from the merchendise stand, you could get a meet and greet pass. So did I get anything? As the guys in Honor Society say,“Duh?” I got their new album and a meet and greet pass. Two awesome birds with one ten dollar stone. The opening band was Sunderland, four teenage dudes from Idaho? Iowa? One of those “I” states, I think… They were actually really good, and they did an awesome cover of The Middle, by Jimmy Eat World. But the best part of Sunderland was their lead guitarist. If you live in St. Louis and are between the ages of 14-20, chances are you know a dorky redhead guy, lovingly referred to as Noah Pendie. Seriously, I don’t know how everyone knows this guy, but he obviously gets around. Point of this tangent is that the guitarist, Zach, looks and sounds EXACTLY like Noah. Which is totally a compliment.

See? Dork. But pretty cool. Those who know Noah would understand.

Once Sunderland performed (no seriously, they were really good. I strongly suggest that teeny bopper fangirls listen to their music. I enjoyed it…), Honor Society came out and all thirty girls at the concert went berzerk. Yeah, only thirty of us from Missouri braved the cold, rainy night to go see this wonderful band. They played about ten songs, most of them off of their new album, A Tale of Risky Business Part 2, but a few from their old CD Fashionably Late (the album I said I’d bring to a desert island). There was screaming, dancing, guitar pick throwing, and all around insanity. It was pretty much the best concert I’ve ever been to, and I’ve had my fair share of concerts. Oh, and I was like five feet from the stage. That always helps, right?

During the meet and greet (which was just right in front of the stage. It was a small venue), I had like 5 seconds to rehearse was I was going to say to them, since I was second in line. Walking up to talk to them, all I could think is “Wow, these guys are short.” Mike and Jason were 5’5”. Tops. I felt tall for the first time in my life. So my friend and I got with them for a picture and I told Mike how I had so much fun and it was the best concert ever. After I was told to move along by the pushy lady who was taking the picture, I turned to Alex. I had no clue what to say to the guy I admire more than Christian Bale and Johnny Depp combined. Do I say “You’re so cool, and you’ve made me really want to play the drums.” Or even “Your hair/clothes are amazing.” But no. The only intelligent words out of my mouth were “You’re awesome.” And he responded with “You’re awesome, too.” Um, yeah. I was on cloud 9.  After that, I got a picture with the band members of Sunderland, and told Zach that I loved his hair. His response? Verbatim: “My hair? Seriously?! Awww, thanks so much!”

Can I just say how awesome gingers are?

I met the four guys from Sunderland, and all the guys from Honor Society, including the awesome Alex Noyes. Yeah, it was pretty much the most wonderful night of my young life. Duh.

So no one told me cookies were gonna taste this way *CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP*

I’ve had the Friends’ theme song going through my head for a good week now. I’ve never even seen an episode of Friends, and the song just popped into my head for no reason. Now it won’t leave. I might go bonkers, to say the least.

Now that it’s officially almost Christmas, I can start making Christmas cookies. Although it’s felt like Christmas for the past month and half. Two of my favorite radio stations have played the same four Christmas songs since before Halloween, so I’m stuck listening to the 70’s music station. Worst. Genre. Ever. Hey, I’m just saying what I know you are all thinking.

But now that it’s two weeks from Christmas, it’s time for cookies! WOOHOO! So, put on your England shirt (I know I have mine on), turn on Straight No Chasers’ Christmas album, and let’s start making some cookies!

First cookies of the season were Lemon Crinkle cookies.

I tend to think I’m Martha Stewart sometimes, and I adapt recipes and then assume they’ll turn out ok. Sometimes they turn out. Most of the time they don’t. And sometimes they almost turn out. Exhibit A of almost turning out? These cookies.

I made them gluen-free and they didn’t flatten. So if you like delicious, gooey cookies, make the recipe using normal flour. If you like more chewy,…non-flat…(but still delicious) cookies use gluten-free flour. It’s up to you. And remember, no matter which option you pick, I’ll be there for you (’cause you’re there for me too).

The only problem with the beginning of cookie making season is that I want to make every single cookie. Ever. But my stomach is like GIVE ME COOKIES, while my brain is like ha, oh no you don’t. So my brain is a meany-head (literally?) and doesn’t remember the recipes I want to make. I saw a recipe for gingerbread cookies that looked amazing, and now I can’t remember where I saw it.  This is what happens when the only emails you get are newsletters from food-related blogs, and the only books you read are cookbooks. Well, cookbooks and Fahrenheit 451. Can I just say that book has the worst ending in the history of ever? I finished it today and it was depressing.

I’m done talking about books, let’s go back to these cookies. They actually turned out pretty well. I made two batches and I found that if you make them bigger (about a heaping tablespoon-full) and then let them continue cooking while they cool, they’re more squishy, for lack of a better word. The smaller ones were too crunchy for my taste. And, don’t you know, I have impeccable taste. I have such a distinguished palate that I ate almost an entire pound of bacon the other day. Unfortunately, when you tell people this, they ask you if you’re on Atkins. How do you answer that question without saying “No! Diets are stupid. I just love bacon” ? Awkward.

So what cookies have you made/are you going to make this year? I have white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on the mind. And possibly something with chocolate and peanut butter. And GINGERBREAD, but I still can’t remember where I saw the dumb recipe for them.

Ugh, and my dog just sneezed on my computer screen. *sigh* It’s like I’m always stuck in 2nd gear.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from here

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease dark baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. If you’re using lighter baking sheets, add on about two extra minutes of baking time

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Whip in vanilla, egg, and lemon juice. Scrape sides and mix again. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients (excluding the powdered sugar) together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar, and mix until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar until fully coated. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges begin to barely brown and cookies look matte (not melty or shiny). Remove from oven and cool cookies for about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*If you want to make these gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour and make sure to use 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum so they don’t go all crumbly on you.