The Bored Girl's Kitchen











{April 29, 2012}   Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles

Verdict:  Omg tasty!

I like making cookies, but I don’t eat them all that often.  At least not often enough to really justify making them that often.  I think what I like so much about making them is that I think it’s really cool to watch all these (not so) random ingredients turn into something delicious.  My best friend of … well, let’s not start counting… a very long time, wanted to make cookies, so we sat down with one of my mom’s cookbooks (The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook circa 1976) and took at look at what cookies there were to make.  We settled on the snickerdoodles.  What we did varies slightly from the written instructions, but you can follow either one.

In the original recipe, the instructions are all one paragraph that’s essentially one long step.  I broke it up to make it easier to follow with pictures.

What you need:

– 1 cup butter or margarine, softened. To aid those of you who don’t do a lot of baking, that’s two sticks.

– 1 1/2 cups sugar

– 2 eggs

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

– 2 2/3 cups unsifted Pillsbury flour*

– 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

– 1/2 teaspoon soda

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 2 tablespoons sugar

– 2 teaspoons cinnamon

– 1 cup of chocolate chips (this is optional, and I decided to added it myself.  Well ok, it was Connie’s idea, but still an addition not in the original recipe)

– Notes: They say you can use whole grain flour if you want, and if you’re using self-rising flour you should omit the cream of tartar, soda, and salt.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. For a softer, gooier, cake like cookie set it to 380 instead. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.

Step 2: Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Step 3: Stir in the flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt. Once everything’s all mixed, add in the chocolate chips.

Step 4: Combine the sugar and cinnamon together.

Step 5: Shape the dough into balls, using a rounded teaspoon of dough for each.  We opted to use a mini ice cream scooper that worked pretty well, and we decided to put the dough in the fridge for a while to firm it up some.  It worked great for a short while, but after the third ball it was gooey again, so that part is totally up to you. Roll the balls of dough in the sugar mixture, and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  We used parchment paper and it worked just fine.  The instructions say to bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are set.  We had our heat turned down and baked them about 15 minutes and they came out perfectly.

Step 6: Allow to cool, and enjoy! Ours stayed on each sheet about 15 minutes or so before being transferred to a plate.

The chocolate chips were actually seriously tasty in there, and the cookies had what I would describe as pretty much the perfect texture.  The outside had a light crisp and the inside was fluffy, almost like cake!

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!

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{April 13, 2012}   Hamburger Potato Casserole

Verdict: Super nommy

I have something like 3 crockpots.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that since I’m pretty sure they’re all different sizes at least, and at least two different shapes.  The part that’s wrong is that I’ve never actually used any of them.  I got one as a wedding gift and it ended up in storage, I got one from my dad that we cleaned out and has been making the kitchen table its home for a while now, and I recently picked up an awesome crockpot from Target.  Well, I was determined to use at least one of them, and I love that damask print one a lot, so I sat down with The Everything Slow Cooker Cookbook and decided I was making a meal.

What you need:

– 1 pound lean ground beef

– 3 medium potatoes

– 4 medium carrots

– 1 medium sized yellow onion

– 1 cup fresh peas

– 2 tablespoons dry white rice

– 1 teaspoon table salt

– 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

– 1 cup tomato juice

– Prep time is listed as about 20 minutes for a pot size of 4-6 quarts.  Cooking time is 7-9 hours, and should serve about 4.

– My notes: I used 4 potatoes because the one looked kinda wimpy and small, I used a sweet onion instead of a yellow onion, and I used tomato puree instead of tomato juice.  Also, I’m pretty sure the rice I used wasn’t white, or at least wasn’t bleached white.

(Spot my sweet crock pot in the background?)

Step 1: Brown the meat in a medium skillet on medium high heat.  I used a pot because it was handy.  Unless you happen to be a real ground beef connoisseur it probably isn’t going to make much of a difference.  Mine took a while to cook because despite putting it in the fridge from the freezer the night before it still wasn’t fully thawed.  Oh well.  It all turned out ok in the end.  Once it’s all cooked, drain the excess grease.  I poured mine into a canning jar, because once it’s all solidified I can just dump it into the garbage.  If you have a disposable cup anywhere those are also great because you can just dump them when it’s cooled.

Step 2: While the meat is browning, and probably for a bit afterwards (depending on how fast it cooks and how fast you can peel), peel the potatoes, carrots, and onion. The potatoes should be cut into 1/4″ slices, the carrots into 1/4″ rounds, and the onion into 1/4″ pieces.  I didn’t measure mine, and I’m pretty sure they’re bigger than 1/4″, but I like chunkier veggies.

Step 3: Combine all the ingredients except the peas in the slow cooker and stir well.  Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours.

Step 4: Go do something productive to kill the next 5-7 hours. Or sit on Facebook and watch a movie.  That sort of counts.

Step 5: Add the peas.  I had a can of peas and had already washed my measuring cup, so I just dumped the whole can in and went with it.  If you like mushy peas, you can add them when you add everything else.  Cook for about 2 more hours. I forgot the camera when I did this step (blame being hungry and in a rush), but I assure you it went off without a hitch.

I cooked it for about another hour and a half or so and it came out just fine. I garnished mine with some cheese and that made it super nommy, but you can serve it without cheese and it will also be tasty.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{April 9, 2012}   Holiday Cookies

Verdict: I have no idea why I try to make cookies that require being cut out, but they still taste pretty good.

Oh my god an actual recipe! That’s right, I made something out of a cookbook! Also, where cooking allows for a lot of leeway, there’s a lot less leeway in baking.  Baking has directions, cooking has guidelines.  This is why I normally cook and don’t normally bake. But I was bored, and decided to give it a shot anyway.

For this recipe (as given by The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook) you’ll need:
– 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

– 3/4 cup superfine sugar

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces and softened

–  2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

– Notes that they make: “Superfine sugar will give your cookies a finer crumb and crispier texture.  If you can’t find it in the supermarket, simply process about 1 cup granulated sugar in a food processor for about 30 seconds, then measure out 3/4 cup for the recipe.  The dough scraps can be patted together, chilled, and re-rolled one time only.” Also, the dough discs can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator.

– Notes I make: I just used 1 cup of granulated sugar, didn’t do anything to soften the butter other than leave it out while preparing everything, and ended up using 2 teaspoons of cream cheese instead of 2 tablespoons.  The cookies were difficult to roll out, but still tasted just fine.

Step 1: Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.  Beat the butter into the flour mixture, one piece at a time, using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, then continue to beat until the mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, 1-2 minutes.  Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla until the dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.

Step 2: Knead the dough in the bowl by hand a few times until it forms a large, cohesive mass. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter, divide it in half, and pat into 2 4″ discs. Wrap the discs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until they begin to firm up, 20-30 minutes.

Step 3: Take a break to wash up the dishes you’ve used, your glasses, and anything else you may have touched with your butter hands.

Step 4: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Working with one disk of dough at a time, roll out the dough to a 1/8″ thickness between two sheets of parchment paper.  Slide the rolled dough and parchment paper onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.  I ended up having to leave mine in there about 20 or so.

Step 5: Go play some solitaire, or watch some TV while you wait for the dough to firm up.

Step 6: Working with one sheet of dough at a time, cut out shapes using cookie cutters and lay on two parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 1 inch apart.  Bake the cookies until light golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. (While the first batch of cookies bakes, cut out cookies from the second sheet of dough and bake them while the first batch cools).  I hate cutting out shapes from cookie dough, but I did find one cutter that was generic enough to use.  I cut out all the shapes I could from each sheet, and ended up baking the scraps as oddly shaped cookies. I found I had to bake mine about 15 minutes or so, but that a lot of the thinner cookies ended up a darker brown.  There were no burned ones though, at least none that tasted burnt.

Step 7: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. When cooled, the cookies can be glazed and decorated as desired.  While waiting for the last batch of cookies to finish cooling, you can go ahead and clean out the rest of the cookie dough from under your nails. I don’t have a wire rack, so I just let them cool on the pan and transferred them right to the plate.   They’ve been out for a few days now and people seem to be enjoying them.  This is a not fantastic picture of them (somehow the picture I took didn’t end up staying on my camera, but I took this with my phone to taunt a few friends).

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



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