St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

I love St. Patrick’s Day- the music, the story, how green the grass is, and all the wildflowers that are blooming.  If you haven’t heard the story of St. Patrick before, let me fill you in on the major points.  As a teenager, Patrick, who was actually from Britain, was captured by Irish pirates and became an animal-tending slave in Ireland for about six years.  He escaped, but then later he returned to Ireland as a missionary.  What a story of forgiveness!  With the powerful story and my love of Irish music, I always anticipate St. Patrick’s Day with eager expectations.  I am often disappointed on the actual day because I am reminded each year that most people don’t really celebrate the day, and if they do, it’s mostly about drinking.  Well, this year, I played some Irish violin music, listened to my Irish Pandora station, and actually made something green with the intention of celebrating tonight with some friends.  These are the cookies I made for tonight’s event.  Hope you enjoy!

Time requirement:

Mixing: 10 minutes

Chilling: 2 hours or overnight

Baking: 7-8 minutes per cookie sheet

Frosting: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 c. vegan butter (SmartBalance or EarthBalance work)

1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

2 T. cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

 

Icing:

4 c. powdered sugar

4 T. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

dash salt

1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla

Green food coloring, if desired

 

Cookie Directions:

Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with butter, 1/4 c. non-dairy milk and vanilla.  Mix on low in a stand mixer.  Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Give it a little stir so the flour won’t poof, and then mix with a stand mixer until combined.  Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  The dough will be wetter than normal cookie dough.

After two hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  You have at least two options with the dough.  The quick version is to take it out by Tablespoons and press onto a piece of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick in the shape of a cookie.  If you want shaped cookies, it will require a fair amount more of effort since the dough is wetter.  Always put remaining dough back in the fridge until you are ready to shape it so it will be less sticky.

Bake the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees until edges just start to brown.  Cool on a cooling rack (I just pull the whole sheet of parchment paper onto the cooling rack.)

Icing Directions:

Mix powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.  Stir well and then spoon onto cooled cookies.  If it is too thick, add a tiny bit of milk at a time until it is the desired texture.  Put a spoonful on each cooled cookie and spread as needed.  It will flatten out and turn to a glaze-like icing in a minute or two.

Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Adapted from:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/vegan-sugar-cookies/45ab6889-511a-4345-9391-9ea5c00c8d4a

 

 

 

 

 

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Spaghetti Squash and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

Squash:

1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and with seeds removed

olive oil for drizzling (not extra virgin)

salt

 

Sauce:

1 c. yellow tomatoes, sliced in half

1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 c. olive oil (not extra virgin)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 tsp red pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

3 T. fresh basil

4-5 fresh sprigs of thyme

1 T. fresh oregano

 

1 handful of spinach

 

Directions:

Squash: Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds (this is super easy with a grapefruit spoon).   Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place squash halves on pan, cut side up.  Drizzle halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 20-30 minutes for small squash and 40-50 minutes for medium to large squash (I may have needed to cook it for 60 minutes- I don’t exactly remember).  Squash is cooked when you can easily pierce it with a fork (similar to how a potato would pierce when done).  Using a spoon, scrape out the strands of squash.

Sauce:

Pour olive oil into a pan and allow to heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and garlic and allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes.  Add salt, black pepper, red pepper, and herbs and cook for another 5 minutes or so.  Add spinach and cook until it’s wilted.  Serve over spaghetti squash.

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Simple Ground Beef and Potatoes

This is one of those meals where I looked in my fridge to see what needed to be used.  It turned out surprisingly well, so I have decided to share with you what I did.  Since I started blogging, I try to write down what I do while cooking so that I can share it accurately.  🙂

 

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds ground beef- raw

2 pounds red potatoes, diced with skins on

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 c. frozen corn (or more)

1 c. frozen peas (or more)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp sage

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp parsley

1/4 tsp coriander

 

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef.  Don’t drain the fat!  Set the beef aside, leaving the grease in the pan.  Cook the potatoes in the grease for about 10-15 minutes until they start to get soft (this will depend on how big or small you cut them).  Add in all other ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender and peas and corn are warm.  Feel free to add in more vegetables than called for!