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Pistachio Lace Cookies

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I think one of the biggest reasons I consider myself a foodie is just because food is so intricately woven into our lifestyles. When my boyfriend and I first started dating, our relationship was strengthened (or so I would argue) over our cooking endeavours together, where we discovered our compatibility in being able to work together and collaborate to make delicious works of breakfast in the kitchen. When we made breakfast at his house, we would waltz around the kitchen in a seemingly choreographed manner, grabbing ingredients for each other, taking turns watching how cooked the eggs were, dipping slices of bread in the French toast batter, and, by golly, we were the best at making eggs (scrambled, over-easy, sunny side-up, you name it!), French toast, hash browns, pancakes, etc.. He had 11 other housemates and when we were in the kitchen, we dominated the aromas that wafted through the entire house.

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Beyond the act of cooking as a bonding mechanism, the act of eating is also so incredibly central to our lives. My memories and ideas of places and people are reinforced by the tastes and smells I associate with my experiences. Going to Taiwan as a child (where my paternal grandparents live), I have the fondest memories of my grandma waking up earlier than everyone else every morning and heading out to buy bags full of the most delicious Taiwanese breakfast goods. We would wake up to the smells of greasy, delicious fried Chinese donuts (you tiao), warm sweet soymilk for dipping said donuts, boxes of small, perfectly-wrapped soup dumplings (xiao long bao), and tightly wrapped rice rolls filled with pickled vegetables and pork floss.

And when I write about recipes and different items I have made before, I instantly think of the experiences and memories I have associated with said foods. These pistachio lace cookies I made one day I was at home before my sister finished school and when she came home and smelled the vanilla aroma from the cookies and saw the gorgeous green pistachio nuts speckling these thin treats, she was in infatuated. I remember dabbing our fingers along the cookie tray and lickng the bits of sweet oats off like they were an exotic spice. And it is for moments like this that I make and share food.

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 Pistachio Oat Lace Cookies (Original Seattle Lunchbox Recipe)

  • 1 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line cookie sheets with ungreased parchment paper.

Mix the oats, brown sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and nuts together. Add butter, vanilla and water to oat mixture.

Drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto prepared cookie sheets with a couple inches of space in between. Flatten the cookies slightly.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes.

Let cool and gobble up.

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(Pecan) Sandy, My Darling, You Hurt Me Real Bad

Aloha from the land of class registration. The land of checking Winter Quarter schedules everyday and secretly hoping that senior priority doesn’t get in the way of my wimpy sophomore status and nobody wants to register for my class or section so I can get…nope. Someone registered already. Not just someone. Half the class is filled.

Yeah, way to make my wishes come true 11:11. This is why I don’t make wishes at 11:11 or while holding my breath and closing my eyes through a tunnel anymore (and partially because if I held my breath and closed my eyes while cruising through a tunnel, I would crash the car and would end up in one of those “FAIL” blogs with headlines “GIRL CRASHES CAR WHILE TRYING TO MAKE A WISH IN A TUNNEL”).

That is not going on my internet record. Ever. So don’t make wishes while closing your eyes, holding your breath, and driving through a tunnel. It doesn’t work anyways.

Also, hola from the land of sleeplessness and zombie eyes. I’m having a blast, as you can see. Spending my days chilling under freezing cold rain and warming my fingers with a double-shot caramel latte as I become a semi-resident at the school library. And that soundtrack of snoring students and frantic page-flipping puts a nice little cherry on top.

Yes. These are the lands I am writing from. I know you wish you were here too.

Pecan Sandies (From Martha Stewart)

Makes 18

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Fold in pecans.
  2. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, and place on two baking sheets, 2 inches apart. With the dampened bottom of a glass, lightly flatten each ball.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool. (To store, keep in an airtight container, up to 5 days.)


P.S. Oh and about the title of this post…it’s a Grease reference. I couldn’t help it! It just so happens that everytime I hear the word Sandy I think of Grease. No, don’t shake your head at me. Watch the video again, and see if you can legitimately tell me that you didn’t wish you had a huge hair poof, a leather bomber, and a love song to sing at a drive-in movie.

Oh Sandy baby, someday….

not. Because Sandy just bought some black skinny jeans and she’ll be singing an awesome duet with you very soon (brush up by looking up the lyrics of “You’re the One that I Want” if you don’t know them by heart already). No more old school whining, Danny. Be a tough cookie.

Or bake some cookies. Girls like either one.

Bake: Coconut Macaroons

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Most college students spend Friday afternoons bathing in the relaxation and relief of finishing yet another mixture of stress, studying, and exhaustion (which the general public can interpret as a week of school), and I did similarly today. But, in my own way. I usually spend every Friday afternoon volunteering at an assisted living community for seniors. This week has been abnormally long for me. Staying up till midnight doing calculus homework, being intensely confused about chemistry, and studying for a French midterm. So, I unwound and relaxed by going to a senior living community to play piano for them, help them with chores, and, most importantly, to share with them the newest in my baking goods.

These macaroons are little treasures to me. They represent how much I learned today, how well I understood everything that I was taught today, and how much effort I have been putting into studying. It is the thing that I have been looking forward to: watching the seniors eat these cookies like exquisite pastries and complimenting me on how wonderful they are. Whether you spent your Friday afternoon goofing off and being immature, studying and stressing, or playing some sports, I am happy to say that I spent mine just as nicely as you have. And I mean it. Try bringing homemade cookies to a small tight-knit community of wonderful individuals. The reception will be enormous.

Coconut Macaroons (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Makes ~30

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (14 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut (5 1/3 cups)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (or coat generously with nonstick cooking spray).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt until frothy. With a fork, stir in coconut until moistened.
  3. Drop mixture by packed level tablespoons onto prepared sheet (cookies will not spread). Bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Whether you’re spending the night with someone you love, spending it alone to do some studying, or simply catching up on sleep, I wish you all a beautiful Friday night and the best of luck for your weekend. As for me, time to start planning for my sister’s 12th birthday bash on Sunday.