Homemade Oatcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Homemade Oatcakes

Homemade Oatcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When I first met my husband, I marveled at his lack of understanding of cheese. He once made nachos with Doritos, with shredded mozzarella, and Thai sweet chili sauce. He said, “All cheese tastes the same.” Wait. What???

It wasn’t until I moved to the UK that I figured out how he had been operating under this unfortunate delusion for so long. Most cheese in the UK is pretty much the same. Almost everything is a variation on cheddar. This can make for a pretty boring cheese plate. Not to mention that in Scotland, instead of a nice chunk of baguette, they give you dry, bland oatcakes. I have frequently been underwhelmed. 

Homemade Oatcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Because I’m somewhat neurotic about working my way through a cookbook, I decided to try Nigella’s recipe for homemade oatcakes. I wasn’t expecting much. Turns out, oatcakes are pretty awesome if you make them yourself and roll them as thin as you can before baking.

Make sure you include a fat pinch of salt and cook them  until they’re golden brown around the edges. Eat them with a variety of cheeses with a variety of textures and flavors from a variety of countries. That’s how cheese plates should work. Throw in some grapes and some salted almonds or cashews. 

Homemade Oatcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Drink wine. Eat oatcakes and cheese. Live it up.

Oatcakes
Yields 12
Homemade Oatcakes are flavorful and crispy and good with every kind of cheese.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons quick cooking oats
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  5. 6-8 tablespoons of recently boiled water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put the oats, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl, and give them a stir to combine. Pour in the butter and start add the first six tablespoons of hot water. Start stirring, and add hot water as needed until a stiff dough forms.
  3. Knead your dough a few times until it comes together smoothly. With a rolling pin, roll it out as thin as you can.
  4. Using a three-inch round cutter or whatever shape floats your boat, cut out as many oatcakes as you can. If you find your dough is sticking slightly, use a thin spatula or butter knife to lift it off the counter and onto the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges start to brown slightly. Cool on a wire rack.
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

In the UK, there’s no Thanksgiving, so that means the moment Halloween is over, it’s all Christmas all the time. I’m still a hard core Thanksgiving junkie, so I’m not quite ready for trees and lights and snow. I am, however, always ready for cookies.

I don’t know if they do Christmas cookies here. I think they’re more into mince pies and fruit cake. I’m definitely sticking with cookies.  And I think there should be mountains of them. My mom used to make chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies, and more fudge than humans should eat every year at Christmas. I’ve never had the time or the space to be quite so zealous, but cookies for Santa are still a requirement at my house. Even on years when there are no kids around. 

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve made the chewy cookies of your dreams. Smashed up toffee bits and chocolate chips come together in a thin, buttery cookie for optimal crispy chewy awesomeness. Toffee Chocolate Chip cookies are where it’s at.

This is a basic cookie dough. Nothing too tricky. If you can’t get already busted up toffee bits, dump your larger toffee pieces into the food processor to get them into smaller, crunchable pieces. You’ll also need to be patient with the cooling, or you’ll end up with busted cookies because the toffee has glued them to your parchment. Just wait for them to cool completely, then you can peel the paper off and never stop eating.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Who cares what holiday is coming down the pipe. It’s time to eat Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 36
Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies are a sweet chewy dream.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup shortening, softened
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/4 granulated sugar
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 2 cups chocolate chips
  12. 6 ounces toffee bits
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and both sugars with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in your egg and vanilla until combined.
  3. In a separate container, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With your mixer on low, slowly add your dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.
  4. Fold in in your chocolate and toffee.
  5. Scoop your cookie dough onto your baking sheet leaving about two inches in between. These cookies will spread quite a lot, so give them ample room. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until they just start to brown around the edges.
  6. Let the cookies cool on the pan for about five minutes, and then remove the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to a cooling rack. The toffee will be very sticky, so it's easier to remove them from the paper once they're completely cooled.
Notes
  1. To be honest, I didn't really measure the chocolate chips and toffee bits. Follow your heart.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Continental Grilled Cheese

Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Almost every day I wake up in the morning wishing I could just stay home and cook all day. I don’t much care what it is. I don’t even necessarily want t eat it. There’s just something about the magic of turning ingredients into food that I find so calming. 

Work gets stressful. People think I’m dumb. But in my kitchen, I’m the boss. I do actual dumb things in there all the time, but I don’t much care. It’s quiet. It’s warm. It smells great. Where else would a person want to be?

The truth is, I’m usually so frazzled by the time I get home from work that I can barely summon the energy to stand in front of a skillet for 10 minutes. Lucky for me, you can make something pretty amazing in that amount of time.

Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This gooey, delicious Continental Grilled Cheese is a fantastic mash-up of European flavors. It’s lacking in any sort of authenticity but completely loaded with good things to eat. It starts with buttery brioche which gets spread with some tart cherry jam. Polish ham went into my sandwich because I couldn’t find the Black Forest ham the original recipe called for. All of this is held together with oozing brie. It’s so right.

There are few things in life that make me quite as happy as gooey cheese. The crunch from the grilled brioche is the perfect contrast to the ultra soft brie, and the slight smokiness of the ham and sharp sweetness of the cherry jam is spot on. 

Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Take a deep breath. Be good to yourself. Eat a Continental Grilled Cheese. Smile. Be Awesome.

Continental Grilled Cheese
Serves 1
Continental Grilled Cheese is a delicious mash up of Polish ham, French cheese, and total awesomeness.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
6 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
6 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 slices brioche bread
  2. 1 tablespoon cherry jam
  3. About 2 ounces brie, enough thin slices off your wedge to cover both slices of bread
  4. 1-2 slices Polish ham
  5. 1 tablespoon butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Place a skillet over medium low heat on your stove to heat up while you build your sandwich.
  2. Start building your sandwich by spreading cherry jam in a thin layer on each slice of bread. Next, lay slices of brie over each slice of bread, then add your ham. Close up your sandwich and spread the top, outside piece of bread with your softened butter.
  3. Place your sandwich in the preheated skillet, butter side down. Spread the new top with butter as well and cook for approximately three minutes on each side or until your bread is as dark brown as you like.
  4. Slice and eat quickly before the cheese drips gloriously down your hand.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
http://awesomeon20.com/
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