April fools

The kitchen is closed.

Seriously. At least for April. The Husband has come up with a brilliant plan: dinner out every night for a month.

Of course I agreed: going out to dinner is my absolute favorite thing to do. Our fridge is empty. The freezer is bare, save for emergency staples (coffee, Girl Scout cookies, vodka).

We compiled a long list of places to explore. Some in the neighborhood, most not. Sushi, soul food, burgers, pierogi, steaks, tamales, fried chicken, seafood, noodles, pizza, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo. And hopefully a salad or two. Can’t wait!

Check back for nightly reports on our progress and tips on treating culinary withdrawal.

Oatmeal cookies with booze and bacon

When a coworker—falling prey to my blatant popularity-boosting campaign—stopped by my desk for a second handful of these cookies and asked for the recipe, I said I wouldn’t share. I said I couldn’t share. I still have fantasies about restarting the Busby Bakes machine and you just can’t go around giving away the company secrets, right?

Please. These are oatmeal cookies, made gloriously unhealthy through a range of add-ins. The basic recipe comes straight from the Quaker box lid (albeit with the replacement of white sugar with more brown sugar). The big secret behind the deliciousness? Reader, I encourage you to go for the bacon.

Oatmeal Cookies

1/2# unsalted butter at room temp

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1 T. vanilla

1 1/2 c. flour

3 c. rolled oats (not the “quick” kind)

1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

Additions, as desired:

1/2 c. chopped bacon (fry it first, people)

1/2 c. chopped dried fruit. Prunes, raisins, apricots, cherries all work well. If you’re feeling boozy, soak the fruit in whiskey. Or bourbon.

1 c. toasted chopped nuts. I lean toward pecans, but walnuts work.

1/2 c. shredded coconut. Unsweetened preferred. Or toast the sweetened angelic kind.

1/4 c. finely chopped white chocolate (if you like a very sweet cookie)

Haul out the stand mixer and use the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar until really smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Mix in vanilla. Sift together the flour, soda, and salt. Add to the dough, and mix until just barely combined. Mix in oats and additional ingredients. Chill dough for at least an hour; overnight yields the best flavor mingling. I like to use a little portion scoop to form the dough, but a teaspoon works, too. Bake at 325F for 8-10 minutes, on parchment lined sheets, until pale golden. Let the cookies sit for a minute before delivering to a cooling rack. Makes about 3 dozen. Store in an airtight container. Share with the worthy.