Just the Tip
Have a request?
This form does not yet contain any fields.


    Entries in dirty dishes will be the death of me (28)


    Dates for squares

    It's still February, and we're still 2, so I'm still making square things.

    And these dates are as close as I want to get to anything called a "date" this close to VD. 

    Date Squares

    • 3 c dates
    • 1 1/2 c water
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 c quick cooking oats
    • 1 c flour
    • 1/2 c sugar
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1 c cold butter

    My oven is already pre- heating to 350.

    First, the filling. Dates are very sticky and sweet; measure them whole, packed into the measuring cup like you would brown sugar, then dump them out

    and chop them

    See? Sticky.

    Dump the chopped dates into a pot with the water and vanilla and put them over medium-low heat. They only need about 5 or 10 minutes in the pot. Stir them from time to time, and you'll know they're done when most of the water is gone. At that point, mash them.

    Apparently you could dump them in a food processor, but I'd rather wash a potato masher than a food processor. Also, my food processor is already in the dirty dishes pile.

    While the dates are cooking down, you can put the crusty parts together. Dump all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them together.

    Then add the cold butter, chopped in chunks, and use a pastry cutter to turn it into soft, moist crumbs.

    They should hold together like a sand castle when you squish a handful.

    Press about 2/3 of the crumbs into a buttered, parchment-lined square pan. I don't know if mine is 8 or 9 inches but I'm pretty sure it will all fit.

    Next, the mashed dates, spread out to the edges.

    Dump the last of the crumbs on top and gently spread them out.

    Pan, meet oven.

    Let them cool in the pan for a while before lifting them out (parchment is so handy) onto a cooling rack. I've seen suggestions to let the big square chill in the fridge for a while before cutting into little squares, and I think they might be onto something.

    They did hold their shape, but they'd have been better at it if they were colder. Even still, I recommend eating with a fork, all fancy like.


    What kind of squares do you eat by hand?


    One Handed Meals

    I have 3 assignments and 2 lab reports due on Thursday. I am doing homework no matter what I'm doing or where I am. Including eating dinner. So, I needed something I could eat with one hand.

    Breakfast Burrito

    • a handfull of small potatoes
    • 1 egg
    • a bit of onion
    • some jalapeno
    • cheese
    • bacon!
    • bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon
    • bacon fat
    • a tortilla
    • some salsa

    So, there are 2 eggs in the picture, but I cooked only one. The key to being able to roll a burrito is the filling. Don't use too much filling.

    Preheat the oven to 425.

    Chop the little taters into tiny bits. Put them on a baking sheet and rub peanut oil all over them. You want barely enough oil to cover them in a thin layer. Pour about a teaspoon in the palm of your hand and start with that.

    That weird line on the left of the picture is actually peanut oil. Action shots are not always ftw.

    Pop the tiny taters in the oven. They take about 10 minutes when they're this size and they'll come out lovely and golden because of the peanut oil.

    Chop the onion, the bacon, and the jalapeno, and grate the cheese.

    If you don't have bacon in the freezer already cooked... dude, seriously, cook bacon on the weekend just for fun and put it in the freezer; your house will smell like bacon.

    Heat a bit of bacon fat (see, this is what precooking gets you, bacon fat to use at your leisure) in a pan and sautee the onions and jalapenos for a couple minutes.

    Crack in the egg, and give it a stir. No, you don't need to beat it in a bowl first. Sure, you could, but then you'd have a dirty bowl.

    Stir the egg, onion and jalapeno around for a few minutes until the eggs are set. Sprinkle on the bacon and cheese, and cover the pan with the tortilla.

    This does two things: it steams the tortilla to soften it a bit, and it keeps the heat in to melt the cheese. Clever, no?

    Your tiny taters should be just done by now.

    Slide the bacon and cheese covered eggs onto the softened tortilla and top them with the taters. A tablespoon of spicy salsa removes the need for additional hot sauce.

    Roll the side of the tortilla closest to you over the innards,

    Fold in the sides,

    And roll it into a one handed meal.

    What's your eat-as-you-work meal?