We’ve Moved!

You won’t find much here. Teaching is more fun for me than cooking. Thankfully, Toby is handling that, so you can find neat information here:


Published in: on August 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Search for Snickerdoodles

So, I don’t know what happened in the time since we started this blog, but it’s been insanely difficult lately to find newspaper recipes online that don’t cost money for archive fees. I found a whopping two results when I searched for news about “snickerdoodle recipes.” Two. On Google.

This article contained a recipe for snickerdoodles bar cookies instead of regular cookies, but I liked the woman’s frugal food budget.

Thank goodness for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which not only had a snickerdoodle recipe, but a recipe submitted by someone local. Huzzah!


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (I actually had to lower it to 375 and move my cookies up from the center rack because the bottoms kept burning…)

2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until fluffy.

3. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Beat into butter mixture.

5. In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon. Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in cinnamon sugar.

6. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until cookies are crackled but no longer gooey in the center (do not let the edges brown). (I cooked them about 7 minutes at 400. When I lowered the temperature, it was about 9 to 10 minutes, but they still burned on the edges)

7. Transfer cookies to wire cooling racks with a metal spatula.

((Photos will go here once I figure out why I cannot upload anything to my laptop 😦 Suffice to say, the cookies looked burnt. :-P))

This recipe venture (and semi-failure) kind of illustrated why I see many people in the online cooking/baking community turning to blogs instead of newspapers. I feel like I could have gotten a much better and thoroughly tested recipe had I gone to a cooking site where many users rate their experiences.

I guess it’s a little like techie folks mocking newspapers and TV stations for their laughable, out-of-date coverage of technological advances. There’s no way, even when papers draw their recipes from new books and even some bloggers, that newspapers can stay up on all the newest and greatest recipes.

Mark Bittman seems on top of things, of course. And one local notable exception? Seattle Times’ and NPR’s food writer Nancy Leson is on it. She blogs, she tweets, and she seems pretty savvy to trends and new ideas.

Are newspaper test kitchens still running after the most recent wave of cuts to the industry? I’m hoping to get in touch with folks in Seattle and Detroit to find out. Do you have any ideas?


Published in: on December 6, 2009 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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More Recipes!

Mom sent me some more newspaper recipes! I have no clue when they’re from, but I can’t wait to try them out!

Special Delivery!

Special Delivery!

Published in: on December 6, 2009 at 9:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pear Butter Pork Chops

I’ve been dying to use the pear butter I made last weekend in our crock pot. Huzzah! Thanks to Tracy for the apartment-warming gift.

Pear Butter

Pear Butter

I modified a basic pork-chop-and-fruit recipe from the Canadian paper Metro News. The author of the recipe is affiliated with a massive blog, but I don’t know whether the post appeared in the newspaper or online first, so I decided it would be OK.

Pear Butter Pork Chops
Serves 2

• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 3 thin-cut bone-in pork chops (original recipe calls for 4 inch-thin chops)
• 1/4 cup pear butter
• salt & pepper

1. Season chops generously with salt and pepper.

2. Set a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and heat one tablespoon olive oil.

3. Add chops and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

4. Transfer chops to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm.

5. Plate meal. Pour pear butter on top. (This is the part I modified! Can you tell? :))

Pear Butter Pork Chops

Pear Butter Pork Chops

The pork chops were juicy, the pear butter was ginger-y and amazing, and the crackers with brie made for a nice side. Seeing as how we have 14 cans of pear butter, we’ll probably be making this again.


Back again

Hi there,

Toby’s busy working for Pet Holdings, Inc. and I’m operating kind of in crisis mode, but we’ve both been doing a lot of thinking about our eating habits and how we’re approaching nourishing ourselves.

This summer, we joined a fantastic CSA and discovered how much we like making soups. We’re continuing to set aside our CSA money every week so we make sure we visit one of our year-round farmer’s markets. My new mission is to get on the P-Patch waiting list.

Now that I’m no longer working part time at Display and Costume, I’ve been trying to contribute more to the domestic aspects of our life, which includes contributing more to meals. I’ve been looking around for newspaper recipes, but blogger Calamity Shazaam in the Kitchen sums it up pretty succinctly:

Sadly the newspaper form seems to be dying out so perhaps the future of clipping recipes will be archived web links. I know that on Wednesdays I love to browse online papers from across the country to see what people are cooking, trawling for ideas and trends, and mostly just drooling over recipes and photographs. But there is also something immensely enjoyable about spreading the paper out on the kitchen table and cutting out recipes that you think you’d make one day.

She also talks about clipping virtal recipes for her digital cookbook, which I think is a nice image to have.

I really like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s recipe search engine, and look what I discovered! A 30-day Crock Pot Challenge! We just now are starting to use our crock pot, which we received as an apartment-warming present. I made 16 jars of pear butter in it this weekend… not really the apparatus’ intended use, but it turned out great.

Now I’m looking around for a pork chop recipe that I can use some of the pear butter on. Wish me luck, and I’ll see you soon!


Published in: on November 19, 2009 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Banana (no nut) Bread

I believe the unseasonably warm Seattle weather earlier this month caused my bananas to ripen faster than I would have liked. (I made this recipe in early June) What’s to be done with ripe bananas other than make banana bread? However, I didn’t have nuts on hand, and most recipes I saw were for banana nut bread.

But then I found this recipe from my alma mater, The State News. I was interested to see the recipe was attached to an article about banana bread being a healthier snacking alternative. Really? Healthier than what? With butterbutterbutter? It wasn’t like this was a Cooking Light banana bread recipe… Healthier than Twinkies and Sour Patch Kids, perhaps. You can read the comments below the story if you want a more biting, condescending version of my critique.

I figured I’d give the recipe a whirl, even if the health information wasn’t exactly correct and even if the recipe was snagged from the Food Network.

Banana Bread

1 cup of sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted, room-temperature butter
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon of milk
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

The oven should be preheated at 325 degrees and a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan needs to be buttered.

The sugar and butter need to be creamed together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Each egg then needs to be added one at a time and beaten into the mix as they are added.

1. In a separate bowl, the bananas need to be mashed with a fork. Then, mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. Stir and combined the banana mix to the creamed mixture, then add the dry ingredients, mixing until the flour disappears.

3. Once everything is mixed together, pour the batter into the pan and bake for one hour. Use a toothpick to determine if it’s cooked entirely. Poke the bread in the center with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, then it is finished. Allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes before removing bread from the pan and slicing.


  • I’m still interested in if you think it “counts” as a newspaper recipe when the newspaper snags the recipe from another source. For more of my musings on this topic, read this earlier post.
  • I didn’t get any pictures of the bread. Whoops. But it looked like pretty much every other loaf of banana bread that has ever been baked in the history of humankind, so you’re not really missing out.
  • I thought the bread was rather bland when I ate it the morning after I made it, but Toby really loved it and was sad that I took half the bread as a thank-you gift to a school that let us observe their reading classes.
Teacher Resource Room at Adelaide Elementary -- we hope you enjoyed the bread!

Teacher Resource Room at Adelaide Elementary -- we hope you enjoyed the bread!


Published in: on June 29, 2009 at 5:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Our other homes on the Web

We love newspapers and food, but that’s not all we love. Here are the other places you can find us online:

In Olympia

In Olympia

Read more about my class adventures here: http://mshoughtonsclass.wordpress.com

And read more about Toby’s lifehacking here: http://www.tmckes.com/blog

Toby at the show

Toby at the DXARTS show

We are also Twitter-ers, if you’re into that sort of thing:

Shannon is at http://twitter.com/beforetoday

And Toby is at http://twitter.com/Trademark


Published in: on June 28, 2009 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Life Hacking

Hello, fair readers. We’re back. A lot has changed.

We moved (to a place with windows! And a larger kitchen! And windows!).

In our dining nook

Toby graduated from the UW with his BFA in digital arts and experimental media.

Graduation Dinner

I’m getting ready for a trip to China and for my third year of teaching.

Chinese flower arranging

Although summer is often seen as a time to recharge, it’s frequently been a time for us to reflect on the previous school year, and to ponder what’s ahead.

It’s a hard job market, and it’s particularly hard if you’re a nerdy computer programming audiophile trying to find some inspiring work. I’d been thinking a lot about my friends who are similar to Toby, and what they have in their lives that makes them feel fulfilled.

I thought of Jana, who is living her life and raising her daughter in a way I hold in highest regard as a stay-at-home-mom. I thought of Jamie G., who is about as up-to-date on news and “new media” as they come, yet she has become a total DIY home-fixer-upper bike rider. I thought of Anne and Kate, who live on Anne’s teacher salary while Kate holds down the fort as a badass at home. They manage to go on all sorts of adventures, afford all local and organic food, and have a freaking blast on and off the grid.

Toby seems happiest when he comes up with a dynamite recipe, when our finances are organized, when we find a killer new natural cleaner, or when he discovers some other new way to hack our lives. So we’ve decided he’s going to become our resident Life Hacker.

The deal is this. I’ll carry on with the whole teaching thing. Toby will get a retail job 3 days a week or so (we’re thinking he’ll take over the shifts I’ve been working at Display and Costume when I head off to China) to help pay for rent. The rest of the time he’ll spend working on art, shouldering the bulk of the household tasks, and hacking our lives so we can be frugal and more self-sufficient. He’ll continue looking for work in his field, but there will be no more moping about and refreshing the Craigslist page 2873466527 times.

There are so many neat projects we’ve been dying to undertake, but there never seems to be enough time. Now, there will be.

Does this sound like a cop-out? Like Toby’s staying at home to be my man-bitch? Like we’re making excuses for him not getting a job? I’m sure it could seem like any of those things, but this feels absolutely right. Toby is already much happier than he was when he was thinking of the prospect of just clocking in at a 9 to 5, I will feel less stressed out about money and meals and cleaning because they will be more under control, and we’ll be enjoying each others’ company more completely because we’re embarking on an adventure we’re both thrilled about.

And, of course, we’ll be cooking more meals from newspaper recipes.

Making Food

Won’t you join us?


Published in: on June 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm  Comments (1)  

November 5, 2008

No food talk today; I just thought you might want to check out today’s front pages.


Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 6:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lifehackers React to the Demise of Paper Newspapers

Lifehacker opened a discussion on the future demise of print newspapers, prompted by news that the Christian Science Monitor will now appear online only.

I’m still interested in the impact this will have on food reporting. Have the genres of recipe books, food memoir, and food history grown large enough to supplant anything newspapers could report on?

Have there been any discussions of newspapers shutting down their test kitchens as a result of shrinking budgets? I think this would be an interesting story.

ETA: Gannett blog reports that the features sections may be completely ELIMINATED from some papers. Via: a Gannett reporter friend who might not want to be linked.