Cooking with Punkie
Punkie Shares some of his secret recipes

There is a saying in the pagan community, "Protect the mysteries by constantly revealing them!" With this in mind, I decided to share with you some of my secret recipes of food I really like. I have no family really to speak of, and apart from my son, no one to pass things down to. So I decided to broadcast these recipes to anyone who wants to try them. They are gathered from various resources over the years, and there aren't very many, but I assure you, they are very, very tasty. None of this pretentious French "eau du crap" stuff here. These are down-home and mean recipes.

Punkie's Marvelous Cookies
These cookies were my mother's, who got them from her mother. Studying the ingredients, I noticed it's a simple Tollhouse variation, but with less melty after-affects, and doesn't stick as much to your hands.
Ingredients: Instructions:
Dry Ingredients:
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
Wet Ingredients:
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) real honest butter (softened to room temp)
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) light (or dark) brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. water
Lastly:
  • 1 12oz. Bag of small semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 12oz. Bag of small butterscotch or peanut butter chips
  • 1 lb. love, kindness, and good thoughts (assorted)
Preheat Convection oven to 375 F. Adjust racks to middle of oven.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in HUGE bowl. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, put in softened butter (make sure it is naturally softened, not liquefied in a microwave, and use real butter, because if you don't the batter comes out funny and the cookies don't cook as well) and "shred" with electric beater/mixer (thus letting the butter chunks flow evenly with the rest of the ingredients). Then, while the mixer is on its slowest speed, mix the rest of the wet ingredients in the order given, letting each blend in for a few seconds before adding the next. When the batter is mixed evenly, slowly add the dry ingredients until your mixer cannot stir anymore without straining (If your mixer is powerful, like one of those Kitchenaid Professional Models, be careful not to overmix it, or it will come out a liquid goop). Then take it off the mixer and add the rest while stirring by hand with a REALLY strong spoon. I am not kidding here, this stuff will break utensils you bought at the Dollar Store. When the dough is nicely mixed, add the two bags of chips slowly, thinking good thoughts (you'll need them, the spoon will be straining pretty hard against the dough) and adding love and human kindness. Make sure to eat some of the cookie dough from time to time for that extra sugar rush and to fuel the muscles straining against the dough. You may need to drink milk to wash it down. This will SO ruin your keretosis cycle on the Atkins diet.

Dust your hands with flour and form the dough into small (about 1-inch) balls and lay aside. Then put them on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten them with the bottom of a glass. The dough should crack only a little. If the dough is too thin (due to heat and humidity in your area), you may add more flour a 1/4 cup at a time.

Bake these little suckers for about 8-11 minutes (depending on your oven idiosyncrasies). Take them out when they just start to turn brown, because they'll burn on you in a second if you turn your back! Let them cool for 5 minutes, and then take them off the sheet and let them cool for another 10 minutes on a cooling rack. They do taste good hot, though.

This recipe makes a LOT of cookies (over 30), so these are good for large gatherings over 4 people, or when you have to pot luck dessert at the office or something. I have fed these to people in fandom during the "Great Cookie Conspiracy," as well as the night shift at my office's network Operations Center. These cookies will make you popular.

Store them sealed up in Tupperware or the generic equivalent. If they dry out, put them in the microwave for ten seconds.


Punkie's Best Homemade Pizza
For about a year in my life, I was experimenting with different ways to make dough. Most ended up as bricks or window putty, but I finally discovered a fantastic crust that is great for Pizza. Obviously, this is pretty basic, and can be added to as you need it, but the best part here is the crust.
Ingredients: Instructions:
Crust:
  • 1 TSP Dry Yeast
  • 1 cup of very warm water (for the yeasties)
  • 1 tsp of sugar (for the yeasties)
  • 2 TSP Olive Oil
  • 3 1/2 cups of All-purpose (or bleached) flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
Basic Toppings (Cheese Pizza):
  • 1 8 oz can of Tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 TSP of Minced garlic (the fresher the better)
  • 2 tsp of Oregano (the fresher the better)
  • 1/2 tsp of Basil (the herb, not the sheep)
  • 1 8 oz package of Mozzerella or Romono (or both) Cheese
Optional Toppings (Much less bland):
  • 1/2 lb (1 small stick) of sliced pepperoni
  • 1/2 lb of ground beef or suasage that has been browned and drained
  • 1/4 cup of diced onions
  • 1 green/red/yellow/combo pepper de-seeded and sliced thin
  • 1 8 oz can of black olives
  • 1/2 cup dried tomato strips
  • 8 strips of friend and chopped bacon
  • 1 TSP of hot peppers
  • 1 tsp of Tobasco sauce (mixed with tomato paste)
  • 1 8 oz can of anchovies (I saw that face!)
Hawaiian Toppings:
  • 1/2 cup of sliced, cut, and drained pineapple
  • 8 oz of frechetta Ham
  • 1 TSP of brown sugar
Crust:
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the very warm water. The water shouldn't be too cold, or the yeast doesn't grow, but not hot enough to kill them. Add the sugar, salt, and then the oil. Then add only 2 cups of the flour (not all of it), and mix until smooth. Now you can add the remaining flour. You will now have to start using you hands to mix the dough. Sing Italian love songs to help the mood. When it is mixed, dump the lump onto a floured surface, and wash out the large bowl. Knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes until it has no lumps, has a smooth surface, and is slightly elastic. Take the washed out bowl you had, and lightly grease it with butter. Put the dough in the lightly greased bowl, and turn it around and around until it is all greased (so it won't dry out). Cover the bowl with a wet towel, and leave it in a warm area for about 45 minutes.

This is a good time to reflect how the Italians positively influenced our cuisine. You can also use this time to brown any meat toppings you may have, slice the vegetables, or just nap. When you are done, pre-heat the oven for 400 F.

After 45 minutes have done, you should noticed the dough has risen almost twofold. If it is still flat, you probably killed the yeast for a variety of reasons. Weep softly. If it rises out of the bowl and attacks the city, call the National Guard. Assuming the dough has risen, punch it down to show it who's boss. Knead for one more minute. Then divide it into two balls. Grease two pizza pans, singing mock Opera.

Now the next step has two ways of going about it. I put the balls in the center of the pans, and spread them out evenly using the flatten, push, turn technique. You may want to toss them in the air to make centrifical force work for you. I tried that, and nearly knocked myself out, and found that cat hair and carpet lint do not come out of dough. Also, if you have a dog, he or she will be *very* interested in you right now, and may sieze the opportunity to grab the dough, run under the bed, eat it, and then barf it back up later on your new carpeting. Whatever you decided to do, when you have a flat crust on the pan, pinch the edges up to contain the toppings and give you a nice crust.

Toppings:
There is actually a science to this. The more toppings you add, the longer it takes to cook. Also, certain toppings must be put in a certain order. First, put down your sauce (duh), which is the tomato paste. I use this instead of pizza sauce because it's not so runny. Spread it around in a circular pattern. Then add your herbs (oregano, basil, etc...). Then add your roots (garlic, onions). Then add your vegetables. Now add the meat. And last of all, add the cheeses. Make sure to spread things evenly, or the pizza will not cook evenly.

Bake for about 25 minutes. Take out when the cheese and crust have turned a golden brown. When you take it out, and here's the important part, let it cool for 10 minutes. Why? Otherwise the toppings will escape everywhere when you pick up a slice.


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