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Frozen Broccoli on a Stick

June 25, 2005

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Desserts,Favorites — me @ 6:23 pm

From American Classics, page 312.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 18 large cookies

These oversized cookies are chewy and thick, like many of the chocolate chip cookies sold in gourmet shops and cookie stores. They rely on melted butter and an extra yolk to keep their texture soft. These cookies are best served warm from the oven, but will retain their texture even when cooled. To ensure the proper texture, cool the cookies on the cookie sheet. Oversized baking sheets allow you to get all the dough into the oven at one time. If you’re using smaller baking sheets, put fewer cookies on each sheet and bake them in batches. Follow the illustrated directions for shaping the cookies.

2 cups plus 2 T unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
12 T unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), melted and cooled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 t vanilla
1 – 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar at low speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla; mix until fully incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, about 2 minutes. Do not overbeat. Add chips and mix on low speed until distributed evenly throughout the batter, about 5 seconds.
4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup dough into a ball. Holding a dough ball in the fingertips of both hands, pull it into two equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with the two jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough onto the cookie sheet, leaving 2.5 inches between each ball.
5. Bake, reversing the position of the baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until the cookies are light golden-brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets. When cooled, peel cookies from the parchment.

VARIATIONS
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut and Toasted Almonds

Follow the recipe for Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, adding 1.5 cups sweetened dried coconut and 1 cup toasted sliced almonds along with chips.

Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans
Follow the recipe for Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, substituting 1/2 cup white chocolate chips for 1/2 cup of the semisweet chips. Add 1 cup chopped pecans with the chips.

My comments: Lots of work, but SO worth it. Yum.

Jumbo Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Desserts — me @ 6:00 pm

From the 5/2005 Everyday Food magazine, page 114.

Makes 20, prep time 20 minutes, total time 1 hour.

1.5 cups all-purpose flour, sifted and leveled
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
2.5 cups rolled oats
2 cups raisins
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Add oats, raisins, and coconut; beat just until combined.
3. Drop level 1/4-cup measures of dough, 1.5 inches apart, onto baking sheets.
4. Bake until cookies have spread and are golden-brown and soft to the touch, 18-20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Freeze and bake: Freeze unbaked cookies on baking sheet until firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to resealable plastic bags; keep up to 6 months. Bake as many as you need (without thawing): place 1.5 inches apart on a baking sheet, and bake 20-25 minutes.

My comments: I of course don’t sift or whisk the dry ingredients, and I use less butter than it calls for. I use unsweetened coconut. I did freeze and re-bake them, quite successfully. I recommend them.

Another Adobo Chicken Recipe — Crockpot this time

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Crockpot,Main dishes — me @ 5:52 pm

Also from allrecipes.com; I need to try it when we have excess power for running the crockpot all day.

Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken

An easy slow cooker recipe for a whole chicken. This is such a simple recipe for something SO good! Serve hot with steamed rice.

Prep Time: approx. 30 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 8 Hours . Ready in: approx. 8 Hours 30 Minutes. Makes 4 servings. Submitted by Adrienne Lapp

1 small sweet onion, sliced
8 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces

Directions
1 Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a small bowl mix the
onion, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar, and pour over the
chicken. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.

Adobo Chicken With Ginger

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Favorites,Main dishes — me @ 5:50 pm

Peter really liked this. I need to remember to make it more often.

From allrecipes.com.

This is considered the Philippine national dish. The
combination of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and peppercorns
is delicious and actually preserves the chicken! Great
for picnics. My mother taught me how to cook this, using
her variation from the original recipe. A delicious, cheap
and easy dish! Serve it hot with hot steamed Jasmine rice.

Prep Time: approx. 20 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 40 Minutes. Ready in: approx. 1 Hour. Makes 6 servings. Submitted by Liza Cranis

1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 bulb garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh ginger root
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns

Directions
1 Combine the chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic,
ginger, bay leaves and peppercorns in a Dutch oven. Bring to a
boil over medium heat. Once it boils, reduce heat to a
simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes, basting the
chicken occasionally. After 30 minutes, remove lid and cook
until liquid has reduced to half.
2 Remove chicken from the pot to a serving plate. Strain
the liquid from the pot to remove all the food particles,
and set aside. Serve chicken hot over steamed rice and
drizzle with reserved sauce.

June 23, 2005

Banana Cupcakes/Muffins

Theodore really likes these made with beets, because they turn the tops purple (they don’t affect the rest of the muffin). We very specifically don’t tell him what’s in them, though; that would be a big mistake that would lead to him not eating any more. He’s THAT convinced that he doesn’t like anything healthy, you see. :)

Banana cupcakes (from Kathy, at YAAPS)

makes 12

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup grated *something* – apple, zucchini, sweet potato, pear, carrot all work
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (regular WW is fine, but they will be more dense)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°. Either grease cupcake tins or use liners.

Mix sugar, oil, bananas, grated something and eggs together until smooth. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add to wet ingredients. Stir until just mixed together. Spoon into cupcake tin, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool, then enjoy

Rigatoni Caprese

From Cooking Light by way of YAAPS, quite tasty.

Original poster’s comments: I used mini penne, fresh mozzarella is a must (the hard dry block just won’t cut it, you need the moz. packed in water, I diced up half a container of wet moz), and I used freshly grated Romano cheese. Oh, and I added Lawry’s seasoned salt instead of table salt. It was SO good, and made a huge honking bowl of pasta. It points out to 8 points per serving but that’s for two cups of pasta, a nice big bowl. Now I just have to keep out of it!

Rigatoni Caprese

6 cups hot cooked rigatoni, penne, or ziti (about 3/4 pound uncooked pasta)
4 cups chopped plum tomato (about 2-1/2 pounds)
1-1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup (4 ounces) diced fresh mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup (1-1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine oil, capers, salt, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Pour over pasta mixture; toss gently. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; toss well.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:
calories: 390 carbohydrates: 54 g cholesterol: 25 mg fat: 12.5 g sodium: 553 mg protein: 16 g calcium: 233 mg iron: 3 mg fiber: 4.5 g

YIELD:
5 servings (serving size: 2 cups)
From Cooking Light

My comments
: Really tasty, good potluck dish. We usually put extra tomatoes and capers in it, but that’s mostly beause we’re weird. It really benefits from a mix of fresh, tasty tomatoes — excellent summer dish!

June 21, 2005

Rustic Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

This is a recipe we’ve made since it was originally published in Sunset, in 2001. It’s an excellent summery rustic pie, very pretty and so tasty. We highly recommend it.

About 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
About 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter or margarine
2 cups sliced strawberries (1/2 in. thick)
2 cups sliced rhubarb (1/2 in. thick; about 2/3 lb.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1. In a food processor or a bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Cut all but 2 teaspoons butter into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Whirl or rub in with your fingers until fine crumbs form. Add 1/4 cup water; whirl or stir with a fork just until dough holds together. Pat into a smooth 5-inch round. Wrap airtight and freeze until slightly firm, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, gently mix strawberries, rhubarb, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and cardamom.

3. On a lightly floured board, roll dough into a 14-inch round. Slide onto a 14- by 17-inch baking sheet; if dough tears, press back together.

4. Stir berry mixture; spoon evenly onto pastry, leaving a 3-inch border. Fold dough border over edges of fruit, tucking to incorporate excess pastry.

5. Melt remaining 2 teaspoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven at full power (100%), about 15 seconds. Brush pastry rim with butter and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.

6. Bake in a 375° regular or 350° convection oven until pastry is browned and fruit bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes.

7. Let cool at least 30 minutes. Slide a long metal spatula under pastry to release. Slide pie onto a platter. Serve warm or cool. Cut into wedges.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

CALORIES 302(42% from fat); FAT 14g (sat 8.8g); PROTEIN 3.5g; CHOLESTEROL 38mg; SODIUM 202mg; FIBER 1.6g; CARBOHYDRATE 40g
Sunset, MAY 2001

June 19, 2005

What a day, what a day, what a day, what a mighty fine day!

Filed under: Life's Randomness — me @ 10:02 pm

This was an amazing birthday, probably the best and most exciting I’ve had since I was … 21? No, 21 was pretty pathetic. (Picture me out bar-hopping with my mom and stepdad. Picture me, a loseWeight Exerciser.) Maybe the best birthday ever. And here I’d worried that it would suck, particularly since it was shared with Father’s Day, so Peter and I would be competing for holiday importance. :)

So. It was Father’s Day first, until about noon. :) I made buttermilk pancakes for breakfast, we gave Peter gifts (a book of the secrets a good dad knows — how to whistle with a blade of grass, how to photograph lightning, etc; salt-dough handprints from each boy; the Play With Your Pumpkins book; and lots of hugs and kisses), we sang the Happy Father’s Day song (which is remarkably like the Happy Birthday song, surprisingly enough). (I have to interject here that the boys cuddled up to their papa this morning and told him Happy Father’s Day, and then they all three, all cuddled up, sang Happy Birthday to me. It was so sweet!)

Then Mom and Willie showed up, around 11:30; Mom took the boys upstairs to draw pictures on t-shirts for Willie and Peter. We gave them the shirts, and gave Willie his star pillow with the boys’ handprints embroidered on it. Neil made “pink dip” (raspberries, sugar, cream cheese, yogurt and lemon juice), served with fruit (and LOTS of cherries, which Neil and I both absolutely love and everybody else just kinda likes a bunch but they’re not fanatical about), and I made a mint lemonade that was scrumptious (a can of lemonade concentrate blended with a lot of mint; pour a bit in the bottom of a cup, add icecubes and sparkling water, stir). About then Lan showed up with my CATERED VIETNAMESE LUNCH. Oh my goodness I have missed her food so much since she closed the restaurant … organic Vietnamese food, so full of such intensely wonderful flavors, beautifully presented, and just … there are no words for the ambrosia that is her cooking! The menu: chicken wontondumplingthings, this wacky-sounding but absolutely amazing chicken tapioca mungbean cilantro soup, rice noodles with vegetables, a boring-looking but amazing-tasting chicken sausage, lemongrass chicken, noodle and vegetable salad with shrimpchips, and the most intense, incredible spiced shrimp served with greenbeans. It was fucking amazing. If that had been all that happened for my birthday I would have still thought it was an excellent day. Marguerite showed up just in time for lunch and we all sat there stuffing our faces and exclaiming about what a treat this was. And we found out that Lan’s going to be cooking lunches in town some days, so we might actually get to eat her food more often than once a year. So exciting!

We made cookies for dessert, which people used with icecream to make ice cream sandwiches. Chocolate chip cookies were generally eaten with mint fudge ice cream; oatmeal raisin cookies paired with vanilla or cherry-vanilla. A bit unorthodox, but much better than most birthday cakes. Around that time Marguerite had to leave, to go to work, so I got to open presents. She gave us (since she’d missed Peter’s birthday earlier) a beautiful pot made in the Santo Domingo pueblo, along with information about how it was made (an amazing story), and also a book for me. The boys gave me fabric-wrapped sticks with pompoms on them (courtesy of the children’s museum) and framed pictures (courtesy of Mom); Neil’s picture was a mat-man juxtaposed against a picture of me standing with Grandpa Bud admiring a painting he was pretending I did. :) Winnie gave me a necklace she had made for Wilma years ago, and Willie gave me a gavel his great-grandmother used to maintain order in the general store she ran in the post-Civil-War era. In addition to the amazing lunch, Peter also gave me a really cool, intricate necklace our friend Ollie made (a silver chain with bells on it!), a certificate for an entire day off, an autographed cookbook, and this domain name. My Grandma Rachel found me a used cast-iron dutch oven (it sounds weird, but it’s what I wanted), my friends Deb and Cheryl theoretically are ordering me something, my friend Kristine claims she’s making me something (in the middle of moving both her home and her office, Dad and Darcy ordered Ottobre for me and theoretically something else as well (which they ordered last Monday for two-day shipping but it hasn’t made its way out here yet) … it’s such an amazing plethora of riches, I hardly know what to do. I guess I’ll just have to enjoy it, poor me! :)

So now the kids are asleep, the toothfairy’s come, I’ve talked to people, I’m posting in my new blog … it was just a wonderful day, and I’m so grateful to have experienced it!

Happy Birthday, Tara!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:27 pm

You only turn 33 once, as they say. Or at least that’s what they say they say. Make the most of it!

-Your Honey.