Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dorie Greenspan's Peanut Butter Cookies (2009.34b)

This week I have made two new recipes - to try to keep getting through all my cookbooks at least once in 2009. Dorie Greenspan is all things baking right now. So - her baking cookbook has some fabulous desserts in it.
Friends of mine recently had a baby so I made them Peanut Butter cookies. Took one of the variations and made one small change - they turned out great! Crispy on the outside and perfectly chewy on the inside. Chunks of peanuts and chocolate inside made them extra special.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped milk chocolate
Raw sugar

Stir dry ingredients. Cream butter and peanut butter. Add sugar. Then eggs one at a time. Combine with dry ingredients. Fold in peanuts and chocolate.
Bake on lightly greased cookie sheets, roll cookies in raw sugar, press down with fingers or fork.
Bake for 12 minutes, cool on rack.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Menu Week: August 31

Wow - the summer is gone. In a way I'm sad because I love summer fruits and my freezer is only so big. But, i am very glad because this week I break in apples, soups, etc to my menu planning! Fall definitely has the best food of any season!
Things I'm making this week:
Fried Okra
Okra and Tomatoes
Roasted Okra
Apple and Bacon Pancakes
Ravioli and Vegetable Soup
Boiled chicken
Roasted garlic hummus
Whole Wheat Pitas
Toffee Studded Snickerdoodle (recipe of the week for Sojourn's member meeting on Wednesday)

Things I'm finishing up this week:
Black beans and rice
Fricase Chicken
Mexibean bake
Summer Vegetable Crockpot soup

Going to Wild Eggs on Monday. Will have to figure out something fun to eat while I listen to the first Gator game of the season on Saturday.
Busy week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Raisin Nut Scones (2009.34)

We are slowly getting through the year. Pretty soon I'm going to have to start doubling up on cookbooks for the week of new recipes because i'll run out of year before I run out of cookbooks.
This cookbook, the Pleasures of Tea, I received as a gift from a co-worker of mine (who also liked tea) when I left Duke back in Feb 2007. Frankie was fun to work with, even though quiet. We had some good chats in the office in Erwin Plaza. Thanks Frankie. I will enjoy continuing to read this cookbook and learn more about tea and scones - and trying new recipes later!

Raisin and Nut Scones
2 cups flour
1/4 c sugar
4 t baking powder
5 T unsalted cold chopped butter
1/4 cup skim milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/4 cup dark raisins (I soaked mine for 20 minutes in apple juice)

Mix dry, cut in butter to form coarse meal looking mixture. Make a well in the middle. Add in milk and eggs (after mixing those together). Fold in nuts and raisins (drain off liquid if you soak them before you add them in). Stir together.
Place on greased cookie sheet (drop by spoonfuls like I do, use a scone pan, or cut out like biscuits). Let dough set for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 and cook for 15 minutes.
Cool on rack

I liked these. They weren't overly sweet, but I liked both texture and taste. They are 150 cal, 7 fat, 1 fiber. Not bad for you. I like soaking raisins so they don't leave your finished product dry (because raisins can suck the moisture out of your baking project). And the tie in with apples was a good one - I didn't have grape juice which would have been better.

Summer Vegetable Crockpot Soup

It is no secret that i love soup! But, summer isn't the most popular time for soups because most people don't want to eat something hot when its above 90 outside. Well, this crockpot soup is a good bridge recipe. What do I mean? It is using summer vegetables and it is a soup - so it is a good bridge from Summer to Fall. In the Fall I probably eat soup once a day (or chicken salad). So, I thought I'd start off the last full week of August by making a soup - and Kroger had homegrown local zuks and squashes on sale.

Summer Vegetable Soup
4 zuks - sliced
2 squash - sliced
1 yellow onion - sliced
16-24 oz petite diced tomatoes (depending on how soupy you like your soup
1/3 cup dry white beans
1 cup water
1 cup spaghetti sauce (I used homemade roasted red pepper and tomato sauce)
32 oz chicken or veggie broth (i used chicken)
1 T italian seasoning (I used a tuscany blend I had)
1/2 cup small pasta (last 20 minutes of cooking, stir in)

Cook on low about 9.5 hours. Enjoy with some bread and a salad.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Menu Week: August 24

This week is not a pay day so it won't have a lot of interesting things in it. Some of the things were from the family reunion this wknd - very grateful, even if I did gain over the wknd! That coconut cake was well worth it (and some hummingbird cake - both shared with my mom) and a bite of my Dad's key lime cake which was so pretty and moist! I come from two sides of families that can cook!
So, here's what is on tap for this week:
Okra and tomatoes, mexibean bake, salad with egg white omelettes, leftover Havana Rumba (fricase chicken and black beans and rice), Publix breakfast bread for breakfast some mornings, or Honey bunches of Oats (4 boxes this wknd from Publix sales). yummy stuff.
Recipe of the week will be Raisin and Nut Scones from The Treasure of Tea which was a going away present from a co-worker at Duke back in 2007.
Had Wild Eggs this morning, will finish up my week by breakfast out this wknd then dinner with the Weldys on Saturday (always yummy food).

Oats Week Challenge

Well, yesterday I finished up a week of eating oats for the Nourishing Gourmet's challenge. She posted it to save money, and eat healthy. Good option for both!
Here is how I served up my oats each morning for breakfast: (basic was 1/2 cup rolled oats with 3/4 cup of water cooked for 1.40 min in the microwave, except for the one eaten at a restaurant)
Monday - fresh (frozen) Huber's blueberries I picked in July, splash of milk, 10 mini meringues from Trader Joes.
Tuesday - 1/2 pear, chopped walnuts, milk, meringues
Wednesday - 2 T Rachel's blueberry pomegranite yogurt, blueberries, meringues
Thursday - blueberries, dried strawberries, meringues, milk
Friday - 1/2 c diced mangos, meringues, cinnamon, milk
Saturday - Cracker Barrel - fried apples.
Sunday - my fave of the whole week - sliced banana, 1 T homemade strawberry jam, splash of milk - so yummy!
So, yes it was cheap. Definitely better on a cool morning. Healthy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Martha Stewart's Turtle Brownies (2009.33)

Martha Stewart brought you this week's recipe. I made her Turtle Brownies out of the Cookies book that bears her name. The brownie part was good and easy and dense (with not much flour) but the caramel making part was not as easy as she said it was (took much longer and it still wasn't medium amber), so I gave up because I had other things to do. So, I still did the sauce and added the pecans, then let them set up, and turned the whole thing into a trifle - which was very yummy!

1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/c cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup milk (or heavy cream)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Melt butter and chocolate. Cream eggs and sugar about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture, add vanilla and milk. Add in dry ingredients. Bake in a parchment sprayed lined 8x8 pan at 325 for 27 minutes (25-30 depending on oven).

Bring sugar and water to a boil, swirl around for 5-7 minutes (or 25) till medium amber. Take off stove and immediately add the rest of the ingredients.

Pour over cool brownies and let chil for 30 min to an hour till set. Cut and serve.

I made a trifle using light cool whip and chocolate pudding. Very rich and chocolaty - yum!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Week: August 17

This is a leftover/quick week. Looking forward to it. One thing that will be different is I am doing an Oats challenge by the Nourishing Gourmet - eating oats everyday for a week. So, check back next week for all the exciting ways I'm eating oatmeal for breakfast.

Monday: oats, cafeteria at work, leftover steak from Ruby Tuesdays with homegrown tomato and house roll from Fosters
Tuesday: spinach lasagna from Trader Joes and veggies, oats, and steak sandwich on roll like Monday.
Wednesday: Cookies from Martha Stewart for recipe of week. Oats, spinach lasagna, and egg white omelette for dinner.
Thursday: oats, pbj for lunch, veggies for dinner with some chicken.
Friday: oats, lunch with friends from Durham, pbj for dinner on road to AL.
Saturday: oats, home cooking from my aunt
Sunday: oats, mexibean bake and hummingbird cupcakes with orange marmalade frosting for family reunion.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Melting Moments (2009.32)

These cookies definitely sound better than they taste. Don't get me wrong, they aren't bad. I just think of cookies as being sweet in some way. These are more of a shortbread cookie, with a slight sweetness and bit of crunch in their coating. Would I make them again, probably not. Am I going to share them, yeah - just to have something in the office. Would I use them at a cookie swap and mark it as my favorite cookie - nope. But, that's what this year is getting me - new recipes, some I will keep some I won't. This is from a tall cookbook called Cookies.

About 30 cookies (using small cookie scoop)

3 T butter, softened
5 T shortening
1/2 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup self-rising flour
rolled oats (to roll cookies in, about 1/3 cup)
5 candied cherries (the kind you use at Christmas time), chopped in quarters

Cream butter, shortening, and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Combine with flour. Roll in oats. Top with candied cherry piece.
Sprayed pan, 350, 15 minutes or less depending on size of cookies. Don't overbake.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Menu Week: August 10

This will be a light week because of spending money - I have none to spend.
Monday - lunch at school - new people running the cafeteria. We can eat for 3$.
Tuesday - black bean cakes and some whole wheat pasta
Wednesday - chikfila sandwich and some yogurt
Thursday - egg white omelettes, veggies,
Friday - chikfila sandwich (this is all we seem to serve at SBTS for busy weeks)
Recipe of the week is Melting Moments - a soft oat-y cookie that I have all the ingredients to make. I'll make them for the new school's placement exams.
This coming wknd I'll be in Cinci for a race and a Red's game. Will be going to 5 Guys (pre-race) and Trader Joes on Sunday night. Looking forward to time away!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins (2009.31)

It seems like all I blog about these days are blueberries. Well, not much longer. Pretty soon all I'll be plugging about is fall squashes and apples. So, enjoy them while they are here.
I finally used my cookbook 5 a Day Fruit and Vegetable Cookbook. I do like all the information they give about the fruits and veggies, but many of the recipes aren't really "healthy". These muffins aren't as bad as some other recipes in the book. These have 230 calories, 9 fat, and 1 fiber. The taste and look was very "bakery" looking. Light colored muffins because I didn't add any whole wheat flour. I told my Mom they tasted like sugar cookie muffins with blueberries. yum!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 T baking powder
6 T sugar
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 t vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (don't thaw the frozen)
2 T raw sugar

Mix the dry, fold in the wet. Fold in the blueberries. Don't overmix, batter will be lumpy. Fill greased muffins tins. Bake at 400 for 22-25 minutes. Don't overbake these.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Foster's Corn Pudding

I just ran out of time yesterday and didn't have time to make the roasted red pepper sauce to go with this, but it was still good. Mine may have been a little dry, but it tasted good. I cooked mine for 55 minutes and probably could have done with about 53 or so... It looks pretty (thanks Laura for the pix).

3 ears of corn, shucked
2 green onions, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped and seeded
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 T yellow cornmeal
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup milk
5 eggs
6 oz shredded 2% SHARP cheddar cheese
350. 9x13 sprayed pan. Mix the milk, eggs, and cheese together. Add to everything else. Bake for 55 minutes or until lightly browned and springs back.
Let rest for about 10 minutes and then cut into squares or however you want to serve it.
Thanks for another good recipe Sarah.

Taste of Cleveland and Chattanooga: Rembrandts, Jenkins, and Perkits

I had a great mini-vacation last weekend. I went to a growing-favorite place of mine, E. TN. I hit Murfreesboro for hangout time with my friend. Friday, I started out the rainy day real early in Chattanooga at Rembrandts - a little artsy coffee shop. All of their food looked amazing! I got a meringue twist with dark chocolate.
Then I made my way to Cleveland, TN to hang out with another friend from high school. She took me to this really old local deli and restaurant. Great decor, cheap food, "where everybody knows your name". What more could you want - and it was really tasty. We got the frickled pickles to start - yummy tang of the vinegar-y pickles fried, dipped in ranch dressing. Then I got the blackened catfish sandwich with broccoli. Yum! Great fish, moist, and the blackened seasoning was just enough!
Then we went to Perkits - a local place like TCBY. It was packed out for a Friday night. We took ours to go as we walked the Greenway. I got the ff vanilla softserve with fresh blackberries. Yum!
I love local food when going to cities.

Foster's Pulled NC Turkey BBQ

I loved this recipe - much more so than I thought I would. The turkey was very moist - and the spice level on the meat itself was perfect (the sauce though is a tad warm, so be prepared). This has lots of ingredients - but I had most of it on hand (another good reason for a well-stocked cupboard). Yummy. this isn't the best picture of it, but it was very good - with some KFC copycat coleslaw, free Panera bread (maybe not what I would have chosen, but free, so that is all that matters), and some Foster's Corn Pudding. Perfect meal for our non-progressive progressive dinner - summer style.

5 lb turkey breast
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 T red pepper flakes
1 T ground black pepper

28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup coffee
juice of 1 orange
2 T fresh peeled and zested ginger
juice of 2 lemons
1 T dry mustard
1 T black pepper
1 T red pepper flakes

Turn oven on to 300. Put turkey in 9x13 pan. Pour juice over. Cover. Bake for 3-3 1/2 hours until done, basting with marinade about every 30 minutes.
Discard marinade. Pull apart with fork. Mix in 2 cups sauce. Serve with rest of sauce.

Sauce: Mix all together in a big pot. Let boil, turn down to simmer for about 45 minutes until reduced some.
Sauce will stay good in fridge for about a week. SO YUMMY! Since when have I gone for vinegar bbq? :)

Overnight Oatmeal Muffins (2009.30)

This was definitely not a winner. They weren't moist, not much flavor. So, won't be making these again - out of the Cooking Light 2003 Cookbook. Even though they only had 2 points.

1 cup regular oats
2 cups buttermilk
1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 T canola oil
1 t baking powder AND baking soda AND salt
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup currants (its what I had)

Soak oats in buttermilk overnight, covered. 350 oven. Dry, then wet, then fold in currants. Bake in sprayed muffin tin for 15 minutes.
I cut the recipe in half and only made 12. I'm glad I didn't waste more ingredients than that!