Crispy Goodness!

Ok – anyone who knows me knows I never liked baking. To me it’s monotonous and boring.  However, over the last year, I find myself ok with it.  It’ not a “chore”, per say, anymore.  I’ve cookie1 been trying to scratch cook and bake more, knowing preservatives and processed foods are not good for you.  So if the family wants cookies, I have chosen to make them.

I have to say that these are bakery quality and quite delicious.  I did not put the sea salt on top not having any.  However, I did use a couple handfuls of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips which were a perfect addition.  This is definitely and do-over and it was very quick to make.

Enjoy!

 

Thin and Crisp Oatmeal Cookies with Sea Salt (adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon saltcookie2
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • Flaked Sea Salt to sprinkle on top before baking (optional)
  • A couple handfuls of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, or raisins, or nuts (optional)

 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or use Silpat baking pads. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl.  Beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated and then add in your chocolate, nuts, raisins, etc. Give dough final stir with spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain.  Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, then roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart, 8 dough balls per sheet. Using fingertips, gently press ball to 3/4-inch thickness.  Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, edges are crisp, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely on sheet.

Just like dat…

I don’t have much to say here except YUM!  I tried this recipe from Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman on Food Network) and it is absolutely fabulous.  I have an idea where the bacon fat goes, but I pretend it just diappears.  Enjoy my friends!

Holiday Bacon Appetizers

2012 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reservedparm bites

Prep Time:  20 min
Cook Time:  2 hr 0 min
Level:  Easy
Serves:  36 crackers

Ingredients

  • 1 sleeve country club-style crackers
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound thinly sliced bacon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Lay the crackers face up on a large rack over a baking sheet (or broiler pan). Scoop about 1 teaspoon of the grated Parmesan onto each cracker. Cut the package of bacon in half (or cut pieces individually) and carefully, so the cheese doesn’t fall off, wrap each cheese covered cracker with one half piece of bacon, completely covering the cracker. It should fit snugly around the cracker, but not be pulled too taut. Place the bacon-wrapped crackers onto the rack. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 2 hours. Serve immediately or at room temperature!

Notes

Cook’s Note: Can also use brown sugar or blue cheese instead of Parmesan!

A Cure for PMS?!

PMS BarkOk, maybe not a cure, but it sure helps!  My daughter is submitting this recipe for me to post.  She made this “PMS Bark” this weekend and you wouldn’t know it, but it is easy and wonderful.  The adult version is to be served w/ a glass of red vino.

PMS Bark

Preheat oven to 350°

What you’ll need:

Saltine crackers

½ stick butter

Enough sugar to make a paste with the melted butter

Chocolate chips

Wax paper

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Place a dozen or so saltines on the cookie sheet.  Melt the butter in the pan on the stovetop.  Add in sugar until it forms a paste.  Spread this paste on the saltines.   Place the sheet of saltines in the pre-heated oven just until the butter/sugar mixture starts to bubble up.  Remove cookie sheet and spread chocolate chips on the saltines.  Once they start to melt then spread evenly or chaotically over the saltine depending on how fast you need these.  Place saltines in freezer to harden.  Once hardened, put in a Ziploc and store in a cool place.  Consume as needed. Butter, salt, sweet and chocolate – what could be better?! Enjoy!

Giddy Up! Cowboy Caviar

What is it? A mixture of marinated beans and veggies. What do you do with it? Eat it with tortilla chips. Is it good? Heck ya! And the beauty of it is you can change it up as you please – no rules to follow experimenting with this delectable delight!

I have a locally owned market in my town that makes cowboy caviar with a bare basic recipe. I like that. I’m not one for overpowering things with 50 spices and additional flavors. I’m a purist when it comes to food. I want to be able to identify what I’m eating so if I like it – I can recreate it at home. And, yeppers, I was able to recreate the market’s recipe and whipped up a batch this past weekend.

This is a very mellow, but flavorful recipe. I think if I wanted to add a kick, it would be a finely minced Serrano chili. It would blend nicely with the sweetness of the marinade. But go and add what you like – I’ve seen tomatoes, avocado, black beans and red onion used in it. Chili powder, red chili flakes and cumin can be added if you want a more southwest flare. This is best if marinated several hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Cowboy Caviar – My Style

Marinade

½ cup light extra virgin olive oil

½ cup rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup white sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Caviar Mix

1 15 oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 oz. can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 4 oz. can of fire roasted green chilis drained

3-4 inner stalks of celery, finely chopped

1 bunch of green onions white and some of the green parts, thinly sliced

1 ½ cups of frozen shoepeg corn, thawed (if you can’t find shoepeg corn, use niblets or white corn)

½ sweet orange or red bell pepper, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

OPTIONAL – 1 small Serrano chili, finely minced

OPTIONAL – Chopped cilantro

.

Add all marinade ingredients to a pot and bring to a low simmer on your stove, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool.

Mix all other ingredients together except for cilantro. Pour cooled marinade over the mixture. Store in Tupperware-esque container and refrigerate overnight; periodically mixing throughout the day.

To serve, first taste and add salt if needed. Then use slotted spoon to put into serving dish, top with cilantro and serve with Tostitos Scoops® or regular tortilla chips. Warning: This can be addicting. Consume responsibly.

Meet Me in St. Louie…For Some Toasted Ravioli

I recently returned from a trip I took to St. Louis, MO.  I actually went down there to tour wineries; but during my visit, I learned that Toasted Ravioli was invented there the 1940s.  Some say  the dish was invented in 1943 at Oldani’s on “The Hill” by chef Terry Lane. Others claim that toasted ravioli was first cooked up in 1947 by a chef at Angelo’s when he accidentally dropped ravioli into a tray of bread crumbs, then decided to fry it up.  However and whoever invented doesn’t matter.  What matters is, it’s good eatin and easy to make!

Toasted Ravioli

2 tbsp. milk

1 egg

3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

1/2 (25 oz.) package frozen cheese ravioli, thawed

vegetable oil for frying

grated Parmesan cheese

1 (16 oz.) jar spaghetti/marinara sauce – heated

Combine milk and egg in a small bowl. Place breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and salt in a shallow dish. Dip ravioli in milk mixture and then dredge in breadcrumbs.

In a large heavy pan, pour oil to depth of 2 inches. Heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 350-degrees. Fry a few ravioli few at a time making sure not to crowd the pan. This will lower the oil temperature. Fry 1 minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately with hot marinara sauce.

Enjoy!!