Jun 5, 2016

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like chocolate cookies, you'll like these. Another great recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (6.25 ounces) all-­purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (3.5 ounces) old­ fashioned oats
1 cup (3.5 ounces) quick oats
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets (11 x 17 ­inches or so) with
parchment paper. In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and
fluffy, 1 to ­2 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until creamy and light in color, 2­ to 3
minutes. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking
soda, salt, and both kinds of oats. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until a few dry streaks remain. Add the chocolate chips and mix until everything is just combined. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoon-­sized scoops about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to ­11 minutes until the edges are just set but the middles are still soft. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Note: When I baked the first batch of these cookies, they weren't as flat as I liked, so after dropping the dough on the cookie sheet, I flattened each ball using the bottom of a glass cup. The shape was much nicer that way.

May 25, 2016

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce

My kind of recipe. The New York Times has this to say about it: "This is perhaps the most famous recipe created by Marcella Hazan, the cookbook author who changed how Americans cook Italian food. It also may be her easiest. Use your favorite canned tomatoes for this and don’t be scared off by the butter. It gives the sauce an unparalleled velvety richness."

2 cups tomatoes, in addition to their juices (for example, a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes)
5 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and cut in half

Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.
Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta. This recipe makes enough sauce for a pound of pasta.

Apr 17, 2016

Ham and Swiss Sliders

These yummy sliders would work well as an appetizer, a snack, or a main dish. Very easy to whip these up for a Super Bowl party or a quick meal. This dish is adapted slightly from a recipe found here.

1/2 cup melted butter (the original recipe called for 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar (I used a little more sugar because I wasn't using King's Hawaiian rolls.)
1 tablesppon poppy seeds
2 teaspoon dried minced onion
12 King's Hawaiian dinner rolls (I used regular Parkerhouse rolls from a local bakery.)
9 ounces thin sliced deli ham
8 ounces thin sliced Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Combine butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, poppy seeds, and dried onion. Slice the rolls in half to make sandwiches. Remove tops and set aside. Place the bottom pieces into the prepared baking dish. Layer the ham onto the rolls. Top the ham with the Swiss cheese. Place the tops of the rolls onto the sandwiches. Brush or pour the liquid mixture evenly over the rolls. Bake 20 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly browned and cheese has melted. Separate into individual sandwiches to serve.

Apr 1, 2016

Honey Mustard Chicken

My Uncle Brent and Aunt Fae recommended this recipe from FoodieCrush. It's a keeper. I will definitely be making this again. Simple and flavorful. My kind of cooking. I did make some very minor adjustments to the recipe.

1/4 cup grainy mustard
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dried tarragon leaves (The recipe called for 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves; I used dried and half the amount.)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced finely (I used about a teaspoon of powdered ginger instead.)
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 10 or so)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim any excess fat or skin from the chicken thighs, rinse them with cold water and pat dry with paper towels, then set aside. Combine the grainy mustard, Dijon mustard, honey, soy sauce, tarragon and ginger in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat. Place the thighs and sauce in a roasting dish, spooning sauce over the thighs. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the thighs register 175 degrees and the juices run clear. Spoon sauce over the thighs and serve.

Mar 5, 2016

French Toast Casserole

I made this for a birthday brunch for my dad today and was thrilled with the result. Since I assembled the casserole the night before, all I needed to do was bake and serve it this morning. So I could spend the time relaxing with family. Anyway, I loved the texture, the sweet richness, and the ease of preparation. By the way, this casserole is plenty sweet without any syrup, but you could sprinkle with powdered sugar or use maple or buttermilk syrup (see recipe on this blog) if you prefer additional sweetness. This recipe is adapted from allrecipes.com.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 loaf crusty French bread, cut into bite-size pieces (the original recipe calls for an eight-ounce loaf, which seems way too small to me. I used nearly a full 32-ounce loaf and I thought that was perfect)
2 cups milk (I used half and half or light cream instead because it I had it on hand, and it added to the richness)
6 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cinnamon, or to taste
3 tablespoons brown sugar (this is at least double what the original recipe called for)

Spray a 9 x 12-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Stir 1 cup brown sugar and butter together in a saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves into butter, about 2 to 4 minutes. Pour into prepared baking dish and spread bread pieces over the top. Beat milk, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a bowl; pour milk mixture over bread into the baking dish and ensure all bread is absorbing liquid. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight. The next day, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from baking dish and sprinkle remaining brown sugar over the top of the bread mixture. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes.