Thursday, August 20, 2009

One for you, one dozen for me...

This is my all-time absolute, favorite cookie recipe, ever. I realize everyone has their own favorite but this one is mine. I usually heavily guard my top-secret, classified recipe, but for you two people that read this blog--the much coveted secret is finally being revealed. Shhhhhh!
(This recipe comes from Hershey's, with slight modifications.)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Heat oven to 350.
One of the most wonderful things about this recipe is that it only uses one bowl, yippee!
I use my Kitchen-Aid, of course, but you can use a big bowl and a mixer.
Chop 1/2 cup nuts (1 cup if you are really nutty) and set aside. Please don't tell me you are one of those people who don't like nuts!
Cream together:
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and 14 tablespoons of softened butter
Then stir in:
  • 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 egg; mix until light and fluffy
Stir in:
  • 2 cups quick oats, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt*
*this is my modification, I add in 2 heaping tablespoons of ground flaxseed, you may also swap 1/2 a cup of regular flour for whole wheat flour without altering the taste
Stir in:
  • 1 cup semisweet* chocolate chips and the chopped walnuts, if desired
*sometimes I do half milk chocolate and half semisweet, it's like a party in my mouth
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.
Warning: You may be compelled to take a cookie every time you pass through the kitchen. (I justify this by telling myself that the walnuts, flaxseed and oats are doing damage control on the butter and sugar as I digest. You can come up with your own excuse or feel free to use mine.)
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Bananas beware!

If I see three bananas sitting on my counter not getting eaten, I secretly hope they don't get eaten so I can turn them into this luscious bread. Add in the fact that everyone in my family is crazy about this bread and--bananas, your counter-sitting days are numbered!
Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed banana, about 3 medium
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt ( I prefer Greek)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt, stirring with a whisk. Set aside. If desired, this is where I usually add in 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed.
  • Mash the bananas in another bowl. Set aside.
  • Place sugar and butter in a large bowl ( I use my Kitchen-Aid); beat until well blended-about a minute. Add banana, egg substitute and yogurt; beat until blended.
  • Add flour mixture; beat on low just until moist.
  • Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl and microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Cool slightly.
  • Add 1 cup of batter to the melted chocolate, stirring until combined.
  • Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters by running a knife lengthwise and then from side to side.
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Yield:16 slices

Tip: Don't cover the top of the bread, it will cause the delectable top crust to become soggy.

Guilty pleasure: Toast a slice of the bread and slather with peanut must try this, it is such a treat!

Sorry this is post is all centered...having technical difficulties!
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Monkeyin' around

Monkey Bread (Pull-aparts)
This photo looks like it was taken in 1978; however, in my defense, I made this at the cabin and the kitchen looks like it is from the 1970's as well as the plate it is sitting it all works.
This satisfies the kids (and Ryan's) requests for cinnamon rolls and it is way less effort.
  • Thaw 24 Rhodes white dinner rolls, this takes about an hour. Cut each roll in half.
  • In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup brown sugar with 3 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup chopped pecans, if desired.
  • In another bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter.

Spray a bundt cake pan with Pam. Dip the roll halves in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar and put in the bundt pan. Spray the tops of the rolls with Pam and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size (2-3 hours). Remove wrap and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Cover with foil the last 15 minutes of baking. Immediately after baking, loosen the edges with a knife and invert onto a plate.

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What a surprise to see a post about zucchini in August, I know. It's just that time of year. And it's pretty much the only thing actually producing in my garden, aside from my sweet peppers.
Here are just a few things I have done with my zucchini so far this season....the other things got eaten before I remembered to photograph them! Sorry if this feels a bit like Pvt. Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue...
Oh yeah, and the title comes from Kian...I say zucchini, he says new-kini.

Fried Zucchini

First, I cut the zucchini into quarters and halved lengthwise.

Then, I mixed up some regular breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and a smattering of Italian seasoning in a bowl.

Then I cracked and beat an egg in another bowl.

Next, I dipped each piece of zucchini in the egg and dredged through the breadcrumb mixture.

Sometimes I faux-fry these in the oven but since it was already too hot in the house I decided to do the real deal. I heated olive oil in a skillet. When it was good and hot I started adding pieces of zucchini and would turn them to let them brown on each side. Once out, I drained them on paper towels and then spooned more parmesan cheese over them. Now, I am not a huge fan of ranch dressing--but for some reason, these beg to be dipped in it.

These are almost as good as the ones on the pier from Riva in Santa Cruz. Almost.

BBQ'd Zucchini

So easy....Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4" thick pieces. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and sprinkle generously with Creole seasoning. Barbecue to your hearts content.

'Sauteed' Zucchini
This is the traditional method my Mom uses to make zucchini. I don't know who showed her this....maybe her Mom?
Slice up the zucchini into 1/8" thick slices. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and bit of butter in a pot. Add the zucchini and stir to coat pieces with oil. Let sit to saute and cook through. Stir every few minutes. It's okay to let the pieces on the bottom brown, in fact, a fight usually breaks out over who is taking all the "brown pieces".
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