Saturday, February 2, 2008

Boiled Cookies

I have officially renamed "no-bakes" as "boiled cookies"..........true, you don't bake them but you DO boil the mixture. I think they should aptly be named "BOILED COOKIES". Anyway, no-bakes are one of those cookies that you make and then you start picking at them as they start to harden (at least I do). Right after you finish dropping all of them you go back to the first one you dropped and then you run your index finger through it and pick up the gloopy mess and have your first taste and then you finish running your finger through it until the parchment paper is clean in that spot. You then start to clean up your mess and then GO BACK to the cookies (the 2nd one you dropped onto the paper) and you check that to see how hardened it is......still a little gloopy but you then pick it up in gloopy pieces with your index finger and thumb, finishing it off of course. You then proceed to put one of your kids to bed (takes about 15 minutes) come back down and see they are pretty hard so since you have already had 2, you decide to pick out a small one toward the middle on the peels right off the paper but is not super hard (this is my favorite time, when they are hard but they are still really smoooooth). You proceed to eat that one and then walk away and sweep the floor, clean out the cat box etc. You go back and decide that one more SMALL one won't kill find another small one on the bottom row toward the peels off purrrrfectly and you eat that one also. You then proceed to move all the cookies upward filling in where you took cookies so it doesn't look as though you actually ate 4 cookies. You go and fold some laundry........thinking to yourself.....eeeck, I don't feel so good, I am full, BLAH and you walk back realizing you just ate 4 NO BAKES, you SHOULD be sick and ashamed. No bakes are always one of those cookies that you end up saying to yourself later on in the day.........sheeeesh, I shouldn't have eaten that last no bake.

Anyway, my recipe for no-bakes differs a little bit from the average recipe that is why I am renaming them boiled cookies. The espresso powder gives the cocoa powder a deeper flavor and the mexican vanilla is great to use with anything chocolate. The old fashioned oats instead of instant oats give the cookie a bit of a chewier texture instead of the eventual crumbly texture of the original no bake.....they don't get as dried out.

2 cups white granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Scharffenberger)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk (full fat)
1 pinch salt
1 tsp of espresso powder or instant coffee
3 cups old fashioned oats (not instant)
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon mexican vanilla extract (neilsen massey)

In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, butter, milk, espresso powder and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute.

Add old fashioned oats, cruncy peanut butter, and mexican vanilla; mix well.

Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Yet Another One Of My Favorite Things

I was never much of a chip person....I have really discovered some yummy chips in the last couple of years. I LOVE Kettle Chips and also Terra Kettles. I would say these run on the more artisinal side/gourmet side. You can find them in most stores. They have no trans fats, no msg and no artificial whatchamacallits. The Sea Salt & Vinegar Kettle's are my favorites.....they are dipped in the sea and brushed with vinegar. My favorite kettles are the sea salt krinkle cut blend of white, russet and sweet potato. These hit the spot when you have a panini and a baby italian salad. I don't eat chips often but I do always have these in the house. Just another one of my favorite things.

Who Doesn't Like Cinnamon Bread????

Desperation 101

I am one of THOSE people who HAS to have something sweet EVERYDAY......EVERYDAY---no exceptions. Even if it is just a taste of something.....mind you, if I don't get something sweeeet I will turn into a head-shaving umbrella beating maniac (you know who I am talking about). I don't keep many prepared sweet things in my house....prepackaged cookies etc. I usually have something made, whether it be cookies or brownies or SOMETHING. Yesterday I had nothing. So then improvising must take place. What does any food addict do when faced with this dilemma??? Instead of cowering in the pantry in the fetal position, you reach for a bag of Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet chocolate chips and you dip them in Jif Peanut Butter (reduced fat of course)!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


McAlisters Tea is addictive. This is affectionately known as "crack" in our house. You can't live w/out this stuff once you have tried it. Lucky for us you can buy it by the gallon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blueberries and Bowel Movements

One interesting side tip.............I LOVE BLUEBERRIES. They have to hands down be my favorite fruit. Unfortunately most of the year they taste like crap. My grandmother used to have a blueberry bush right outside her back door and I always remember it being covered in a net to keep the birds away. Aside from them tasting like doo doo most of the year they are also very expensive. It really irks me when I buy a pint of berries at the store for $2.99 or $3.99 and even $4.99 and you get them home and they are tasteless. I like my berries firm and with some bite to them. Frozen fruit does nothing for me. Anyway, on Friday I went to fresh market and they had pints of berries for 99 cents from somewhere like Peru or Zimbabwe or something, I can't remember. I thought to myself "SELF, for 99 cents it is worth the try". I got them home and was pleasantly surprised they were great. I wished I would have bought more. So like any food addict does when they get a hold of a prized possession they don't share their find and they consume the whole pint of berries for lunch for themselves. The added bonus was......the next day when I dropped the kids off at the pool (as my husband says) smelled as though I was frolicking through a blueberry patch on a late summer morning!!!!! AMEN FOR BLUEBERRIES!!!!! Everyone should eat them!!!!

Just One of the Amazing Things I Like About My Kitchen

This is one of the coolest things in my kitchen. I LOVE IT!! I always seem to take crooked pictures.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wine, Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar and Soup.....Things That Age Well

I have always been under the belief that MOST soup tastes better the next, not the dogfood you get out of the can but the REAL DEAL. Soup you make from scratch. I wonder why they call it "from scratch" when you make something homemade?? I always thought you scratch an can also itch something you scratch a mosquito bite or do you itch it?? Personally, I itch it....but I have also scratched it in the past. I digress. I decided to make a vegetarian vegetable soup today for I made it Sunday to eat on Monday. I just think it tastes better after it has sat in the fridge overnight and the flavors have had a chance to meld. What the hell is meld anyway??? That is a big FoodTV term........

Meld: To merge or blend two things into one

Well I melded many things......not just two into I wonder if it IS still meld?? I basically took 8 c. water, 1 28oz dice tomatoes and juice, 2 T tomato paste in a tube, 1 can drained cannellini beans, 1 1/2 cups diced potato, 1 c. shredded carrot, 4 celery stalks, 2 small zuchini and 1/2 head of chopped cabbage, 1 c. frozen corn, some dried basil and oregano and minced onion and 1 leftover rind of Parmigiano Reggiano and simmer for about 1 hour.

Saturday night we were going to do our usual pizza on the BGE but I got engrossed in something and forgot to take out my resting dough to rise. So, I improvised. We had quesadillas again due to leftover sundried tomato tortillas. So instead of Philly Steak Pizza's we had Philly Steak Quesadillas. I had grilled up some peppercorn & seasalt crusted petit beef tenderloin tournedos from Kansas City Steaks, hence the steak part, then I sauteed up some green and red pepper, baby bella's and some sweet onion and they layered that on the buttered tortilla and topped off with some lowfat mozzarella and a slice of provolone and then grilled it on the BGE.

Friday we had a small ice storm here so I had made Baked Potato Soup in sourdough bread bowls along with baby romaine salad and cowboy cookies.

I have honey wheat dough rising for tomorrow and I am going to make some cinnamon bread w/my favorite schmear and then the vegetable soup.

I am also patiently awaiting a package from King Arthur Flour AND Crate and Barrel....will post more when they show up.........hopefully tomorrow, Monday.

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