Saturday, February 13, 2010

One of my favorites - Oatmeal Craisin Cookie With White Chocolate and Pecans

This recipe is really the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie from The Silver Palate Cookbook with a few adjustments. I've made it many times with different ingredients and the public has determined this is the best combination; I'd have to agree.

12 T Sweet Butter

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1 Egg

2T Water

1.5 t Vanilla

2/3 Cup Flour

1 t Cinnamon

1/2 t Salt

1/2 t Baking Soda

3 Cups Oats - Quick Cooking

1 Cup Craisins

1 Cup White chocolate chips

1 Cup Pecans, chopped

  1. Cream Butter and Sugar

  2. Add egg, mix

  3. Add water and vanilla, mix

  4. Mix Flour, Cinnamon, salt and baking soda well in a separate bowl

  5. Add flour mix to butter and mix well

  6. Add Oats, chocolate chips and craisins, nuts and mix by hand

  7. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes on parchment or buttered cookie sheet

  8. Wait a few minutes before moving off sheet to cool

Friday, February 12, 2010

Starve a Cold and Feed a Fever, But What About an Ankle Replacement?

Chicken Cacciatore

A good friend's dad had an ankle replacement, so of course I was compelled to cook. I don't know why I am the way I am but if someone is sick, has surgery or dies I feel a tug telling me to cook. Perhaps it is etiquette, maybe my mom instilled this behavior in me growing up or maybe its all I know to do. My friend has said on numerous occasions, "Food is Love" and I believe there is some truth to that. As a mother, when your child eats you feel good inside, when you entertain and people enjoy what you served it is selfishly rewarding. Perhaps I do it a means to an end. HHHmmmm, I'll have to ponder that one.

Anyhow..........this morning the thermometer read -4, chilly; so I'm thinking comfort food would be good. I've decided that Chicken Cacciatore with rice instead of pasta would be a comforting dish and I'll make it a little spicy to warm him up on the inside.

3 Large Peppers (I like to use assorted colors)

1 Whole Chicken or 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Flour, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Oregano

1 Egg


6 Garlic Cloves

1 good size onion

42 oz Whole Tomatoes

1/2 Lemon sliced paper thin

3 anchovy fillets

1 T capers

1 t red pepper flakes (use less if you do not like spicy)

1/2 bunch fresh basil

1 Cup white white (Dry)

  1. Take Chicken, (Whole cut up or breasts butterflied) and dredge in flour, egg wash and flour again. For this recipe I measured 2 Cups flour, lots of salt and Pepper, 2T garlic powder and 1 T dried oregano. Egg wash was 1 egg and 1.5 Cups milk mixed together. Set aside.
  2. Take 3 peppers and prepare by charring on gas stove top or broiling. Once charred let sit in paper bag a while, once cooled peel and chop into 1" pieces.
  3. In large saute pan, pour 2 T or so of olive oil and add 1 whole onion sliced thin, 6 garlic cloves quartered and saute for approx 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, (I use who tomatoes and chop them) red pepper flakes, lemon slices, basil, Capers and Anchovies (I know you want to skip these but don't, they melt and you will never know they are there. Trust me, I hate them and it isn't the same without them)
  5. Add Wine
  6. Saute for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Brown the chicken pieces on both sides, do this in batches so pan isn't crowded.
  8. Add pieces as they are browned
  9. Turn to low and saute for 20-30 minutes.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I need Spring! (Chimichurri and Spanish Rice)

It feels like I've been cold for months, the kind of cold where your bones hurt and no matter how many layers you wear just doesn't seem to be enough. It's been a very cold and snowy winter here in Minnesota......I'm not complaining, just stating the facts. I actually like winter, snow, sledding, all the holidays and Sunday dinners with my family, but right now I am craving Springtime, the flowers popping up, the sounds of birds chirping, and an occasional rainbow. Parsley make me think of Spring so I decided to make steak with chimichurri sauce for dinner. So easy, so good, so Springtime.

Chimichurri is an Argentinean condiment used in South America, it varies region to region, household to household but seems to have some common denominators; Oil, acid in the form of vinegar or lemon juice, parsley, oregano and a pinch of chili peppers. I use it both as a marinade and a sauce. In the south they use it for chicken and fish too but I've never tried it - seems a little strong for the more delicate meats. You can play with the quantities to meet your personal taste. G prefers it a little less acidic than I do, so when I'm feeling like a good partner I cut back on the vinegar a little.


1 Cup Parsley - Chopped
3-4 Garlic Cloves - Chopped
2 T Fresh Oregano - Chopped, or 2t dried
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2-3 T Vinegar (Red, white or champagne)
1t Salt
1/4 Black Pepper
1/4 Red Pepper Flakes

After all ingredients are chopped, mix together well. Use right away or refrigerator until needed. This should be served at room temperature. I use 1/2 of the mixture to marinade 1 pound of flank steak and the rest as a condiment on top.

Marinaded Flank Steak (Left)

Sliced Flank Steak with

Chimichurri (Right)

Spanish Rice

1 Cup Rice (I like Brown)
1/2 Cup Onion Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves
1/4 Chopped Pepper
1 T Olive Oil
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with liquid
2 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Peas
Saute onion, pepper and garlic until soft. Add Rice to pan and turn until coated with the oil. Add can of tomato with juices, water, stock bringing to a boil and them simmering covered until cooked - time will vary based on type of rice so read the package. Once cooked add peas along with salt and pepper to taste.