Sunday, September 30, 2007
Tomatoed Summer Vegetable Medley
INGREDIENTS: 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 cups diced or chopped fresh or canned tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup sliced yellow squash
1 cup sliced baby eggplant or Japanese eggplant
1 cup chopped red or green pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS: Saute onion in oil till transparent. Add garlic and saute for another minute or so. Add tomatoes and herbs. Cook down a little (about 10-15 minutes on low-medium heat). Add vegetables and seasonings and cook for about 15-20 minutes on low-medium heat covered.
We have a lot to be proud of here in New Bern. But one thing we miss is shopping. That is, of course, our trade-off: for less traffic and lighter population, we get fewer retail stores. Oh, we have Penney's and Belk's, Lowe's, TJ Max, Wal-Mart and Target. But Sam's Club, Costco, Steinmart, Nordstrom's, Hecht's and Dillards are missing, and there's no Whole Foods, Earth Fare or Trader Joe's. Retail comes up short in New Bern, but road-side stands with good local produce abound. Right now peaches are everywhere. Sweet, juicy, fresh peaches. And peach pie has been uppermost in my thoughts this week. The following is my own recipe, and after tasting it, the only thing I would change next time is to increase the cinnamon by 1/2 tsp. The almond liqueur really gave this a nice but subtle flavor, and the fresh peaches were enhanced by it. Here's the recipe:
6 cups peeled and sliced ripe peaches (approx. 3 lbs.)
1/2 cup or more peach juice from drained peaches
2 Tbsp. milk, cream, half and half, or fat-free half and half
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Mocha Peanut Butter Cheesecake
CRUST: 9-10 graham crackers (1 package from a box)
¼ cup sugar
½ stick butter or butter substitute
FIRST LAYER: 1 cup chocolate-covered peanuts
1 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ cup commercial or homemade chocolate peanut butter, at room temperature
CHEESE FILLING: 2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
16 oz. Neufchatel or regular cream cheese at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature
½ cup sugar
TOPPING: 1 Tbsp. butter
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. commercial or homemade chocolate peanut butter at room temperature
½ cup chocolate-covered peanuts
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill a 9x12 pan ½ full with hot water and place on bottom rack of oven. Break crackers into 7-cup workbowl of food processor. Pulse several times to make crumbs. Add sugar and butter and pulse till butter disappears. Spread mixture on bottom of 8” springform pan. Coarsely chop 1-1/2 cups chocolate-covered peanuts in food processor. In small glass bowl, microwave 1 Tbsp. milk and 2 Tbsp. butter until butter is melted. Add 1 Tbsp. sugar and ½ cup chocolate peanut butter. Stir with spoon or spatula till combined. Spread over cracker crust. Sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped peanuts. Set remainder of peanuts aside in small dish or bowl. Wipe workbowl and blades with paper towel.
In small cup, mix coffee liqueur, vanilla, salt and coffee powder. Set aside. Blend 8 oz. cheese and 1 egg in workbowl till creamy. Add remaining 8 oz. cheese and 2nd egg and blend till creamy. Stir bottom and sides with spatula. Add sugar and liqueur mixture and blend till creamy and well combined. Pour over peanut butter mixture in pan. Bake for approximately 40-55 minutes, or till center is almost set. Open oven door all the way and leave cheesecake in oven for 1/2 hour. Continue cooling on wire rack for 1 hour, then place pan in refrigerator uncovered for 1 hour, or till completely cooled.
Prepare topping: In small glass bowl, microwave 1 Tbsp. butter till melted. Add the sugar and the chocolate peanut butter. Stir till combined. Microwave again just till slightly syrupy, then immediately Drizzle over top of cooled cheesecake in a crisscross pattern. Sprinkle with the reserved chopped nuts. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Yield: 10 servings. Start to finish time: 3-1/2 hours. Prep time: 45 minutes
COOK’S NOTES: For test purposes, Chocolate Dreams (manufactured by Peanut Butter & Co., http://www.ilovepeanutbutter.com/ available in Wal-Mart stores for about $3.34, and other food stores nationwide and in Canada; also available online) was used for the cocoa-peanut butter blend. (Homemade chocolate peanut butter: 1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter; ¼ cup butter; ¼ cup 10X sugar; ¼ cup cocoa powder; 1 tsp. vanilla.. Mix all ingredients till well blended.)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Microwave Lemon Curd:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a 1-1/2 quart microwaveable bowl. Stir in the juice, zests and melted butter. Cook in microwave on high, stopping and stirring at one-minute intervals until the mixture can coat the back of a metal spoon. (It should take less than 5 minutes. It will bubble up quite a bit.) Cool on counter, whisking occasionally, for about an hour. Finish cooling in fridge.
Lemon Syrup: (make this only if you are not using Limoncello)
1/3 cup boiling water
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. (If you are using Limoncello, you will need about 1/2 cup.)
Cake: Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix (not the butter type)
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup water
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup oil
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. pure lemon extract
1/4 tsp. pure orange extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour 2 8-inch cake pans. Set aside. Combine all ingredients in large bowl of mixer and follow directions on package for mixing cake.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 28-35 minutes, testing for doneness at 28 minutes by first pressing lightly on center of cake with fingertips, then inserting a toothpick in center. Toothpick should have just a slight crumb on it when removed. Cool cakes in pan on counter for 10-15 minutes, then invert and finish cooling on cake rack.
Filling and Frosting: 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup confectioner's (10X) sugar
16 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened OR
8 oz. mascarpone cheese & 8 oz. cream cheese (I used mascarpone & Neufchatel)
Place large mixing bowl and wire whip beaters in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove and whip the cream till stiff. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating till stiff again. In separate smaller bowl, by hand or with electric mixer with wire whip attachment, beat the softened cheese and chilled lemon curd together till well combined. Add the sweetened cream and beat again till everything is well blended.
Assembly: Cut the cooled cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place the first layer, cut side up, on serving plate. Using pastry brush, brush 1/4 of Limoncello (or lemon syrup) onto the cake. Top with 3/4 - 1 cup of the frosting. Place next layer cut side down and repeat process. Frost the outside of the cake and the top. If desired, decorate top using a pastry bag (or resealable plastic bag with corner cut and star tip inserted in cut corner) and star tip. If you do not have a star tip, you can decorate top with chopped nuts, chopped crystallized ginger, or thin lemon slices. Yield: 10-12 servings.
The cake should be refrigerated for at least 6 hours before serving. It's really like a Tiramisu and it WILL pick you up! (Tiramisu means literally "pick me up.")
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Cousin Helen Heavenrich's Lemon Ginger Cookies, adapted
INGREDIENTS: 2-1/2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour (measure the flour, then sift it) 2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (I used sea salt)
3 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (I used white sugar)
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses (I used Grandma's original)
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
DIRECTIONS: Sift dry ingredients into medium sized bowl and whisk together to combine. Beat butter with sugar and egg in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and lemon rind until well blended. Stir in dry ingredients, half at a time, blending well after each addition. This will make a soft dough. (At this point, I refrigerated the dough for about 1/2 hour to firm it up, but the recipe does not call for this step.)
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough, one level tablespoon at a time, between palms of hands, into balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. (I used a measuring spoon -- tablespoon size -- it's rounded in shape -- see photo above. With my fingers, I leveled the dough, then removed the leveled amount and rolled it in my hands, then in sugar.)
Bake for about 10 minutes. Cookies will be soft in the center. Do not overbake. (I used the toothpick test and took the cookies out when there was just a little piece of dough clinging to the pick -- it was 10 minutes for me.) Let cookies cool in pan for 3-5 minutes, then with spatula place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling. Store in covered containers at room temperature, or freeze. Yield: 4 dozen cookies (I got 53 cookies.)
11/13/07 P. S. Here's an e-mail I received from Hollis Heavenrich-Jones today: "Hello Judy- I stumbled upon your Website through an Internet search I was doing, and was amused by your write up of Helen Heavenrich’s ginger cookies. Helen was indeed a real person, and she actually baked the lemon ginger cookies, although she didn’t live in 1732 – not by a long shot. Helen’s husband Sam was my father’s first cousin. Sam was the oldest of 13 first cousins and my dad was the youngest. Sam and Helen lived a fascinating life traveling all over the world during their younger years. They never really settled in one place, and never stayed in one country/area longer than about five years. But they owned a 200-year-old farmhouse in Vermont, and always made their way back there. The house had been in Helen’s family for generations. When we (my four siblings and I) met Sam and Helen, they were in their late 70’s, and had finally settled in Vermont. (They also lived in Florida during the winter.) Because Sam and Helen had no children of their own, they sort of adopted me and my siblings as their grandchildren. We used to visit them in the summers and they would regale us with stories of their many and interesting adventures. (In 1952, Sam was a judge for the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant.) In addition to the lemon ginger cookies, one of Helen’s favorite recipes was for popovers. She made them every morning for breakfast. Fast forward a few years to when my mom, a cooking instructor in Milwaukee, opened a cookie factory called Jill Heavenrich’s Nashota Ovens Bakery. My mom decided to see if she could adapt Helen’s recipe for mass production, and it was one of their biggest hits. My mom couldn’t have been more surprised when Family Circle called and told her the lemon ginger cookies had been selected as one of their best cookies. Everyone in my family was so sad when Sam Heavenrich died about 10 years ago at the age of 93. Helen followed within about 2 years at the age of 92. They were an amazing couple who left us with a wonderful legacy. Sorry if I’ve prattled on. But stumbling across your site really brought back some memories. Thanks! And best regards, Hollis Heavenrich-Jones"
Thursday, September 20, 2007
1/2 cup dry white wine (I left it out and didn't miss it)
1-1/2 tsp. salt (I always use sea salt -- it has minerals you need)
freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups peeled plum tomatoes, cut up (I used Furmano's crushed tomatoes--
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (I used 1/4 cup fresh parsley plus 1/4 cup fresh basil)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (Judy added)
INGREDIENTS: 1 tub, any size, whole-milk, low-fat or non-fat yogurt
1 bowl to suspend the strainer in
plastic wrap to cover the strainer and bowl
INGREDIENTS: 2-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup semi-sweet morsels
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. orange zest
3/4 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
3 8-oz. pkgs. Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese), room temperature
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 pt. (2 cups) lite sour cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. Triple Sec (I used Bols)
1 Tbsp. orange zest
12 oz. of good quality chocolate (bar or morsels)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
DIRECTIONS: Make crust: Place first 5 ingredients in work bowl of food processor and pulse till combined. Spray a 9" and 8" springform pan (or a 10" if you prefer) with non-stick cooking spray on bottom and side. Place pans in center of 12" squares of aluminum foil and press foil up around sides of pans. Press crumb mixture onto bottoms and 3/4 up sides of pans. Chill while making filling.
Make Filling: Wipe work bowl of food processor with damp paper towel. Put 1 pkg. of cheese in bowl. Pulse till smooth. Add sugar. Pulse till smooth. Add remaining cheese, one block at a time, pulsing till smooth after each addition. Repeat with egg yolks, one at a time. Add remaining ingredients (except chocolate bar and cream), pulsing just till combined. In separate large bowl, beat egg whites till stiff. Fold whites into cake batter gently by hand until well blended. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (or 325 if you are using dark or coated pans) for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until top is golden; turn off oven heat and allow cakes to cool in oven for 1 hour. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool on wire rack at room temperature.
Additional note: I baked these cakes one at a time, because of the difference in size. The 8" cake did not take 1 hr. 15 minutes to bake. It was more like an hour, but you can never rely on exact times with any baked item; you always have to check it for doneness, even if you have baked it 50 times, because there are just too many variables in the baking process. Remember that baking times are just a guide. Cheesecakes are not that hard to make, so give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The Best of the Best: No. 5/Cheesecake
INGREDIENTS: 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I took this out, if you like cinnamon, keep it in)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar (I reduced to 1 cup)
6 eggs, separated, room temperature
1 pint dairy sour cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Grated rind of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)
1/4 tsp. salt (my addition)
DIRECTIONS: To make crust: Spray a 10-inch springform pan (or a 9" and an 8") with non-stick cooking spray. Place pan in center of a 12-inch square of aluminum foil and press foil up around side of pan. Combine cracker crumbs, sugar (and cinnamon if using) and melted butter in small bowl until well blended. (I put everything in the food processor and pulsed.) Press 3/4 cup of crumb mixture onto bottom and side of pan. Chill prepared pan while making filling. (Reserve remaining crumb mixture for top, if desired.)
To make filling: With electric mixer on low speed or with a wooden spoon, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until soft. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in sour cream, flour, vanilla, lemon rind and juice until smooth. In a separate medium sized bowl, beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold whites into the cheese mixture, soufle fashion, until well blended. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F) 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until top is golden; turn off oven heat and allow cake to cool in oven for 1 hour. (I baked at 325 degrees F because I was using a dark-coated pan. -- Using a 10-inch pan, you will have to adjust time. If you are unsure about doneness, open oven door, jiggle pan. If it shakes to much in the middle, give it more time. You want the center to be almost set but still a little jiggly when you turn the heat off.) Remove cake from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack at room temperature. If desired, sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Chill overnight before serving. Yield: 12-16 servings
Please let me know if you make this, and tell me how it turns out.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Tomato-Chicken Vegetable Soup
INGREDIENTS: 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
16-18 oz. crushed canned tomatoes (I used Furmano's this time)
1 quart canned or homemade chicken broth
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley & tarragon)
OR 2-1/2 tsp. basil, oregano, thyme mixed accordiing to your taste
2 cups mixed frozen or fresh vegetables of your choice (I used frozen peas,
green beans, corn, but I do it differently each time, according to what I have)
1-1/2 to 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
DIRECTIONS: In a 3-quart pot, saute the onion in oil over medium-low heat for about 3-5 minutes, or till onion is transparent and wilted. Add garlic, stir and saute for another minute or so. Add the tomatoes, broth, ketchup, bay leaf, herbs, salt and pepper and turn the heat up to high until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Add the mixed vegetables and chicken and simmer for another 15-20 minutes, or till vegetables are tender but not overcooked. Serve with garlic bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, or pizza.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Jacques Torres' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Cookie Madness and Martha Stewart
Rating: 9 out of 10
1/4 lb. unsalted butter + 1/4 lb. Smart Balance buttery spread, rm. temp. (or 1/2 lb. butter)
1-1/2 cups sugar + 1 Tbsp. molasses
2 large eggs, rm. temp.
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. instant coffee dissolved in 1 Tbsp. coffee brandy (optional)
1-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. pastry flour (I used White Lily all-purpose; it's low gluten)
1-1/2 cups bread flour (I used Gold Medal) Note: do not try to substitute all-purpose
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 lb. good-quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
Don't grease the baking sheet -- it might cause extra spreading. Measure coffee powder and coffee brandy into small measuring cup; add vanilla and eggs; set aside. Whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add chocolate and stir till combined; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butters, sugar and molasses. Add eggs and flavorings, in two batches, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture including chocolate. Mix till combined well but don't over mix. Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
Using a 4-oz. scoop for larger cookies or a 1-oz. scoop for smaller cookies, place cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake till very lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. Check the cookies at 12 minutes for doneness, as oven temperatures vary greatly. Use a toothpick inserted in center like you would for a cake. If you hit chocolate, pick another spot or another cookie to test. When toothpick comes out clean or almost clean, cookies are done and should be removed from oven to cool slightly on baking sheets before being transferred to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 4 doz. 3-inch cookies using a 1-oz. scoop.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Microwave Lemon Curd
INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup white sugar
1-1/2 eggs (I would use 2 medium eggs; if all you have is large eggs, then
break one egg into a measuring cup, mix with fork, measure half)
1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
4-1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
DIRECTIONS: In a 1-1/2-quart microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. (The reason you need a large bowl is because the curd will bubble up and increase in volume as it cooks.) Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and melted butter. Cook in microwave on high for about 1 minute. Whisk. Cook for another minute. Whisk. Repeat till mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. (i.e., take a metal spoon, put it into the curd, let it drip into the bowl and look at the spoon -- is there curd residue left on the spoon or did it all drip off? If the spoon is coated with lemon curd, it is done. Please note that it will look runny, not thick. It will thicken as it cools, but will not be like a stiff pudding. Also note that when I halved the above recipe, it took about 2 minutes total in the microwave-- unbelievable, huh? -- the above recipe will undoubtedly take longer, maybe 3 minutes, maybe 4) Remove from microwave and pour into small sterile jars. (1/2 pint canning jars would be perfect for this) Store for up to 3 weeks in the fridge. Yield: about 2 cups.
Below are two indispensable tools for helping you make the lemon curd. First, the lemon squeezer. If you watch the Food Network, you have seen this little gadget in lemon yellow and lime green. I would gladly pay the $20.00 price tag for these little gadgets if only they weren't powder-coated aluminum. I had a powder-coated aluminum garlic press and it chipped eventually. I refuse to buy anything else powder-coated. So I opted to pay something like $3.00 for a cast-aluminum press at Wal-Mart. It's smaller, so it calls for some improvising. If you have a large lemon, you may have to cut it into smaller pieces, but the gadget works great. I use it so much, it's almost ridiculous to put it away.
The next gadget is the microplane grater. I don't know how I ever lived without one. They have different sizes for different jobs. I have two -- and I use them constantly. Zesting/grating has become so easy with this tool. It's also easier to wash than a regular grater. I think I will sell my old grater at the next garage sale I have because I will never use it again. I paid $15 for this at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but it's worth every penny.
Here is the lemon curd after it came out of the microwave. It's hard for you to see the consistency, but trust me it was runny. After it cooled, though, it was perfect, like a soft pudding.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Todd English is a well known chef and restaurateur who has penned several cookbooks. His cookies are light and tender with crispy edges and a wonderful texture because of the pulverized oats. The flavorings are great. You don't taste the lemon juice; it just enhances the ingredients. Now you may think it's too much work to toast the nuts and pulverize the oats, but those are the things that take a good recipe to the realm of a great recipe. It's definitely worth the extra work.
Todd English Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Cookie Madness
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
1 cup toasted walnut or pecan pieces
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. Smart Balance Buttery Spread, room temperature
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1 Tbsp. molasses
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon juice (or 2 tsp. instant coffee powder dissolved in water or coffee brandy)
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup rolled oats, pulverized in food processor (measure 1 cup before pulverizing)
2-1/2 cups any combination of semi-sweet, bittersweet, white and/or milk chunks or chips
2 Tbsp. quick oats not pulverized
DIRECTIONS: Toast the nuts by placing them in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes or until they become aromatic and start to release their oil. Remove from skillet and allow them to completely cool.
Using an electric mixer, preferably with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and molasses till light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and lemon (or coffee), then the eggs, and beat just till blended into the batter. Do not overbeat after adding the eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt till thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture to the batter and stir till well blended. Stir in the oats, nuts and chocolate chips/chunks. Chill the dough for at least an hour or up to 3 days -- it really makes a difference in how the cookies set up.
Here's the batter in the mixing bowl, with the chocolate just added.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spoon large tablespoonfuls of dough 2-3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets (I lined the cookie sheet with parchment paper first, and I used my small ice cream scoop which makes a nice 3-inch cookie from the scoop.) Bake one sheet at a time for 13-15 minutes or until cookies are starting to brown around the edges but still soft in the middle. (Mine took about 14 minutes. I used a toothpick inserted in center -- carefully avoiding chocolate -- just like you would for a cake. If it comes out clean or almost clean, they are done, no matter what the outside looks like. If you hit chocolate, try again on another cookie) Let them sit on the cookie sheet out of the oven for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to finish cooling. Here are the cookies ready to go in the oven:
Here they are baking in the oven. See how they puff up? They come back down when they cool. This recipe makes about 4 dozen 3-inch cookies -- you know the yield will vary according to the size of cookie you make. And I hope you also know that chocolate chip cookies just don't keep well. I always freeze them. When you want cookies, just leave them out for about 15 minutes - half hour. You can always nuke them briefly too.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Here are the cookies baking in the oven. You can see that they puff up nicely, but when they come out, they fall. Not to worry, they are delicious!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
This is an old recipe I think from 1976. Woman's Day Magazine or Family Circle, if my memory is working, had a removable insert entitled "All-American Recipes" or something like that. 1976 was the year of America's bicentennial and magazines were covering homes decorated in red, white and blue and publishing patriotic-type recipes. The parade on July 4, 1976, in our little town of Long Valley, NJ, was memorable, since our friend (who was also the mayor) built a "train" that he could trail on his International Harvester tractor. I made a Colonial dress and hat, made Colonial costumes for my two boys and we rode in the train in the parade. This wonderful recipe is a product of the bicentennial hoopla. You won't be disappointed if you make it -- it always brings rave reviews. My changes are noted below. The recipe, as is, says it yields 6 servings. All I can say is they are very big eaters, those 6. We are little people and we eat smaller portions, I guess, because this recipe is enough for us when we have a crowd. If I make it just for us, I halve it and it lasts us for a week.
ALL-AMERICAN POTATO SALAD
INGREDIENTS: 6 medium-size baking potatoes (recipe calls for Maine or Long Island)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use Smart Balance)
1/4 cup cider vinegar (don't substitute other vinegars)
1 medium-size onion, chopped
2 tsp. salt (recipe calls for 2-1/2, I reduced it and I use only sea salt)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (recipe does not call for parsley)
3/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing (I use Smart Balance mayo)
1/4 cup fat-free half and half (recipe calls for light cream)
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and diced
1 cup thinly sliced celery
DIRECTIONS: Scrub potatoes and place in large pot with enough water to cover. (I have an electric egg cooker for the eggs, but sometimes I just put the eggs in the
pot with the potatoes --at the top of course, but covered with water-- and
leave the lid off til the water comes to a boil, then set the timer for 7
minutes, scoop the eggs out and put the lid on the potatoes to finish cooking.)
Bring water to a boil, then reduce slightly to maintain a low boil, and cover
potatoes. Check potatoes after 15 minutes by piercing with a fork. When
fork enters potato easily, potato is done. They may not all be done at the
same time, so remove the potatoes as they are done and place on a wire rack
to cool. If you let them stay in too long they could get mushy, so watch them
carefully. While potatoes are cooling, prepare dressing: Combine oil,
vinegar, chopped onion, salt and pepper in a jar with a screw top. Cover
jar and shake to mix. Peel and slice the potatoes into a large bowl when
they have cooled enough to handle -- but don't let them cool completely.
Add the chopped parsley. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and parsley,
toss to blend well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or
until serving time. I have prepared up to this point the night before.) Just
before serving: whisk mayo with half and half in a small bowl until smooth;
pour over potatoes, and toss to coat. Add peeled diced eggs and celery and
toss lightly. Line a salad bowl with Boston lettuce, if desired, and fill bowl
with salad. Sprinkle top with paprika and serve.
Here's a photo of the halved recipe -- you can see the little jar I used for
the dressing. The dressing has just been poured over the potatoes. I
added the parsley later.
Monday, September 3, 2007
2 tsp. crushed and chopped fresh garlic
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 pork tenderloin
DIRECTIONS: Mix all marinade ingredients in small resealable plastic bag. Massage bag to mix ingredients. Remove a few tablespoons for basting the pork while it cooks and put it in a small cup or covered container. Add pork tenderloin to the bag. Massage to distribute marinade around meat, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to a day. When ready to cook the meat, have grill at medium-high temperature (about 400-450 degrees). Turn one burner off and place meat on the turned-off burner, using the grill like an oven. Baste with the reserved marinade occasionally. Cooking time will depend on heat of the grill and thickness of the meat. Use an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness. Remove pork at about 155 degrees and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes to finish cooking and allow juices to settle. Slice like a london broil (at an angle) so you can get larger pieces. Leftover meat makes great sandwiches. (I buy pork tenderloins when they go on sale, and sometimes freeze them in the marinade. The picture below shows about a half of a tenderloin. For just the two of us, this is plenty and we have meat left over for sandwiches.) The marinade is a lick-your-fingers marinade. Really, really good. I've been using this recipe for many years and have never grown tired of it.