Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 I am one of those who usually hates flat cookies. I love my cookies to have some depth and heigth to them. I love them to be chuck full of chocolate, nuts, etc. as well. When I came across these cookies I was skeptical at first to try them out but man oh man they were awesome. I have to say they are my husband's favorite cookie other than a regular chocolate chip one. So please Don't let these flat cookies fool you like they almost did me. They are awesome. Soft and chewy, so good!!
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup plus 2 T. flour(I often use white whole wheat flour)
3 cups oats(old fashioned or quick)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup wheat germ(optional)
1 package mini chocolate chips(I prefer mini chips or chopped up chocolate)
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, wheat germ, and chocolate chip. Mix well. Roll into balls and place on a greased or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 11-13 minutes. Don't over bake. All ovens cook different so adjust accordingly to your oven. Let sit on pan for 5 minutes then remove to cooling rack. Eat with a glass of milk or ice cream. Yum!!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Balsamic Pesto Pasta

I am always looking for new pasta recipes. We love pasta in our house and I for one get tired of always having spaghetti and Alfredo so I when I came across this I just knew I needed to try this out. Now the rest of my family are a red or white sauce kind of bunch but they even liked this pasta and gave it the thumbs up to appear again on our table. So yeah for me!!! If you need a new way to make pasta this is simple and so tasty.  We served it with salad and the homemade French bread I posted just a couple of days ago!! Yum!!
Balsamic Pesto Pasta
1 cup pesto
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 chicken breasts, cut in to bite size pieces
1 lb box penne or rotini
3 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 T. fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Place the first 6 ingredients in a Ziploc bag and marinate all day or at least 2 hours in the fridge. After you marinate the chicken all day. Take out of fridge, dump all contents into a skillet and cook with 1 T. of olive oil until cooked through. Cook pasta according to package directions. Mix together the tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the cooked chicken, cooked pasta, and the tomato mixture well. Add 1 cup of the cheese and mix well. Place in a greased 9x13 inch pan. Cover with remaining cheese and Bake at 325 degrees until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly around the edges. About 20 minutes.
Recipe Source: adapted from Thirty Handmade Days

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

French Bread Numero Dos

I know I already have a French bread recipe on this blog but if you know me at all I like to try a lot of different recipes. I enjoy trying new things and I love love love all bread!!! Kind of a weakness for me next to sweets, of course, but at least when you make bread at home you control what type of ingredients go in it and hey lets face it homemade bread is divine. Those of you out there that are scared of making your own bread just try it. It takes practice but once you get the hang of it, it is so easy and might I add cheap!!!
French Bread
2 1/4 cup warm water
2 T. sugar
1 T.yeast
1 T. salt
2 T. oil
5 1/2-6 cups flour( I used half white half wheat)
In a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast. If using active dry yeast, let the mixture activate(get bubbly and foamy) for 8-10 minutes. If using instant yeast, proceed with the recipe no need to let the yeast activate. Add the salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour and mix. Add the 2 1/2-3 cups more of flour gradually. The dough should clean off the side of the bowl and not be too sticky but it should still be soft. Knead for 5 minutes with the dough hook or 10 minutes with your hands until you have a soft smooth dough. Leave the dough in the mixer or bowl to rest for 10 minutes. Then stir it down(turn on the mixer for 10 seconds or stir down with a wooden spoon) and then allow it to rest for another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9x13 inch rectangle. Roll the dough up starting at the long edge(like a jelly roll)and pinch the seam to seal. Repeat with the second piece of dough and place them on a large cookie sheet (equal distance apart) lined with parchment or silpat liner(or cooking spray if you don't have either of the other two) Cover the loaves and let raise until doubled in size. Mine took an hour. With a very sharp knife cut 3-4 gashes at an angle in the top of each loaf. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden and baked through.
Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe