OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

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There are some who say the ultimate sweet treat is cookies and milk.  Make the cookie crispy rich with the perfect amount of old fashioned oatmeal,  bittersweet and milk chocolate chips and you have the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that dreams are made of.  Bake with the best chocolate chips you can find or be creative and  chop a bar of good chocolate into coarse chunks.

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
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: cookie
Cuisine: baking
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A crispy rich cookie with old fashioned oatmeal and double chocolate chips
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups (9 ounces) rolled oats (slow cooking old fashioned type)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate chips or chunks
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Using stand mixture with paddle attachment beat the butter and sugars for 5-10 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. While mixer is running add vanilla, and eggs one at a time.
  6. Gradually add dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) in 2-3 additions with the mixer on low speed.
  7. Combine the oats and chocolate and add them to the dough with mixer on low speed, mixing just until well distributed.
  8. Scoop the dough into balls the size of ping-pong balls (1.5 oz.) and arrange on cookie sheets, 6 per pan, then press into ½-inch-thick disks.
  9. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. The edges of the cookies should be golden brown.

 

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RETRO GARLIC BREAD

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Garlic bread  is so retro, so seventies, so easy to make,  that we forget why everyone enjoys it.  Home-made garlic bread is the first thing everyone reaches for at the table.    Five ingredients, three steps, that’s all you need to bake up an unforgettable loaf that puts grocery-store versions to shame.

EASY GARLIC BREAD
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: side dish
Cuisine: retro cuisine
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An unforgettable loaf that puts groacery=store versions to shame.
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf soft Italian or French style bread (about 12 ounces) unsliced
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Slice the loaf into 1-inch-slices without cutting all the way through the bread.
  2. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook stirring often until fragrant, about one or two minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. Add the parsley and ½ tsp salt.
  5. Brush the butter mixture between the slices and wrap the loaf in foil
  6. Bake until warmed through, ten to fifteen minutes.
  7. Oven the foil and bake until lightly toasted on top, five to seven minutes more.
  8. Serve warm

 

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DOUBLE GLAZED LEMON LOAF deleted recipe

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My dear friends.  For some reason this recipe has developed major glitches.  The good husband made it twice (and he is a brilliant baker) with disastrous results.  The cake   didn’t seem to assimilate the oil properly.  As well the centre … Continue reading

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WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU A LEMON … MAKE PRESERVED LEMONS!

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In 1988 Paula Wolfert’s cookbook,  WORLD OF FOODS,  introduced me to PRESERVED LEMONS.    The dishes in this book share common elements:  deep, earthy flavours;  richness without heaviness; and “big” flavour.  Paula Wolfert is probably America’s most outstanding food writer.    This … Continue reading

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WALNUT CRANBERRY ORANGE BREAD

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This oh so scrumptious bread  is a dynamite  combination of flavours.  The roasted walnuts are rich and crunchy, and the tart cranberries and orange zest create an explosion for your taste buds.   The recipe makes two loaves – one to enjoy fresh out of the oven the other to tuck in your freezer or share with a friend

WALNUT CRANBERRY ORANGE BREAD
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: quick bread
Cuisine: baking
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A delicious quick bread with a combination of tart cranberries, orange zest with crunchy walnuts
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 2¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • zest and juice from one large orange
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. and lightly grease and flour two 9 by 5-inch loaf pans.
  2. Into a large bowl add the flour, salt and baking soda and whisk to combine.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the sugar and oil until thoroughly combined; the mixture will look sandy.
  4. Whisk the eggs.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add eggs to the sugar mixture and mix well.
  6. Whisk together the buttermilk, orange zest and juice and vanilla.
  7. Add one-third of the dry ingredients and incorporate on low speed, then increase the speed to medium and mix for one minute.
  8. Add half the buttermilk mixture and mix briefly just to incorporate.
  9. Add half of the remaining dry ingredient, and incorporate before increasing the speed to medium for one minute.
  10. Repeat with remaining buttermilk mixture and the remaining dry ingredients.
  11. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  12. Fold the cranberries and walnuts into the batter with a spatula. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  13. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  14. Bake the loaves for 60 to 75 minutes rotating the pans half way through the baking. (omit rotating pans if using convection bake)
  15. The loaves will be golden brown with cracked tops, and a skewer inserted in the center should come out clean and dry.

 

CHEF NOTES;  You might be tempted to skip roasting your walnuts  but please don’t.  A light toasting brings out the best in most nuts, highlighting their naturally rich, sweet flavours.  To toast shelled nuts spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking pan and bake in a 350F oven until the nuts are lightly fragrant and just hot to the touch.  Depending on the nut, this will take from 7 to 10 minutes.  Watch them closely, as they can go from just right to burned in a matter of seconds. Chop your nuts coarsely after baking.

 

 

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Posted in Breakfast and Brunch, Christmas Food Ideas, Desserts, Desserts and sweets | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

PANANG CURRY BEEF WITH BASIL

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It’s about this time of year I start craving something different for dinner.  I want to set my taste buds to dancing and Thai food is the answer.  This quick,  easy-to-make dinner uses Panang curry paste which is milder than red curry paste and usually includes peanuts.  The ingredient list is short.  You should have most of the pantry ingredients.  Panang curry can be found  in the Asian section of the supermarket but you can substitute red curry paste.

PANANG CURRY BEEF WITH BASIL
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: main course
Cuisine: Thai
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An easy to make dinner that will satisfy your craving for Thai Food
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. flank steak, halved lengthwise
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 13.5 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (do not stir)
  • 2 tbs. Panang or red curry paste
  • 2 tbs. extra-crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 generous tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 generous tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 medium onion, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup THAWED frozen small peas
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn (or substitute l tbs. dried basil)
  • 2 tbs. fresh lime juice
Instructions
  1. FREEZE THE STEAK for 15 minutes to make slicing easier. Thinly slice the steak across the grain, no thicker than ⅛ inch.
  2. Sprinkle the steak with a little kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper.
  3. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Spoon the thick coconut cream from the top of the can into the skillet.
  4. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to dry, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the remaining coconut milk, peanut butter, fish sauce, brown sugar and ¼ cup water and bring to a simmer.
  6. If you are using dried basil add to the sauce.
  7. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in the red pepper and onion, cover, and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  9. Add the sliced beef, peas and the fresh basil.
  10. Cook uncovered, turning the beef often, until it no longer looks raw, 2 to 4 minutes.
  11. Stir in the fresh lime juice and serve.

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FRICASSEE OF CHICKEN with LYONNAISE POTATOES

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There is a very good reason why we return again and again to the classic dishes like Fricassee of Chicken.   This tried and true recipe delivers a rich depth of flavour that has you moping up the very last of the sauce with bits of crusty bread.  White wine, chicken stock and double cream creates the magic that  enhances this often neglected part of the chicken. All chicken thighs or all legs  can be used.  The crisp combination of onion, garlic and  potatoes  compliment this dish. The dish presents beautifully  and makes a wonderful dinner party main course.

FRICASSEE OF CHICKEN LEGS with LYONNAISE POTATOES
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: main course
Cuisine: French
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A luxurious recipe treatment of economical chicken legs. Recipe can be doubled easily for large groups.
Ingredients
  • 6 to 8 whole chicken legs cut into thighs and drumsticks.
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 12 good grinds of black pepper
  • Good splash of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2½ tb (50 g) butter
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves (about 1½ tb) thinly sliced
  • Generous sprigs of fresh thyme (save some for garnish)
  • ⅓ cup (100 ml) white wine vinegar
  • ⅔ cup (200 ml) white wine (your choice of wine)
  • 1½ cups (375 ml) home made chicken stock
  • ¾ cup (200 ml) double cream (whipping cream)
  • FOR THE LYONNAISE POTATOES:
  • 6 large Yukon gold potatoes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8-9 tb (125 g) butter
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 fat garlic cloves crushed
  • A good splash of extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F (170C)
  2. Prepare the Lyonnaise potatoes:
  3. Cook the unpeeled potatoes in gently simmering salted water until almost soft all the way through. Remove and leave to cool completely.
  4. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces
  5. Brown the chicken pieces in the oil and butter in a heavy pan until nicely golden and caramelized.
  6. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  7. Add the onion, garlic, and sprigs of thyme to the pan and cook until soft - scraping about the brown bits of the chicken. Add more oil if necessary.
  8. Add the white wine vinegar and reduce by two-thirds.
  9. Add the white wine and reduce by half.
  10. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5-6 minutes.
  11. Remove the sprigs of thyme.
  12. Put the chicken pieces in a casserole dish and cover with the sauce.
  13. Cook in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes occasionally spooning sauce over chicken.
  14. Sprinkle the chicken with sprigs of fresh thyme.
  15. PREPARING LYONNAISE POTATOES
  16. While the chicken is baking peel the cold potatoes and cut them into slices about ¼ inch (1 cm) .
  17. In a large heavy saute pan melt half the butter and season and fry the onions and garlic until soft and golden.
  18. Heat the remaining butter and olive oil and saute the sliced potatoes until gently coloured on both sides and crisp.
  19. Add the onion and garlic mix and adjust the seasoning and serve with the chicken.
  20. Chefs Note;
  21. You can prepare this dish with all chicken legs or all chicken thighs.
  22. If you don't have fresh thyme do not substitute dried in the chicken recipe.
  23. Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley in place of fresh thyme.

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OLD-FASHIONED PINEAPPLE UPSDIE DOWN CAKE

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This is one of those desserts you like to make over and over again.  It is so simple – requiring just one bowl.  The ingredients are pantry friendly.   It takes just a few minutes to whip up. Served warm fresh out of the oven it is an absolutely splendid way to end a meal.  Rich caramelized butter and brown sugar combine with tart pineapple  in this cake that you bake it one way up – and serve it the other way down!

OLD-FASHIONED PINEAPPLE UPSDIE DOWN CAKE
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: Dessert
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A simple to make one-bowl cake with a caramelized butter and brown sugar and pineapple topping.
Ingredients
  • 3 tbs butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 6 slices pineapple or one generous cup drained, diced pineapple
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup soft shortening or butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 350F
  2. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
  3. In an 8" x 8" x 2" cake pan add the butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  4. Heat in oven until bubbly
  5. Remove from oven and arrange pineapple over butterscotch mixture
  6. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and stir thoroughly with a whisk to blend
  7. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives until the mixture is a fine crumb.
  8. Make a hollow and add eggs and whisk to combine yolks and whites.
  9. Add milk and combine with eggs then combine with dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened.
  10. Pour over the pineapple mixture.
  11. Bake in 350F for 45 to 50 minutes.
  12. Turn out on plate with pineapple side up.
  13. Serve plain or with whipped cream.
  14. If desired, arrange maraschino cherries in between pieces of pineapple before baking cake.

IMG_1051mix ingredients just until moistened

bubbly butter and brownthe butterscotch mixture

IMG_1053sprinkle butterscotch mixture with pineapple

sppour cake batter over pineapple mixture

IMG_1055turn out cake upside down on plate or cooling rack

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MEDALLIONS OF BALSAMIC GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH RED AND YELLOW PEPPERS

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This super quick  recipe has dinner on the table in twenty minutes.  The recipe is easily adjusted for a single serving or doubled for six to eight people.  Best of all if you keep a well-stocked pantry you will have most of the ingredient.  Serve it with oven roasted yellow potatoes quartered  and liberally sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper.

The anchovies melt into the pepper mixture adding a savory, salty quality.  If you don’t like anchovies use three tablespoons minced olives.

MEDALLIONS OF PORK TENDERLOIN WITH RED AND YELLOW PEPPERS
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: Main dish meal
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A super fast 20 minute recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 (l pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into l-inch-thick medallions
  • 1/12 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 generous tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided
  • 4 canned anchovy fillets, drained and mashed
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 1½ tbs)
  • 1 red pepper cut into 1½ strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1½ inch strips
  • 1 generous tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 generous tbs butter
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper
  3. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.
  4. Add pork to pan and cook for 5 minutes without turning.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and turn pork over.
  6. Add 1 tsp rosemary, anchovies, garlic, and bell peppers.
  7. Cook 7 minutes or until peppers are tender and pork is done.
  8. Drizzle with vinegar and add butter.
  9. Stir to combine.
  10. Top with remaining ½ tsp rosemary.

 

 

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THE FAVORITE BLT …. deconstructed and better than ever~

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Take the ingredients of this classic sandwich and put them together in this new way and you’ll have a salad that is meal in itself.

I like to tear my croutons into medium sized pieces.  I think it looks better.  I am also generous with the bacon.   The buttermilk dressing adds a delicious tangy flavour and the combined results are superb.

 

BLT SALAD
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BLT SALAD serves 4 as a main course . Prep time:20 minutes. Total time: 55 minutes (if you make croutons in the oven)
Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon (8 oz)
  • ½ baguette (8 oz) sliced into ¾ inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound romaine hearts coarsely chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved.
Instructions
  1. l. Preheat oven to 375 F. Arrange bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Cool, then crumble into large pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, make croutons: Toss baguette cubes with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet (or divide among two smaller ones). Bake until golden brown, rotating sheets and tossing croutons halfway through, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, and scallions; season with salt and pepper. Add romaine, tomatoes, and croutons; toss to coat with dressing. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve immediately.
  4. Chef Notes:
  5. If you prrefer you could do the bacon in skillet on the stove, and also do the croutons the same way.
  6. I like to tear my croutons into medium sized pieces. I think it looks better. I also used a little extra bacon. I used the thick sliced bacon.
  7. If you haven't buttermilk on hand make your own; Mix one-third cup milk with one teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar, and let sit for 15 minutes before using. Adding buttermilk is a good way to thicken dressings without a lot of oil

 

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