Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is by far the best Chocolate Chip cookie recipe I have found as of yet and I have looked far and wide. If you like big,moist, yummy cookies you will LOVE this recipe!

2 Cups All Purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or use nonstick cookie sheets.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt: set aside. Cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in vanilla, egg and yolk until light and creamy. Mix in sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand with wooden spoon. Drop dough 1/4 cup at a time on sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in oven or until edges are lightly toasted. Cool on sheets a few minutes then transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

I wish I could take credit for the recipe but I think I found it on Taste of Home and actually followed the recipe for once, only because my cousin made it the first time. Regardless it is a keeper.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oldest Princess's Birthday Dinner

Homemade Macoroni and Cheese
BBQ Pork Ribs
Blueberry Muffins
Lemon Cheese Chess Pie ( I will post that later )

Macaroni and Triple Cheese

Who doesn't love homemade Mac and Cheese?

1 box (14 ounces ) Elbow macaroni
2 eggs
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 to 1 tsp. pepper
8 ounces Velveeta cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided.( A good white cheddar is really yummy if you can find it.)

Cook macaroni. Meanwhile whisk the eggs, milk, butter, seasoned salt and pepper until combined. In large skillet over low heat, melt Velveeta with a little of milk mixture. Once melted, add remaining milk mixture and one cup each of mild and sharp cheddar cheese. Stir until all cheese is melted. Add macaroni to cheese mixture. Pour into greased 3 quart baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly. Serves 6.

I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found in a Taste of Home magazine, it reminds me of the Mac and Cheese my Grandmother used to fix and has become a family favorite. You will often find my husband and girls picking the top off :) after dinner before the food is put away. A friend adds green chili's to the top, which is yummy too.

We eat our macaroni and cheese with Blueberry Muffins. Strange I guess, but it's another family tradition. Up until I met my husband I thought everyone did it, like peas and carrots, they just went together. Not the case I found out.

BBQ Country Ribs

4 pounds bone - in pork ribs
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped in chopper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup cholula sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared mustard

Place ribs in a greased 13x9 baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 or 1 1/2 hours or until no longer pink.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in oil unitl tender. Sitr in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Drain ribs. Grill, covered, over indirect low heat for 45 minutes, turning once. Baste with BBQ sauce. Grill 15 minutes longer or until meat is tender, turning and basting frequently. Serves 6.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lights Out Dinner

What do you eat when the power is out? Well we had to figure it out this week so we ate Grilled Cheese sandwiches and Campbells Tomato Soup by candlelight. Healthy Request of course to avoid that MSG.

I make our grilled cheese with whole wheat bread spread with mayonnaise instead of butter. Why mayo? First, it is a family thing. Second, it makes the outside of the bread crispier. Your sandwich can be dressed up depending on what you have in the fridge with add ons such as: sliced tomato, peppers, white cheese, yellow cheese, avocado, garlic. Whatever your taste buds enjoy. When it comes to the Tomato soup it is better mixed with milk if you ask me. The kids thought it was fun and who doesn't love a good grilled cheese and an excuse to eat one.

We use a cast iron griddle which could be used on either a gas stove or on the BBQ. The cleanup is pretty easy as well which I learned is important in the dark with limited water resources! For another idea stay tuned for my spinach salad which would also be a good addition for a lights out dinner, if you had the ingredients on hand.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Short Ribs in the Slow Cooker

We had this last night with ranch beans and peas (of course) mixed with some corn and garlic sauteed in a little butter (that recipe will come later) - yummy!

2/3 cup flour
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4- 41/2 lbs. boneless short ribs
vegetable oil
1 large chopped onion
1 1/2 cups water
2 beef cubes ( I use Herb Ox bouillon cubes with no MSG)
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar plus a little more for good measure
1/2 cup Cholula sauce (can substitute with chili sauce)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in plastic bag. Add ribs and shake.
2. Brown in oil and transfer to cooker.
3. Combine remaining ingredients in saucepan and bring to boil, loosening drippings from ribs. Pour over ribs.
4. Cover. Cook on low 9-10 hours - it only takes my cooker 6-8 hours.
5. Enjoy with mashed potatoes, spinach salad and a vegetable of choice.

serves: 10 (we obviously cut this in half when it is just us)

Pancake Mix

The best mix I have come across and a staple in our house:

8 Cups unbleached flour
6 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mix well. Transfer to a large container with lid. May be stored in the pantry for up to 6 months.

*Sometimes I use half unbleached flour and half whole wheat flour.

To make pancakes:

Place 2 1/3 cups pancake mix in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1 3/4 cups milk* (warmed a little) , and 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted). Cook on skillet or griddle with butter

Other Ideas:

*Use buttermilk if on hand for extra tasty pancakes
*For a nutritional boost add in a Tablespoon of Flaxseed meal
*mash a banana and add to batter - yummy!
* add a little unsweetened applesauce.